CTO Announcement

Just when I thought I was going to be a ‘secret CTO’, like those secret boyfriends and secret girlfriends that you have in grade-school, it got announced that I am officially The Guy.

Also, while SMS’ing my old boss at my former gig, I found out that the problem I had been working on for the past, oh, say, three weeks, was solved in around 2 or 3 days by my successor.


So the ego goes up, and gets brought right back down. Sigh.

CTO accomplishment #1

“Organized a lunch ordering system, making the process take 10 minutes instead of 30. Created a server repository of lunch menus and an Excel spreadsheet which randomly selects a participant to place the order.”

Oh, and:

“Separated office ping-pong players into the over-Brady and under-Brady leagues. Improves morale and competitiveness of players on both leagues.”

In case you wondered, I’m in the under-Brady league.

XML on the web hasn’t failed, you big whiner

See: this post from a long time ago.

Now let me state – I like Mark Pilgrim, I think he’s great. I disagree with him sometimes on his tone, and I think that he can be an asshole, but for the most part, I agree with him technically. But not this time.

On this, he’s saying – because of a Very Shitty RFC, (almost all) XML on the web is broken.

I think he’s wrong, and is panicking about a Very Shitty RFC (3023, if you care).

The fundamental issue is transcoding proxies. They take anything served as:

Content-Type: text/anything; charset="httpcharset"

<something><something charset="contentcharset">...

And transparently transform the text into a different charset, assuming it was httpcharset in the first place!

In case you cannot tell, this means that HTML will get mangled too. Plenty of HTML is served with one charset, but specifies another one internally. Well, that’s an easy statement to make, but I think it’s true?

Anyways, any time the content of your document has a character outside the Served content-type, a transcoding proxy will mangle it, beyond recognition.

This is not limited to XML. HTML, hell, even text/plain documents will all be horrifically mangled. Anything where the character-space of the Served text is narrower than the character-space of the content text will be messed up. That’s a lot of content to mangle, for a proxy’s sake. Especially when most clients are now character-set-aware, and doing such weird tricks to make non-character-set-aware applications function correctly seems to break everything else…

But that being said – soon after he published this article, Mark Pilgrim stopped posting his blog. Why? I liked disagreeing with your tone, often. I liked thinking, “What an asshole, but he’s right.” I even snickered at some things. It was Good. So my RSS (Atom, Mark, it speaks Atom! Don’t freak out!) feed reader still points to his nonexistent feed as a silent protest.

Come back Mark!

NetServOS is dead, long live netservnyc

So today I noticed space on one of my servers was starting to run low. I’ve had NetServOS shut down for several weeks, so I figured I guess it’s time to move off all the data. It was surprisingly easy. Poof, all gone. Well, archived…

I never really explained to anyone why I thought NetServOS failed – and it’s been a very gradual process of acceptance for me to realize it had. But it did. Here’s why:

  1. Marketing was an afterthought – figuring out who to market to and how was important to do far, far earlier in the process.
  2. What was, in the end, a user-interface technology had a terrifyingly bad user-interface.
  3. No killer App. No OS wins without a killer app. Maybe the mail piece could’ve gotten better, but “killer?” No. And it was never designed to be one.
  4. Boil the ocean plan. There was only one way to integrate – my way, and my model. No way to tie in non-compliant apps. No way to use an application’s already-existing authorization/authentication model. No easy way to interoperate without switching to my method
  5. Too honest for my own damned good. Why did I feel compelled to figure out the financial model BEFORE I had a market? I knew the Slashdot crowd wouldn’t like the idea of Stuff costing Stuff. I should have shut up and grabbed the hobbyists, and when one of them started making money, then I could’ve worked something out.
  6. marginal utility. No one really “needed” me. I should’ve found a way to be needed.

Here’s my stop. To Be Continued…?

Materials Selection

What the hell do you put in these crazy things? I know I’m allowed to say the word “fuck”, and am very excited about that. How do I use it and where? Can I say things that might piss off one of the companies I work for? Or both? Or my friends or family? Is it not even a good idea to have one for fear of making my private life publicly accessible?

I think I’ve read stories about people who accidentally allowed their family or whatever to see their blog, and allowed for embarassing information to get out. That would, I suppose, be bad. If I choose to write about such things. Which I don’t know that I will do.


btw – how clever am I – I was going to try to publish from the subway to see if PlogIt would catch that I wasn’t connected, but I figured, “hey, why not select all on my post then hit copy, in case it nukes my post?” It did, so I hit paste. Heh. Underestimate your technology and you’ll never be disappointed.

First day on the job

So today’s my first day on the job as the CTO of Volchok. Well, it’s definitely the first day, since it’s just after 12:00am…

Apparently something’s going on with the office DSL line. Possibly a DOS attack. How flattering. To figure out what had to happen, I had to kinda realize that while we can blip or line for 10 or 15 mins here or there, we cannot be full-down for a day. So I’ve had to come in. Uck.

Michael was already in the office and the problem appears just as bad with the router plugged in to our LAN as not.

P.S. – I’m writing this on mobile blogging software called “PlogIt” – jury’s still out, but the idea’s pretty cool at least.

Edited to fix title, and change time. Feh.