GNU Make

Ok. How do you get make to conditionally include a file, based on the calling arguments? I’m not sure that this can be done, but I’d love to be proven otherwise. I have a make file that builds a third party sub-project if it hasn’t been built. It does this by including the sub-project’s make file. The problem is that if the make file doesn’t exist, a rule gets triggered to create it, which is a laborious process involving untarring a huge tarball and running through a sort of autobuild.

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Mercurial Rebase

I read Martin Fowler’s entry on using mqueues in Mercurial to squash a series of commits into a single commit, and while the post is informative, there’s an easier way: the Mercurial rebase command. The rebase extension has been included in Mercurial since 1.3, although it’s been available since sometime in the 1.2 release, and can perform a number of useful alterations of a repository. For Martin’s use case, his 5-step mqueue sequence is accomplished with two much more simple commands: hg tag “Pre-rebase” hg rebase -s –collapse The tag is necessary because the rebase command will not operate on descendants or ancestor, and will not automatically create a new tip to hold the rebase.

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Why not to use Subversion

I’m a big Subversion fan, and have been since it was first released. Or, I was, until recently, when I discovered that Subversion is fundamentally broken. Some background: I’ve been using Subversion since 2000, when a project I was working on for the Forest Service chose to convert a CVS repository to it. Since then, I’ve been running a Subversion server that’s been hosting a number of open source projects I work on, as well as having provided hosting service for a couple of projects that I don’t work on.

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I got an early birthday present; my birthday is near the end of the summer, and I wanted to be able to spend range time with the rifle, and Monika was generous and let me buy it a few months in advance. This is the Marli 1895 SBL; it’s new, so it is a Remington. There was a period of time after Remington acquired Marlin when the quality of the rifles was poor; there have been a number of articles and YouTube videos about problems people had with the rifle.

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What special needs genious at Microsoft decided to hide overwrite mode under an advanced configuration menu? Seriously? Was this a joke? Was this person some disgruntled employee? Was it incompetence? Or was it yet another indication that Microsoft can produce only crap software, with crap design? There has been an "Insert" key on keyboards for literally decades, and somebody at Microsoft decides to hide this function in an advanced configuration menu.

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Years ago I was heavily into Ruby. I wrote REXML, which was adopted into the standard library. For a while, I lived in hope that I’d be able to jump from Java to a career in Ruby. Well, that didn’t work out; at the time, there were very few job opportunities for predominantly Ruby development, and I needed to support my family more than I needed to get out of Java.

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