Photos from St. Petersburg

03 October 2006 » In Photography, Travel » 1 Comment

Finally, I have finished processing and uploading the photos from my trip to St. Petersburg, back in May. Apologies to those who have been waiting for them.

php|works 2006

15 September 2006 » In PHP, Talks » 2 Comments

A quick note to let people know that the slides from my php|works 2006 talks — “I Love Unicode, You Love Unicode” and “PHP-GTK 2” — are available online now.

NetflixQueueShuffler is Updated

02 September 2006 » In Hacks, Movies » Comments Off on NetflixQueueShuffler is Updated

An eagle-eyed user Mike Ryan noticed that Netflix changed the structure of the Queue page and sent in a patch. Download the updated NetflixQueueShuffler.

Interview on DevZone

30 August 2006 » In PHP » 5 Comments

Cal Evans caught up with me at OSCON 2006 and talked to me about Unicode and other PHP stuff for 30 minutes. The resulting interview is now online at Zend’s DevZone. I do wish he’d have picked a different picture for the top one — that was one taken too late in the night.

Senior Perl Hacker Needed at Yahoo!

09 August 2006 » In Work » Comments Off on Senior Perl Hacker Needed at Yahoo!

The Developer Tools group at Yahoo! has an opening for a Senior Perl Hacker. Here is the job description:

Are you a motivated Perl hacker?
… a self starter needing little supervisions?
… interested in developer support tools?
Then the platform engineering team is looking for you!

Come join us and build the next generation of host configuration,
package management, and release engineering tools used by Yahoo!
developers worldwide. Ideal candidates should be able to develop
working relationships with members of the various engineering teams at

Basic Qualifications:
* Perl and Unix is required.

Preferred Qualifications:
* A BS/MS in Computer Science or equivalent and 4+ years experience
* Experience with SQL, PHP, Subversion, CVS,
* Perforce, and Makefiles a plus.

Note that this is an on-site full-time position. I used to be in Developer Tools myself and I can attest that they are great bunch of people to work with. If you feel you qualify and are interested in applying, send me your resume and I will forward it to the hiring manager.

My name is not really Andrei

31 July 2006 » In PHP » 8 Comments

Ryan Kennedy commented on the presentation I gave at OSCON; specifically, about the transliteration support in PHP 6. I wanted to follow up and explain exactly what it is and, unfortunately, what it is not.

Ryan was excited about the possibilities presented by transliteration, especially as it applies to representing foreign names in reader’s native script (think mail readers). This works really well for Japanese names:

echo str_transliterate("やまもと, のぼる", "Any", "Latin");

And the result is:

  yamamoto, noboru

This is sweet, right? We get an approximate spelling of the foreign name and one could even attempt to pronounce it. But does it work for all script pairs?

echo str_transliterate("Tom Cruise", "Latin", "Cyrillic");

What do we get for this paragon of fame?

  Том Цруисе

Hmm. If I had to reconstruct for you English speakers what that sounds like in Russian, it would be something close to TOM TSRU-EE-SEH. Probably not how he’d like to be known in Russia. What is the problem here?

Continue reading “My name is not really Andrei” &#8594

Back from OSCON 2006

29 July 2006 » In Books, PHP, Talks » 3 Comments

Just got back from OSCON which was again in Portland this year. The conference was excellent, as always and so were the events and extracurricular activities. The sheer variety of talks at OSCON is exciting and frustrating at the same time: exciting because I attended several talks that I would not get to hear at a more focused conference, and frustrating because of the time conflicts between these talks.

The slides from my own session on PHP 6 and Unicode are online now.

By the way, if you like books just a tiny little bit and happen to be in Portland, do yourself a favor: set aside a full day and visit the Powell’s. It the world’s largest independent used and new bookstore (covering, oh, a couple of city blocks) and has an amazing collection of books (including some very rare ones). You could literally lose your friends and family there and wonder among the stacks for hours whilst salivating giddily over the titles on whatever topic your mind can imagine. And don’t worry, there is always the coffee shop to come back to and get provisions to sustain yourself.

Photos from Moscow

22 July 2006 » In Photography, Travel » 2 Comments

The photos from the Moscow part of my trip to Russia are now up on the site. It’s taken longer than I expected to process them. This is partly because it was the first time I shot everything in RAW format in order to be able to adjust exposure and white balance easier. An unintended consequence of this decision was that I spent way more time on each photo than I usually do, tweaking things to be just perfect, and doing this for a good portion of 600 photos just takes a while, even with the help of a WhiBal. I’ll have to figure a more streamlined approach to processing.

The photos from St. Petersburg will be coming up a bit later.

PHP-GTK 2 Zeta (Yes, Zeta)

15 July 2006 » In PHP » 4 Comments

PHP-GTK 2 Zeta release, the first one of the new architecture, is finally out. No, zeta it’s not a typo. What’s a zeta? Well, it’s a letter of the Greek alphabet. Why zeta? Because, a) we’ve gone through several “iterations” of this release without actually releasing anything, but more importantly, b) alpha and beta get all the glory in the software world, leaving the other Greek letters longing for a spot in the sunshine. So, zeta it is.

While preparing this release I looked at the very end of the NEWS file and realized that I have been working on this project for over 5 years now. That is a sobering thought, which reminds me that I need to go and set up my place for the party tonight in preparation of imbibing copious amounts of mood-altering substances better knows as beers. Cheers.

Hot and .. Not So

15 July 2006 » In Funny, Tech » 4 Comments

Thought I’d throw a couple of fun links your way. First one is a project that almost won $5,000 prize at the last Mashup Camp. It presents, shall we say, an innovative approach to user validation combining so-called business with so-called pleasure. HotCaptcha gets thumbs-up from me any day of the week.

The other is a supremely strong candidate for the title of the Worst Music Video Ever. It is an inspired effort that immediately induces cringing expression on your face and fails to release you from its grip until (in my case) 3 hours later. Have fun.

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