Looking Back, Looking Forward

Tagged as LISP, Personal
Written on 2011-01-03 01:02:26

A 2010 Overview


So it's apparently 2011 now. That happened fast.

As I wrote on reddit, I think my year went very well where Lisp is concerned. Aside from Lisp, I can happily say that I'll be receiving my degree in May after completing 3 more courses: CS Capstone, an independent study on Functional Programming with Haskell and Chemistry I. I have 2 potential part time gigs for Spring and enough prospects in general that I'm not afraid of being unable to find a job when I graduate which is nice. I also have enough code projects and ideas to bury myself. I'm pretty happy ultimately with how 2010 turned out. I made some more progress in my development as a programmer and have almost wrapped up my time as an Undergraduate. Finally! It was tough breaking up with my girlfriend of 2+ years, Teresa, back in May but I still feel good about it in the sense that it was the right thing to do. Most of all, I stayed true to myself and I had fun.

Upcoming Code Stuff


Now for a brief update on Paktahn, Weblocks, Clockwork and the CL Web Primer series...
First of all, the CL Web Primer series is not over. I haven't given up I've just been busy with other projects and some end of year decompression. There's actually going to wind up being one more post about Clockwork itself once I implement the last feature (and maybe do some CSS styling to make it look less like ass). By that point, the Postmodern backend which has been merged into Weblocks should be production ready. The main issue now is that you have to manage the DB connections for each request thread manually which is a real pain. I'm working on fixing it at the moment by extending the Store API and hooking into handle-client-request. Hopefully that will be done tomorrow or at least by the end of this week and get merged shortly after.

Once the Postmodern backend is going and the last clockwork post is made I have ideas for several projects to make use of the Postmodern store. One is a RESTful blog with Wordpress import and crossposting support for Livejournal. Another is a Magic the Gathering card/deck database similar to Deckbox. There are a few other ideas but I'll likely do one of these two and continue the CL Web Primer series with it.

Ah, Paktahn. I would be a little frustrated with us if I were a user. It's been a while since I've had time to hack on bugs or new features and there are 4 or 5 important bugs I'd like to squash so we can get a release out before school starts back up. It'd be particularly nice to get some fresh blood on the project. I can instruct or help reasonably well I just think Leslie and I are pretty preoccupied with other projects. It's a question of time mostly, so if there are any Archlinux using Lispers that have any interest *please* feel free to contact me on twitter, facebook, gmail, fork it on github, leave a comment, etc.

Holiday Hacking


Personal hacks...
Over the holidays, I did a good bit of hacking on emacs and dotfiles. I also switched from using Chromium to using Conkeror as my browser and from Pidgin to Erc+Jabber.el (emacs modes) as my chat clients to force me into the Emacs mindset a little bit more. For a long time, I've had emacs and stumpwm installed but not really treated them as extensible lisp software that I should be playing with. I also improved my server config and its corresponding build process a bit. You're probably asking why do this. There are a lot of reasons why. All I'll say about it for now is that Archlinux+SBCL+Emacs+Stumpwm+Conkeror is about as close as you can get to a modern day lisp machine and it is a lot of fun.

Other than that, I threw together a version of tic-tac-toe that should never lose as part of a job application. I'd never written any Search algorithms before and knew nothing of Minimax so that was a fun learning experience. As usual, the code is on github. One other thing I've toyed with is a backup script which is made easier by the fact that I recently started using SSH agent. Between that and another Common Lisp script I use called randomfile, I ought to throw those up in my dotfiles in a scripts directory and then make a blog post about CL *nix Scripting or something. Who knows, by 2012 maybe I'll have gotten around to it. ;)
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Unless otherwise credited all material Creative Commons License by Brit Butler