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David @ Tokyo

Perspective from Japan on whaling and whale meat, a spot of gourmet news, and monthly updates of whale meat stockpile statistics



2005 Tokyo Motor Show

One of my Australian mates invited me out to see the Tokyo Motor Show at Makuhari Messe (on the other side of Tokyo, a bit past Disneyland).

It was a pretty interesting event, lots of flash cars on display, and was also amusing to watch the girl-crazy photographers snapping off shots of the lovely models who were also on display.

The most interesting thing was a little bubble car of which the top part of the chassis could rotate 180 degrees, and the car could drive in either direction, making having to back in parking space a thing of the past (very "lady friendly" as the cute little announcer described it)

There were also Ferraris, Lambourghinis, Porsches, Mitsuoka (you probably hadn't heard of that one) and various others, but surprisingly some of my favourites came from the plain old Japanese car makers. The Daihatsu pictured here was my favourite.

Anyway, all my pics are online, at my new 300Mb webpage. I'm going to be dumping lots of crap on this webpage going forward, as blogger kind of sucks for images (shrinking them etc). Good for those on modems though I guess. But here they are:

(You will notice that towards the end of the day I too was starting to get distracted from the machine viewing by the young ladies parading around them)



yay, 300MB!

Just discovered that I have 300 MB of space online for a webpage due to my Yahoo!BB ADSL subscription.



IWC 2005: Anti-whalers must be on to a winner!

Australians for Animals International is the latest in a string of crafty anti-whaling groups in Australia urging their government to take Japan to an International Court over Japan's scientific whaling programmes, carried out under Article VIII of the ICRW.

For some amusement, let's see what we find at Australians from Animals' website:
Humpback populations have never recovered from the mindless slaughter which took place last century.
Indeed, their numbers aren't what they used to be but it's only honest to note that even by Australia standards the Humpback population is "booming" at 10% per annum :-)
Whales died in horrible agony...
Indeed, back in those days, they did. These days (after a century of technological advances) killing methods can ensure that the majority of whales die the instant they are struck by the harpoons.
...drowning in their blood, never losing consciousness until death
Drowning in their blood? One wonders how the hell they ever survived in the water?! I'd put money on it that the harpoons killed them before they "drowned in their blood". I'd also wager that most animals hunted in the wild rarely lose consciousness until they are dead...
Old time whalers tell the stories of the immense cruelty involved and they speak with sorrow about how the Japanese whaling ships almost wiped out the Humpbacks back in the 60’s.
Oh, and of course the Australian's never played a hand in the whale hunting!
Hmm, let's see... back in the 60's...

Australia Japan
1960: 0 282
61: 1481 284
62: 720 20
63: 87 20
64: 0 1
65: 0 43
66: 0 0
67: 0 0
68: 0 0
69: 0 0
Total:2228 650

Australia is indisputably the reckless culprit here, where as the Japanese takes were clearly at a much more responsible level. An annual take of the magnitude of Australia in the early 1960's was far beyond what the Japanese are planning to take for their research programmes (and it clearly wasn't sustainable either).

But enough amusing ourselves with the misinformation of yet another NGO - back to the article.

This is just yet another money grubbing grandstand from a donation seeking group.

We've already seen the Australians themselves admitting that such a case wouldn't have a legal leg to stand on.

We've seen the Australian government reject applications for legal action against Japan from other groups.

We've also seen Australian Labor come out and grandstand on the same issue too.

Australians for Animals are clearly just a little bit slow - they should have come out with this when the issue was big new back in June. They won't pull so many donations at this, the non-business end of the year.

Says Greens Senator Bob Brown:
"Is Mr Howard pulling his punches on whales so he can get a free trade agreement?"
I'd ask Mr. Brown if he is grandstanding on the issue because he knows the government will never take the issue to court as it would be a guaranteed failure (and huge political embarassment domestically and internationally), and is trying to score points out of it because of the lack of knowledge of whaling issues amongst the general Australia.
"That's pretty low politics. In public, it's for saving whales. In private, it's for Japanese whaling. You can't be neutral, or refuse to take action that's available, without you become complicit."
If Senator Brown is such a man of integrity I'd fully expect him to come out and propose Australia's immediate withdrawal from the ICRW, as it is the international treaty that legitimises scientific whaling operations around the world.



E17: Learnings (6) Embyro snprintf limitations

This one's a "gotcha" ("gotme")...

I wanted to use snprintf in an Embryo script in my EDC to format a floating point value to 2 decimal places. Unfortunately Embryo doesn't support complex print formats (yet?)

From e17/libs/embryo/include/default.inc:

/* same as snprintf, except only supports %%, %c, %i, %d, %f, %x, %X, %s, \n and \t */
native snprintf(dst[], dstn, fmt[], ...);
 Ok, so I worked around this by setting the string value in my C code and then  sending that to my module using the edje messaging system. I'll be writing more about that later...




E17: Learnings (5) Embyro language syntax

As mentioned at the Enlightenment homepage, Embryo provides the scripting functionality in Edje EDC's.

The language Embyro is based on was originally known as "SMALL", but recently due to non-Googlable nature of that name, has been rebranded as "PAWN" (be sure you spell it out when you tell your mates about it).

There's solid coverage of the language here in "Pawn - The Language" (PDF format) at the Compuphase homepage. Yet more reading!





This weekend I had a pretty good one - yesterday just relaxing in cafes and restaurants with friends, then today waking up to a beautiful autumn day and getting the "house work" done - and some shopping in the arvo! Actually fantastically drunk this evening... I went all the way over to the other side of town to my old residence for a dinner at my favourite haunt, and got saturated with alcohol in the process. Ugh!

Also did some extra play with e17 - my module is looking pretty good now, but I've got a tiny bit more debugging to do yet before unveiling it to the world.....



E17: Learnings (4) EDC and alignment

Today: Alignment in EDC

The default clock theme included with e17 has an option to turn on a digital display. I'm pretty useless at looking at the clock hands and figuring out which one is shortest, longest, moving fastest in an instant, so I like the digital option.

However, annoyingly for me, the digital time string is aligned to the left, not to the center. It just doesn't look right on the left :-)

Obviously, we need to modify the EDC group for the clock appropriately. All the EDCs for the enlightenment 17 default themes are stored at e17/apps/e/data/themes. In this case, the file to modify is default_clock.edc.

Way towards to end of the file is the definition for the "digital" TEXT part. This is the part that displays the text string that you see in the clock snapshot to the upper left. Here's how the file looks right now (revision 1.8):

part {
name: "digital";
type: TEXT;
effect: SOFT_SHADOW;
description {
state: "default" 0.0;
rel1 {
to: "digital_bg_area";
offset: 3 4;
rel2 {
to: "digital_bg_area";
offset: -2 -2;
color: 255 255 255 255;
color3: 0 0 0 32;
text {
text: "00:00:00 AM";
font: "Edje-Vera";
size: 15;
fit: 0 1;
align: 0.0 0.5;

Today we want to fix the alignment, so it's obvious at least which line to modify - the one that says "align" - but how? As we can see, the align value for the text time description specifies two values: 0.0 and 0.5.
These alignment values represent how the text part should be aligned with respect to the part it is specified to be positioned relative to. In this case, the "digital" text part is relative to the "digital_bg_area" (see rel1 and rel2). But this post isn't about part relativity, the rel1 / rel2 keywords aren't obvious in meaning, so let's just skip that this time!

The first value, 0.0 here, represents how the text part should be aligned horizontally, and the second, 0.5 is the vertical alignment.
- In the horizontal context (first value) 0.0 means "left aligned", and 1.0 means "right aligned"
- In the vertical context (second value) 0.0 means "top aligned" and 1.0 means "bottom aligned"
- Legal values range between 0.0 and 1.0
- The value represents a ratio for alignment along the respective x and y axises

Thus, what the "align: 0.0 0.5;" means is to left align and vertically center the text part relative to the "digital_bg_area" part (as denoted by the rel1 / rel2 values - a different blog entry as I said)

Back to my problem: I want to horizontally center the text string, not left align it. If I'm any good at all an explaining this, the change we need to make is simply as follows:

diff -u -u -r1.8 default_clock.edc
--- e17/apps/e/data/themes/default_clock.edc 24 Sep 2005 01:15:23 -0000 1.8
+++ e17/apps/e/data/themes/default_clock.edc 21 Oct 2005 18:07:00 -0000
@@ -693,7 +693,7 @@
font: "Edje-Vera";
size: 15;
fit: 0 1;
- align: 0.0 0.5;
+ align: 0.5 0.5;
description {

And below is the end result (^_^)

This works nicely with both 24 hour and 12 hour + AM/PM format options provided in the clock module configuration.

Finally, as I believe is the case for the the min and max values that I covered last time, the align keyword can be used to align part types other than TEXT.



Conserving Endangered Species

The NZ Herald reports that:
73 of New Zealand native bird species are on the World Conservation Union Red List of species threatened with extinction.

Among developed nations, only the US has more red-listed bird species.
Perhaps New Zealand and the US ought to learn how to conserve their own native species before running around the world lecturing others about sustainable whale harvests?

Just a thought!



Whales: More dehumanizing

The Seoul Times has a story on the "whale embassy" show set up by - you guessed it - Greenpeace and friends, those great bastions of international co-operation on environmental issues (hmm, how could I saturate that in even more sarcasm?).
Their snap line is that it's "there to give whales a voice" - to say what whales would say if they could speak.
Right... IF whales could speak - which they can't and never will be able to - because whales aren't humans, they are whales.

And its message to the citizens of Ulsan is to stop loving whales for their taste, and start loving them for themselves.

Why don't Greenpeace and co. stop hating whalers and start accepting the diverse cultures of the world which utilise a range of naturally renewable resources to feed their people?

The rest of the article provides a good example of blanket prohibition of whaling failing to achieve it's goals. Despite the ban on whaling, the IWC's scientific committee is exploring the possibility that South Korean "by-catch"levels (and likely undetected illegal whaling) may put the local J-stock at risk. The commercial whaling moratorium is past it's used by date, isn't helping the whales, and isn't providing the framework for constructive efforts to meet the needs of locals in Ulsan and conservation objectives.



E17: Learnings (3) Restricting edje text size

OK, and now for an even simpler one...

Issue: You want to ensure that a text part in your edje object never goes below a certain minimum size.

SImply add the "min" (or max if that's your aim) attribute into the description of the text part.

name: "text";
type: TEXT;
description {
state: "default" 0.0;
min: 16 16;
rel1 {
rel2 {
color: 120 120 120 167;
text {
} // text part
You're saying here that the text part can be no less than 16 pixels in width, and no less than 16 pixels in height. With settings of 16 and 16 it seems that the height setting (latter of the two) makes the width setting pretty useless with horizontal text, as you'll usually have a string of more than 1 character. As you make your edje object size smaller, the height restriction kicks in before the width one does.

min and max could be used for any type of part, not just text - but it's obviously useful here if you want to ensure that your text remains readable.



E17: Learnings (2) Restricting module size

Continuing my notes on e17 functions learnt before I forget them...

Issue: You want to restrict the size of a module on your e17 background canvas, because it will just look stupid and ugly at any other size.

E17's gadget manager enables modules to be moved and resized around your desktop. The module doesn't need to worry about this at all, other than to tell the gadman about itself when created.

In your module's .edc file you can define the maximum and minimum width and height for the module's interface. Say you have a group of parts called "main" like yay:

name: "main";
min: 10 10;
max: 256 256;
... (definition of the parts of the interface) ...

Here we are describing the interface's name and it's min and max dimensions, but that alone doesn't do anything useful. To actually get e17's gadget manager to honour these size restrictions you'll need to (gasp!) tell the gadman about it, in addition to the other setup.

The e_gadman_client_{min | max}_size_set functions are the ones you need to call to do this, and to extract the min and max values out of your edje (compiled from your .edc) you use the edje_object_size_{min | max}_get functions:

Evas_Coord w, h;


edje_object_size_min_get(face->edje_object, &w, &h);
e_gadman_client_min_size_set(face->gmc, w, h);
edje_object_size_max_get(face->edje_object, &w, &h);
e_gadman_client_max_size_set(face->gmc, w, h);

Now when you try to resize your module it'll be kept within the sane range of sizes that you defined for it.




IWC 2005: Solomons to be "neutral"

Here's the Solomons new Fishieries Minister, Mathias Taro:

"I cannot really say we support Japan or we support Australia with this stand. I think to be neutral is best for us."

That's pretty limp wristed stuff. The Solomons should, like all parties to the ICRW, vote in line with science and what they believe in. Do they believe in scientifically based management of human interactions with nature, or do they believe that whales are supernatural beings that are too good be eaten?

Meanwhile there's further happy news from Australia about increasing whale numbers.



E17: Learnings (1) up to date EDC info

Currently I'm working on a module for Enlightenment 17 (similar to the clock that you see on the top right hand of my desktop.

My module is still under wraps at this stage, but I'm going to be jotting down notes about various stuff I am learning and not wanting to forget straight away as I progress. I'll probably find better places to find the same information later on, but for now these are just my notes. You can skip them!


"Building Interfaces with Edje" is a useful resource as it attempts to explain the EDC format for interfaces, but it's a bit dated now. This source file gives some clues about additions to the format since that doc was written:

The function st_collections_group_parts_part_type shows that we now have the following part types available to us:




IWC 2005: Gone - Solomons Fisheries Minister

Radio NZ International is reporting that the Solomons Fisheries Minister Paul Maenu’u has resigned after supporting Japan's bid to lift the outdated moratorium on commercial whaling, instead of abstaining (they never planned to vote against) on the issue as is purported to be his government's position. This all came after the Australians boasted of an apparent victory for their bullying tactics when they announced that the Solomons (who the Australians had previously slandered as having sold their votes to Japan) had suddenly changed their position after just one meeting with Australia IWC rep Ian Campbell, a man who is utterly incapable of rational argument. No reason was ever given in the western media as to why the Solomons Government did the about face.

We should be seeing more about this in the main stram news media, but expect little in the way of enlightenment regarding the specifics of the situation.



Blogger, you suck

holy crap... I just wrote about 30 minutes of text then suddenly hit a wrong key or something and blogger crappily lost it all... undo doesn't work... well - no article for my couple of readers today then, and they can blame it on Blogger!

I'll re-write this whole thing in vi then copy and paste it later... maybe on the weekend....


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