Cautionary tales from the world of print

From the September 2, 2003 issue of PC Magazine:

We would have liked to review Blogger Pro, the paid version of Blogger, but it was in the middle of an overhaul and wasn’t accepting new members. […]

Although Blogger may regain the crown soon, it’s not currently a versatile or powerful tool. If the new version of Blogger Pro isn’t finished by the time you read this, consider Lycos Blog Builder.

Editors’ Choice to Lycos Blog Builder, and some kind words for, a Manila hosting service.

From Learning With Your Home Computer, by Susan Curran and Ray Curnow, published by Simon & Schuster, 1983:

But spending every evening and weekend working alone on programs of ever-increasing complexity is an activity of very dubious value for young people.

Some parents encourage any interest, however obsessive, in computers in the hope that this will pave the way to an exciting and lucrative career for their youngsters. Such a career very rarely materializes. Laboring away in isolation is not the way to develop good programming habits and, significantly, college and university computer courses look with great disfavor upon children who’ve done this.

By an odd coincidence, at exactly the same time, I was looking with great disfavor upon university computer courses, and as a result ended up not having an exciting and lucrative career during the bubble. Ah well, back to working alone on programs of ever-increasing complexity: trying to strip just the Single Window Mode out of TBE isn’t going especially well, but it’s teaching me stuff, which seems like a good enough bargain.


Comment by alanjstr #
2003-08-15 22:33:04

You might want to look at Tabbrowser Preferences, which has an ”almost” single-window mode. I believe javascript stillg gets through. The real problem is that it’s a hack, allowing the new window to open and then create a tab. When the timing is off, you actually see that happen and it’s awful. The browser itself needs to have the hooks put in.

As for Blogger, I am now a Pro user. It doesn’t mean a whole lot more than the basic one. I’m still considering moving to the hosted MT, TypePad.

Comment by Phil Ringnalda #
2003-08-15 22:58:11

Yep, tried TbPref, but it’s the links-from-external-apps that kills me with it: a session with my RSS aggregator usually amounts to opening twenty or thirty links, which is fine as tabs and evil as windows. They put it in the core, that’d be sweet, but meantime TBE’s messing with bookmarks in a way that messes with sidebars, and it’s getting on my nerves. I’ll get it ripped loose eventually, but even after cutting out lots of stuff in globalOverlay.js, I’m still at nearly 2500 lines. I’m fighting the temptation to start from scratch, even though I know all the weird stuff I don’t understand is the result of bugs found and reported and squished, that I don’t want to have to repeat.

Comment by milbertus #
2003-08-16 12:38:48

While I agree that you can’t totally learn how to write good code by just tinkering on your own, I would also say that is true if all the coding you’ve done is part of a college degree program. Based on the people I went to school with who were in the latter group, I could just tell that they didn’t really ”get” it – they did their assignment, got it working, and that was that. They didn’t care how good, or clean, their code was, just so long as their program did what they were assigned to do.

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