... indistinguishable from magic
effing the ineffable since 1977


Recent Posts


Joining the blogsphere

It's not really a blog if it doesn't do RSS, is it? Well, now it does. Including the fancy little orange icon that lets you make a "live bookmark" in Firefox. Next up on the standard-blog-features-I-don't-have list is Trackback - the specs for that look hard, so I'm probably going to find some code to "borrow" for that one.


japitools 0.9.5

Yesterday I put out the 0.9.5 release of japitools. This is not, technically, the first release to have a major contribution from someone other than myself (0.8.7 has that honor because of the serialization-compatibility tools provided by Brian Jones) but it's the first where someone else has contributed a major feature that accomplishes one of my own "To Do" items, rather than adding tools entirely outside my own roadmap for japitools. In fact, Brian has since move the serialization tools to somewhere else, in recognition of the fact that they aren't a perfect fit with japitools.

With this release, though, Jeroen Frijters provided a complete rewrite of the Class File reading code which revealed (and fixed) a whole bunch of bugs, and he isn't done yet - he's helping me add support for the major language features introduced in Java 1.5 (also known as 5.0 because Sun's marketing people are morons). This is the first time I've had this level of collaboration with anyone on an open source project I've started myself, and I'm very proud to be a part of it. Jeroen was already high on my list of people that "we're screwed if he ever gets hit by a bus" because of his great work on IKVM. It's great that japitools is also benefitting from his help.


A different kind of "Marriage Amendment"


"Neither Congress nor the States shall make any law recognizing, defining, or granting any special status or privileges to any person based on marriage or marital status. All such laws currently in existence shall be updated to comply with this amendment by 180 days after its enactment.

Congress and the States may, if they so choose, make laws defining a new status and granting that status to persons married at any time prior to 180 days after the enactment of this amendment. This is the only purpose for which marriage may be recognized in any way by any law. No law may recognize in any way any marriage occuring more than 180 days after the enactment of this amendment.

Neither Congress nor the States shall produce any laws or documentation using any of the following terms related to marriage, EXCEPT for the purpose of carrying out the laws permitted in the previous paragraph: marriage, married, marital status, spouse, husband, wife, wedding, bride, groom."

This would essentially require the government to either get out of the business of marriage altogether, or define "civil unions" for heterosexual couples and grandfather existing married couples into that status.

The trick with this amendment is that it doesn't say anything whatsoever about what the government can or can't permit or prohibit for gay couples. Based on only this amendment, the government would be entirely free to define the new status as "Heterosexual Union" and refuse to ever grant it to gay couples. The trick is that by forcing the government to define an entirely new term for everyone, rather than reusing a loaded word like "marriage", it's far easier to apply the common sense interpretation of the rest of the constitution to any law they make.

Non-governmental and religious institutions would of course continue to be free to talk about marriage if they wanted to, and could apply whatever restrictions they liked to the meaning of it.


"Moral Values"?


I watched last night as every major network projected Ohio for Bush, un-projected it later, and then acted like they'd never projected it at all. Okay, I was pretty tired by this point and I won't swear that they all had it projected, but it was certainly the clear consensus for a while if you scanned through all the channels. CNN was the quickest to either restore or re-affirm its "too close to call" status.

Frankly, based on the figures that had been released last I watched, I really don't give Kerry much of a chance. I wonder if his better bet would be to try to overturn the result in some other state instead...

If, by some miracle, Kerry manages to grab Ohio, I look forward to the Republicans complaining about the way the electoral college can let a candidate win the popular vote but still lose the election. As they say, turnabout is fair play, or in other words, payback's a bitch :)

If, on the other hand, the current situation persists and Bush ends up with the presidency, it appears that the vote was swung by what the pundits are calling "Moral Values" voters - those who claimed that moral values were the most important factor for them in deciding which way to vote. What blows my mind is that these people apparently have a definition of moral values which doesn't include tolerance but does include bigotry, doesn't include truthfulness but does include greed, doesn't include respect for the concerns of others but does include shooting the crap out of anyone we don't like, doesn't include respect for freedom but does include a reckless disregard for civil rights, doesn't include a respect for science or logic but does include dogma, and doesn't include self-criticism but does include overwhelming stubbornness. How anyone can claim that set of values is "moral" is beyond me.