Behdad Esfahbod's daily notes on GNOME, Pango, Fedora, Persian Computing, Bob Dylan, and Dan Bern!

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McEs, A Hacker Life
Monday, August 15, 2005

Back from a week in Hamilton, Ontario spending time hacking with friends. Happened to meet desrt of GNOME IRC over coffee too. I've received some very encouraging feedback for my PangoTeX post, none of them technical though.

An interesting not-so-much-flame war has been happening while I was recovering from accumulated jetlag problem over the past week. Hopefully we will have a much better panel, applets, and notification system at 10. To make Davyd happy, I've got a heck a lot of applets on my panel after the recent installation of FC4, listing process names:so it's not hard to imagine that I run out of panel space. I wish there was a way to hide the text in "Applications Places Desktop" menus that take a good twenty something percent of my top panel space.

Best of color perception. I'm still amazed by the first one. The second is reasonable to handle, but the third one made me wondering that I would have been amused if it was otherwise! I mean, your brain is filtering out the yellow/blue filter before deciding what the joint is colored in reality, but what you are comparing is the color after the filter applied! It's like having a photo of car A colored navy blue in a dark night, and a photo of car B colored deep dark blue in the daylight. Not surprisingly your brain has no problem identifying car A to be lighter colored than car B, but do GIMP and the two are the same color, not surprised! It's this processing that makes you not wonder why objects change color in different lighting conditions! Anyway, it's still surprising.

In Bob Dylan news, No Direction Home set will be released just in time for my b-day too, so you've got a lot of choice(!), as the set consists of a DVD by Martin Scorsese, the soundtrack, and the book. In case there's no indication of I getting any gift of those DVDs, I'll go on and watch it on PBS right on my birthday :-). Ha ha.

I'm deep busy with the Google Summer of Code project of mine. A report to come soon. Also decided to attend Google Code Jam 2005 and the online IOI 2005! I don't have any chance at Code Jam, since they don't allow C, only C++, Java, C#, and VB (yes, they require you to write classes with given interface), but I'm curious to see how my abilities have changed after five years: whether I still can do a tricky backtrack, a heuristic, and a graph problem in five hours of contest time with enough accuracy... I guess I've improved in the code quality and speed, but am not familiar with latest heuristic tricks that circulate in the IOI community.

Finally, after having to type the URLs for pango, dasher, cairo, gnome, fedora, etc too many times, hacked up a script to automatically link them :-). The little PHP script linkage uses a list of patterns and URLs to hyperize my blog posts. No reason to use PHP really, Python could do that as well. There are some things that I still feel better to use PHP for and heavy regexp is one of them. The links file on my laptop grows with every blog post. My RSI-suffering fingers appreciate it a lot. The heavily linked PangoTeX post was the motivation to code that thing.


Should be :)

- Chris.
Sorry about that Chris. Fixed everywhere. :)
Sadly that domain has been hijacked offering to sell you car insurance, so the canonical dasher project home page is back to
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