Weeknote 2024-08

Configure; Make; Make install

  • The Armed popped up on my Discover Weekly this week with this banger of a song. Not surprised to see it’s on Sargent House. Their band roster very strongly overlaps with my taste in music.

  • Spent the first part of the week writing a lecture I’m giving to some undergraduates CS students in Sheffield next week. Partly an origin story of Ruby/Rails and how they’ve evolved; partly about what it’s like to have a 17 year (and counting) career in Ruby, and partly about what cool things are happening in the Ruby interpreter land.

    It’s the first time I’ve given a lecture, for like an hour, and the process of writing one is very different to a 20 minute conference talk.

    If someone had told me when I was an undergrad, that one day I’d be standing up there talking about my career in language development I’d have probably laughed them out of the building. But here we are.

  • I took some of the kids library books back to my local library earlier this week, and while I was doing that I noticed they had a book sale! I love a library book sale - sadly the selection was a bit slim in this one, but I did grab Dan Jones’ book “The Hollow Crown” a history book about the Wars of the Roses and the rise of the Tudors - a period of English history I love learning about almost as much as the Middle ages and the rise & fall of the Ango-Saxons!

  • New project has got off to a steaming start. I’ve been mostly writing technical documentation and getting all the planning shenanigans off the ground. But also pairing with Aaron and Eileen to get some integrations with the Ruby build system kicked off. The main lesson this week is that Ruby’s build system is very complex and I really really don’t like Autotools based build systems very much.

    I hadn’t given them that much thought before - I generally just had to configure; make; make install, with the occasional quick fix, or patch here and there when adding or moving header files around.

    But now that I’m actually delving into integrating a completely new DSO into a very old and already complex build system I’m not enjoying myself that much.

    I’d like to write about Ruby’s build system in more detail some time, but I haven’t got time right now so that one’s going to join the long list.

  • Nothing much else to report.