As a bonus , I'll probably soon reveal the unbelievable story of how I acquired my legal knowledge - by doing something nobody else ever has, and which, until now, would be considered pretty much impossible.
I'd rather not, because there is some danger involved, but it's necessary to achieve my goals in an open and transperent fashion.
Advice and help sought and welcome.
Trying to print an envelope address in openoffice under linux? What a waste of time.
Do the people who code this sh*t actually ever use it? Or do they never use anything else, so they simply don't know that it's possible to do better?
Easy prediction - open source will never be competitive. When it's so bad that I'm tempted to throw a copy of XP (or even Wn95) on the box because linux on the desktop is still 2 decades behind the times anyway, there's a fundamental problem that obviously will never be fixed.
I really hate them, but my next computer is going to be a mac.
After 15 years, we still don't have an un-b0rked browser. CSS 2.1 was done in 1997, and yet firefox, opera, chrome, arora - they all render differently for non-trivial layouts.
15 years, and they still can't get the basics right. It means that the problem is not the implementation, but the underlying concepts that are flawed in fundamental ways.
And there's no blaming Microsoft or Apple for this fiasco.
No, we did this to ourselves. We're all suckers. The people setting the standards did it wrong, and we didn't immediately stone them to death, salt their fields, enslave their families for the next 3 generations, and all that other "Carthage must die!" goodness.
So we have let ourselves become slaves to stupidity.
What a waste of time, energy, brain cells, and just general aggravation. Have fun with html5 + css3, folks - you'll never see it finished in your lifetime, not even if you live for another 100 years.
Apple has it right - apps, not a stupid one-size-fits-nada web browser. Just like they have it right about not releasing stuff until it's good and ready.
Stupid browsers. Stupid us.
Old technology doesn't die - it get re-implemented when newer ways get too bloated and turn everything it touches into Beavis and Butthead.
In the dying days of the last century (awk! - how time flies) I used to do web cgi using c, same as a lot of people. Used malloc and sprintfs() to insert variables into a "template" and then printf()s to output. It was easy to track memory allocation for such cases, so the whole "OMG you'll leak memory" issue was a non-starter.
And then along came the attack of the killer web scripting "pee" languages - php, perl, and to a lesser extent, python. The concept of a "templating language" evolved and eventually we ended up with "templating engines" - megabytes of code to make up for the shortfalls of the approach.
For example, output buffering. php includes stuff like ob_start() because even one stray newline emitted will prevent you from setting cookies on the client. c/c++ cgi programs didn't worry about a stray newline being output by an #include file because only printf() and putchar() would actually write stuff to stdout - so as long as you were just sprintf()ing to your format strings you were all good. In php, even one space before the opening tag or after the closing tag in index.php and you're hosed for sending cookies (which is why you should always omit the closing tag - the spec allows it).
Another advantage was that the ONLY character you needed to escape in any file you loaded as a template as a sprintf format string was the % symbol. No worrying about single or double quotes, angle brackets, or whatever.
For user input, the only sanitation needed was the left and right brackets (to prevent someone from entering raw html, such as script tags) and, again, the % symbol. No "escape_string", no "real_escape_string", no "really_really_escape_string", since the data was stored and read w/o needing sql.
In terms of performance and memory use, sprintf() easily beats regexes. You really can't help but notice the difference. And it sure beats the so-called "compiled templates" produced by templating engines like smarty.
Yet another advantage is portability - any language that supports sprintf() can be used w/o modifying your template files. This means that if you need the best possible performance on some really really HUGE files, you can always do it directly from a shell in c, or if you're so inclined, java.
So I decided to re-implement my old approach from scratch yesterday in a couple of hours in php. The entire code - including for variable range-checking, reading and writing data (strings and arrays), meta tag files, html, reading and parsing config files, getting and setting cookies, posts and gets along with verification and using sane defaults and coercing the values to those default types, loading templates, creating those little "go to page 1 2 3 4" clickies for larger web documents and everything else, is under 9k, including the site's index.php file.
THAT is a lot more maintainable than the 1.1 meg download for smarty templates (and smarty doesn't do the reading and type coercion from the client or the minmax range checking or some of the other stuff).
So, +130 files for smarty, or 2 for the old way (and one is index.php,so it really doesn't count
<input name="first_name" value=$smarty.get.first_name>
// no default values!!!
<input name="last_name" value=$smarty.get.last_name>
// no type coercion!!!
<input name="address" value=$smarty.get.address>
<input name="city" value=$smarty.get.city>
<input type="submit" value="Save">
<input name="%s">, etc
... so your template looks like this instead:
<input name="first_name" value="%s">
<input name="last_name" value="%s">
<input name="address" value="%s">
<input name="city" value="%s">
<input name="age" value="%s">
<input type="submit" value="Save">
and your index.php file looks like
$BASE = '../'; all files live outside of public_html space
$HTML = read_tpl("test_page");
// read_tpl automatically prepends "$BASE/tpl/", appends ".tpl" extension.
$js = "new_js_lib";
$head = read_tpl("head");
$meta = read_meta("test_metadata");
$desc = $meta;
$keywords = $meta;
$HEAD = sprintf($head, $desc, $keywords, $css, $js);
$form = read_tpl("junk");
// get, post, cookie, gpc_pg, etc all sanitize the %, < and > symbols.
// also use an optional default value, and coerce any entered data to that type,
// so, if you ask for an integer and specify -42 as the default, anyone entering "FOO" returns -42
$first_name = get('first_name', 'Enter first name here');
$last_name = get('last_name', 'Enter first name here');
$address = get('city', 'Enter address here');
$city = get('address', 'Enter city here');
$age = get('age', -1);
// do any additional validation, data manipulation, etc.
// no need to do output buffering ... it's all in memory until you do the next line.
$FORM = sprintf($form, $first_name, $last_name, $address, $city, $age);
$footer = read_tpl("footer");
$FOOTER = sprintf($footer, "have a nice day!");
//okay, now write the whole thing
printf($HTML, $HEAD, $FORM, $FOOTER);
There is zero programming logic in the template itself - and that's the way it should be. Templates like smarty fail in the "presentation should be separate from code" department.
Plus, since most templates won't include variable names. they're pretty generic, again promoting template re-use. The footer, for example, could contain the output of several other templates instead of a simple message, and you'd never touch the main page template OR the footer template.
Remember how Apple captured a generation of users by concentrating on getting their computers into schools? You ain't seen nothin' yet.
One trend that I haven't heard a peep about is how mothers and grandmothers are using their iPhones and iPads to play with their kids. I'm not talking grade-school children, but babies under a year old. I have yet to see a parent do this (play with their baby) with a non-iOS device.
Cradle to grave, these kids are going to think a "computer" is something you buy from Apple, and anything else is a cheap knock-off (which is too true nowadays, btw).
Microsoft will still manage to hang on in the business world, but android? Not a very good future in either smartphones or tablets, unless you want to talk about the lower end. Androids' continued fragmentation problems mean Apple will continue to be the one to beat.
Android on TVs? Nobody wants a "socially networked TV". That's what they have their iPads and iPhones for. TV is for vegging out, for background noise when doing homework or housework, or for playing games. So even if/when android comes standard on most TVs, it's going to be like the clock on those obsolete VCRs - always blinking 12:00:00 because nobody bothers to configure it.
I stopped taking it a month ago, and am pretty much recovered from it, aside from still feeling like I want to take a nap once in a while, but at least the bone-crushing tired-all-the-time can't-stay-awake for more than 6 hours a day even after 6 cups of coffee feeling is gone, along with the other nasty side effects.
There are people who have reported similar reactions, but I suspect that shame keeps them from reporting the worst one - after a couple of months dealing with it, and the depression that it threw me into (another side effect that patients have reported that is not mentioned in the product monograph), I experienced the same suicidal ideation that a few others have reported. Now, considering that I've been through a lot worse and have never spent weeks in a deep dark funk thinking about offing myself, there's a problem with this drug - especially since when I stopped using it, those thoughts went away.
In my email to them, I asked what they proposed to do about this - and about the lack of warnings to either physicians or patients, esp. when there have been similar reports since at least 2009, along with reports of gradual short-term memory lost and other problems, and that two studies have shown that it also presents up to a 5-fold increase in sudden death from stroke in patients who are diabetic.
The argument from the FDA review of these deaths was that the benefits of reducing non-fatal strokes mostly outweighed the risks. That's like saying that you have a car with a steering wheel that will let you either walk away from an accident, but with a much higher risk that it will gut you instead, with no middle ground, and no, we won't tell you that it is much more likely to kill you. Or that for certain trips, maybe you should take a different vehicle. And that diabetic patients and their physicians should be looking at other options.
Their response was the usual corporate mumblings. Lots of words to avoid actually saying anything. I'll be posting it on the net sometime tonight or tomorrow, along with the ROADMAP and ORION studies, and the FDA response.
It's interesting that since the FDA review last year, some of those who said "overall, it's worth it" are now not so sure
And yes, I am certainly both upset and angry about this, now that I can see it for what it was.
So email@example.com got the following reply:
Kindly go fuck yourself. Preferably with a dildo covered in barbed wire. Repeatedly.
It's rare that I swear, but I'll make an exception in their case. And cut-n-paste it into a few of the many others in the inbox.
They also operate under the name ethical-seo-comapany.com (no, the typo is not mine - they actually don't know how to spell company).
Just make sure you check the headers before doing anything similar to make sure the spammer isn't really someone pulling a joe job.
The rest of them got this enhanced versin:
Kindly go fuck yourself. Preferably with an aids-infected dildo covered in barbed wire. Repeat until you remove yourself from the gene pool.
The good news - doctors visit yesterday, and got the results from my latest labs. It turns out that going off that evil blood pressure medication was a smart move - my bp is lower now than when I was on it. He asked what I was doing, and I told him that every once in a while I would stop and remember to just "clear my head and RELAX!!! NOW!!!! DAMMI!!!
No need for meditation or anything like that - just thinking of something better for 30 seconds or so, to "break the cycle." It works.
I've never bothered worrying about cholesterol, but out of curiosity I asked, since it's a problem for other family members - turns out mine is just fine, as is my long-term blood glucose level.
Und now, ve haf zee bad newz! Stupid eye started bleeding again yesterday morning. It's still sore today, so I'm limiting myself to 15 minute intervals, with an hour breaks. Oh well, can't win them all.
By web search: "Whatever it is, I fear the girls, even when they kiss."
I can't find a source, but presumably a reference to
Vergil, Aeinid II.49
QUIDQUID ID EST, TIMEO DANAOS ET DONA FERENTES.
Whatever it is, I fear the Greeks, even bearing gifts.
vos nescitis quicquam, nec cogitatis quia expedit nobis ut unus moriatur homo pro populo et non tota gens pereat here.
Biblical, "You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish." John 11:50 (spoken by an antagonist.)
Looks like I struck a nerve with that one
(Yes, that's my "other" account. I got tired of people going "Dude!" in their replies.)
We've all encountered those "web designers" who claim that you need facebook, twitter, whatever "social media web integration". And yet, we all know that you can buy facebook fans for as low as 500 for a buck, that you can buy twitter followers, you can buy google+ friends, you can buy web traffic to give any site a temporary artificial boost and make it look like the social media gimmick is working its magic
But where are the hard statistics?
Where are the studies that show that spending $X on "social media" gives a ROI of $Y?
And is the ROI better than if you had just spent the same budget on beer for the office party and returned the empties for the refund? It seems to me that, rather than being a way to add value, it's just something that will turn into an unproductive time sink - just like social media in general. Coincidence? I think not.
Does anyone have hard figures - not anecdotal "evidence" - to the contrary?