paul_houle

paul_houle

18p

12 comments posted · 0 followers · following 0

420 weeks ago @ Brent Csutoras - 10 Ways to Totally Scr... · 0 replies · +1 points

I think I'll stick to my electric_sheep.

427 weeks ago @ Pedro Assunç&at... - How does one change hi... · 0 replies · 0 points

301 Redirect. Simple. Please send me an address to send your bill to.

494 weeks ago @ Generation 5 - Closures, Javascript A... · 0 replies · +1 points

Well, it all depends on how you define \"exotic.\"

The actual architecture of the FORTH, Scheme and (older generation) TCL interpreters are archaic. You\'ve got a lexical analyzer, but not a parser, and generally not a bytecode interpreter in the traditional sense. More recent TCL versions have moved in the bytecode direction to improve performance, but classic TCL was essentially LISP with lists implemented as space-separated strings.

Javascript is basically an ALGOL-type language with a conventional implementation, but it certainly radical in quite a few ways.

Personally I miss ECMAScript 4; I would have liked to have seen a Javascript-like language with stronger typing, better IDE support and more support for programming in the large. It would be appealing to have a programming environment where we could share code on the client and the server, even if it would be a terrible temptation for people to make mistakes

504 weeks ago @ Generation 5 - Carpictures.cc, My Fi... · 0 replies · +1 points

Note: carpictures.cc now exports Linked data using the SIOC ontology. It's got a double life: if you ask for text/html content, you'll get the HTML site that you see. A client that asks for RDF gets RDF content that's (roughly) equivalent to the HTML, just a bit more precise.

509 weeks ago @ Brent Csutoras - When Did Delicious Sta... · 0 replies · +2 points

Social sites have a lifecycle. Early on the problem is to get people to participate -- later on the problems are to (i) control operating costs and (ii) prevent burnout.

(a) Blight is one mode of burnout. Another one is that (b) the cost of become an active participant of the site becomes too high to attract new participants, and another is that (c) a site develops an editorial voice that "turns off" potential new readers. Digg is struggling with both (b) and (c), while Reddit is struggling with (c).

You can talk about fairness until you're blue in the face, but the fact is that MrBabyMan needs Digg more than Digg needs him. There are hundreds, no thousands, of people who can do what MrBabyMan does, but only one site that can deliver the audience that Digg can. MrBabyMan is free to move to Reddit or Mixx, but it's going to be a big step down.

Although we're all seduced by the big traffic pulses that we can from social media, there's some truth in Aaron Wall's characterization of social media as a sucker's game -- so long as they are running a free service, you can't expect it to be fair.

509 weeks ago @ Brent Csutoras - When Did Delicious Sta... · 2 replies · +2 points

Silent bans are the most practical approach for most sites to control abuse.

I used to work for a scientific publishing site which had a problem with "non-scientists" who wanted to submit papers. Some of them submitted appeals to a university's board of regents, the national science foundation, the united nations, and other organizations that didn't want to get bothered.

A person who knows that he's ban has a number of remedies available from a complaint to customer service, complaints on blogs as well as technical countermeasures. People who want to do the latter particularly need accurate information about what works and what doesn't work that they can feed back into their efforts

It's much easier, if you can, to put people like that in their own personal matrix that obscures what's happening to them. Once they realize that they're not getting results and that they don't understand why, the majority of them will move on and abuse somebody else's service.

511 weeks ago @ Generation 5 - Stop Catching Exceptions! · 1 reply · +1 points

To some extent it's an unsolvable problem. You're not just concerned with the state of your program, you're also concerned with the state of all of the resources that it depends on -- all of which depend on objects in the physical universe that have less than 100% reliability. The real cause of an exception could be that you've got a bit that's stuck in the 1 position somewhere in your CPU and you're just screwed.

I'm looking forward to what you write, but I think overall we need to balance between: (i) having a system that's easy to implement that does the right thing almost all of the time, or (ii) having a system that's hard to implement that would do the right thing all the time but that practically screws up more than option (i) because people keep dropping parts on the floor.

511 weeks ago @ Don Dodge on The Next ... - Create 50,000 companie... · 0 replies · +1 points

The government ought to make things easier for entrepreneurs: some way to get affordable health insurance would help a lot. It's also tough for small online stores to deal with sales tax, particularly if you're in a state like NY. The government should be trying to clear cobwebs out of the way before it starts picking winners and losers to invest in.

511 weeks ago @ Generation 5 - Stop Catching Exceptions! · 0 replies · +1 points

Well, programming culture and programming languages are something that we adapt to.

The (approximate) exception handling model used in Java is widespread in mainstream languages (C#, Python, PHP) and is also seen in emerging languages such as Scala, oCaml, and F#. Restartable conditions, as seen in some Lisp implementations, have advantages, but one has to weigh them against the advantages of today's mainstream and emerging languages -- plus the switching cost. For instance, you could make a case that Python and Ruby are better than PHP (say 20%) but I'd need a language that would be much better than PHP to be worth the considerable cost involved in switching.

511 weeks ago @ Generation 5 - Stop Catching Exceptions! · 0 replies · +1 points

You're right -- thanks! I took the liberty of fixing it.