RANTS

Email servers: how not to do it

I run my own mail server. I don’t consider myself an especially skilled administrator, so I shouldn’t point fingers. However, in recent weeks I’ve had the following experience more than once. A delivery-failure message arrives from an unfamiliar host. The (quoted) orginal message is nothing I ever sent. The recipient is unfamiliar to me. The “sender” of the original message is an email address I control, but not one I ever send mail with.

The iPhone keyboard doesn't suck

This began as a quick reply to a discussion on the Well about a recent posting from John Gruber which links to a hit list from Crackberry.com about the iPhone. Gruber focuses just on the keyboard issue, about which I found I had this to say: With the built-in spelling correction, I can type close to 30wpm on my iPt keyboard. This is faster than I ever was with Graffiti, which I used for about 8 years and was pretty good at if I say so.

Yegge's crusade

I’m generally a big fan of Steve Yegge’s rants. See this earlier post for links and quotes from some of my favorites. His writings were a significant influence in my decision to seriously look for a new language to learn in 2007 – I even bought Programming Language Pragmatics on his recommendation, piecemeal reading of which has definitely expanded my thinking (as well as dredging up parts of that Compiler Construction course I took back in 1989…).

Negroponte on not teaching Office

In the 1990s Nicholas Negroponte wrote a back-of-the-book column in Wired. When I started reading it, in 1993, I found it exciting and mind-opening. But as the years wore on, the ideas seemed less interesting. Maybe he just ran out of new things to say, or maybe I became jaded. In any case, I hadn’t paid much attention to him since. But this bit from a recent AP story on the One Laptop Per Child project absolutely kicks ass:

STFU

E-Scribe is not, strictly speaking, a standards organization. However, I think the time is right to release this draft document on an important Internet standard. The document is presented inline here for convenience; however, the preferred permanent reference is: http://e-scribe.com/stfu Recent trends in internet-based application development have fostered the rapid spread of asynchronous, Javascript-based techniques known by the umbrella term "Ajax" and by related terms such as "AHAH", "POX", and so on.

Johnny can too code

David Brin, in a piece at Salon.com entitled “Why Johnny Can’t Code”, complains: almost none of the millions of personal computers in America offers a line-programming language simple enough for kids to pick up fast Maybe Apple’s marketshare is so small that they equal “almost none,” but all OS X Macs come with Python and Ruby among other options. But wait, Brin seems to have heard of some of these newfangled scripting languages:

SourceForge needs help

Despite their adoption of Big Green Download Button technology, SourceForge still has an absurdly cumbersome download process. I know it’s annoying to just gripe (I try to see the positive side too); I’m just surprised that it’s still this crufty. According to the OSTG site, “SourceForge.net hosts more Open Source development products than any other site or network worldwide.” But if the pace of modernization doesn’t pick up, I’m afraid that won’t be true for much longer.