External Documentation, Maintenance

B. Scott Andersen has an excellent post discussing project documentation and code maintenance:

It is estimated that roughly 30% of the total maintenance time is spent “understanding the existing product”… This fact relates directly to the turnover number as illustrated by an Air Force study in 1983 where researchers found that the “biggest problem of software maintenance” was “high [staff] turnover” (at 8.7 on a scale of 1 to 10), “understanding and lack of documentation” (7.5), and “determining the place to make a change” (6.9). I contend they are all related. If you have no usable documentation then all of the information is in people’s heads. If the heads walk out the door (turnover) then the information needs to be rediscovered. That is not cheap.

It’s a good instance of the old “if we know what we’re doing is stupid and expensive, why do we keep doing it?” No one seems to have provided a workable solution to that old problem, probably because the right people either aren’t listening, don’t care, or are just too aloof to notice. But that kind of speculation is best left to Mr. Polemic.

Congress looks for ways to slow offshore hiring

While part of the hearing focused on manufacturing and U.S. government procurement, much of the debate centered on moving IT jobs offshore. Harris Miller, president of the Information Technology Association of America, said even in the most dire predictions of jobs lost through ‘offshoring,’ only about 500,000 U.S. IT jobs would move offshore by 2015, representing about 5 percent of the U.S. IT workforce. The issue of offshoring IT jobs has been over-hyped in the media and Congress, Miller said.

Update: another “positive” article on this topic:

And because the aging baby boomer generation is nearing retirement, the United States may be headed for another work-force shortage, said William Miller, professor emeritus at Stanford University and chairman of Borland. In the meantime, displaced IT workers should get training and be willing to relocate to find new jobs, he said.

“People have to be prepared to move,” Miller said. “That will be one of the requirements of the work force in the future; people must be willing to move where the jobs are.”

I’d almost rather shoot myself than move from Austin, but, what the hell, it might be like a long vacation…a really long one…


The Clown

In other clown news:

The U.S. government posted its largest budget gap in history in the just-ended 2003 fiscal year, $374.22 billion in red ink, the Treasury Department said on Monday.

That broke the previous record of more than $290 billion in the 1992 budget year. As a percentage of the economy, the deficit totaled 3.5 percent, the largest since 1993. In its final monthly budget statement for fiscal 2003, the Treasury also said the government posted a $26.38 billion surplus in September.

This is the party of fiscal responsibility, right? As my grandpa, Col. Murphy, might say, “ahh, my foot they’re responsible.”

Overcapacity, Over-Budgeting

“We overbuilt capacity; we hired too many people.” While the article is about the manufacturing industry, the same seems to have been true for every other industry and States. My understanding of our little problems is that Texas just over-budgeted itself: after “irrational exuberance” ended, the tax-revenue disappaeared.

Anyhow, while it’s nothing as dramatic as The Depression, I’d wager, or hope, that most of us have learned the lesson of conservative budgeting, even in the face of mega-money. We’ll see what happens next time.

Trade Rag Readin' Quotes Roundup

  • The Next Step – “An integrated Web services feature enables users to automatically deploy workflow processes that kick off a Web service when an event condition is reached.” That’s a nice way to loosely couple a monitoring and manageming system to other systems: if an event occurs, instead of just sending off an email, call a web service that kicks off a custom built
    responce to the event.
  • Does Honesty Pay Off?:

    Rich de Moll, vice president of finance and employee transformation at Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, says many of the Sarbanes-Oxley returns will be soft benefits, items that can’t be quantitatively measured. “Sarbanes will provide better information to decision makers,” such as real-time statistics on sales and inventory, says de Moll. “But that’s harder to measure.”

    Hagerty says companies using Sarbanes-Oxley to refine processes and to simplify infrastructure through hardware and software consolidation should be able to produce a return.

    For instance, standardizing business processes worldwide could allow a company to cut workers and share services across divisions for a savings of as much as 30%, according to AMR.

  • Visa Technology – short, interesting interview with Scott Thompson, executive vice president of the company’s technology group, Inovant,

    One big initiative we have under way is to expand the utility of our operations networks. As a transaction hits our network, we’d like to provide more value-add: more fraud analytics, more utility in terms of who the cardholder is to potentially provide awards recognition so that things can begin to come to life at point of sale for merchants around the world.

    An interesting anti-stupid network idea.

The Three Legged Race

By assigning a task to two or more impossibly incompatible people,
the political operator creates a three-legged race. Perhaps you
remember the races from picnics long ago — participants pair up,
and standing side-by-side, the right-hand partners tie their left
legs to the right legs of the left-hand partners. The pairs then
run a race, and comical spills are inevitable.

Three-legged races might be funny at picnics, but in business
they’re extremely dangerous, because the political operator who
selects the race partners has likely arranged for failure. By
exploiting a past history of conflict, leadership ambiguity,
organizational tensions, or contention for the same promotion, the
operator ensures project sabotage, or damage to one or both

(From Chaco Canyon Consuting’s Point Outlook eNewsletter.)

The Software Practitioner Triad

The biggest obstacle to building software properly is fear. Programmers are afraid of losing challenge and creativity, engineers are afraid of losing control, and executives are afraid of failing. Many programmers worry that architects and engineers will usurp the creative, challenging part of their job, leaving them merely to code what they’re told. They worry that their jobs will degenerate into mindless drudgery, devoid of intellectual stimulation. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Software Practitioner Triad

Bjarne Stroustrup Artima.com Interview, Part 1

Bjarne Stroustrup: You can program with a lot of free-standing classes. If I want a complex number, I write a complex number. It doesn’t have any virtual functions. It’s not meant for derivation. You should use inheritance only when a class hierarchy makes sense from the point of view of your application, from your requirements. For a lot of graphics classes it makes perfect sense. The oldest example in the book is the shape example, which I borrowed from Simula. It makes sense to have a hierarchy of shapes or a hierarchy of windows, things like that. But for many other things you shouldn’t plan for a hierarchy, because you’re not going to need one.

. . .

Bill Venners: So the invariant justifies the existence of a class, because the class takes the responsibility for maintaining the invariant.

Bjarne Stroustrup: That’s right.

Bill Venners: The invariant is a relationship between different pieces of data in the class.

Bjarne Stroustrup: Yes. If every data can have any value, then it doesn’t make much sense to have a class. Take a single data structure that has a name and an address. Any string is a good name, and any string is a good address. If that’s what it is, it’s a structure. Just call it a struct. Don’t have anything private. Don’t do anything silly like having a hidden name and address field with get_name and set_address and get_name and set_name functions. Or even worse, make a virtual base class with virtual get_name and set_name functions, and override it with the one and only representation. That’s just elaboration. It’s not necessary.

As an interesting biographical note, Stroustrup is a Profesor at A&M; I had no idea. Anyhow, the rest of this interview is fantastic.

Bjarne Stroustrup Artima.com Interview, Part 1

Re: From the Dumb Fucks Dept.

“I don’t want to be the guy that creates any kind of chilling effect on research,” SunnComm CEO Peter Jacobs told The Daily Princetonian less than twenty-four hours after wanting to be that guy. “I just thought about it and decided it was more important not to be one of those people. The harm’s been done . . . if I can’t accomplish anything [with a lawsuit] I don’t want to leave a wake.”

The folks who were going to sue the grad student over the use of the shift key to disable CD “copy protection” decided not to sue.

Re: From the Dumb Fucks Dept.


I added comment links to the bottom of each post. It’s all JavaScript loaded, so hopefully it won’t slow down the page. Anyhow, there’s something.

More RFID Horizon Sailing

Companies should avoid fixating on the price of a tag lest they lose sight of the costly upgrades in enterprise-resource-planning (ERP) software that RFID technology requires. For relatively easy tasks, such as measuring inventory levels, simple add-ons might suffice. But tackling more complex applications, including tracking individual items throughout the supply chain, would require ERP upgrades that might cost tens or hundreds of millions of dollars for a large company. Server and network infrastructure would also need fortifying to handle the thousands of additional data transactions per product. So the watchword, for both retailers and manufacturers of consumer products, is caution.

For us coders, the big money-bags with RFID’s will probable be in two areas: (1.) providing the networkable access for clients to hookup to RFID databases (and, implicitly, all the different interfaces to the data and different ways to present and manipulate the data), and, (2.) managing and storing all the RFID data that would be created.

Just imagine if all the inventory control systems in the world and their data were suddenly available, all at once, and real-time: it’d be a big data stew. As we all know, data is exactly what computers are best at.

Trade Rag Readin': Business Intellegence, Simple View

I got another free magazine subscription, this time to Application Development Trends. I finally got onto the “send this guy free magazines” list somewhere.

The current issue’s cover story is on Business Intelligence, or, “real time data analysis”. Though all us jokesters could make the old oxymoron joke about “business intelligence,” there’s some good quotes in the article and it’s accompanying sidebars. I’m, of course, interested in data analysis of a slightly different type: that of system and application monitoring.

Too Much Data

First, there’s the ever applicable point that too much data is almost useless, indeed, can be harmful:

More important is the question of what the bank would do with all that data. Conceivably, if the analyses changed from minute to minute, managers could find themselves overreacting to momentary spikes in traffic. “It’s not enough to know where we are right now,” said Aaron Leaman, project manager. “We need to know where we’ve been for the last two or three hours, or how we compare to the same time yesterday.”

Back in the monitoring and managing world, I found a related paper from our usability guy that provides a few rules of usability-thumb in this situation: only show the minimal amount of functionality and data needed, include advice that helps people interpret the data and figure out how to react to it, and try to related data to actual systems and business processes instead of just the systems components. The last, of course, is what the burger is all about.

Data, Views, HTTP Heresy

Back to the magazine, there’s an interesting description of a tiny, light-weight event listening system by KnowNow:

KnowNow’s approach aims to let organizations monitor frequently changing information wherever it resides, deliver updates and synchronize with Web browsers, desktop applications, enterprise systems and mobile devices. KnowNow’s publish-and-subscribe approach is supposed to let customers easily and cost-effectively connect their internal systems, employees, partners and customers, removing the traditional boundaries of operations and, in particular, ensuring the availability of up-to-date information.

In an example cited repeatedly by Dash, end users with Excel spreadsheets can have a specific cell continuously updated with new data without having to take any specific action themselves. The key to this ability, he explained, is lightweight, client-side code embedded into browsers and applications that enables client/server-like communication, holding open persistent HTTP/HTTPS connections between the KnowNow Event Router and the application.

There’s two lighting the sea on fire thoughts: (1.) using something as simplistic and non-hard-core as Excel spreadsheets for Enterprise software, and, (2.) those pesky “open persistent HTTP connections.”

Integrating your application with everyday business applications — largely, Microsoft products, esp., MS-Office — seems like a very customer pleasing feature. I’m not suggesting piggy-backing exclusively on such apps, rather, just providing a view into your data (or dynamically exporting it, vs. just downloading a static CSV).

I’ve heard that several large companies run their finances and other business metrics through big ass Excel spreadsheets: and, really, who can blame them, a spread sheet is a pretty good interface for pure data, and they usually have a good GUIs for doing macro-scripting. Really, the heart of the matter is to think of your application as providing data to (and, implicitly, collecting that data) to whatever view the customer wants. All too often, the ability to get to the pure, plain text data is made impossible and the customer is locked into the OEM GUI..

That persisted HTTP connection stuff though, that’s pure heresy. But that’s a story for another time.

RFID Information Wars

In the future, Marc says, a store might broadcast the availability of its resolution service. More interesting, he says, you might pick up an AFL-CIO resolution service that tells you that the pair of pants you’re looking at were manufactured in a sweat shop (“Would you like to see the QuickTime movie?”) and might offer you pants for a few dollars more that are “made by women who are allowed to urinate whenever they want to.”

So, you’d have everything RFID’ed and have ubiquitous networking such that you could feed the global RFID identifier into some database and instantly see what that database thought about the product. Ubiquitous networking: the 21st centuries Holy Grail.

RFID Information Wars

Outsourcing Business

Evalueserve provides services for patent writing, evaluating and assessing the commercial potential for law firms and entrepreneurs. Its market research services are aimed at top-rung financial services companies, to which it provides analysis of investment opportunities and business plans. Another major product is multilingual services–Evalueserve trains and qualifies employees to communicate in Chinese, Spanish, German, Japanese and Italian, among other languages. That skill set has opened market opportunities in Europe and elsewhere, especially with global corporations.

Experts say these new trends are significant, and they will continue to grow over time. “Activities considered for ‘offshoring’ have moved up in value and begun to touch core functions, such as highly analytical processes,” says Stefan Spohr, a principal in the financial institutions group of A.T. Kearney, a global management consulting firm in Chicago. “More complex customer services are substituting simple data processing and call center activities.” Spohr adds that the higher-end functions being performed offshore these days include information research, financial portfolio analysis, customer data mining, statutory reporting and inbound insurance sales, among others.

. . .

Cutting costs is not the only reason why outsourcing such tasks makes sense for its clients; it’s also about higher quality of work, says Aggarwal. “Among the more unusual emerging developments is that business process offshoring is not merely a way to reduce cost by migrating core functions,” adds Spohr of A.T. Kearney. “It is also a strategic initiative to take advantage of technological advances and the human capital available offshore to fundamentally restructure an organization’s operating model.”

Evalueserve’s model works on a mixed system where anywhere between 50 percent and 80 percent of the work is handled out of an Indian facility, while the rest is done at the client’s location. For example, a patent filing assignment from a U.S. corporation may involve the Indian staff writing the patent in English or say, Japanese, and evaluating its commercial potential. But the client or its law firm would do the actual filing in the United States.

Us coders carp about outsourcing/offshoring all the time. Among other things, we always think it’s witty to suggest outsourcing CEO’s, managers, and other business positions. Well, there ya go. Yay capatalism!

Outsourcing Business

Irregardless, I'll stop using the word…

Irregardless: nonstandard : REGARDLESS
usage Irregardless originated in dialectal American speech in the early 20th century. Its fairly widespread use in speech called it to the attention of usage commentators as early as 1927. The most frequently repeated remark about it is that “there is no such word.” There is such a word, however. It is still used primarily in speech, although it can be found from time to time in edited prose. Its reputation has not risen over the years, and it is still a long way from general acceptance. Use regardless instead.

Fowler on "Enterprise Architecture"

As it turns out, I can get pretty cynical about enterprise architecture. This cynicism comes from what seems to be the common life-cycle of enterprise architecture initiatives. Usually they begin in a blaze of glory and attention as the IT group launches a major initiative that will be bring synergy, reuse, and all the other benefits that can come by breaking down the stovepipes of application islands (and other suitable analogies). Two or three years later, not much has been done and the enterprise architecture group isn’t getting their phone calls returned. A year or two after that and the initiative quietly dies, but soon enough another one starts and the boom and bust cycle begins again.

So why does this cycle happen with such regularity? I think that most people involved in these initiatives would say the reason they fail is primarily due to politics – but what they often miss is that those political forces are inevitable. To succeed in these things means first recognizing the strength of those political forces.

. . .

[Duct Tape Architecture?] A good way to think about this is that these initiatives should less about building an overarching plan for applications, and more about coming up with techniques to integrate applications in whatever way they are put together. (After all ApplicationBoundaries are primarily social constructs and they aren’t likely to conform to anyone’s forward plans.) This integration architecture should work with the minimum impact to application teams, so that teams can provide small pieces of functionality as the business value justifies it. I think you also need to focus on approaches that minimize coupling between applications, even if such approaches are less efficient than a more tightly coupled approach might be.

Be sure to check out the “Patterns and Best Practices for Enterprise Integration” link.

Fowler on “Enterprise Architecture”

Microsoft System Management

Microsoft does not plan to take on systems management heavyweights such as IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Computers Associates. But management software has become a key element of the company’s plan to convince corporate customers to base their most important systems on Windows, Hamilton said.

. . .

Microsoft’s two main management products–SMS and MOM–differ in capabilities. SMS is geared toward letting large companies distribute software updates and patches automatically to PCs over corporate networks. MOM, meanwhile, is for monitoring network events to head off problems, such as an overloaded server or dropped network connection.

. . .

With DSI, Microsoft is seeking to automate many data-center operational jobs and reduce the labor involved. The idea is that management software can be clever enough to know when a given application will have a problem and take actions to avoid it. For example, the systems management software could fire up an extra Web server when the existing machines are being overloaded because of a spike in traffic.

. . .

Central to DSI is an Extensible Markup Language (XML)-based data format, or schema, called Systems Definition Model (SDM). Microsoft calls a SDM a blueprint, or description, for how software and hardware components can be controlled.

Microsoft System Management

The Story Behind Wi-Fi:

There are two things we think are going to happen. The newer digital devices–I’ve already seen some models like high-definition digital TVs in Japan–will come with Wi-Fi. You could see it because you know TV and cable are going digital so you know those are going to have Wi-Fi built in. That can similarly be said for Internet radios, which are digital devices that not only can receive broadcast channels, they can also receive digital channels from the Internet. This is a new generation of digital devices, which will come with built-in Wi-Fi.

But again, there’s a huge retrofit market. You could retrofit back for digital devices, such as gaming consoles, TVs and ordinary radios, using a digital media adapter so you can retrofit the old analog devices to connect to the Internet. We believe that will become big next year.

This short interview with NetGear CEO Patrick Lo is good readin’: short and packed.

Micro-Horse Architecture:

Design pattern usage is often seen as an end in itself. Robin (intrepid co-author of this article) was once asked during a job interview: “What’s your favourite design pattern?” What’s the correct response to that? “Oh, Decorator every time! Yeah, I use it for everything!”

. . .

For example, XML increasingly gets used as a language, via taglibs or (flinch) XSLT. XML is best at representing data in a clean and open fashion. Anything more is stretching the point, like sticking a saddle on a pig and calling it a micro-horse. Inevitably, books then start to appear that rationalize the industry’s madness, such as Micro-Horse Revealed, Micro-Horse Developer’s Guide, or Teach Your Micro-Horse to Sing in 21 Days!

Alex Cox Commentary on Three Businessman:

“The two are just wondering around as if they’re life is a film: they don’t question what’s happening, they just go along with it as if it’s all supposed to happen.”

“He wanted it to be like 2001. By which he meant, I think, that he wanted it to be about two guys with the most amazing things happening around them but couldn’t access it, and so would talk in the blandest and most banal terms throughout the whole thing.”

Whither Software?:

The effect of ownership imperatives has caused there to be absolutely no body of software as literature. It is
as if all writers had their own private “companies” and only people in the Melville company could read
Moby-Dick and those in Hemingway’s could read The Sun Also Rises. Can you imagine developing a rich
literature under these circumstances? There could be neither a curriculum in literature nor a way of teaching
writing under such conditions. And we expect people to learn to program in exactly this context?

Also, the first half of the presentation-paper has an interesting discussion of “vertical” vs “horizontal” software systems.

The Semiotics of Software Architecture:

Software architecture advocates, however, seldom speak about the social aspects, such as how the architecture can support discussions about the system, as well as between members of the development team, as between the team and the stakeholders. The architecture must be habitable; it must be a meaningful model of the problem domain; it must constitute a universe where every element conveys as much information about its role in the interactions with the other elements, in as small means as possible—where they are signs charged with information.

I have no idea what “semiotics” is, but I like the sound of the above.

Dork Day

Kim went to Houston this weekend to visit her mother, so it’s dork-out time for me at home. In that vein, here are some early Saturday morning geek-links:

  • A stab at critiquing Ant, but, “The reason I haven’t moved back to make is social not technical. Ant has two characteristics to which I’m highly sympathetic – worse is better, and view source. It’s far, far, easier to get folks to first accept, then use, then extend, Ant, than it is to get them to use make – make is freakish by comparison.”
  • A reminder that promises like, “EJB enables you to purchase off-the-shelf components from one vendor, combine them with components from another vendor, and run those components in an application server written by yet a third vendor” are always something to chuckle about.
  • Strategic value of research
    “I haven’t done the right research on this particular issue yet, but it leads me to a bigger trend … As we continue the US economy’s “jobless recovery”, and the quality of life of many people who are lucky enough to have those few jobs continues to be impinged upon, we should ask the very simple question -> where is all this increased productivity coming from? If it’s from technology and we’re able to leverage less effort to do more work, that is good. But beware if it is simply from us putting in more hours per day because we feel we have to.”
  • Laptop Commentary – “For some reason, most desktop-replacement notebooks are about the size of a George Foreman Grill (Take your pick on the model). Lighter PC notebooks just don’t pack the features, although this is rapidly changing.”

I think I’ll go get some tacos now…

Coders Like the Web Apps:

Web applications rule the enterprise. That’s the indisputable conclusion to be drawn from this year’s InfoWorld Programming Survey. Despite imperitives from Microsoft and others that developers abandon server-based HTML apps for fat desktop clients, the ease of “zero deployment” through the browser continues to win the day.

. . .

Nobody wants to write it twice if they don’t have to. In our survey, when asked what the biggest obstacle to reusing software is, only 10 percent say programmer disinclination. The top obstacles are lack of awareness of software available for reuse and the level of effort required to design software for reuse.

Satisfaction with current reusage levels is almost evenly divided: 44 percent of respondents say they are satisfied and 41 percent say they aren’t. But exactly what kind of reusability are they talking about? Interestingly, 69 percent say “shared libraries” (.dll, .so, Java classes, and .Net libraries) have high reusability benefit, whereas only 42 percent say “components” (COM objects, JavaBeans, and so on), this despite the fact that virtually all software companies now tout component-based development as the Holy Grail of reusability.

Also, see data for
“stuff programmers want”, “Gunna upgrade?” and “technologies we like and use”.

Y! BMC Message:

Lots of restructuring and replaning that never bore fruit, largely because there is too much territorial pissing contests that go on in R&D (the PATROL agent guys deliberately undermine the PATROL Express folks, the PATROL express folks piss on everyones shoes and steal functionality from other products, etc). Typical left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing crap.

It’s always exciting when there’s something that specific on the bitch-and-moan boards…

Update: from
an InfoWorld article on the same topic:

Yahoo charges $30 per user per year for Business Messenger, WebEx conferencing costs $0.45 a minute. Both providers offer volume discounts, they said.

$0.45/min. sounds crazy; but, I have no idea how much businesses spend on things. No wonder they’re always tanking every quarter.

BMC and Yahoo! IM:

The deal between Yahoo and WebEx Communications Inc. was announced in mid-June. Companies that subscribe to the Yahoo messaging product on a per-seat, per-year basis can also set up accounts that let their users launch per-minute meetings and application sharing windows with WebEx.

. . .

Among the first organizations to use the new product, he said, are BMC Software Inc., Stanford University and the Screen Actors Guild.

I haven’t heard of this yet at work, but it sounds nifty.

Too Much Magazine Man

JP asked me what magazine we get at the house. Here’s the list as I know:
The Atlantic Monthly,
The Baffler,
Too Much Coffee Man,
Stay Free!.
And also, Clamor and a policy journal (whose name I forget) from Blackwell Publishing.

I think there’s some more free trade-rags (Info Week and CIO Insight) on the way too: I’m ready to authorize the purchase of $500,000 – $1 million dollars of network and server hardware in the next 6-12 months.

More from the Offshoring Desk:

“One fact that’s being overlooked here is that there are losers in this equation. There’s no free lunch in free trade. You can be principled about free trade, but if you don’t say how do we compensate and retool the losers you miss part of the equation,” says Hira.

. . .

“I hear a lot of people say ‘look at healthcare; there’s a shortage of nurses,'” says Hira. “So you’re saying to someone, you have your four-year electrical engineering degree, you’ve worked in the industry for 15 years and you’re in your late 30s with kids and you now have to go back and study nursing. Is that the answer?”

. . .

“The core technology development and strategy best resides where it is today,” says Bingham. “The reason is that this is the right place to be for the things that have to come together. The U.S. has unmatched infrastructure. The U.S. has a robust leading education system, venture capital, capital markets and an open, free legal system. It’s also a safe place to live. Most countries simply can’t replicate that.”

Vote for the Unqualified, Crush Your Enemies:

“As Cruz is beginning to look like Gray Davis-lite, voters are looking around saying that they really don’t like politicians,” said Englander. “And the only non-politician with a chance of winning is Arnold.”

Increasingly, people want the un-political person in office. Politics — and, perhaps, Business — is one of the only jobs in which being completely unqualified can actually help you. If I applied for a programming job with the platform “I’ve used lots of software, but I’ve never done programming work,” I’d get laughed out of the interview. But, if Conan, The Gipper before him, The “Thief-in-Cheif,” or Jesse says, “I’ve been a citizen but I’ve never done political work,” suddenly, being under-qualified for the job makes them The People’s #1. It’s enough to turn an otherwise happy-go-lucky man into a Mencken.

As one famous debate with a (albeit, fictional) unqualified politician goes,

-What is best in life?
– The open steppe, fleet horse, falcon on your wrist, wind in your hair!
– WRONG! Conan, what is best in life?
– To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women.


Rereading some discussion on our development wiki, I noticed I used the term “bad-ass” to describe an option, e.g., “That feature would be bad-ass.”

That display of my finely tuned professional diction deserves nothing short of a “Yuh!”

DVD Everywhere!

Strangers With Candy

I’m truly amazed at how many obscure shows get released on DVD. It must be so cheap to make DVDs that, no matter how small the market of buyers for them, it’s worth it to release ’em. (There are, however, 64 Amazon reviews for it, suggesting quite a fan-base I’d guess; in comparison, The Simpson’s first season has 488 reviews, but that’s a mega-hit.) Don’t get me wrong — I think Strangers with Candy is a funny show — but in the pre-DVD world, it’d have been long buried.