Sat, 28 Jun 2003

Mr. Dangerous

Dave:
'sup, Mr. Dangerous?

Mr. Dangerous:
Oh, the usual. Drinking grain alcohol, snorting my body weight in coke, having unprotected sex with heroin-addicted civet cats, oh yeah, and deploying RSS in my company.

Dave:
Mr. Dangerous, you do live on the edge, don't you. That RSS thing scares the hell out of me. Why not take up something safer, like bullfighting?

Mr. Dangerous:
You know me, if it's not potentially lethal, I don't want anything to do with it.

Dave:
But Mr. Dangerous, you don't know the havoc you can bring about by publishing an RSS feed? You could end wind up funky, locked in a trunk, or trapped in a maze of twisty namespaces, all alike!

Mr. Dangerous:
Is there an echo in here? I told you, I live for the risk. Compared to some of the crazy shit I do, this RSS thing is as easy as pie.

Dave:
Be careful out there. The aggregated firepower being tossed around out there could bury a lesser man alive.

Mr. Dangerous:
It's all good. Time for my date with Ann Coulter. Peace.


references (...and a torture test for the character set capabilities of your browser and aggregator)

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If you ever want to have a lot of fun, I recommend that you go off and program
an imbedded system. The salient characteristic of an imbedded system is that
it cannot be allowed to get into a state from which only direct intervention
will suffice to remove it. An imbedded system can’t permanently trust anything
it hears from the outside world. It must sniff around, adapt, consider, sniff
around, and adapt again. I’m not talking about ordinary modular programming
carefulness here. No. Programming an imbedded system calls for undiluted
raging maniacal paranoia. For example, our ethernet front ends need to know
what network number they are on so that they can address and route PUPs
properly. How do you find out what your network number is? Easy, you ask a
gateway. Gateways are required by definition to know their correct network
numbers. Once you’ve got your network number, you start using it and before
you can blink you’ve got it wired into fifteen different sockets spread all
over creation. Now what happens when the panic-stricken operator realizes he
was running the wrong version of the gateway which was giving out the wrong
network number? Never supposed to happen. Tough. Supposing that your
software discovers that the gateway is now giving out a different network
number than before, what’s it supposed to do about it? This is not discussed
in the protocol document. Never supposed to happen. Tough. I think you
get my drift.