it could be called work


I have been struggling with some brittleness in my FreeBSD installation here: the ports tools which have worked flawlessly have started breaking on me, for reasons I can’t work out. Usually, all that’s needed is to type portinstall archivers/rpm or portupgrade archivers/rpm4. Dependencies are looked up and built, the package database is updated, it all just works[tm].

But lately, I have been having to build ports by hand, making the dependencies as I go. Tedious.

In the course of this, I find some strange stuff: why on earth does a command-line packaging/archiving tool like rpm need the qt libraries?

Qt is a C++ toolkit for application development. It lets application developers target all major operating systems with a single application source code.

Qt provides a platform-independent API to all central platform functionality: GUI, database access, networking, file handling, etc. The Qt library encapsulates the different APIs of different operating systems, providing the application programmer with a single, common API for all operating systems. The native C APIs are encapsulated in a set of well-designed, fully object-oriented C++ classes.

Likewise, doxygen:

Doxygen is a documentation system for C and C++, Java, IDL and to some extent C# and PHP. It can generate an on-line class browser (in HTML) and/or an off-line
reference manual (in LaTeX/ps/pdf) from a set of documented source files. The documentation is extracted directly from the sources.

But there they are.
---> Installing 'rpm-4.0.4_2' from a port (archivers/rpm4)
---> Building '/opt/ports/archivers/rpm4'
===> Cleaning for libiconv-1.9.1_3
===> Cleaning for db3-3.3.11_1,1
===> Cleaning for doxygen-1.3.6
===> Cleaning for gettext-0.13.1_1
===> Cleaning for gmake-3.80_2
===> Cleaning for libtool-1.4.3_3
===> Cleaning for popt-1.6.4_2
===> Cleaning for gsed-4.0.9_1
===> Cleaning for qt-3.3.2_2
===> Cleaning for rpm-4.0.4_2

It doesn’t build anyway, so I can ask the maintainer.

obscure pursuits

a Republican for all of us

I have found Ike to be quotable before now. In the run-up to the 60th anniversary of D-Day, I decided to look up some more information on him.

This quote struck me as germane to the current military adventure (bonus points if you can recall a link between the current White House incumbent and Eisenhower [1]).

Dwight D. Eisenhower – MediaWiki:

“I tell this story to illustrate the truth of the statement I heard long ago in the Army: Plans are worthless, but planning is everything. There is a very great distinction because when you are planning for an emergency you must start with this one thing: the very definition of ’emergency’ is that it is unexpected, therefore it is not going to happen the way you are planning.”
Source: A speech to the National Defense Executive Reserve Conference in Washington, DC on Nov. 14, 1957.

Reading over his achievements — general staff officer to Pershing and Marshall, architect of the D-Day invasion, commander of all Allied forces, desegregation of the armed forces, president of Columbia University, two-term president — he stands pretty tall against anyone we’ve seen lately.

it could be called work

depends on what your definition of IT is

Chad Dickerson @ InfoWorld has touched on a provocative question that is certain to raise hackles on IT managers (and vendors), especially if they fail to read beyond the headline.

Chad has written on the issue of IT as a commodity before: anyone who has worked on a project (as opposed to a “click here to install” installation) understands that while the components become more manageable or commoditized over time, gluing them together still requires some effort that the vendor frequently glosses over or handwaves away.

it could be called work

Abu Ghraib scandal rooted in porn?

The New York Times > Arts > Frank Rich: It Was the Porn That Made Them Do It:

The […] hypocrisy of the blame-the-culture crowd is that “normal Americans” . . . . don’t partake of the “secular” entertainment that is doing all this damage. In other words, the porn that led to prison abuse is all ghettoized in the blue states. The facts say otherwise. Phil Harvey, the president of the North Carolina-based Adam & Eve, one of the country’s largest suppliers of mail-order adult products, said in an interview last week that his business has “for years” been roughly the same per capita throughout the continental United States, with those Deep South bastions of the Bible Belt, Alabama and Mississippi, buying only 10 percent fewer sex toys and porn videos than everyone else. Even residents of the Cincinnati metropolitan area — home to Citizens for Community Values and famous for antismut battles over Larry Flynt and Robert Mapplethorpe — turned out to be slightly larger-than-average users of porn Web sites, according to a 2001 Nielsen Internet survey.

If late 20th Century porn is responsible for the Iraq prison scandals, explain the picture below the jump from August 1930.