Strangely Consistent

Theory, practice, and languages, braided together

Best. November. EVER.

"Focusing on quantity rather than quality, that's what you Perl people tend to do, right?" — one of my colleagues

During November, I blogged 33 times while everybody else combined on Planet Perl 6 blogged 7 times, making me 82.5% ubiquitous on that blog aggregator. After that exhausting sprint, I released Yapsi and then took a well-needed week-long vacation. Now I'm back to blogging. Hi.

It's time to look back at the month and see how it went. This is the third and final year I make a whole month of November. 2009 and 2008 also have summaries like this one.

Every day, I trawled Wikipedia for something interesting that happened on that day in history. This year, these were the topics that fell out of those investigations:

  1. US-backed coups against foreign leaders
  2. Philippine governors
  3. Fiat currency reform in Nationalist China
  4. Overflowing Italian rivers
  5. Ancient Indian battles
  6. UN resolutions against South Africa apartheid
  7. Collapsing bridges
  8. Nazi exhibitions about Jews
  9. The end of the Japanese shogunate
  10. Spanish kings telling Venezuelan presidents to shut up
  11. The Royal navy and Somalian pirates
  12. Military strikes against emus in Australia
  13. Steamships catching fire
  14. Going around the world in 72 days
  15. Empress Dowager Cixi
  16. Estonia's first steps towards independence
  17. Peaceful protests in Prague
  18. Khrushchev telling the West it'll be buried
  19. Mutual annihilation in a WWII sea battle
  20. Whaleships being attacked by a whale
  21. First hot air balloon untethered flight
  22. Roosevelt, Churchill and Chiang Kai-shek meeting up
  23. Invention of theater
  24. Cowardly terrorists
  25. Macbeth
  26. Bombing of a Woolworths store in London
  27. Christian Crusades
  28. Piano concerto premieres
  29. Partitioning of Palestine
  30. Exiled leaders of colonial states

I think I managed to strike a pretty good balance between Western and non-Western this time. I also think this year has a lot more about war, battles, and conflicts than previous years. I don't think there's a deeper reason for that. Except perhaps that the historical things on Wikipedia tend to be about war, battles, and conflicts. Maybe even news in general tends to be about that, come to think of it.

Here's what I worked on during the month:

  1. [Yapsi/Tardis]
  2. [pls] de-bitrotting
  3. [psyde] optimization
  4. distracted by Vienna
  5. [psyde] esthetics
  6. [psyde] optimization
  7. [Rakudo] .trans
  8. [Druid] porting to new Rakudo
  9. [Druid/Rakudo] nibbling
  10. [Yapsi] discussing
  11. [Yapsi] planning
  12. [pls] test-assisted hacking
  13. [Shrdlu] porting to new Rakudo
  14. [Yapsi] closures
  15. [November] porting to new Rakudo
  16. [November] Perl 6 spec discussion
  17. [November] .trans trouble
  18. [Rakudo] release
  19. [Rakudo] .trans patch discussion
  20. [November] .trans trouble
  21. [November] interpolation trouble
  22. [November] porting to new Rakudo
  23. [November] cache confusion
  24. [November] cache confusion
  25. [November] .trans trouble
  26. [] research
  27. distracted; reinstalled ghostscript
  28. [] Hitomi tests
  29. [] Routes, Astaire, Squerl
  30. [Rakudo] comparing November on alpha vs ng

I see I had fewer days of "distracted" than I thought I did. Huh, I see I was surprised about that last year as well. Must be some psychological bias involved.

It's fun to track my acclimatization into the Perl 6 community through the three Novembers of 2008, 2009, and 2010. The first year I was able to focus quite exclusively on November-the-wiki-engine, as that was my only project. The second year that wasn't an option, due to the explosive proliferation of projects I had amassed. This year, I still have a lot of projects going, but thankfully the number has stopped increasing as rapidly as it did in 2009. There's still a lot to hack on — let's just say I'm never bored and wondering what to do next — but the projects are sort of settling and growing a bit more mature and easier to handle. I like that.

I'm still not so comfortable with Rakudo that I can jump into any part of it and hack around, but at least I'm no stranger to the setting nowadays. I still want to learn more about how the rest of Rakudo works, but there's a clear upward trend through all the three November months of the amount of work I put into Rakudo itself. At this point, I've even touched the C parts and survived!

Here's a lineup of the things I set out to do:

As usual, it's a mix of unfulfilled wishes and some work that I actually did get done. Actually, I did more work on November itself than I thought I would, which makes me happy.

Things I worked on but didn't plan to work on:


So now, I guess, it's back to normal. I'll try to get back to the things I didn't do this November. In either case, I won't bombard you with quite as many blog posts.