glide along

April 20, 2008


Filed under: Computer Stuff,ICES — ricardo @ 3:33 pm


April 7, 2008


Filed under: Computer Stuff,ICES — ricardo @ 11:23 pm

For reasons to be revealed in due time, I dusted ICES and decided to bring it back to active.

I don’t really know why, but I am feeling a little bit more theoretical about it, in the sense that I am willing to explore the nuances of the proposed models a little further than back in late 2006 (I left the project on suspended animation since Dec, 2006). Not that the models were not exhaustively thought about back then, but rethinking is like refactoring: both fun AND useful.

I am thinking of writing about such models, going through my own initial ideas to, firstly, create (even if quite slowly) a complete documentation of the details involved in the project and, secondly, just give all these ideas more rethinking… great insights expected.

It will not be an organized process and I will simply write about whatever I want and hopefully a sense of completeness and usefulness, expected in any good documentation project, will emerge!! … rings a bell?

Major rules:

  1. All documentation must be online; allways
  2. Each document must be independent and self sustained reading material; it should not depend on other articles
  3. I will try my best to make articles interesting even for those unfamiliar with the ICES framework; the OO nature of ICES should make it possible

June 23, 2007

Google Reader Shared Items

Filed under: Computer Stuff,Internet,Meta,Programs — ricardo @ 12:02 pm

For a while now, I’ve been using the shared items feature on Google Reader.

The idea is pretty fucking good, but unfortunately, it seems to be only half way done. Once you start sharing the posts from your google reader list, they will be added to a web page and made available through a feed (the webpage created for my account is an example as good as any other…).

I would like to add a quick list to my sidebar (here at glide along) that is automatically updated as I share something on Google Reader, but I couldn’t get that to work for two reasons:

Firstly, the created feed is invalid (not compliant with the feed specifications).

Secondly, the Word Press sidebar widget supposed to do this does not support Atom feeds, only RSS. The “RSS vs. Atom” discussion has been going on for a while, however, I never found it slightly interesting and, thus, never took the time to read anything on the subject. This means I really do not know (and don’t care) what are the pros and cons of using one feed format or the other, all I know is that all major feed-related software today supports both. So should both Google Reader and the WP widget.

More than not being able to add my shared items to the sidebar, as a friend of mine pointed out, it is impossible to use Google Reader to subscribe to a Google Reader Shared Items feed… Not only the feed is broken, it is is broken in such a way that not even Google Reader itself can… err… read it………… Amazing, isn’t it? The fix I found for this specific problem is to burn the feed through FeedBurner, so if you wish to subscribe to my shared items feed, please refer to this link.

By the way, I couldn’t find anything about this on the company’s website

June 17, 2007

m3uMaker 1.5

Filed under: Computer Stuff,Music,Programs — ricardo @ 12:58 pm

m3uMaker 1.5 is finally available (see the project’s page for downloads and more information).

m3uMaker is a bash script that allows command line creation of m3u playlists for files within a certain folder. It is very flexible and can create playlists of files with any given set of terminations and immediately enqueue it (and play it, if you want) on any scriptable audio player.

An auxiliary configuration file for Konqueror is provided so playlists can be created/enqueued/played while browsing.

Until today, the only supported player was XMMS, but version 1.5 allows user specified enqueue/play commands to be used. Native support for Amarok has been added (’cause this is currently my player of choice).

Needless to say: m3uMaker is free… enjoy

[edit: a bug related to dereferencing symbolic links has been crushed, so the available version is 1.5.1]

June 10, 2007

Fred the web

Filed under: Computer Stuff — ricardo @ 12:30 pm

I am making available a small program (a script, actually) I’ve been working on for the past few days.

It goes by the name Fred and is a light, easy to use and straightforward rss generator meant for websites updated often but where the installation of heavy content managment tools would be overshooting.

I have two personal use-cases already, and will get them running a.s.a.p.: a feed with general information and news on my band (next shows, etc..) and a feed for updates our projects at

There’s still a long road ahead, but I beleive I finally got to a USABLE version and that, my friend, is what I call a development milestone.

It should work on most of the regular unix-like systems (Linux, MacOSX, etc..) but then again, it might just not. The source code and some more information are available at

March 27, 2007 – new look-and-feel

Filed under: Arts,Computer Stuff,Thoughts — ricardo @ 8:34 pm

It is very hard to explain to someone who knows nothing about software development how much of an artist you have to be to create good programs. People tend to believe that programming it is purely technical and that creativity, aesthetic, individual talent and inspiration are not nearly as important as the syntax needed to produce the running code.

Well, I believe it is actually quite the opposite. Art-ware.

Note: I am NOT just talking about creating pretty websites and neat interfaces, but also about the running code… yes, the code that users don’t even see.

Because of the indefinable nature of “art”, it is usually easy to just say that something “is art” or “is not art” based on prejudice, lack of information or plain ignorance. I know absolutely nothing about painting, for instance, but I do speculate about the artistic value of pictures I see. Nonetheless, I accept that there is a lot art made from painting.

Software languages, as much as paint, clay and stone are not art by themselves, they are the means through which the artist expresses himself. The thing with software is that it is also meant to do something, to work in a certain way, and that gives the wrong impression on how it is created. A code artist would keep in mind that the software should transcend its technical requirements, breaching into a world of imagination, migrating from a state of computer science towards the much less sufocating condition of computer art.

Software can be much more than a technique, and art might have other concerns besides “being artistic”. Music and movies can be entertaining and still be art, architecture can be functional and still be art, programs can be efficient and still be art.

All that being said, I’d like to tell you a little bit about our new look-and-feel at We wanted to create a browsable interface that would give the website an interesting look and also make it practical, self-adapting to new content and CPU-friendly.

Our site is running on Apache and is presented using HTML and CSS. The frameworks provided by both these technologies are rare art in a world of dirty, unreliable, hard-code and thanks to them we (Bob and I) could create exactly what we wanted.

It is a little self-promoting to say so, but I think it really kicks ass! Check it out.

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