if you're new here

I don't post much in this LJ these days -- at least, not as much as I did at certain points in the past. I moved my more in-depth thoughtful stuff off LJ to SOB: Scion of Backronymics (yes, that name is a joke). Check there if you want to see more regular postings from me with more attention to subjects that get into some nontrivial depth and often end up being kind of long. You can also get a friends list RSS feed of it here on LJ. It doesn't seem to track anything beyond a certain age, so if you want to see older archives, you'll have to go to the source. Edits of typos and formatting issues don't make it into the LJ RSS syndication, anyway, so if you're not too lazy it's probably best to get it at the source anyway. I know of a couple people who use the LJ RSS feed as notification of new material, then go read the original.

Thanks to cluebyfour for creating that LJ RSS feed originally. It's nice having fans, or at least readers.

If anyone ever creates LJ RSS feeds for anyone on my blogroll at SOB, I hope they'll let me know.

2011 edit: I write about programming at blogstrapping, now.

another stupid meme

Someone hit me up with a stupid meme — except this one's not so stupid, because it really made me think and gave me an excuse to ask people I know to give me interesting information about books (and we should all know by now that I love books). I'm not going to repost it here, but you can see the original post at your leisure (the repost link leads to an LJ RSS feed for my off-LJ weblog, where all the interesting stuff is happening).

Since four of the five weblogs whose "owners" I pinged to perpetuate the meme are on LJ, and the fifth is also an LJ user though I pointed at his off-LJ weblog, I figured I should at least repost the list of people here:


X3 Review: The Sequel (minor spoilers)

I've read another review, and discussed it with its author. I'm impressed with the fact that someone complained about disappointment with the movie without picking on it for reasons that really don't apply. Yes, the script was thin, the acting was mismanaged, the politics of headlining was gruesome to behold, and the directing was . . . directionless.
Collapse )

In other words, I'm still of the opinion this movie is quite enjoyable, but you need to intentionally overlook some issues and check your brain at the door. Just roll with it. You'll be better off.

The Best Non-Spoiler X3 Review Ever

I'll make this quick.

  1. Stay through the (very long) credits, or at least don't leave any longer than it takes to urinate. There's an anticlimactic "surprise" scene at the end of the credits. I'm sure you'll guess what's going on before anything happens. Still, watch it.

  2. The movie is kinda fluff. I'm not surprised. The previous two weren't exactly art, either. They were fun. So is this one. Don't be disappointed because it's not art.

  3. Kelsey Grammar is much better as Beast than most people expected. I chose to reserve judgment, with a fair bit of trepidation, and I'm glad I did. He wasn't bad.

  4. The burninator's fire-starting tools are neat. Don't blink, or you'll miss the explanation bit for him starting fire later.

  5. As Roo mentioned to me, there's a bit of 90210 in the story of this one. It's not as bad as I expected from her dire warnings, though.

  6. If you didn't complain about continuity, plotline, timeline, characterization, and so on in the last two movies, ever since the COMPLETELY HOSED UP introduction and unrecognizable modification of the Rogue character, you BETTER NOT COMPLAIN ABOUT ANY OF THAT IN MY HEARING WITH REGARDS TO THIS MOVIE. Well, you may if you like, but if so:



Python: the drain snake of programming.

Every once in a while, someone notices I don't like Python much and wants an itemized list of reasons. It's not very easy to come up with such a thing on demand. I don't usually sit around making lists of reasons I dislike a given programming language, believe it or not, so I don't usually have such reasons in front of me. The short, flippant answer I tend to give instead of an itemized list is usually "It makes my eyes bleed."

Here's a little bit of a reason, though, from a conversation in IMs today:
(13:59:59) ilcylic: holy crap python is way different from perl.
(14:00:29) @: What did you notice is "way different"?
(14:01:16) ilcylic: just all the stupid OO language.
(14:01:32) @: Scaffolding an' stuff?  Egregious overuse of "self"?
(14:01:46) ilcylic: yeah.
(14:01:49) ilcylic: Oh yeah.
(14:02:06) ilcylic:
template = self.template('admin/article/')(context=self.context, **dict(self.options))
        self.form = HTMLForm(template, ArticleFilterSchema)

    def getDefaults(self):
        defaults = {'active':self.request().field('active', 'true'),
                    'featured':self.request().field('featured', ''),
                    'categoryID':self.request().field('categoryID', ''),
                    'locationID':self.request().field('locationID', ''),
                    'year':self.request().field('year', str(,

(14:02:30) @: OUCH.
(14:02:39) ilcylic: yeah.
(14:02:39) @: You're making my EYES BLEED!
(14:02:47) ilcylic: and the use of tabs instead of braces
(14:02:52) @: yeah
(14:02:56) ilcylic: for flow control.
(14:03:03) ilcylic: makes it hard for me to read what's going on.
(14:03:11) ilcylic: like reading a book without punctuation.
(14:03:16) @: There's a distinct lack of symmetry.

I particularly like the punctuation analogy. Tomorrow I may not like it as much, but for now, it just sounds right.

NOTE: I intentionally changed the indentation on the first line of that Python code to try to neaten it up a touch for LJ.
  • Current Mood
    amused amused

I laughed. A lot.

(10:05:23) Fang: Ahh well. It... could be worse?
(10:05:40) @: It could.
(10:05:46) Fang: You could be on fire.
(10:05:47) @: I could be on fire. That would be worse.
(10:05:49) @: hah
(10:05:49) Fang: AGH!
(10:05:57) Fang: OUT of my head, foul demon!
(10:06:02) @: OMFG
(10:06:05) @: WTFBBQ

Also, from a description of how to install Bind on SuSE 10.1:
insert CD, click OK, receive banana.

Usually life is only this funny at three in the morning when nobody's slept in about 24 hours. Mornings aren't supposed to be this amusing.

I'm spoiled, I tells ya.

I got a few very nifty gifts for my b'day this year. Proof of how well the people giving me gifts actually know me follows:

I got a copy each of the Kenshin Intros & Exits, Kenshin in-show, and Kenshin OVA soundtracks. That's pretty spiff. The OVA music especially should be good -- once I start listening to it. I seem to recall rather liking it while I was watching the OVA (last time I watched it was a couple weeks ago, I think).

I got a DVD-R with the 60 Minutes Johnny Cash interview and Johnny Cash at San Quentin on it.

I got Steve Oualline's Wicked Cool Perl Scripts, from No Starch Press. Even the title is good.

Last (so far?) but not least, I got a bottle of Mu Sake. Mu Sake is, it turns out, junmai daiginjyo-shu. In general: you can get junmai or honjozo sake, where honjozo has "brewer's alcohol" added to it (usually along with some water), rendering a "fortified" sake, whereas junmai is made with nothing but rice, water, and koji (the magic mold used to ferment the rice). Ginjyo sake is reasonably good quality, but daiginjyo is the really premium stuff. Generally speaking, for the purist, the best sake is junmai daiginjyo-shu, or highest-grade sake (with at least 50% of the rice grains polished away before brewing) that is made only using water, rice, and koji. I've had one glass of the stuff so far. I washed my one and only wineglass, then opened the bottle — and the scent made my mouth water. I poured a glass, and sipped. This is, bar none, the best sake I've ever had. I wasn't sure whether I was going to drink any tonight, but a friend talked me into yielding to temptation via IMs, and here I am, impressed.

Yep, my friends certainly know how to spoil me.

Go Daddy, Dune, and Weblog Contemplations, in reverse order

Wow. I've really been remiss in my "duties" here at LJ. I haven't been reading my friends list, I haven't been posting anything — I've just been generally absent and lazy. Actually, I've been busy. I've been busy with stuff that interferes with my blogging motivation, but have made an effort to start putting some time into it again nonetheless.

Part of the problem, of course, is that I've moved the longer, thoughtful stuff to my Standard Obfuscatory Babblings outlet. I rarely have only brief, superficial things to say, really, that I consider worth committing to the permanence of the web. Maybe dividing my weblogging efforts wasn't precisely the best idea, in retrospect, in terms of maintaining my current audience. Whoops.

I promised weblog contemplations in my title. Well, there were some. Here are more:
Blogging vs. Writing, Login vs. Spam
It's primarily a discussion of conflicting motivations between different outlets for the writing impulse. Well, maybe "compulsion" would be a better term than "impulse". I've been known to describe my "desire" to write as a hand reaching out of the blank page, grabbing me by the throat, and slamming my head against the desk repeatedly until I relent and start writing, and enough blood has flowed to provide all the ink I need. Differing outlets for that writing compulsion can have interference effects upon each other, however. See the link above for more.

While I'm at it: I'm watching part three of the Children of Dune miniseries, for the first time, as I write this. Actually, I'm watching an ad, or more precisely I'm trying to ignore it, until the miniseries comes back from this commercial break. In my surprise at how good it is, in contrast with the preceding Dune miniseries (which sucked awfully), I find myself inspired to reread the Dune chronicles by Frank Herbert, and wrote an expository contemplation of the Dune milieu in all its various incarnations. If you want to read about the non-ornithopters, poofy purple costumes, and the challenge of avoiding Dune burnout, that's the place to get it. There's even a Gay Eye for the Straight Guy reference.

In other news (as written by me, no less), I found it quite fascinating to discover that Go Daddy ditches open source OS then donates $10k to open source project. Those of you who care about news of the webhosting industry might find that story to be of interest — I know I did. Have a gander.

I think that's all for now. Back to your regularly scheduled LiveJournalling.

Who's afraid of the big bad SCO?

Has anything good ever come out of Utah? Certainly not SCO.

SCO was ordered by the court to "disclose with specificity all allegedly misused material identified to date."

In response to SCO's recent filing, nominally in compliance with that order, IBM says of 198 out of the 201 items noted "SCO does not provide a complete set of reference points (version, file and line) for any of the 198 items. Astonishingly, SCO fails specifically to identify a single line of System V, AIX or Dynix, and Linux code for any of the 198 items." According to IBM's response to the filing, the remaining three items are also without merit, but at least bear the appearance of compliance so that IBM will deal with them at summary judgment rather than in its initial response. "This motion is directed only to 198 of the items because SCO's disclosures as to those items are utterly lacking in the required detail." They're not even worth taking to summary judgment. Furthermore, "It is beyond reasonable debate that SCO acted willfully in not specifying its claims. The court made it perfectly clear what SCO was required to do."

"To create the false impression that it has provided information that it has not provided, SCO tells the court that it has provided 'color-coded illustrations', 'line-by-line source code comparisons' and 'over 45,000 pages of supporting materials'," IBM said in relation to SCO's opposition brief. "What SCO fails to mention is that 33,000 of those pages concern item 294, which SCO abandons in its opposition brief."

Is there more that's wrong with the 201 items? You betcha. "Moreover, while the Final Disclosures include color-coded illustrations and line-by-line source comparisons, they do not do so with regard to any of the 198 items at issue."

In summary: "By failing to provide adequate reference points, SCO has left IBM no way to evaluate its claims without surveying the entire universe of potentially relevant code and guessing." Yeah. Throw darts at 5.7 million lines of source code and see if you hit something relevant.

Two good things would come of IBM actually doing an exhaustive survey of the Linux kernel's source code for matches with code for which SCO claims copyright:

  1. SCO would be substantively and without question fed their own damned feet.

  2. Some bugs would get fixed in the process.

Actually (if I remember the timing correctly) at the time of SCO's original complaint, it seems there were about 2.4 million lines of source code, and SCO was claiming 1.1 million lines of code infringed on SCO's copyrights. Say what? In the period between the 2.2 and 2.4 kernels (when the malfeasance supposedly occurred, I believe), there wasn't enough time to incorporate anywhere near 1.1 million new lines of source code from any single source. That would have required willfully setting out to create the biggest copyright infringement SNAFU in the history of computer software and for probably half of IBM's programmer staff to stop doing anything else for that entire period but copy and integrate source code, throwing out great gobs of source code that was legitimately generated by the open source development community at large for no other reason than to make more room for copyright-infringing code. What kind of asinine nonsense is this?