Infrequently Noted

Alex Russell on browsers, standards, and the process of progress.


Nothing like a pissed off historian.

No sir, nothing quite like it.

Updated Standalone SigSlot

I've updated the Signals and Slots library package.

This update includes fixes for a problem that prevented calls to signals from returning the value returned by the signal method as well as expanded documentation, a new makefile, and a new README file that includes something like a changelog.

A new feature with this release is the addition of a flag (sig.lock) that toggles whether or not slots will be called when a signal is emitted. Setting sig.lock to true will have the general effect of turning the signals and slots mechanism off.

As always, please contact me if you've got problems, suggestions, or just want to tell me how you're using the library.


I've released a stand-alone version of the netWindows Signals and Slots library with documentation. This version improves upon previous versions of the library by allowing totally transparent emitting of Signals. You can get it here.


I got my copy of Practical Cryptography yesterday, and so far my expectations have been met. It's what you'd expect if several of the world's foremeost cryptographers walked down out of their ivory math towers and started talking about the dirty details of how to make a crypto system really work. They don't pull any punches, and they call a spade a spade (which even too few security people are willing to do).

Neat stuff. I'm sure I'll write more about it.

A Mind Changed

I've been away a long time. Sorry all.

So I've come to a new conclusion: I don't give a crap about XML. Really, I don't. All I want to do is get my work done, and as often as not these days I'm finding that XML is just getting in my way. Let me step back and explain a bit.

Part of my contractual obligations with the people funding my current work on netWindows is the production of comprehensive documentation. This is a Good Thing. My choosen method for the documentation is a mildly clever melding of DocBook and JavaScript. While DocBook has a reasonable vocabulary for doing almost everything I need (and tools aplenty for getting from here to there), I find myself defining a slew of entities simply to cut down on the ammount of repetative, easily fungable stuff I have to retype. XML lets me do this without too much trouble, but the fact that I have to think about it in the first place and/or that it requires me to do something for the computer, bugs the hell out of me.

XML is a nice tool for some things, but overall I guess I've been recently reinforcing my feeling that it's being over-used, wrongly prescribed as the answer for everything from config files to word processing, and in general missunderstood. XML fails every time it's exposed to a user directly. It doesn't do enough for us. We need something better (or better tools around what we've already got).

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