July 07, 2008

recently starred

The moral equivalent of clearing the browser tabs, here are some recently starred items. (And yes, I realize that along the way I could have Shift-S shared these items with you, since most of you are reading this in Reader, or FriendFeed, or some other type of super fabulous lifestreaming and attention parsing aggregator that reduces the elapsed time from content consumption to content production to mere milliseconds, but I digress.)

Protocol Buffers, or “a flexible, efficient, automated mechanism for serializing structured data – think XML, but smaller, faster, and simpler.” Even if you never use Protocol Buffers (the product marketer in me winces at the name) the overview is worth reading, if only for the speed difference v. parsing XML (that’s measured in nanoseconds, mind you).

Also from Google’s earth (we just live in it) comes Joe Greggorio’s draft spec (tracked at the IETF) for adding multipart support to AtomPub. “The primary objective of multipart/related POSTs is to reduce round-trips for creating Media Resources.” Who wouldn’t like reducing round trips?

Wil Shipley’s post on fixing The Greatest Bug of All is worth the entire read. Don’t get discouraged when two-thirds of the way through he starts wandering off through the land of file system memory mapping and the ins and outs of NSData; push on through and stay for the payoff.

Software is written by humans. Humans get tired. Humans become discouraged. They aren’t perfect beings. As developers, we want to pretend this isn’t so, that our software springs from our head whole and immaculate like the goddess Athena. Customers don’t want to hear us admit that we fail.

Via Kottke, Michael Beirut’s appreciation of Mad Men. I feel for Jason, who hasn’t even seen the show, since when he read through Beirut’s wholesale quotation of scenes he didn’t have the memory of watching Jonathan Hamm deliver these lines…

This device isn’t a spaceship. It’s a time machine. It goes backwards. Forwards. It takes us to a place where we ache to go again. It’s not called The Wheel. It’s called The Carousel. It lets us travel the way a child travels, around and around, and back home again, to a place where we know we are loved.

OK, that’s enough for a Monday. The elapsed time between star and share has already grown too long, and I fear this post may already be fish wrap.