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This is the weekly thread to discuss what you have done recently and are working on this week.

Please be descriptive and don’t hesitate to champion your accomplishments or ask for help, advice or other guidance.


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    I’m having coffee with a guy who wrote a Final Fantasy VI screenplay. I’m writing my own too. I am hoping we can find common ground and collaborate, because the reason I started writing my own is that I didn’t agree with a bunch of things about his.

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      Is this a screenplay in the Final Fantasy VI universe, or a screenplay adaptation of the movie plot? Do you think you have a decent chance of getting it made? Which actor would you want to play Kefka?

      I’m working on a novel, Farisa’s Crossing, that has some FF6 elements/inspirations– female hero, steampunk tech level, and the gradual (over the series) displacement of lawful evil (Gestahl in FF6; Global Company in the Antipodes) with something both more absurd but also inevitable.

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        I can’t help but wonder how many guys played Final Fantasy VI as young men and went on to write stories with women as either protagonists or major supporting characters. Also, which character did they draw upon for inspiration (Terra vs. Celes).

        Which actor would you want to play Kefka?

        Jared Leto might work as Kefka, given his turn as the Joker in Suicide Squad. Also, because Heath Ledger is too dead to audition for the role.

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          In my opinion, FFVI doesn’t have a single protagonist. Terra is more of a blank, amnesiac Macguffin for most of the first half of the game, and Celes just has a few moments here and there. And it’s debatable if it even passes the Bechdel test. I don’t disagree that some characters got more development than others, but I think the authors succeeded in their intent to not give any one character the whole show. For this reason, I think it would work better as a TV series, where you can give each character a chance to shine, their own day in the spotlight.

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            They could even lure Leto in by putting in the contract that they won’t delete half his scenes. I hear offers like that are harder to come by these days.

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            He’s doing a screenplay adaptation of the actual story. He’s gotten as far as the end of the floating continent. I’ve gotten as far as writing a pilot episode of just the first few scenes in Narshe, with flashbacks and background events in other locations.

            I don’t think there’s a snowball chance’s in hell of any of it ever getting produced. Squeenix has already shut down fan attempts such as this one.

            So, it’s basically a fanfic in screenplay format.

            But the guy I’m talking to is more optimistic. He’s got some contacts that have spoken with Squeenix and think it could happen.

            As for casting, I think it would work best with unknowns. I don’t know. That’s too much fantasising for me. I just can’t picture big names being attached to it. It might just end up being an animated adaptation like the recent animated Castlevania adaptation on Netflix.

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              Btw, is Farisa named after the FFV character? Or is that just a huge coincidence?

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                Mostly (totally?) a coincidence. I had played FFV a long time ago, but I didn’t have FFV’s Faris in mind when I chose the name. The character first came to me in a dream a few years ago.

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                  Her “real” name is “Sarisa”, but because she can’t pronounce it as a kid, she says “Farisa” and her adoptive family just calls her “Faris”. That’s the explanation in the GBA English translation anyway.

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                    Right. I knew that her name was Sarisa. She called herself “Farifa” in the J2E translation and “Farisa” in some of the EU translations. So… could go either or any way.

                    The name pair Faris (M) and Farisa (F) is Muslim and means “knight”, but Farisa also has African roots meaning “virtue” or “kindness”.

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                    In that case, it could very well have been the FFV character surfacing from your memories. You might find it a nice, introspective exercise to think of your thoughts or feelings about that character and dream looking for where the connections came from. It could also be random.

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              Finishing bringup of arcan on OpenBSD 6.3 (+article). Mostly rework to take advantage of EVFILT_DEVICE for display hotplug left. If there’s any time left over, I’ll investigate some bug where the keyboard goes nuts if I run wsconsctl from within a graphical terminal (manual ssh in, kill needed to recovery, console filled with wskbd_input: evar->q == NULL).

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                I begun work on a few projects.

                I’m taking on a project to capture the ranking system that the IndieWeb describes and make it into something like SSL Labs. I’m also experimenting with implementing a new federated identity service for the KDE community - big responsibility. I’m also going to be spending some time working on a Qt5 C++ client for ActivityPub services (like Mastodon and Quill). Lots of F/OSS work since I don’t have any contract work this week (or rest of the month).

                I’m also getting back in the habit of writing short stories. I’m working on placing them on my personal site very soon.

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                  Last week

                  Decided to hold off on further speed optimizations for the moment. Instead of the memory visualizer, decided to make a different sample program for Flpc: Screenshot 1 Screenshot 2.

                  Hopefully, I can make it good enough to use one day. This way, once I get to the lldb visualizer, I won’t have to make changes to the core of guitktk as much.

                  Added to the core to support this:

                  • Mark-paste and mark-duplicate
                  • Fix some semantics bugs
                  • Experiment with masking/cropping in Cairo. Don’t know how to do that in Tkinter yet.

                  This week

                  Continue work on that sample presentation program.

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                    Have been learning x86_64 asm for a couple of projects I have. I hope I’ll get my e-ink screens this week to start trying to make them refresh fast for a e-ink laptop project I’m working on.

                    I’ve been also building my jekyll blog to release a couple of write-ups later this week.

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                      Which e-ink screens? I haven’t seen anything that was particularly hacker-friendly when I’ve looked in the past.

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                        I went with these ones: https://www.waveshare.com/wiki/7.5inch_e-Paper_HAT Following the work from @ninjatrappeur

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                          Neat - thanks for the link.

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                      Do I even code anymore? I’m editing a video for work, debugging this obscure bug in our current Magento 1 instance, and organizing code reviews and trying to get environments for mage 2 built. Maybe I’ll write some code this week, who knows!

                      Personal stuff, I just got a Korg EMX so I’ll be working on some loops and samples, possibly even some tracks on it. Need to get in touch with a comic friend of mine about doing his album soon. Possibly doing some stand up sets out of the city this week, time permitting.

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                        I’m currently trying to hack together some sort of text editor, and learn some ClojureScript.

                        I’m embedding and forking Servo to render stuff, with NeoVim running as a daemon. I don’t really know if it will actually get anywhere, but it’s definitely an interesting learning experience.

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                          How easy is it to embed Servo? I’m curious since I haven’t seen any web browsers based on it yet, besides FF. Everything still seems to be Chrome based.

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                            It’s… interesting. It wasn’t actually that difficult, just not amazingly documented. The documentation that was there is a little outdated* and I had to figure it out. The main issue is just that it’s changing really quickly at the moment.

                            I’d definitely recommend having a go if you want, but I wouldn’t call it production ready.

                            *: I am planning on making a PR when I get the time!

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                              Interesting - that explains why I haven’t seen it used. Hoping the embedding gets better soon - I’d like to see servo in something like QuteBrowser.

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                          I have returned from a week of holiday, so have spent my morning deleting emails and marking hipchat conversations as read. I’m in the middle of a vendor selection process, and this week is about crossing out the clearly bad choices and arranging to talk to the maybe good options.

                          I’m also negotiating a change to my contract to adopt a four-day week, talking to my CEO soon.

                          I’ve applied to volunteer at the National Museum of Computing.

                          I spent the weekend hacking on an app for managing notes on research papers. It’s nearly ready for a first release.

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                            National Museum of Computing

                            Nice, I really enjoyed the part of the visit of the VT terminals where I typed for a bit ;-)

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                            Work: beginning my last week at $job. Got a new job starting May 1st. Vacation in-between. (ElixirConf Europe early next week!) (Will miss !!con this year though :( )

                            Not work: I started a small project using Vue and Phoenix, the goal is to be able to compose simple stream processing pipelines by drag’n’dropping blocks and drawing arrows between them. Source blocks could be sources such as uploading a CSV, polling a URL, receiving data over a websocket. Processing blocks would be simple maps, filters, reduces. Etc. Not sure how far I’ll take this, having fun so far.

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                              Will continue reading through “Designing Data-Intensive Applications”. Really enjoying the book so far, specially the way the author lays out the trade-offs of different systems.

                              Managed to do good progress with my reading last week.

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                                Fininshing up my next debugging book review. I started out with three books, but I’m cutting it to two since the third book doesn’t fit well (although I’m liking it a lot so far).

                                For the review I’d like to find a good article about the pros/cons of whiteboard interviewing for programming jobs. If anyone has one they think is worth reading, I’d appreciate a link.

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                                  Started on a cross-platform CLI for the bitwarden password manager: https://fossil.birl.ca/bitwarden-cli/doc/trunk/README.txt

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                                    Working on open source cache server nuster, migrating to HAProxy v1.8

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                                      Putting the finishing touches on my talk for Haystack tomorrow. I will be enjoying that conference and also the Tom Tom Machine Learning conference day later in the week.

                                      Hoping the weather in Charlottesville is nice!

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                                        Majority of work has been working on models for applying public funding for invoices in kindergartens, and discovering the shocking amount of edge cases and hoops accounting has to jump through to account for late applications, wrong calculations, etc. There is a huge gap between what I thought was the “correct” way and the way people actually do it, stemming both from my ignorance and how people are stuck in certain ways - some cases are easily solved on paper by a human, but is very hard to model.

                                        It’s been both frustrating and a great learning experience, and it makes me wonder what else we do to account for people doing things “incorrectly”, for various meanings of incorrect.

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                                          I’m working on building a new website for my ongoing science fantasy project using a Pelican starter kit I created for building blogs as if they were motherfucking websites. It isn’t much, but I had this itch and once I had decided to scratch it myself I figured I might as well share it.

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                                            Finally finished and merged a large improvement to our massive integration test system last week, and found out today that it uncovered a rather critical error. We now realised that we don’t actually know how the integration test system ever worked before, and it definitely doesn’t work right now. (An obvious bug was uncovered, and has been present for at least two months.) So I’ll be fixing that and cleaning up that mess this week.

                                            I have an absolutely fantastic junior programmer who I’m mentoring, he learns fast, has what I consider to be the right approach and opinions, and a wonderful attitude towards learning. It’s keeping me sane at my jobby job.

                                            Still struggling with what my new job was supposed to be, vs what it actually is. Made some realisations about this over the weekend that help me frame the problem, but actually make me feel worse about it. I don’t know what I’ll do about this.

                                            Managed to get precisely zero hours logged on my GTD application for Nextcloud last week: really hoping to turn that around this week, but I’m not hopeful at this point. By the time I get home from work, I can’t manage to do much more than veg out in my lounge chair and read the internet. :/ I hope to turn that around now that the sun is still out by the time I get home from work.

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                                              Mostly following on from last week

                                              I didn’t post an update about it in that comment/thread but I did actually get a 1.0 out for Proxy Manager, and managed to get a decent chunk of the PXC Manager implementation written too (for those wondering, PXC = PerconaXtraDB Cluster, aka a pure-OSS MySQL fork with extra “enterprise” features and Galera Cluster pre-built)

                                              So, I’m now putting the final touches on PXC Manager, and debating with myself about an integration point between PXC Manager and Proxy Manager.

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                                                Oh and its hot season in Thailand so of course we now have critters to contend with.

                                                • Random bits of rubbish attract the rats.
                                                • The rats attract the tokay geckos.
                                                • The tokay geckos attract the snakes.
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                                                This week I’m running a ton of internal system migrations. Last week I did a nextcloud rebuild to consolidate multiple instances, this week I’m moving an internal dokuwiki to bookstack, taking out a ton of infrastructure and getting everything ready for a long deserved break from technology next week.

                                                I’m also doing some CAD this week, designing PCBs for both the 44COIN project and my Chip8 handheld emulator. I just need to add on a menu for the chip8 software, clean up the debugging and put proper timers in to sync everything to 60hz. I’m tempted to add superchip hires support into the mix and a 64k SRAM chip so I can use the same hardware for other systems.

                                                I managed to rejig my charlieplexed 44COIN circuit and get an extra analogue pin back, which I’m going to look at using for a matrix of 4 buttons on a resistor grid. This will let me possibly add a little simon-type memory game and maybe a dice roller/hi-lo game into the device as an easter egg.

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                                                  Finishing up an infra move at work, putting the final touches on an HTTP server I wrote to be my personal homepages backend, and starting work on implementing my own ethereum virtual machine im rust.

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                                                    I’m writing a tutorial for test-writing. I recently started contributing to an open-source card game, and while they have a testing suite, they’re missing even basic functionality tests for over half the card-pool, so I’ve taken it upon myself to both implement a bunch of tests and help inform the other devs of the wonders of testing.

                                                    The most fun part is it’s all in Clojure which I don’t know super well, so it’s been a whirlwind adventure of learning.

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                                                      I’m working on a simple tower defense game, mainly to try apply a genetic algorithm to finding optimal build orders. I chose JS/HTML5 to make the results easy to distribute. (It feels like if it’s not on the web, no one will check it out.) I ran into a lot of little bugs because JS lacks strong types. The algorithm works fairly well, but taking up the CPU in a webpage doesn’t work too well. I might have to do the optimization in node and export to a JS/HTML5 viewer instead.

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                                                        Realtime federated chat over ActivtityPub

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                                                          Have you found ActivityPub to be a sensible choice for that kind of thing over something like Matrix?

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                                                            matrix is a whole different beast, it does so much. it’s not really a chat service, but a distributed graph database. I’m just using ActivityPub because I already wrote an AP server and am familiar with it.

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                                                          Still working on the file protocol for Jehanne, aka FP.

                                                          If you have experience with natively encrypted applicative protocols, please consider contributing to this Lobste.rs thread.

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                                                            I’ve been learning Rust, with gcstool being the budding result - a utility for creating compressed databases for set membership tests. Main motivation being so you can check against leaked password databases without having to call out to a third party API or burn gobs of SSD/memory.

                                                            The 500 million-strong pwned passwords 2.0 list weighs in at just 1.6GB with 1 in 50 million false positives - a good improvement over bloom filters, which would need more like 2.15GB for the same error rate.

                                                            As part of this I also wrote LineReader, an alternative to BufReader::read_until that cut about a minute off slurping in the database on my dinky little Xeon.

                                                            I’ve been quite impressed with Rust so far - the language is rather nice and the tooling is excellent. I can see myself doing a lot more with it.

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                                                              Finishing off my senior thesis thing on PL implementation (http://github.com/charles-l/capstone), and planning to delve into more graphics stuff this coming weekend. So far I have basic Racket bindings for mesh loading, shader loading, basic (hacky) keyboard/mouse input, and an FPS camera (demo). Still have a long way to go before the dern thing is actually usable, but I’ll start dog-fooding it once I have textures, physics, and some basic audio code working.

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                                                                Working on part two of my series of blog posts on ripping all of your media to OSS formats and putting it all on a NAS. Here’s Part 1

                                                                Also extending my current Plex TV Series Extras Renamer into a general purpose Plex utility that will name movie / TV series folders and files correctly after looking them in in TheMovieDB. Nothing revolutionary, but the way you make progress in the craft outside of work is by scratching one itch at a time :)

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                                                                  I’m definitely going to be reading those blog posts. Keep em coming! :)

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                                                                  Starting my bachelor thesis. First week: Organisation, Literature and Basics.