Things I’m up to


I still run my website on this thing. I must be one of the last people in the world using a hand-rolled CMS, but I spent four years maintaining my website by hand and for whatever reason it’s turned out that coding to my own needs has worked for me. I recently had a flurry of activity involving feature branches and unit tests and such.


I keep beating my head against the Planet codebase. The major problem I want to solve is that it runs like this: load all entries ever into memory, then write the top X of them out to a page. This is delightfully insane when run on my Linode 100: it can use up 30+MB of memory and push the whole thing into a nasty cycle of swapping.

Unfortunately, my reading of the codebase is that the single most flexible thing about it is that you can get any of the entries at any time. You currently might not want to, but everything is designed to leave that possibility open. Whether I kill that flexibility dead or leave it, this is a major reworking of the guts of the thing. Considering how many undocumented, untested hacks are in there (or at least, I have reason to believe are in there, it’s hard to find them) to work around the five million possible bugs people can introduce by mis-dating within their RSS feed, I’m sure this will break something. website

I volunteered to write content for this, but I’m not being nagged sufficiently hard and have also proven unwilling so far to go to their weekend-after-weekend conference organisation stints to be nagged, so I haven’t.

Women’s Summer Outreach Program

In theory I’m applying to the GNOME WSOP. In practice though it couldn’t be at a worse time. It runs July and August, here’s what I’m already doing in July and August:

  • Second week of July: Full time residential winter school in computational linguistics in Melbourne.
  • Third week of July: ACL/COLING 2006, which will be full time and, I believe, highly social. At best I can code on the train to and from the event each day.
  • First week of August: Visit to Townsville, including three full days on a liveaboard SCUBA trip. I get seasick, I’m not coding on a boat!

I’m still sort of madly tempted to apply and just find the damn time. It can probably be found. But I’d have to run close to crisis mode for a couple of months to get whatever it is done.


Yes, that too. No really. But at the moment I’m trying to do stuff in Perl (not at random, because of the existence of this) and for whatever reason Perl and my brain are not a good fit.