Monthly Archives: March 2010

A brief, yet helpful, lesson on elementary resource-locking strategy

Fiona had taken it down to the other end of the table, next to her plate.  I asked if she’d finished with it, and it turned out that she HADN’T EVEN STARTED.  She’d just acquired the lock, then left the resource unavailable while she responded to a completely unrelated event.

I sense a fellow INTJ there: “Perhaps the most fundamental problem, however, is that INTJs really want people to make sense.”

Resetting PHP 6

The end result of all this is that PHP 6 development eventually stalled. The Unicode problems made a release impossible while blocking other features from showing up in any PHP release at all. Eventually some work was backported to 5.3, but that is always a problematic solution; it brings back memories of the 2.5 kernel development series.
more on lwn.net

Amusing story of how PHP 6 development effort failed when confronted with Unicode.

Bringing improved support for Adobe Flash Player to Google Chrome

As a first step, we’ve begun collaborating with Adobe to improve the Flash Player experience in Google Chrome. Today, we’re making available an initial integration of Flash Player with Chrome in the developer channel. We plan to bring this functionality to all Chrome users as quickly as we can.

It could be either a sign of Google’s stance in the holy war against Flash, or just a pragmatic move towards improving the state of plugins in the browsers.

Ten Great Books

Suffice it to say for now that a working knowledge of compiler construction is the thing that differentiates good programmers from average ones, and expertise with compilers is something you find in all great programmers. Even if you never plan on writing or working on a compiler yourself, it’s still the most important CS subject, and it’s a damned shame that most schools don’t tell you how and why it’s so important.

The list of ten solid books on programming. Worth coming back.

Content wants to be paid for

Of course there will always be web content that is purely a labor of love. That is why we love the web. And it’s kind of sad, quite frankly, that you almost can’t write “Shit My Dad Says” or create a LOLcats page purely out of love any more; that even stuff tossed off as a laugh ends up being “monetized.
more on zeldman.com

I would take it even further and assert that sites on even the most obscure topics are now professionalized and making a venture successful only by a labor of love is now close to impossible.

Zeldman’s post is sparked by two excellent articles by Erin Kissane: Content is Expensive and Paying For It.

Freemium Summit: Evernote shares the insider secrets of free apps

At first, the cohort from March, 2009, didn’t spend any money. In the first month, Evernote made about $300, meaning about 60 of the original 31,334 users decided to subscribe on the spot. But the longer people used it, the more likely they were to subscribe.

Interesting numbers from Evernote. Despite petty $300 of income in the first month, Evernote’s strength lies in the fact that its value to the users increases as they put more content in the app. Therefore they also more likely to pay for premium features.