Do you know what is CGI?

Worked with Mathematica for 5 hours yesterday. Fantastic! This old hand can still do something! lol. My plane curve packages soon to be out n am gonna be rich.

...gosh what godly hours i've spend on Mathematica in 1990s. Surprised to find that i even Unproctected builtin symbols to fix things. (get rid of asymptotes in ParametricPlot) (Draft notes as i go: Mathematica Version 3 to Version 7 Conversion Notes)

... i recall, i stopped doing Mathematica in 1998 because it's a career dead-end as a programing lang, and dived into the utterly idiotic Perl & unix & mysql world. (See: The Unix PestilenceXah Lee's Computing Experience (Impression Of Lisp from Mathematica).)

Well, dead-end just as Emacs Lisp i'm spending my nights with in the past 4 years. LOL. And on that note, same thing can be said with haskell, OCaml.

Though, fringe langs are picking up these days. Remember Python, ruby, in year 2000? Who'd imagined they'd become mainstream. But it took 10+ years. (See: Language, Purity, Cult, and Deception.)

Also got reminded my age recently. Someone on stackoverflow is asking about what are those “A:” and “B:” drives on Windows. (anyone heard of floppy drives?) In another incident, i was chatting to a friend, and the topic went to internet tech in 1990s, and i was telling him about how PHP (aka Pretty Home Page) came about, then naturally i discussed CGI. After a while, i realized, those who are around 20 years old today were under 10 in the 1990s. They wouldn't know what was CGI, and no amount of explanation can tell them exactly it was like, because it has become HISTORY — if you didn't live it, you can't feel it.


Xah Emacs Modes; Asking Your Support

Perm url with updates: http://xahlee.org/emacs/xah_emacs_modes.html

Xah Emacs Modes; Asking Your Support

Xah Lee, 2011-01-13

This page lists emacs codes i've written that's packaged and for public use.

Unicode Related

Language Modes


Asking For Support

Working on my site has become a full-time job since about 2005. If you find my tutorial and packages useful, may i ask for your support?

I sell my elisp packages. They are all Open Source so you are free to customize. Here's some ways you can help me out.

  • Buy one of my packages. On each page, there's a paypal button.
  • Buy your books, computers, keyboard, mouse, gadgets, anything, by going to Amazon from links here. You might try my reviews KeyboardsGaming MousesTrackballBest Input DevicesKindle.
  • Donate. Any amount is appreciated. They add up.
  • You can also help out by blogging about my tutorial.

Thank you very much for reading. Happy emacs lisping!


Chinese Character Etymology

Perm url with updates: http://xahlee.org/Periodic_dosage_dir/bangu/chinese_char_etymology.html

Basics of Chinese Character Etymology and Script Styles

Xah Lee, 2011-01-12, 2011-10-05

Here's the basic history of character forms.

YearNameEnglish NameSample
~1300 BCE甲骨文Oracle bone scriptchinese oracle bone Zhou inscription
~1000 BCE金文Chinese bronze inscriptionschinese bronze inscription-song4 ding3
400 BCE篆(zhuàn)書Seal scriptchinese seal script
200 BCE隸(lì)書Clerical scriptchinese clerical script
行書Semi-cursive scriptchinese semi-cursive script
200 BCE草書Cursive scriptchinese cursive script
200 CE楷(kǎi)書Regular scriptchinese regular script
200 CE to today繁軆字Traditional Chinese characters
1956 CE to today簡軆字Simplified Chinese characters

cellular biology and stuff

Was chatting to a friend, who's studying Bioinformatics. I've taken 2 courses of molecular biology in early 1990s. That's ages ago. All i remember is that there are Cells, and inside cells you have DNA and mitochondria and stuff. I asked what book he's using just out of curiosity. Here they are:

  • Janeway's Immunobiology By Kenneth M Murphy et al. amazon
  • Molecular Biology of the Cell By Bruce Alberts et al. amazon

O gosh, god please give me knowledge.

O, recently amazon has this cheap text book program. Here's the ad:

I guess it's back to school time. Pleas support my site by buying from the link.

browser and url: space in file names

It looks like today's browsers will automatically convert spaces in url to the required precent encoding %20 in your html links or image links. For example, suppose you have this image at 〔http://example.com/i/my house.jpg〕. Notice the space there. In your html code, you can just do this:

<img src="http://example.com/i/my house.jpg" alt="my house">

It works in all current version of browsers. It appears that the browsers will encode it for you before sending the HTTP request. e.g. browsers will send GET /i/my%20house.jpg HTTP/1.1.

Of course, by spec, you should encode spaces by %20 in your URI. The common practice today is still not to use any spaces in file names on server. Because this encoding creates a lot complexities. Though, i'm not sure how long this practice will last, because space is just so much easier to type, easier to read, and frequently needed. I wonder, if in a few years, maybe common web practice will use spaces in file names and leave space as is in all url in html.

For some tech discussion, see: Source stackoverflow.com.

See also: What Characters Are Not Allowed in File Names?URL Percent Encoding and UnicodeURL Percent Encoding and Ampersand Char.

nice new javascript book

A very nice free javascript programing book for beginning programers. At Eloquent JavaScript: A Modern Introduction to Programming By Marijn Haverbeke. At eloquentjavascript.net.

If you have programing experience, you might also checkout my Xah's Javascript Tutorial for fast intro.


emacs: capslock for M-x

About 3 months ago, i started to use the Caps Lock key for emacs “M-x”. That's fantastic. If you are on Windows, here's a util that can make it happen.

Get it here: http://code.google.com/p/ergoemacs/source/browse/#svn/trunk/extra

See also: System-wide ErgoEmacs Keybinding for Windows, Mac, Bash.