I had the idea a while ago, but there ought to be a TweetCode, like the Geek Code for Twitter. This evening I wrote it. Thanks to Katie for suggestions of categories; if you can think of some more they’re very welcome and should be tweeted to #tc. Feedback always welcome.

I measure out my life with kitten toes

Several years ago 2amcoffee challenged me to write a ballade about kitten toes. I was asked to re-post it the other day with some pictures that Alex has been taking of our kitten, Rothko. Interestingly, this person has apparently borrowed my title in the meantime.

A dozen years, the length of feline days:
compared to human lives it may appear
the cats lose out. To be a human pays.
I think on this, and on companions dear:
Successive cats whose whiskered lives touched mine
Have lain upon my lap— do you suppose
Their tiptoe through the years is but a sign?
I measure out my life with kitten toes.

As they and I pursue the hilly ways
that fill our lives, “Beware! The end is near!”
“Your death is nigh!” or some such friendly phrase
will tell me that it’s all downhill from here.
And soon the slope more steeply will incline,
And drop away as quickly as it rose.
You trace the arc? My life is on the line:
I measure out my life with kitten toes.

Though now, my cat, we feel the sunshine’s blaze—
your windowsill is warm, the skies are clear—
yet still I feel the sun’s all-seeing gaze
remind me of the coming day, I fear—
the coming day I cannot feel it shine,
and on my face the smiling daisy grows.
I only have the one, where you have nine:
I measure out my life with kitten toes.

Prince, lord of cats, may endless meat be thine!
O grant that thine immortal princely doze
may evermore upon my lap recline!
I measure out my life with kitten toes.

I should get back into writing verse for challenges more.

random jottings

[ Godot is not responding ]
Feeling rather awful this morning, but attempting to work anyway.  Fin made me breakfast. It was lovely.

Last night, I removed more metacity-specific dialogue code and replaced it with calls to Zenity. The solution used GLib signals; I may also use them to replace a few homebrew callback systems.

The other night I spent a few minutes using Perl to turn English text from the Latin to Shavian alphabets. You can play with it if you like. You can get more into 140 characters that way!

If any Pango expert reading this has an idea why in GNOME bug 571056 (code snippets attached there) Pango fails to report the height of mixed English and Telugu text, I would love to hear about it.

And as ever, don’t forget to keep up with the Metacity blog.

D&D, and AWN

[info]riordon and [info]plexq and I went to [info]baerana‘s house and played D&D with [info]bored2sleep GMing. I’d never played before, and it was interesting. The whole session was taken up with designing our characters, so we didn’t play at all yet.  And I now have sparkly orange d12s and d20s and so on. They are beautiful. I am going to carry them around with me for a bit.

In other news, the fine AWN folks just released 0.3.2.  I’m enjoying keeping up with the AWN project, and it stresses the compositor in interesting ways.  I’m running it now in addition to gnome-panel.  Look into it.

How do you go about making a langpack?

Is there a guide somewhere to making a new Ubuntu langpack, one that isn’t mainstream and that can live in your PPA?  Someone asked me whether such a thing could be built for en@shaw (i.e. English written in the Shavian alphabet), and since I have tools which can convert .po files automatically I can’t see why it’d be a problem.  I don’t think Launchpad will ever want to support en@shaw as such, but I can’t see a guide anywhere to building these things– it’s clearly more than just sticking .mo files in a .deb, because something needs to create the locale and so on.  There must be some standard way!

Two brief questions

  1. Is there a simple way to have a pixbuf or pixmap or bitmap which contains two colours, and when I render it it will have one transparent and one the fully opaque colour I want?  (I would use the same image in different places in different colours– like a stamp in TuxPaint, only always monochrome).  I suppose I could use GdkPixbuf and actually modify the pixel data before I output it (if transparent, leave it; else set to desired colour), but is there a more elegant way?
  2. What’s the name of that program that draws a graph of another program’s startup time (and has nothing to do with valgrind)?  You know, it makes one tall column representing the passage of time, and coloured lines coming out at angles telling you what happened when.