Hixie's Natural Log

2003-06-28 02:36 UTC Three

Today I mainly worked on a new map reset script for VoidWars. VoidWars is written in PHP, the cheap duct tape language of the Web world (as opposed to Perl, the Swiss Army Chainsaw, my preferred tool for CGI stuff). The two problems I ran into today were lack of support for closures, and the fact that there's no convenient function to get a random float back (so instead you get a random int in the range 0..x and then divide it by x). And I'm still confused as to whether so-called arrays are actually lists, hashes, or what. (Yes, I've read the documentation.) Whenever I use arrays, I get worried that if I try to index into an array with an integer, it'll be doing some sort of hash lookup instead of simply jumping to the relevant item, and that if I try to index into an array using a string, it'll be doing some sort of linear search or something.

I try not to think about it too much.

Two of my nieces are here for the night — Kaiya was making me run around the house earlier, chasing and catching her. Young kids find the strangest things stimulating! Thankfully, she then wanted to watch The Aristocats. My third niece, Mary, also loves that movie. It's over 30 years old, yet it still captures kids' hearts. Now that's longevity.

Later we (my brother and I) watched Bowling for Columbine, the multiple-award-winning film documentary about gun culture in the United States of America. (The title is of course a reference to the Columbine High School massacre.) I read several criticisms of this film, detailing the points where people found Michael Moore to be misleading (or downright incorrect). In one case, every criticism is either addressed by the official FAQ, or addressed by the film itself; one wonders if the author really thought through his points. Another makes some better points.

Telling, maybe, of the level to which people have become accustomed to the indescriminate killings performed by the US in the name of "freedom" is the fact that none of the criticisms I saw attempted to downplay the film's commentary about the US war machine. For example, on the day of the Columbine massacre, the film explains that NATO bombed a hospital and a primary school in Kosovo.

NATO is not only the US, of course, and even in non-NATO, non-UN wars such as the recent US-led invasion of Iraq, ad-hoc alliances that include a number of other countries such as the UK mean that the blame is multiplied to cover other populations too. I'm still appalled about the on-going military action in Iraq that is being done in my name.

On a more pleasant note, this morning I got a postcard! From the Glastonbury Festival, no less — hi Narley, hi Ade, say hi to the other 10 people I know who are there! The postcard's face was an amusing "evil inside" pseudo-logo (amusing because as many of you know, I'm known for creating the The Evil Test Suite).

No progress on CSS2.1 today — I imagine we won't be making any progress until Monday, when we have the next teleconference. Actually I might not be able to attend that call for various reasons that shall become apparent in the coming days, but I'll do my best. With committee-driven design, you never know what decisions might be made in your absence! ☺