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Adventures in Engineering
The wanderings of a modern ronin.

Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2008-06-06 01:04
  Subject:   "Best to market trumps first to market." Uuuuhhh....
  Music:Type O Negative - Wolf Moon (Including Zoanthropic Paranoia)
  Tags:  reddit

Best to market trumps first to market.

The industrial world lowered production costs to make money. The post-industrial world raises quality to make money.

As programmers, it’s your job to create successful products, not necessarily to innovate. This is because innovation comes naturally to the field. It’s the byproduct, not the goal.

It’s a classic programming conceit to "plan to throw one away." Keep in mind that business types have changed this to mean "the first, crappy 1.0 version is the one we’ll throw away."

"Companies can be achieving stellar results in efficiency while otherwise failing completely."


This is an interesting set of ideas. If you grant him the first two premises above, I agree that the rest follows.

However, I'm far from sure that we're in a world where best in market triumphs. (At least not for most technically savvy people's definition of "best".) Perhaps it could be argued that "best" generally means "most convenient," where convenience is further sub-defined to include both ease of use as well as amout of utility gained. This would square nicely with the advocacy for having a UI designer on every project.

Still, it sounds a lot like this is being put foward as some kind of silver bullet...
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Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2008-06-06 13:51
  Subject:   programming.reddit.com today.
  Tags:  reddit

"ANTLR is a big topic, so this is a big article." - ANTLR is a programming language parser/lexer written in Java.

"So What is a Direct-Threaded, Register-Based, Bytecode Interpreter Anyway?" An introduction to SquirrelFish, Apple's fast new JavaScript interpreter.

And speaking of JScript...

The XSS Vulnerability

The Links you can add to your profile weren't escaped properly. Angle brackets (<) were stripped from the URL, but quotation marks were not. This allowed a very simple hack: I could just enter something resulting in the following HTML on my profile page:

<a href="http://www.google.com" onmouseover="evilscript();" rel="me">FooBar</a>

Of course, this is only a tiny link on my profile page. How big is the chance for someone to mouse over it? Well, this was easily fixed with some CSS styles in my URL:

style="z-index:999999; position:absolute; top:0; left:0; font-size:200pt; text-decoration:none;"

Note the text-decoration:none; - this allowed me to enter something like     as the link description, resulting in an invisible layer floating above all the content (screenshot with visible characters instead of blanks). My Javascript code was executed as soon as someone visits the page. Perfect!


How many more reasons do you need to surf with JavaScript disabled by default? (Did this not convince you?)
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May 2015