Yaron Minsky, a programer at “Janestreet.com”, giving a talk about using Ocaml in the company. Dated about 2009-03. Highly intelligent.

Started my own tutorial about Ocaml about a month ago. OCaml Basics.


Ban Xah Lee

perm url: http://xahlee.org/Netiquette_dir/ban_Xah_Lee.html.

Ban Xah Lee

Xah Lee, 2009-03-07

This page is a short collection of online communities that banned me, in a way that i don't consider just. It illustrates the power struggle nature among the tech geeking males.

Harassment by John Bokma

I was harassed by a newsgroup poster John Bokma (a regular of comp.lang.perl.misc) to have my web hosting service provider kick me off. This happened in 2006.

Summary: I was posting relevant but controversial opinions in a rude manner to “comp.lang.*” newsgroups. I was using Google's newsgroup service to post it, and has nothing to do with my web hosting service provider, other than my signature containing my website or links to relevant articles on my website. However, this guy digs up my web hosting provider, and lobbied people to send complains to kick me off.

Detailed account: DreamHost.com and A Incidence of Harassment


My Wikipedia account P0lyglut is banned by Wikipedia admins in ~2008-06 for a month or so.

Summary: i was editing articles on Tibet, Human sacrifice, Dalai Lama, citing info from Chinese historian Li Ao, and was fighting in a non-conformal way with those who revert my edits. They banned me for editing, and subsequently banned me from editing my talk page, and removed the defense i gave on my talk page. (Note: by Wikipedia's nature, its users are often anonymous, including admins.)

The original reason for reverting my edit was that i linked to my own website (which contains the collected videos of Li Ao's program on youtube, with English translation and summary). Subsequently, because i did not behave in a way that seems “polite” to them, and kept on fighting, the reason they cited to ban me was using foul language or spreading propaganda.

For some account of this incident, see bottom of: Why Can't You Be Normal?. The fighting and discussion can be seen on my talk page, at: User talk:P0lyglut. The writing where i defended my edit, that got removed from my talk page, is here: Wikipedia User talk:P0lyglut ... 2008-07. Local archived copy at: Wikipedia_ban_2008-06.zip.

Freenode IRC Emacs Channel

I'm banned on Freenode's irc emacs channel since about 2006-10, and the ban was never lifted as of 2009-03. The ban is primarily, and single-handedly executed by John Sullivan (aka johnsu01).

Some detail: Emacs Irc Channel Ban On Xah Lee.

Hacker News

“Hacker News” website, at http://news.ycombinator.com/, banned me around 2009-02 or earlier.

Someone posted a question about why some sites seem to be banned, titled “Ask PG- What is the list of banned sites and why are they banned”. He asked for reasons or a public list. The url is at Source. (local archive: Hacker_News_xahlee.org_ban.zip) Then, someone posted the list of domains/sub-domains that are banned, which contains my site “xahlee.org”.

No explicit reason is given. It appears to me, it was banned because one of my essay: Why Software Suck, has been submitted to the site in 2009-02, then in the discussion, someone mentioned i am a troll, then admin placed my site on ban.

google search hacker news xah

Google search results on Hacker News site, as of 2009-03-07. If you go to the page, it won't show normal content such as discussion or original post, i think because my site is now blacklisted.

There are other bans that i consider unjust. This page is a start to list them. I'll try to add more when i have time.

problems of emacs's man command

perm url: http://xahlee.org/emacs/modernization_man_page.html

Problems Of Emacs's “man” Command

Xah Lee, 2009-03-11

Emacs has a “man” command, that let users to display unix documentation called “man page”. However, it does not do syntax coloring. Emacs has a elisp version called “woman”, that does syntax coloring. However, there are some major usability problems for it to replace emacs's “man” command.

• I had aliased “man” to “woman”, but noticed that sometimes when i type “M-x man” it still calls emacs's “man” man despite this. (haven't looked into what causes this or how this happens)

• When calling “woman”, it takes some 3 secs to start up. (probably only happen when called first time in a session) In contrast, “man” starts right away without this delay. (The mini buffer message is: “Building list of manual directory expansions...”, “Building completion list of all manual topics...”)

• Often “woman” will prompt me to make a choice among man pages of the same name found in different man paths. Very annoying. From my experiences in unix using in the past 10 years, maybe only once a year that “man” didn't make the right choice.

• Another flaw, perhaps reasonable, is that “woman” does not work for some “man” pages. For example, type “Alt+x woman Enter killall”, on OS X 10.4.x, and the display returned start with:

“.Dd June 25, 1995
.Nm killall


Emacs should fix the above problems. And, perhaps alias “man” to “woman” by default. The goal is that emacs simply provides a command to read unix manual pages, without user having to know the tech details about “man” and “woman”. When “woman” detects a man page in a format it cannot read, automatically launch “man” instead.