beautiful book

yes! my copy of beautiful code: leading programmers explain how they think just arrived. it includes essays by brian kernighan, karl fogel (subversion), jon bentley, tim bray, elliotte rusty harold, michael feathers, alberto savoia (testivus), charles petzold, douglas crockford, henry s warren jr (hacker's delight), ashish gulhati, lincoln stein, jim kent (parasol), jack dongarra (netlib) and piotr luszczek, adam kolawa, greg kroah-hartman, diomidis spinellis (code reading, code quality), andrew kuchling, travis e oliphant, ronald mak (martian principles), rogerio atem de carvalho (erp5) and rafael monnerat, bryan cantrill (dtrace), jeff dean and sanjay ghemawat (mapreduce), simon peyton jones (haskell), r. kent dybvig (chez scheme), william r. otte and douglas c. schmidt, andrew patzer, andreas zeller, yukihiro matsumoto (ruby), arun mehta, t.v. raman (emacspeak), laura wingerd and christopher seiwald (perforce), brian hayes.

i am impressed with some of the essays even after the preliminary scan. i know i would want another volume, with essays from, say, jeff bonwick, henry spencer, sam leffler, richard stallman, marshall mckusick, william clinger, guy steele, radia perlman...

see also: bryan's blog entry about the book.

[sigh, i did not know about the book until i saw it on geoff arnold's now reading sidebar. thanks geoff!]


serendipitous naughts

welcome news: ann coulter's recent pulp contribution to right-wing fantasy and malediction literature is now out in softcover with an afterword. the copy i accidentally bumped fell open [no doubt a sign from assorted fictional deities who wish to brighten my day] to page 269 where i read this 5-star howler:
the path between darwinism and nazism may not be ineluctable, but it is more ineluctable than the evolutionary path from monkey to man.

[ineluctable: lawyer-speak for inescapable]



none of the rocks were set up by a photographer. all natural occurances found in bokbalbaii, south africa. all images copyright ozan s. yigit.
see ancnd
prints available.

tosses back blonde hair...

roger ebert's uproarious spoof of ann coulter: chris curveball and blonde bomb
Well, then, let’s face it. You’re a porker yourself. And then the liberals sue doctors to keep them from delivering babies! At least that’s an improvement. Liberals used to eat babies. Maybe that’s why they got so fat.


recently noted quotes

the inhabitants of this great wilderness may live and die without ever having contact with humanity. long may it be that way. -- david attenborough [planet earth]

You know what I love about the GPL? Regular lawyers can't understand it. -- groklaw

attention conservation notice: i know nothing about music and have no taste. -- cosma shazili [random notes from the tail end of the montreal jazz festival]

Q: You have run into criticism from certain religious groups who regard you as subversive, with the Catholic Herald describing your work as 'worthy of the bonfire.' Do such emotional responses concern or upset you or does it please you to generate strong reactions?

A: I'm delighted to have brought such excitement into what must be very dull lives. -- philip pullman [about the writing]

precious! precious! oh my precious we loves you. we loves you! -- brent on his new iphone [pvp]

whether or not the jesus phone achieves worldly success, it will succeed in its own way by convincing people that the world can be different. -- ed felten [behind the iphone frenzy]

no man treats a motor car as foolishly as he treats another human being. -- bertrand russell [has religion made useful contributions to civilization?]

release early, release often, repent! -- me

do not eat or open desiccant
do not consume if having certain allergy -- san feng yuan peanut package warning

the frenchwoman has become americanized; she speaks seriously about serious matters, she takes life seriously, she rides on the rigid saddle of modern manners, dresses poorly, tastelessly, and wears corsets of galvanized tin which can resist most powerful pressures. -- jules verne [paris in the twentieth century]

turn off everything. patrol your house to pull the plugs on the tv, the radio, the fax, the e-mail-transmitting computer and its ingrown internet. go sit on your porch with a glass of vodka lemonade, a pad and pencil, and truly think. -- ray bradbury [bradbury speaks]


from the nose of the buddha

john scalzi's utterly useless writing advice is actually pretty good advice.

ursula leguin on serious literature and on a sad critic named ruth franklin.

new scientist environment: climate change: a guide for the perplexed. [a pointer i need to send to at least one canadian right-wing rag in denial.]

council of europe's report on dangers of creationism in education, june 2007.

song of hakawatha

duncan sinclair kindly preserved f.x. reid's very funny spoof of hiawatha, song of hakawatha:
Type the login and the password -
Found the system even slower
Even slower than the first time
(Just as though some evil spirit
Had reprogrammed all of UNIX
In the language LISP or OCCAM -
Which among the cognosenti
Are not fames for running quickly
Rather for their ponderous slowness
Like a third year CS student
Trying to make out a theorem
Such as that of Church and Rosser).


name dropping: peter's flame

this year's usenix flame award was given to my friend peter honeyman.
Peter's often highly unconventional stewardship of the countless students, researchers, and advisees he has touched is the stuff of graduate student legend. His penetratingly insightful (and potentially hazardous) questions and comments, combined with a paradoxically unflinching loyalty, consistently have led those under his tutelage to the pinnacle of achievement in security, systems, and networking.

congratulations peter!

council of ex-muslims in britain

council of ex-muslims in britain launched. here is the manifesto of the council, and a specific paragraph i must quote...
Those of us who have come forward with our names and photographs represent countless others who are unable or unwilling to do so because of the threats faced by those considered 'apostates' - punishable by death in countries under Islamic law.


mercurial next version

happy to see mercurial 0.9.4 is now available
  • support for symlinks
  • improved tag handling
  • improved merge handling of file and directory renames
  • improved named branch usability
  • numerous improvements to commands
  • generic pre- and post-command hooks
  • improved Windows support
  • basic BeOS and OpenVMS support
  • numerous bug fixes
[now nearly a year into using mercurial. all my previously cvs/bk/svn/etc kept repositories have been converted.]

related reading: mercurial book in progress


recently noted quotes

lisp: no description provided -- freebsd package install

if there is one lesson that i have learned well along the way, it is simply this: the place to live is in the here and now. -- freeman patterson

obscurantism in an academic subject expands to fill the vacuum of its intrinsic simplicity. -- Dawkins’s Law of the Conservation of Difficulty

If I see another compact camera where the down-key on a Direction pad brings up a Focus menu so that you can get to the Close-up focus mode, I think I’ll puke. -- thom hogan [thom's compact challenge]

i like dull. it lasts. -- glod glodsson [soul music]

why program by hand in five days what you can spend five years of your life automating? -- terence parr's motto

we have met our alien overlords, and they are us. -- cosma shalizi

it had a tossed-in-the-air-fruitcake quality ... -- owen gleiberman [on dead man's chest]

best rodent ever...

it is hard to write anything about ratatouille without turning into an gushing, adjective-filled cliche machine. it is one of the finest pieces in the history of animated story telling [that i have ever seen] would just about do it. it is truly a historic moment for disney and pixar: a new rodent is in the house.

at the end of the movie, adults and kids were standing up and clapping...