Build Your Own Database Driven Website

I don’t remember what prompted me to remember this book, but it was, perhaps, the biggest influence which has shaped my career. I had already been a programmer since I was a kid, and I had already written a couple of well-received programs on my job by the time I bought it, but I had actively avoided learning about databases, in order to focus on other Windows and Visual Basic, and I hadn’t gotten long-enough arms to break into web programming until then. Thank goodness, too, as it was all cgi-bin Perl stuff leading up to PHP. Yuck!

Reading books on programming is never fun for me. I’ve tried to read a couple on Ruby and Rails, and I just can’t get through them. The problem is that the ratio of stuff I already know to the stuff I don’t is so high, I can’t slog through it. I get too bored while trying to get to something new to me, and put it down. This book, however, hit me right between the eyes. It was the perfect book for me at the time. It was very thin, and there was zero fluff. I rewrote my FrontPage blog site in PHP in a week with the help of this book, and I was off and running. I’ve been doing primarily web app programming ever since.

Anyway, I just am fond of the memory of this book, Kevin Yank, who wrote it, and SitePoint, which was started around these books. This version is old and out of print, of course, and he seems to have retired now. If so, good for him. Thanks, Kevin.

CADT Model in Action

JWZ, the arguably-most-infamous developer of Netscape, has a theory called the CADT: Cascade of Attention Deficit Teenagers. I got an email this morning as another example of the model in action.

I posted the problem to serverfault.com and opened the bug report. In my opinion, it was a good example of a fully-documented bug, which was easy to replicate. In their bug system, there were 12 “upvotes” of people saying that the bug was affecting them as well. Today, 6 years and 4 months later, the person the bug was assigned to is asking a rhetorical question to document that it’s going to be closed because the version of PHP it applies to is being sunsetted.

I still have no idea why an unavoidable bug in the stock PHP install in a major distribution didn’t cause more of a fuss, but it clearly wasn’t a show stopper. I don’t remember what I did about it as a workaround, but I guess everyone else did it too. I think I just gave up, and decided that I didn’t need a local dev instance of WordPress for this blog.

n-gate.com. we can’t both be right.

Python dicts are now ordered

February 07, 2020 (comments)

A webshit has something to say about Python internals, but I couldn’t focus on the article, because the first comment on the blog post involves the text “it brings Python on par with PHP,” which is such a monumentally alien thought that I think I need medical attention. Hackernews argues about who already knew this, why, and how. Another argument breaks out about whether this is the Correct and Natural approach to data structures, or if it’s Completely Wrong and Stupid because of some ridiculous edge case nobody cares about. Most of the complaints are from people who are deeply concerned that (entirely hypothetical) existing code might break in the case its author made extremely specific assumptions about one particular data structure in a programming language directly aimed at people who do not give a shit about these topics.

Source: n-gate.com. we can’t both be right.

Arguably one of the pithiest comments on this site yet.