· Naughties
· · 2006
· · · February
· · · · 17 (4 entries)

FSS: Wood in Black and White · Fri­day Slide Scan #23 is an­oth­er December-1985 Pa­cif­ic Rim shot; the wood is drift­wood, most of its colour bleached out ...
Lower the Anchor · A decade or two ago, a new pat­tern crept in­to broad­cast jour­nal­is­m. In both ra­dio and TV news­cast­s, when there’s a re­port from an on-the-scene cor­re­spon­den­t, the an­chor drops in­to Q&A mod­e, “interviewing” the re­porter: “Well, Joe, do we know what the neigh­bors think of this lat­est development?“ This is lame and stupid and it sucks and it’s time to stop do­ing it; the an­chor should say “Let’s go to Joe, who’s on the scene” and then shut up. It may be the case that they’ve had time to script Joe’s re­port, or in a hot-news sit­u­a­tion, they may just be toss­ing Joe the ball to give us his best judg­ment as to what’s most news­wor­thy; ei­ther way this is Joe’s sto­ry, not the anchor’s. At the end of the day the news an­chor is just a good suit, good voice, and good hair. It’s the re­porter who’s do­ing the ac­tu­al jour­nal­ism and that’s where the fo­cus should be.
Mustang Beta · Check out Mark Reinhold’s ex­cel­lent sum­ma­ry of the blog­ging flur­ry around the re­cent ar­rival of the Mus­tang Be­ta. Any­thing that has anti-aliasing in it is all right by me. I re­al­ly like the style of Mark’s cov­er­age, tak­ing up ques­tions about why the be­ta isn’t ac­tu­al­ly the lat­est build, po­ten­tial li­cense is­sues, and so on. I look for­ward to a time when any­thing less than this lev­el of trans­paren­cy is sim­ply un­ac­cept­able.
On PHP · I should re­al­ly buck­le down and try writ­ing a PHP app be­cause, at the mo­men­t, I have an at­ti­tude prob­lem. I know that IBM now of­fi­cial­ly loves it, and Tim O’Reilly’s been chart­ing the up­curve in PHP book sales, and everyone’s say­ing that Oracle’s go­ing to buy Zend. If you want your ears bent back, have a lis­ten to Zend CEO Doron Ger­stel; he’ll tell you that half the web­sites in the world are pow­ered by PHP and that there are 2½ mil­lion de­vel­op­ers and that the war is over and PHP won. So here’s my prob­lem, based on my lim­it­ed ex­pe­ri­ence with PHP (de­ploy­ing a cou­ple of free apps to do this and that, and de­bug­ging a site for a non-technical friend here and there): all the PHP code I’ve seen in that ex­pe­ri­ence has been messy, un­main­tain­able crap. Spaghet­ti SQL wrapped in spaghet­ti PHP wrapped in spaghet­ti HTML, repli­cat­ed in slightly-varying form in dozens of places. Every­one agrees on PHP’s up­sides: it’s writ­ten for the we­b, it’s easy to de­ploy and get run­ning, and it’s pret­ty fast. Those are im­por­tant ad­van­tages. And I’m sure that it’s pos­si­ble to write clean, com­pre­hen­si­ble, main­tain­able, PHP; on­ly ap­par­ent­ly it’s re­al easy not to. But PHP has com­pe­ti­tion, most ob­vi­ous­ly Rail­s; and don’t write the Ja­va EE crowd of­f, they’re not stupid at all and they’re try­ing to learn the lessons that PHP is try­ing to teach. So PHP has earned everyone’s re­spect by get­ting where it is, and Sun should reach out to it more than we have. But in the big pic­ture, it feels vul­ner­a­ble to me. [Wow, I re­gret not hav­ing com­ments. There’s been some first-rate dis­cus­sion in email and on oth­er blogs. On this oc­ca­sion, I’m go­ing to cre­ate a vir­tu­al com­ment sec­tion by post­ing the good ones here.] [There is a new, good pro-PHP rant from Har­ry Fueck­s, and with that I’m go­ing to stop adding to this dis­cus­sion, un­less some­body says some­thing strik­ing­ly new. Thanks ev­ery­one! I’ve added a brief Table of Con­tents to try to bring some or­der to the chaos.] ...
author · Dad · software · colophon · rights
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