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Jon Skeet
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Yesterday, I attended the Pride march (http://prideinlondon.org) in London for the first time, with my wife (Holly) and our three boys. We had an amazing time, and I just wanted to share a few thoughts.

In planning, we were torn between three options: a) marching with Christians Together at Pride (http://christiansatpride.com); b) marching with the Google float; c) watching. In the end we chose option b for various reasons. I'm sure we'd have had a blast with either of the other choices, but I'm pleased with our decision anyway.

After brunch at Bill's, we reached the Google check-in tables at around 11:30am, picked up bags with flags, capes, water, and T-shirts in, and then started waiting for the parade to start, with an ever-increasing number of Google employees and their friends and family. We'd brought a couple of flags/banners (a rainbow lion with "Pride hero" and a rainbow with "love is equal") which were generally admired. A lone face-painter was doing fabulous work despite the queue - Tom, Holly and I all had our faces painted.

We'd initially expected to start moving around 1pm, then we were told 2pm - but there were general delays beyond that. Word came down that this was due to an anti-LGBT protest at the front, although I haven't seen anything about that on news sites since - I suspect the message was misheard due to the loud and fabulous music everywhere. I think we probably moved off around 2:45pm. While waiting, the kids got (understandably) a bit bored, as well as hot and tired, but never problematically so. (The weather was wonderful - sunny for most of the time, and hot. At one point Santander passed round a bag of suntan lotion tubes for those who wanted it.) A packet of cookies given to us as a sugar kick for the kids certainly helped!

The parade itself was - well, like nothing I've ever experienced. We started off walking beside the float, but at various times we a bit in front of it or quite a way behind it... and for about 15 minutes, Tom, Robin and I were actually on it, which was definitely one of the highlights.

We whistled. We cheered. We yelled. We waved our flags, held our banners aloft (helped by a Microsoft employee for the second half of the parade, for which I was very grateful) and drank in the atmosphere. The boys exchanged high fives with hundreds of people - others parading and the crowds along the streets, watching. Most surprising to me though, we danced.

Now I don't dance. At least, not in a disco sense. I was in the Strathspey and Reel society at university, and I like a barn dance - you know, where there are definite steps to take, and it's mostly a matter of counting. I'm rubbish at dancing - I have a decent sense of rhythm, but my movements are awkward, and I'm very far from athletic. Yesterday, it didn't matter. In the exuberance, the joy of the occasion, and the omnipresent music, I was just caught up in it. Most importantly, I felt that no-one would care if I was dancing badly. In an event where thousands of people are celebrating being able to simply be who they are after years of being told that their identity is "unnatural" (usually in rather stronger terms), the feeling of acceptance was overwhelming. I could enjoy myself and my far-from-graceful dancing without embarrassment.

I'm highlighting this because it feels like the epitome of the hugely inclusive nature of the whole day. As another example, Holly was a bit nervous before we arrived: although we were sure we'd be welcomed, she still felt it might effectively be impinging on the LGBT+ community's event - gatecrashing their party, so to speak. I was convinced it would be fine, but I didn't expect quite the level of enthusiasm that greeted us, right from the start. It never felt like cordial tolerance; everyone seemed genuinely glad we were there, particularly with the boys in tow.

I feel like I'm explaining this badly - I could repeat myself several times to try to get across the strength of my feeling on this, but that wouldn't really be productive. It's easy to sound breathless and naive, and I suspect there's an element of truth there, too. Over twenty-four hours later, I'm still caught up in the event - which doesn't make me objective, but it does give an indication of the impression it's made on me.

The more I've reflected though, the more I find myself challenged. I have questions to answer:

- What does it say about the church that I felt more deliberately included and valued at Pride than I usually do at church?

- Why do I feel that declaring myself a Christian at Pride would raise fewer eyebrows than declaring my support for LGBT rights at church?

- I've been interested in LGBT rights to a greater or lesser extent for years. What does it say about me that I haven't been to Pride before? What else do I claim to care about, but fail to take action on? It's not like attending Pride is exactly going out on a limb, either.

I'm going to stop now, before this turns into a massively unreadable tome. But thank you, everyone who welcomed us yesterday. Thank you, Google, for supporting Pride so well. Thank you, everyone who has taken a stand over so many years. You're all my Pride Heroes.

(A note on comments: I'm not going to declare a specific moderation policy here, beyond "I'll use my discretion.")

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I don't think Tom's going to go hungry....
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Trivia of the day: it's my birthday in both the Gregorian (June 19th) and Hebrew calendar (Sivan 21st). If I live to be 100, that will have happened 4 times, including on the day I was born.

(No, this really wasn't an attempt to get lots of "happy birthday" comments.)

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Hooray! Now I can stop, right?
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Aha, Google+ has at last decided to give me a vanity URL :)

http://google.com/+JonSkeet now works. Hooray!

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I don't often code in Javascript, but I'm quite pleased with the result here... I wanted to make it simple to see what characters are in a string, including the UTF-16 code units, the full Unicode code points and UTF-8 representation. I first wrote a C# implementation, then figured it would be more useful in web form.

Apparently there's still a problem in terms of when the display part gets triggered, but I can tweak that later...

Play with it yourself at http://csharpindepth.com/Articles/General/Unicode.aspx#explorer

... and comments for improvements welcome, of course. (Apologies for any cringe-worthy JS if you happen to look at the source, by the way.)
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Today, on a transatlantic flight I decided to write up some time zone and calendar trivia that I've had in my brain for ages. Aside from anything else, this will give me a good source to quickly revise from one place before giving a talk where this sort of thing goes down well.

I started writing up the "British Standard Time" debacle, where in 1968 we changed from British Summer Time (BST: UTC+1, consisting of a standard time of UTC+0 and a daylight saving of one hour) to British Standard Time (BST: UTC+1, consisting of a standard time of UTC+1 and no daylight saving time) on October 27th. I'm aware that Java already has a bug about this (it thinks that at the Unix epoch, London observed GMT - despite getting the actual local time - 1am - correct). I thought I'd quickly check that Noda Time actually did the right thing, and found to my horror that it didn't. It swallowed up the two BSTs into a single zone interval. Half an hour or so of debugging later (this is not a pleasant bit of the Noda Time code base) I had a fix, which I've checked into a separate branch.

So, now I was seeing a zone interval from midnight on October 27th (local time). This is very odd - in the UK our DST transitions always occur at 1am or 2am local time. I tracked it down to a potential bug in the time zone rule itself in the IANA data, and was just about to write an email to the IANA list, when I found http://www.polyomino.org.uk/british-time/ which suggests that we don't know when the actual act came into force.

This is terrible. How can we not know the exact instant at which people didn't need to change their clocks? Some people might have stayed up until 1am to not change anything, when they could have not changed it at midnight instead, and gone to sleep an hour earlier happy in the knowledge that they'd already stopped observing daylight savings. 

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I intended just to share this with one person - I took it just before the service on Sunday morning, in order to project the image during the service. (It's a wreath our Junior Church members made.)
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Interview between myself and George London, as part of his "A*" interview series. Not sure why my camera made me so fuzzy - it's an HD camera, and normally pretty good, but never mind...

http://rogueleaderr.com/post/69153170882/a-interview-11-jon-skeet-all-time-highest

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Yay - the tzdb time zone IDs, fetched in Noda Time, running on my iPad.
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