Issues with “no circulars” in regard to community newsletters are resolved, the garage door opener is fixed, conflicts occur over TDD, and crosswords are done using regular expressions for clues.

No circulars deliveries

Last of the community deliveries organised, but not without some complaints from home owners who fail to understand that “no circulars” does not necessarily apply to a community newsletter. I’ve been in touch with CCC the local council, NZ Post, and other places, and the general understanding is that it comes down to a civil matter if people have complaints.

The law in regard to community newsletters doesn’t have much to say, but there are some regional bylaws in regard to community newsletters that exist for Auckland and the North Shore that can be used to help clarify things. What seems to be exempt are material from the government, charities, newspapers, and community newsletters.

About the most that there is that we have to work with, is the National code of practice for the distribution of unaddressed mail, that says:

  • Unaddressed mail, including brochures, flyers and business cards, must not be delivered to letterboxes where a sign requesting non-delivery is displayed
  • Unaddressed mail and free newspapers must not be delivered to letterboxes displaying an “Addressed mail only” sign
  • Unaddressed mail must not be delivered to addresses where there is no letterbox or where the letterbox is unsuitable for receiving or holding such material
  • Unaddressed mail must not be delivered to letterboxes that are already full
  • Other mail/material already in the letterbox must not be removed to make space for unaddressed mail

If anyone comes up to us complaining we don’t have to push the issue, but we’re on good grounds where a letter box has “no circulars” and isn’t already full.

Garage door opener

The garage door has been giving us trouble for the past year. When the weather gets slightly warm the door seems to expand slightly, so that the door closer can’t close it properly and it returns back to being open again. We invariably have wait for it to get near to being closed before activating it again to manually stop it before it tries to reopen.

As a result of this, someone came by yesterday to fine tune the setup there. It couldn’t be fixed by the end of the day so we all had to park outside for the night, but by the end of today it all came right. We can now leave home and close the door without having to wait for what seems an eternity to make sure that it’s properly happening. It’s quite remarkable how a simple thing like this being fixed imbues a sense of freedom on us.

TDD up in arms

People involved with TDD (test driven development) are up in arms lately. Justin Searls recently wrote about The Failures of “Intro to TDD” and proposes instead an old answer called big design up front using the waterfall model.

Fortunately though Uncle Bob, a luminary in the TDD world, has responded in turn with The Domain Discontinuity where he directly answers Justin’s complaints, and gives him a smack upside the head for wanting to push us back to the bad old days.

Regular expressions crossword

Anyone who’s dealt with a little bit of programming has no doubt come across regular expressions, which are used to match text. For example, a regex to match an email might be:


It can be tricky to tell what’s going on there, so a nice website called Regexper provides a nice visual railroad diagram of what they mean. For ^([a-z0-9_\.-]+)@([\da-z\.-]+)\.([a-z\.]{2,6})$ the site shows:

Railroad diagram for email regular expression

Railroad diagram for email regular expression

Which brings us to the regex crossword which provides a nice way to learn more about them. After completing them last night I’ve moved on to a more challenging regular expression crossword from an MIT challenge, which is going to provide an interesting distraction for a few days.