I liked’s irccat as an easy way to post events (task completion and errors) to an IRC channel. I was less crazy about the recommendation to use ant to execute it. When I moved it to a OpenVZ VPS that used venet, it stopped working reliably. I’ve actually had trouble with quite of few Java services on that sort of VPS. So, I wrote my own in python, and it can be found on github and PyPI.

An added benefit is that much less memory is now used as well.

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Google Calendar drops CalDAV

In January, Google said:

“With the launch of CardDAV, it’s now possible to build a seamless sync experience using open protocols (IMAP, CalDAV and CardDAV) for Gmail, Google Calendar and Contacts. We’ll start rolling out this change as planned across all platforms.” (citation)

Yesterday, Google said they would be moving CalDAV support to whitelisted only on September 16, 2013, and that new developers should use their propriatary API (citation).

Removing an entire service, like Google Reader is fair enough, but open standards access, like CalDAV, from products that are used by default with most new phone and tablets sold is low.

Removing Google Reader made me glad I never switched to it. Removing CalDAV support makes me want to renew my efforts not to use Google services beyond search.

Does anyone know if aCal is still read only?

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Thankfully, I never switched to Google Reader

I’ve long had a suspicion that I should just switch to Google Reader instead of continuing to develop my own feed2 reader software (found on github).

Today’s news that Google Reader is being shut down makes me feel rather vindicated. I may even decide to push forward and make an Android client now like I’ve been thinking of doing.

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The upgrade from LibreOffice 3.6 to 4.0 on Windows wants you to reboot the computer. I expected better of free software.

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It is night time.  David is in bed.  Deb is sitting next to him reading a book titled “Hey! Wake Up!

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Java without the Crap

I got sick of Java updates on Windows trying to trick me into installing McAfee or the Ask toolbar, so I went searching for a solution.  I found a different build of Java from Oracle that solves the issue.

Go to this page:

Click on the top Download button in the JRE column.

Accept the License Agreement, then choice to download Windows x86 Offline.

This can then be installed and it will not try to get you to install crapware. It can even be installed from the command line without requiring any further user interaction (see:

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I want to see a 100% open source android distro. The first pass could be AOSP or CyanogenMod without the closed source GApps. F-Droid would be pre-installed, along with a selection of basic apps like K9 Mail and aCal.

I found this post: talking about the same thing, but I don’t see anyone who is actually doing it.

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I just upgraded from PostgreSQL 8.3 to 9.2.  In doing so, I also went from a Sun optimized build (since I installed their supplied version before) to a self built version where I didn’t fiddle with optimization at all (the documentation suggests -O5, but I let it go with the default of -O3).  Despite the lazy build, it seems a lot faster in terms of the queries some of my python code executes.

Posted on by jdboyd | Comments Off on Postgres Upgrade

The Javacript Compiler I Want

There are a number of compilers that in something and output Javascript. A few of the more well known ones seem to be CoffeeScript, Dart, and emscripten.

What I really want though is a Javascript to Javascript compiler that will run in Javascript. Here is the practical application. Top in mind is that I want to write code for ECMAScript 5 or even use Harmony features, and have it compile to output that will run on IE7 (which only supports ECMAScript 3). A few features that come to mind are generators (the yield keyword), array comprehensions, getters and setters, and block scoping. A lot of this stuff has been around since Firefox 2! I think that getters/setters have been around even longer.

Once we have an AST, I can picture how to implement some features (getters/settings, maybe block scoping).

Two pieces that I think could be useful, if someone were to implement this are esprima and escodegen . When looking at esprima, be sure to check out the harmony branch.

Another related project is Narcissus ( Narcissus is a meta-cirular evaluator rather than a compiler, which I take to mean that there will be a performance hit likely to make it unacceptable for use with IE 7 & 8. However, performance on IE isn’t relevant anyway since this implementation relies on features only found in recent SpiderMonkey engines (and thus also won’t run in Chrome be default).

While on the topic, I should probably mention re-using some of the shims and polyfills out there (such as harmony-collections), as well as Traceur. Traceur is ECMAScript 6 input and ECMAScript 5 output.

One question I have is should the compiled output include polyfills, which can effect other libraries you use and would be unsafe in facebook apps, or should it all hide behind a function like Facebook’s ES5 library.  As you can see in Facebook’s blog post, the ES5 wrapped code is less pleasant to read and they mention a performance hit.  I suppose for extra work, such a compiler could support both.

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Nexus 7

Two years after my last attempt at getting an Android tablet (the Eken M001, see here and here), I got a new tablet, the Nexus 7.

In short, the Nexus 7 is everything I wanted then. Of course expectations have risen over the last two years, but the Nexus 7 generally rose the occasion there as well.  I think this sets the bar for all other Android tablets.  Many tablets will fail to meet it.

Broadly speaking, I’m not sure there is any other 7″ tablet as good.

So, if a tablet wanted to beat the Nexus 7, what could it do?  They could include a rear facing camera and a microSD slot.  For some people, a 10″ tablet would be an improvement.  I find that larger tablets lack portability.  7″ fits great in cargo shorts, and for me it also fits in the front and back pockets of most of my pairs of jeans (but I can’t sit with it in either pocket).

By the way, the Blurex Ultra-Slim Case for Google Nexus 7 inch Tablet  is a nice case for the Nexus 7.

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