BouncyCastle release 1.32 now available

The latest relase of BC is now ready after a couple of false starts in the beta process.
Thanks always to our tireless reporters of issues, one day maybe all vendors will create certificates in the same way.
New features in this release include support for elliptic curves over F2m, suport for ECDSA with CMS and S/MIME, and support for a wider range of PSS signature types in CRL and certificate verification. In addition further work has been done on improving path validation compliance with RFC 3280, OpenPGP text signatures now work correctly in environments with ‘\r’ as a line separator, a typo in the header for OpenPGP clear text SHA256 signatures has been fixed, several encoding compatability issue with the streaming CMS and S/MIME APIs have been fixed and it should now be possible to stop the S/MIME parsers from leaving temporary files around in all operating system environments.
As usual, the latest releases can be found at :
http://www.bouncycastle.org/
And for those who like living on the bleeding edge, the betas can be downloaded from:
http://www.bouncycastle.org/betas/

Favourite media quote from Commonwealth Games

In referring to the Australia / New Zealand netball final.
“Notionally, netball is still a non-contact sport. Actually, it is the Bledisloe Cup in skirts.”
Loved it. It was a great game and NZ thorougly deserved to win. Australia did a great job being so close.

Driving in Bangalore – 101

Today we drove out to Infosys campus, about 1hr 30mins away from where we are staying. It’s a distance of 25km, so that puts it in a bit more perspective.
Of course, that’s not to say that an average speed means anything, because the speed tends to be “70km/hr wild weaving, stop, crawl at 10km/h, stop, crawl, crawl, wild weaving, stop, stop, stop” rather than a more pleasant “amble along until you get to your destination”.
First of all, to make things perfectly clear, lane markings are there for decoration. Under no circumstance should any driver in Bangalore be confused they might mean anything. Going around a corner, crossing to the oncoming traffic, all are times when the lane markings are there to look at, and really don’t mean anything. When lane markings “might” indicate there should only be 2 lanes of traffic heading in any direction, that should be ignored, and it is clear that as 5 can fit, it must be 5. (At one point it was 7, but really, the 2 lanes of motorcycles on the footpath probably shouldn’t be counted).
The horn, a vital part of Bangalore driving pleasure has a number of uses. The first, and most common is the “toot”. This just indicates that I am near you, and you probably shouldn’t try and run into me. The next is the “toot-toot”. What this means is that it appears that you didn’t hear my “toot”, and have started to drift towards my car. The next is the “bloooooot” where it means that you’ve ignored my “toot-toot” and there is about to be impact, be warned. The final use of the horn has been the “twoooooooooooot” when driving really fast. I’m not sure what it’s for, but people do it a lot.
Motorcycles. Not just for 1 or 2. It’s not uncommmon to see 3 or more people on a 100cc bike. Helmets are definitely optional. I did observe the carriage of an LPG cyclinder on the back of a bike and wondered exactly how safe that really is. Of course, _I_ wondered how safe that is, and probably nobody else even had that thought. The 3 people I saw today were a father (driving), mother (sidesaddle) and baby (no more than 12 months) in mothers arms. All happily weaving down the road in the tangle that was 5 lanes into 2 for at least 10 of the 25 km that we travelled. 4 people can easily fit on a 100cc bike, young child on tank, father driving, older sister, mother on the back.
Now, while all of that seems a bit crazy, the things I really liked about it is the number of women riding scooters, often with their mothers (presumably) on the back. Really, really cool.
The indicator does not mean “I’m thinking of turning”, it means “get out of the way, I’m moving over now”. For all you Sydneysiders, that’s not much of a change, but for the more sedate Melbourne drivers, be warned !
While this all seems completely insane (and in some ways it is), I’ve not yet seen any accidents, nor are there many vehicles bearing the scars of impact. In some strange way it all works. There is enough respect (if that’s the right word) on the roads that plenty of room is made for vehicles of all types, the pedestrians, cows (yes, cows), dogs, pushbikes, and carts that are found in a typical trip.
I don’t know if this is good or not, but I really enjoyed today’s trip, not even a little bit scared, but just sat back and soaked up the drive. Loving it all so far.

A trip to the colonies

I’ve recovered enough to make a sensible blog entry which is good and bad. The good news is that I’m in Bangalore (India), about to meet some of my ANZIT colleagues. The bad news is that I’m in Bangalore, missing my wife.
Spent a leisurely day yesterday around the hotel, checking out what is around, and just sitting in the garden in the morning, then it got too hot and muggy, so retreated to the cool of the bar.
First impressions of Bangalore come from a taxi trip to the hotel from the airport. And all I can say is “wow”. The airport is a throwback to the 50’s. I don’t think it’s seen much love since then. The best word I can find to describe Bangalore (or the parts I have seen, which is limited) is “unkempt”.
The city has a lot of bare concrete and it’s very dusty. Didn’t see much that was dirty/unclean, but just “untidy” or old.
The traffic is crazy. Our cab driver should go for a spot on in the Melbourne GP. He was astounding, driving at 70km/h with no more than 3 inches between vehicles. Beeping and weaving appears to be part of the driving culture here. I would imagine that the horn is the first part of the car that wears out before any other part.
I was interested to see traffic lights at intersections. They are not given any heed, and Joel and I decided that they are there merely to warn other drivers that you will have to weave out of the way of oncoming traffic. Don’t expect any semblance of road rules, there aren’t any. Lots of little 100-150cc 2-stroke motorbikes around mostly ridden 2-up, but I only saw 2 helmets – ouch !!
However, the most bizarre part of the evening was seeing a traffic cop booking a couple of cars. There didn’t seem to have been an accident, so I just guessed that he must have been booking them for “safe driving”. Must have stopped at a red light, or used an indicator or something, as it seemed to me that everything else goes in Bangalore (and presumably all of India) and I can’t see that there are any “rules” that could be broken.
Today is visit the team. I’m really looking forward to it. But off now for breakfast…

Programmers should be seen and heard

The single biggest barrier to success in a project is when the project team do not communicate effectively.
This cripples the project beyond repair, and people may as well just pack up and go home. Technology choice, technical difficulty are all just minor in comparison to the numbing effect of lack of communication.
Some of the key factors in this are when inexperienced, or unsure developers refuse to ask questions for fear of being seen as “dumb”. Ask the questions. Ask the BA’s if you don’t understand the requirements. Ask the senior developers if you don’t understand how to build something. Ask the project managers for advice if you think you might take longer than expected.
There’s a very, very big difference between inexperience and stupidity. Most people go through the inexperienced stage at various times. It’s not a problem, it’s not an issue.
What is an issue is if people don’t recognise that inexeperience is just a phase that we all have to go through during learning. Get over it. Move on. Ask the questions.