Conference Update

13 August 2007 » In Talks » 4 Comments

It looks like the rest of the year will be pretty busy with conferences. First up is php|works in Atlanta, coming up in September, where I will be giving the opening keynote as well as the popular VIM for (PHP) Programmers talk. The week after that, I was invited to present at the TYPO3 conference in Karlsruhe Germany. In October, I will give the Internationalization with PHP 6 talk at ZendCon, which, thankfully, is only about 15 miles away, and finally, at the end of November, I’ll present the same talk to the audience at the AFUP Forum in Paris. Somehow, I think I’ll be ready for a vacation in December..

Vu layout problem fixed

12 August 2007 » In Photography » 2 Comments

I tested Vu photoblog under IE 5+ on Windows today and noticed that it had a layout problem with the content area being really wide. Somehow it didn’t like absolutely positioned full-width and height element. My CSS-mojo wasn’t up to dealing with it today, so I cheated. Hey, don’t tell me you never cheated on CSS layout. Anyway, photoblog is back to normal.

Vu Launch

09 August 2007 » In Photography » 5 Comments

I’ve been kicking around the idea for a daily photoblog site, in the spirit of Sam Javarouh’s [daily dose of imagery] and Shahin Edalati’s foto, since.. well, since I started following those photoblogs. I figured that I had enough photos accumulated to post one each day in addition to shooting new ones.

Back in November of last year, I started doing Project 365, where each day I take a few photos and then post one to my Flickr set. It’s an interesting exercise, but can be demoralizing when you realize that it’s almost night time and you haven’t taken a single shot yet. The goals of this photoblog, however, are different: I simply want to post a daily quality photo, independent of when it was taken, and make the presentation somewhat better than what Flickr allows.

Getting the actual site built has taken a while, but it’s finally here: Vu. I called it that for a couple of reasons: it sounds like view and vu in French means seen. All the photos are hosted on Flickr, so you can always click through to the image page via the “on flickr” link. The design might evolve slightly, and I’ll add a couple of cool extra features, but I’m very happy that it’s up and running and that I can share some of my favorite photos.

I hope you enjoy it.

This is not the pr0n you’re looking for

08 August 2007 » In Other » Comments Off on This is not the pr0n you’re looking for

Sometime in the past couple of weeks, there apparently has been an attack on my domain, most likely via DNS cache poisoning. The end result was that a large number of visitors to the site saw some infelicitous pr0n content, instead of the usual blog. Rest assured, it was not an attempt on my part to make some extra cash by displaying someone else’s fleshy bits to drooling eager masses. No, there are easier ways of getting beer money. I am not sure whether this was a deliberate attack or whether my domain was simply unfortunate enough to get on someone’s list, but I sincerely apologize to those of you who were exposed — pun intended — to that content.

I have taken steps to fix the DNS issues and make sure that this kind of thing would be very hard to repeat. Unfortunately, during this time the search engines, such as Yahoo! and Google, have indexed the pr0n content under as though belonging to my domain and it might take a few days for it to clear out. Meanwhile, I hope you will return and check out some cool new things that should be coming shortly.

OSCON 2007 Slides

26 July 2007 » In Talks » 1 Comment

The slides from my VIM for (PHP) Programmers talk that I gave at OSCON 2007 are now up in the Talks section.

Presumption of uncluefulness

19 July 2007 » In PHP, Rants » 6 Comments

PHP internals mailing list has been filled with massive threads lately, mostly concerning PHP 6. Nothing too surprising in the amount, topics, or quality of polemic there, but I just love it when someone pipes in with a post like this:

I don’t really know much about topic X, and to be honest, I don’t really
know much about the internal workings of php. I’m going to suggest an implementation suggestion… Keep in mind I havent
hacked around with php source, so my variable naming etc will be wrong…
and its all psuedocode, so its not

[a page of C++ snipped]

I think this would provide a very fast implementation of what is trying to
be done.

Im just making a suggestion, and feel free to ignore/criticise me if im
wrong. I don’t know anything about phps internals… Just an idea

That’s just awesome. We totally haven’t considered that before, but your brilliant, yet humble and self-deprecating idea has shined new light onto the issue. Don’t worry about PHP internals, it’s just some hackish code we had lying around.

I just have to wonder why someone would post this without bothering to research the issue at hand for at least 15 minutes. It’d be like me going to the space shuttle designers and saying, “Hey, I know I don’t have a degree in rocket engineering and it’s just an idea, but that problem with the insulation foam you’re having.. have you thought about putting some duct tape on it?”

Every message like this leads me to change my default presumptions about the cluefulness of the new posters to the list, and unfortunately, not in a better direction.


18 July 2007 » In Other » 2 Comments

Accidentally looked at the title bar of after hitting Send today and noticed that I’ve sent 7777 messages since January 1, 2004. Lucky sevens!


12 July 2007 » In PHP » 16 Comments

Ladies and gentlemen, we have namespaces.

Day 1: In LAX

29 May 2007 » In Travel » 2 Comments

Having forgotten to check my baggage all the way through to Rarotonga, I had to pick it up in AA terminal and go over to Air New Zealand one. While standing in the check-in line, I realized with absolute and frightening clarity that there was another small, yet vitally essential thing I forgot at home. My green card. For those of you lucky enough not to need one, I’m required to have it with me at all times, especially when entering back into USA. The green card was tucked into the back pocket of my Uzbek passport cover, and I completely forgot about it, since I took my Russian passport on the trip.

I could just imagine the kind of hassle I’d have to go through at the immigration checkpoint; that is, if they let me into the country at all. My mind was in overdrive, as I walked through the security in haze and went up to the Air New Zealand lounge (that Premier Exec status sure comes in handy, thanks to all the conferences). The lounge had phones (remember, no cell phone with me), and computers (with Firefox on them!). While talking on the phone to my Mom, I hit upon a possible solution.

Observation of the day: Web Messenger is the coolest thing since the ice hotel in Sweden.

I fired it up, saw that my friend Brien was online, and asked him a favor: go to my apartment, enter the code into the lockbox to get the key, come in, find the green card, and fax a copy of it to me in Cook Islands. This was a tall order, but Brien didn’t even think twice. Hopefully by tomorrow I’ll have some sort of proof that I’m not faking being a permanent resident. Not sure if it’ll be enough to reduce that hassle, but it’s better than nothing.

With that completed, I could finally go and enjoy the lounge, get some food (the crab salad at the buffet was fantastic), and some New Zealand wine (best one was Ngatarawa Glazebrook Merlot Cabernet). I have to say that this lounge is way ahead of the ones I’ve been to in SFO, HKG, or FRA. Kudos to Air New Zealand.

Day 1: Over LAX

29 May 2007 » In Travel » 1 Comment

What a sprawling, flat, monotonous, all-consuming monstrosity of a city this is. It lies below our wings, stretching as far as the eye can see, which is to say, not far at all, because… Oh man, the smog, the ever present smog, blanketing the city in its suffocating embrace. It’s next to impossible to imagine what things would look like without it.

The city seems organic; the veins of its highways pulsing with steady (it’s a Sunday) flow of cars. And yet it is mechanical, in the way its semi-regular grids of housing units resemble nothing so much as the intertwined components of a circuit board. Or maybe this is what a nanotech colony looks like under a microscope, steadily advancing on its surroundings, manufacturing more of itself with every minute, and belching up the byproducts of its creation.

The Star Wars character this city most reminds me of: Jabba the Hut.

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