Thursday, October 18, 2007

Planet Ben Collins-Sussman

I'm surprised I haven't seen anyone link to these great recent blog posts by Ben Collins-Sussman of Subversion fame.

This discussion on why DVCS is currently too much to ask for 80% of programmers (not necessarily 80% of free software developers) was a great read, especially with the comments. I once moved a 30-person project from Visual SourceSafe to Subversion, and I had to face a political battle with process folks in addition to resistance from some 80%ers. Most 80%ers just didn't care, because all they ever needed/wanted to know was "svn up" and "svn commit" (in TortoiseSVN, of course).

And here's a really informative post on consuming meat responsibly, sustainably, and ethically. You don't have to read it if you're allergic to non-technical posts.

And just in case anybody hasn't seen it, here's a link to the fantastic "How Open Source Projects Survive Poisonous People (And You Can Too)" talk he did with Brian Fitzpatrick. I refer to this whenever I'm in doubt about how a maintainer should behave (since it's kind of new for me).

Friday, October 5, 2007

Burned *again* by Google Reader

I really like Google Reader. But one "feature" keeps biting me in the ass:

When viewing 500+ unread items, I'd say the "Mark all as read" button (Destroyer of Worlds) is just a wee bit too close to the frequently poked "Refresh" button. The first time I got burned by this I wrote a nice email to the Google Reader team, but I guess they still think it's a good idea. I guess it's not a big deal that I have no way of finding out what those 500+ items were that I had yet to read/skim/star/share/skip. Yesterday I took matters into my own hands:

Thank you Greasemonkey. You can find my little script at It is based on this other script by Scott Cowan. I never thought I'd use Greasemonkey, but Google Reader is just far too dangerous in its unaltered state!

I will say, though, that the addition of search in Google Reader helps to alleviate the loss of all those unread items. It was a long time coming, but it works great. :-)