BBEdit: It Sucks

While it’s laudable that BBEdit has only crashed a very few times for me, it is absolutely unacceptable BBEdit possesses no autosave/autobackup/working-copy-recovery feature to preserve unsaved work in the event of such a crash. Deeply immersed in a problem, I hadn’t hit the magic save key in about 45 minutes — and then BB went away, and so did all my work.

BBEdit has famously used the “It doesn’t suck” tagline for years (it’s a registered trademark for them, even). Having now been bitten by this jackassery, I realize that such boasts are in fact false advertising. Every other serious editor of which I’m aware either has an autosave feature (of which some are justifiably wary, since it implies overwriting the previous version automatically) or some kind of working copy file from which one may recover from a crash. BBEdit appears to have neither, and this earns it a spot on my Shit List.

Update: In email back from support, their answer turns out to be “Yeah, we don’t do autosave. We might add that someday. Our advice is to save a lot.” Um, right. How about I just use an editor that doesn’t think it’s 1985, and that is FREE besides?

“An American Heresy”

That’s the title of Al Gore’s piece in Salon (from a speech on Wednesday). It should be required reading for all those who think the “nuclear option” — as the GOP termed eliminating judicial filibusters — is a good idea. Hell, everybody ought to read it.

Daring Fireball Speaks Truth

In our experience, John Gruber over at DaringFireball is occasionally too much a Mac partisan to be taken seriously, but more often than not he’s spot on. This time, though, he completely nails just exactly what is fucked up about the Adobe-Macromedia merger: it’s more evidence that the sales guys have taken over. Simply put, this invariably means more marketing bullshit and less technical excellence, or as he puts it:

Now that it’s run by a sales guy [Bruce Chizen, who took over from the founders], it has turned into a company that seems more interested in the sales and marketing of its products than in the products themselves.

Word. Gruber concludes with:

Like most sales guys, Chizen seems like the sort of person who believes that what matters most is not the quality of the product itself, but merely the marketing in which you package it. Marketing does matter, and so does salesmanship. But the main reason Adobe Systems has been a success is that they created and developed terrific, innovative software. Engineering talent isn’t enough; you need passion for innovative products at the top of a company. If that spirit continues to wither, Adobe will continue its slide into mediocrity, and will become just another software company. But if it becomes a bigger company while doing so, I suspect that will suit Bruce Chizen just fine.

Meanwhile, I suspect more and more folks will opt for the Gimp.

What you need to do if you live in Houston

See this play. My friends at IBP have staged the best goddamn Medea you’ll ever see, as God is my witness. I’ve seen it twice already, and I’ll see it at least twice more. It’s fucking AWESOME; it may be the best thing they’ve ever done, and we’re talking about a group over a decade old with a cover of American Theater to their credit already.

See. This. Play.

In which we contemplate the wholesale collapse of society

There now exist bras designed for unaugmented women to give the distinct impression to observers that they have in fact joined the silicon masses.

The Evolution bra is aimed at “women who lust after the look of cosmetic breast implants,” according to Brastraps Inc., a Florida-based company that introduced the new bra on Friday. The Evolution features a sculpted, graduated cup “specially designed to mimic the appearance of cosmetic breast implants.”

In other words, they produce ersatz fake breasts.

Yet Another Talking Head

Via Boing Boing:

It amounts to a kind of cultural censorship. Call me paranoid, but given all the manipulative tricks the Republicans have gotten up to recently, I am prepared to believe that this has less to do with Homeland security and more to do with keeping the American public ignorant and free of foreign influence and inspiration. An ill-informed, isolated, ignorant populace is a populace easily manipulated. Fed a diet of reality shows coupled with faith-based reasoning (an oxymoron if ever there was one) and you have a perfect recipe for a country in which the government that can do more or less whatever it wants. [Emph. added] Democracy becomes a farce without access to information. David Byrne

In which urge discretionary spending

Amazon is selling the Canon Digital Elph S410 for $249, which is (notionally) about $200 off. This is a 4 megapixel camera just shy of the top-end for its year. It’s also accessory-compatible with the prior Elph generations (batteries, memory cards, etc.).

Presumably, Canon is trying to clear the channel for the new SD500/400/300 Elph line, which are nicer — bigger LCDs, higher resolution — the SD500 is a SEVEN megapixel point-and-shoot) — but which also use the (more expensive) Secure Digital storage medium, so we’re happy to take last year’s model on the cheap.

In which we discover some amusing bits about Google Satellite Maps

We pointed out earlier the cool and somewhat creepy fact that satellite imagery of Heathen Central is available online. Turns out, we’re not the only ones who think this is at least slightly creepy; some images have been obscured to frustrate terrorists or attackers who might target somewhere like this or this; what’s odd is that a certain 5-sided DoD structure southwest of these two didn’t get similar treatment.


Just because we here at Miscellaneous Heathen are, paradoxically, Christian in nature does NOT mean we cannot be amused at Rude Pundit’s use of the phrase “batshit insane Jesus babblers,” especially when used to describe folks like Roy Moore and the Family Research Council.

He’s talking about the, well, batshit crazy Jesus babblers who are now all up in arms about the “out of control” judiciary who refused to keep the Florida state vegetable drawing breath. It is difficult to overstate how wrong these goons are when they start this crap. Ol’ Mr Pundit puts it this way:

See, the difference is that the legislature and the executive branches are elected, by majorities (allegedly), and thus the majority of the nation has a voice through those branches. The judiciary exists, ideally outside the realm of elections, to give the minority a voice. The logic’s simple: the majority will always have a voice through elections. But there’s others, up to 49.9% of the population, who’d like to be considered as part of the nation. And, sure, sometimes the judiciary will piss off the other branches, but, fuck ’em, welcome to the Republic, you know? Isn’t this basic civics class? Didn’t we all learn this back in middle school? Admittedly, the Rude Pundit was taught the Constitution without a Bible present to coordinate the articles with, but, still, and shit, this ain’t brain surgery. Hell, it ain’t even temperature taking.

Dept. of In-No-Way Surprising Developments

Back in the boom, serious web application development more or less began and ended with some kind of application server and lots and lots of Java. Now that many simpler technologies are growing more and more capable, though, plenty of folks are reconsidering this assumption, and with good reason. While Java is great for some things, when it comes to complex or demanding automated web applications, there’s almost no reason at all to touch Java. The LAMP architecture (Linux, Apache, MySQL, Perl/Python/PHP) replaces it very, very well and much lower development costs and much greater flexibility. Don’t like MySQL? Use Postgres. Don’t like PHP? Use Perl and a framework like Mason. There are even whole new frameworks (with real-world examples) coming up behind LAMP, too, that will further push Java aside in this market.

(Obvious in the above is that there’s also no reason for most people to consider paying good money for a database server. This is why Microsoft is glad it has other products, and why Oracle has been busily finding other database-based businesses to move into as the database server itself becomes a commodity item.)

April 8, 1915

Today is my grandmother’s 90th birthday. I spoke with her on the phone just now, and she sounds better than she has in months. It was a rough year for her, and we weren’t sure she’d make it this far, but we’re damned glad she did.

Happy Birthday, Mom.

Why We Love Living in the Future

Our friend Rob just moved from Austin, where he lived for many years, to Chile to write code for a telescope. This is exciting for him, but sort of sad for those of us left in Texas. Or it would be, but for the whole “living in the future” thing. See, we here at Heathen Central won’t really notice Rob’s absence except under some very specific circumstances. He and his wife have an Austin-based VOIP telephone number that rings in his house in South America, and he still surfaces on iChat just like he did when he was in Austin, complete with the voice chat option.

When would we notice? If we went to Austin, in which case they would be unable to meet us for dinner without substantial notice and cost, or if we decided to visit Chile, in which case their location would be very, very convenient indeed.