I’ve been getting deeper into timekeeping and calendar-related software the last few years. Besides my work on GPSD, I’m now the tech lead of NTPsec. Accordingly, I have learned a great deal about time mensuration and the many odd problems that beset calendricists. I could tell you more about the flakiness of timezones, leap seconds,… Continue reading In defense of calendrical irregularity
Last week I decided the time had come to bite the bullet and systematically port the fairly large volume of Python code I maintain from Python 2 to Python 3. I straightaway ran into a problem, which is that for my purposes the Web resources on on how to do this are pretty awful. And… Continue reading Practical Python Porting for systems programmers
Do we make too many of our software tools automatons when they should be judgment amplifiers? And why don’t we write more DSLs? Back in the Renaissance there was a literary tradition of explaining natural philosophy via conversations among imaginary characters. I’m going to revive that this evening because I had an IRC conversation this… Continue reading Automatons, judgment amplifiers, and DSLs
I made a really common and insidious programming mistake recently. I’m going to explain it in detail because every programmer in the world needs the reminder not to do this, and I hope confessing that even “ESR” falls into such a trap will make the less experienced properly wary of it. Our sutra for today… Continue reading Brute force beats premature optimization
The SCCS back end to SRC doesn’t support named symbolic references to numbered revisions, because SCCS masters don’t include a symbol table. This is one of the things RCS added. Goddess help me, I’ve figured out how to shoehorn in this feature. And probably should not do it.
I just released version 1.7 of SRC, Simple Revision Control. For those of you late to the party, SRC is a simple version control system for directories full of small standalone files like FAQs, scripts in your ~/bin, dotfiles, and so forth – cases where you don’t want multi-file changesets. It’s actually a Python wrapper… Continue reading SRC users: check in, please?
I needed a break from serious work yesterday, so SRC now speaks SCCS as well as RCS. This wasn’t difficult, I had SRC carefully factored in anticipation from when I originally wrote it. I can’t say I think this feature will be actually useful; SCCS is pretty primitive, and the SRC support has some annoying… Continue reading SRC goes SCCS