The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Monday, May 08, 2000

The Platypus Effect.

“You have your `isa' hierarchy all thought out - let's say you have a “mammals” class and a “reptiles” class and so on - and you start to implement it, and along comes a platypus, a fur-bearing, egg-laying, duck-billed creature, which doesn't appear to fit in any of the classifications you've created. So what you often end up having to do is rethink your entire hierarchy, refactoring into a different set of basic categories, or maintaining several categorizations along different axes. A lot of your thinking ends up getting thrown out, as well as any implementation you've done up to that point.”

Via RobotWisdom, Encapsulation, Inheritance and the Platypus effect.

The Jury Lottery

I often go several days between checking my snail mail so the mail tends to accumulate a bit. And imagine my surprise when I checked it today.

I've been selected for jury duty!

They seem to keep decent records because you can be excused if you've been selected within the past twelve months because it's been some 18 months since I was last called.

And it's not like the first time I was called. Had I not used an excuse (“Hey! I'm a student at a university! I can't serve!”) I would have had to drive down to Miami every Monday for months until I was either selected for a Federal case, or dismissed after serving the full N-month term.

No, it'll probably be more like the second time I served 18 months ago—I arrive at this ungodly hour of 8:00 am at the Ft. Lauderdale Court House, sit around for most of the day, get called to a court room just prior to everyone being sent home for the day, spend a few hours being questioned by both lawyers and not get selected, and have the pleasure of driving home in rush hour traffic.

If it weren't for the 8:00 am arrival time, it wouldn't be that bad.

Obligatory Picture

[“I am NOT a number, I am … a Q-CODE!”]

Obligatory Contact Info

Obligatory Feeds

Obligatory Links

Obligatory Miscellaneous

You have my permission to link freely to any entry here. Go ahead, I won't bite. I promise.

The dates are the permanent links to that day's entries (or entry, if there is only one entry). The titles are the permanent links to that entry only. The format for the links are simple: Start with the base link for this site:, then add the date you are interested in, say 2000/08/01, so that would make the final URL:

You can also specify the entire month by leaving off the day portion. You can even select an arbitrary portion of time.

You may also note subtle shading of the links and that's intentional: the “closer” the link is (relative to the page) the “brighter” it appears. It's an experiment in using color shading to denote the distance a link is from here. If you don't notice it, don't worry; it's not all that important.

It is assumed that every brand name, slogan, corporate name, symbol, design element, et cetera mentioned in these pages is a protected and/or trademarked entity, the sole property of its owner(s), and acknowledgement of this status is implied.

Copyright © 1999-2024 by Sean Conner. All Rights Reserved.