Well-documented “bad” code better than poorly-documented “good” code?

Programmer-philosophical question: Is well-documented “bad” code better than poorly-documented “good” code?

I guess it depends on what the code’s used for, how long it’s going to live for, is it ever going to be modified or maintained, who’s going to be doing that, and just what do you mean by good and bad anyway? :-)

If “bad” means incorrect but it’s well-documented, at least you’ve got a chance of fixing it. If “bad” means badly-designed, it might be another matter – great documentation doesn’t help much with a totally overblown or just muddleheaded design.

If “good” means “it seems to work” then it might not actually be working properly anyway, and lack of documentation might bely a lock of thought/design leading to such a situation. If “good” means “does exactly what we want, no question”, then it really depends on if it’s ever going to need to be changed, and how complex it is.

Hmmm… Also depends on the language being used, I bet. ;-)

Just rambling.

Gimboland now has a hit counter

Gimboland now has a hit counter. Rejoice!


www.letsgetitoff.com – petition for work-free Fridays.

Notes on dual booting linux and win2k

Notes on dual booting linux and win2k: boot.ini (1), boot.ini (2), anandtech, large disks.

Also Linux on 1024 cylinder, and Removing the lilo boot manager (boo, hiss).

Gangsta Andy

Andy in gangsta rapper mode Rich with ping-pong eyes

Best viewed, as they say, with a budgie.

Introducing the Long Now Foundation

One of my favourite books is Brian Eno‘s A Year With Swollen Appendices, which is basically his diary for the year 1995 along with some essays from that time (the “swollen appendices”). I think I love this book so much because he’s living a kind of life I’d quite like to lead, but probably never will: this is my equivalent of reading “Hello” magazine or something. :-)

Anyway, I mention the book now because I’ve just come across the website of a great idea which I first came across in one of the appendices: The Long Now Foundation, whose aim is to promote long-term thinking in this age of increasingly short timeframes. Quote:

I would like to propose a large (think Stonehenge) mechanical clock, powered by seasonal temperature changes. It ticks once a year, bongs once a century, and the cuckoo comes out every millennium.

Fancy that.

Locust website

The band Locust (which is essentially a bloke called Mark van Hoen) have a new offical website, www.locustsound.com. Unfortunately it seems to be lacking active content at the moment (eg the discography is just a page of album/single cover pictures), so this unoffical site is still the best resource.

I have only one Locust album, Morning Light, but is does happen to be possibly my most favouritest album of all time ever, so I’ll be looking forward to the new one in November.

Two links via Slashdot

A couple of groovy bits from slashdot: What is Ockham’s Razor?, and some interesting comments comparing the internet boom with the age of steam – short piece though, not enough to satisfy me personally.

Gimboland template maintenance woo

Hah – cool. Further to my post below, I’ve written a short python script to upload a template to a blog. Now I can maintain the Gimboland template using emacs on my local disk, rather than using Opera (which, whilst a great browser, sucks as a text editor). Expect a much more fluid look from now on. :-)


diveintopython.org – a free Python book “for experienced programmers”.

How to think like a computer scientist.

Gimbo ponders Gimboland migration

Gimboland is currently maintained using Blogger, which is a great tool. However, I feel like I’m starting to outgrow its capabilities, so I’m starting to think about creating a zope-based site (perhaps at gimbo.org.uk initially)… That’s not going to happen immediately, mind… :-)

For now, I think I should play with the Blogger API and indeed PyBlogger

The Goth Girl Gallery

The Goth Girl Gallery. Mmmmmm…

Rebecca’s Pocket – yep

OK, so Rebecca’s Pocket, which I discovered yesterday, is full of great stuff. I think this is definitely going to have to go in the sidebar. Here’s a quick sampling produced by a quick trawl this morning:

Your Kung-Fu is weak!; The Visible Barbie Project; The Quick-Fit Programme ; The Surveillance Camera Players (inc. 1984) ; Reading with Rover ; Gothic babe of the week.

Good weblogs you might want to read

Other peoples’ weblogs: Bruce Sterling, Rebecca Blood, Megnut.

Also, Bruce’s Sterling old homepage on the well.

The L7NUX number plate for sale

Check it out: the fabled LINUX number plate for sale on ebay UK (story).

Shame it’s done with a 7 not a 1, but on the other hand, everyone round here knows who owns L1NUX… :-)

God I HATE Microsoft

God I HATE Microsoft.

’nuff said.

Tyler Durdon is my toy

The secret connections between “Calvin & Hobbes” and “Fight Club” REVEALED!

Don’t miss this.

The roast chicken revelation

Revelation: I’ve just realised that “roast chicken” flavoured crisps aren’t chicken flavoured at all – they’re stuffing flavoured. Wow.


slant-six looks like it might be worth keeping an eye on…

This guy’s on acid

This guy's on acid

Did Christ actually exist?

Now this is entertaining: an argument about whether or not Jesus Christ actually existed as an historical figure or whether he was just a composite constructed in the second century AD.

John Fulton Zope IRC chat transcript

Transcript of recent IRC chat with Jim Fulton on Zope’s component architecture (loooong).

Notes on The Satanic Verses

I thought I’d put these notes on The Satanic Verses up here already, but apparently not.

Well, I have now. :-)

Nice piece on affordable architecture

Nice piece on affordable architecture. Quote:

It takes years to accumulate the necessary abilities to produce a piece of architecture. You can do small work at a young age, but the technical aspects, the business aspects, the aesthetic aspects — all of this you’re juggling throughout your career, and trying to improve and mature. I tell my students: You may be able to start practicing two or three years after you graduate, but you’re not really going to be an architect until you’re 45. It’s just the nature of the beast. That’s probably true in medicine, law and all the professions – except the oldest one, of course.


For example the aikido technique Ikkyo was developed from a common kenjutsu technique dealing with two opponents, one attacking from the front and one from the rear, to avoid a downward cut from the front you would step into the attack slightly and simultaneously wheel to the side with a sharp hip movement throwing your arms into the crossing attack at the opponent behind you, letting the blade strike flesh and the original attacker miss you completely with their strike, from this position a second wheel and step back and a cut from the top right to the bottom left will cause the first attacker to drop into two neat seperate segments.



I’ll be referring to these lots over the next few days so I’m linking to them here: the ZPatterns wiki – if anyone can figure this shit out, let me know – and the CoreSessionTracking wiki.

Using rsync to back up Zope

Using rsync to back up Zope

Oolong’s first appearance on Gimboland

A rabbit with a scotch pancake on its head - of course

The Art of Web Application Development

The Art of Web Application Development

Northern Ireland politicians agree to language decomissioning

Northern Ireland politicians agree to language decomissioning – as, sadly, do the BBC.

Elite is back!

“Elite” was, of course, the greatest computer game ever created. So how about a reverse engineered version written in C? Fully operational, based on the original BBC assembley source, download the source, browse it, compile it – fantastic.

Better yet – browse the original BBC basic source. Hardcore!

Naked call centre a-go-go!

Naked call centre a-go-go!

Parrot – not just a joke?

Could parrot become reality?

Atlas of light pollution

Atlas of light pollution, discussion thereof – funky.

Trek banquet and other news

Well, did the banquet for my trek on Saturday night, and a great night was had by all, by all accounts. Being in charge I couldn’t really relax and enjoy it, but I guess I enjoyed it in my own way – and as time passes, I’m enjoying the evening more and more. :-)

The best bit of all, however, was when I asked Julie to marry me and she said yes – which was nice.

The Right To Read

The Right To Read – more scary dystopian futures from the good people at GNU.

Camera stuff

I’ve been “thinking camera” a bit lately with regard to my China trek. Bought a nice lightweight tripod (at a car boot sale, of course), now it’s time to think about camera/lens/film…

I could probably spend from now to November reading www.photo.net, an utterly fantastic site… Die-hard photographic myths.

The Canon FD series, which includes my camera, the venerable A1.

The Canon FD Documentation Project has lots of manuals, including the A1 manual, and – yes! – the A1 manual in PDF format.

Another A1 page, with some interesting bits and the manual (again), in a very readable layout.

Apocalypse Now Redux

Apocalypse Now Redux – an extra 49 minutes. Sounds good to me.

I hadn’t heard of Heart Of Darkness (the book by Joseph Conrad, not the film), but that sounds good too…