Martin Fowler on Software Development

November 29th, 2002 § Comments Off on Martin Fowler on Software Development § permalink

A series of ongoing interviews with Martin Fowler on software development. Parts one, two, three and four of six are available with more coming soon. Interesting stuff.

(via Slashdot)

Without Sanctuary

November 28th, 2002 § Comments Off on Without Sanctuary § permalink

A disturbing site showing photographs and postcards taken as souvenirs at lynchings throughout America.

It’s a testament to human brutality and the fact that time passes but makind remains the same.

Visual Thesaurus

November 28th, 2002 § Comments Off on Visual Thesaurus § permalink

An interesting tool to “explore the sense relations between words in English”.

Dumb Criminal Acts

November 28th, 2002 § Comments Off on Dumb Criminal Acts § permalink

Dumb Criminal Acts collects accounts of stupid criminals like the woman who called a company that stages gunfights in movies asking if they could kill her husband.

Changes

November 28th, 2002 § Comments Off on Changes § permalink

I finished earlier than I expected, so the modifications I was planning for the blog are now online. In no particular order:

  • To the best of my knowledge, every single page in the site is valid XHTML 1.0 and CSS 2.0, with the exception of posts that may broke validation now and then. I’m working to fix those.
  • Extraneous tags that didn’t add anything to the content and where only used for presentation were removed, with a single exception: the tags that hide the images from older browsers. I cleaned the stylesheets as well. The layout needs some adjustments in Opera and Internet Explorer, though.
  • The URL scheme was completely changed to make it more human-readable and create a hierachical structure of the content.
  • Content pages were made extensionless. Other resource files like stylesheets and images retained extensions, though.
  • Custom 404 error handling was added to address the name change. Inspired by Mark Pilgrim, I added some processing to the script so that it recognizes simple errors and tries to guess the probable URL (months, categories, etc)
  • Added a search shortcut using /search/terms or /search?terms, similar to Mark Pilgrim’s.
  • The lists of links is now generated automatically from my subscription file.
  • Content is served as application/xhtml+xml to browsers that support it.
  • Related entries in the same category are shown in each entry page.
  • Content is gziped where applicable.
  • Last-Modified and ETag headers are sent in content pages.
  • The feeds now contain the word count of the posts.

I still have to add an about page, work out some accessibility issues, and solve minor problems in the old postings. That will be addressed in time.

The site change was mostly an excuse to toy with mod_rewrite, Perl and other technologies. I may have broken some things in the process. If you are having problems, please let me know.

Popup-blocking is theft

November 25th, 2002 § 9 comments § permalink

If you are using a browser that block popups, you are a thief, according a company called Anti-Leech.

This company makes a “tool” that allow a site to deny access to visitors using popup-blocking tools. The company says this kind of blocking steals the profit companies would receive from ads.

Don’t people ever learn? Banners and popups are not a viable form of advertising anymore. Last time I checked, click-through rates were down to 0.5%, meaning only big sites can profit from this kind of ads.

Well, if a site calls me a thief because I block popups that don’t interest me, they are not worth visiting anyway.

Who owns the Alphabet?

November 25th, 2002 § Comments Off on Who owns the Alphabet? § permalink

Somebody searched Google to find the sites with the highest PageRank for each letter of the alphabet. The results are interesting.

No blogging, but lots of fun

November 25th, 2002 § Comments Off on No blogging, but lots of fun § permalink

No blogging in the past weekend. After finishing some tasks scheduled for the weekend, I used the remaining time to complete the changes in this blog. They’re not online yet as I need to correct some little problems. Old posts have invalid markup and I will need to find and edit them. Also, I have to work on the script that will handle 404 errors as most pages will be moved or renamed. I expect to have those finished in next weekend.

It was fun to learn more about how MovableType works, create my first complete Perl program, and tinker with Apache’s mod_rewrite. A very geek weekend.

Huh? Corp

November 21st, 2002 § Comments Off on Huh? Corp § permalink

If you are not working for it already, you worked or will work someday :-)

Geek Syndrome

November 21st, 2002 § 3 comments § permalink

The Globe and Mail: "Is there a ‘geek’ syndrome?" The article discusses a controversial theory about the increase in autism cases, especially on places where there’s a higher concentration of geeks.

There is a test in the page to find out where one’s in the autism spectrum. Quoting from the interpretation summary:

“Scores over 32 are generally taken to indicate Asperger’s Syndrome or high-functioning autism, with more than 34 an ‘extreme’ score. A ‘normal’ score, based on control groups, is about 16 (or 15 for women and between 17 and 18 for men). A group of mathematics-contest winners scored an average of 24.5. A group of scientists scored an average of 18.5 (19 for men, 17 for women), with computer scientists at about 21, physicists at 19 and those in biology or medicine at about 15.”

I neither have geek parents nor live in the Silicon Valley, yet I scored 34…

(via Realm of the Dark Elf, who scored 38)

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