25 June, 2013

Nominet .uk proposals again...

Nominet are proposing a second consulation on their wacky plan to open up second level domains in .uk - so I could have hawaga.org.uk or cqx.uk (assuming someone didn't get there first).

They talk now about owners of existing *.*.uk domains being given first dibs.

One of my concerns is that it fragments the UK namespace - there is already a "default zone" of co.uk and so that makes me wonder if (in the long term) co.uk should be abandoned entirely, and in the mean time, the co.uk and second level uk should be the same: one registration fee gives the same name registered in both zones. If you have the .co.uk, you get the .uk. If you don't have the .co.uk, you don't get the .uk.

That at least gives a bit of an easier user explanation "a .uk is the same as .co.uk used to be"; though its still loads of technical work on the site side for people who want such domains.

And it still destroys the history of having decent information about what kind of entity you are interacting with.

19 June, 2013

game theory

We played a new wide game with our Scouts.
Each kid in a team got a number written on their hand. To take someone prisoner, you needed to have a bigger number than them, either yourself or in total as a group of captors.
One group, C, cheated and increased several of their members numbers to 8, the maximum.
However, that backfired when we made the final score for each team be the number of points of their prisoners - team C had made its members so valuable compared to everyone else that another team, B, with just three team C prisoners scored more than everyone else.
It was satisfying that punishment for cheating was built into the rules.

13 June, 2013


There is a style of XML which I find quite frustrating. Here's a fragment:

          <formattedValue>{committed=442433536, init=257990592, max=3670540288, used=103328176}</formattedValue>
           <formattedValue>{committed=57802752, init=24313856, max=224395264, used=57610720}</formattedValue></attribute>

This particular example came from XML output of javamelody, although I've encountered this misuse on a number of other occasions.

Most annoying is the guerilla formatting inside the <formattedValue> tag. XML already provides plenty of ways to pair up names and values, so why make a guerilla format that I now need to parse myself?

A smaller annoyance is the use of <attribute><key>X</key><value>V</value></attribute> style. XML already provides a mechanism for tagging a named key onto a value: <key>value</key>. The only defence of this I've heard is that it makes it easier to comply with a schema; but alas you miss the point and are also wrong. Wrong, because I can make an XML schema that accepts arbitrary XML tags; and missing the point, because the schema doesn't help much if all its doing is enforcing a skeleton.

I think all of this comes from fairly naive serialization of improperly defined application-internal data structures. suck.