Showing posts from October 3, 2010

poll result: what content would you like to see more?

Last week's poll result:What content would you like to see more? emacs 5 other programing/computing/webdev topics 6 math 0 random pop, social, art, sex, politics 2 more technical (e.g. emacs, comp lang tutorial) 2 more rant/essay/opinion style writing 2 prefer longer (e.g. 1 or 2 pages essay/tutorial) 3 prefer short (1 paragraph emacs tips, etc) 0 Check out this week's poll:With regards to swearing, do you prefer my writing style to be:(1)True Xah Lee style; (e.g. I don't really give a flying fuck if people can't read my article due to fucking words in it. Those “constructive criticism” thinking ignoramuses, go study philosophy and fuck off. At times, my copious copulative expletives littered thru-out makes alliterative art, and that's the worth by itself, besides solid content behind them. (google my essay on Constructive Criticism))(2)Criticize as usual, be honest, don't overswear; some swearing conveys needed altitude.(3)Swearing distra…

emacs: what's eshell? eshell vs shell

Perm url with updates: What's eshell? “eshell” vs “shell” Difference?Xah Lee, 2010-10-09, 2011-01I've always thought that eshell was just a toy, and never really tried to use it other than knowning it's written entirely in elisp. But over the past few years i learned from emacs community, that apparently many people do use it. Also, because eshell is written in emacs lisp, that means you can enter elisp code or call any of the 3000+ elisp commands or functions directly in the eshell command line.For example, try typing “(+ 3 4)” in the prompt, and it returns “7”.What's eshell? how's it different from shell?eshell is written entirely in elisp.Practically speaking, that means when you are on Windows and don't have Cygwin installed, you can still use all the common unix ls, cd, mkdir, cp, grep, ... stuff, in eshell. How to set environment variable FOR eshell?you can get and set environment variables for emacs use only by:; …

Women Don't Want To Run Startups Because They'd Rather Have Children

Perm url with updates: and Penelope TrunkXah Lee, 2010-10-09, 2010-10-11TechCrunch is running a article:〈Women Don't Want To Run Startups Because They'd Rather Have Children〉 By Penelope Trunk. At: is a entrepreneur, in today's online websites business (e.g. SEO, twitter, Facebook, blogging to richdom, and all that buzz). In the article, she basically tells the story of how she's now moving and going off to run a family with her man.The article so far has over 300 comments, and more than half are women, complaining about the article. Here's my comment (slightly edited):lol. this post gets a flood of angry girls who flame the author, with comments that indicates they speak for men too. (e.g. “this post is not only insulting to women but insulting to men TOO!”)the sex fight is eternal to human animals. Some chide the author for not…

tea in Taiwan, US, and Babelcarp

Lew Perin, a programer, who fixed a Windows Vista VirtualStore Problem for FSF Emacs with C code, has written a web app that translate tea names in Chinese to English, with good explanations. The app is called BabelCarp at: Quote: I've been drinking tea, for want of a better word, *seriously* for a dozen years. Obviously Chinese tea is the majority of all the world's tea of any interest. After a few years, I realized that I would learn something about Chinese tea and then forget it, so I started thinking about how I'd memorialize what I learned. Then I said to myself "Hey dummy, you're a computer programmer - create a web application!" Hence Babelcarp.If you don't know... tea in China is quite involved, with all sorts of knowledge and culture. Similar to, say, coffee and wine making. You know? the types, techniques to process, locations, brewing knowledge and secrets, etc, with aficionados, competitions, ex…

web design: fixed-layout vs flowed-layout

Perm url with updates: vs Flowed-LayoutXah Recommends:

Amazon Kindle. Read books under the sun. Review Xah Lee, 2010-10-08Many sites, when you increase the font size, part of the text went off window. It forces you to enlarge the window. Fucking idiot design. If you gonna do that, goto stupid PDF or TeX fuck.Here's a example: 〈Compare JavaScript frameworks〉 (2010-02-02) By Joe Lennon. At: ibm.comIt's a nice article however.The biggest transgressor of this, is However, is quite well designed, and i never had to enlarge font.In web design or document design, there's flowed layout vs fixed-layout design. Both have advantages. Fixed-layout is especially important for print media, such as newspaper, magazine, books. These, you need efficient use of space, and no white gaps between columns or any large white gap. That usually requires you to have tight control down to pixels of every element. B…

emacs lisp bounds-of-thing-at-point and function chaining

Perm url with updates: thing-at-point and Chaining FunctionsXah Recommends:

Amazon Kindle. Read books under the sun. Review Xah Lee, 2010-10-08The elisp function 「(thing-at-point 'line)」 is quite annoying.It is used to grab the current line. Like this: (defunxxtest () "test" (interactive) (let (myline) (setq myline (thing-at-point 'line) ) (message "got this: 「%s」" myline) ) ) It grabs the line including the line return at the end. However, if the line is the end of file then it does not include the end of line char.This means, you have to do manual checking after you grab the line.Use “line-beginning-position” and “line-end-position” instead. (See: All About Processing Lines in Emacs Lisp)Functional Programing: Chaining FunctionsThis issue is actually common in programing langs, in Perl, Python, unix shells, all fuck up on this. In Mathematica, there's a principle, tha…

twitter follow icon me

was looking for a new twitter icon.Found it!Twitter@xah_leen if u r a pepsi drinker, hook up at (with fb, please say u r not a bot.)Also, you can subscribe article by topic at Subscribe To Site FeedThe twitter icon is designed by Jeeremie at

Mathematician Marijke Van Gans Died (1956?-2009)

Perm url with updates: Marijke Van Gans Died (1955-2009)Xah Lee, 2010-10-07Just discovered that a long time acquaintance is dead. She is a mathematician, her name is Marijke Van Gans. Here's the obituary from London Mathematical Society at newsletter. Quote:Dr Marijke van Gans, who was elected a member of the London Mathematical Society on 18 February 2003, died on 21 April 2009, aged 53. Robert Curtis writes: Marijke was a highly original and exceptionally talented scholar and mathematician, who had become known internationally as a solver of demanding mathematical problems on the internet. She was a brilliant computer programmer and an inspirational mathematical expositor, as is witnessed by the many accolades to her on the web from people who have been enlightened by her insight.She was born at Harns or Harlingen in the Netherlands but studied at the University of London from 1987–90, and later lived in I…

Unicode Support in Ruby, Perl, Python, Emacs Lisp

Perm url with updates: Support in Ruby, Perl, Python, javascript, Java, Emacs Lisp, MathematicaXah Lee, 2010-10-07, 2011-02-06This page exams several language's support for unicode. In particular, whether variables or function names can have unicode characters in them.RubyI looked at Ruby 2 years ago. (See: Why Not Ruby? ) One problem i found is that it does not support Unicode well. I just checked today, it still doesn't. Just do a web search on blog and forums on “ruby unicode”. e.g.:Feature #2034 [ruby-core:25306] @ Source redmine.ruby-lang.orgRuby, Unicode, and HTML Entities Problem (2010-09-26) By Mr Peeperson. @ Source www.pubbs.netRuby 1.9 doesn't support Unicode normalization yet @ Source stackoverflow.comPerlPerl's exceedingly lousy unicode support hack is well known. In fact it is the primary reason i switched to python for my scripting needs in 2005.However, perl might have improved over t…

More Than One Class for HTML Tag

Perm url with updates: Than One Class for HTML TagXah Lee, 2010-10-06This page is a tutorial on HTML.You can specify more than one class for a html tag, using space as separators, like this: <spanclass="bk1 bk2">Alice In Wonderland</span> You should not use multiple “class” attributes. <span class="bk1" class="bk2">INCORRECT! INVALID! WRONG!</span> The order of your class values does not matter.If you have styles that conflict, such as: .bk1 {color:blue} .bk2 {color:red} The last css takes priority. (in general, css conflicts are resolved by complicated CSS priority rules)Here's code you can test yourself: <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"""> <html> <head> <metahttp-equiv="content-type"content="text/html; charset=utf-8"> <title>Test HTML<…

Emacs Lisp: Cycle Replace Space Hyphen Underscore

Perm url with updates: Lisp: Cycle Replace Space Hyphen UnderscoreXah Recommends:

Amazon Kindle. Read books under the sun. Review Xah Lee, 2010-10-05This page shows a example of writing a emacs lisp command that changes space to underscore of the current line, or among hypen, underscore, space. If you don't know elisp, first take a look at Emacs Lisp Basics.The ProblemI often need to change all underscore “_” characters to space, or hypen “-” to underscore, or any combination between them.This is most often used on file name, or moving file name to article title.SolutionIn the beginning, i simply wrote these commands: (defunspace2underscore-region (start end) "Replace space by underscore in region." (interactive "r") (save-restriction (narrow-to-region start end) (goto-char (point-min)) (while (search-forward " " nil t) (replace-match "_")) ) ) (defununde…

Why Does Google Give Info About SEO?

Perm url with updates: Does Google Give SEO Advice?Xah Recommends:

Amazon Kindle. Read books under the sun. Review Xah Lee, 2010-10-05I have been wondering in the past 2 years, why Google spend much effort to tell webmasters about how they rank web sites etc. For example, Google'sGoogle Webmaster Central BlogGoogle Webmasters SupportGoogle Webmaster Help VideosWhat Google is doing is creating a whole market of SEO gaming, resulting bad search results, lots of bad sites with lots of ads that are returned as top results in web search, and the perpetual tech escalation fight between search engines and quick money schemers. (See: Tech Geekers vs Spammers and Spy vs Spy.) Why doesn't Google shut up about how how their search engine works? After all, it's not something relevant to consumers or web site creators. If a site wants to be popular, there's the universal method, just like books, art, film: make it a good quality site…

The Harm of Active Voice in Online Dating

Perm url with updates: Harm of Active Voice in Online DatingXah Recommends:

Amazon Kindle. Read books under the sun. Review Xah Lee, 2010-10-04Been fret with the issues of “active voice vs passive voice” of English grammar in the past days. (See: What's Passive Voice? What's Aggressive Voice?). A thought occurred to me while i was trying to concoct a true definition of passive voice for our infomation era. I wrote, that passive voice can be likened to the opposite of aggressive voice. It is then, at that moment, i realized a problem besieging the countless young girls today.Whenever i go to facebook, i am inundated with all these attractive chicks all seeking me — a man. (See: Facebook Girls.) You know, women, the loving and gentle half of mankind. Why do they have problems in finding a mate these days? I think the ultimate answer is that they've been screwed, bad, by the writing guilds. It all has to d…

online privacy, Flash cookies, security

Google introduced encrypted search: keeps hackers from knowing what you are searching and results.If you don't know already, when you use the browser, anything sent and received by your browser is sent in the open. That means, any hacker can trivially listen in. Unless the url is “https”, which means its encrypted (typically the login/password page is https, or banking sites).This means your facebook, blog, are all sent in the open. Some IM chat such as AOL, MSN, Yahoo offer encryption, but you have to turn it on. Skype chat is ALWAYS encrypted. (See: Skype Chat Encryption and Screen Sharing.)Also, if you are worried about privacy, you can turn off cookies in your browser. Or, in your browser start Privacy mode. Though, note that all it does is things like turning off cookies and stop saving browsing history. These are useful if you are in a public computer such as library. But at your own computer at home, it is basically not relevant. Note…

connect Twitter, Blogger, Facebook

How to automatically post from Twitter tweets to Facebook?Twitter to Facebook: How to automatically post from Blogger to Twitter?If you are using Google's FeedBurner, then just go to FeedBurner, click on the one of your feed, then Publicize tab on top, then “Socialize” on the left.If not, just signup at also: Advantages Of FeedBurner And Some Web Feed History

Advanced Windows Customization Setup

Perm url with updates: Flip3D, Instant Viewer, window Auto-raise, Secure Login... SetupsXah Lee, 2009-06, 2010-10, 2011-01-22This pages gives some advanced tips on Windows customization for power users. The tips are tested in Windows Vista, but should work for Windows 7 too.See All Your Windows in a GlanceFlip 3DPress 【Win+Ctrl+Tab】 to go into Flip 3D. You get a preview of your windows and you can switch among them with scroll wheel or arrow keys.Flip 3D. If you have a Microsoft mouse or keyboard, you can use the bundled software IntelliPoint or IntelliType to set a mouse button or keyboard key to activate it.Instant ViewerPress 【Alt+Ctrl+Tab】 to start Instant Viewer.Windows Instant View Instant Viewer lets you see all your windows in a glance. This feature is available since 2002. This is better than Flip 3D, because: ① See all windows at the same time. ② Each window also shows the app's icon for quick recognization. ③ Faster to …

google ice cream; dont be evil

Perm url with updates: Ice Cream; Can Google Be Trusted?Xah Recommends:

Amazon Kindle. Read books under the sun. Review 〈"Don't Be Evil?" video - beta version〉 This ad is from a non-profit organization in USA, called Consumer Watchdog. It's home page is at video, can be seen at their site at: I'm a programer in web dev industry. I've been watching google grow up, so to speak, from the very early days when google started in 1998, and over the past 10+ years, from one single web search product to tens of services ( gmail, orkut (social networking), google news, blogger, google groups (online forum), Google Video and YouTube, google sites and google doc, picasa (image hosting), gTalk (IM, chat), adSense and AdWords, Google webmaster tools and Google Analytics, Google Code (code hosting), Google Chrome (browser), ... ). Today, i use almost all of them, gradually over the…