Another Blog

Mostly about computers, generally Linux-related

Common Lisp

Instead of studying for exams and the like (of which I seem to have quite a lot), I found Practical Common Lisp [1] and decided to read at least part of it. This is similar to having read part of Advanced Python Programming last year before the exams. This apparent lack of concentration is actually a shift in focus to a language with a whole new discipline and approach. C still remains the language with which I have most in common, but functional programming is worth knowing, therefore I am planning a Lisp, Scheme and Haskell frenzy this summer.

I am also interested (but alas lack the time) in User Mode Linux. This will hopefully give me the opportunity to practice compiling the kernel, modifying it, and also “playing network” with multiple computers, complete with firewalls, NAT and the works.

[1] http://www.gigamonkeys.com/book/

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May 29, 2007 Posted by | functional programming, linux | Leave a comment

A busy week

I actually wrote my first lines of code for cspay these days, but they were mere headers for the library I am writing. I started reading parts of the standard and making a rough sketch of what will have to be included in an ods file; the standard is huge, but hopefully things can be simplified to a bare minimum, stock proto-spreadsheet. I am having difficulties deciding what to take for granted and what to expect from the user. libspreadconv has to strike a balance between being easy to use and widely applicable; so, while we have to be able to customise styles, they shouldn’t have to be specified if one wants a plain sheet. I will probably ask my friends for help on the mailing list.

In a totally different direction, I took part in some student things which I can’t really translate in English. One for Physics, about the quantity of information transmitted by measurements (again, translation may have ruined the meaning), and in Mathematics, about the coding of information by neuronal spike trains. The latter was slightly more interesting, but we only had to do a translation — and the professor practically forced it down our throats, but all in all both events were useful and failry exciting (intellectually, mind you).

I also helped RobyC with a very interesting piece of homework: compressing a bmp file into jpeg. Most of the program was already done, including the headers and file input and output, all we had to do was encode the information. This proved difficult because of not having read the homework specification thoroughly enough. We spent hours debugging, with hex editors and all, only to have someone suggest a detail which we had left out. Infinitely stressing, especially since I had an exam the following day, but also very interesting; you kind of get that warm feeling of accomplishment when you see it’s actually a stadards-compliant jpeg file.

Busy as I was, I got into some serious Armagetron Advanced with the boys these days, causing me to see coloured walls in my sleep and to miss this mornings Data Structures course, which I heard was surprisingly interesting. Heading home tomorrow, with that guilty feeling of leaving Roxi behind and skipping two days of school, but also happy I’ll finally get to see my family (6 weeks is apparently quite a lot by my standards). I’ll have a lot of work to do for Numerical Methods and other projects when I return, but I have to get it over with somehow.

Damn anal wordpress added extra line breaks and my text (pasted from vim) looked like shite.

May 19, 2007 Posted by | cspay, games, programming, rosedu, school | | Leave a comment

Subversion troubles

Because cspay planning is advancing steadily (or so it seems to me), Razvan installed Subversion. It proved to be quite tricky though. It’s probably a security measure, but a “plain” Subversion repository (in that just a plain svn create was run) cannot handle multiple users. So we spent about two days experimenting with it, until Razvan finally set the right permissions for the folder (his time is even more limited than ours, obviously). I wrote a quick post-commit email notify bash script (wow, suprisingly, I could do that); all that remains right now is to actually start coding; I should write the base for libspreadconv, the bottom library which creates an OpenOffice XML spreadsheet from a generic structure (which should be decided upon). There is a lot of reading to be done, and quite little time, with late mid-terms and all.

Exciting, yes. Tiresome, you bet.

May 10, 2007 Posted by | cspay, rosedu | | Leave a comment