domingo, 26 de abril de 2020

What's in a git merge conflict?

There's something that was bothering me lately about git conflicts:

How come git knows which side is which, and when there is a conflict or where there isn't?

I have the notion of the common ancestor to base the versions off of, but when people do heavy cherry-picking (which is mostly a single branch operation).... how come git reconciles the contents?

Well... as usual, things in git are..... simpler?

lunes, 13 de abril de 2020

John Conway's Game of Life

John Conway passed away recently, so let's look at his Game of Life from the APL/J/K perspective.

And a recent ode to J, that explains the first prototype that Arthur Withney and Ken Iverson wrote in an afternoon. I remember having great fun deciphering it 3 years ago on the flights back and from $WORK at that time, and people staring at me reading that printed code and WTFing.

viernes, 3 de abril de 2020

Indeterminate dimensionality

Scientists like to be able to locate things by giving a ``vector'', that is, a list of coordinates in a space of known dimensionality. This is one of the reasons they like orthogonality--it means the various components of the vector are independent of each other. Unfortunately, the real world is not usually set up to work that way. Most problems, including linguistics problems, are a matter of ``getting from here to there'', and the geography in-between has a heavy influence on which solutions are practical. Problems tend to be solved at several levels. A typical journey might involve your legs, your car, an escalator, a moving sidewalk, a jet, maybe some more moving sidewalks or a tram, another jet, a taxi, and an elevator. At each of these levels, there aren't many ``right angles'', and the whole thing is a bit fractal in nature. In terms of language, you say something that gets close to what you want to say, and then you start refining it around the edges, just as you would first plan your itinerary between major airports, and only later worry about how to get to and from the airport.