· Naughties
· · 2006
· · · May
· · · · 27 (3 entries)

anne 2.0 · I’ve had Anne Zelenka’s Content’s Divorce from Ad­ver­tis­ing open in a brows­er tab for days, think­ing about it and try­ing to find some­thing to ex­pand on or dis­agree with. Noth­ing comes to mind, but I’m still think­ing. Great-looking site, good writ­ing on lots of lots of oth­er im­por­tant stuff too. High­ly rec­om­mend­ed.
Multicast · I’m pol­ish­ing up Si­grid so I can write about it and (if anyone’s in­ter­est­ed) re­lease it; I switched the lat­est JXTA (2.3.7) in—it lives at the bot­tom lev­el so that the grid nodes and clients can dis­cov­er each other—and ev­ery­thing broke, don’t know why. I still think JXTA is the right an­swer down the road, but on im­pulse I cracked open Ja­va in a Nut­shell and Stevens’ Unix Net­work Pro­gram­ming, and poked around the on­line Ja­va tu­to­ri­als to read about data­grams and mul­ti­cast. Dam­n, mul­ti­cas­t­ing through the Ja­va API sure seems easy. That same day I whacked to­geth­er a cou­ple hun­dred lines of code to do sim­ple dis­cov­ery, with ag­ing even (so that you for­get about things you haven’t heard from in a while) and test­ed it on a bunch of com­put­ers with­in easy reach; and it all seemed to Just Work. There are lots of useful-looking knobs on the side to deal with TTL and NIC se­lec­tion and so, but the de­faults seem well-chosen. As long as you’re pre­pared to deal with the fact that any giv­en mes­sage might not get through, and to spend a cou­ple of min­utes here, it’s re­al­ly not very tax­ing. I’m start­ing to won­der why you’d need any lay­ers of ab­strac­tion at al­l. Ques­tion: Do Python/Ruby/Per­l/Javascript have these coo­lio easy-to-use li­braries too? [Up­date: Ja­son Brig­gs shows how to do it in Python (but it takes as much code as Java, that can’t be right.) Kevin Hamil­ton wrote to point out Spread, which seems to have multi-language sup­port. Arkaitz Bi­tori­ka rec­om­mends ze­ro­conf.]
Yes, I Can Keep Editing! · I have tak­en a se­ri­ous in­ter­est in a fair­ly small num­ber of Wikipedia en­tries, on sub­jects where I think I’m pret­ty ex­pert, and for some time I tried to keep on top of them, nuke others’ ed­its when they were bo­gus, fix gram­mar and spelling prob­lem­s, try­ing to achieve what Toy­ota calls kaizen, or con­tin­u­ous im­prove­men­t. But I can’t any more. I don’t have time to go check back ev­ery day or even ev­ery week, and that’s what a con­sci­en­tious ar­ti­cle min­der ought to do. I to­tal­ly need, for each ar­ti­cle, a feed I can sub­scribe to that will sum­ma­rize changes. Give me that and I can prob­a­bly stay on top of a hand­ful of ar­ti­cles, be­cause most ed­its are good. It can’t be that hard; ev­ery ar­ti­cle al­ready has a “history” page that has the in­for­ma­tion right there; all you’d have to do would be to cre­ate an al­ter­nate ver­sion wrapped in RSS or Atom tags. So, dear Wikipedi­an­s; you want me to in­vest time and at­ten­tion in im­prov­ing the com­mon­s? Give me tool­s. [Hah! And from with­in the bow­els of Wikipedi­a, a voice emerges, say­ing: “Ask and you shall re­ceive.” And, it’s valid Atom 1.0; how many more mil­lion Atom feeds is that? Put me in the Wikipedia fan­boy colum­n.]
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