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Mozilla, baby!

 Monday, 19. March 2001 


Crossed paths with Vilém Flusser again in a bookstore in Berlin Kreuzberg. Flusser lived in Meran for a few months while I was a little baby there. He died in a car accident near the czech-german border in 1991.

If you feel not at ease with the Internet world you're living in (as I often do), you should probably read Flusser. He's got it all explained. It's the world's fault, not yours, and understanding that will make you feel better. (That's just the first step of course.)

I'll post some pictures from Praha and Berlin as soon as I find a slot for my memory schtick. OK, I've got the schtick adapter now, but I'm brutally reminded that the henso.com app still lacks a feature to upload images. So I'll just manually post the ... err ... most disturbing one. This is a semi-naked waitress in an otherwise normal (or so we thought) czech pub near Palac Akropolis, where both the Low and the Melvins concerts took place (a beautiful location, by the way). We thought we were in some hidden camera scam or that maybe she had lost a bet, but nobody except us seemed to suffer culture shock or even take notice. The food was very good, however. A note to the Euroranch travel group: This is the same place where we tried to get something to eat after the Low concert but were kicked out because it was too late or whatever.

OK, while I'm at it I'll post some more pics to re-establish the reputation of Prague among Henso reading population. First, there's Kavarna Slavia, the nicest cafe I've ever been to. If you visit Prague you must check out the Slavia (sorry Euroranchers, I discovered this only after your departure). It's a few meters above street level, very spacy and bright, and features ultracool 1900 style hardware and huge windows with great views on the river. (I guess the picture sucks, because it doesn't really convey any of this. It just shows people. Here's another one with a different set of people.) According to some travel guides, Franz Kafka, Max Brod and Vaclav Havel hung out at the Slavia to write, plot the fall of the government, or woo their future wife Olga. In fact they would have been stupid if they hadn't. We used it for breakfast and general purpose slacking. Finally, check out this beautiful TV tower they have, glowing in the evening sun. Here's a random street shot and some Praha subway impressions to round it off. Well, looks like I didn't need the picture upload facility after all :-)

What's up in Hop-Land? Nothing. Not even a Posting to the mailing list since last sunday. Wossup? Is everybody dead or on vacation or just plain happy with the way it is? Chris writes it's the latter: "wenn du mehr traffic willst, bau mehr probleme in den hop ein." Can't argue with that :-)

Still, things are not all that rosy. I feel there's no way I can go back to the old routine of leading the whole project without loosing my health. So there's a real need for somebody to step up and take over some of the responsability and work. If that won't happen, I'll be happy to go back to leading a "normal" life - it's not that bad, as I found out last week. This is not a threat, it's just an option that I didn't see (or accept) until now.

Phil Greenspun has left ArsDigita. Via Langreiter.com.

Fuzo: Selbstmorde nach Mobbing bei der Telekom

lnk + 3 cmt (chris, katatonik, chronistin)
 Monday, 12. March 2001 

Hey you shitty gift, get off my leg! (Just one of the good things coming in via Boing Boing.)

All Your Brand Are Belong to Us (This page looks funny in Netscape 4, but I like it!)

Marlene Streeruwitz: Feminismus als Krücke?

Naja, Kante. Perfekter Sound, aber nicht wirklich mitreissend. Die Lichtshow fand ich aber ok.

Wie das Konzert gestern anfing fiel mir ein, dass sie damals vor Jahren die Bühne fluchtartig und ohne Zugabe verlassen haben, weil entweder mit dem Publikum oder dem Sound (oder beidem) was nicht gestimmt hatte. Das hat mir damals gefallen. Heute sind sie meilenweit von solchen Unprofessionalitäten entfernt. Schade, aber was will man machen.

Jetzt bin ich bald dahin. Ich hasse wegfahren! Zum Beispiel das vorher-alle-Rechnungen-Zahlen, obwohl ich die meisten sowieso nicht zahlen würde, wenn ich die Woche hier bliebe. Naja, bis auf die eine von der Sozialversicherung, wo irgendwas von einer Exekution draufsteht vielleicht 8-/

lnk + 2 cmt (chronistin, chra)
 Sunday, 11. March 2001 

Piercing, a cartoon by David Gaddis. Wicked!

R&S Erections is a nice design site. R&S stands for Ralph and Sarah, we soon learn. Hey, they also have a few of those powered-by-Blogger pages! Well worth checking out.

Another "Hey!": Sulake, the finnish company that makes Mobiles Disco and Habbo Hotel, is giving away the multiuser chat server behind it all as free GNU software. It's thought as a replacement for Macromedia's proprietary Shockwave server.

This reminds me that I have the skeleton for a pretty scalable chat server sitting around on my hard disk, catching dust. It uses the Non-blocking I/O library written by Matt Welsh at UC Berkeley and scales well to thousands of busy connections on an average PC running Linux (around 10 times more than current commercial products costing #0.000 $), and it can be integrated in the Hop seamlessly. Now what to do with it? Open source it? Search venture capital? Or just let it rot? Serious advice is welcome.

lnk + 2 cmt (chris, olex)
 Saturday, 10. March 2001 

The Register: "We were interested to learn that Apple's original patent application [covering desktop themes] was made a mere eight days after well-established UI enhancements-oriented Web site Themes.org was launched, on 25 April 1998."

Kante brings spring. A few years ago I saw Kante at TU-Club, and I've been sold on them ever since. I don't know their new album yet except for a few tracks, but their music used to be very sober and intimate at the same time. That combination first struck my adolescent rowdy south-tyrolean self when listening to Suzanne Vega's first album at age 14 or 15. Plus, with Kante it's Rockmusik - real drums and stuff. Now I heard that a friend of ours already got us tickets for the Kante show in Berlin, but I think I'll have to check them out tomorrow here in Vienna already. (No, seriously, this time I mean it!)

Clay Shirky: View Source... Lessons from the Web's massively parallel development

A more recent article by Shirky that gets me thinking. Once I said that P2P had been invented primarilly as a copyright prevention scheme. I now think that I was wrong, and that the big motivator behind P2P is IT department prevention. IT department prevention really means the same as decentralization, but it's a much better term, because it explains what's really going on: "You Hate the IT department, and They Hate You Right Back." Maybe the reason I didn't get this until now is that I used to be my own IT department for so long.

*LOL* (seen somewhere at AmIAllYourBaseOrNot)

lnk ~ cmt
 Friday, 9. March 2001 

1 2 3 testing. Sometimes you're allowed to write stuff like that when you not only write the text, but also the text that handles the text.

Another day of bug fixes. It's strange to work on braindead code that you wrote 2 years ago.

The funny thing about software is that you never ever stop finding bugs. So, to some extent, it's true that old software usually means better software. That's what Joel Spolsky meant when he wrote that throwing away its old Netscape code and starting from scratch was the biggest mistake the Mozilla project could have made. Joel's writing is required reading if you even have the slightest interest in how software and software development work.

On the other hand, Mozilla is itself coming of age, and the recent snapshots have brought huge improvements. They're now three releases away from 1.0, which should equal to roughly 3 months. I'm using the current 0.8 snapshot a lot on my Macintosh at home, and I find it very usable already, especially compared to the not so glorious other browsing options on Mac.

In other news, Robert and me today agreed to set the release date for Hop to April 1. If everything goes well we'll "officially" announce this next week.

lnk + 3 cmt (olex, hns, grob)
 Thursday, 8. March 2001 

More evidence that my mind is slowly fucking up: Tonight I dreamt that I was part of a murder complot. We were three people, and we conspired to kill the same person at the same time, but each in his own separate hotel room. What I find disturbing is not so much the murder itself, because it wasn't real - the person we were going to kill didn't even appear in the dream, and the whole thing revolved more around the peer pressure aspect of it - but the fact that our plan didn't seem illogical to me at the time. I attribute this to too much Hop work. (The Hop's data model would allow one person object to be contained in 3 hotelroom objects at the same time.)

Also, my partners in the conspiracy were Michi and Matthias Platzer who helped me fix some huge Hop bugs shortly before going to sleep yesterday. Yikes! Gotta stop this working late habit! And no more Tiefkühlpizza past midnight.

So the good news is that I'm taking some time off next week. On Monday (I think) I'll drive to Prague with Makotter and others, and from thursday on I'll spend a few days in Berlin with Tom and friends. I haven't been to Prague or Berlin before - can you believe this?

It's a nice pre-spring day today, I'm gonna take a walk to the station and catch some sun. And just in case you worry about me: don't! I'm having a great time, and it's the first time in my life that I'm dreaming stuff like that ;-)

Today I'm trying some baby food. Tom Fürstner used to be a big fan of those.

"Hätte eine deutsche Regierung durch Errichtung eines Monstreateliers, durch Bezahlen einer Presse, die ihn als größten Maler aller Zeiten feierte, beizeiten seiner maßlosen Eitelkeit genügt, ich glaube, er wäre auf ein höchst ungefährliches Gleis rangiert worden und wäre nie auf den Gedanken gekommen, die Welt in Brand zu stecken." Ein gewisser Friedrich Percyval Reck-Malleczewen bei Praschl über seine Begegnung mit Hitler in der 20ern. Ein paar Jahre später hätte das wohl nicht mehr gereicht: "Ich war mit dem Wagen in die Stadt gekommen, und da die Straßen damals, im September 1932, schon recht unsicher waren, hatte ich eine schußbereite Pistole bei mir und hätte ihn damals in dem nahezu menschenleeren Lokal ohne weiteres abschießen können."

lnk + 4 cmt (kris, p3k, katatonik, hns)
 Wednesday, 7. March 2001 

Ich fühl mich geschmeichelt. Mehr sag ich nicht, um eine Linkeskalation zu vermeiden.

Turbulenter Vormittag. Wie ich vorgestern abend heimfahren wollte hatte meine Mofette plötzlich keine Luft mehr im Hinterreifen, weswegen ich jetzt zwei Tage zu Fuß oder mit Bim und Taxi unterwegs war. Heute endlich habe ich die Willingers avisiert, sie mögen das Gefährt zur Reparatur abholen kommen. Beim Mittagessen erzähle ich das den pools, und einer sagt: Vielleicht hat ja nur jemand die Luft rausgelassen, und man kann den Reifen wieder aufpumpen. Ich war total baff, nie wäre ich auf die Idee gekommen, der Reifen könnte nicht aufgestochen worden sein. Ich hab dann das Mittagessen abgebrochen, rauf zur Mofette und tatsächlich war's so. Die Luft hält, sogar 2,1 bar obwohl nur 1,8 reingehören. Den Herrn Willinger hab ich grad noch erreicht, als er sich vom Mittagstisch erheben und abdampfen wollte.

Es ist schon gut, von scharfsinnigen Leuten umgeben zu sein. Fragt sich nur, was die Geschichte über meinen Geisteszustand aussagt.

Chris hat Recht, Dave Winers A Little IDL ist ungefähr so sinnvoll wie ein Bier, das man direkt ins Klo schüttet. Will Conant trifft den Nagel mit diesem Posting auf den Kopf: IDLs sind sowieso nur was für type-safe languages, die brauchen dann allerdings auch die genaue Typdefinition der Parameter. Systeme wie Hop und Frontier werden nie was damit anfangen können, weil sie gar keine Remote Stubs verwenden. Mit dem XML-RPC-Client im Hop beispielsweise kann man auch ohne IDL alle XML-RPC-Funktionen nativ aufrufen. Der Nachteil ist natürlich der, dass typbedingte Fehler hier erst auf der Serverseite (also relativ spät) auffliegen.

Schon witzig, die schmuddelige XML-RPC for Java-Seite ist eines der meistabgefragten Dokumente hier. Heute kriegt sie ein schöneres Zuhause.

lnk ~ cmt

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