Slight Changes

22 10 2007

Some slight changes have been brewing for some time at this blog.

Mainly, I will start writing here about as many papers as I can of those I read. The motivation for this is twofold: increasing frequency of writing, and understanding papers better. My thesis advisor has been telling me for some time now that I need to write a one paragraph summary of a paper after I finish reading it, that I should not need to refer back to the paper in order to do this, and that I should not move on to the next paper without producing a summary for the previous. I’ll try to group these into sets of relevant papers which also tie together my thoughts on the papers and ideas I get from them.

The next few papers will be on Singularity and provably correct garbage collectors. The JIT JavaScript VM I was originally going to write with friends this semester split into multiple groups when another team member decided to pursue another project and took half the group with him. I intended to stay with the original project, but only two others made the same choice. And three people is not enough to implement a complete JIT compiler from scratch in 3 months. We meandered through a number of topics, and still don’t have a clear final direction (which is worrisome considering this is supposed to turn into my honors thesis). We’ve settled more or less into the broad area of cross language memory management and runtime systems. We’ve read a number of papers: several on conservative garbage collection, a couple on Haskell FFI, the Xerox PARC Portable Common Runtime, and a few others. I’ll try to write about all of them at some point, again grouped into logical sets. That’s all for now – I have to spend time getting ready for upcoming midterms and interviews.


So I Was On Reddit

8 08 2007

So, apparently, less than two weeks after starting this blog, I ended up on (direct link) for this entry on the fact that most monad tutorials are awful, and offering a pointer to a paper . Apparently if you tag an entry with ‘monads,’ avid Haskell users flock to your blog (I exaggerate of course – just many more people than otherwise read my blog). Really, I suspect that using that tag just got more people to notice, and most of the hits came from Reddit, where I was probably only posted because I had a bit of an opinion, plus a link to Wadler’s paper. Interesting phenomenon.

Apparently I got a peak of 1,015 page views on August 2nd, as well as getting included in the “Blog Noise” section of Haskell Weekly News. Having never really blogged about anything other than my personal life before this summer, it’s interesting to see how certain keywords draw spikes of attention. For that reason, I’m specifically not tagging this entry with ‘haskell’ or ‘monads’ because I don’t want to distract that many people. Just thought it was interesting.

EDIT: Hello again, reddit-ors.

About That Header Picture

1 08 2007

I did change the default header image for this theme. The original was somewhat bizarre, and reminiscient of a blurry photo of paint sample cards. The image I replaced it with is a cropped version of a photo taken last summer at Land’s End Park in San Francisco. There was, at that time, a stone labyrinth on a flat area on the edge of a cliff, overlooking the mouth of the San Francisco Bay, the Golden Gate, the Presidio, the Marin headlands, and out into the Pacific.

Blog Move

1 08 2007

Well, as I said in my first post I was apt to do, I’ve decided to move my blog. Why? Blogger, for anything other than simply posting or selecting a pre-existing theme, is painful to use. That’s the main reason. In particular, the interface for rearranging page components is basically broken in Safari (my browser of choice).

I’m moving to, because WordPress

  • Has none of the UI wonkiness and breakage which Blogger seems to have
  • For the parts of Blogger which work, WordPress has a nicer UI
  • Supports a clean XML export, usable by me if I do a custom blog engine, or if I install WordPress on my own server
  • Has a broader, nicer variety of default themes. Yes, that’s part of the basis for my selection. Compare the Blogger and theme choices yourself – you’ll agree with me.

I’ll also be updating my domain,, to point there, just as soon as Yahoo! Domains fixes the problem with their domain administration page which is currently preventing me from changing any domain settings…