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Page Mill Again

I rode up Page Mill road again today. This time, I brought my camera and I didn’t lose a spoke at the top. Coming back down was a lot faster, with one scary moment. I was wearing my helmet for the descent. From my house to Gate 4 took me 54 minutes, 35 minutes of which was from the base (I-280 and Page Mill) to Gate 4. I definitely can improve this time a ton — it’s a real grind for me right now — but I’ll have to ride it more than once every two months if I want to get  better.

Studio I to Gate 4 on Page Mill Road

Studio I to Gate 4 on Page Mill Road

UPDATE: Elevation graph, per Jayson’s request!

Elevation

The view from the top as the Sun set was well worth the effort:

View from Above

Firefox Turns 5

Almost six years ago, I first downloaded Mozilla Firebird, the web browser that became Firefox. Within a week, the new browser had won me over. It took about another year for Mozilla to release Firefox 1.0, the first generally available version of the new browser, on November 9, 2004. Now, Mozilla is celebrating Firefox’s fifth birthday.

Since then, Firefox has seen over 1 billion downloads and has made significant inroads against the once totally dominant and stagnant Microsoft Internet Explorer. Despite experiments with Chrome, Safari, Opera, and the newer versions of IE (which wouldn’t even exist had Firefox not forced Microsoft into action), Firefox has remained my browser of choice, due in large part to its constant improvements, rich set of extensions, and supporting all the little things that make browsing fast and fun.

In a lot of ways, the culture of Firefox has grown into a religion, with its adherents being encouraged to spread the good word of Firefox, convert their friends, and so on. Nevertheless, it is a religion I feel good about being a part of. So, if you don’t already use it, go give Firefox a try.

Issue 9

Like much of the tech world, I learned about Google’s new programming language yesterday, and listened to the tech talk on it before going to sleep last night.

This morning, an engineer at Facebook started a discussion thread on the language. That’s when I learned about the now famous “Issue 9“: In short, there is already is a language named Go! (as compared to Google’s chosen name, ‘go’). In the somewhat rancorous discussion that followed, one recurring theme emerged: ‘go’ is a bad name for a language, and “Issue 9” (or perhaps Issue9) should be the new name. Robert Greiner wrote a good post about this. In a similar vein, here is why I think a name change is in order:

  1. ‘go’ is a poor name choice for a programming language, and of all companies, Google should understand this: ‘go’ is a too-common word that will make search results almost useless (try a search for “debug go”). Even with well-established languages with poor names such as C, searches can be troublesome.
  2. As I mentioned before, there is already a language named Go! To stay in line with their “Don’t be evil” mantra, Google shouldn’t squash the little guy, which they are perfectly capable of doing here.
  3. There is an epic marketing opportunity for Google here. Many people and the press will love it if Google renames their brand new language in order to do the right thing. At the same time, they can deal with the fact that ‘go’ is a poor name to begin with.
  4. ‘Issue 9’ or ‘Issue9’ — abbreviated i9 either way — is a good name for a language that incorporates a computer science idea but is still generic (but not too generic!)
  5. There is already a groundswell of support for the Issue 9 name.
  6. Issue 9 would not have any search engine name collisions.
  7. Others have already suggested incorporating the new name into language constructs. For example the keyword ‘go’ could be replaced (or aliased by) ‘issue’ — this even makes sense!

I hope that Google makes the right choice without litigation. Even if Google doesn’t make the right choice, I hope there is not litigation — it doesn’t actually help anyone in this case. The creator of Go! has gained more publicity through this than a lifetime of toil would have gotten, so in a way he should be grateful. There is no other way most people who are now aware of his language would have heard about it otherwise. I want Google to do the right thing, but even if they don’t, I think legally it should end there.

Finally, I will give mad props to Google — and I promise to learn the language — if they change the name to Issue 9.

Scheming

This month should be a good and busy one. I have been scheming over the last few days, and this is what I have come up with so far for the rest of the year:

  • Post pictures from Peru on this blog (these photos are already posted on Facebook)
  • Post pictures from Australia and New Zealand here and on Facebook (I’m way behind on this front).
  • Bring the Checksum Arcanius Photo Gallery up-to-date.
  • Swap my Apple Macbook Pro for a Lenovo Thinkpad T400 with Windows 7 at work. My plan is for this to also become my main laptop; my current laptop, Graphitica, a Dell D630, will go to my wonderful mom. I will miss the touchpad on the Mac, but I think that pretty much everything else will get better for me with this swap.
  • Help the new housemate, Jasmine, move in. This will probably involve finding a truck that I can borrow for a weekend.
  • Drive the Saturn back to Washington for Thanksgiving; leave it there, and fly back to SFO (this will lower the car pressure on the house, which after Jasmine moves in, will be at 5. Returning my car to Washington will lower that to 4.) As long as I can occasionally borrow a housemate’s car, I will be fine with respect to transportation.
  • Have a few good contributions to Drizzle’s development

That is all for now. More schemes may come.