Not So Slow

Perhaps I was premature worrying about how slow Ruby is. John Wiseman was benchmarking Montezuma, his Common Lisp port of Ferret/Lucene, and found out in the process that Ferret is 10 times faster than Java Lucene! As he says, Ferret gets help from about 65,000 lines of C code. I’ve heard this before, perhaps not… Continue reading Not So Slow

Comment Spam as Popularity Index

I just noticed that the Askimet spam filter plugin for WordPress provides PHP code to display its spam-comments-blocked counter on your blog. I wonder: could one use the number of spam comments received as a measure of a blog’s popularity? Presumably spam bots target sites that are more heavily linked by other sites, making them… Continue reading Comment Spam as Popularity Index

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Borrowability

The first draft of Project Posner was written in Common Lisp. I thought it would be fun to see how Common Lisp fared as a language for doing heavy text processing with a web front end. It worked well, and I’m convinced it made the process easier than it would have been with any other… Continue reading Borrowability

Premature Cleverization

“Premature optimization is the root of all evil,” say Hoare and Knuth. I have determined that I suffer from a slightly different but related malady: premature cleverization. At the start of a programming task, before I’ve written any real code, I get some wacky idea like “I could do this all with binary XORs” or… Continue reading Premature Cleverization

The Woz

I got to see Steve Wozniak speak at Columbia University last night, promoting his new book iWoz. Strongest impression: The man has an incredible amount of energy. He talked in a strong voice at high speed for nearly an hour before rushing off to tape a spot on The Colbert Report. Most interesting fact: he… Continue reading The Woz