Building simplicidade.org: notes, projects, and ocasional rants

Notes

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API design

Designing a good API is an art form, unfortunately. I've seen some efforts to graduate this process to science or engineering level, but nothing even close to accepted by a majority or programmers so far. One particular problem I face from time to time is related to helpful APIs. Those tend to help the programmer complete its task by adding common fallback processing paths. It usually goes something like this: the API designer convinces himself that X this is the most common operation, so when user doesn't do it, we do it for them.

Smart TVs

Since the Isaacson's Steve Jobs biography was released, a lot of articles were written about this one single passage on the topic of TVs: "I finally cracked it." From that, an explosive number of articles sprang up about Apple doing a integrated TV set, a smart(er) TV. The term disruption has been in almost all of those articles. I'm sure everybody would love to see what Steve Jobs and his team would come up on that space.

They will never learn

Microsoft and Intel need to stop ruining good looking hardware...

Google HTTPS Search

Recently Google announced they will redirect their logged in users to the HTTPS version of their search engine. (skip the rambling, take me to the summary: tl;dr) I think nobody can dispute that this is a good thing. HTTPS will provide an almost (if only Certification Authorities (CA) weren't so prone to hacks...) perfect assurance that you were indeed talking to the correct server. HTTPS with CAs is a solution to man-in-the-middle attacks.

Here's to the crazy ones

Godspeed Steve. (image from Ars Technica article about the life of Steve Jobs) I leave you with my all-time favorite ad. When I learned of this and whenever I think of his impact on our lives, I think of this ad.

In a recent blog post, Dion Almaer talks about AirPlay and how he can see it as a big part of almost every application you use today. I like AirPlay. In fact, I'm might end up buying a Apple TV just to have an AirPlay- enabled big TV. I've read about games on the iPad/iPhone using AirPlay to use the HDTV as a display device, and it is a wonderful idea: you sit down with one of your favorite games in front of the big screen, flip a switch on your phone and now you can use the entire screen as a controller.

GitHub, CA errors and old curl's

A couple weeks back I noticed someone on Twitter having problems cloning git repos from GitHub using HTTPS. I didn't pay attention to it because I usually use git: protocol - nothing against HTTP, just habit. But today, on a Mac OS X 10.5.8 system, I noticed something similar: $ curl -LO http://xrl.us/cpanm % Total % Received % Xferd Average Speed Time Time Time Current Dload Upload Total Spent Left Speed 100 185 100 185 0 0 301 0 --:--:-- --:--:-- --:--:-- 301 curl: (60) SSL certificate problem, verify that the CA cert is OK.

perl -E 'say 0b000101000'

When I was younger, at college, I decided that I was to enjoy and do all the wrong but good things in life, without great care about stuff like me weight. Everybody healthy has a lot of time ahead of him, so you can postpone all the "eat right", and "exercise regularly" advise people throughs at you. My answer was always "I'll do that when I turn 40". Well, I turned 40 today.

The message announcing the kibosh on all third-party collaboration with the Twitter platform triggered several bop-ed's. You can find a nice summary over at Michael Tsai's place. Twitter will live on as a mainstream platform, used by countless millions of regular every-day non-technical users for which these new rules are meaningless. They will suffer and question why their previous favorite client no longer works, while downloaded the latest official Twitter abortion of an interface.

hjkl

The keys 'hjkl' have a special meaning for a lot of UNIX users. They are used to move around inside the vi text editor, and have been used by loads of websites as keyboard shortcuts to move around inside a page. One of sites I visit often that I uses them is The Big Picture of the Boston Globe. Inside each article, you can navigate between photos using 'j' and 'k'.