waiting to board

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Somehow I'm getting a wifi signal in LAX, so I'll be able to remedy the fact that I wasn't able to get a post in before I took off. As I mentioned on my other blog, A and I are heading off to Indonesia for a month. I'll be doing training and setup with GNU/Linux, Ruby, and other Free Software at a small software development shop in Central Java.

Before I left I had a bit more Javascript fun. My brother-in-law Loren Broach came up with a game that I coded up. You can play it in your browser if you want. I haven't done game programming in a while; that was a lot of fun. I haven't done GUI programming in a while; that aspect was only fun because it was so simple. The cool thing about it is that first I wrote it the way I normally write Javascript, which is fairly procedural (and accordingly, somewhat brain-dead). I got it working, but then I rewrote it using Javascript's object-oriented prototype system. It was a fairly interesting exercise. I don't think anyone would defend procedural JS as a good way to write nontrivial software, but I've only used it for fairly easy stuff in the past barring my few patches to Conkeror. This project really opened my eyes to see how you can use Javascript in a way that can scale in terms of readability and maintainability beyond the couple-page uses that I've had for it so far. I'm still on the fence as to whether I prefer Javascript's style of OO to the more conventional model. It really feels like you're just tossing around eigenclasses the whole time, which takes some getting used to. It also resembles the OO system that Paul Graham implements in one of the appendices of his ANSI Common Lisp book. Anyway, it's always fun to play with a new way of thinking.

We cleared out our apartment before we left, so my server had to be moved to A's parents' house. A 311-day uptime isn't too unusual these days (especially with a UPS), but I was disappointed to start from scratch again. Unfortunately A's parents' ISP is pulling some dirty moves and blocking all the interesting ports, so I've had to move everything I can over to my account on Dreamhost in the mean time. I haven't been able to get Trac moved over; according to the Dreamhost wiki it's a fairly complex task. That means the Conkeror Trac is only available on port 8080... sorry guys! I'll try to remedy that when I get the chance.

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