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Friday, March 31, 2017

Archive Part 2

Trinity College Dublin Library
A month or two (or three) ago, I started looking at adding a GUI front end to my gears program, and everything pointed to Qt. I played with that for a bit even though their language of choice is C++, which is not one of my favorites, but if I can get this thing to do what I want I can force myself to like it.

A couple weeks down this road and I run into a wall. I don't even remember what it was now, but it probably involved looking something up and the answer wasn't just right there in front of me (even though it probably was, I just couldn't see it) and I said screw this and went in look of another solution.

So I pointed and clicked I came across something called XKB which seemed to be more my style. It was just C code, no fancy gooble-de-gook. I should be able to do something with this. And so I cut and pasted and fiddled around for a few days and I ran into another wall. What is it with these half baked solutions I keep running into? (I suspect the problem is that all these things were developed by people who where born and raised in Unix land, and I wasn't, so while I might eventually learn my way around, I will never be one of the in-crowd.)

This evening I venture once more into the breach. I'm looking for the same stuff I was looking for the last time, but this time everything I find is different. None of the stuff I found last time even shows up. This time I get a completely different selection of stuff.

What happened? Did I use a different set of search terms? Were all the pages I went to last time replaced? Very weird, but normal. I mean think about it. There are a zillion different webpages out here. You type in a search term and Google, or Yahoo, or whoever, returns a zillion results, or at least they tell you they have a zillion results. I usually just click on the first one which is usually Wikipedia. But now I'm looking for code and Wikipedia is not much help here, so I have to point and click on something else.

I don't know what kind of algorithms search engines use, but it wouldn't take much of a tweak to cause the spotlight of the search to shine on a completely different portion of the internet.

The point I am trying to make is that if you have a million pages of anything, you may as well not have any. No one is going to read a million pages to find the one page they need. Okay, it might be possible, but no one should do it. We need a better scheme.

I guess that's what this blog is. It's my feeble attempt to mark those things that are worthwhile and / or useful and by not giving any references to any useless crap. Well, unless it's funny.


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