December 20th, 2008

Apollo 4 on column of fire

Screening off

I’m trying again with screening turned off for anonymous commenters. We’ll see how it goes. If I have to I’ll add captcha, but wouldn’t that be discriminatory agaist the visually impaired? Spam isn’t my major concern, anyway (although I’ve gotten some); what I really want to be cautious about is trolling, but without ending up like TalkLeft, where their commenting and screening rules and procedures seem purposely designed to throw a person into a rage. (It’s too bad that’s where TChris posts, because TChris is good.)
Apollo 4 on column of fire

Bug reports

I have been encouraged to make a bug report on fontconfig, but I am so reluctant, because I think it’s so screwed up and don’t want to get involved in a typing contest. I use a hacked version and just want to forget about it. Also the applications using fontconfig sometimes use it in a bad way, so I really would have to go nuts. Neither the aggravation nor the physical labor of typing suits me; I just wish someone not disabled would look for themselves, see the problem, and get it fixed. It’s not that hard. But it doesn’t happen, and then I feel guilty because free software stays flawed.

It’s similar now with HarfBuzz, which I thought to use for OpenType feature support in my hacked version of the Ant typesetting program, the original OpenType support being broken. It turned out that HarfBuzz also was doing things incorrectly, and so I looked to see what was going on and discovered a comment in the code that talked about the order of application of /features. But there is no such thing in OpenType handling; features have no order, but lookups do. I think what’s going on is that people are still learning how to program for OpenType—the specs are difficult to read—and I don’t want to get involved in the process, because I can take only so much. I went back to incorporating my own (incomplete, but more correct) OpenType-handling into Ant, and that’s about as much typing as I can take—especially if I am also going to write a short novel like this posting.

(Indeed, the main reason I’m using Ant at all is that Kompostilo, building a system from scratch, was more work than I could take, and LuaTeX is too much outside my control—too much of a moving target, and too likely to make any work I do obsolete. With Ant OTOH I could simply fork off my own version, which I am doing.)
The Bojo Spin

More head spinning thanks to the Republicans


In an internal RNC memo obtained by TPM Election Central, chairman Mike Duncan acknowledges that the GOP has lost its reputation as a "party of ideas" and warns against "falling back on ideology alone."

(And these are the people who want to put the public schools out of business.)
Apollo 4 on column of fire

Code hosting

1. At least if others are going to use it, I’m going to need a name for my variant of Ant.

2. If I host it on-line, I need a place to host it, but which will not attract too much attention, because I cannot get caught up handling feature requests and bug reports. I would want it on-line, if only to have a place to preserve the code, but also for sharing. SourceForge attracts too much attention and is generally annoying. There was some reason BerliOS (where the original Ant is hosted) bothered me. I haven’t taken a close look yet, but next on my list might be Google Code.

There’s always, of course, posting a tarball (at The Crud Factory or elsewhere), but, for example, that doesn’t preserve a project’s history.