Stupid Email

2001-01-24 Thread Andy Wardley

On Jan 23, 11:53pm, Roger Horne wrote:
 A single email was sent by the powers that be[1]
[...]

Similar thing happened when I worked at ICL many moons ago.  Some executive
sent an email to the 'icl' alias, which for some mind-bogglingly stupid
reason was a valid alias expanding to everyone who worked for ICL.

After an hour or so, the mail host had failed to deliver this one message
to all NN thousand recipients, so it tried to resend it.  But of course
the machine and network were already a little busy trying to send the
first message so it didn't get too far before deciding it had failed and
re-sending it.  GOTO 10.

Meanwhile, the usual bunch of all-knowing, self-righteous idiots with
nothing better to do (i.e. failed technical people promoted to middle
management) starting sending replies to the sender telling him not to
use the global 'icl' alias for such messages.  Naturally, they wanted
everyone to share from the benefit of their wisdom so they made sure
that the original 'icl' distribution was kept intact.

Meanwhile, the usual bunch of know-nothing, self-important idiots with
nothing better to do (i.e. failed middle management moved sideways to
another middle managment position) starting sending replies to everyone
demanding that they stop being sent duplicate copies of all these different
emails.  cc'd to 'icl', of course, because the default (using OfficePower,
a truly jank ICL middleware system) was to simply copy the To: and CC: list
from the original message.

Naturally, it wasn't long before the whole shebang ground to a halt and
fell deeply into castors-up mode.

One of the interesting things I discovered in the ensuing
disentanglement of mail was that our expertly configured mail system
would have accepted mail from the outside world to huge aliases like
'icl'.  Could we spell "Dinial of Serviss"?  I think not.  But I
gleefully shirked my responsibilies and didn't tell anyone about it,
just in case I decided to become a disgruntled ex-employee with a
grudge at some point in future.  :-)=

There was a moral in this story but I forgot it in the process of
rambling on.  Probably something about munging Reply-To, or putting
all middle management up against a wall and shooting them (which ICL
did a short while later).


A










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Re: Stupid Email

2001-01-24 Thread Andy Wardley

On Jan 24, 11:07am, Dave Hodgkinson wrote:
 The line I heard was "they decided to line up all the inept middle
 managers at ICL up aganst a wall but they couldn't find a wll long
 enough..."

That's frighteningly close to being true.

I worked at ICL Bracknell 01, the large building you see coming into
Bracknell from the A322.  On the bottom floor we had the humungous
machine hall which accounted for about 2/3rds of the floor space.  There
were offices surrounding it.  People did work here.  The machine room
was 2 floors high so the first floor had only the offices around the
edge and a gallery looking down onto the tops of all the boxes in the
machine room.  People did work here.

The 3rd floor was for sales and marketing suits.  They did what they would
claim was "work" here.  There were a few small groups of people on the
5th floor who also did some real "work".  But apart from them, the upper
8 floors of the building were all management.  Managers progressed up the
company and up the building.

In the late eighties, ICL was bleeding money and got bought out by
Fujitsu, presumably at a knock-down rate.  They kept the top floor and
the bottom 3 floors and kicked the rest out.  The people that is, not
the actual floors themselves.  Unfortunately, the few people who did
survive the culling were generally the really useless twats who spent
their time colouring their noses the right shade of brown and making
sure that they weren't the first ones up against the wall when the
revolution came.  Such is the way.

Nevertheless, I was amused that I went from being 13 layers of management
separation away from Peter Bonfield, the man at the top, to only 4 away.
But he still didn't answer my calls or accept the invitation for a beer
after work.   :-(


A






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Re: Conslutancy

2001-01-22 Thread Andy Wardley

On Jan 22,  3:33pm, Andy Wardley wrote:
 Please consider yourself emailed.

Damn, damn, damn!

OK, it was my stupid mistake that I didn't check the headers before I
clicked send, but I can't help thinking that the default Reply-to
header should be to the sender, not the entire group.

And I also note that this was originally sent to the defunct list (at least
I think this is the defunct list???), so I've changed the To: header.

So without wishing to start another holy war, is it possible to change
the mailing list configuration to have a more sensible default Reply-to?

And Dave, if you're reading this please add me to the conslutancy
list.


A


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Conslutency Location

2001-01-22 Thread Andy Wardley

On Jan 21,  1:20pm, Greg McCarroll wrote:
 potential london clients will be put off dealing with a company
 not in london

Surely you jest, sir!

What about the M3/M4 corridor, otherwise known as "Silicon Alley"?
What about places like Stockley Park (next to Heathrow), or the
Surrey Research Park (where we're based, just a few doors down from
Red Hat UK), just to name two off the top of my head?

Are all those huge IT companies based in places like Bracknell (archetypal
Silicon Alley town, but butt ugly), like Oracle, ICL/Fujitsu, Informix,
etc., etc., not doing business with anyone else because they're not based
in London?  I think not.

Anyway, the solution is simple.  We have a London office and a Guildford
office.  The former is convenient for people in London, the latter
convenient for both airports, M3, M4, M25, Brighton, and me! :-)=

We give everyone a nice laptop and have desks with monitors, keyboards
and telephones in the offices.  They can work in one or other place,
depending on where they are, what they're doing and/or who they're
currently working with in terms of team members and/or clients.


A

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Munging Reply-To

2001-01-22 Thread Andy Wardley

On Jan 22,  4:26pm, Greg McCarroll wrote:
 reply-to having the address of the sender is the right thing,
[...]
 its just the right thing

Nail meets hammer.  thwack/

If I explicitly set the Reply-To: in a message posted to the list then
the software is munging it to set it to reply to the list.  Therefore,
the current behaviour is wrong, even according to the "Munging Reply-To
considered harmful" arguments (which we don't necessarily accept as
valid).




A


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Re: Consultancy company

2001-01-20 Thread Andy Wardley

  Agreed - why work in London - what about telecommuters ?

 I'm *really* unsure about telecommuting. 

For me, telecommunting is fine for maybe 50% of my week, but unless I'm 
working on a very singular project (i.e. running in deep hack mode), then
I need to have the human company gained from being in an office environment.

Having said that, I do very little "real" work at work, instead 
spending my time reading/writing email, chatting to people, playing 
table tennis, having meetings, and doing other brain dead tasks.

But I suppose that's the point.  Allowing myself to kick back a little at
work gives me the balance to work flat out at home.  The annoying thing,
is that there are some packer types at CRE who see it the other way.  When 
I am in the office, they think I am "working hard", but when they don't 
see me, they assume I'm doing nothing.  sigh

I am in the exceptionally fortunate position of working a 10 minute drive
away from home.  I typically work the morning at home doing "real work" 
then go into the office for human contact, email, chit-chat, brainstorming,
etc., in the afternoon.  Then back in time to pick up ickle Ben from nursery
at 6.00, bath him, put him to bed, etc., then relax in the evening reading, 
hacking, watching some TV, or having fantastic sex with my beautiful wife.

When you've been spoilt like that, it's very hard to consider giving that 
up to spend valuable hours of your day sitting or standing on a train.
And I'd rather have trees, fields, peace and quiet around me than be 
working in a big, dirty and crowded city.  There's more to life than work.

But I must admit that I have a peculiarly low tolerance for city life.
Must be my fragile consitution... :-)

 And I like central London because (whatever else is wrong with it)
 it's relatively easy for everyone to get to by train no matter where
 they live. Trekking out to (for example) Guildford wouldn't be good
 for me.

Agreed that Guildford wouldn't be everyone's ideal location, but I was
thinking more of the "in town" vs "out of town" location.  You can get 
a much larger, much nicer office building somewhere in the green belt 
than in central London, for the same kind of money (not that I've looked, 
though).  OK, that tends to assume that more people travel to work by car 
rather than train, or live in the surrounding area.

So come to sunny Guildford and have fantastic sex with my beautiful wife!

(No, I *am* joking, really)


A




RE:Consultancy company

2001-01-19 Thread Andy Wardley

On Jan 18,  4:28pm, Leo Lapworth wrote:
 Ok, it's all a pipedream.. but what a nice one.

It sounds like an excellent idea.  In fact, I've even got as far as
writing a (fledgling) business plan for such a venture based around
Template Toolkit-ish web development, support and consultancy.  It's
something that Simon Matthews and I have been talking about for a couple
of years, but never really quite got around to taking the plunge.  I
was about to jump but work related improvments of the last few
weeks have pushed it back onto the back burner.

Now, what would it take to convince you that there are nicer places to
work than central London?  Guildford, for example, is quite wonderful
and only a train ride away from the smoke... :-)=

On the matter of funding, I have a friend who works for Goldman Sachs
who offered to put me in touch with VC somewhere in the range of 2 - 10m.
No favours, no guarantees, but at least a foot in the door and the offer
of waving a business plan under the noses of the right kind of people.
Of course, you might argue that GS != Right Kind of People  :-)

But like others, I'm not convinced that VC is the way to go unless you
really have to.  Having said that, if you want to start big and grow
big quickly, I can't see a way to do that without significant moolah up
front.  Maybe that means "really have to"?

One consideration worth playing on is that good Perl people are hard
to come by.  As a scarce resource, we might be able to convince backers
that a solid collection of guru and demi-guru level Perl people represents
a mighty design/development/consultancy force which could quickly corner
a large chunk of the market.

I'd love to come to the meeting and hear the ideas, but I've done my
trip to London for this month :-)


A

Pipe dreamer.

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Re: PIMB THC-shirts

2001-01-19 Thread Andy Wardley

On Jan 19,  9:39am, Steve Mynott wrote:
 THC isn't water soluble at all which is why you have to dissolve the
 stuff in hot fat before cooking it.

I belive that's true, but according to the paper I just found, presumably
the one Paul was referring to, the paper suggests that some THC *is* lost
when using a bong.

  http://www.ukcia.org/lib/pipes.htm

But note that the paper doesn't offer or claim any scientific evidence to
back this up, merely notes that "This suggests...".  I suspect the goodies
are getting stuck to the bowl, pipe, dirt and tar particles in the water,
but not actually dissolving the water as such.

If I were the kind of person to partake in such affairs, I'd suggest
that some objective testing is required.  But of course, I wouldn't want
to indulge in any activity which our wise and esteemed goverments have
decided is dangerous, immoral and quite sensibly illegal.  Nor would I
want to encourage anyone else to break the law.

Note that I also refrain from drinking tea as it's known to be
a gateway drug, according to the clear evidence that 97.2% of all
heroin addicts drank tea before progressing onto harder substance
abuse.  Be warned people!  Stick with tobacco, alcohol and the other
drugs which have been deemed safe enough for us to be trusted with.


A




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Re: PIMB THC-shirts

2001-01-18 Thread Andy Wardley

On Jan 17,  4:05pm, Redvers Davies wrote:
 Myself and a couple of friends of mine were talking about this before
 and someone suggested that ingestion in cakes was healthier still and
 more "effective".

Healthier, certainly.  Smoking anything is bad for your respiratory
tract and lungs.  However, there is evidence to suggest that smoking
weed is nothing like as harmful as smoking tobacco.  It's not the tar
or the nicotine in tobacco that gives you lung cancer, but the
radiation...

More effective, yes, because none of the THC is lost to the atmosphere.
However, it takes an hour or so to notice the effects coming on and
when they do, there's no way to stop them.  So you might end up ingesting
twice as much as you planned, which you may (or may not :-) consider
wasteful if half as much would have had the desired effect.

Or so I've been told.  :-)=


A

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Re: Access Control Lists and Functions

2001-01-15 Thread Andy Wardley

On Jan 15,  1:50pm, Simon Wistow wrote:
 Something like that, probably called it Symbol::ACL or summat. I'll
 stick it in my todo list right after Flash stuff, Mail::Hotmail,
 Net::IP2LL, Fuky widget set thingy, WMLScript compiler in Perl and
 learning Japanese.

I started learning Japanese when I joined Canon as they were offering
free lessons to all research staff.  I stopped soon after.

philosophical
Success is (partly) about being able to differentiate between the things
you're good at and the things that you'll never be good at. Spend time
on the former and don't waste time getting nowhere with the latter.
/philosophical

In my case, Japanese was very much the latter.  I have deep respect for
anyone who can master it.


A



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Re: XML::Schema, YAPC::Europe, mod_perl, Camel Visit, !RANT!

2001-01-12 Thread Andy Wardley

On Jan 12,  3:57pm, Greg Cope wrote:
 Is such a thing as Apache::Template being done or is it a pipedream [TM]

No, it's real, just not officially finished or released.  Someone sent
me some new code for it which I'll be intergrating and releasing in the
next week or so.


A

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From whence cometh www.fnord.demon.co.uk?

2001-01-11 Thread Andy Wardley

Is anyone here responsible for www.fnord.demon.co.uk, or know
someone who is?

It's really only a matter of curiosity[1].  I was drawn there after
last night's Mark Thomas Product on Channel 4 and noticed a cryptic
Perl 3 liner (which I couldn't get to work) prominently placed on a
front page.

  http://www.fnord.demon.co.uk/mt/fifth/

Some time later on the same site I came across a reference to Mark
being a "Meeja Hor" and it rung a London.pm bell.

Anyone?  Class?  Anyone?



A

[1] Although I would like to suggest a version of the site that
doesn't require various plugins.

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Re: the list is dead, long live the list

2001-01-11 Thread Andy Wardley

On Jan 11,  1:49pm, dcross - David Cross wrote:
 ...and besides, there's a rumour that Andy Wardley has a hacked version of
 mailman that doesn't have the 'Powered by Python' logos :)

Sir, I must protest.  You imply I hack Python!

But I do have a modified "Powered by Python" logo.  It's exactly the same
as the original, but I simply changed the colours to be white-on-white.
Thanks to the wonders of PNG, you get the full 32-bits of colour in just
196 bytes :-)

   http://www.tt2.org/images/mailman/PythonPowered.png

In fact the question you have to ask yourself is "How much more white
could this be?" and the answer is "None, none more white."

In all fairness, I have to say that mailman is an *excellent* mailing
list manager.


A

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Re: From whence cometh www.fnord.demon.co.uk?

2001-01-11 Thread Andy Wardley

On Jan 11,  2:10pm, dcross - David Cross wrote:
 The Mark Thomas usage came first. A couple of years ago, he wore t-shirts
 with weird slogans on for each show. A couple of them were 'Meeja Hor' and
 'Mor Hor'. The first was obviously ripe for appropriation and lengthening (a
 kind of "Embrace and Extend").

I thought that might be the case.  A quick google only came up with a
couple of references, mostly related to MT.

  [1] Although I would like to suggest a version of the site that
  doesn't require various plugins.

 And, especially, a version that _doesn't_ insist on playing horrible midi
 files at you on every page :(

My annoyance is the pop-up window appearing on every page telling me to go
and install a plugin so that it can play horrible midi files at me on
every page.

I half heartedly contemplated installing the plugin, but it turns out
that I need to register with AOL/Netscape before I can download it.
And alas, the user name "FuckOffBastard" has already been taken. :-(


A

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Re: From whence cometh www.fnord.demon.co.uk?

2001-01-11 Thread Andy Wardley

On Jan 11,  3:54pm, Robin Houston wrote:
 See http://www.cypherspace.org/~adam/rsa/ for an explanation
 of that particular cryptic 3-liner  :-)

D'Oh!  I really could have guessed that if I bothered to engage my brain!

Curiosity satiated.  Ta.

A


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Re: Perl 6

2001-01-09 Thread Andy Wardley

On Jan 9,  8:24am, Nathan Torkington wrote:
 As Piers said, we are blocked on Larry.  We're working on some
 interpreter design now, but some language issues really need to be
 nailed down before we know what we're going to be writing.

Are there any plans to keep the RFC process going in the future?  It
occurs to me that people are always coming up with half-assed ideas
about the next greatest thing that should go in Perl and an RFC process
would allow them to air them for peer review.

It might also draw the all-talk-and-no-trousers crowd away from the
serious perl6 development process.  It would give us, er, I mean *them*
somewhere to rant without bothering too many people doing the real work
on crafting Perl 6.


A


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Re: Technical Meeting

2001-01-08 Thread Andy Wardley

On Jan 5,  1:35pm, Neil Ford wrote:
 Double dose of Andy
 Alex (abw get's to drink cold beer)
 More Andy
 Piers to close.

That's OK by me, but I don't want to trample over anyone else who'd like
to speak.

How about I do a 20 minute session on Pod::POM and TT views, take a break
while Alex talks, and then do another 20 minutes on XML::Schema?

The first session gives a nice and gentle introduction to the concept of
schemas, models and views within the pragmatic context of munging POD.
It will contain some real code, real modules and real examples.

The second session is likely to be more ethereal, looking deeper at the
concept of schemas and the extremely cool things we'll be able to do just
as soon as I/we get around to writing an XML::Schema module for Perl (which
may, but more likely may not, have happened by then).  There may not be
much real code to show, but definately some jaw-dropping and/or
head-scratching ideas.

If you're not sick of the sight and sound of me by then, and iff there's
space left with no-one who wants to fill it, then I can do a lighting talk
(or longer) on Camelot.  This is still very much an experiment with not a
lot to show for it, but I'd like a chance to feed some of the ideas into
peoples' heads to see what they make of it.  In the mean time, interested
parties can look at http://www.tt2.org/camelot/ .


A

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Re: Teaching Java and Perl

2001-01-08 Thread Andy Wardley

It's possibly a blatant over-generalisation, but I get the impression that
most Java programmers are the people who learn whatever language the
marketing people tell them is the latest, coolest langauge, and/or
whatever languge they can earn most money contracting in.

Unfortunately, that langauge is Java on both counts.

Real hackers tend to evaluate languages on the merits of the language
alone.  They're more likely to use Perl than Java, or to use a combination
of several different language as and when is appropriate.  They care more
about getting the job done than getting the next job.

Just my 2 bits, of course.


A


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Print on Demand (Re: one liner)

2001-01-08 Thread Andy Wardley

On Jan 8,  8:25am, Nathan Torkington wrote:
 Yeah, but if O'Reilly were to print them, you'd complain that the
 book was nothing more than the online manual :-)

Hmmm.  I can see it working if you take a slightly different
perspective on it.

Let's say O'Reilly acts as a content provider.  In addition to their
existing role as a regular book publisher, they also collect and edit
content in the form of FAQs, manuals, other documentation, etc.  They
make it freely available online for those who want it.  This would be
all the content that isn't up to scratch, complete or unique enough to
warrant publishing as a regular book.

Joe Random Hacker browses online, finds something he likes, and clicks
twice to order it (one click being a patent infringement, of course :-)
Content gets sent to his local print centre (something like an existing
copy bureaux, run by a company like, oh, I don't know, someone like Canon
perhaps?) where it gets printed, bound and posted for next day delivery.

For an extra charge a guy on a Moped would risk life and limb dodging
London taxis to get it on his desk within the hour.  Do you want fries
with that?

The author, publisher and printer all get a cut of the profit.  Rinse and
repeat.

I should add that this isn't a new idea.  POD[1] has been floating around
Canon for a while (oops, I hope I'm not broadcasting company secrets, oh
well :-) but no-one's been sufficiently interested to do anything about
it as far as I know.  Most probably because they haven't figured out where
the content would come from.  But with the right partnership(s) between
authors/publishers/printers, the idea might fly.


A

[1] that's Printing On Demand, not Plain Old Documentation.

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Re: Technical Meeting

2001-01-05 Thread Andy Wardley

On Jan 4, 10:18pm, Dave Cross wrote:
 As always I'm looking for volunteers to speak at the meeting. If you've
 got anything really cool[1] to tell us about then please let me know.

Take your pick:

   Template Toolkit Views
 A new and icy cold metaphor for the Template Toolkit which makes
 hard things easy and defrosted things frozen solid.  Assumes (but
 probably doesn't rely on) some TT knowledge.

   Camelot
 An experimental Web Application Framework which makes (most) other
 so-called "Web Application Frameworks" look like a really silly
 idea.   Br!  That's chilly.

   Pod::POM
 The POD Object Model.  This makes translation of POD to
 other formats so simple that even your grandmother could do it,
 and we all know how much trouble she has working the toaster.
 Yowser, it's cold in here!  Did someone leave the freezer door open?

   XML::Schema
 XML::Schema will rule the world!  This is still in the planning /
 development phase, but it promises to kick bottom really hard.
 Create a schema to describe your data and then sit back and let
 the camel take over.  The XML::Schema module should allow you
 to build schema-specific parsers, (de-)marshalling code to convert
 XML schema instances to/from objects, XML/SQL interfaces, and other
 cool stuff like that.  Hey, is that frost on the keyboard?

   Dear Santa
 How to write your christmas thank-you letters using the Template
 Toolkit.  Silly, but chilly lighting talk.


A






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Re: Technical Meeting

2001-01-05 Thread Andy Wardley

On Jan 5, 11:46am, Neil Ford wrote:
 Save having to swap laptops with the projector and Dave wouldn't have
 to time the lightening talks.

But then when would I get to drink cold beer?  :-)


A




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Re: Technical Meeting

2001-01-05 Thread Andy Wardley

On Jan 5,  2:39pm, Natalie Ford wrote:
 BTW, have you found a job, Andy?

Erm, I don't really know.

On one hand CRE say they're going to make me redundant at the end
of November^WDecember^WJanuary... and on the other hand, they say I'm
now funded 3 times over for the next 2 years, they're going to promote
me[1] and give me a pay rise.

I think there are more exciting things on the horizon that I should
probably be doing in the long term, but for now I've still got a desk
and they're still paying me to write Perl code.


A

[1] Senior Perl Wanker


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