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Today is the day, the day that must come every year. The day when you know that the warmth in your life will be diminished for a season. It is that day. The day when you are not sure that your shoes will not be rid of the moisture of morning puddles by the time you leave for home.
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Power outages in June? From wind? Bizarre.
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Finished Hackers and Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age by Paul Graham while I was in Mountain View. This book is collection of essays (I think all of them are online). Hackers and Painters was a quick and amusing read. The essays cover many topics; my favorites were those on the social habits of hackers and on language design. The language design essays were interesting even though I disagreed with them in many places. For one thing, types are good! Types are a burden when writing code, certainly, but they are vital for reading code. I find it much easier to read code with type annotations because then I know what each variable is supposed to do. Since code is read much more often than it is written (or so saeth conventional wisdom), types are important. That said, I am a big fan of both languages with type inference and languages where types do not need to be added while programming but can be added to provide additional guarantees to the programmer.

In other news, there are windstorms! They closed the office because so many people live out in places where there is currently no power and lots of branches on the road or on the other side of 520 (which, last I checked, is still closed). Since interns do not have work laptops, this means I get an extra day off. This would be a yay! event, except that today was supposed to be the last day of my internship. Instead my last day will be Monday, which will make it difficult to go to one of my fellow PL group member's quals talk. But all will work out in the end.

On a final, and completely different note, confirmation dialogs are a pain. Everything (or nearly everything) should just be undoable. Confirmations are especially annoying when actions are undoable. Example: Yahoo email, when everything in the inbox is selected and you hit delete, will ask you if you really want to delete all your email. The email just goes to the trash, so this is completely unnecessary. In any situation where you would have said "no" to the "are you sure?", you can retrieve the mail from the trash right away. If you would have said "yes", you are in the exact same situation as if you had never been asked. This gets really annoying because I try to keep my inbox empty. This means that every time I am deleting the single message in my inbox I get the "are you sure?" message, but when I have some other message in there (say because I want to deal with it when I get home) I do not. This leads to an inconsistent and darn annoying interface.
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It's snowing! Even if I hadn't been outside it it, I would have known since 7 of you posted about it already. =P
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Yay! We finally got that promised thunderstorm! Now I just hope it is not raining when I go home in an hour.

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Erika RS

May 2012

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