Priorities - A: high, B: medium, C: low; Status - _: unfinished, X: finished, C: cancelled, P: pending, o: in progress, >: delegated. Covey quadrants - Q1 & Q3: urgent, Q1 & Q2: important
A1XCheck out Damien's patch
A2XCreate a blogging thing for my planner wiki
A3XFix Emacswiki bbdb URLs.

1. slashdot karma : 12:35

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w00t! I just got a (5, Interesting) on a post I made to the Ultra-Cool Wireless Wearables post on Slashdot.

2. on why I do not judge poetry : 18:07

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Despite all the efforts of my English literature teachers (and a number of friends), I refuse to profess any ability to distinguish good poetry from bad poetry, and indeed good art from bad art. Because those crazy cubists can draw weird stuff and still be called masters, I conclude that it is next to impossible for me to distinguish between an intentionally bad poem (a brilliant satire of the affectations of lesser writers! a shining example of subtle wit and humor!) and a simply horrible piece of junk. I suspect that most art critics make it up, anyway.

You can probably see how this kind of attitude got me two Ds in freshman English. I have neither patience nor desire to sit around in a circle discussing the irony in the Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. Give me a program instead.

3. open source questionnaire : 18:18

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A student doing a research paper on open source asked me if I could be interviewed. I said yes, of course, since I love doing whatever I can to advocate Linux. She sent me a questionnaire by e-mail.

A Word document attachment.

I politely wrote her back and suggested the use of non-proprietary formats in the future, especially when sending out an open source questionnaire - I was nice, though, and told her I'd extracted the text already. To this, she replied that she didn't have any non-proprietary software on her system, but that she was working on it.

Ah, such is the insidious power of Microsoft! It causes people to forget that plain text and HTML files are eminently more open than the native Microsoft Word document, and much smaller too. Pffft. Not only that, people have gotten far too used to saving plain, unformatted text files as a Microsoft Word document, unaware of the other document types and the fact that they can produce such...

4. rms citation style : 19:36

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Richard Stallman indents his quoted text. Not that I'm knocking it, but I should figure out how to get Gnus to treat it as quoted text... (Advanced happy birthday, RMS!)

5. initsplit.el : 19:44

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From an emacs-devel message
John Wiegley has a tool called initsplit.el on his web-site for breaking customizations into multiple files. The issue (I believe) is why load all the customization information for a package into Emacs if you're not going to load the package (at least during this particular session)? Also, it would allow you to keep the customizations for a package close to (in the sense of your .emacs files) everything else associated with the package. Different people (I guess) have different levels of what they consider to be a "tidy" .emacs file.

I love Emacs.

6. emacs-wiki major uhoh : 21:00

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Something is seriously screwing up some of my pages. NOTE: Make backup of correct plans! Must do damage control immediately.

7. tala's open source interview : 23:36

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Not one of my most coherent responses, but it must be done. How do you/does your organization support and advocate Open Source Software? What activities have you spearheaded or joined in?

I maintain or contribute source code and time to a few open source projects like the Emacs Planner module. I've given several talks at local Linux events such as the UP Open Source Day held on February 20, 2003, and the Ateneo I.T. Forum held on March 7, 2003. I am also the current vice president of the Philippine Linux Users Group and I am active in a couple of mailing lists like plug and ph-linux-newbie.

Why do you support the use of Open Source Software?

Because it's fun. Because it helps me practice my skills. Because it gives me bucketloads of free software that I can use, customize, debug and develop. Because it helps me make a difference.

What are the advantages of using Open Source Software over

Proprietary Software generally and specifically for the Philippines? From a techie's point of view? From a layman's point of view (such as a student or an office secretary or clerk)?

Speaking as a techie, I find open source to be absolutely wonderful. I can learn as much as I want from whatever software program I choose. I can tweak, experiment, and rewrite to my heart's content. For me, free and open source software is about freedom - the freedom to learn, the freedom to improve.

You might also be interested in an essay of mine. http://www.inq7.net/inf/2002/sep/26/inf_27-1.htm

What is the current state of Open Source Software in the Philippines?

You might want to check out the openminds_ph archives for a lot of discussion on that. http://groups.yahoo.com/groups/openminds_ph

In your opinion, will the use of Open Source Software spread and gain more popularity? What factors will help the spread of use?

I don't see why not. Open source software just makes a lot of sense to me. There are a lot of companies and schools looking into open source, and even our government is slowly exploring open source.

What factors will hinder the spread of the use of Open Source Software in the Philippines?

Many businesses are locked into proprietary solutions because they'd come to rely on a single vendor, and big software companies try to make sure that people don't know they have alternatives. For example, if you didn't know that you could save files in other formats simply by using the File -> Save As command in Microsoft Word, you'd end up saving in the closed Microsoft Word format. If you're using something like Microsoft Word 2002 and your friends only have Microsoft Word 98, they'll have to buy new software just to open your file. People buy Microsoft Office because "everyone else uses it."

There's also the impression that open source is intimidating and that it's only for geeks. A lot of work is being done to improve it on the desktop, and companies are springing up to provide Linux support.

In your opinion, does Open Source Software have a future in the Philippine IT industry?