the two halves of my tasty brain

Learn You a Haskell for Great Good

To be completely honest, I’m not much of a reader. My reading speed lies somewhere between “painfully slow” and “potentially illiterate,” so reading fiction, in particular, is more chore than hobby. I love works of reference when they have well constructed indices or, better yet, hyperlinks between related topics — my bookshelves and wikipedia usage can attest to this. I’m also fascinated with “meta-reading” fiction, where I read summaries, critiques and so forth of some work to gain insights into what it’s all about, but without reading the actual source material. This fascination is probably the only reason I didn’t fail every high school English class. The point of this, which I’m dangerously close to completely losing, is that my thoughts on a book are generally not of much use to anyone else.

The Un-Ruby

A follow up to Properties of Code: Functional Complexity is coming. It’s much less “mathy” than its predecessor but serves as a jumping off point for the next in the series. However, there is something that has been nagging at me after watching some of the talks at this year’s RailsConf. It’s a ubiquitous and seemingly trivial thing, but it bothers the hell out of me: ActiveSupport::Concern.

A Thought on Books in the Cloud

Suppose we want to create a service that allows authors to upload digital books to be stored in “the cloud.” Let’s also suppose that each book weighs in at 5 Mb, on average. We also want to compile some meta-data for each book so we can categorize an author’s library, select an excerpt from each book to serve as a good summary of its topic, and expose an author to others who write about similar subjects. Finally, let’s suppose that we have attracted the attention of scads of prolific authors, perhaps a million authors each having a hundred books to their name. Assuming no duplicates, we’re looking at about 475 Tb of data that need stored and processed.