I always knew AirBnB was weird.

Now I really know.

If I *MOVE THE MAP*, the pricing of an apartment changes, from 1147 to 1151.

In other news, I believe one of my grandparents was Irish and so through him I will be able to claim Irisih citizenship, which will get me back in the EU, thank Christ.

I’ve not touched the library for a bit – been making a web-site for a friend.

My current thought is to get bsearch and qsort out of test, so it’s bare C89 (plus threads) and get SMR in and debugged (and maybe also an add+delete singly linked list). The unbounded single/single queue is in already. Then publish 7.2.0.


The UK has voted to leave the EU.

My life has been shattered.

I am an ex-pat. I left the UK in 2008 and have since then lived in various European countries. Until the day of the UK vote, I, entirely separate from the UK, with a life and an arrangement of my own affairs governed entirely by mutually agreed contracts between private individuals, lived, worked and moved regularly within the EU.

Very soon now, I will not be able to do so.

Why should the choice of sixteen-odd million individuals currently about two thousand miles away whom have nothing to do with my life, and I nothing with theirs, affect MY life? what business it is of theirs?

The answer of course is that by the current arrangement of affairs, where countries exist and assign membership to individuals, and where countries require all individuals to possess such a membership and
decide to give or withhold from them permissions based upon the country which provides that membership – wholly independent of whatever voluntary and well-informed private contracts these individuals would otherwise make – means that indeed, countries possess the power to impose themselves upon my life and indeed the lives of all; and here is an unsual case of a country deciding what to impose upon everyone by a simple majority – but no majority, simple, two-thirds or even complete makes it *right*, for my life is in fact simply none of anyone elses business.

This is oppression. It is the imposition without the justification of self-defence of contracts upon others, here, by State upon individual. For whatever ends it might be thought necessary, it can only be considered expedient – useful, but unethical.

The profound problem with this view is that if an individual holds he can impose his will upon others, then he also holds others can impose their will upon him; anyone who agrees with this going on is agreeing with that which is imposed upon them, and they may indeed not know it, but infinitely more is imposed upon them against their will or, more usually, without their knowledge, than they manage to impose through the medium of the State upon others. In any case, it’s all unethical; you can’t impose contracts on other people except in self-defence.

It has come then to pass that I will benefit from the three years I lived in the Netherlands; for with the addition now of two more years there, and the learning Dutch, and the surrender my British citizenship, I will be granted Dutch citizenship, which means also EU citizenship.

I need to learn some arbitrary second language, live two years in some arbitrary city, and then indeed pay several hundred pounds to the UK State to give up citizenship, then more to the Dutch State to obtain their citizenship – so that I can continue to make the very same private, voluntary, well-informed contracts which I have happily been making for the last eight years with no trouble at all.

What point is there in the existence of the intervention of the State in these matters? what it is *achieving?*

From the point of view of the sixteen million who voted to leave, it removes from them the imposition of contract from the central EU government, and replaces it with the imposition of contract with the central UK government.

Can I observe of this then that in fact *nothing has really changed*, and that which they object to – the imposition of contract – is exactly as it was, and indeed is the very same burden which has now been inflicted upon me, leading to this insane situation where I must learn some arbitrary language and live in some arbitrary place for two years, just to continue to be free.

What is needed, as has always been needed for the entire span of human history, is the emancipation of individual from the largest single source of imposed contract, the State, or, to put it simply, what is needed is *freedom*.

unbounded, single/single queue implemented

Seems to work.

Tests pass. Need to do more test though.

It’s the M&S queue, with atomics removed, and it’s “odd” in that although the dequeuer gets key/value pairs as he dequeues, it’s actually the enqueue thread which gets the dequeued queue elements out of the queue for reuse/free (when you call enqueue, or if you explicitly flush – there’s a function call for it) the emptied (i.e. dequeued) queue elements, which are at that point still in the queue, come back to the user via a callback).

Samba update is blocking

I’ve issued a full package upgrade of my Linux system through Synaptic Package Manager.

It’s been taking a LONG time.

Eventually, I go over to it and expand the “details” option.

The (supposedly) automated Samba installer displays a help text which requires the user to scroll to the end and hit “q”. It’s blocked tne entire update process.


Unbounded, single producer, single consumer queue idea

Chatting with a friend online about queue use and an idea struct me.

There is a well known bounded single producer single consumer queue. The Linux kernel uses it, there’s an implementation in liblfds.

I think thought it should be possible to make an unbounded single producer single consumer queue.

What’s odd about it is that the writer thread is the thread which is responsible for removing dequeued elements from the queue.

So we have a normal looking queue, elements with next pointers, an enqueue and a dequeue pointer.

The reader thread, once it’s done with an element, marks the element as read – it is however the only write to that flag. The writer is the only reader from that flag.

So we imagine the queue is empty, enqueue and dequeue both NULL. Writer writes; he is given an element (no memory allocations, remember), he sets the user data, sets next to NULL, store barrier, modifies the dequeue pointer.

Reader thread later comes to read, we assume the writes have propogated (we’ll see the user data first, so we’re safe), we read the dequeue pointer, get the element, get the user data, now set the “done with it” flag.

The writer when he nexts writes adds the element as before, but also scans from the dequeue pointer, finding dequeued elements and unlinking them.

Have to work through all the details to see if it can work.

People I want to shoot #57

Know what I hate?

Long, complicated, involved many-page on-line forms which have a secret timeout AND DO NOT TELL YOU.

After you’ve spent 15 mins entering info, then 30 mins tracking down some arcane bit of information and enter it, they sweetly go – “you’ve timed out and must start ALL OVER AGAIN”.

“No, we didn’t tell you there was a timeout.”

“Yes, if we *had* told you, you could have – awkwardly, but still – entered a little action and now and then and saved youself ALL that work. Heh heh heh.”

In the Roman Empire, the man responsible for building a bridge had to stand under it when the first load passed over.

How about people who design forms are shot if the first person who uses the form can’t complete it?

The average world IQ would rise, the number of morons would decrease AND web-page quality would double overnight! Are we seeing any downsides here?

Mediawiki / Firefox hell

I’m finally fixing up the “White Papers” page on the wiki.

It is, frankly, a descent into hell.

The problem is that the filenames for the white papers are like this;

[Counter] – [Aspnes, Herlihy, Shavit] – Counting Networks.pdf

See those square backets? and the spaces?

It’s like I’ve just tapped directly into every combined neurotic design flaw of Medawiki and Firefox.

Mediawiki can’t have square brackes in URLs, or spaces. Okay, I’ll URL encode. Doesn’t work. Mediakwiki does not recognize a URL encoded string as a URL – not unless it begins with the “http://” – *unencoded*.

Firefox doesn’t recognize either the fully encoded URL, or the bastardized version beginning with “http://”.

It turns out that URL encoding seems to have changed?

Using http://meyerweb.com/eric/tools/dencoder/ gives this;


It doesn’t work. Paste that into Firefox and it’ll *prepend* “http://” (FOR CHRISTS SAKE DON’T DO THAT) and then tell you it can’t find the server “http%3A%2F%2Fwww.liblfds.org%2Fdownloads%2Fwhite%20papers%2F%5BCounter%5D%20-%20%5BAspnes%2C%20Herlihy%2C%20Shavit%5D%20-%20Counting%20Networks.pdf”. Genius. *facepalm*.

Bastardizing it in the way Medaiwiki requires (unencoded “http://”) makes no difference.

However, I guessed that if I enter the original unencoded URL into Firefox, if I copy’n’pasted from its URL bar I’d get the encoded version – and I do, which is also FACEPALM, because what you’re SEEING is not what you’re GETTING. WRONG.

So Firefox gives me this;


Firefox seems to not encode the path, not encode commas, but does encode square brackets and spaces.

So, like, what the HELL? I thought URL encoding was URL encoding. All the reserved characters became percent encoded and that was it.

So, like, what the hell is going on? Multiple variants of URL encoding? the HELL? if that’s so, can you imagine anything more likely to lead to disaster?

So it’s taken an hour *to get a link working in a mediawiki page*. I’m also wondering if it’ll even work in other browsers. Maybe Firefox has it’s own unique bizzare version of URL encoding.