3 Sep 2004 chexum   » (Master)


schemata is the plural of schema? These rules of English plural seems very awkward to me at times. Yes, I know, they really are, but this is a rant :) Those who wanted stigma pluralized as stigmata are probably striving for the same elegance and (semi-)correctness that hackers do when inventing words like mouses. Defining correctness, when left to dictionaries, is just carving them in stone, but apparently this interweb thing will allow for more flexibility for changes in language.

Just an example, why these irregular plurals disturb me; you spell solos (plural of solo according to Wikipedia) and not soloes because it's Italian or Spanish word. In contrast the plural of Magyar is apparently Magyars, yet, this is the name Hungarians use for themselves in their own language, and its plural is "magyarok". But to add to the confusion, "a group of magyarok", or "some magyarok" would be incorrect, since this native plural is not used in this construct, but mostly in constructs with definite articles, like "those magyarok", "the magyarok are loud".

Ok, it's obvious, Greek words, and their knowledge is a bit more entrenched in the current English than Hungarian words; but IMHO it would be sensible not to rigorously enforce some of the historical ballast it accumulated, and try to let the language find its own ways to advance. Or, call the Hungarians "magyarok" as defined please :)


The Progress database collapsed at work, and it took most of the day to recover from the last backup. Yes, the backups are fine, and less than a minutes worth of transactions were lost, but this is the second time in a few years this Progress thing detected an internal error caused by normal, but uncommon operation, and refused to start the database again. All this for heaps of money. Yes, probably we could pay much more, and have someone able to recover from this mess. At the risk of sounding a bit hypocrite, no free software bug (or user/admin error) would leave me so helpless than bugs and arbitrary internal errors in proprietary systems.

Are they after me?

I like Tor, which seems to me a lighter version of Freenet, which, in addition is working. It is not designed only for anonymous publishing, it also allows normal TCP connections, somewhat anonymized, and TCP connections between two anonymous party. The "somewhat" part is there only because there is not really humongous crowd of anonymizing servers yet, but it's still very nice.

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