Strangely Consistent

Theory, practice, and languages, braided together

November 23, 2008 — the rite to write

364 years ago today, English poet John Milton published a prose tract, defending free speech and arguing against censorship. Wikipedia describes: "[...] Milton had no intention of delivering his speech orally. Instead it was distributed via pamphlet, defying the same publication censorship he argued against."

Milton, though a supporter of the Parliament, argued forcefully against the Licensing Order of 1643 [which introduced prepublication cencorship], noting that such censorship had never been a part of classical Greek and Roman society. The tract is full of biblical and classical references which Milton uses to strengthen his argument. The issue was personal for Milton as he had suffered censorship himself in his efforts to publish several tracts defending divorce (a radical stance at the time and one which met with no favor from the censors).

Areopagitica is among history's most influential and impassioned philosophical defences of the principle of a right to free speech.

Yesterday and today I looked at ihrd++'s work on the dispatch branch, and was amazed. I knew he had been doing something, but when I started looking around I found lots of new tests and classes, so I essentially had to sit down for an hour and study what the new code did. That doesn't happen often with projects I start. In fact, this might be the first time. It felt refreshing.

Of course, one programmer doing a code review of another finds a thousand and one things to comment on, so ihrd got a long email today. ☺ But the overall feeling is that of awe over how classes, grammars and other Perl 6 features are coming together to form useful code nowadays. Working with Rakudo today is very different from five months ago. In a good way.

Other than that, many small things in the last few days: Tene++ and I are discussing teaming up to do the new module in the coming months. jhorwitz++ wants to get November working with mod_perl6. The discussion on positional placeholder parameters from the other day resulted in a few fudged tests in the Perl 6 test suite. Even Gmail has themes now, but I still have trouble finding schedule holes large enough to fit skin artistry into. It's snowing in Uppsala. #58392 is fixed on the lex4 branch of Parrot, but the lex4 branch still isn't ready for prime time. I've refrained from bugging pmichaud++ today about exactly when it will be ready. (That is less a function of admirable self-restraint than of the fact that I haven't run into pmichaud today.)

The two things that seem most fruitful to work on right now, as soon as I get a tuit slot, are (a) the mediawiki-markup branch and (b) skins. Beyond that, there's always janitor-work to be done, and I'd like to take a look at what's blocking the asterisk branch.

But first, a bit of studying and a bit of sleep.