Word of the day: dirification

Posted In: Misc by graham


dirification (noun) or to dirify (verb).

A relatively new and generally unknown word (there's really no definition I can find), but credit goes to the developer community of the Movable Type blog software for bringing it to my attention. In its original use, it describes the conversion of space characters to either hyphens or underscores. It could have a more general meaning.

I suspect the creator of this word has either forgotten the words "derivation" (noun), "to derive" (verb), or perhaps found them inadequate to describe the process of character conversions. Add this to the list of words representing and erosion or evolution of the english language. How long will it be before the Oxford dictionary, or wikitionary, legitimizes its use?

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Life not imitating art

Posted In: Misc by graham

The irony is not lost on me: it is not free to read the article about paying for free downloads.

Paying to read about paying for a free download

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Most of the processes in software development, in this specific case for a web application, happen in logical steps. Step one comes first, then step two, etc. - many situations are commonly so predictable. The end result is this logic is expressed in a programming language. More important for the developer, who must plan or write that code, is to decide what steps should occur and what decisions should be made to choose the correct steps.

Take the following example. A web interface depends on a database row existing for each day. If you didn't create new rows for every day into eternity (arguably a less elegant solution), when the clock strikes midnight your flow cart looks like this:

If you think in flowcharts, and anticipate this gap in your earlier logic, you may imagine a flowchart like this:

I'd be surprised of an ORM will do all this thinking for you automatically. It's the developer's job to think of these situations to make more stable software. Personally, I don't actually see a picture of a flow chart in my mind such as the above, but some synapses in my brain connect in some analytical way to just "know" this flowchart.

One caveat: Rarely you may be using threads in which your flowchart may be a little more complex - where step two might be attempted before step one - but a flowchart could probably solve that situation as well.


Blog up and running

Posted In: Uncategorized by admin

A post to get this blog underway. If you notice any theme problems, please leave a comment. It will be refined over the coming days, as I also compose some real content.

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