Flow 07: Friday done

First day of Flow is behind. This year, we bought tickets for Friday and Sunday, we'll skip Saturday. I have a few not-so-great photos online.

The good:

  • The artists. Pepe Delux√© was good, sometimes great. Terry Callier was brilliant. No complaints about the other stuff, but those were the only two complete sets we heard. Well, CocoRosie was, er, slightly too weird for my tastes.
  • The location, the old Suvilahti power station. The outdoor space isn't quite as excellent as last year, but it is pretty nice anyway. And even closer to home. And having the club space in the same place justifies the move pretty well.

The bad:

  • Queues. Queues everywhere. One of the main attractions of Friday for us was Nicole Willis and The Soul Investigators. We spent the time they were on stage in the line outside the festival area, waiting to get in. Partially a timing problem (starting the first set at six o'clock on a Friday evening is just too early), partially a organizational problem (why does it have to be so slow to let people in?) Time to get a beer from the bars next to the main stage: 20-30 minutes. And of course the bar areas are fenced and you aren't allowed to go buy your drinks from another bar and take them to the main stage. Queues to the toilets, too.
  • The main reason causing the queues: too little staff. They would have probably doubled their sales if there was actually enough people staffing the bars. When they opened the club space, there was apparently one person staffing the three bars, serving a couple of hundred potential customers.
  • No schedules anywhere. If you didn't print out the schedule yourself, too bad.
  • Too small venues. The main stage was ok and we didn't really go to the club hall except right when it opened, so no idea how that was later on. But the tent where The Five Corners Quintet, Jukka Eskola, The Stance Brothers and Timo Lassy were the last acts was woefully small, with horrible crowding. We couldn't stand it so had to skip them, which meant that with Nicole Willis missed earlier, we didn't see half the acts we were trying to see.
  • The hot dog stand ran out of buns before hotdogs and gave out all the hot dogs to people when there were still others in the line. Thanks. We would have paid for those. After that, the only food left was a small piece of dry lasagna costing ten euros. This looks like a pretty good business.
  • The beer was Fosters. The cider was Upcider. The wines were JP Chenet.

If we hadn't already bought the tickets for Sunday, we might seriously reconsider our plans: good music, but they made it way too difficult to enjoy it.

Slightly disappointed in Nemerle

I've been coding with Nemerle a bit during the last couple of months. I've discovered that I had set my expectations too high. It doesn't quite live up to them. Might be as much my fault as Nemerle's, but that doesn't really change anything.

I was hoping for a experience closer to OCaml (only with better cross platform library support) than I got. With OCaml, once your code compiles, you know you are doing pretty good. With Nemerle, not so much. First of all, it feels like you get to fight a bit more with the type inferer than in OCaml. This is probably partially due to the maturity of the implementation, partially due to the fact that with OCaml, I didn't use as serious class hierarchies as I do with Nemerle, thanks to the .NET standard library and heavier Gtk+ usage.

The second problem I've encountered is that when you interface a lot with C# code, you don't really get much mileage out of the functional stuff in Nemerle. When you have a List generated in C#, you don't get to fold over it. While Nemerle does have the ICollection interface extending System.Collections.Generic.ICollection with all the functional iteration tools, there are no wrapper classes and no standalone functions. If you want a foldable List, you'll have to copy stuff. Not nice.

And third, while the variables are by default non-mutable, which is nice, and when you define your types in Nemerle you can do matching and get the safety that brings, you end up interacting so much with .NET code that you have to do the normal null checks all over the place anyway.

In short, the benefits of Nemerle over the current features of C# are feel pretty limited. Maybe it would be better if you were working with pure Nemerle projects, but at least interacting with C# eliminates most of them.

Making Emacs understand ncc errors

Add this to your .emacs or equivalent to make Emacs' compilation-mode make proper links out of the Nemerle compiler's error messages:

(setq compilation-error-regexp-alist 
    (append compilation-error-regexp-alist 
            1 2 3))))


Or even better, using rx (thanks to this hint for reminding me about it):

(setq compilation-error-regexp-alist 
      (append compilation-error-regexp-alist 
              `((,(rx line-start 
                      (group (1+ (not (any ":"))))
                      (group (1+ digit)) 
                      (group (1+ digit)) 
                      (*? digit) 
                      (*? digit) 
                      ": ") 1 2 3))))

© Juri Pakaste 2023