Dewey’s Classification can be funny


Yes, I mean *that* dry, boring Deweys Decimal Classification used by libraries around the world.

Here is what I noticed in Ottawa Public Library:

Can you imagine two subjects so far apart from each other – and sometimes sooo close πŸ˜‰

Great way how to deal with telemarketers


and similar plague (for some reason they were pretty active last few days):

I wish I could pull similar stunt – but I am not really a good actor and my accent would make it hard to believe. But it is hilarious anyway (video is a recording of phone call and contains text transcription …). Enjoy.

Thanks to Peter M. for the link. I would link his blog or home page, if he had one :-).

Double negative


A linguistics professor was lecturing to his class one day. “In
English,” he said, “A double negative forms a positive. In some
languages, though, such as Russian, a double negative is still a
negative. However, there is no language wherein a double
positive can form a negative.”

A voice from the back of the room piped up, “Yeah, right.”

Found on the Net πŸ™‚

More programming quotes


“If it works, leave it alone β€” there’s no need to understand it.
If it fails, try to fix it β€” there’s no time to understand it.”

“A one-question geek test. If you get the joke, you’re a geek:
Seen on a California license plate on a VW Beetle: ‘FEATURE‘…”
β€” Joshua D. Wachs, Natural Intelligence Inc.

“Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live.” β€” Martin Golding.

“The only problem with troubleshooting is that sometimes trouble shoots back.”

“Who is this general ‘Failure‘ and why is he reading my disk ?”

“If Python is executable pseudocode, then perl is executable line noise.”

“The great thing about Object Oriented code is that it can make small, simple problems look like large, complex ones.”

“C++: Hard to learn and built to stay that way.”

“I invented the term ‘Object-Oriented‘, and I can tell you I did not have C++ in mind.”
β€” Alan Kay, creator of Smalltalk

“There are two major products that come out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX. We don’t believe this to be a coincidence.” β€” Jeremy S. Anderson.

“It is easier to port a shell than a shell script.” β€” Larry Wall.

“Unix is user-friendly. It’s just very selective about who its friends are.”

“The number of the beast β€” vi vi vi.”

Software and cathedrals are much the same – first we build them, then we pray.

If a million monkeys were typing on computers, one of them will eventually write a Java program. The rest of them will write Perl programs.

The camel has evolved to be relatively self-sufficient. On the other hand, the camel has not evolved to smell good. Neither has Perl.Β  — Larry Wall

PHP is a minor evil perpetrated and created by incompetent amateurs, whereas Perl is a great and insidious evil, perpetrated by skilled but perverted professionals.

It’s not at all important to get it right the first time. It’s vitally important to get it right the last time.
Andrew Hunt and David Thomas

Some problems are so complex that you have to be highly intelligent and well informed just to be undecided about them. Laurence J. Peter

Quote of the day


C++: an octopus made by nailing extra legs to a dog.
(Steve Taylor).

When C++ is your hammer, everything starts to look like your thumb.
(Unknown author).

I guess somebody got pretty fustrated with good ole C++ πŸ™‚

Epigrams on Programming


My favorite top ten epigrams, for more see

0. One man’s constant is another man’s variable

1. It is easier to write an incorrect program than understand a correct one.

2. If you have a procedure with ten parameters, you probably missed some.

3. A language that doesn’t affect the way you think about programming, is not worth knowing.

4. Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it.

5. You can’t communicate complexity, only an awareness of it.

6. Beware of the Turing tar-pit in which everything is possible but nothing of interest is easy.

7. In a 5 year period we get one superb programming language. Only we can’t control when the 5 year period will be.

8. In computing, the mean time to failure keeps getting shorter.

9. In programming, everything we do is a special case of something more general — and often we know it too quickly.

A. It is easier to change the specification to fit the program than vice versa.

B. Systems have sub-systems and sub-systems have sub- systems and so on ad infinitum – which is why we’re always starting over.

C. Everyone can be taught to sculpt: Michelangelo would have had to be taught not to. So it is with great programmers.

D. To understand a program you must become both the machine and the program.

E. Perhaps if we wrote programs from childhood on, as adults we’d be able to read them.

F. One can only display complex information in the mind. Like seeing, movement or flow or alteration of view is more important than the static picture, no matter how lovely.

Programmer’s classification


Gabo sent me this link – it is some half-joke half serious knock-off of the Myers-Briggs personality classification. Same as in case of MB, it gives you four letters. Unlike in MB, the letters are different:

Instead of E/I – Extroversion or Introversion, N/S (iNtuitive / Sensing), T/F (Thinking/Feeling) and J/P (Judging/Perceiving),
it classifies you either as D/P – Doer or Planner, L/H – Low or High level programmer, S/T – Solo or Team programmer and C/B Conservative/liBeral.

Quick characteristics of the groups:

Doer (very quick at getting tasks done, focusing on outcome You believe the outcome is the most important part of a task and the faster you can reach that outcome the better. After all, time is money.
Planner (slower, but you’ll usually find the best solutions)

Low level (old school of programming preferring the intimate relationship with the computer and coding to bare metal)
High level (seeing the objects and components)

Solo situation (The best way to program is by yourself)
Team (believing that group is better than the sum of it’s parts)

Conservative programmer. (write short and to the point code that gets the job done efficiently.
liBeral programmer (as we are not writing on paper anymore so we can take up as much room as we need).

Now this is of course not meant as anything as serious as MB, but there are still interesting parallels: the Solo/Team preference corresponds to I/E type – introverts would prefer to program alone, extroverts in team. The L/H has in my opinion some relation with S/N – as the higher degree of detail and “down to metal” focus mash better with sensing approach, whereas more abstract concepts like objects and components seems to be closer to conceptual, large picture intuition. The D/P seems to be related to P/J: judging types will IMHO be more likely to plan and evaluate alternatives, whereas the doers will not mind react to the change as it occurs – the P treat.

What do you think ? (I really wish Connie could do this test – too bad it is heavily profession biased).

Take 10 minutes and see for yourself.