Wednesday, April 22, 2009

PSD is not my favourite file format.

// At this point, I'd like to take a moment to speak to you about the Adobe PSD format.
// PSD is not a good format. PSD is not even a bad format. Calling it such would be an
// insult to other bad formats, such as PCX or JPEG. No, PSD is an abysmal format. Having
// worked on this code for several weeks now, my hate for PSD has grown to a raging fire
// that burns with the fierce passion of a million suns.
// If there are two different ways of doing something, PSD will do both, in different
// places. It will then make up three more ways no sane human would think of, and do those
// too. PSD makes inconsistency an art form. Why, for instance, did it suddenly decide
// that *these* particular chunks should be aligned to four bytes, and that this alignement
// should *not* be included in the size? Other chunks in other places are either unaligned,
// or aligned with the alignment included in the size. Here, though, it is not included.
// Either one of these three behaviours would be fine. A sane format would pick one. PSD,
// of course, uses all three, and more.
// Trying to get data out of a PSD file is like trying to find something in the attic of
// your eccentric old uncle who died in a freak freshwater shark attack on his 58th
// birthday. That last detail may not be important for the purposes of the simile, but
// at this point I am spending a lot of time imagining amusing fates for the people
// responsible for this Rube Goldberg of a file format.
// Earlier, I tried to get a hold of the latest specs for the PSD file format. To do this,
// I had to apply to them for permission to apply to them to have them consider sending
// me this sacred tome. This would have involved faxing them a copy of some document or
// other, probably signed in blood. I can only imagine that they make this process so
// difficult because they are intensely ashamed of having created this abomination. I
// was naturally not gullible enough to go through with this procedure, but if I had done
// so, I would have printed out every single page of the spec, and set them all on fire.
// Were it within my power, I would gather every single copy of those specs, and launch
// them on a spaceship directly into the sun.

// PSD is not my favourite file format.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Student finds cellphone, turns it into police. Arrested for "Theft by Finding".

Student finds cellphone, turns it into police. Arrested for "Theft by Finding". 

I think it's all a Monty Python sketch.

"I'd like to return this cell phone."

"Markenson's, two doors down, thank you."

"No, no. I didn't buy it, I found it."

"Best of luck getting a refund then, thank you. Good day."

"No, you don't seem to understand. I'm turning it in to you."

"If Markenson's won't give you a refund, why should we?"

"No! You're the police! I found this cell phone and I want to return it to its original owner."

"Oh, I see. Harry, have any of the boys reported a lost cell phone?"

"Don't think so, Grimm."

"Sorry, it's not ours. Perhaps someone at Markenson's lost it. Good day."

"Damn it all! I know who the owner is! I called them on this very phone! They're coming here

to collect it as we speak!"

"Why would they be coming here? We don't have it."

"Of course you don't, you git! I have it! It's right bleedin' here!"

(shows the officer the phone)

"So the owner of that phone..."


"is coming here..."


"to pick it up."


"And what, pray tell, are you doing with it?"

"I found it!!"

"Oh, did you?"

"Yes, I did."

"And how did you find it?"

"It was just laying there."

"Was it?"


"Alright, you're going to have to come with me, Mr. Findy Fingers."

"What for???"

"Are you or are you not the owner of that phone there in your hand?"

"I'm not!"

"So you admit it!"

"This is insane! I found it! It was just laying there!"

"That's what they all say. Come now, let's have a DNA sample."

"Oh, bollocks!"

"No, sir, we just swab your cheek. That's a good chap. Come along."

"This is ridiculous! I merely found this phone and turned it in out of a sense of civic duty! I

didn't expect a sort of Spanish Inquisition!

(looks at door)

"I said, 'I didn't expect a sort of Spanish Inquisition!'"

"Yes, we heard you, sir, didn't we, Harry?"

"Loud and clear, Grimm."

"But I thought..."


"Then this isn't...?"

"Afraid not."

"I see."


"So you'll be wanting my DNA then?"

"There's a good chap. Has anyone ever told you you look like Michael Palin?"

"I get that a lot."

(The door opens. An Eric-Idle-looking fellow comes in.)

"Can I help you, sir?"

"Ah, yes, I'm here for a phone?"

"Markenson's, two doors down, thank you."