Jeff Geerling's blog

In the Hospital

I'm at the hospital this week, so I'll be unable to answer many emails, reply to comments, or post any new content. The spam hammer is still running, though, so you spammers out still won't get any mercy!

Please spare a prayer for me, as I still don't know what's wrong, but did get to experience some amazing new things, like using a toilet that slides out from under a sink, and curling up in a ball while someone withdrew brain juice from my spine!

2013 Deacon Ordination Mass Pictures Online

This year's Transitional Deacon Ordination Mass took place last Saturday, May 4 (May the 4th be with you! And with your spirit.).

2013 Deacon Ordination 163

I was privileged to be able to take photos for this year's transitional deacons, even more so since I will be unable to attend the Priesthood Ordination Mass this year (due to my attendance at DrupalCon Portland), and was happy to see many of my seminarian friends become deacons—one step closer to their journey towards the priesthood.

You can view the entire set of photos on Flickr: 2013 Transitional Deacon Ordination.

A New Job (2013 edition)

In 2011, I left my job as the web developer for the Archdiocese of St. Louis to join Flocknote, and help build Flocknote into a great communications tool for churches, ministries, teams and organizations.

Flocknote Logo

I've worked with some great people at Flocknote (hi Matt, Barrett, Kait, Derek, LCM staff et all!), and have enjoyed the challenge of building a major web application on top of Drupal 7. Flocknote was built back when Drupal 7 was in the 7.1 and 7.2 stages (when many, many modules had not yet been ported from Drupal 6, and I found and patched core bugs on a daily basis!), and I was able to learn much about the craft of programming, server administration, project management, and Drupal working on Flocknote, an iPhone App, and an API, among hundreds of other little things.

Mercy Logo

Beginning next month (almost exactly two years since my start date at Flocknote), I'll be working with Mercy, the sixth largest Catholic health care system in the US (more about Mercy). I'm excited to begin working in this new environment with a new team, and will continue developing with Drupal both in the new job and in my free time (with projects like my hosted Apache Solr search and Server Check.in, as well as my other sites and organizations I help with).

If you or someone you know might be interested in the main web developer position at Flocknote, please see the Web Developer job posting on Flocknote and apply today!

Time Refines Code

Smooth stone

Legacy code—warts and all—isn't such a bad thing.

If it's built well, and maintained well, it probably takes care of the hundreds/thousands of edge cases with which your beautifully-rewritten new codebase doesn't yet cope.

Unless it's not well-documented (or self-documented), or incompatible with modern systems, it's often a better idea to refactor and clean up old code than to scrap a system entirely and rewrite from scratch.

Image from Thinking Through.

Tolerating the Hatred

If you accuse someone of hating you (or someone else) for simply disagreeing with you (or someone else) on an issue (whether it be the best baseball team, iPhone or Android, the best candy bar, or—gasp—same-sex marriage), please look up the definition of hate, and its synonyms in a thesaurus.

Disagreement ≠ hate.

The Story of the PING Program

I love finding little gems like this: The Story of the PING Program.

The best ping story I've ever heard was told to me at a USENIX conference, where a network administrator with an intermittent Ethernet had linked the ping program to his vocoder program, in essence writing:

ping goodhost | sed -e 's/.*/ping/' | vocoder

He wired the vocoder's output into his office stereo and turned up the volume as loud as he could stand. The computer sat there shouting "Ping, ping, ping..." once a second, and he wandered through the building wiggling Ethernet connectors until the sound stopped. And that's how he found the intermittent failure.

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