I'm a bit of a net.head...
Actually, this page needs to go away. It's out of date,
for one thing.
...and I contribute to various free software projects and
such. Occasionally I get credit for my work:
- The Insidious Big Brother
- The BBDB is one of the
most useful emacs
hacks I have ever encountered. Originally written by Jamie Zawinski, it passed into
the XEmacs development
system for a while and then stagnated some time in early
1999. I was somewhat unhappy with this, so I conducted a quick
straw-poll and voted myself the new maintainer. As of January
2007 I've handed off ownership, however.
- The Perl Cookbook
- Yay! Book Credit! Check out the Ack section in the Perl
Cookbook, an O'Reilly book by Tom Christiansen and Nathan Torkington. I did
some proofreading, that's all.
- StateSecrets was a jaundiced, disaffected view of the world,
generally with a somewhat technical slant. So naturally, I
wrote some pieces for it. Alas, this is no longer, as they
say, a going concern.
- If you don't know what Mozilla is, go have a
look. Really. I got involved fairly soon after the initial
release, submitted a few patches,
then got frustrated with the mobile build platform. And I
don't mean trying to build it on a Pilot.
Labs finally released the source for their
SoundBlaster Live! driver. Leaping straight into the fray
(because I love my SB Live!), I fixed a miniscule
glitch in the build system. Oh, and this.
Then I abandoned it for a while, and it made its way into the
kernel, and just lately I've started hacking on it again,
trying to bring the sequencer branch up to date. I abandoned
that, too, after deciding that the maintainers are insane and
I'd be better off buying a card whose driver doesn't require a
PhD to set up the mixer for.
- TGD is a text interface to Tom Boutell's GD graphics
library. Can you say "scripted display hacks"? I
started using this in Motorola to generate graphs
from the periodic emails sent by the bug-tracking system; in
the course of this, I submitted a bugfix.
Then some security measures prevented my hacks from ever
working again, so I gave up.
- DJGPP v2
- DJGPP is a port of
the GCC compiler to DOS. It includes all sorts of fun stuff
like a DOS extender and virtual memory. I spent a lot of time
tooling with it in college and
to the FAQ.
inter-browser incompatibilities in much the same way as Java
did. Funny that. I pitched into the FAQ section on how to
IE 5 or better. It kinda works on IE 4.
is an acquaintance from Surrey University who is happiest when
antagonising Americans. He spent some time in France working
on part of his thesis, during which time I supplied him with
information on Solaris systems so that he could antagonise
some French people instead.
- Wine is a really nifty
project to allow you to run Windows executables directly on
your Linux box. Sorta like iBCS for the Win32 API. I went on a
hacking spree with it for a while, resulting in a credit on
list. The only part I can recall working on for certain is
the ShellExecute code.
- Micromail is a computer
book & software reseller based in Cork, Ireland. The web
site has been going since 1995 or so; I was involved in it
almost from the start due to my part-time employment with the
now-defunct Cork Internet Services. I'm entirely
responsible for the look and feel between 1995 and 2005,
when Willy took the work in-house. For the curious, all the
on-site scripting was in Perl, and the offsite page generation
stuff was yet more Perl. The generation code had all sorts of
fun heuristics and stuff like that for historical
- Wusage is a really
neat Web stats analyzer written by Tom Boutell. Back when he
released 4.x, I built it
on a few different platforms and tested it a little. 'course,
he's doing v7 last time I checked...
- The Perl
- I don't think I'll ever reach the level
twisted Perl required to make an appearance on the winners'
page of the Obfuscated Perl Contest, so I cheated and made
a parser for the page instead.
- Win32 Perl
- Like your average hacker, much of my
hacking is driven by a particular - but not necessarily
practical - need. In this case, I wanted PerlMUD to run on a
Windows box. And it did, too. Credit here.
- collate is that site-checking tool you keep meaning
to hack up the next time you've got five or ten minutes to
spare. Don't bother. collate will not only check
your links, it'll find orphan pages, generate a list of xrefs
and even rearrange the site for you.
- xkeycaps is a handy way to tweak your X keyboard setup
without having to learn yet another stupid tool. I initially
sent in mods for the NCD 107-US keyboards we used in Motorola; more recently, I've
hacked up mods to add support for a 102-key UK PC keyboard
masquerading as a Sun5/PC using a Black Box ServSwitch Ultra,
but I don't think that's quite as useful to the world at
large. And more recently still I've added a patch
for the Compaq Armada M700 keyboard.
- The DSP
- The DSP
web shall rise again, goddamit. The DSPs are a loose
collection of hackers and non-hackers in realms computing and
not. The original site had a little historic stuff, a few
anecdotes and a jargon file, plus three-line bios of most of
the folks involved (the initial bios were put together by
yours truly, which caused at least one fight when someone
didn't like what I'd written...) We've had a mailing list
running since 1994, and a few people have their own pages
now. Why? Because.
- genpage is a tool that the Mnemonic folk use to
manage their website. It's based on some code I wrote for the
Micromail site some
time ago, much of which ended up in some of the CGI scripts on
that site, and a random offshoot of which provided the
SiteWrapper feature in some random incarnation of TechCentral.
"the" genpage has diverged pretty dramatically from
what I originally gave the current maintainer, but he's still
managed to find stuff in there that I wrote and asked me to
fix it :)
- LessTIF is another really neat project -
a free replacement for Motif. I got involved
with this mainly because Mozilla needed it, and I
ran around the code looking for NULL pointers and such. Then I
settled on trying to implement Drag-and-Drop as per the Motif
"spec". It's very powerful, and extremely
horrific. I had a reasonable understanding of it, but lost
interest around the same time as I lost interest in
Mozilla. Something else I should get back to. Mind you, I get
the impression I'm not the first person to try making sense of
DnD before running away screaming.
- Samba is, approximately, "Windows Networking Comes To
Unix". It's gone far beyond the file and printer sharing
it used do, to the point where you can now plausibly replace
your PDC with a Linux box running Samba. I've contributed
various bits to Samba 3 over the past six months (May 2003)
including debugging RPC-related stuff.
...and sometimes I don't! (get credit. are you a goldfish or what?)
- Emacs on NT enabled me to survive having to use a Win32 box
for day-to-day work. I made a bunch of improvements
to ange-ftp to make it happier with win32, and managed to
find a bug in the "real" emacs as well. It's my
fault that you can now require .el and .elc files over an
ange-ftp link. Also, I added Resent-* headers to smtpmail.el,
and contributed some fiddliness to winnt.el
- OffiX seems to have slacked off some, but at the time seemed
like a good idea. I didn't like that the files window on the
filemanager kept jumping back to the top every time I did
something, so I patched that.
- I wrote a goodly chunk of the text that
appears on WebTeacher's
is Object-Oriented Programming?" section), but my
attribution seems to have gone astray.
Links without comment: 1
More of what I'm hacking on right now can be found in the diary. And I generally have a
few hacks and patches on the boil that haven't been contributed
to anyone, although lately I've tried to make a point of
submitting patches to the appropriate maintainers in the hope
that I'll not have to patch the next release. Sometimes, this is
Take it from the top.
"Were your opinions ever humble?"