Older blog entries for chalst (starting at number 260)

Wow, aryson is serious! 22 SEO spam bulletins together! A new sleazeball, or an old antagonist with a new strategy?

Who doubts that we are talking about 22 paying clients here?

3 Feb 2010 (updated 3 Feb 2010 at 15:20 UTC) »
mjg59 reports that he's engaged. Congratulations, and I wish him some peace with his family's sure-to-come odd behaviour...

I saw a lovely photo of the newly engaged couple, though I have to say that Matthew looks like he has put on a bit of weight!

18 Jan 2010 (updated 13 Jan 2011 at 11:19 UTC) »
A POSIX question
I posted the following to superuser.com, and put about a third of the reputation points I had into it:
Impossible paths
Are there any legal paths in POSIX that cannot be associated with a file, regular or irregular? That is, for which test -e "$LEGITIMATEPOSIXPATHNAME" cannot succeed?
I'm not very impressed by the smartness or helpfulness of answers there, so I doubt that I will get adequate responses. I should just read the standards, but I am not feeling unlazy.

Oh, ... and a Happy New Year, Advogato!

It turns out that /dev/tty/impossible is impossible, since POSIX says that /dev/tty must be a character device file, and I understand that paths can only be the dirname of a file if they are directories or symlinks. The answerer I awarded my bounty on at SU didn't figure that out, but he gave me a clue that helped me.

Merry Christmas, Advogato
I'm typing this entry while talking to relatives on the phone.
10 Dec 2009 (updated 10 Dec 2009 at 09:26 UTC) »
Guile's eval
wingo posts a meta-circular evaluator for Guile. I've not time now, but I want to take a closer look at the code.

I have two thoughts about eval for guile:

  1. It can be good to write the target scheme in such a way that it can allocate all of its closures on the stack, as scheme48->prescheme does. This is a nontrivial transformation, but it means that (i) you don't need to worry about TCO, since tail calls are achieved by popping the stack, and so (ii) you can use pretty, dimwitted ceval-like code without trouble, and (iii) it's a stretch to call this an interpreter, but since you only need source-to-source transformation, it's higher level than what we usually mean by compilation. Dan Friedman has written up some relevant stuff on the transformations needed to do this.
  2. More generally, is there any interest in rearchitecting the elisp bytecode so that it fits the Guile VM?
Cf. let's bytecode it!: message by wingo to guile-devel, April 2008.
dmarti writes: Wikipedia knows the difference between a baler and a bailer. The New York Times, not so much.

It does so build up one's confidence into the accuracy of the reporting, doesn't it? John McIntyre notes, in Save money: Cut back on editing, a correction in the Washington Post:

A Nov. 26 article in the District edition of Local Living incorrectly said a Public Enemy song declared 9/11 a joke. The song refers to 911, the emergency phone number.
So, which is your favourite Newspaper Of Record?

dmarti continues: But the fit and finish of the writing in peer media is often better than what cut-back Mainstream Media outlets can manage any more. I suppose that's good news..

Quite. When you compromise quality to save money, you save the most visible cuts, like checking whether words mean what you think, 'til last.

Trollaxor (Grant Hayes) isn't a spammer, on any reasonable definition of the term. Who all's been giving him a spam rating of 12?
3 Dec 2009 (updated 3 Dec 2009 at 13:41 UTC) »
Account SimpleMLMSponsoring spams the Facebook profile of Ian Anthony Clarke, a self-styled MLM and SEO guru. His website features such enticing messages as: HERE'S WHAT I GOT FOR YOU : A FREE 20-page eBook called the "Online MLM Success Formula" and information on an opportunity for you to make hundreds online....

Simply marvellous! He got what can make not just tens, but hundreds online!

I would love to read his FREE eBook, but unfortunately I apparently would need to give Ian my email address, and I'm sure that must be against my principles.

19 Nov 2009 (updated 19 Nov 2009 at 14:57 UTC) »
bagder is overwhelmed by the success of his projects and can't keep on top of bug reports, and says Since this situation is still fairly new to me, I need to learn on how to adapt to it. How to deal with a stream of issues that is overwhelming and I must select what particular things I care about and what to “let through”.

It seems to me that the right response to this situation is to put less energy into solving bugs, and more energy into documenting the projects so that other FS types can understand the code. I think that a fair proportion of people who take bur reporting seriously are people who want to understand how the code works, and a fair proportion of people who have some grasp of how the code works will be willing to tackle items on a list of important bugs and issues. Get the interest to work for you, and not against you.

19 Nov 2009 (updated 19 Nov 2009 at 14:05 UTC) »
Spam-fighting feature idea
Our spammer SEO seems not to have given up on us yet. How ever-so-slightly amusing I find that.

A feature that might help assuage worries about sleeper-spammer accounts would be to have the advogato.org/person/ list be ordered from most-recently modified account to least-recently. It then becomes much easier to write scripts to look for recently updated Observer accounts.

Currently the order of the people list is loosely based on certjuice. If we disallowed "/person/index.html" on robots.txt, then modifying an account wouldn't, in itself, attract search engine attention to a user page. Is there any interest in the current ordering? Would there be any other risks associated with the new ordering?

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