Net-casting spiders spin small webs which they hold in their long, spindly legs and slap down on unsuspecting insects. Amazing.
In OpenGL, textures are applied after lighting has already been applied to the colors of whatever material you're drawing. So once you get a material to look the way you want, if you then try to put a red spot on it, using a texture with some red parts and some transparent parts, the red parts aren't affected by lighting. It looks really dumb.
I think the fix is to draw the polygon twice, applying the “decal” in a second pass. But to do that, you have to actually do things right—turn off depth-buffering and sort all your polygons. Blah.
OpenGL contains a lot of stuff that now seems quaint, like stippling. And support for 8-bit graphics modes.
Many CPUs (including, for example, PowerPC) don't have an instruction for the integer “modulo” operation, the one spelled
%in C and Java. (This is mentioned in the HotpathVM paper; I must have skimmed past it the first time I read it.)
To decode g++ mangled names, pipe them to
c++filt! Actually, Waldo told me about this last week. It helped me figure out some puzzling linker errors (you know the sort— “
undefined symbol ??XZ13Frz__F21Z6K9__”).
A good merge sort is faster than quicksort for real-world data. You can easily take advantage of certain kinds of pre-existing order in the array. Timsort is a merge sort implementation that takes that idea and, er, runs with it.
list.sort()is strangely wasteful when you use the
key=named parameter. It allocates a separate, reference-counted temporary object for each item in the list. (It should allocate a single temporary array.)
Maintaining a Mercurial queue containing large patches to a project is about as hard as maintaining a fork.
And a bunch of stuff about compilers that isn't really interesting.
According to a coloring book we bought for the kids, the black spots on a strawberry are not seeds but tiny fruits that contain the seeds. Wikipedia does say that “from a technical standpoint, the seeds are the actual fruits of the plant, and the flesh of the strawberry is modified receptacle tissue.” Appetizing! But I still say if your strawberry has black spots on it, don't eat it.