Category Archives: General

Understanding Canada’s Conservatives

Less like the US Tea Party or Religious Right, and more like this guy. Canada’s federal Conservative government isn’t like American small-c social conservatives — for example, it seems to have no issues with teaching evolution in Canadian schools, it … Continue reading

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CSV linked data

I’ve been thinking for years about what is now called “linked data“: about how long the idea has been limping along, and about whether it will ever catch on the way HTML did. As we discovered over two decades ago … Continue reading

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POST, PUT, idempotence, and self-identification

I realize that the title of this posting might be a bit off-putting for non-RESTafarians, but it’s about a topic that matters to anyone building an application that uses simple web standards for updates. Background: how REST usually works There … Continue reading

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MySQL wrapper script: variables from the command line

There’s a lot I like about PostgreSQL, and I’ll probably switch eventually, but for now, I’m still more comfortable with MySQL, especially its ability to update huge amounts of existing data in-place very quickly. I do have some technical gripes … Continue reading

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Teachers, students, and online behaviour

This passage recently appeared in a CBC story entitled “Ont. teachers advised not to tweet with students“: The Ontario College of Teachers says teachers should avoid connecting with their students on Facebook or Twitter. They are also told to avoid … Continue reading

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The last time I voted Conservative …

[Blushing update: a reliable source informs me that I misremembered the question I asked 23 years ago — updated below (different, but closely-related issue).] … (Progressive Conservative at the time) was the 1988 federal election. I’d grown up in Kingston … Continue reading

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How can I make money from writing sonnets?

I’ve written a sonnet, and I think it’s very good. Now I’d like to get paid for it so that I can quit my job and live off the revenue. Any suggestions? Perhaps you’ve asked this question yourself: just substitute … Continue reading

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The zero-home experiment

Yesterday a new web series launched, Sweet Tarts Takeaway. I helped to set up its web site. Too many clicks After making one mockup of the home page, we realized that it would take three clicks for a user simply … Continue reading

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Coming soon … something sweet

My sweetie has been leading a group of talented Ottawa-area actors and crew members to create a new web series, Sweet Tarts Takeaway. I’ll post again when the web series goes live in a couple of months. In the meantime, … Continue reading

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SQL and simple polymorphism

SQL is about tables and sets. Object-oriented programing is about types, subtypes, and polymorphism. There are nasty, nasty frameworks available to try to move between the two worlds (say, by serializing and deserializing Java objects) — this posting, however, is … Continue reading

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