Work Overload Holiday

What should one do when they are overloaded with work? Clearly it’s plan a week long holiday in the (hopefully) sunny lakeside village of Kuratau. Therefore, I won’t be around between Feb 12th to Feb 19th. Any emails will remain unanswered until then, but if there is anything urgent I’m always available on my cellphone (0211 089 038).
I’ve found recently that I find it impossible to turn down work, and in fact often actively seek it out. With three weeks until Massey is back into action, I have many weeks worth of work to do before I’ll be ready for Massey again.
What should one do to overcome this? I’m naturally drawn to the TV or spending my time with Julia – I can’t pull all-nighters coding away. Any pointers, or should I just ‘sharpen up’ with Lift Plus?

Ambassador Orientation

Waylon has a good summary of the two days the ambassadors spent up in Auckland on his blog here. A few other points:

  • We got to play Xbox 360 – very cool.
  • Lift Plus (the energy drink) have sponsored us, so expect to see lots of drinks around campus when we have presentations.
  • Woosh Wireless have sponsored us, but they aren’t yet in Palmy, so that’s a moot point for anyone at Massey.

I really need to find a good reason to do some MS dev work, just to get an appreciation for and understanding of Visual Studio, etc.

Ah well, I’m really tired, so I’ll keep it short.

I’m looking forward to seeing the other ambassadors photos (*hint*) – the ones up so far are awesome,


Jonathan Giles.

XPath and Leopard

Well, my work on implementing an XPath engine within Mandarax is finally looking up. There is only one area that I’m facing big troubles, and I’ll start worrying about that later (tomorrow most probably). It’s cool what it can do now – you can give a query like “/fact | /rule” to gather all the rules and facts within the knowledge base, or if you want all rules with a certain size, you simply go “/rule[@size=’10’]”. The number of queries is unlimited – I’ve built a plugin system so people working within Mandarax can easily add further datatypes to the engine, allowing it to then provide results for that data.
Compare this with having to write your own code each time you want to find something out within the knowledge base, and the benefit becomes hugely obvious. And here is a view on the code repository zoomed in on my XPath code (I admit the code isn’t nice right now – it’s in debug mode):
Other than that, I’ve just been finalising (and bug fixing) Leopard Tutor, my app for a massey associate professor who wants to use it to teach students Java and object-orientation. They basically build up a UML diagram from a source code listing. Hey Microsoft – wouldn’t it be cool to get this switched over to a C# teaching tool? It would take very little work, and it’s another way to get students to learn .NET over Java. Ask me for more info .
Jonathan Giles.

Full time programming

I think the trick to being a full time developer in my eyes is to either have lots of projects going that you can switch between, or at least have projects where you can architect the solution. Otherwise things get boring quickly.
I have never been in a situation where I only had one project going or where I’ve used someone elses architecture, but I’m not looking forward to the day when this becomes the case.
Maybe I’ll just need to be my own boss