In case you haven’t read Tom Christiansen’s Csh Programming Considered Harmful, here’s another reason not to write csh/tcsh scripts if you can avoid it. Unlike the Bourne Shell, the C shell exits with “Undefined variable” if you reference an undefined variable, instead of expanding that variable to the empty string, the way the Bourne shell… Continue reading Another Reason Not to Write csh Scripts
PDAs have solved or simplified a lot of the problems I used to have before I started carrying around a backup brain. But there’s one type of reminder that they still can’t deal with: “do X under when Y happens”. E.g., “Return Paul’s book next time I see him” or “Look up Janice if I’m… Continue reading Wanted: Calendar Feature
If you write a software package, and want it to be usable by as many people as possible, it’s important to translate it into other languages. But like documentation, localization (l10n) is one of those chores that programmers don’t want to do. But if it’s a web app, why not ask the users to contribute… Continue reading L10n 2.0
One question that had been bugging me for a while is, how does one input a character in Emacs, given its Unicode hex code? Answer: use the ucs input method, then use uHHHH to input, where HHHH is the character’s hex code. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look as though there’s a way to input a character… Continue reading Unicode Input in Emacs
Apparently, having my name in CPAN is a sign that I know everything about Perl, SOAP, XML, and security. Unless someone can come up with a legitimate reason to send 5000 authentication requests to a web server (including an explanation of why that’s not a brain-damaged way to solve the problem at hand), I’m going… Continue reading I Get Email
I keep thinking off and on about writing a program to apply evo-devo to musical composition (part 2 ). There are tons of problems to solve, of course, but I may have made some progress.
If you’ve never thought that the way molars develop in mammalian fetuses is way cool, you should read this article by PZ Mhieares at Pharyngula. It’s all about one substance in the environment of the developing jaw saying “you are going to become a bit of enamel”, and then that turns on another substance that… Continue reading Embryology and Programming Languages
I have a project in which I have a row of cells, and a number of segments of given lengths, and I need to try out all of the ways in which the segments can fit into the row. If you like, think of it as: how many ways can “eye”, “zygote”, and “is” be… Continue reading Pattern Substitution as Funky Iterator