Say NO! to Net Neutrality

I would like to keep this blog primarily technical[1], but it looks to me like the majority of IT land is in favor of net neutrality and I think that’s a mistake. Read the rest of this entry »


A Handful Of Useful Lisp Programming Tricks

Here are a few useful Lisp tricks, some are applicable to other languages. Read the rest of this entry »


Totals & Subtotals in FormLis

Totals are one of the coolest features in FormLis. When you make a form, you can add ‘views’ to show the submitted data, and these views can have totals (see:
Fullfilled Requests by Quarter in the Purchase Request Tracker, Time Spent Per Person in the Legal Time Tracker, and All Campaigns in the Marketing Manager Demo). For a while, FormLis let you define totals using an accumulator style. This was powerful, and power is good, but not at the cost of simplicity; I’m going to migrate to something like what I had before. Read the rest of this entry »


Advice on Writing Big Programs

Programming is learnt through a series of throw away programs that progress from childish to advanced. But the gap from amateur to professional is so large that no prior experience adequately prepares you. A professional program is bigger and you can’t escape the hard parts: bugs must be fixed, deployment must be addressed, interfaces must be understandable. Novices’ avoid these tasks because they are less interesting than programming problems. Professionals learn to address them. Read the rest of this entry »


Spreadsheets Vs Databases

A lot of company processes grow ad-hoc from the bottom up, often relying on spreadsheets. But, spreadsheets don’t work well with multiple users. In response, an ad-hoc queue is formed by the users to ensure the spreadsheets stay accurate. Users try emailing spreadsheets around, which leads to multiple versions and lost updates. Next, they try a shared spreadsheets Read the rest of this entry »


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