<M <Y
Y> M>

[Comments] (4) Drafted: The REST book draft is done! Don't get your hopes up quite yet; by my estimate there's still about a month of work to do. But we're getting there.

Update: Just to be clear, the month of work is work Sam and I have to do. Then there's a couple months of work O'Reilly has to do, on top of that.

[Comments] (3) : We just saw a Good Eats where Alton Brown invented the cornballs from Arrested Development. (Recipe not up yet.)

[Comments] (7) MoMA: Hadn't been to the MoMA before because I dislike paying $20 to go to a museum. I missed the "Dada at MoMA" exhibit because of that. Anyway, Andy came up with a scheme to get us in for free, and today we went together. Man, a lot of that stuff was lousy. There should be tighter standards for terms of art like "embedded". But the top floor made up for it with a Paul Klee room, some Picasso, and the first Duchamp I've seen in person. The Duchamp plaque gave the standard (false) story of Three Standard Stoppages (contra), but I've long since given up on expecting New York museums to change their signage in response to Stephen Jay Gould articles.

Also, you know Alberto Giacometti? He did those hideous (not in a good way) bumpy sculptures of really elongated figures. I hate those suckers, and they're in every single museum (Andy commented on this as well). And yet, MoMA has what's probably my favorite sculpture of all time, The Palace at 4 A.M., and it turns out that was done by Alberto Giacometti! The mind boggles!

TPa4AM is much cooler in person than in a dinky black-and-white photograph reproduced in an art book you saw in high school. I always thought it was a metal sculpture, but it's wood, which is great. And—let's be clear—it's got a pterodactyl.

PS: The Persistence of Memory is tiny! How did Dali cram all that graham, where graham=detail?

Ancient megafauna or Margaret Dumont-esque socialite?: Vanderhoofius.

[Comments] (3) Search Request Poetry: Here's one I call "poetry that you can read right now":

A certain web searcher petitioned
For a limerick to be commissioned
Its design would allow
You to read it right now
Please register for the full poem.

[Comments] (1) Like a crocus through the earth: While fixing up a sample client yesterday I saw that the REST book is now on Amazon. The new, grammatical name is RESTful Web Services (or possibly the incorrectly-capitalized Restful Web Services). Anyway, you ask: is the May 1 publishing date an accurate date? To which I say: MAYBE. Back to work.

[Comments] (7) : I want to put an appendix in the REST book that lists a bunch of public RESTful web services. These are real services, or real products that create services when installed, and not models for services or service toolkits. So Rails and the Atom Publishing Protocol would not be on this list, but specific instances of the APP (like the Google Calendar web service) would, and a piece of weblog software that supported the APP would as well. Here are the ones I remember mentioning in the book:

Tell me about the others in comments.

Update: I know now about this list of APP services.

That resource really held the service together:

Sumana, reading my outline: "Don't Bogart the Benefits of REST"? Is the Dude going to make an appearance in this book?
Leonard: No...
Sumana: Why not?

[Comments] (1) : I thought I'd finished another SF story last night, one short enough to submit to Strange Horizons, but Sumana read it and revealed that it needs to go back in the shop. It turns out my "exposition through sidelong glances" technique falls apart in stories shorter than about 5000 words, leaving readers mystified. So back to the worldbuilding board.

[Comments] (3) : If you read the cool blogs you may have seen this offer for free sourdough starter. That's my family's sourdough starter and I highly recommend it. I have my share in the freezer right now and I should probably do something with it.

: Sumana quote: "J2EE: designed by committee, and used by committee."

Titles: I haven't read any of these books, but recently the new Gutenberg texts have had really interesting titles:

[Comments] (3) Paranoia: I just got spam with the subject hello from mallory.

: "Automat" Sells Toys to Youngsters! Youngsters riot in streets! via Kevan.

: Cube! The fun cannot be halted! I enjoy that video because it's Aqua Teen Hunger Force style humor that Sumana doesn't want to throw across the room.

Incidentally, last night I told Sumana a story to get her to go to sleep. The story turned into a heist movie in which cows robbed a convenience store with the help of the Mooninites. The movie was called "Ocean's 7-11" and it included the line "They've cleaned out the Twinkie safe! Now, the Ho-Hos! Even the Little Debbie Snack Cakes will not be spared!" It was a very exciting story and I was fairly disappointed when Sumana fell asleep and I was left with all this story-adrenaline in my bloodstream and no way to get it out. Who needs to remember dreams when pre-dream stories are probably better?

Tomorrow I have to do a bunch of WADL work.

: This proto-REST article from 1996 is pretty interesting historically (via). Does anyone know of an earlier writeup of that kind of idea?

: I keep thinking Wikisky is the name of a drink, but it's actually an attempt to make astronomical objects addressable. The Google Maps-like interface implies a very strange cosmology, but it's very cool. Try it with the SDDS images on.

[Comments] (3) REST Reviewers: Need some more people to look over the REST book before it starts going through the O'Reilly publishing pipeline. I have specific questions for people skilled in Javascript, demolition, HTTP headers, XMDP, and explosives. But I also want people who know about RESTful web services to look over the theory, and people who are curious to read it and see if they learn anything.

Oh, also if you know of any useful REST documents besides the obvious ones and the ones here, let me know so I can put them into an appendix.

Update: send me email (leonardr at segfault dot org) if you're interested so I don't need to hunt down your email address.

: Hey, the 2nd edition of Python in a Nutshell has a little section on Beautiful Soup. I didn't know that.

: Two supernovas?

Mutual of Omaha's RESTful Kingdom: My excellent reviewer Aron Roberts found a very strange web service: the NEEScentral Web Services API. It's designed for earthquake engineers, a shadowy lot whose job is never fully defined—do they prevent, detect, or cause? The RESTful service gives resource-oriented access to an earthquake engineer's sinister "Project"s, which are full of "SensorLocationPlan"s and "Material"s and "SimilitudeLaw"s. I have no idea what the words mean in this context, but I understand the interface perfectly well.

Aron calls this "a well considered example of a discipline-specific API, far outside the more typical realms of computing, e-commerce, and social software." I'll add that it's odd to see a page full of jargon, half of which you understand and half of which is totally opaque.

: Am I crazy, or is White Noise almost word-for-word a book Philip K. Dick would write?

[Comments] (2) : In the supermarket by my house there's this wall full of Polaroid photos of people. For over a year I had no idea what these photos were. Then today I realized 1) all these people are holding groceries, and 2) they all look unhappy. They're shoplifters who got caught.

[Comments] (1) And you thought I was over it: MOLA! via Sumana.

[Comments] (2) Kannada: Sumana and I are going to India soon so I'm trying to learn Kannada. I've never been very good at learning languages. Sumana tried to comfort me by saying that I'll know enough to impress people and then they'll switch to English. Except that's not why I'm trying to learn Kannada. Me: "I'm not afraid I'll be stranded in a foreign land with no way to impress people." Sumana: "Huh, I guess I kind of am."

We watched some Hanna-Barbera-esque cartoons narrated in Kannada, with Sumana translating. Sumana gets better at understanding a Kannada sentence the closer it comes to a complaint. She knows "very angry" and "become angry" and "this little whippersnapper's stopping me from doing something in my own house", but we had to look up "love". Oh, she also knows "bath" (snana).

Cooking Ruby Like The French Cook Ruby: The Ruby Cookbook has been translated into French. Rather than an idiomatic title they chose Ruby par l'exemple, which I'm actually glad of: I think the pedagogic power of the Cookbook has been undermarketed. Plus, it was translated by Eric Jacoboni, who did some review for the original Cookbook.

Speaking of idiomatic translations, the French translation for O'Reilly's "In A Nutshell" is "en concentré."

: Sumana should enjoy this fake infomercial.

[Comments] (2) Crutches: I've noticed crutches I use in my long-form nonfiction writing; for instance, in the Ruby Cookbook I relied very heavily on the semicolon, for no good reason. The "See Also" sections at the ends of recipes are full of semicolons when I should have just used periods. I actually got rid of those semicolons, but many of my edits were lost by the incompetent post office.

In the REST book my crutch is the phrase "for instance". For instance this, for instance that. Again it can usually just be cut. I think I got most of them.

Argh: Lousy Kannada vowel modifiers. I can transliterate words at about a minute a letter.

<M <Y
Y> M>


Unless otherwise noted, all content licensed by Leonard Richardson
under a Creative Commons License.