[Jan. 2001] My feelings about dealings with XSLT. (With apologies to MontyPython
- Strange languages, lying about in XML, distributing tags, is no basis for a system of document conversion. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from Larry Wall, not from some farcical W3 consortium ceremony. I mean, if I went round, saying I was Emperor of document conversion, just 'cause some moistened bint threw a recursively scoped syntactically self-embedded translation language at me, they'd put me away!
[Dec. 2000] I'm learning Smalltalk, finally! My primary languages at this point are, Forth, C, C++, Perl, and Java (in no particular order . . . well, that's the order I learned them actually :) Here are some observations or thoughts I've had about Smalltalk so far:
- The more languages you try before you get to Smalltalk, the more awesome it will seem. :-)
- Smalltalk is like Forth for programmers. Forth is like Smalltalk for hardware engineers. (See ForthInSmalltalk)
- [Note to self] "You've been lied to: you've been told that static typing is mandatory, and a boon for any complex project; and then you've been given a host of languages so hideously perverted by their static typing that they ensure no other conclusion is reachable." Yes. :)
And my most-recurring thought about Smalltalk so far:
- Whoa, heh, this language is soooooo coool.
Long ago, on a computer terminal while visiting my Dad at work...
You are standing at the end of a road before a small brick building.
Around you is a forest. A small stream flows out of the building and
down a gully.
Somehow it's remained one of my favorites. I still recall that Saturday afternoon, heat waves rising off the parking lot, and the transition through smoky glassed doors into the air conditioned office building. A hardware R&D lab and more-like hangar, inside it had been partitioned with high walls stopping only half way to the double high ceiling; a dangling network of wires and fluorescent lighting occupied the spaces above. Corridors and surfaces lay inhabited by electronic equipment or piled with bare circuitry. And my Dad, clearing a few obstacles and seating me at a terminal, typed an inscrutable sequence of commands: then;
Welcome to Adventure!
Would you like instructions?
My eight- or nine-year-old mind, making the leap into an alternate universe... I'm pretty sure a part of me's been there ever since. :)
I'm currently programming for Encyclopaedia Britannica working on our CD-ROM products; for about nine years preceding I did games programming; and various projects before that, to my first steps in programming in about 1982.
In my spare time I'm working on QwikWiki
and recently hacked up a for-fun Forth compiler in Perl (http://members.cts.com/crash/b/billk/pforth/
My current methodological leanings are more toward WorseIsBetter
than the RightThing
, although I think not-100% as correctness is still a closely held tenet for me - especially where incorrectness would lead to crashing or flaky software behavior.
I have a recurring obsession--and when it occurs it carries a feeling of some certainty--the feasibility of devising some form of a robust, general machine learning intelligence.
Update, Sep. 2000: I feel like I could be nearing an actual implementable concept for the AI. It's weird to be getting closer to something
, something that is becoming sufficiently defined it would seem I could nearly implement it, and that it would even exceed my original expectations; and yet honestly have no idea whether it's even possible, let alone workable and emergent out of the particular configuration I'm converging on. Torture. Beautiful revelations. --- . . .or pipe dreams?
Wiki pages I've initiated: AutoVivification
Wiki pages I've enjoyed: many, many, many! But to name a few offhand: DoTheSimplestThingThatCouldPossiblyWork
used to be: www.foosenblat.org (foosenblat wiki)