This is BrainLog, a blog by Dan Sanderson. Older entries, from October 1999 through September 2010, are preserved for posterity, but are no longer maintained. See the front page and newer entries.

May 2008 Archives

May 15, 2008

Google Doctype, a free user-editable online encyclopedia about web technology (HTML, CSS, JavaScript).

May 14, 2008

Six HBO shows added to iTunes. Nice!

May 12, 2008

Piet, a programming language whose programs are grids of colored squares.

May 9, 2008


Readers of this site following via a feed reader may not have noticed that the site has been redesigned. The new design is nothing innovative, but it fixes a heap of problems with the previous design that I never liked but didn't have time to fix. I'm still not entirely happy with it, but it's a step forward.

One note for feed readers: You're probably subscribed to a file called "index.rdf", a proper RDF file that was an alternative to RSS in an early set of default templates that came with Movable Type. With this redesign, I built the site up from scratch using the latest version of Movable Type, which does not include an RDF template. As a temporary measure, I've set up "index.rdf" to serve the RSS feed for the site (now called "rss.xml"). This is totally wrong, morally speaking, but the few feed readers I tried it with didn't seem to have a problem re-discovering the actual file format. If there's demand for a proper RDF feed, I'll look into restoring the RDF template. I'm sure it's around here somewhere.

May 8, 2008

Via M-x all-things-emacs, an Emacs feature I've always wanted and has been there all along: navigating between windows using cursor keys.


Shift + a cursor key moves to the window in that direction from the current window. You can change the modifier from Shift with an argument to this function:

(windmove-default-keybindings 'meta)

Or you can pick your own key bindings for the windmove-* functions, where * is up, down, left or right.

I am never typing C-x o again.

Quick: An Introduction to PLT Scheme with Pictures. Yay pictures.

May 7, 2008

line-height: abnormal. The author of CSS: The Definitive Guide explains why my favorite CSS directive is actually quite complicated.

May 5, 2008

Going Private: The Five ForcesCircles of Hell, an explanation of Porter "Five Forces" analysis as it applies to the communications and technology industries.

Ze Frank and the poetics of Web video.

May 2, 2008

Want to Remember Everything You'll Ever Learn? Surrender to This Algorithm. Wired on SuperMemo and its inventor. (No Mac version, but.)

May 1, 2008

Clustarack Rube Goldberg promo video. I loved it when this kind of thing got popular, then eventually got a little tired of it. This one gets me all excited again for its use of thematic elements: "chaos in the print shop," and the product you need to handle it. (Pay attention to the redirect to the product page at the end of the video.)

Behind the scenes.

Instruction set: imaginary code. Vague instructions prompt participants (maybe you) to write computer code. Only one instruction set posted so far, but it already has 18 entries. Seems like an especially nice way to get into Processing, though of course all languages are welcome.