Category Archives: programming

programming and design

05 Oct 2009
DLL Hell 2.0

One of my more popular posts, “Elimination of ‘DLL Hell’, correction of fatal flaws, and reinventing the Internet“, may need updating…. See “‘Side By Side Assemblies’ Bring DLL Hell 2.0” at Slashdot.

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17 May 2009
Computer Math

In early April I said “The real problem was that new users either believed that computers understood and used ideal mathematics, or had come from ‘mainframe’ backgrounds where all math was done with decimal data types rather than defaulting to low-precision floating point.” So I was tickled to see Jeff Atwood’s blog post on 5/13, […]

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15 May 2009
Don’t Look Don’t Tell

It’s time for another rantish post. [T]he manufacturer maintained that the system was perfect, and that revealing the source code would be damaging to its business. They were right about the second part, of course, because it turned out that the code was terrible. […] Basically, the system was designed to return some sort of […]

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20 Feb 2009
Broken Windows

This isn’t about Microsoft Windows. The Parable of the Broken Window describes a shopkeeper whose window is broken by a little boy. Everyone sympathizes with the man whose window was broken, but pretty soon they start to suggest that the broken window makes work for the glazier, who will then buy bread, benefiting the baker, […]

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16 Feb 2009
What would the neighbors say?

Sometimes, when I’m looking at the code of a complete stranger, I get that same, weird feeling I get when I’m creeping through my neighbour’s house. Picking up their stuff, looking through their fridge. That’s from item number 5 (Read the code from an open source project) in Leon Bambrick’s 8 ways to be a […]

Category: humor, programming
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18 Dec 2008
Uncanny Valley of User Interface

Jeff Atwood’s ‘Avoiding The Uncanny Valley of User Interface‘ caught my eye, so to speak. His contention is that “a web app that apes the conventions of a desktop application is attempting to cross the uncanny valley of user interface design”. Atwood’s post was inspired by Bill Higgins’ older post ‘the Uncanny Valley of user […]

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02 Dec 2008
Flailing Around

I think we’re leaving one metaphor on the table which more accurately reflects the way software is built in the real world: flail around randomly and pray you succeed by force of pure dumb luck. Sometimes it even works. Not very often, but just enough to confuse people who should know better into thinking they’re […]

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14 Jul 2008
Yakity YACC

For those of you who think you produce bug free code … As told at New Otto malloc helps spot ancient bug, “Otto Moerbeek recently found and fixed an ancient bug (some 33 years old) in yacc(1). Here is his story….” image: Dave Pape, Bos grunniens – Syracuse Zoo.jpg, Wikimedia Commonsh/t: Bob Plankers, links for […]

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07 Jul 2008
Linux Filesystem Backups

Backup is an essential responsibility that comes with owning a computer, but it is more honored in the breech than in practice. Echoing what I said in MySQL Backups, some situations may require more elaborate techniques, but these scripts are “good enough” for my needs. I hope you find these scripts useful, and welcome comments, […]

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06 Jul 2008
MySQL Backups

Even if you consistently back up your filesystem, you should also back up your databases separately, using an appropriate tool to maintain their relational integrity and to provide for recovery independent of the filesystem. MySQL is a pervasive, lightweight RDBMS that is used with popular applications such as WordPress and Bugzilla. The mysqldump utility which […]

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