It is very difficult to correctly write to a file. Also, most filesystems are broken: danluu.com/deconstruct-files/

skybrian boosted

U.Alaska budget gutted by 40%: insidehighered.com/quicktakes/
chronicle.com/article/Unpreced
npr.org/2019/07/03/738569508/u

From the Chronicle story, the total amount cut over the past five years (including this new biggest cut) is more like 63%, from $522M to $192M. And from the NPR story, the likely response is to close one of its three main campuses and all 13 smaller community campuses.

Ironically, the cause is right-wing insistence on a universal basic income of $3000/person from fuel extraction revenues.

skybrian boosted

New blog post: "Tech veganism" nolanlawson.com/2019/05/31/tec

Wherein I try to understand what makes a "tech vegan" (i.e. someone who avoids closed-source software and big tech companies, i.e. probably you), and whether there are parallels with real veganism.

Damnit I forgot the first rule of IT work: never deploy changes to production on a Friday. Hoping we don't have to wait until Monday to get Mom's phone service working again.

"Then in the fall of 1973, I started working on what came to be called CLU. So here was this proposal for a programming language with just a few hints of what might be in it and some statements about “It’d be nice if it had polymorphism. It’d be nice if it had exception handling.” Exception handling was also… people were trying to figure out what that meant in those days. That was another area in programming languages that people were thinking about but had no real idea of what should be done. So the next step was to sort of really get down to brass tacks and figure out what all this stuff was."

"And by the summer of 1973, we had figured out that it was possible to do this with a compiler by having a notion of a linguistic structure that implemented a data abstraction and the compiler would just ensure the abstraction barrier, and the code on the outside would only be able to call the operations. It was nevertheless just a sketch. I mean we didn’t have a language. We just had a proposal for a language. And in that paper, we talked about some issues we didn’t know how to handle. In particular, generics and polymorphism."

"Well, we read the paper on Simula 67, and that didn’t quite have data abstraction in it even though it was about classes and subclasses, and you could see how they could be data abstraction. It had no encapsulation, which is a very critical component if you want modularity, and they were mostly interested in inheritance, which we
saw as a red herring, so we ignored that." - Barbara Liskov

Pretty amazing interview. (I read the transcript.)
amturing.acm.org/interviews/li

And this one explains why it's useful in a UI. Cancellation is important and needs to be handled by default.

medium.com/@elizarov/structure

Accordion song of the day is "l'Heure Bleue," a nice simple blues tune that I stumbled on looking for accordion samba:

youtube.com/watch?v=r-C0emjqjO

"The name Sgr A* was coined by Brown in a 1982 paper because the radio source was "exciting", and excited states of atoms are denoted with asterisks." en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagittar*

skybrian boosted

The Supreme Court’s Math Problem: slate.com/news-and-politics/20

Jordan Ellenberg explains why, in testing for gerrymandering, asking about deviation from proportional representation is the wrong question. Democratic systems naturally concentrate power to the majority rather than being proportional. The right question is whether that concentration is at the natural level, or is artificially accelerated in one direction or another.

Via metafilter.com/180163/The-Supr

When I try to type "according" it comes out "accordion".

skybrian boosted

"Illegal division by zero at /tmp/quine.pl line 1." is a quine

skybrian boosted

"You know how the \hat command in LaTeΧ puts a caret above a letter? ... Well I was thinking it would be funny if someone made a package that made the \hat command put a picture of an actual hat on the symbol instead?"

And then Matthew Scroggs and Adam Townsend went ahead and did it.

Package at ctan.org/pkg/realhats, behind-the-scenes commentary at aperiodical.com/2019/03/realha

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