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
BXTrack down bug with emacs-wiki-escape-html-string and ".12 " : E-Mail from Jeremy Cowgar (bug)
BXDownload and unpack http://people.debian.org/~joerg/bad.licenses.tar.bz2 (debian)
BXFile ITP for remember-el (feature)
BXAdd hippie expansion for days : E-Mail from Paul Lussier (feature)
BXAdd hippie expansion for BBDB : E-Mail from Paul Lussier (feature)


1. Mid-term plans

I am just about ready to go back to school. I don't want to teach yet and I definitely don't want to go into the industry. If I get accepted by UToronto, I will happily take up an HCI degree there. If I don't get accepted (waaah), then I'll resume my long-postponed MA Education (Information Technology Integration) and just have _fun_ studying.

I'm really, really, really looking forward to going back to school again.

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2. Learning Links

Categories: None -- Permalink
"Learning Links Center for Alternative Education, an NGO with SEC Reg. No. A20000-8543 housed at Stalls 7 and 8 Sanvil Center, Katipunan Avenue, was founded by Ateneo alumni in the year 2000. Its mission is to help 7 to 14 year old Katipunan street kids and at-risk children get access to supplementary educational activities so they can achieve their fullest potentials and integrate more easily into mainstream society.

Currently, Learning Links is in need of volunteers who can join their twice-a-month Saturday afternoon Ate-Kuya program. Volunteers will have the opportunity to share around two to three hours of their time per session with a group of kids - swapping stories, playing games, engaging in creative tasks or taking a stroll in the Ateneo campus -and act as buddies or even role models to these little ones.

Interested parties may call or text 0917-8269108 (Kuya Froy) or 0917-6939831 (Ate Julie).

Together, let's bring learning back to the kids."

E-Mail from Ateneo Alumni Affairs Office

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3. Planner help on IRC

Categories: GoodKarma:8 -- Permalink
<VisRealty> sorry to bug you...
<VisRealty> but dagbrown said you might be familiar with emacs-wiki and planner mode?
<VisRealty> if you're busy with other stuff, no worries
<sachac> Oh! =D
<VisRealty> oh wait!
<VisRealty> are you the planner.el maintainer?!
<sachac> Yup. ^_^
<VisRealty> wow! i'm so honored to be speaking with you :-)
<VisRealty> it's such a great tool, me and my peers swear by it

Chat with VisRealty on kornbluth.freenode.net

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4. Yet another cool little Planner hack: really smart tab expansion

Categories: ToReflectOn:3 -- Permalink
One of the greatest things Planner has done for me has been to make it easy to keep track of little tasks. Having lots of things on the shelf makes it far easier for me to take advantage of moments of inspiration and turn them into real code. I do my best thinking on the train, walking home, in the bath: wherever I can squeeze some reflection into a couple of minutes of waiting. Then I mentally run through whatever little tasks I have lying around, and if inspiration hits, I run with it.

Today was pll's lucky day. He asked for ways to easily hyperlink to people's records and to days like "tomorrow", "yesterday", and "today". I remember thinking, "Hey, that would be cute." The feature was really close to something I hacked together over a year ago, so I pulled up my old configuration, tweaked it a bit, and ended up creating this nifty tab expansion module that used hippie-expand to expand planner names in an intelligent way.

I _love_ hacks like that. I love making small and nearly insignificant tweaks to help people fit Planner to the way they want to work. People may or may not use that little tab completion thing. Browsing through my ../emacs/planner-config.el and ../emacs/emacs-wiki-config.el reveals a lot of cruft I wrote long ago but have since then forgotten. The point is, at least we experiment with these things. Planner makes it easy to experiment. Planner makes it easy to try things out.

A major part of my role as the maintainer of Planner is really just to keep track of people's wishes and see if we can kludge together some kind of attempt. While other software projects have awe-inspiring grand plans, we stumble along in the directions people want to go in--sometimes contradictory--and somehow or another, we manage to make an environment that fits us. Planner is not a one-size-fits-all personal information manager. Planner is crafted, tailored for each person. Planner grows just as much as you want it to.

Of course, this constant experimentation leads to rough spots if you track the development branch and try all the new features. There are bugs we still haven't tracked down, particularly the new code that's out there so that people can bang on it and experiment with it and hammer it into something that makes sense.

I think this development model works. That's why the mailing list is essential. That's why #emacs on irc.freenode.net is essential. That's why a constant stream of suggestions really really helps.

Perhaps one day Planner will get buried under features. It already seems to be overly complex at first glance; newbies who take one look at it run away screaming. ;) I think that is something that cannot quite be addressed by documentation or simplification or even reasonable defaults. I will not hide the complexity of Planner. I will not hide Lisp programming from Planner users. In fact, you are very much encouraged to try it out, and if this is your first introduction to Emacs Lisp programming, I think that it is quite good that your first hack is something you will use and benefit from daily.

How, then, are we to manage the complexity as Planner grows more and more features? How are hapless newbies supposed to get into this extremely wonderful thing? ;)

I think the answer lies with people. I learn most by asking people how they use their Planner. I learn by asking people what they want to be able to do with their Planner. I think it's silly to ask people to use all of Planner right away--_I_ don't use all of Planner. Even if you go through the manual, there's just so much information. There are just so many ways of doing things.

The trick, really, is to evolve from something small and comfortable to something slightly larger and perhaps just a little uncomfortable, but something that is still easy to get used to. Show people the bare minimum that they need in order to do their job (or to at least feel they're keeping track of the things they need to do their job), give them a glimpse of what's possible, and encourage them to think of other things they'd like to do.

That's where little hacks like pll's tab completion fit in. Planner encourages people to think about that next little hack as a "nice to have": not something to waste a lot of time thinking about, perhaps, but something to keep on a todo list somewhere just in case inspiration strikes.

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