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{ Author Archives }

Quotes on JavaScript

Derek Jones, from the PL advent calendar ‘J’ entry: Javascript would not have existed without the Internet and its ‘design’ must be a contender for the most costly software mistake [ever] made. Me, 14 months ago: Fundamentally I fear a world in which programmers think JavaScript is acceptable. Partly because JavaScript, but mostly because when […]

Object-Oriented Programming in 1714

Here are some excerpts from Leibniz’s La Monadologie (specifically from Daniel Garber and Roger Arlew’s English translation in Discourse on Metaphysics and Other Essays). THE MONAD, which we shall discuss here, is nothing but a simple substance that enters into composites – simple, that is, without parts. Thus, one can say that monads can only […]

An odd thought

An odd thought: I have written software for a computer whose CPU was used as an I/O controller for a computer that I have programmed, whose CPU was used as an I/O controller for a computer that I have programmed. So far, I’m not aware of the i7 being used as an I/O controller.

Programming language advent The first article, containing languages beginning with ‘A’, is linked above. I can tell this is going to be a month of reading.

That can’t possibly work.

A while back I was at a Facebook developer event, talking about techniques for analysing Objective-C. My summary of the problem was something like “it’s one of those things that works pretty well in the ivory towers of practice but completely falls apart when you try to use it in theory.” That’s true of many […]

Détournement and Recuperation

Letterists International probably invented the ideas behind free software and creative commons. They created the idea of détournement, in which existing mainstream logos and slogans were subverted for anarchist, satirical and other radical political purposes, like the picture of the Queen defaced in the cover of the Sex Pistols single. The counterpart to détournement is […]

Today’s surprisingly short workflow-improving win

When I have a TODO comment (or a #error in code, which is how I frequently do TODOs), I switched to writing the commit message I want to be able to use when I’ve fixed the TODO. Then I write the thing that’s missing, kill the TODO and yank it into the commit command.

Tech’s Meritocracy Problem

Meritocracy is a myth. And our belief in it is holding back the tech industry from getting better. The intent to be meritocratic is not a myth, but we know what road is paved with good intentions. —from Tech’s Meritocracy Problem.

Why nerd culture must die Truth.

There’s No Such Thing as a General-purpose Processor There’s no such thing as a General-purpose processor, and belief in such a device is harmful.