October 2003

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It captures nothing about what it means to be a hacker. Worse, its drab nature captures every misconception we'd rather get away from. It's the logo equivalent of "You sit in front of a screen all day typing? And you _enjoy_ it?"
I think the moral of the story here is that optimization is sometimes the judicious application of brute force.
The other day I had to mess around with struts-menu, so as to make certain menu options disappear based on who was logged in. Eventually, I worked out how it's done. Mostly by reading the source-code. I figured I'd write up what I did so maybe someone else can benefit from my day.
A while back, I wanted to demonstrate that the restrictions of the Java programming language and those of the Java Virtual Machine were not the same thing. Hence, a class called 'class'.
Suffice to say, from this day henceforth, I will do my utmost to convince any client, customer, employer, friend, neighbour, or anyone I overhear discussing Linux in the pub that Redhat is a useless pile of fetid dingo's kidneys.
Through the modern miracle of defenestration, the programmer is relieved of the drudgery of Javadoc. -- Alan Green
so here I lay dreaming looking at the brilliant sun raining its guiding light upon everyone
Early on, require that command or action classes are named by their noun first. then the verb: i.e. "UserCreateCommand", or "UserUpdateInformationAction".
A more accurate restatement is to say that "Exceptions change the default behaviour on an error from being unpredictable, to being fail-fast". The first property that Exceptions have, but error codes do not, is this safety.
"I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones in the right order, you can nudge the world a little or make a poem which children will speak for you when you’re dead." (Tom Stoppard's "The Real Thing")
It's a strong model: the end nodes are secure and the middle is not. It's clean, it's simple, and we just happen to have a solution for it. Problem is, it's also wrong. The end systems are not secure, and the comms in the middle is actually remarkably safe.
One of the problems with writing is that sometimes you have an idea that is very clear in your head, but that for some reason you just can't ever quite manage to turn into a coherent article.
From the front page of Apple's website today: The blunt art of hyperbole, and how to get everyone talking about you.
I'm pretty sure the fridge in the Cirrus office hasn't been defrosted since I started working there, three and a half years ago. In that time, it's managed to gather up a healthy collection of ice. Today David Pinn decided to do something about it.
Nobody dies cleanly in Kill Bill. The bodies don't fall out of frame with a minimum of mess. They fountain unnatural torrents of blood, and stay where they lie, or they crawl out desperately with what limbs they have remaining. There is no sanitized violence, there is only brutality.
Once you can reach across your desk and play that sample at any pitch you desire, it's hard to stop. Even though you know you're sending your co-workers insane.
The web does not exist to serve Google. The web should not stay stagnant so as not to break its search engine. The web evolves continuously. It is up to Google to change itself to adapt to what people want to do with the Web.
Like quite a few people, I'm going to add my voice to the throng and say that Joel Spolsky's latest essay, 'Exceptions', is the first of his writings that I can remember looking at and thinking, "Man, that's just wrong."
After seeing both X-Men 2 and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen this year, I have come to the conclusion that Hollywood has great difficulty writing a script for an ensemble superhero movie. As a theatre patron, I would like to suggest the following script guidelines for anyone attempting such a movie in the future.
A day in the life of those online quizzes.
One of my favourite cautionary tales about the assumptions that nerds make about the Internet comes from when I was working for an ISP.
Given the use of the phrases "is ... fully featured", "can be easily configured", and "has a plugin architecture" in its description, what stage of development would you assume the project is in?
"Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place. Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are, by definition, not smart enough to debug it." -- Brian W. Kernighan
'Just' is a vague, almost condescending diminutive. Nine times out of ten, it means this: "I do not know, but it is in my interest to estimate optimistically."
I keep hearing how wonderful Visual Studio .NET is, and how it kicks the ass of any Java IDE. Unfortunately, I mostly hear this from people who haven't used a Java IDE in the last three years, and I haven't used Visual Studio in about... er... five. So I just grit my teeth and say "Yes, whatever you say".
One of my possibly annoying habits is inserting pop-culture references into random conversation.
NetNewsWire has a really cool feature whereby it highlights changes that have been made to an RSS item. The transparency of weblogging can be quite daunting sometimes.
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