Random Shorts

by Charles Miller on April 28, 2004

It’s interesting the little security decisions you make. Like waiting until after I had returned to mention on my weblog that I was spending the weekend in Perth.

Niftiness from shimmer on development tips

“Make your temporary programmer art as ugly as possible, so that the art department notices while there is still enough time left to replace it. If you steal something from the web for a prototype, ‘sign’ it with an ungodly hideous swath of colour for the same reason, so that it can’t possibly sneak into a shipped product.” I use fuschia. It seems to carry an implied message that perhaps this monstrosity was the Girl Programmer’s fault, and that she is the person to speak with about how the game uses it in order to make a working replacement. Also, I hate fuschia enough that sometimes it’ll force me to bother the artists directly and repeatedly just so it goes away.

and on clothes shopping

All they cost is twice what you want to pay for them and your pride.

2004 Pixies live performance on mp3. Run, don’t walk.

Various posts on the “Blog as Article” trend.

I regularly write thousand-word blog posts that could, potentially, become real articles. Once or twice I’ve been approached to submit them to magazines. My opinion, though, is that we put up with a lot of bad writing on blogs that in other circumstances would render them unreadable. The immediacy of the blog medium is compensation for the bad writing. Take them out of that medium, they’d (with a few rare exceptions) just be badly-written articles.

All my posts are strictly first-draft material, and I’d be pretty embarrassed to see them published anywhere. Even my best posts would require a great deal of work before I’d consider them suitable for publication anywhere but this personal space, where I’m not expected to be any good.

Linking to blog-posts in lieu of paid content would satisfy bloggers, who are used to the blogging style, but would leave people used to quality in a publication out in the cold.

CSS continues to truly shit me. It’s a wonderful idea, but the execution leaves a lot to be desired. The contortions you have to go through to make something as universal as columns, and the brittleness of the layout that results (what happens when one column is optional?) makes me run back to table-based layouts every single time. I think the only reason I stick with CSS-based layout on my blog is sheer bloody-mindedness.

Everyone should know at least one scripting language. Even if you're paid to program in some other language, they're just such useful tools to have lying around on the off-chance you need to throw something together quickly.

require 'rexml/document'
doc = REXML::Document.new(File.new("project.xml"))
doc.elements.each("//dependency") do |dep|
    name = dep.elements["id"].text
    version = dep.elements["version"].text if 
    puts "%s %s" % [name, version]

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