Monthly Archives: December 2004

ccPublisher 1.0

ccPublisher 1.0 is out. It’s not a perfect release, but I’m fairly pleased with it. I’m even more excited, though, about getting started with the post 1.0 task list. Where ccPublisher 1.0 grew out of ccTag (and grew and grew and grew), I’ve been thinking a lot about how the project should work lately, and think I have some good ideas. The hardest part, of course, was making myself wait to implement them until post-1.0.

As promised to some users, I’ve been working on Linux builds of ccPublisher. You can get them now at SourceForge.net, although I haven’t done much testing on them. All I can really say right now is that they have all the necessary files, but there may be lingering path problems. Additionally, they don’t create any sort of desktop icon right, so that’d be a nice improvement.

So what can you look forward to in the near future? A 1.0 post-mortem (what I did right, what I totally fucked), “official” Linux builds (including Gnome desktop support, at least), and last but not least, a more detailed roadmap with my future plans. I’ll be working from CC’s San Francisco office the first week of next year, so I’m hoping that will help firm up the latter.

date:2004-12-28 10:33:09
wordpress_id:242
layout:post
slug:ccpublisher-10
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category:development

Holiday Wrap Up

I survived the holidays, yet again. Last night Garrett and I went to my parent’s house to celebrate Christmas with the immediate family. This year Garrett and I decided to do something different: we asked for nothing. We still purchased gifts for family members, but asked people who normally buy for us to buy for some more deserving families instead. Overall I think the experiment was a success. Some thoughts from the past week, as a way of wrapping up.

We had to deliver the gifts for our Christmas Bureau on December 8. After two weeks of shopping and feverish wrapping, I was in no mood to shop for my family or friends. As a result, we didn’t really start shopping until December 23. I was a little suprised to find that I still felt a huge sense of obligation while shopping. I had hoped that by changing the game slightly I would feel better about buying for others and possibly be more in tune with the “true spirit” of Christmas (whatever that is). I was also suprised at how hard it was for me to spend money on the Christmas Bureau families. It wasn’t that I didn’t feel good about doing something for others, but it was a continual battle to say to myself, “look, you don’t really need that $50; let it go!” I don’t like what it says about me that it was so difficult to part with the monies, but I do feel better about it in retrospect.

Even though they had already contributed to our project, some family members still picked something up for us. Garrett’s step-mother gave us each a gift card to Border’s, and my sister bought me a half-pound of Mexican coffee beans. Garrett and I decided to go easy with each other, too, although I think he violated the spirit of that decision with his gift of a Wacom 4×5 Tablet (not that I’m complaining).

Even if the lead-up to Christmas was largely the same as last year (buy, buy, buy; plan, plan, plan), the finish is better now. Last year I remember unloading gifts from the car, unable to carry them all at once, and still feeling slighted, as though my family “owed” me more, because I had spent more than they had on gifts. This year, I’m excited about finding a paperback or two at the book store, and I’m looking forward to smelling the aroma of freshly ground beans and remembering my sister’s generosity. Given the shock of finding excitement in something utterly ordinary and the lack of guilt over feelings of greed, I think we can declare the experiment a success.

date:2004-12-27 10:51:54
wordpress_id:241
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slug:holiday-wrap-up
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category:my life

People Can Change. Sort of.

My family’s evolving reaction to my sexuality is a continual source of learning and frustration. Like many people, I was raised in an incredibly fundamentalist environment, and have since declared, “I’m Gay! Really, really gay!” So it was frustrating, but not that suprising, when I was de-invited from my aunt’s Thanksgiving and Christmas parties last year. Well, I wasn’t exactly deinvited: only the parts of me they found objectionable.

So this year, when my Aunt Fonda called to tell me about Christmas, I was prepared to politely decline. I raised the issue of Garrett last year, and they’d made their feelings abundantly clear. Imagine my suprise (and, admittedly, suspicion) after declining the invitation when Fonda asked, “um, well, uh, would it make a difference if we invited Garrett, too?” OK, so not exactly the warm, welcoming acceptance we’d like to feel, but it’s a baby step, none the less.

Last night was said Christmas party, and we managed to escape without any confrontations or incidents. I got to hold Isabelle, my cousin’s new baby, and my other cousin and her husband were in town from Florida. Overall, not a bad night.

Of course, it’s not all well: no one can seem to remember what Garrett does or where he works. My dad, my mom, my siblings and their husbands. No one. Every month or so when we see them, they ask, “now what do you do?” Please, if you must be polite, at least remember what you’re being polite about! It was suprising (pleasantly) last night, then, when Aaron, my cousin’s husband, asked Garrett about work. And knew what he did. And knew where he worked. And did I mention that Aaron and Bobby live in Florida? And that we haven’t seen them in over a year? Yeah.

date:2004-12-20 08:14:50
wordpress_id:240
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slug:people-can-change-sort-of
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category:my life

And it really, really works

So I’m sitting here at the car dealership, waiting for Garrett’s car to be serviced, working on my final paper for “Religion and Culture”. I needed some notes from earlier in the semester, so I pulled my USB flash drive out of my pocket, plugged it into my laptop (running Gentoo Linux and Gnome 2.8), and prepared to figure out just what the appropriate device name was so I could get it mounted and copy the file off of it. And then it happened. I switched to an empty desktop, and sitting on my desktop was an icon: usbdisk. “Well that can’t be right,” I think to myself. There wasn’t nearly enough pain involved! I mean, what good is an operating system if my mother could use it? OK, maybe not my mother, but you get the idea.

|image0| “And it really, really works.”

date:2004-12-15 08:47:07
wordpress_id:239
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slug:and-it-really-really-works
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category:geek, my life

Irrational Fears

I place way too much importance on what people think about me. Ever since a relative stranger called me a “college drop-out” (which technically I am, although I’m working on finishing my degree now), I’ve had this abiding fear that my employer (any one of them) was going to discover what a sham I am (or think myself to be), and fire me for extreme incompetence.

So this morning, I had a total Sally Field moment: “You like me, you really like me.”

date:2004-12-14 08:34:31
wordpress_id:238
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slug:irrational-fears
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category:my life

Simple Pleasures

My favorite local coffee shop finally added free Wi-Fi. So now I can sit, watch people out the window and enjoy the scent of roasting beans. And maybe get a little work done.

date:2004-12-07 09:04:25
wordpress_id:237
layout:post
slug:simple-pleasures
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category:my life

ccPublisher Updated

So we’re continuing to press on toward 1.0 with ccPublisher. This weekend (Friday evening, actually), I released 0.9.11, which like the past few is mostly a bug fix release. The one notable exception is the addition of some code which allows the app to phone home in the event of an uncaught exception. I thought I was fairly careful with the exception handling, but a few weeks of real world use have proven that you can’t anticipate everything. The code is based on a module I blogged about a while back. Patrick of EgoFile fame did all the hard work, providing a amazingly simple way to handle uncaught exceptions.

I modified it slightly, and put together my own backend script to handle the input. The script, traceback.py, serves as a least-effort implementation of a backend script. Right now it just emails me all the variables passed in the form. I’d like to add some intelligence, and implement some of Joel’s suggestions from his recent book, “Joel on Software”. At this point I’m mostly vexed by the apparent lack of programmatic interface to SourceForge’s Tracker system, where ccPublisher bugs are (supposed to be) reported. But if email is all you need, this script and Patrick’s module will get you there.

date:2004-12-06 15:01:24
wordpress_id:236
layout:post
slug:ccpublisher-updated
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category:development

Loneliness

My birthday was a couple weeks ago. I’m 28 now. It sounds so… old. No more hiding behind the “mid-20’s” moniker; it’s squarely late 20’s now. As G. so adamantly puts it, “you’re half way to 56!” Thanks. I had a birthday party this year, first time in, well, years. Actually since I moved out, I guess. I mean, my parents always have a cake and what-not, but my sisters were born three days before me (actually 2 years – 3 days later, but you understand), so it’s always been a cake with lots of candles and names. So this year I had a party. And while there wasn’t a piñata, there were tasty appetizers, wine and people.

Ah, people. That’s what I’ve been missing. Working for CC is a mixed blessing. I love what I’m doing, and I love that I actually believe in what I’m doing, but I hate working from home. It’s so… isolated. I know, it’s supposed to be the holy grail of the Internet-enabled world. But really, working in your bathrobe is incredibly overrated. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve been dealing with depression for the past 18 months or so. A year of therapy and one little pill a day has kept things mostly at bay. But when the sun sets at 5:15 and you realize that you watched it come up and set from the same position at your desk, it can be a little unsettling. When the only people you see are in classes at school, and they’re all nearly a decade younger, you begin to feel a little disconnected.

I know that in reality my life is pretty cushy: I have a good job, I have a partner who loves me, and I have a dog who’s incredibly loyal (even if she does like to poop in the basement on occasion). But like many people (I hope), reality doesn’t stop me from idealizing the past or other possible situations. I do it a lot: I idealize my first stab at college, my time as a DJ at a local gay bar, and fantasize that somehow moving out of Indiana (even just Fort Wayne) would solve all my problems. I know you can’t go back, I accept that as truth, as fact, but it doesn’t stop me from dreaming.

As I analyze what I really miss, it becomes obvious why those times and my birthday party seem so good: people. Friends. Companionship. Its not fair to G or realistic to expect him to fulfill all my social and emotional needs. And yet I feel really lost when it comes to expanding my circle of friends. How did I used to do it? How did I meet people, hang out, and not feel like a complete ass? Who knows.

Re-reading this post I can’t decide if it sounds needy or honest. I don’t know that I care. I just know that something needs to change, some improvement needs to be made, because the raw, empty, isolated feeling is too much to accept indefinitly.

Postscript: If you live in Fort Wayne, have more than a passing interest in the intersection of culture and technology, and are slightly misanthropic, drop me a line. We just might hit it off.

date:2004-12-01 17:24:00
wordpress_id:235
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slug:loneliness
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category:my life

Remembering World AIDS Day

Today is World AIDS Day. I’m not feeling particularly eloquent today, so I’ll let the indomitable Larry Kramer do it for me. Larry’s speech (via QueerDay), delivered in New York in early November, reads like a parental lecture to the gay community. And as much as I hate to admit it, it may be a lecture members of our community need to hear.

Go, read, mourn, remember.

date:2004-12-01 07:49:01
wordpress_id:233
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slug:remembering-world-aids-day
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category:my life

Bundling Code

Mono appeals to me in much the same way as ObectiveC: it seems like I should like it (and have a use for it), but I haven’t identified one yet. While reading Planet Gnome, I noticed that Miguel blogged about a new feature in Mono: bundling. That is, wrapping your dependencies in a single, distributable executable. After some, uh, intimate work with Python’s distutils, py2exe and BundleBuilder, explicit and integrated bundling support sounds like heaven.

date:2004-12-01 07:03:41
wordpress_id:232
layout:post
slug:bundling-code
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category:development