I keep coming back to emacs

…and keep coming back.

I’m back at emacs again. I now realize that I never gave up on it. I’ve finally decided to go the route of keeping a cheat sheet open. This iteration, I’ve been through common lisp, and emacs once before. So I should be able to get more out of it.

Platforms that help you build more

Look at your favourite platform, and ask: what would you NOT have thought of building, if it hadn’t been for that platform?

I’ve found that a good way to answer that question is to look back at things that you’ve done. Looking back at what I have done in Ruby, and at what I have done in .NET/C#, have taught me a lot about the differences in the way these two platforms helped me think. .NET/C# has more support for anything I could ever think of. But C# doesn’t excite the gemcutter in me.

The ideal requirement to code ratio

Requirement:code as 1:1

As a software developer, I have often fallen into the trap of trying to design a “powerful” framework that satisfies all my wants. I would often end up trying to solve food, clothing and shelter, when what I really needed was a simple templating system.

But in any software project, the requirement to code ratio must be 1:1, only as much code to satisfy the requirement as absolutely necessary.

With this sudden clarity has come resolution. Frameworkitis no more.

An old php quince

<?php $b='<?php $b=%c%s%c;printf($b,39,$b,39);?>’;printf($b,39,$b,39);?>

Read about the state of the Ruby VMs

The Impending Ruby Fracture is an interesting read on the state of the Ruby virtual machines. The comments are equally interesting, since they complete the perspective.

Missed click

The air conditioner was on, and had frozen my fingers. So when I tried to click a link, I failed to place the mouse correctly, and missed the mark. I jerked my mouse towards the link, and clicked again. The jerky movement misplaced the click, which once more fell on open page. I tried again. And again. I actually succeeded in clicking the link after more than ten tries.

It’s happened to me before. I wonder if it’s a common problem.

JSON

I’ve recently read a piece about the JSON vs XML debate on Dare Obasanjo’s blog.

From my readings, I think that many folks are missing the point about why JSON sprang up and became popular. In this I agree with Obasanjo. But I opine that the point goes deeper than the eco system. Let me recap what I understand of the history of JSON till date:

  • First, they discovered that it was easy to deserialize javascript objects in javascript.
  • The good news spread. Before long, the new format gathered enough momentum, and it was named JSON, which standard for Javascript Object Notation.
  • People thought about it, and those using XML were too blinded by it’s inertia to see any use in JSON. Hence,the JSON vs XML format debate.
  • Security conscious folks realized that the advantage of JSON brought with it security risks. So someone went ahead and built a library to parse JSON in Javascript.

And with that, JSONs advantage of deserialization is gone.

JSON is great for deserializing data received by a browser. But we must coldly consider whether serialized javascript objects will help our applications transmit data to eachother. Coldly, because the debate isn’t quite done, it’s easy to get swept into, and for now there’s no need for it.

Update: I do not mean to imply that the JSON advantage is lost. Rather, my argument is that JSONs advantage may not be universal to all platforms, and it should not be considered the default choice for any application.