Two graceful finishes

I’m having a rather odd feeling.

Reposurgeon. It’s…done; it’s a finished tool, fully fit for its intended purposes. After nine years of work and thinking, there’s nothing serious left on the to-do list. Nothing to do until someone files a bug or something in its environment changes, like someone writing an exporter/importer pair it doesn’t know about and should.

When you wrestle with a problem that is difficult and worthy for long enough, the problem becomes part of you. Having that go away is actually a bit disconcerting, like putting your foot on a step that’s not there. But it’s OK; there are lots of other interesting problems out there and I’m sure one will find me to replace reposurgeon’s place in my life.

I might try to write a synoptic look back on the project at some point.

Looking over some back blog posts on reposurgeon, I became aware that I never told my blog audience the last bit of the saga following my ankle surgery. That’s because there was no drama. The ankle is now fully healed and as solidly functional as though I never injured it at all – I’ve even stopped having residual aches in damp weather.

Evidently the internal cartilage healed up completely, which is far from a given with this sort of injury. My thanks to everyone who was supportive when I literally couldn’t walk.

28 thoughts on “Two graceful finishes

  1. By the way, whatever happened to the UPS project? I don’t recall any post saying it was abandoned.

    • One of the people involved reportedly had to go build a farm. And everyone else was busy with other projects.

    • >By the way, whatever happened to the UPS project? I don’t recall any post saying it was abandoned.

      My hardware engineer is building a farm.

      The software is ready for the hardware, if the hardware ever happens,

  2. I am strangely sad that cybernetic replacements haven’t advanced to the point that you could have just said goodbye to a fleshy ankle forever.

    Imagine the swordfighting possibilities…

    • >Imagine the swordfighting possibilities…

      Aren’t what you might think. Muscles have a better strength-to-weight ratio than metal.

      Memorably dramatized by an Analog Probability Zero many years ago; the set up was a scene where our flesh-and-blood hero is pursued by a horde of ravening horde of robot minions which (it is carefully specified) weigh less than he does and are thus able to follow him over flimsy rope bridges etc.

      Until, at bay, he turns, and … rips them apart with his bare hands.

      Because that’s how the numbers work out. Yes, you can build a robot as strong and durable as a human, but it will necessarily be much heavier than a human. Conversely, if you limit one to the mass of a human, it’s gonna be flimsy.

      Nature has been optimizing around this engineering problem for a long time.

          • I think our best bet for artificial replacement parts is almost straight out of ?apek: 3D printed human flesh and bone. Aftermarket parts indistinguishable from OEM — even by the patient’s immune system if their own stem cells are used to seed the biomaterial.

      • That’s a shame, but very interesting; nicely spotted with the SF reference.

        So, maybe sword fighting is out. But then, I shouldn’t have to convince you of the possible other benefits of artificial construction. I was really thinking more of being able to avoid pain from striking them, or kicking with them, having telescoping parts, possibly with nasty bits attached… obviously we couldn’t load it with every option due to aforementioned weight and strength limitations, but I have to believe something would be possible.

        At the very least, it might be fun to have a bio-powered USB charger in there.

        Anyway, I’m confident that anything nature can do, people can reproduce, eventually, and even surpass. So I’ll bide my time. After all, ISTR you’re in favor of replaceable body parts too, even if for non-swordfighting reasons.

  3. Holy crap! Longtime lurker, very occasional commenter.

    If you were to ask me how long it was since you first posted on reposurgeon I would have guessed three, maybe four years. Nine years?!?! Wow, time flies. Thanks for keeping it real Eric, it seems like just yesterday. :-)

  4. Glad to know of your full recovery. Keep up the good work. I wonder what your next big project would be. Looking forward to it, as I’m sure you’ll have insightful things to share about the problem domain as well as your tool of choice to tackle it.

  5. Congratulations on the project.

    Ditto congratulations on doing the therapy prescribed for your ankle. Discipline pays off in most applications. You’ve earned your healing.

    It is a bit of a stretch to be congratulated on your body’s ability to heal. It’s a bit as if you were congratulated for the color of your eyes or the length of your femurs.

    • >Ditto congratulations on doing the therapy prescribed for your ankle.

      I did it rigorously, but I’m not sure how causative that was. The therapist noted that I was healing with exceptional speed and thoroughness and actually discharged me from the sessions ahead of the normal schedule. I think I just have good genes.

      >It’s a bit as if you were congratulated for the color of your eyes or the length of your femurs.

      Oh, I dunno. If you’ve never told a girl she has beautiful eyes, you (a) need to hang out where the women are better-looking, and (b) probably have not had as much sex as you could have.

      (Adjust as required if you happen to be attracted to men.)

      • > Oh, I dunno. If you’ve never told a girl she has beautiful eyes, you (a) need to hang out where the women are better-looking, and (b) probably have not had as much sex as you could have.

        ESR forgot an important special case here: if the target is an urban, educated, American woman age 45 or less, you need more prep work: a) get a lawyer and PR firm on retainer, b) look like an a-list underwear model, and c) have enough saved to last a good year of unemployment while also paying legal bills.

      • I don’t remember if you described the injury in detail, but [broken down to simplest terms] it’s common for the slidey bits of a damaged joint to start growing together instead of sliding, which is why range-of-motion exercises are suggested to keep things freed up while healing.

        I got to learn about this after I wound up with a leg that wouldn’t bend at all after having knee surgery. I went in, they cut, I went home, I finally gimped back and complained… well, that’s what happens when you don’t do the rehab and exercises.

        What rehab and exercises? First I’d heard of it.

        Oops. *Several* people dropped the ball there…

        Getting the knee functional again was a long and painful process which I’m still more than a little angry about having to go through.

    • >BTW, Eric, what are you thinking of for your next project?

      I’ve had a request for a C to Go translator. I’m thinking about it. 100% would be very hard, 85% probably relatively easy.

      • C to Go. It needs a name that implies fast food or pizza, because you’re getting your C-food to Go.

      • OTOH….

        You have previously talked about a “better software forge” system, and identified a possible candidate for uplift into such an engine.

        (Interestingly enough, you talked about this just around the time you started reposurgeon…. Hmmm…..)

        I would suspect you are in an even better place to re-examine this now, based upon what you have learned from reposurgeon.

        • Are you gentlemen familiar with sourcehut (https://sourcehut.org/)? Seems to me like the creator made it a point to address @esr’s concerns among his design goals, e.g. everything has an API option (even works without JS) and there’s a ‘dump all your data’ functionality as well.

          • >Seems to me like the creator made it a point to address @esr’s concerns among his design goals

            He did, but at present it’s a little too austere for me. Project cloning and merge requests are useful; I’d like to see it support those features.

  6. It still a lot of things to do. For example, read this article https://queue.acm.org/detail.cfm?id=2349257 (probably you already have read it), in particular this piece:

    “Today’s Unix/Posix-like operating systems, even including IBM’s z/OS mainframe version, as seen with 1980 eyes are identical; yet the 31,085 lines of configure for libtool still check if and exist, even though the Unixen, which lacked them, had neither sufficient memory to execute libtool nor disks big enough for its 16-MB source code”

    So, today’s software has a lot of unneeded complexity. Please, help to eliminate it

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