The Worst Technologies Always Win

This post is the culmination of two things: 1. Who wants to be a PHP Developer? 2. An ongoing conversation I've had with a number of coworkers about the substandard technologies that always seem to triumph over the "better" options. The examples of the success of inferior technologies are bountiful. MySQL's prevalence despite some non-trivial technical flaws (around clustering, around licensing as highlighted by the Oracle merger); PHP as the de facto glue language of the web despite the fact that every other language in it's class is probably a better programming language (e.…

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Who wants to be a PHP Developer?

So PHP is this programming language that's widely used, and often reviled by systems administrators and people who fancy theme selves "real programmers." And yet, I think, while the "real programmers" were busy being "real," PHP got something very fundamental right that explains its success despite the disdain. I should interject with some context. First, I think this is another in my ongoing series of posts regarding linguistic relativism and computer programming.…

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Ease and The Stack

As if I needed a new project, this post introduces a new project that's floating around in my mind. I was having a conversation with a friend about how I use the computer, I realized that while I've talked about various elements of how I use computer's (the short story: peculiarly), I've not really talked about the holistic experience. As I started to talk about the various components and how they connect and work together, I realized that with out an example it was about as clear as mud.…

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The Internet in Real Life

In many ways, I think you could say, I live and work in a bubble of the technical future that, as Gibson said "isn't evenly distributed," yet. I have developed a set of tools and work flows that enable me to work nearly anywhere and on a moment's notice. I work for a company which great and open internal infrastructure that allows us to securely communicate and collaborate in whatever way we think will best serve the projects we're working on.…

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Strategies for Organizing Wiki Content

I've been trying to figure out wikis for a long time. It always strikes me that the wiki is probably the first truly unique (and successful) textual form of the Internet age. And there's a lot to figure out. The technological innovation of the wiki is actually remarkably straightforward, [1] and while difficult the community building aspects of wikis are straightforward. [2] The piece of the wiki puzzle that I can't nail down in a pithy sentence or two is how to organize information effectively on a wiki.…

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A Git of One's Own

My most sincere apologies to Virginia Woolf for the title. We use a lot of git at work, and I've earned a bit of a reputation as "the git guy," both at work and amongst the folks who read the blog. So, I suppose it should come as no surprise that a coworker (hi stan!) said "You should write something about using git when it's just one person." And I said "well sure, but it's not nearly as interesting as you think it's going to be.…

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I want ZFS in the Kernel

The background: Sun Microsystems developed this file system called "ZFS," which is exceptionally awesome in it's capabilities and possibilities. The problem, is that it was developed and released as part of the Open Solaris project which has a licensing incompatibility with the Linux Kernel. Both are open source, but there is a technical (and not all together uncommon) conflict in the terms of the license that makes it possible to combine code from both licenses in a single executable.…

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