January 2, 2004

Bulk view

Family businesses

My parents both work in advertising photography. My father is one of
the most famous commercial photographers in the country. My mother
manages the business. They started from practically nothing and built
a very successful business. Their partnership works. My father is
passionate about his work and enjoys creating beautiful images. My
mother makes sure that the company runs smoothly.

My father will probably take pictures until it is physically
impossible to do so. I don’t think he’ll willingly retire. My mother,
on the other hand, does the behind-the-scenes work so that my father
can pursue his dream. She looks forward to a quiet retirement and time
to read, write, knit, think, dream… Still, as long as my father
wants to shoot, she’ll be there keeping the company running. I think
that’s really wonderful of her, although I wish she could pursue her
dreams more often. I think she really enjoys travelling, reading
poems, and seeing beautiful landscapes.

I am the youngest of three children. Our house has always been part of
the office, so my sisters and I grew up watching them work. Our
passions lie elsewhere. Ching used to be an IT manager at Proctor and
Gamble before transferring to HP because of the company move. Kathy’s
interested in photography, but is thinking of being a flight
attendant. I really love teaching.

Kathy is the most likely successor to the business, but she doesn’t
really see herself doing advertising photography right now. We’d
rather see the employees inherit the business because great business
requires great passion. G-nie looks like she’ll do a great job, and
she’s learned a lot from my father. My mom will be hard to replace,

We never felt pressured to join the family business. Our parents are
open about the different paths we want to take. Sometimes, though, I
worry about what will happen when the torch must be passed. I don’t
want to see Adphoto dissolve because there are so many people who have
worked there almost all their lives, and I just can’t imagine them
looking for work anywhere else. I know, however, that I’m ill-suited
for the job – at least if I want to pursue my own dreams.

Stuff to think about.

Reading exercises

Another major hack for this month would be the collection of at least
25 code-reading exercises covering basic Java syntax. This will help
students practice their code reading abilities and test their
understanding of Java syntax. These should be arranged by topic and
should cover variables, expressions, conditionals, loops, and Boolean

Monthly hacks: vc-arch.el

I will finish at least one major hack per month. This month’s special
is vc-arch.el, which for some reason does not seem available on the
Net. I have sketches of it up at ../emacs/emacs-wiki/vc-arch.el. I
feel that if nothing else, at least I’ll have a mode that makes it
easier for me to manage my planner work.

Getting a diff through C-x v = already works. I want to be able to
commit my changes with a quick C-x v v. If more than one file has been
modified, I want a dired-like buffer displayed so that I can select
which files to commit.

Code Reading: The Open Source Perspective

Playing on my strengths as all-around puzzler-out of weird software,
perhaps I should explore software archaeology and code reading a bit
more. The http://www.spinellis.gr/codereading/index.html looks
like exactly my kind of book, and I think it’s worth getting. I will
need to save up for it, though. Addison Wesley, 2003. ISBN



emacs-wiki sites

In fit of insanity, searched for sites that used emacs-wiki. Quite a list.

http://larve.net/people/hugo/2003/scratchpad/EmacsWiki.html (has RSS)
http://www.oranda.demon.co.uk/planner/EmacsWiki.html (uses planner)
http://members.iinet.net.au/~mtriggs/emacs-wiki.html (has a gallery)
http://gohome.org/teranisi/EmacsWiki.html (has recent changes)
http://www.gohome.org/teranisi/news/ (hey, nice linking)
http://www.naney.org/personal/diary/2002/04/c.html#200204224 (like planner, but several days on a page)
http://senzai07.poly.kit.jp/~iwata/EmacsWiki.html (uses the emacs-wiki-rss module, I think)
http://www.geocities.co.jp/SiliconValley-SanJose/7474/EmacsWiki.html (nice index)
http://db.cs.hit.edu.cn/people/WangChunyu/wiki (zope, also)
http://verify.stanford.edu/satyaki/emacs/EmacsWikiTricks.html (fontlocking)
http://verify.stanford.edu/satyaki/backpacking/EmacsWikiAlbumCreation.html (album)
http://satosan.jp/EmacsWiki.html (looks like some planner, too, but very old version)
http://senzai07.poly.kit.ac.jp/~iwata/ChalowForEmacsWiki.html (changelog on the web)
http://gnufans.net/~deego/DeegoWiki/WikiIndex.html (deego)
http://www.frankgerhardt.com/WikiIndex.html (indexed by date)
http://www.archi.is.tohoku.ac.jp/people/yusuke/Emacs-wiki.html (planner and remember, but some old workarounds)
http://mux03.tdiary.net/20031206.html (nonplanner diary with headlines on the side, but actually running on tdiary not emacs-wiki)
http://www.biostat.umn.edu/~nali/AboutThisSite.html (source link, good idea)
http://www.ntu.edu.sg/home5/PG04878518/EmacsTools.html (grid computing)
http://www.self-core.org/~kaoru-k/wiki/EmacsWiki.html (planner, looks old style and custom)
http://aadis.de/wiki/PageIndex (referers, index, search)
http://supermon.sourceforge.net/ (on sf for work)
http://home.earthlink.net/~rdtietjen/Hypersphere/BackLinks.html#wikiweb (hmm, backlinks might be fun)
http://ne.cs.uec.ac.jp/~miya/WebWiki/WikiIndex.html (simple)
http://www.8ung.at/rotty/Software.html (planner)
http://www.ceres.dti.ne.jp/~george/jdiaryA21001.html#2002100701 (brief mention)
http://www.apollostar.com/k-ishii/TableOfContents.html (internationalized links, too)
http://tao.uab.es/jao/ – just one page
http://www.cs.unc.edu/~lastra/Courses/Verilog/talk/html/WebLinks.html (for courses)
http://kind.cs.kun.nl/~kiniry/Wiki/WikiIndex.html (planner custom)
http://www.aoc.nrao.edu/~bwaters/Wiki/WikiIndex.html (planner)
http://www.1729.com/wiki/WikiIndex.html (not sure)
http://www004.upp.so-net.ne.jp/nagae-r/WikiIndex.html (diary file)

Google for WikiIndex and find many, many more.


http://www.me.ics.saitama-u.ac.jp/~hira/emacs/howm/ has some ideas for guids and grep.
http://d.hatena.ne.jp/tengsama/20030704 mentioned emacs-wiki

Blogging is alive and well under Emacs

in reaction to http://www.sfu.ca/~gswamina/BlogsAreDead.html

I’ve had a blog for roughly a year and a half now, and I think I’m
pretty much settling into the routine. Reading Ganesh’s BlogsAreDead post, I think about how I use Emacs to keep track of my notes.

Linearity – Blogs are linear, ie usually in chronological
order. My knowledge/experience is non-linear (fortunately). There is
an obvious mismatch here. I don’t see how I can write coherently about
recursive functions, pipelines, privacy and chicks in the same

I split this up into several remember-to-planner-plan-page-dwim posts,
usually cross-linking them with a topic page.

Lack of time – Everybody seems to be bringing this up. I
don’t post very often, but when I do, they are long ones. If you’ve
noticed, my titles are usually one or two words – “Skills”, “04-1
Registered”, “Talks”, “Its Tuesday”, $(rand dict). Not very
descriptive. Often, I remember writing about something, but not able
to track it down. Sad, really.

My titles aren’t all that descriptive either, but that’s what M-x
planner-search-notes in planner-experimental.el is for. And yes, I
really hate it if I know I blogged about something but I can’t
remember how to bring it up.

Non-conformance to standards – When you put together an entry, do
you check if it confirms to W3C standards every time ? Honestly,
that’s insane. A standard transformation mapping will make life so
much easier. I now face a problem, how do I convert my old entries ?
I seem to have used three to four different ways to post my code,
all of them every inelegant, except for the last.

I work with plain text.

Immature – Blogging software is not powerful enough. What
if I want to quote an email message, or a news thread ? Or simple
syntax highlighting ? Or even on the fly spell checking (known as
flyspell-mode in emacs, BTW). Couple this with my non-descriptive
titles, how do I cross reference things ?

Emacs is wonderful!

Not cool – Blogs aren’t cool anymore, since every kid
happens to have his own. When you come across somebody’s blog which
appears to be very interesting, do you take the time to read through
his archives ? Ofcourse not. More bit bricks.

I often read through other people’s archives. I hope that the
cross-references with plan pages make it easier for people to see
related stuff, but I plan to have some kind of search someday.

Stagnant – “The only thing that is constant is change.”
Spring->Summer->Fall, so many things change around you. About 28.5%
(eh !) of your content is stale. Your views on life constantly change
(you may deny it). Going back and changing stuff just doesn’t make
sense when your entries are chronological.

I frequently go back and post updates. I also tend to reorganize the
plan pages fairly often, although that does mean semi-broken day
links. (Must get those GUIDs up and running!)

Emacs is way cool.

Places to visit

AU: Basser Department of Computer Science, The University of Sydney

– Problem-Based Learning for Foundation Computer Science Courses
– Mike Barg, Alan Fekete, Tony Greening, Owen Hollands, Judy Kay, and Jeffrey H. Kingston
– Kathryn Crawford, SMITE Research Unit, Faculty of Education