Thursday, May 31, 2007

Too much...

Q: How do you know you did too much browsing?
A: You start middle-clicking the eclipse file tabs expecting for them to close...

Actually, this is not a joke!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Graduating (I)

The moment has come... (sigh).
This morning we had the graduation ceremony at FCS, here's a sample:

Please notice the shirt under the robe (it had to be present, didn't it?)

We had nice speeches from our valedictorian, from mr. Cristea (who gave the official last lecture), from dean Grigoras and from all the other teachers; we got our unofficial graduation diplomas (with a very touching "last call" moment); we sang "Gaudeamus Igitur" and then took the graduation group pictures.

This evening we're going to the university's graduation fest and tomorrow evening, to the graduation party.

More pictures will be available once all these events will be over...
I'm gonna miss it...

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Yep, on stupid ads again (hmmm, is my blog becoming a repository of proofs of the existence of absolute stupidity on earth?)

Can you see the webpage?
No, because it's an ad on top of another ad on top of the page! :)
Can you see the close button?
No, because there isn't one!

Thanks to Stefan Ciobâcă for the print screen (see, he didn't have a close button at all so he could print it before he closed it :) )

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


I posted about annoying advertising some time ago, and now I must add one more to the row:

Can you see the close button?
Ok, it's the one in the top right corner of the big bubble.
Now that you see it, can you click it?
(trust me, no scaling was involved in the production of this image)

I must thank Dana for the print screen: the ad displays only the first time you access the page (no reload/refresh can get it back again) and I am just too absorbed by the fact that I must close it to remember that I'd better get a print screen first...

Monday, May 21, 2007

Last exam @ FCS

Yesterday I went to my last exam as a BSc student at FCS. I really enjoyed being a student here – that's why I'm pretty sure will continue with MSc, but it won't be the same. This is the reason for which I took my camera with me and took some pictures of the 'event'. The pictures are here:

IRC exam, 20 may 2007

have fun!

P.S.: If anyone appearing in those pictures has a really good reason for which he/she should not appear, please tell me (email or comment on this post or on the picture) and I will remove the picture.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

End of Summer < Web />

So it's gone now. It was a very fine workshop with talks on all kind of topics: it started with Mădălina Cocea's journalism 2.0 on Saturday morning, then went through Marius Măruşteri's medical collaborative systems and Sergiu's web accessibility standards presentations and Ştefan Tăbăranu's presentation of Levi 9. Then, a short coffee break (oh, btw, veeery good coffee). Then, when we just got more into the "tech stuff" we went out of it again with Alina's presentation on e-business in relation with semantic/data web, Radu Sora's presentation on how to be a successful programmer in a company where you have so many other things to deal with besides programming, and Cristian Bârlădeanu's presentation on developing a web product by one's self, in a failure minimizing manner. Coffee break, again, and then we got back in the tech stuff with Andrei Iacob's presentation on Silverlight (I was eagerly waiting for this one, since I read about it a couple of days ago and I was very curious to see it in action – we had some demos as well) and Augustin Ciobotaru's SQL injection demo. Unfortunately, I couldn't stay for Bogdan Pistol's presentation on ArgoEclipse.

The second day (which is today, but will be yesterday by the time I will have posted this), we got heavy teched with Caty's presentation on mash-ups (again, a very interesting thing to learn more about), my presentation on microformats, Marius Butuc's presentation on XHTML 2.0 (with some fine demos) and Sorin Damian's presentation of Visual Studio ORCAS (with some code as well). Again, coffee break (it seems we had some cookies left from the other day).
Then we watched the youngsters in competition (the web applications competition) and realized that indeed they had a lot of things to learn from our tutorials – if only they had listened carefully enough. After a British Council offer presentation, we got our prizes and dropped a goodbye tear for this year's edition (there were the prizes for the competition and some 'public awards' for the 'performers' as well – I got a fine 'Java for web applications' book).

The pictures are here (I hope I will not crash in bed tonight before I add the captions so you know what's it about) – there will be a selection and only a few of them will remain online but for the moment they're all up there.

Despite my concerns on the presentations I had to make, seemingly it went fine – it could have been better but hey, I'm not perfect every day!

Yes, I really got the taste of it, waiting for the next...

Saturday, May 12, 2007

A break...

Well, this is what I call a cool night.
Because tomorrow I'm going to summer <Web /> (just found out these days that it's the last edition – damn it, just when I was getting the taste of it), and because today I created the 0.4 pre alpha version of the bsc (with a cool XPCOM to singleton the connection to java – long story, I'll put it in a dedicated post), I'm not working right now (I hate to start things and then abandon them unstable because I have to do something else). Just hang around on the web. Reading lifesux because I remembered he writes cool stuff, watching a short movie on youtube, saying hi to Alinuţa – the true hypertext: just go with the flow (of the links). And because I saw npunctc put a chart on the sidebar of her blog, I thought I could actually fight my wish-of-not-touching-any-tech-stuff-tonight and narrow the columns of mine to fit my blog and put it there, too (damn it, I wanted to be the first – at least of what I've seen).

Since my presentation is on Sunday (here's the program (in Romanian)) I don't even want to take a fresh, critical look at my presentation. I'll do that tomorrow night. Yes, it's my first such presentation so I haven't got a bloody clue about how I am going to talk EXACTLY 30 minutes, how I am going to adapt the presentation to the public reactions (I would really love to be able to do that), nor if somebody will understand a single thing of what I will say. I know a bunch of people who would say that I worry too much – I'm only overreacting for the effect of this post :). I probably won't find an answer to these questions tomorrow night either, I'll trust my 'professor gene' (as Mr. Ciortuz put it) and just go there and do it!

Yes, it was a post from the heart – I can do this too: of course, when I'm not talking about microformats. And I would lie if I would say that it didn't feel good writing...

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


They had some nice outfits at the microformats dinner.

I should first mention that this is not faked:

Yes, I finally did my microformats t-shirt... And don't you think is that easy: just buy the shirt, get it printed and done!
Noooo, sir!

First, produce the image: svg exported in png with GIMP. Test the position of the text: hmm... vertical left, vertical right, below... hmmm... Well, we'll keep them all and I'll decide later.

Then, buy the shirt. That's no ordinary black shirt, it's a ladies black shirt: stretched and feminine. And you can't find a single ladies simple black shirt in Iasi: all have their own prints, with pink flowers or little flying hearts and stuff. Anyway, good things come to those who... search!

Then, you go to the print shop. The guy is stretching my shirt all directions to test the fabric:
"it's over 90% elastan, man, it's the only I could find, sorry"
"hmm... ok..."
"here's the image!"
"mmmmhhh, it's a little problem here... I want to do it from rubber and I only have one shade of green..."
"That shade of green is important, man! What if you DON'T do it from rubber?"
"Because your shirt is from elastan, it will disappear the first time you wash it. Maybe if I put some yellow...".
"NO! NO yellow! just do it any shade of green you have!".
"Ok, come back in an hour and a half..."

Whaaat? an hour and a half???? Anyway... hang in the Mall for an hour and a half... Sooo boring! I saw some awfully overpriced jeans which I would have bought if I hadn't realized in time how overpriced they were... A lot of girls shopping... you know, the Mall.

Oh, yes, it's time, it's time!

The guy shows me the shirt. The shade of green is not that bad, but:
"Where's the text? There was a piece of text there! You must have missed it because of the transparency!"
"Oh... I remade your image in Corel and I didn't see it... I can print it now if you want...".
Whaaaaaaaaat? I worked so hard for that image for you to 'remake' it now????
"Oh, you can? ok, print it!"
Another 20 minutes waiting and bugging the guy: "No, not there. Pull it a little to the left, please!"

And finally, it's done! Soooo coool!

P.S.: I must apologize to those who read my blog for all the 'false alarms'. In case you didn't notice, I first publish one or two lines and then come back with the rest of the post. That's because I'm used to hit 'Ctrl+S' once in every 2 words (programmer's bad habit) and 'S' is the shortcut for 'publish' in blogger interface. Sorry!

Sunday, May 6, 2007


Plain Old Open Office

I had big plans for today: to create the draft of the summer <web/> presentation. And, as I am always aiming for the best (:D), I tried to do it in LaTeX, with prosper. I should mention that I am suuuuch a LaTeX beginner (I can't even insert an image without pain and shouts (that would be 'strigături' in Romanian) and Google. After half an hour of searches, I finally managed to compile an example from the internet (they all seemed to use all sort of packages that I don't have). OOok, cool! Now, I don't like these templates (seriously, they're reeaaaaaly ugly), I want to build my own, light green (microformats like light green) style. So I started to edit an existing style, hoping that it won't be that hard: I have the source and the output so I should be able to figure it out...

Guess what?

Two hours later, I'm back to OpenOffice!

Now I really wonder (maybe you were, too) why I started with the formatting: I should have written it first and then mind about its look, shouldn't I?

Friday, May 4, 2007

Here we go again...

Yes, I do stare at XML all day long

Just when I thought I saw everything...
Today, Yahoo! Tech!
First of all, there is a special reason for which the guys that designed microformats figured out a method of specifying uids for each of the microformats: when parsing the same page twice, we MUST have a way of testing microformats equality to realize that we already know the precious info one has to offer! So, yahoo tech guys, you might wanna add a rel='self' (or rel='bookmark' or anything that would mean 'id', with its most permissive interpretation) to the 'a' tag in the title of the review!

First-and-a-half of all, the 'description' of the yahoo tech review is its 'item fn' as well. (according to this, the text of the review and the formatted name of the item are semantically equivalent) Now what could that mean? Hmmm... Seemingly, that it's reviewing the "I bought this product 2 days ago and I think is really cool" item. Is this just because 'item' is required and some 'specification compliant' programmer thought he/she should stuff it in somehow?

Second of all (and this is the cool part – I tend to keep good things for the ending), the short review links to a 'longer', 'one-on-the-page' review, through that 'a' tag I mentioned. But guess what: NO hreview markup AT ALL on this new page. Nothing. Empty. Stupid simple html. Pleaaaase, have mercy!

Notice now how I am writing my post in a conversation-like manner: because Neil was so kind to react, I am probably expecting that to happen again (yeah, dream on!).

Now I decided that I REALLY should do something to prevent things like this in the future: and I will start by highlighting some 'tips on how not to screw up semantics' in my presentation on microformats. Even if it won't change anything, at least I will be sure I tried my best.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Google desktop update

Yesterday I remembered I have google desktop installed and that its sidebar plugins can read RSSs and display googleCalendar. Because I needed those functions (I finally decided to read blogs through RSS and to manage deadlines better by using a calendar), I brought it back to light.
Since some of the plugins stated that I need the 5.0 version in order for them to work, though I'm not an 'update fan' and I had some unhappy experiences with updates, I decided to do it:
Well, WHOA!

Notice, from top to bottom: wikipedia search, googleCalendar (expanded), the default webClips, todo list, scratchPad and photos (collapsed) and the search box.

A year ago I was using gDesktop simplicity to make a point in my project for the CHI (computer human interaction) course. It seems it was not a principle, but a 'mistake'.
Now it looks very 'vista', and all the fades and decorations (notice the frame around scratch pad) get it pretty close to yahoo Widgets from the GUI design point of view. Despite all this, and the fact that it doesn't match my classic windows theme, it's pretty cool. I also noticed a few changes in the gadgets so that they fit better in the small space designed for the sidebar (for which I am eternally grateful).

Long story made short, I decided to offer 100 pixels of my widescreen to google desktop's sidebar, again.