Friday, May 30, 2008

This Week

So, what happened in the past week?

On Monday, there was VTES at Phillip's house. I tried out 3 decks, and, while I didn't do particularly well, I managed to oust my prey in two games, which was a fair effort for the evening

Tuesday, I was off sick

On Wednesday, I attended Geekdinner (pictures here), which was pretty enjoyable, despite riding my motorcycle in the rain (and, please note, the sound of the rain isn't soothing when you're on a bike). The trip back was enlivened by a cylinder cutting out, but I made it home alive [1].

My UPS's finally arrived, so I spent quite some time on Thursday prodding at them. Annoyingly, there's a bug in nut 2.2.1, which is the currently latest packaged version, which breaks support for several megatec usb UPS's, such as my new ones, so I had to roll my own nut 2.2.2 backport, which was not quite as simple as I would have liked.

Today (Friday) was mainly spent on the final stages of setting up our rather idle UltraSparc as a buildbot for numpy. After some annoying surprises (a variant of issue 198 amongst other things), and some fussing around to get multiple chroots installed (so we can test both g77 and gcc4's gfortran), things finally seem to be working properly (see this and this for example).

Workwise, we're testing the latest version of the SPG system, so much bug fixing. I loathed at qt a fair bit, but managed to get most issues resolved. We've also been poking at the robot-SPG communication, which has uncovered some interesting issues with the path planner, so , even there, I can claim to have had a reasonably productive week.

[1] I've always liked that song, the actual riding in the rain less so, though.

Friday, May 16, 2008


Proposition A:

Waking up on a cold morning, and realising that you don't need to get up for a while is one of life's pleasures.

Proposition B: (from Proposition A)

Waking up on a cold morning and realising you must get up now is a poor way to start the day.

Proposition C:

Days that start poorly have a higher likelihood of sucking than other days

Today amply demonstrated Proposition B, and provided no evidence against proposition C.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Redoing my photo gallery

I have, for some years now, maintained an online gallery of my photographs on dip.

It has, for most of it's existence, been maintained by a rather complex and fragile set of shell scripts, so , with the recent spate of long weekends, I finally got around to replacing them with some more maintainable python code. This, after poking at the problem off and on for the last two weeks, reached a point that I started moving my gallery over to this on Friday. While the code is not bug-free yet [1], it works pretty well.

Why write yet another gallery generator, though?
  1. Why not? With python's tools, most of the heavy lifting can be passed off to PIL and elementtree, and it's just the file parsing that needs attention.
  2. Most existing packages are trying to solve a different problem, namely managing the gallery entirely through a web browser. I don't need to do that, and so focus on creating static pages offline.
  3. I'd have to write a tool to import the existing image annotations into whatever gallery I use.
  4. I've wanted to experiment with git for a while, so this project also gave me an opportunity to poke around at that.
Version 0.1 is available from at the moment, but I'll probably be rolling a version 0.2 with several recent bug fixes (see [1]) soon. Then it's time to look at adding an RSS feed generator.

[1] For instance, I had to fix a memory issue this evening. Keeping references to 100 odd 2592x1944 images after PIL's loaded them completely is not the brightest thing I've ever done.

CTPUG's python sprint day

Overall, I think the day went well. At one point we had 8 people in the room working on various issues, and, during the course of the day, we touched 11 issues by my count (, and submitted patches (in some cases multiple patches) to 10 of them.

Due to the time-zone issues, there wasn't much opportunity to push for review of the patches, but they are now there.