Linux, musical road-dogging, and daily life by Paul W. Frields
Dive into travel.

Dive into travel.

(Cached on disk since Tuesday evening, just got online to post it tonight.)

It’s been an extraordinarily long time, relatively speaking, since I last posted, but I swear, Dear Reader, that it’s only because I was trapped under something heavy, called WORKLOAD. It’s a heartless monster that spirits you away from loved ones and eats your time. And in large part it keeps a cadre of flying monkey minions called OBSESSIONS that keep you under its heel.


To wit, I’ve been spending copious amounts of my unpaid waking time working on the release notes for Fedora Core 6. Although we had to drop a few beats due to lack of attention from their assigned writers, the majority of the beats are even juicier and full of excellent content than for Core 5 — and from what I hear from my secret whisperers from far-flung corridors of commerce and the halls of power, those were a paragon of potency.

(Did I mention I’m on a plane? I think the lack of fresh oxygen may be causing lapses of alliteration.)

Anyway, my Python learning came grealy in handy because I was able to write a cool little script using urllib and httplib to pull our old beat content, log in to a special updated MoinMoin wiki instance set up for us by Mike “Marvelous” McGrath, post the content, and retrieve shiny new DocBook conversions for editing. This will likely cut a good deal of time out of future release notes work.

As a side note, though, the posted speed limit on the newer MoinMoin, while great for preventing vandalism by miscreants, is a big problem when you’re trying to do mass imports like this. I built some time delay into my script as a result, but it’s a shame to have to wait minutes for conversions that should take only seconds. I’ll probably ask someone to look into adapting the “governor” to remove this issue. On the other hand, I’m learning Python — maybe I’ll figure it out myself! (Yeah. In my spare time.)

I also spent a lot more time than is healthy squeezing Make-fu from my brain (akin to taking the proverbial blood from a stone), to help with the packaging of fedora-release-notes. I still have to finish the last bit, which is to get nice .desktop files by pulling appropriate information from the translated XML files.

Speaking of translation, our translators KICK ASS, and if you meet one of them, buy that person a $BEVERAGE immediately. Or a case. After a managerial foul-up, we were fortunately able to get them more time to translate the release notes, which are hefty in size and maddeningly fluid in content. As a result, we’ve already got several fully complete translations rolled in to CVS, and more to come before Thursday’s deadline.

Home and Hearth

In family news, thanks to the careful attention of her kindergarten teacher, Evie started a new class today. Once a week, she’ll be joining the first-graders to do reading and spelling there, since she’s shown a real aptitude. Her most recent conquests include a book about volcanos and earthquakes and one about dinosaurs. There’s something just inherently heart-warming about hearing your five-year-old properly pronounce and understand words like “coprolite.”

Now that my kids have become such crazy characters, though, it’s much harder to leave them than it used to be. (When it was time to leave home this morning for a short stint at the office and a drive to the airport, Ethan hugged me hard and said, “Daddy, I’ll miss you SO much.” And my wife looked at me with a mischievous glint in her eye and said, “Man, they really know how to stick it in and break it off, don’t they?”