Rip open and wrestle

Posted Mon 17 Aug

Language is a tricky, every-moving entity. Luckily, we aren’t the French, and there is no L’Académie française sitting in Westminster making sure we don’t define our own definitions. Consider spelling. Everyone knows that has changed over the years, you just have to pick up Milton or Shakespeare to see that. You do pick up Milton and Shakespeare, don’t you?

But there are some words that I would have thought wouldn’t really have changed over time. It is quite funny reading old late 19th/early 20th century literature, for both the spelling and grammar construction. Take Golden Bough, the abrdiged version, not the entire multi-volume edition, though the spelling will be the same in the latter. It is just I don’t own that.

The three that I can remember are Hindoo, Esquimaux and Esthonia. (As an aide, Hindoo is also spelt as such in the 1938 paperback edition of Walden I accquired from the charity shop next to the office. So that predates Fraser’s work, although not by that much.) I have run out of anything more to say on that, really, I have, just lost the will to say anymore.

While I am on language and pretention (I was, honest, I just removed several paragraphs I didn’t like, so please do keep up with the mental leaps) there, I have to mention the instructions that come with every single java app. If you want to build it, using, say, ant, then what you get in the README is something like this:

ant build
ant delpoy

(there are variations, but most cover something like that.) Now, see the arrogance in there? There is nothing to say if it goes wrong. Nothing to say what should be set in your env, what in your classpath, nothing like that. Every single java app is the same. They presume it will work. On your machine. First time. It doesn’t.

So maybe you should read the install instructions. Excellent, there it is. But no, even though you have downloaded the source package, are going to build it from said source, you still get: For installation instructions see the manual in the docs subdirectory. I am on the command line. I don’t want to be firing up a browser. I just want to install your damned software. More java arrogance. So I end up converting the html in the doc directory to plain text, so I can read it on my terminal. Do you think it is in anyway helpful? You do? Can I live on the planet you are from?

This is too fractured. Can you imagine the spaces in-between? Can you really dive off the top board with me in that position?

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It is a well-known fact that the Stray Taoist (nee Toaster) isn't as internally consistent as he thinks he is. Welcome to his world.

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