I'm a dad again. Nicola gave birth to our son Joel this week (I don't like to give birthdays or middle names away online). He weighed in at 9lb 15oz and is very healthy, and extremely hungry. He seems pretty good-natured so far, though quite a demanding feeder.
Here he is (he's the small one):
As you can see from my last blog entry, the song titles, by sheer fluke, form a rough approximation to the life of Johnny Mathis, as a corollary with the life of Jesus, as he sung about in When a Child is Born.
The story starts with JM's parents trying to conceive and throwing away their contraceptives. It continues with JM's quest to find his father, searching a range of locations not unlike those encountered by Michael Moorcock's Corum when facing the Chaos Lords (in the Sword Rulers series of novels): the Rosy High Seas, the Silent Tiny Winds. Then finally reaching solid ground, where tears form from the earth, nourishing yellow trees. And finally JM is reborn from the trees, flickering into existence before himself, perhaps even replacing the original JM who started the quest. Or maybe at that point the quest becomes cyclical, and JM is locked into a Sisyphean loop, seeking his origins, embarking on an epic quest, only to generate himself at the end of the quest, which then starts all over again.
Just thinking out loud. I think definitely an ambient wash for track one, that's for sure.
Using this poem generator, and the words of When a Child is Born, Johnny Mathis' most famous hit (but not in fact included on the CD I'm going to be using as my sample source [see my previous blog entry for an explanation], which turns out to be a "collection" of standards recorded by JM [as I will be styling him from now on] in the 1950s, rather than his famous 70s hits), I've come up with these song titles for the mathis album:
If you have any objections or suggestions for the style of each song, please raise them in comments. If you are a talented artist, please provide artwork for the LP cover. If you are a rubbish artist, please do not. Thank you for your continued acquiescence.
I recently dug out some music software (unfortunately, the Windows-based Computer Muzys Studio, as I've yet to find a decent midi-sequencer for Linux which supports VST instruments) and started writing music (in the loosest sense) again. Mainly I've been remixing my old tracks and getting them to play (CM is OK, but terrible if you move your projects between machines); but I've also made one new piece, Splashflap. I'll post some of it up here eventually, no doubt.
Anyway, I was lacking focus and inspiration, but found myself fired up by Jono's music project. I decided, like Jono, that I needed a concept to work from. Browsing Woolworths today, I came up with one. I decided I would buy the cheapest CD I could find in the sale and write an entire album based on samples solely from that CD. (I did this a few years back with my brother, writing a sequence of tracks based on Elvis samples.)
The CD turned out to be a £1 Johnny Mathis Greatest Hits album. Hence the name of the project/album/band, mathis. Look forward to some new music soon, sourced entirely from Johnny Mathis samples, more than likely released under a Creative Commons licence. I bet you can hardly wait.
My old work colleague, open source hero, metal maniac, God's gift to the ladies (according to Facebook), and all-round nice bloke Jono Bacon is starting recording on a new album for his latest project, Severed Fifth, today. Read more about it on his site and follow his progress on Twitter.
Well worth a look, as Jono has decided it's about time he shook up the music industry by exploring how far he can inject some free culture and Creative Commons licencing into it. I've no doubt he will.
Finally, we have a properly compatible, open source Java. I've grown to like Java more and more over the last few months, and I'm hoping this might encourage more open source developers to pick up the language.
Here's the original announcement.
Xdebug is a PHP debugger with nice Eclipse integration. Here are some instructions for installing it (assuming you already have Apache 2 and PHP 5).
This article explains in more detail, but isn't Ubuntu-specific. It does detail Eclipse configuration for Xdebug in detail, though.
You need to be root to do the installation.
First off, install Xdebug. This isn't packaged for Ubuntu, so you need to do it with PECL. So install PECL if you don't have it:
apt-get install pecl
Use PECL to install Xdebug:
pecl install xdebug
Configure PHP 5 to use Xdebug by adding these lines to /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini (somewhere near where the other
extension= lines are):
zend_extension=/usr/lib/php5/20060613+lfs/xdebug.so [xdebug] xdebug.remote_enable=1 xdebug.remote_handler=dbgp xdebug.remote_mode=req xdebug.remote_port=9000 xdebug.remote_host=127.0.0.1 xdebug.remote_log=/var/log/apache2/xdebug_remote.log
Note you need to use
zend_extension= to load the extension, and you should use the absolute path to the module (.so file) to do this. Otherwise it fails.
Check using PHP info, e.g. add a file called phpinfo.php to your web root:
<?php phpinfo(); ?>
Then call it in your browser. Check that there is an Xdebug section displayed.
That's Xdebug installed. See the article linked at the start of this entry if you want to integrate with Eclipse.
Drizzly June -
long hair, face
Note: I keep this page up to date with my currently-valid codes, so disregard the comments from people who say they've used them.
I've got 5 Dreamhost invitations, which you can use to sign up for Dreamhost hosting. They can be used once only, and give the following benefits if you use one to sign up:
Obviously, I get a few quid if any uses my codes :) I like Dreamhost a lot, and use my hosting for backups (they give a massive disk allowance), to run my Subversion repository, and to host experimental Rails (they support Phusion Passenger) and PHP applications.
Here are the codes:
312559460095 954046739122 218045114524 371122736379 651598559782
Go to https://signup.dreamhost.com/ and use the 12-digit code in the "promo code" field. Let me know if you use one of them.
I stopped working on s33r, my Ruby Amazon S3 library, a few months ago. I thought Marcel Molina's S3 library had outstripped mine in terms of features and completeness, I had less time for developing on it, so I handed it over to Tiago Macedo, who's made a few improvements in the meantime.
However, I recently got an email from none other than Geoffrey Grosenbach. I knew he had used (and even presented about) s33r, and he was asking whether it supported virtual domains for bucket naming. It didn't. But given a request from Geoffrey, I couldn't do anything but add the feature. Hence the release of a new version.
It's interesting going back over the code, as I wrote it a while back. Even though I only wrote it maybe a year or so ago, it's striking to me how much I've improved as a developer since then. There's plenty of stuff in there I wouldn't do now; and it's obvious to me that the code is a bit convoluted and badly modularised. I could do better now, I'm sure. I put this down to the fact that my coding (full time at work) is now scrutinised by other people, and they make me defend and explain what I'm doing, which improves my design work; also, the fact that it goes into commercial products and has to be performant and testable and readable makes me write more carefully and conscientiously; plus I've spent a lot of time thinking and reading about design while I've been at Talis, which has improved how I approach coding generally. Maybe I should go back and do a rewrite :)