Time got tight for this edition of the journal, so we outsourced some interviewing work to a, well, a geek elf. Wouldn't you know it, Ernest Friedman-Hill understands Java... and Elvish! The elf asked Ernest about JavaRanch's move to JForum...
Elf: Aaye. Cormamin lindua ele lle.
Ernest: A star shall shine upon the hour of our meeting!
Elf: Yallume! Amin nowe UBB n'kelaya.
Ernest: By the sea and stars, I was as surprised as anybody to see UBB go. Although this was a team effort, some distinguished themselves in battle more than others. I am eternally grateful to those who did, and they who know who they are.
Elf: Mankoi lle uma tanya? Sut?
In Boulder where the server slept in air-conditioned peace, the tortured souls around me wept At the UBBeast's increase. In fetid puffs of Perl she'd purr, In Perl we oft replied, Enslaved, controlled, betrothed we were, to this infernal bride. When e'er we'd boast of slaying her, she'd chortle through her snout, "The posts! The members!" she'd intone, "You'll never get them out!" "What's more," the wretched slattern swore, "my feature set's unique!" "You've slaved for years to give me more than any man could seek!" And she was right; no forum e'er conceived could be her match. So trapped we were, and never fair relief we deemed to catch. Champions are rather made than born, from life in trying times, like Eärendil and Aragorn, immortalized in rhymes. So heroes fair, with shining hair, arrived in Louisville, to wrest our data from her lair and she herself to kill. In Boulder where the servers hum with quiet blinking lights, a silent vigil we now keep, through peaceful Java nights.
Elf: Manke tanya tuula?
Ernest: We tried several times, but it was the determination of a small team of volunteers that finally saw this through. The "UBBeast" still lives, by the way -- although she's very tiny in her present form. Her duties are limited to forwarding HTTP requests to their new URLs.
Elf: An lema? Mani nae lle umien? Mankoi lle uma tanya? (Lle ume quel.)
Ernest: When I'm not smiting wyrms at the Ranch, I am a computer scientist at a U.S. National Laboratory. I work on a range of projects, although most of my energy these days is focused on "problem set-up environments": desktop software that prepares simulations to run on the world's largest and fastest supercomputers. We use Java, and lately, the Eclipse platform as an application framework.
Elf: Lle naa curucuar. Quel esta.
Ernest: Funny you should say that. Last summer I had a chance to take a lesson on shooting both compound and recurve bows, and I really enjoyed it. I was astonished at how well I could shoot after just one lesson. Sweet water and light laughter till next we meet.
For a window into JavaRanch moderator internal communications, Ernest wrote this during our January 3rd migration and has agreed to share it here.
Howdy folks, Quick note to let y'all know how we're doin' with the migration. The truck's parked out front and the engine's runnin'. Things are going purty well. A couple cows got out, and we had to rope 'em. They're all accounted for and waiting in the truck. All the chickens are rounded up, except for one ornery rooster that refuses to come down off the barn roof. We're either gonna rope 'im, or shoot him down if we have to; one way or the other, he'll be dealt with within the next few minutes. After that we just have to walk around and pick up the lassos, and the rain barrels, and the pitchforks, and suchlike. That won't take long. But it'll be well past 10AM Ranch Time when we've got everything unpacked at the new spread.