Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Mosh, the Mobile Shell...

A replacement for SSH?  Better than SSH?  I haven't tried Mosh yet, but I have to say that it looks interesting.  I wonder about it's security, though...

Programming Language FAIL!

Eevee at Fuzzy Notepad really, really doesn't like PHP – and he details the reasons why is great detail.  I was already convinced of PHP's lameness, so I found it quite amusing to see a masterful analysis leading to the same conclusion I'd already reached.  Here's the analogy Eevee uses to set the stage for his thoughtful takedown:
I can’t even say what’s wrong with PHP, because— okay. Imagine you have uh, a toolbox. A set of tools. Looks okay, standard stuff in there.

You pull out a screwdriver, and you see it’s one of those weird tri-headed things. Okay, well, that’s not very useful to you, but you guess it comes in handy sometimes.

You pull out the hammer, but to your dismay, it has the claw part on both sides. Still serviceable though, I mean, you can hit nails with the middle of the head holding it sideways.

You pull out the pliers, but they don’t have those serrated surfaces; it’s flat and smooth. That’s less useful, but it still turns bolts well enough, so whatever.

And on you go. Everything in the box is kind of weird and quirky, but maybe not enough to make it completely worthless. And there’s no clear problem with the set as a whole; it still has all the tools.

Now imagine you meet millions of carpenters using this toolbox who tell you “well hey what’s the problem with these tools? They’re all I’ve ever used and they work fine!” And the carpenters show you the houses they’ve built, where every room is a pentagon and the roof is upside-down. And you knock on the front door and it just collapses inwards and they all yell at you for breaking their door.

That’s what’s wrong with PHP.
Oh, go read the whole thing. You know you want to!

The Wheel of History...

As I was reading this excellent post (at Sultan Knish by David Greenfield) musing on the patterns in human history, one paragraph caught my attention:
That is the thing about America that most Americans don't realize. For all the hopeful speeches made by American leaders about exporting the Des Moines way of life to Baghdad or Kandahar, what people in those parts of the world see when they look at America isn't democracy and freedom, it's wealth and power. Those are the things they want, and they don't understand why American leaders keep chattering on about democracy and freedom, no more than we understand why Muslims keep going on about the Koran.
Yes. That's exactly right, and exactly what so many Americans get wrong when they try to imagine what the people in other countries envy about America. 

I remember well my first explorations in Estonia, in the early '90s, when I met quite a few Estonians who had never before met an American.  Rarely did any of them evince interest in our freedoms or our government.  What were they interested in?  Hollywood stars (especially when they learned that I hailed from California, upon which they assumed I rubbed elbows with all of them).  Jeans.  Cars.  The first Gulf war.  In other words, the trappings of wealth and the evidence of power.

I've traveled in a lot of countries; had lots of conversations with people interested in America.  The few conversations I've had with people curious about our government and what it's like to live in freedom really stand out – for their rarity, mostly...


Via my lovely bride: