[Home]ScottWalters

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I'll put the bulk of my comments here so as not to clutter up other pages since I'm really not a member of this community. I just have a hard time resisting the urge to comment, but I'm not willing to contribute.

I'm always curious to see what people have to say about my work. http://wiki.slowass.net/?TinyWiki was a quick hack that actually got a little polish and a little attention after the fact - kind of like "Scheme in 48 hours". It was written out of need - existing Wiki's, though thousands of lines long, not only didn't do what I needed, but were dog slow on my poor old server.

I've gotten a few rounds of feed back from a few people on TinyWiki, though, and for that I'm very grateful. Michael Schwern, a well known Perler in charge of the stock distribution library, commented that "it looks fine". I thought it looked like a wretched mess of symbols. Someone on #perlhelp on EFNET had nothing good to say, merely pointing out a few places where parens weren't needed or I could have used a more specific system call. One person commented that I shouldn't replace CGI with two lines of Perl - well duh. CGI.pm is a few thousand lines, so I think the relative merits of each approach are pretty obvious. AlexSchroeder took time to look over the logical flow, but commented that the Wiki is slow, to which I wish to respond, but not to the point of cluttering his page =)

First, I feel like I should explain "slowass.net". I didn't complete college. Long story, but lets just say I live in America, and commercialism touches every facet of life - social security, welfare, prison system, and, of course, education. When I was in high school, I spent all of my money on Atari XE equipment (floppy drive? $250) and later Amiga gear - I had a couple 1000's kicking around, only slightly out of date. I was the first private party in Minnesota to have a dedicated SLIP connection to the Internet after causing the first ISP to deal with the public to change its policy on regular dialup accounts - I still remember the email - "Due to the actions of one customer". Then I went out into the world - and discovered how expensive living really is. Still using my Amiga and Ataris as my main systems, I went to college. Enter tuition. My first Unix-capable machine as a 386 that I put together from non-working parts from area computer stores when I discovered that if I nagged enough, they'd let me at their reject parts bins. The CPU's keyboard jack fell off and had to be resoldered, and the CMOS battery was dead. The video card - EGA - had bad attribute RAM so characters would, uh, be different colors, on different colors, sometimes blinking, harddrive had errors, and so forth. I loved this machine, but I didn't love my Atari any less - I wrote a lot of code for it, and using it was a path of self exploration. After two years of college, I worked for three years in a boom market, carefully taking my paychecks and paying my loans. After college, I picked up a 486 to run Unix on. I'd rather have mod the Amiga up to a 68030, but remember, I'm still living on a budget. When the market went bust, I found myself poor, and without hardly a physical possesion to my name. I had picked up a few machines that people were giving away - an Alpha Multia, DEC 3100, and so forth. My main server, the Apple 7300/180, I traded for work. Now I live primarily off of rice, potatos, and ramen, and my creditors are anything but happy with me, but it isn't so bad. All of these machines were gorgeous marvels of science when they came out - top of the line, brilliant, lusted after. I like to think that they haven't dimenished with that much. I still manage to get a hell of a lot of software written. Most people spend 99% of their CPU time on their Window Manager, and I've seen Gnome and KDE, and I don't feel like I'm really missing out on the computer experience. I've had company laptops, but I've always had to give them back. I have some RAM I can put in the 7300 when I make it to the other side of town. The Europeans held out against Microsoft for the longest time with their Acorn Risc machines, Amigas, Atari STs, Sinclairs, and so forth, but even now have they fallen prey to the lust for clockspeed at any cost: http://www.notcpa.org/ has hardly phased them, no more than it has any American. Free from a government that tells us what to do, we fully expect meganational corporations to assume the role. People love Microsoft - it gives them someone to fear, a winning team to be on, someone to feed them and take care of them, someone to think for them, something to identify with. When Atari and then Commodore went out of business, the emotions - fear, resentment, denial - were just spectacular. Never underestimate how important it is for humans, being social animals, to be on the winning team. Given http://www.netbsd.org support for all of my old hardware, my complete lack of desire to support Intel and AMD and their hostility towards users, and these past experiences, I've come to realize that being part of it means being a producer, not a consumer. My time on this Earth is the most valuable thing to me, and faster hardware does nothing to help me enjoy this time more - KDE just isn't that good. If people really cared qualify of life, would they get the fastest computer they could find, firewall it off from the net, and make it a leaf node? Is it any wonder that the net has become something dispicable, full of spam, commercialism, fraud, since it became popular to be a mere leaf node? Have we lost as much personal interest in the Internet as we have with real life? Have we become that resigned and disillusioned? People are rushing to Amazon to preorder Windows with Digital Rights Management as I speak.

As to why TinyWiki is slow, the footer is looking for cross references to the C2 Wiki, and the headers and footers have a small handful of embedded scripts, causing Perl to have to do a number of evals, and the parser is slow - the states should be seperated out, but mostly, the machine is slow =)

Welcome, Scott! Good to have you, even if you don't consider yourself a "member" (whatever that means) -- BayleShanks

Yeah, money rules the world -- and us... -- AlexSchroeder


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