Journal/12 Thermidor CCXIV from Evan Prodromou

I agree with Destiny -- this letter from Steely Dan to Luke Wilson is just excellent. If only all creative property disputes were handled this way.


Hot in the City tonight

It's been a hot last couple of days in Montreal -- I mean, not hot like California or Europe but hot enough that it feels pretty bad. According to Sacré Blues -- one of my favorite books about Quebec -- Montreal has the highest variation in temperature of any inhabited place on earth -- from highs of 40C in the summer to lows of -40C in the winter. We're at the high part now.

Yesterday was my Primary Caregiver ("PCG") day, so I took the opportunity to take the baby for a long walk in Parc La Fontaine, under the gigantic poplars, where it's always cool and fresh. We also went for a nice dip in the baby pool. That kept things pretty nice.

Amita in the park

Bonne Fête

Speaking of hotness, last night was the 30th birthday party for my friend Niko Ritoux. Maj and I took the opportunity to do our first evening out as a couple without the baby -- our great babysitter Julia came by with her boyfriend Antoine and took Amita June to a jazz concert at the Theatre de Verdure in Parc La Fontaine. How great is that?

Anyways, we had a good night with Niko. We went to Le 2, the teensy but uber-cool bistro-bar our friend Daran co-owns. It's in possibly the most valuable real estate in all Montreal -- the corner of St. Laurent and Sherbrooke -- but it's unassuming and doesn't have that Lower Main clubbed-out fake tan feel. We had a great dinner of "international tapas" -- the little appetizers that remind me a lot of Toqué-style gourmet micro-meals -- and lots of liquor and good fun. I saw a lot of people I hadn't seen in a while -- P.E. and his girlfriend Ode, who were living in Taiwan for a long time; Fred; Daran and his new friend Annie; Joannie; and our own lovely Italian princess the Other Annie.

Daran J.F.

P.E. and Joannie Niko

After dinner (11:30PM!) we hustled up to Bily Kun on Mont Royal and then Plan B across the street. Nicely, for a Friday night, everything was open and airy -- Montreal bars can get so damn crowded, but in the summer everyone's in Cottage Country and there's plenty of room for dedicated barflies. I'm not sure when I got home, but I think Niko had a good time.


And more time

Today I spent my time creating data feeds of Wikitravel content for researchers at the University of Zurich who are doing some sort of work on the reliability and development of online travel information. I can't wait to find out how their research comes out.

Maj, Amita June and I went up on the Pont Jacques-Cartier tonight to watch the last event in the International des feux at La Ronde. One of the great things about being in Mtl for the summer is this months-long fireworks festival, in which national teams compete every Saturday and Wednesday night. This is the first time I've been on the bridge for the event, and it was amazing -- much louder and bigger than when we've watched from home.

Amita June, of course, was dumbfounded by the fireworks -- she gawked open-mouthed through the whole thing. I thought she'd be scared by the lights and noise and the crowd, but she loved it -- reached out and pointed for each explosion, and even said ooooooooh for the big finale. She conked out on the 8-block walk home, which gave Mama and Papa a little extra rest.


GPLv3 and license compatibility

According to this article on, compatibility with other licenses like the Apache 2.0 is going to be a major focus of the GPLv3 development process.

I say huzzah to that. Trivial differences between licenses are a shameful waste of time and energy for hackers who have better things to do. The world needs too much good Open Source software for us to waste time with license incompatibilities.

Hopefully this same philosophy will bleed over into the FDL. Creative Commons made an overture for unilateral compatibility between the Attribution and Attribution-ShareAlike licenses and the FDL, which got stony silence from the FSF. It's time to start thinking of the users and playing nice with each other.


Put one foot in front of the other

I nearly forgot to mention: Amita June took her first step today. She's been "cruising" (walking around holding onto furniture) for about 6-8 weeks now, and she loves walking around holding onto Mama or Papa's fingers. And she's been spending longer and longer periods standing on her own -- up to about 20-30 seconds. Today, she was standing up, and she wanted to walk so I held out my finger just a little out of her reach. She extended her arm for it, then took two little steps to get to me. Ta-da!

Maj and I took turns getting her to stand up on her own then walk to us. She's only got about 3-4 steps in her right now before she freaks out and sits down, but it's still pretty amazing.