Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

Three very different links -- one philosophy and two programming

I happened upon del.icio.us today more or less by accident, because they've come out with a Firefox plugin to use it. It turns out to be a system for "social bookmarks" -- basically sharing and categorizing bookmarks in the large scale. I'm not sure that I'm completely convinced of the value of the idea, but a random wander through the "active" list turned up an interesting trio, very different from each other but each intriguing to me in its way.

How we confuse symbols and things is a fairly long essay on exactly what it sounds like. The high concept is that mankind tends to develop symbols to represent ideas, then invests those symbols with far more constancy and importance than they deserve. While I don't agree with everything the author has to say, I think it's a very cogent analysis, and worthwhile reading simply to help perceive the unwarranted assumptions that underlie modern life.

CobolScript is, frighteningly, not a joke as far as I can tell. "Anyone who already knows COBOL can easily use CobolScript to build server-side scripts with virtually no learning curve." You know that you're a veteran of the computer industry if you find this whole concept truly disturbing. I get a frission of fear just looking at the code samples.

Wotsit -- The Programmer's File Format Collection is one of those sites that is stunningly obvious and necessary once you find it. It's exactly what the title implies: simply an entire site of file (and protocol) formats, of everything they can get their hands on. (It appears to have about 900 documents so far.) I can't count the number of hours this site probably would have saved me over the years. This goes into my key technical-reference bookmarks...

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