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{ Author Archives }

On opinionation

I’ve realised that when I read that a tool or framework is “opinionated”, I interpret that as meaning that I’m going to have to spend time on working out how to express my solution in its terms. I have enough trouble trying to work out how to express my solution in terms of my problem, […]

The Tankard Brigade

I have a guideline that seems to apply to many pursuits and hobbies: any activity can be fun until there’s too high a density of men with beards and tankards. Of course, they aren’t all men (though many are) and don’t all have beards and tankards (though many do). But they can turn any enjoyable […]

UNIX-like pedantry

Some people like to refer to OS X as UNIX-like when it’s actually a UNIX. There was a time when it was UNIX-like and some people liked to refer to it as a UNIX, but it’s not now.

The other pink dollar

How did (a very broad and collective) we go from selling NeXT at $440M to selling Tumblr at $1.1B, in under two decades? Why was Sun Microsystems, one of the most technologically advanced companies in the valley, only worth two Nests? I don’t think we’re technologists (much) any more. We’ve moved from building value by […]

…and in the end there will be the command line.

You’re pretty happy with the car that the dealer is showing you. It looks comfortable, stylish, and has all of the features you want. There’s a lot of space in the trunk for your luggage. The independent reviews that you’ve seen agree with the marketing literature: once this vehicle gets out onto the open road, […]

But where to go?

I agree with John Gruber here: it’s not like Apple’s stuff has become worse than a competitor’s, it’s just that it’s not as good as I remember or expect. It could be, as Daniel Jalkut suggests, rose-tinted glasses[*]. I don’t think there is a “better” competitor, except in limited senses: Solaris/IllumOS and OpenBSD both have […]

Learn Mansplaining The Hard Way

zed shaw: It didn’t matter that most of these detractors admitted to me that they don’t code C anymore, that they don’t teach it, and that they just memorized the standard so they could “help” people. […] I cannot help old programmers. They are all doomed. Destined to have all the knowledge they accumulated through […]

On switching to Linux

In November, I switched to GNU/Linux at home (I still use OS X at work, because I still write Objective-C in Xcode at work). Or rather, I switched back: I’d been using it around a decade ago. In December, I resolved to spend more time working with Free Software during 2015 and beyond. Now I […]

Layers of Distraction

A discussion I was involved in over on Facebook reminded me of some other issues I’d already drafted for this blog, so I stuck the two together and here we are. Software systems can often be seen as aggregations of strata, with higher layers making use of the services in the lower layers. You’ll often […]

Rubbies and sores

I imagine many of you are familiar with the difference between Ruby (a beautiful language representing the best pragmatic balance between Smalltalk’s elegance and C’s ubiquity) and Rubby (a horrendous mishmash of abominations in the style of all scripting languages, glommed together by finding nearly-compatible corner cases). I also make the same distinction between Open […]