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July, 2018
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Troy Unrau: Life is full of acronyms

System & Utilities So life is settling down into a gentle lull; a calm between the storms that are school and summer work. This gives me a chance to finally blog about a few things that are going on, all interesting to me but only some interesting to you, my captive audience. :) As I began to write this article, I found that my life is filled with many, many acronyms. So I thought I'd share them with you :)

First, I posted several weeks ago that I ran for president of the University of Manitoba's Student Union (UMSU). I lost, but got a respectable 25% of the popular vote. Most Americans will now be thinking to themselves that losing with only 25% is pretty damned bad, but that's what being stuck in a two-party system drills into your brain. There are successful political parties in Soviet Canuckistan that cannot seem to break the 15% barrier, such as the New Democratic Party (NDP), but that never stops them from being happy with the results. Ah well, there's a silver lining: after I lost the UMSU Pres. position , I ran for Co-Pres. of the Society of Earth Sciences and Environmental Student (SESES). SESES is the student body for my faculty, which then interacts with UMSU council on many occasions. Whee!

Well, that's just one of the many busy things that are coming up for the next school year. I am also going to be captaining an ice hockey team again (Go Glaciers!) which takes some time... I might have to play Goal, which is a tough position, but also fun. I'm also quite probably being a Teaching Assistant (TA) for at least one course next year, but I don't know what or when yet...

The most interesting thing on the schedule for next term, however, is my thesis paper. For those readers that don't already know, I'm somewhat obsessed with planetary science. (I keep asking the Marble folks when I'll be able to load lunar and Martian maps into the program, but they claim their math is inflexible for bodies of a different diameter than Earth... I'll get to that problem one day...) For my thesis, I get to order and use Satellite data to attempt to determine geological properties from orbit. This is very cool, as it directly ties into my love of planetary sciences. It also should be very challenging, as the maths required to process Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data are quite challenging. PDE's FTW :)

But that's all more than four months from now, and in the meantime, I still have things to do: For the first two weeks in May, I am going on a field trip put on by the Prospectors and Developers Ass'n of Canada (PDAC) called the Student-Industry Mineral Exploration Workshop (S-IMEW). I get to travel to Sudbury, Ontario, and do some research into the origin of the nickel deposits there, in particular with respect to its economic implications. Well, considering that the Sudbury nickel is related to an ancient meteor impact, I should find that very interesting...

Then, in the middle of May, I head up north to Thompson, Manitoba, where I will be spending my summer working in geophysics for Vale INCO (a relative of CVRD). That may require some programming, likely a lot of data analysis, and quite possibly some brain-numbing math. PDE's FTW again! :) Due to the relative isolation of this community, I will be skipping Akademy this year. Hey! Why isn't Akademy an acronym? I mean, every other FOSS event is an acronym: GUADEC, FOSDEM, FOSSCamp, FISL...

Actually, the plague of acronyms isn't entirely their fault. As I've recently discovered, trying to come up with names is very difficult without resorting to acronyms. For example, our KDE developer conference that we were planning for next January recently needed a name that wasn't just "that thing we're planning for Jamaica..." So far our working title is Camp KDE... notice that we didn't "K" the work Camp, nor did we come up with a crappy acronym, but I guess KDE is already a crappy acronym :)

Ah well, this lull is letting me work on some of the organizational things that this event will need, as well as giving me a little time to experiment with coding for KDE again. After asking some questions on irc, as well as the Manitoba Unix Users Group (MUUG), I've settled on coding with python for my project. The idea is to create a program that is self-updating over the internet. Think of Massive Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games (MMORPG's) or similar programs, where there is a patcher involved... well, in open source a MMORPG would be very difficult as the sources are avaialble... The only way to contain security would be to do all important decision making on a server or similar. But that's not unusual -- the unusual problem comes in when you consider that every user is likely to have a pretty unique system that they are running the game from... after all, KDE runs on a number of different Operating Systems (OS's), and I'd expect the game to be able to run on all of our supported platforms...

Well, without cross-compiling binaries for every platform in existence and distributing them simultaneously, that leaves me with having to choose languages that run in a virtual machine (VM) (like Java), or those that are interpreted, like {Java|ECMA}Script, Python, Ruby, etc... Again irc helped out on this one: QtScript appears to be too lightweight to do a full application, and I don't speak Ruby, so the last of the list is Python. I already speak python, but I don't speak Qt/KDE API's. This is a good time for me to learn, as I have two weeks before I leave for S-IMEW. In my pursuit to learn PyQt/PyKDE/Kross/etc., I discovered that there was no one irc channel for this kind of thing: so I started #kross. In a week, it's grown to ... four people :) If my calculations are correct, then we should have 1460 users a year from now. :P I've also been experimenting with QGraphicsView stuff, but can't figure out how do to QGraphicsLayouts properly... I can use the old fashioned QHBoxLayout and such just fine using widgets-on-canvas (WoC? This sentence needed an acronym...).

Well folks - I think I've run out of acronyms for the night. Be safe folks.


Разместил: Planet KDE | Дата: 22.04.2008 | Прочитано: 919 | Раздел: System & Utilities   

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