Blog-A-Day May

It has been literally years since I’ve blogged on anything resembling a regular basis. This hit me recently when I renewed my WordPress subscription, and then again today when I renewed my DNS domain. I’m just not blogging enough – even for myself, and I’m the primary audience. So – I’m going to post every day in May. A #BlogADayMay.

As usual, I’m blogging for myself. If other people find my rambling ruminations regarding reality interesting, or even of benefit, that’s great, but it’s a bonus, not the goal. The topics for this month will be wide and varied. Posts will range from short to long, because I don’t have an internal editor, and will write until I run out of things to say or time to say it in. Once May is over, I may continue, or I may go back to my irregular posting.

You have been warned.

Should repository managers ever ‘unpublish’?

As a result of the recent kerfuffle about left-pad being unpublished from the NPM repository, and the subsequent “internet breakage”, I had a twitter discussion with Charles Miller about the right for unpublish to even be an option.

First, let me make something clear: having provided an unpublish option, npmjs.com was ethically, if not legally1, obliged to respect Azer Kuçulo’s decision to unpublish. The fact that this caused downstream problems doesn’t change that. But what this post is about is:

Should the unpublish option have been available?

And yes, I think it should be.

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ExtJS 5 and Gradle – Playing Together

Augmenting ExtJS with Gradle

ExtJS is pretty nice, overall, and it comes with a powerful build tool – Sencha Cmd.

Running builds with it can be tedious, because it doesn’t have any up-to-date checks – it constantly rebuilds stuff it doesn’t need. Oh, the time wasting!

As it turns out, Sencha Cmd is an Ant-based build tool. Which means we can create Gradle builds that augment it – given us support for such things as up-to-date checks.

Like this:

Share and Enjoy!

Mavericks Upgrade Experience – Apps keep freezing

So I, like a zillion other Apple fanbois, updated to Mavericks yesterday. Yay for free upgrades.

Overall, I’m impressed. It feels faster, I love the proper support for multiple monitors, iBooks on the desktop is a win, and the iCloud keychain works as advertised, with syncing to my phone.

But there’s one big negative – I’ve had multiple episodes of “applications randomly freezing”. When this occurs, the application _that I’m currently using_ just stops. It doesn’t crash, it just pauses. For a few seconds, or a few minutes, then it resumes. I can go use other apps, and they’ll work – or they might pause as well. It’s only been a day, but I’ve had 4 of these episodes so far – once last night shortly after upgrading, which I kind of shrugged off, and then 3 this afternoon, in about a 2 hour period. (Worked fine all morning though).

If I had to guess, I’d say it’s the new memory compression feature – but I had it occur just after a reboot this afternoon, with no other apps open. Then this evening it’s working fine again.

The other likely explanation is a clash with 3rd-party apps – I don’t run that many, but you never know.

In any case, I’m going to be doing a clean install to an external disk to see if it reproduces there – if it doesn’t happen there, then it will be a clean install for the laptop as well this weekend.

If you’ve had issues like that, feel free to leave a comment.

Update: Well, it just happened again. The only observation I can make is that it was while doing a build for the project I’m looking at – it’s quite possible that it was trying to compact memory or move stuff to swap. I wonder if the swap partition is corrupted?

Update the second: As it turns out, my hard disk had started reporting SMART errors the day before I download Mavericks. Bad timing. The freezes were being caused by I/O errors – sure enough, when reading from the swap file (not partition).

Thoughts on the new Podcast app for iOS

Inspired by reading this article over at ZeroDistraction.com

While I don’t actually care about many of the features the author cares about (e.g. I prefer to do podcast discovery on my laptop), I do agree that the app feels clunky.

Update: Podcasts listened to using this app don’t get recognised as ‘played’ back in iTunes. Presumably that will get fixed with an iTunes update with iOS 6, but still… that’s the nail in the coffin for me. I won’t be using this app again until iOS6 is out proper.

Update the second: Heck, even after I manually updated the played status in iTunes, the Podcast app didn’t swap out the played episodes for unplayed. It did bring down new podcasts – but not new episodes.

Continue reading “Thoughts on the new Podcast app for iOS”

Newman government to slash solar feed-in rebate

So the Newman government, in its latest attack on anything sensible, is slashing the feed-in rebate for solar power – from 44c a kilowatt/hour to a mere 8c kw/hr. This is an absolutely insane idea – crazy crazy crazy stuff.

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