I’m writing today’s entry with the help of a bit of software I banged out last weekend which converts semi-structured text into HTML. It’s inspired by standards such as Re-Structured Text as well as efforts like Textile, ending up somewhere inbetween in terms of expressiveness and complexity. (Much closer to Textile in terms of complexity, thankfully.) Look for a more detailed description once I get around to writing one. #
From the link bag
Before I start listing articles, I want to mention Second Saturdays, a Coffee House–style concert series I’ve been helping run, as I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned it here. Our web site (designed by me, although I quick look is probably enough to tell you that…) was suffering from some server problems for a few months, but we’ve switched to a new service and things are looking pretty good. Our next concert is April 12 and features singing duo Kim and Reggie Harris.
- Matthew Thomas: “When good interfaces go crufty”. Despite the software world’s reputation as ever-changing, there are a good many things that might as well be set in stone. Much of the way we interact with our computers is based on design decisions that were made when computers were slow and memory was expensive. When disk access is slow and space is limited, it makes sense to avoid comitting changes to disk until the user requests it, but nowadays the “Save” command should be an anachronism. My file should always be saved. Similarly, we could do without “Quit”; the only reason to keep a program open when you aren’t using it is to avoid its load time, and the better solution would be to make it start up faster. (via Matthew Thomas via something I can’t recall, dangit)
- Josh Marshall: “Practice to Deceive”. Just what is the administration’s goal in invading Iraq? Disarmament? Regime change? There’s a disturbing amount of evidence that many presidential advisors see toppling Saddam Hussein as only the first step towards remaking the Middle East. Mr Marshall describes several concerns about such a plan—particularly its rather slim chances for succeeding. If these are the administration’s plans, then they certainly haven’t been sharing this with the public. In fact, they’ve been saying quite the opposite—but this administration has a history of saying one thing while actively working towards something else. (via Josh Marshall)
- Paul Krugman: “Channels of Influence”. So… many of those pro-war rallies were organized by radio stations owned by Clear Channel, whose leadership has long-term connections to the Bush family. “[I]f politicians are busy doing favors for businesses that support them, why shouldn’t we expect businesses to reciprocate by doing favors for those politicians—by, for example, organizing ‘grass roots’ rallies on their behalf?”