Fri Apr 27 12:33:46 CEST 2007

Insanity: A play in three acts. Act One.

This is a commented transcript from IRC. It is rather complete, the only ommisions are a few autogenerated messages from a bot and two spurious join and leave messages that had no effect on the discussion.

Enter the protagonists:
14:40:10 < jakub> Caster: hmmm, sounds like a plan :D
14:43:22 <+drac> make teh quizes this time, and get a commit access
14:43:34 <+drac> :P
14:44:06 < jakub> drac: haha... really no time for that; though, I could punt java and gnome, tempting :>
14:45:09 <+drac> I mean like, get a commit access, ignore bug-wranglers and start bitching them soon as they make a fault or two. Say, for an year or two
14:45:14 <+drac> :-D
14:50:54 < jakub> lol
Two people having fun, throwing stupid nothings around. One of the jokes is based on the fact that jakub used to be a bugwrangler but has decided to stop wasting Important People's Time.
Enter the antagonists, round one:
14:54:52 <@eroyf> sounds like a clever plan
14:55:01 <@eroyf> then you can start by defending all your fud about the mips team.
A good offense is the best defense, so we stop the pleasantries and do a direct frontal assaul on the trenches.
14:55:50 <+Jokey> eroyf: stop random rants, kthx
14:55:50 < jakub> hmmm, time to stick you into ignore list again, I guess
The experienced generals note that this strategy is best employed by the enemy and will not have the expected results. Enter the antagonists, round two:
14:56:42 <@eroyf> yes, please.
14:56:43 <@spb> Jokey: shut up, kthx
The second-in-command jumps in to defend the attack. Quite interesting as a strategy. Will this turn into a maneuver that will be read in the textbooks of the future? Anyway, one might wonder about the social dynamics here, but the interested reader should see the lines and formations here easily.
Note that at this point neither eroyf nor spb were provoked in any way ...
14:58:00 < jakub> oh, and spb useful as always...
Yes, useful. Not as useful as bread, because bread can grow various kinds of fungus and bacteria, but now it gets really warm in the channel:
14:58:16 <@spb> more useful than your average contribution to this channel
14:58:19 <@eroyf> a lot more useful than you.
14:58:26 <@eroyf> right now.
14:58:35 <@eroyf> he's not saying random lies about the mips team for example.
14:58:46 <@eroyf> (even though he smells like poison)
Hmmm. Let us read from the beginning again. Who mentioned MIPS? Who attacked whom? If I'm not mistaken (you know, I've made errors in the past, but as long as I don't have to pay alimony ...) jakub did not do anything apart from fooling around with two other persons. But at least it's getting nice and flamey ...
14:59:01 < jakub> I have an idea, you two go fix some of the ~80 stale mips bugs and leave people here alone
Oh no. Jakub's defense has a fatal flaw: It uses facts. You know, these things you can, like, look up and shit. And he suggests that the interruption of that discussion was impolite and should be stopped now. Sounds like a plan ...
14:59:21 <@spb> i have an idea
14:59:32 <@spb> stop spewing shite and leave people here alone
One has to admire the brits for their witticisms and their marvelous control of their native language. The subtleties of this statement should keep students busy with analysis for decades. And one might wonder why there is a need to use fecal language, but whatever turns people on ...
14:59:54 < jakub> I wasn't even talking to eroyf, let alone you
15:00:13 < jakub> so, stop this already, completely unasked for
Rephrasing the earlier statement a bit more directed. One smells the kicks that will come now ... How dare you talk back!
At this point the whole thing has taken on a rather surreal turn as the Homo Sapiens discover their simian ancestry and start flinging poo.
15:00:14 <@spb> your point?
15:00:19 < jakub> ^^^ above
15:00:25 <@spb> yes, stop it
  • pretending to be dense does not make arguments turn away
  • repeating the other side used to be fun in fifth grade. It's childish.
  • I like traffic lights
15:00:44 < jakub> me? I should stop exactly what?
A very interesting question. Stop being jakub? Stop being? Stop being a target for insults? Inquiring minds want to know and ask for larger umbrellas to avoid being hit by the poo flung around.
15:00:55 <@spb> what i just said
15:01:00 <@spb> and what eroyf said
15:01:03 < jakub> I wasn't talking to you, so take your advice to #-mips and stop bugging people here
15:01:07 <@eroyf> spreading random fud about the mips team for example.
A tactic pioneered by german politicians, then perfected by americans: If you repeat things often enough they become true. Plus the improved tactic of "La la la I'm not listening to you".
15:01:16 < jakub> eroyf: such as?
15:01:36 <+drac> jakub: poor you; you must have that look that makes you 'person of interest' like CIA would claim
15:01:37 <@eroyf> what you said on the forums for example.
Now, of course, one would have to read the threads that were spun on the forums to understand this. My personal biased opinion is that facts are not FUD, but that has been disputed in the past:
-!- bonsaikitten was kicked from #gentoo-bugs by kloeri [facts my arse]
< jeeves> I found 2 matches to your query (sorted): bonsaikitten DrEeevil. bonsaikitten (i=dreeevil@gentoo/user/bonsaikitten) was last seen being kicked from #gentoo-bugs by kloeri 4 days, 17 hours, 49 minutes ago with the reason ({you suck}).
Now, to resume the first act of this play after this hilarious intermission:
15:01:44 < jakub> everyone can see yet another example of your behaviour above
15:02:12 <@eroyf> you do know that the logic fails right now right?
15:02:21 <@eroyf> i'm not suspended.
15:02:27 < jakub> eroyf: yeah? what exactly was the FUD there?
So because jakub was suspended (which one might dispute based on the behaviour of other parties involved, including not informing jakub about the complaints for 9 months and direct personal issues between the parties involved) he cannot state facts? Maybe that is because with the Sith there are always two, master and apprentice ... sorry, wrong reality.
15:02:31 <+drac> '/lastlog mips' claims it doesn't but whatever.
15:03:21 < jakub> eroyf: again... go do some mips work, stop moaning about being understaffed; and stop poluting this channel
15:03:21 < jakub> eroyf: again... go do some mips work, stop moaning about being understaffed; and stop poluting this channel with your personal issues
15:03:44 <@eroyf> yeah, it's me having personal issues ;)
15:03:45 <@eroyf> haha.
Some nice examples of medium-distance poo flinging. And some hard facts thrown in for good measure ... It may be hard to understand the motivation for this, but it all becomes clear in the end. Trust me ...
15:03:49 <@spb> it's his channel; if anyone's allowed to pollute it it's him
15:03:54 <@spb> and i don't see his personal issues in here
15:03:57 <@spb> those are all elsewhere
15:04:02 <@spb> and highly amusing too
15:04:07 <@eroyf> hehe.
15:04:10 * eroyf pets spb
One wrong statement, followed by a non sequitur and some subliminal homoerotic signals. One wonders what happened to the poo flinging, but maybe we found a more pleasurable passtime?
15:04:16 <+armin76> why not do some work?
15:04:32 <@eroyf> i'm having 3 friends over... doing some technology for tomorrow
15:04:35 <@eroyf> aka. homework.
15:04:40 < jakub> armin76: because it's easier to attack people here, and complain about being understaffed
15:04:45 <+armin76> instead of wasting your time talking here about nothing
15:04:54 <+armin76> afaik you two guys are from the mips team
15:04:59 <+armin76> then stop talking and do some work
Oh-oh. Did you see that? armin76 made sense there. A whole coherent statement. Can you guess what follows?
15:05:07 <@eroyf> let us handle that thanks.
15:05:26 <@spb> armin76: and afaik you have no idea what you're talking about, so don't talk about it
15:05:30 <@spb> thanks
"STFU". What a good argument, showing an impressive expressivity. Also the best counter to any facts, best followed by "You're ugly!"
And for extra fun one might want to search for the conditions to be allowed as a mips dev, then scratch his head because of the obvious pointless circular reasoning used here.
15:06:33 <+armin76> right, i don't know that mips hasn't done more than 10 keywording bugs this month
Teh Noes. Did you see that? A fact hidden in a double negation. After being handed a nice warm cup of STFU. Some people just don't know where to stop, eh? But ... we've been waiting for this. The argument to end all arguments. Watch and learn:
15:06:57 <@spb> eh, enough of this
15:07:05 -!- mode/#gentoo-bugs [+bbb armin76!*@* jakub!*@* drac!*@*] by spb
15:07:10 -!- mode/#gentoo-bugs [-vv armin76 drac] by spb
15:07:32 * spb goes off to continue packing
Seen that? That's the strategy you have to use to always be right. Not listen to facts. repeating nonsensical statements and removing all dissenting opinions from your cone of perception. I think spb has the potential to become presidential advisor in the USA, maybe even more. It's the strategy that won Afghanistan and Iraq within days with no losses at all. It's what made Enron a great company that is still a good example for all of us...
16:08 <+Caster> s/pa/j/
16:08 <+Caster> ja*
16:11 <@spb> ok, you as well then
16:11 -!- mode/#gentoo-bugs [+b-v Caster!*@* Caster] by spb
Caster, you were silent all the time, but this last witicism hit too close to the target. I think you managed a record (InstaBan!). Totals are now two channel ops and four bans. Basically a flawless victory, except that the others didn't want to fight and didn't carry tactical nukes.
16:13 -!- genstef [n=genstef@gentoo/developer/genstef] has left #gentoo-bugs []
16:15 <+jeeves> [New Bug] nor, P2, All,>, NEW, pending, snort-2.4.5.ebuild has filesize error.
16:15 -!- armin76 [n=armin@gentoo/developer/armin76] has left #gentoo-bugs []
16:15 -!- maekke_ [] has left #gentoo-bugs ["Leaving"]
And as a reaction of this supreme demonstration of verbal skill people are overwhelmed and leave the arena. The poo flinging was sucessful, the other apes have been banned. Totals are now four bans and two collateral kills. There's only one thing you can say in such a situation:
16:16 <@eroyf> bahaha

This concludes part one of our play. The extended commentary was mostly added to facilitate the understanding of this complex interaction between multiple parties, one could also say that I have too much time and enjoy flinging poo (and other more interesting things).

This is the thing that makes people walk away from gentoo: Two developers randomly attacking four others, then muting/banning them for fun because they talked back. The obvious course of action would be to deop these two jokers in all gentoo-related channels and put them on probation for two weeks or so, but that is unlikely to happen. After all they are Important People that fight the hordes of unbelievers. And again #gentoo is in better shape than the other places because any OP doing this in #gentoo would notice a certain unpleasant feeling coming from the posterior regions where multiple heavy boots applied a kick. As far as I know a devrel bug has been filed against the two antagonists of this play, but prior experience suggests that it won't have any effect and will not change the antisocial behaviour of poo-flinging monkeys.
Also, to note, two people tried to defuse the situation, but were attacked themselves. Quite the motivation to help ...
I feel the need to say "Gaaaaahhhh....."
Oh. One fun fact that doesn't have anything to do with the rest: Dried poo gives excellent pellets to fuel a fire. And another: The two guys doing the kicking were paludis devs. See now why I don't like this mighty fine C++ monstrosity? :-)
I think that's my quota of poo-flinging for this week, I should stop doing it, but ... it's fun

Posted by Patrick | Permalink

Wed Apr 25 14:29:11 CEST 2007


There's a funny but very nicely biased paludis propaganda article I've found while reading the aggregator. So let me turn on fanboy mode and do counter-propaganda:

If I were you I'd start off simple. Goto their respective websites and look around. Lets look shall we?

Well, I'd have started by installing it and just looking at options, man pages etc. but anyway ...

Also you can try to ask on IRC, both pkgcore and paludis have quite a presence there.

Now lets look at the pkgcore website. We'll start off the with the equivalent page that we started with for Paludis. Here they call it the Features page. Now I have to give them credit here. The name makes sense is self explanatory. Now click the link and try to read it. Thats right you cannot understand a single word of it unless you wrote it. Lets take for example the "Format agnostic resolver." Do you know what that is? What it does? Want to take any guesses? If I understand their attempt to use overly-educated sounding language it basically means you can use multiple types of formats your config files. Is it really necessary to make me think that hard? I sure as hell hope not.

Yes, the pkgcore documentation is still a bit rough around the edges. But that information is more targetted at developers and hackers than at the average user. The user can just "emerge pkgcore" and then replace all his calls to emerge with pmerge (modulo some options that behave differently). No need to read some weird docs there ;-)

But saying "you cannot understand a single word of it" is a bit extreme. Maybe you should use a dictionary and look up what agnostic or format-agnostic mean, then it all makes more sense. Takes effort, but you might even learn something.

Exhibit B: Developer Names
Do you really want to run software by a guy who calls himself "cokehabit?" Case closed.

Hmmm. A japanese guy calling himself Cokeha Bit? I don't see the problem. But ... do you want to use a program written by people that have profiled themselves with hostility, attacks on users and a general elitism? I prefer to interact with people that are polite, helpful and open for discussion. So from where I'm standing pkgcore wins without even trying ...

Exhibit C: Language Choice
I really don't like python. C++ on the other hand is sexy like tuna fish.
typedef std::list<std::pair<std::tr1::shared_ptr<const PackageDepSpec>, std::string> > PackageUse;
If you find such statements sexy so be it, I prefer a nice comfy Python that does what you think it does. It's quite the strawman argument, saying "foo sucks because it is written in that language" is a total non sequitur. Also ... Python is written in C, C is faster than C++, so Python is faster than C++. I can do stupid logic too! ;-)
Looks like you should stick with Paludis. So you can read the documentation, understand it, and not worry about having your computer go through drug induced episodes.

Or you just stick with portage because it is what gentoo uses, or you use pkgcore because it has an almost perfect compatibility with portage while being more flexible and on average faster. You could also migrate to rpm because that's what everyone else uses ...

In the end I suggest that people should try and decide on their own, biased opinions from fanboys don't help anyone. Paludis has more people working on it and a more elaborate UI, pkgcore is closer to portage and can be adapted to do what you want with less effort. As a normal user you should just use portage and be happy with the extensive work that has gone into it in the last months, most behind the scenes. zmedico has many cool new features planned, so I don't think anything is decided yet. And there's the close cooperation between portage and pkgcore (both are in Python), so all portage users have already benefited from selected pkgcore bits.

So my conclusion is, things are moving forward nicely, all three p* package managers will benefit from that competition, but saying it is decided now might be a bit optimistic.

Posted by Patrick | Permalink

Tue Apr 24 16:19:48 CEST 2007

Why Office applications need to be taken behind the barn and shot

Lately I've been forced (mostly by work) to interact with the classical Office applications. Right now I'm using two of these monsters - OpenOffice 2.2 and Microsoft Office XP Professional. Of course the Microsoft product doesn't work outside of a crippled environment, so as long as I haven't managed to fix VirtualBox networking I need to dual boot. Which is quite funny in a way, because every time I start Windows P it wants to reboot - driver update, update update, whatever. It's just taking too much time, but ... I digress.

The reason we use the MS products is lack of compatibility - as these nice behemoths don't export in a neutral format and some people use them we need to have these apps too just for interaction. Not really nice, but that's the whole point of illegal monopolies ;-) And the features we need from a compatibility point of view are (don't laugh) track changes and layout. Track changes since we bounce documents back and forth (not able to use a Version Control System ... argh.) Layout since some documents have pre-made templates or size limitations and ... ugh ... the font sizes in OpenOffice are just off by enough to break this whole idea of "layout". So I can only use OO as a viewer, copying text out into a different editor and sending changes back to my co-worker as text-only, letting him proofread and integrate these fragments. Quite the workflow, eh?

But that's not the biggest reason to complain. What bugs both of us to the point where we have to take a coffee break after pasting text in is the total mad and illogical behaviour of these extremely buggy apps. Case in point: My coworker uses Office for Mac. When he tries to edit text that is in a table or any other layout structure there's a roughly 75% chance that some parts of the layout will move in unrelated ways (adding a line of text makes the table half a page above it half a centimeter wider), frozen layout elements (writing in one table makes editing of another table impossible) and every 20 minutes or so excessive ressource consumption. So when we are fighting this app we need to save at every step (best to a new filename) and restart the whole app every half hour or less.

Then there's the total madness - if you copy out chapter " IP over avian carrier" and paste it you get " IP over avian carrier" in the editor. Notice the very small but fatal divergence there? It doesn't make sense. None at all. And we both dream of the olden days when we used TeX with custom layout, stored on a central SVN server to work on text in sane ways. Oh yeah ... Table of Contents. Can you guess how it blows up?

See, there's a small chance that any pasted text is not really pure text at all but retains metadata like formatting or wether it is a headline. Now this is not visible (all the text body is the same font etc.), just when you try to generate a ToC random bits of text are promoted to chapter headings, and chapter headings are demoted to text. So you can only select all (and hope nothing crashes), force all to become normal text and then manually search headlines in the text. Why? Because after all these decades the biggest producers of such apps still have not learnt the lesson that you have to separate content from layout. Otherwise you start micromanaging layout problems that are none (and there's still no use for footnotes as these tend to go to the wrong page if you insert any text before it). And as soon as you insert or remove anything your carefully mismanaged layout will self-terminate and place bits randomly. Oh ... also ... everyone has to use the same printer settings.

To be fair Excel is rather useful in places (we use it for budget estimates and such quick hacks) and by far not as buggy as Word, shizzle. (Sorry. I hate applications and products that are named with existing general words) But having had to use TeX at university before I know that stable layouts and auto-generated ToC and all that fancy stuff work extremely well and have been working for about a decade for sure. And we are still forced to use these crummy unstable unsupported unsupportable legacy apps ... because everyone else does.

On a sidenote, whoever had the idea to name a processor Core should be hit with some large objects. Now we have a Dual-Core second-generation Core 2 Duo - that name is redundant, confusing and retarded. Just imagine ... "I want a dual-core AMD processor!" - "A Core 2 you say?" - *stab stab stab* And then there's the single-core Core 2 ... I wonder how many nosebleeds and headaches that causes. I just hope AMD gets out the Processor II soon, followed by the Apple Thingy and the Microsoft Whatsitsname. There's a beer in belgium called "La Meme Chose" ...

Posted by Patrick | Permalink

Tue Apr 24 16:15:58 CEST 2007

Mmmmh, Chocolate

A few days ago I had to stay at work a bit longer, the shops in the city were already closed. But I wanted chocolate. Mmmmh, chocolate...

So I went home, unmotivated and wanting chocolate ... and what do I find? Small promotion action from one of the traditional swiss chocolate companies. 100g of sweet swiss chocolate in the mailbox.

Sometimes there are coincidences that are just too perfect. How can anyone believe in chance when such things happen? It's great here. Lots of work, lots of things that still need organizing (moving always does that ;-) ) but I feel great. And I guess that's what's important.

I've started a todo-list with things I have to do, intend to do and want to do if I ever find the time. It's frustrating as I have about an idea an hour what needs to be added to the list, and most things take between half an hour and a week to get done. So the todolist will grow monotonically until it reaches a motivation limit and I either delete or ignore it. How does one survive a todo-list without an 8= or 9-figure budget? (And then I'd just escalate one step up ... thinking about it I found my scalability limit at the far end of a 9-figure budget, and that only because then you get limited by communications and/or fighting off direct attacks)

Just reminds me of the Gregor-theorem ... postulated by a good friend of mine: "On average about one or maybe two percent of all capabilites will be used" Try to imagine what would happen if all wars stopped, military capabilities were reduced to a sane minimum and all that energy was diverted into making this little blue marble a better place. A generation later you'd have so much more ... obviously every sane person should want that. But it seems that the primitive parts of the brain (around the level of a reptile or so) are still strong enough to make people do stupid things and rather have a bite now instead of three full meals for the rest of your life. And then of course there's the semi-intelligent part on the level of a monkey which just enjoys flinging poo ...

I wonder thus, beind an idealist and all that, is it worth it? Should we always aim for the stars or is it all irrelevant, because in the end we die anyway?

See, that's what the Maslov hierarchy of needs tried to formalize and explain ... only if your direct needs are satisfied you can think about things further away. I suggest (and I do that without any authority) that each one of you has a look at that hierarchy. Then you should reflect on it, for a minute or maybe two, where you are at the moment. Next think where you want to be, if that needs any effort from you. And now make it a goal to think about it every day when you wake up. "Where do I want to go?". And go for it. It'll take lots of effort. It may be frustrating at times. But in the end you can say "I did that" and be happy with it.

Wow, that was a long read. Sorry, I just felt like writing that. And thanks for spending your time for reading it ...

Posted by Patrick | Permalink

Tue Apr 24 16:11:57 CEST 2007

teh annoyed

To paraphrase and anonymize a short discussion on #gentoo-dev I saw a few days ago:

random_gentoo_dev: Hi people, could someone please fix $QA_bug
QA_dev: Oh shut up, you smeghead. I'll fix it when I feel like it.
Retired_dev: Yeah, shut up, and stop insulting us hardworking slackers by finding bugs. Don't you have a sheep to make love to?

What I notice here -
  • if you are part of QA and hate fixing QA bugs (which you introduced yourselves) leave QA. Seriously, you're not made for it.
  • Even if you don't like certain people that's no reason to insult them at every opportunity. Especially if you are part of userrel ...
  • If you don't have anything positive to contribute that solves the problem stop sniping at people. Especially if you are a known slacker.
  • In the olden days both muppets would have been devoiced and/or banned because of offensive language. The only reaction I saw was one dev stepping up and asking all parties involved to keep their language PG-13 or better ... while that is good I find it quite sad that bad behaviour is just tolerated. #gentoo is in a better shape than #gentoo-dev ...

I've caused my share of flamewars and all that, but this is really bad. And as long as people are not allowed to remove offending behaviour things won't change. I have my ideas how to fix it, but I guess they are not wanted because I am a bad person that should not be talked too. (Better kickban me while you can, that shows how you are not biased and are not preventing discussions of things you don't like)

Obviously this is quite personal for me, but for all not directly involved I hope that soon we'll all be cooperating again instead of these territorial dickfights.

And sorry if my language has not been very clean, I don't like using it, but it is much more efficient in some cases. I'll try to keep my next blog-posts completely FSK 6 (which is the german movie rating, which means "suitable for 6 years and older" - that might just be on the same level as some parts of gentoo ;-) )

Posted by Patrick | Permalink

Tue Apr 24 13:29:29 CEST 2007

A sad day for QA

As y'all might have noticed Jakub, our favourite bugwrangler and vocal opponent of idiocy, has finally retired from his position as Gentoo Developer and Bugwrangler. Some people, like ciaranm use this opportunity to point and laugh. Others behave even worse, but I think I've stated my opinion of those too often to even bother now.

So, why is this a great day for QA?
Obvious! There will be less QA bugs. And as some QA members repeatedly asked Jakub to stop filing bugs (because having many bugs means that QA does not work) they will now improve as less bugs are filed. 25 virtual banana points to the first who sees the idiocy here ...
Not surprising, really, but I hope the random fixing some devs do (which is great to have, but lacking focus and sustainability) gets integrated into the QA team. To paraphrase one of the mails on the -dev ML: "QA is doing lots of stuff, but you don't see it. And QA tolerates other people doing their job for them" I don't claim to understand the logic behind that, but in a company that would most likely lead to direct promotions as section managers of the Antarctic facilities ...

Anyway, Jakub has made me laugh with his resignation mail. And he must have hit a few sensitive spots in some people as they defended themselves quite nicely. Thanks jakub, I'll miss your bugwrangling. With you and Flameeyes gone my bugs will now take even longer to be worked on (I still have about 100 open from my last tinderbox runs in December!). And if I start filing new bugs ... who knows what will happen :-D
And again Certain People (tm) have shown their Unbiased(R) actions, but I better not wake the cave trolls. They've stolen my voice in #gentoo-dev (which is quite unusual and quite offensive as I wasn't even informed), but I think I don't care about power trips and midlife crisises anymore. I'm getting too old for that ;-)

On a related but slightly different topic, I was quite pleasantly surprised to see djay-il and Flameeyes discuss some of the ideas about QA I have. It motivates me to work some more on the implementation of said ideas, but with limited internet connection and work eating most of my time that is going to take even more time than expected. I think I should stop sleeping ;-)
There's still so much to be done, and every now and then you hit massive idiocy in programs you use and then you get side-tracked trying to fix it. I think most Open Source projects could use a code freeze and a long bugfix-only phase. The problem there is that you'd need competent people, and those are hard to find ... maybe one could try to have "QA mentors" that help with language-specific issues, but how does one coordinate it? And what about projects that are needed (like some of the GNU utilities on every Gentoo box) that are full of legacy workarounds and have no active maintainer? One would have to get a group of motivated people to work on it for some time. For example, one could call for a "month of fixing sed" and let people hack on it, cooperate with upstream if it exists and then have a shiny new bugfixed performance-enhanced sed. mmmh. Like Google Summer of Code, only community driven and without monetary rewards. Talking about summer of code, Gentoo got 0wned. I find it quite stupid that the Paludis project has taken over 22% of the Gentoo projects, I sincerely hope they apply themselves next year and stop leeching people from Gentoo. And their SoC projects could be implemented on portage if one were to find insane people that wish to work on that, benefiting Gentoo instead of a random gentoo-related project. That's why Gentoo had no KDE projects for SoC - KDE is not Gentoo, thus Gentoo has no KDE SoC project. But I'm repeating myself :-)

I hope the results from this year are more visible than last year, and of course I wish the students best of luck. And maybe I'll apply next year myself ... (although I think that I won't have time for that unless I get to work on something that is needed for work, and that is possible, but rather unlikely).

Posted by Patrick | Permalink

Tue Apr 24 11:43:22 CEST 2007

Moving to Switzerland

A short while ago I relocated to Switzerland. I found work as an assistant at the University of Bern, so now I'm part of the RVS (Computer-networks and distributed systems) group of the Computer Science faculty. It is really great here - the city is nice (especially for tourists it is wonderful), the weather has been really great so far, the people are polite and not as stressed as in other parts of the world ...
If I find the time I intend to meet some of the swiss (and maybe southern german and northern italian) gentooists, so phear my travel skillz ;-)

I have an office for myself, although it lacks a decent window it is quite large. My co-workers are definitely not cow-orkers, they have been really helpful in getting me set up. And it's quite comforting when you're certifiably the most stupid person in a meeting ;-)
Work has been great so far, I have quite a lot of flexibility, and as long as everything gets done it's ok - downside is that it might be hard to stay on a 40h-week schedule, but as long as it is motivating I don't mind. Well ... I've mostly picked up small tasks that noone else wants to do (or has time to do). It's quite a challenge because I have to improvise and adapt to it all, but at least I'm not unmotivated or bored. And I get to grade student assignments, so I can be eeeeeevil, at least while I'm grading them.

As I intend to stay here a bit longer (say, 5 years or so) I got myself a nice apartment. It's the average 2-room thing that is perfect for singles like me, but what makes it really wonderful is the placement - I live on the outer edge of the town, which means that on foot it takes me about 15 minutes to the center and about 5 minutes to the forest. Mmmmmhgreat ... lots of nature around, and when the wind is right the whole city smells of forest as you would expect in a cheap commercial. Compared to Aachen the air it is rather dry, but also exceptionally clean. It's a great place to live, but ... how do I put this ... it rapes your wallet. That's the price you pay for living in paradise ;-)

And a fun fact - I can go to Brussels faster than from Aachen even though it's 750km versus 135 from Aachen. I hope the people in charge of public long-distance travel stop doing such stupid things as it only motivates people to use alternative methods of travel. But if going by train takes three times as long and costs the same, why should I not take a plane? And why is it faster to go a long distance than it is to go a short one? Argh. I don't have time to become immensely rich, buy the train operators and fix their infrastructure. But at times I really wonder if I have to do everything myself ... (Maybe forcing those people to travel without cars on a limited budget would make them realize their errors?)

Posted by Patrick | Permalink