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My day was full

Started with breakfast at Original Pancake House with a friend at 8:30 AM (in the morning!), then met with an open source partner for a couple of hours, then played Abstract Interpretation for a couple of hours with students...

My plan after than was to go home for a while, but Jamey and I got involved in hacking at Xlib and XCB. We discovered that Xlib has been handling request sequence numbers horribly for years, and that XCB can do it really nicely. We even think we discovered how to make them play well together.

In the process, we specified and designed some code, and then proved it correct. Hoare Invariants are fun. It's funny how even 15 lines can be a couple of hours work, done this way. It's also funny how many subtle mistakes can be uncovered through the process.

Then it was off to the Art Institute. There apparently was some kind of Art Event in Portland's Pearl District this evening, but I was just there to see my friend Ethan Ham's new sculpturey-thingy. I rode the streetcar; it was incredibly convenient, for once.

Ethan is playing games with water-soluble foam and water sprayers. His big exhibit, with Tony Muilenberg from the PSU Robotics Club, is a setup that rotates a giant block of foam and aims and activates sprayers in response to email sent to the installation. There was also another large foam block folks at the exhibit could spray manually; this with the help of Ethan's friend whose name I can't remember because I am awful with names. She and I talked about mosaic sculpture, and I had a nice idea for this. I'll see if I can work it out.

Eventually, I headed back. On the way, I wandered into Powell's Books, since I was right there. I stood there for a few minutes, then wandered out again. I just don't care about Powell's any more. It's still got a bazillion books, and I still like to read. But it's almost all new books these days, and the few used books they have are priced outrageously. The new books themselves are substantially more than online or even local chain booksellers charge, oddly. Besides, my reading time is short these days; I'm still wading through a book of just a few hundred pages after a couple of weeks of trying. My life is kind of busy now.

So that was depressing. I'm off to Recent Changes Camp tomorrow; we'll see how that goes. I'm definitely apprehensive.


People sending emails to robotic sprayers or manually spraying large blocks of foam is definitely picture worthy! This blog needs pictures...

Ethan's web site uses some version of Shockwave that I don't have yet, so I can't see the pics, but he may have some at Here's a Google search that brings a lot of references to the project up.

I should indeed include more pictures.

This comment box is one character wide. It's pretty funny actually. I don't think you can blame my browser for this one. The preview version of my comment is showing the raw HTML even though my comment is supposed to be "plain old text".

Sorry about the lack of a link to Recent Changes Camp: fixed.

Don't know about your comment box problems; haven't seen them before. Wonder if others have? Sorry to hear of them, in any case. Help tracking them down would be appreciated.

Oops. Was able to reproduce the "Plain Old Text Doesn't Work" problem. My fault: I dorked the configuration of this mode. Fixed.