Inklings in October 2006

Version Control with SVK

Now, here’s a good idea. It’s similar to the crime map at and the map.

Blip Festival

How cool! A music festival for chip tunes!

The Multi-Tasking Myth

In a nutshell, stick to one project at a time because if you split your attention between several, you’ll just end up doing all of them worse.

Iterator merge in Python

One of the most elegant bits of code I’ve seen in a while. Go read Ned’s explaination while you’re at it, but I didn’t fully appreciate it until I fired up IDLE and started playing with it.

Common REST Questions

Covers a lot of stuff people ought to know about Representational State Transfer.

Life Cycle of a Silver Bullet

On how a good idea or methodology can become reviled as it spreads from its original source and gets watered down through misunderstanding and half-hearted implementation by neophytes.

The Holy Grail of Irish mapping

Very, very cool. I was talking to John about this at BarCamp. Unfortunately, with everything that happened when I got back up home, I wasn’t able to contact him like I’d intended to see about how this would work as part of Vocal Voter.

Developing Positive Patterns

Changing the default printer on Linux (or FreeBSD) and Firefox

This is for people like me who install the bare minimum of stuff. I do all my administration in XTerm.


Reasons for producing unit tests and integration tests even if you think you don’t need them.

Pirates of the Mediterranean: What A Terrorist Incident in Ancient Rome Can Teach the US

Putting your republic in the hands of strongmen is not exactly the best way to preserve it.

Silicon Superstitions: When we don't understand a process, we fall into magical thinking about results

Hubble confirms nearest known extrasolar planet

It’s Jupiter-sized and orbiting Epsilon Eridani.

How To Protect A Rails Application Against Spam with Akismet

Really real examples of HOP techniques in action

5 Principles For Programming

How to profile a query in MySQL

Let me do what I want, I'm not 6

Twenty on how statutary closing times only make the problems we have with alcohol worse. As you might guess, I agree with him.

Omega-3, junk food and the link between violence and what we eat

Research with British and US offenders suggests nutritional deficiencies may play a key role in aggressive behaviour.

Can You Tell a Sunni From a Shiite?

The level of ignorance when it comes to something like this is shocking.

Introducing WSGI: Python's Secret Web Weapon, Part Two

As I said before, WSGI is well cool.

"In the shadow of Saturn, unexpected wonders appear"

And the universe is pretty awesome too.

A whole pile of reference grammars

Declarative AJAX Components and XML Namespaces

A Dangerous New Order

On US Republican’s scare-America-first strategy for the elections for the elections there.

HTTP Caching

On the lost art of effective use of HTTP caching:

HTTP has a very thorough and well supported caching mechanism, but in this age of the dynamic Web page, it often goes unused when it is needed the most. So what do we, as Web programmers, need to do to make sure our pages are cached correctly? Let’s have a look.

Ralph Griswold died

Didn’t realise that. He developed some really excellent programming languages. My first exposure to his work was when I downloaded a port of the Icon interpreter for RISC OS. I remember being impressed by how it did a few simple things that no other language at the time (or even now) did to improve readability, such as being able to write things like 3 < x < 9 rather than x > 3 and x < 9, its scanning facilities, its support for generators (something Python has only just caught up with), and so on.

"The Humble Programmer" by Edsger W. Dijkstra

Something of a classic, this. I’m surprised I haven’t linked to it before.

Why Everyone You Know Thinks the Same as You

Depressing really, and why people should make an effort to get to know people who aren’t like them.


Think XUUL or XAML, but simpler. Looks pretty good, but I’d a poke about and there doesn’t seem to be any source code lying around. Pity, this seems like a platform that might be worth porting to other systems.

REST Epiphany

Nice to see people getting it. :-)

Creating Executable Jar Files That Contain Jar Files

Eww! No, I’m talking about what you have to go through to do it rather than actually doing it.

Some good fixed-width outline fonts

A beginner's guide to freelancing

The evil that men do lives after them

Evil doesn’t come like Darth Vader dressed in black, hissing. Evil comes as a little bird whispering in your ear. “Think about your career. I’m not sure what’s going on. We’ll muddle through.”

All too true.

TimBL: Reinventing HTML

Old WG’s being disbanded in favour of a new one.

Cheney enthusiastically endorses waterboarding

A quote to put this in perspective:

In 1947, the United States prosecuted a Japanese soldier for war crimes and sentenced him to 15 years hard labor for using the technique on a U.S. prisoner.

So, if the technique’s used by people who aren’t American, it’s bad, but if it’s used by Americans, it’s good? Riiight…

Practical OCaml

Excellent! The world’s needed a proper mainstream english-language programming book on OCaml for a while now, and this one looks good.

Subversion branching quick start

A fine intro to the topic by Ned Batchelder.

Book Review: The No Asshole Rule by Robert Sutton

Guy gives the book a positive review, excepts a list showing how to recognise an asshole, and offers some methods for dealing with them.