Archive for 2005

more good shit

December 15th, 2005

I've said already that The Guardian is well worth a read in terms of language use and today brings further proof from Thursday's Rumour Mill..

Thursday's rumours

Today's hogwash will get your white lies a pink shade of black

Paul Doyle
Thursday December 15, 2005

The Welsh have a word - lledorweddle - meaning "the place where one lies down while propping oneself up with one elbow". Waali speakers in Ghana have a word - nubie yam - for "a farmer who does nothing but point to his farm". And Czechs have a verb - umudrovat se
- meaning "to philosophise oneself into a lunatic asylum". Handy, eh?
But no language the Mill is familiar with has a word for "a football
team that exhibits characteristics that make it the diametric opposite
of a chameleon, adapting to look ludicrously out of place in any
environment". Oh hold on, the Mackem tribe of England have the perfect
word: Sunderland.

Mick McCarthy's plodders looked like a Premiership side when in the
Championship, then reached the top flight and turned into a pitiful pub
team. And they're about to get worse! Because experienced (an English
word meaning "slow but shouty") central defender Alan Stubbs is poised to put his differences with Everton behind him and leave the Stadium of Light to make a sensational return to Goodison Park.

Another centre-back plotting a get-away is Manchester City's Sylvain Distin - or maybe he's just throwing shapes to secure a new contract. Either way, Liverpool, Newcastle and Aston Villa are all loitering with the intent of convincing him to put his pen to their headed paper.

Meanwhile, Spanish winger Joaquin is panting at the prospect of joining Newcastle, where, according to quotes published in Spain, he will consider it an honour to provide crosses for Michael Owen.

Staying in Spain, Real Madrid are set to sign podgy Roma frontman Antonio Cassano and make space for the ample-framed 23-year-old by packing Ivan Helguera off to Juventus.

Back in Blighty, the wheels have begun turning on Harry Redknapp's deals, and the Portsmouth boss could sooon be reunited with striker Paulo Wanchope.

WBA, meanwhile, have ordered Leeds, Crystal Palace and Wolves to form an orderly queue outside the Hawthorns to sign midfielder Jason Koumas. Palace are also chasing Sheffield United left-back Chris Armstrong.

Arsenal are hunting a defender, and Arsène Wenger is a big admirer of the cut of Valencia defender Marco Caneira's jib.

As neighbours Celtic prepare to unveil Roy Keane, Rangers have been told they can't have Bordeaux striker Jean-Claude Darcheville.

There
you have it. More proof that the Mill always, as Germans say, "gibt
seinen Senf dazu" - brings its mustard even if no one likes it.

http://football.guardian.co.uk/rumourmill/index/0,1451,1667996,00.html

unittesting 101

December 15th, 2005

Feasible for unit testing:

  • simple methods whose output is easy to process (verify addNumbers(2, 2) gives 4)

Problematic scenarios:

  • methods which output complex data (html, xml etc)
  • methods which modify the state of the filesystem
  • methods which make calls to outside binaries

some coding annoyances

December 15th, 2005

annoying things in java:

  • ratio of code to functionality is depressing
  • five hundred billion { curlyBrackets(); }
  • compile-test cycle drives me up the wall, even with ant. compiler is slooooow, because a gazillion libraries are loaded even to compile a 500b class. then VM is initiated to run the class.
  • insanely complicated library in terms of instantiating classes to accomplish simple things like string formatting, string splitting etc etc

annoying things in python:

  • writing self.member instead of just member

why python kicks java's ass:

  • far more human readable
  • much faster in Real Human Time (tm)
  • functional
  • softly typed
  • pleasant to work with (!!!)

Mohamed El Baradei, the comedian

December 11th, 2005

As a token of the quality of Norwegian television, you may be watching the Nobel Peace Prize Concert right about now. I saw it last year cause they had Andrea Bocelli and on the whole it was a good showing, apart from an embrassing performance from Oprah Winfrey. Anyhow, on the way back from the kitchen I happened to pass the tv set on the way back to my room, when I caught one of Mohamed El Baradei (this year's Nobelist) co-workers overexcitedly remark that "he has a great sense of humor". Of all things monumentally irrelevant. I'm sorry but who the hell cares? In fact, I would like the presenter to introduce him that way. "Here is your prize and btw I've heard wonderful things about your sense of humor." "Yeah.. uhm... thanks. If you don't mind, I actually came here to talk about the regulation of nuclear weapons, you know stuff that affects mankind. If you'd let me turn the attention away from my sense of humor for a little bit, I'd like to schedule my standup act for the after party instead."

what's with books?

December 11th, 2005

I noticed that I don't read a lot of books anymore. Which is misleading, because I never read a lot of books, in fact my record of books read outside of school in a year is probably about 10. But books have somehow been degraded in my hierarchy. There are many reasons why they are less nice on a practical level, I won't bother with that now.

But despite reading few books, I do read quite a lot I would say. And I read on screen. I'm not talking about papers, forums and emails (I don't really think of that as reading in the traditional sense), but rather magazine articles, blogs, news articles, technical discussions, some ideological writing (about open source :blahblah: ) if I'm in the mood and so on. What I notice the most is that I prefer reading off the screen because I do more than just reading. Since Windows 3.1 gave us the powerful feature of multitasking (and Unix did too at some point, I was a Windows user back then), I'm married to the idea of doing more than one thing at a time. When I read a book, I'm "stuck" with that book, "for better or for worse". If it gets dull, I may put it down but I'm not going to pick it right up again. If I read a web page, a pdf or whatever, I can read a paragraph, check my email, read some more, open a website, keep reading, write a quick email response etc. I can even keep up a slow paced IM conversation while reading (which I do on occasion). There is more "freedom" to multitask, which I appreciate. I have the facility to divide the text into comfortable chunks of varying size, while I keep doing something else at the same time (which technically is wrong because the action isn't simultaneous but let it go already).

So to me now books are degraded to something I think about when I'm not at a desk. Travelling somewhere, on holiday, reading in bed etc. And for that they are good, but I never got so attached to the glued paper sheets that I miss not handling more paper.