My blogging will be sporadic to nonexistent for a while, as my friend Rob Landley and I are concentrating heavily on writing a paper together. The working (and probably final) title is “Why C++ is Not Our Favorite Programming Language”. It begins: C++ is an overcomplexity generator. It was designed to solve what turned out… Continue reading C++ Considered Harmful
A mailing list I frequent has been discussing the current financial meltdown, specifically a news story claiming that Wall Street foooled its own computers by feeding them risk assumptions the users knew were over-optimistic. This is also a very strong case for F/OSS software. Had such software been in use, I strongly feel that the… Continue reading The Limits of Open Source
In my last essay, The Vanishing Consumption Gap, I presented several lines of evidence leading to the conclusion that the consumption disparity between rich and poor in the U.S. is drastically less than the income disparity, and seems to be decreasing even as income disparity rises. This continues a historical trend, and there are causal… Continue reading Kansas and the Vanishing Gap
What, if anything, is the essential and unique talent of good programmers?
In the beautiful-irony department, I have just learned that my name and copyright now appears in the EULA (End-User License Agreement) of a Microsoft product. A vector-graphics editor called “Microsoft Expressions”, apparently — thanks to Martin Dawson for the tip. The history behind this is that GIFLIB is open-source software for hacking GIF images —… Continue reading In the Belly of the Beast
You’ve described only symptoms in Windows Is So Slow, but Why?, not the underlying problem. Closed-source software development has a scaling limit, a maximum complexity above which it collapses under its own weight.
This is my response to If this suite’s a success, why is it so buggy? by Andrew Brown of The Guardian.
So, LinkSys (formerly independent, now a tentacle of Cisco) has brought the Linux version of their WRT54GL wireless router back to life. We’d previously heard that Version 5 of the box would run proprietary VxWorks firmware. But according to this story over at LinuxDevices.com, LinkSys is shipping a Linux-based WRT54GL model that it says it… Continue reading Take the WRT54G challenge!
I’ve spent large parts of the last week editing maps for a game system I’m working on. I’ve been using the GIMP graphics editor, and I’m pretty impressed with it. I haven’t found anything I can’t easily make it do — except, oddly enough, draw straight lines between defined endpoints. (I suspect there’s actually a… Continue reading LISP — The Language That Will Not Die
John Perry Barlow, referring to the 2004 elections, writes: We can’t afford to lose this one, folks. If we do, we’ll have to set our watches back 60 years. If they even let us have watches in the camps, that is. “If they even let us have watches in the camps.” This is a perfect… Continue reading Narcissism and the American Left
From the November 12 “Kernel Panic”: In fact, this strip is incorrect. I did not coin the term “open source”; I only popularized it. It was coined by my friend Christine Peterson of the Foresight Institute. While it’s true that I more or less ran the brainstorming session and fortunately had enough of a clue… Continue reading Funny, but incorrect