By Gringer (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Tumblr blog generator

Tom Parker-Shemilt wrote “TL;DR version – OAuth sucks, Tumblr’s API has some notable faults. So, a while back I came across the “dice shaming” meme. For those of you who haven’t seen this before, or who aren’t RPG players and so don’t know what’s going on, it’s a bunch of posts of people going “I rolled my dice…”

By English: Cpl. Lydia M. Davey [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Playing with Open NHS data, and a rant

James Uther wrote “Open Data ™ is being pushed quite heavily by the powers that be, which is mostly a good thing because It’s useful information that I want to use, and I’ve already paid taxes for it. Also, this is a democracy dammit. Can Haz Sunlight!. The NHS is part of this. For most of this post…”

Android app security

David Ireland wrote “Reading Japanese govt: Use operator-run app stores, not Google Play reminded me of an app that I use a lot, but who’s permissions are a cause for concern: Ocado on the Go. The Ocado app wants to use your phone’s video camera, so it can scan bar codes. This is a legitimate requirement: there’s no way…”

Three approaches to ambiguous grammars

Frank Shearar wrote “We have many tools in our parsing toolbox. Today let’s look at how three different parsing techniques handle ambiguity caused by choice.”

Enums: not always the right tool

Frank Shearar wrote “Enums are a way of encoding a set of ordinal values in a type system. That is, they formalise the notion that a value may be one of a small set of specific values. We’ve had them since at least the 1970s. They’re really useful. So why might they not always be the right tool?”

The unreasoned Javan

Tim Clark wrote “I really hate null! Reflect on that statement. Apparently Tim has a strong dislike for a concept found in lots of programming languages (even brainiac languages like Haskell) and successfully used in millions of programs. He must be crazy I wouldn’t like to have a discussion with him about something contentious like tabs versus spaces.”

King Kong! Misadventures in Ruby meta-programming

Tim Clark wrote “Sometimes after a particularly fraught bug stomping session you make a frivolous offhand remark to a colleague, for example “I will write a macro that converts lisp definitions in prefix form so that arithmetic looks like how it was taught to you in school” or “I won’t let my unit test really be an integration…”

By Heinrich Klaffs [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Mustache for your mail merge

Tim Clark wrote “At LShift we like to program on blackboards using untyped lambda calculus, and we enter code into a computer only once we have a truly generic solution to a problem. However, most of the time we need to earn money so that we can eat and wear clothes other than LShift t-shirts – this usually…”

“Nearby art”: using the V&A API and geolocation

Tom Parker-Shemilt wrote “A little while back, I was informed that the V&A had an API. To be honest, my first response to this was “why on earth?”. There’s been a few similar APIs coming out recently from organisations, with some sort of “build it and they’ll come” expectations i.e. expecting that all they have to do is…”

Yahoo doesn’t know what an email address is

Tony Garnock-Jones wrote “Many websites refuse to accept email addresses of the form ``, despite the fact that the `+sometext` is perfectly legitimate1 and is an advertised feature gmail offers for creating pseudo-single-use email addresses from a base email address. My guess is that the developers of these sites think, because they’re either lazy or incompetent, that email…”

Adventures with the Fisher Price My First Firewall

David Ireland wrote “I’m writing this blog entry for therapeutic reasons. Everything you need to know is in the link below. Readers are invited to share the worst anti-features they have found in network devices by posting a comment. I had a strange problem sending email from a host. I first discovered that trac couldn’t send messages via…”

Smalltalk vs. Javascript; Diff and Diff3 for Squeak Smalltalk

Tony Garnock-Jones wrote “Many of my recent posts here have discussed the diff and diff3 code I wrote in Javascript. A couple of weekends ago I sat down and translated the code into Squeak Smalltalk. The experience of writing the “same code” for the two different environments let me compare them fairly directly. To sum up, Smalltalk was…”