August 25, 2005

Scattered and Sundered

So I've been very busy lately, and mostly because of work. That's a veryhref="">personalized homepage, I keep a few interesting sites' feeds there. Makes for a nice break from the dirty innards of Microsoft Office.

So I have managed to stay abreast of a few projects that have kept my interest. As usual, they revolve around Python and/or more documentation) but I can't think of anything productive I have been doing.... There's the real kicker.

Since I'm using Windows at work, there's only one way to stay connected to the open-source world when I'm taking a break: newsfeeds. With Google's new
GTK+. I really do think that the combination thereof makes for good, accessible development that is a great boon to the open-source desktop. There are a few that I'm thinking about contributing to:

  • Straw - a news aggregator (in other words, an RSS reader)

  • myBudget - a desktop budget program

  • And deep down, I have a desire to create a PyGTK web browser using, not Gecko, but GTK+ Webcore. Problem is, it's not ported to Python, so it'd take much learning on my part to figure out how to do that.

Yet I feel so scattered lately. I haven't even taken the time to solidify the big changes I've made to Pygmy enough to release them. I'm hoping that I'll be able to rein in, start small, and move forward, even just a bit.

As ever, I'll keep you (marginally) posted.

August 21, 2005

Do I have a non-coding life? Apparently, because I haven't updated in a while....

So I've been repeatedly impressed with Google lately. I mean, many people know that "to google" has been a verb for a while, since it's kind of the de facto way to search the Internet. But also, I've been using their email service, which is really awesome in all respects. Turns out Blogger (what you're seeing now) is run by Google, and it's good too. Then there are a handful of ways that Google has been supporting open-source software and projects: their Summer of Code, their APIs, and the fact that they give their developers one day off per week to work on a project of their own choosing. Very cool. I read in a tech magazine that Microsoft's big competitor at the moment is Google. (Of course, that makes MS very uncomfortable.) Well, stick it to 'em, Google!

So I made another big update to Pygmy this week. Formatting of the metadata is possible now; I simply exposed the user to what I've been using to format it all along. For example, "artist - title" will be replaced per-song, and
will show the artist in bold text and the title in small text on a new line. Only problem is that GTK+ has a longstanding bug with wrapping labels, so a long format won't wrap to multiple lines.

Next up: optional tags, so if you have "date" in the format and it's not in the file, it won't show up (nor will the space you put before it to separate it from the title).

August 10, 2005

A week late and plenty short

Lesson of the week: A blog is only as good as the posts you put therein. Of course, since a blog is more than the sum of its posts, ...I don't know what that means for me, but it's good.

So Pygmy's coming along. I just released the third version last weekend and am pleased with how it's coming along. I'm rather surprised how much work it takes to get even a little app like this working. I'm beyond the stage where I needed to read a lot of documentation to learn how to code what I wanted to do (though the PyGTK reference is still quite the boon), but I'm still finding that there are a lot of things to account for. And as the program gets bigger (and harder to manage), I see the use for design patterns to effectively use my code. I'll need to read up on those more, but there's no time!

So I just started my new job this week. Computer application phone support, to be specific. This month is just training, but by September, I'll be on the phones making people's days... or something. It's funny: I'm not really an Excel wizard, so my training has been illustrative in figuring out what you can really do with it. But it's surprising, approaching an application like for the first time. I haven't really had that experience in a while, but at this point, I notice a lot of UI quirks and awkward presentation of features. For example, you can "set print area" in the File menu, define a "range to print" in Page Setup, define a named range "Print_Area", all of which do the same thing. Why not pick one option and stick to it? Layers automation and multiple options make the UI complicated and confusing. Anyway....

August 3, 2005

The world must be ending

So I've started a weblog. Something I never thought I'd do. I used to use LiveJourney back before the word 'blog' was coined and I used Xanga to document my trip to Europe, but I always thought that they ended up being a bit ostentatious. However, lately I've been reading more than a few, mostly related to software development. (And, of course, there's PostSecret.) I realized that it can be a good outlet for thoughts meant to be public and doesn't need to be a melodrama of life.

So. We'll see how I strike that.