After all the hassling today with the phone company I still don’t have a dial tone at the house. I came back to the apartment, ready to sign up with Comcast, but they won’t sign me up unless I transfer my old service. But I don’t want to transfer my service I want service at both places. Never mind, we can’t even do that unless you come down to our office to prove that you’re not the old owners who apparently owe them money. Okay, I give up. It’s apparently impossible to get Internet service in Berkeley. Grace Davis says I need a personal assistant.
I got burned again by the Firefox bug/feature where it implements permanent redirects without looping the server in, and this was really elaborately fcuked up. Okay, so I had a bug in some software and it was redirecting where it shouldn’t, and because I was doing permanent redirects, once I fixed the bug there was nothing I could do to Firefox to tell it to forget about my mistake (or was there? is there some programmer’s switch I can flip that tells it to forget about all the redirects it’s remembering? that would solve the problem). Anyway, so I map a different domain to the app, as I did last month when I hit this wall, and I used that one instead. However, I forgot to change the domain for the cookie the app was returning. So I spent hours chasing down a bug in some ancient mainResponder code that I haven’t looked at in this milennium, and therefore didn’t trust, when the problem was somewhere very far away, in my work around for this new weird and programmer-unfriendly behavior of Firefox’s. Now I know some idiot is saying it’s my fault for having bugs, but that’s ridiculous. If I have to write bug-free code to use Firefox as a development tool, well then I’d better find another browser. Unless there’s some hidden nerd switch (see above).
MacWorld report on Apple’s announcements.
Interesting back and forth between the leaders of the Wikipedia and Britannica communities. In defense of Britannica, there is indeed an important difference, Britannica tells you who the editors are, and Wikipedia can’t. When directly asked about that, Wales dodges. I feel sympathy for the Britannicans, and I’m embarassed that the people from the web, which is where I hail from, are so hostile toward the print folk. When Wales cites an accuracy issue for Britannica (calling it “bad publicity”), it’s clear they did the right thing, when the 12-year old boy found the errors, they thanked him, and made the corrections. What else would you have them do? Have no mistakes? Oh come now. At the end of the supposed bad publicity, “Lucian said that despite the mistakes, he still thought the encyclopaedia was the best reference book he knew.” Bravo. The Britannica guy isn’t as aggressive a debater as Wales, but when you look past that, there is a balance, you just have to find it yourself. At the outset Wales seemed to accept that both approaches are valuable, and you know what, he could have stopped right there. Yes, both approaches are valuable. QED.
Good morning. Real busy yesterday and today with New House Stuff. I’ll miss the Apple announcement, probably won’t have a net connection either (today I’m waiting for the DSL installer). Like everyone else I’m looking forward to hearing what Apple will announce. And amazingly my Macs (knock wood) are actually behaving these days. However if they announce a replacement for either of my machines (or my 60GB iPod) I expect them to fail completely and never boot again (praise Murphy, praise Steve).
Postscript on the DSL installation. I waited until noon and then called SBC/Yahoo to find out where the installer was. They said they weren’t sending anyone out and I didn’t need to be there. Except when I signed up they said I had to be there. Not an auspicious beginning. Four hours waiting for an installer that wasn’t coming.
5/7/97: “A programmer is a rigorous scientist determined to coax the truth out of the ones and zeros.”