lunedì 17 maggio 2010

Raymond Hettinger

È bello venire citato (benché non per nome) da uno degli semidei di Python.

lunedì 25 gennaio 2010


This is an English translation of Oracolo's pieces of genius. I think they are to good to leave only to Italian speakers...

You need a software to prepare cappuccino. All your friends prepare cappuccinos with their PCs, so it shouldn't be hard to find.

Windows, "life is great" version

CappuccinoMaker is a 200k .exe file, bundled with the GPL-licensed source code. It makes cappuccino.

Windows, "life is great but you have choices to make" version

CappuccinoMakerPlus is an unofficial fork of CappuccinoMaker. It has an architecture based on plugins to enable many features that the standard CappuccinoMaker didn't have.

Every day, around thirty plugins get written. Two work perfectly, eighteen make the system dangerously unstable and the remaining ten make the program silently fail silently with no other noticeable result.

Windows, "money is my god" version

EasyCappuccino behaves exactly as CappuccinoMaker, but for some reason you don't know about the latter.

EasyCappuccino works egregiously, but it's a shareware: only $29.99. Until it's registered, on average one cappuccino out of three will have a mild aftertaste of sewage.

Windows, "money and deviousness are my gods" version

EasyCappuccinoFree is COMPLETELY FREE!

It installs around ten pieces of software beteen trojans, spyware and adware, and you need an account on to use it (just $4 per month, with phone backgrounds and ringtones included).

Windows, "pro" version

MasterCappuccinoXP is the perfect solution to all your hot-beverage needs.

It is based on AJAX and .net, and it requires Windows XP SP2 and 1.2GB of hard drive space. The authenticity certification daemon is shared between all MasterSoftwareXP programs, but it has a few slight incompatibilities with Windows Explorer and Flower Garden.

Windows, "pro bucaneer" version

You download on eMule. You unzip, and you get MasterCappuccinoXPComplete.rar and a text file praising warez and soft drugs. You unrar, and you get CappuccinoMaster_FULL.ace and a psychedelic tetris. You unace (!), and you get seven files:







After some research, you discover it is a cd image of MASTERBURNER, a burning software with bundled snowboard that kiddies love. You obtain it (passing through a reversed sequence of .ace, .zip and .rar files) and you finally get your program.

Once installed, you discover that your system became terribly slow, and you use only two functions:

"File -> Perform -> Create -> Cappuccino"



But it's so professional that uninstalling it would feel bad.

Windows, "pro -- cheated by bucaneers" version

As before until CD burning, but it's the demo version. To get the registration code, you have to reach a warez site linked by a readme.txt, surf through thirty popups that can't be disabled and write to Rasmus Lino sending him five dollars.

GNU/Linux, "life is great" version

apt-get install cappuccino-prepare

The program does what you need, it is configured through a simple text file, it has a pleasant GUI integrated in the desktop environment, and a command line to satisfy your scripting needs.

GNU/Linux, "life seems great" version

As before, but after installing you find out that the program is made of three executables (milkboil, coffeeboil and liquidjoin) and a deamon (cappuccinod). To specify your cappuccino, there are two configuration files in xml and one in a scripting meta-language in vogue in the eighties. Executables have to be run in the right order after launching the deamon, not before convincing it not to use port 80 to interface with clients -- you have the weird requirement of letting Apache use that port.

GNU/Linux, "let's make life great" version

As before, but

apt-get install gnome-cappuccino

installs the graphic front-end. It interfaces with milkboil, coffeeboil and liquidjoin and launches cappuccinod when needed.

It works perfectly, but it needs the 0.07-license-to-kill version of cappuccino-maker: in your distro, they still have only the 0.05-trip-to-mars version.

GNU/Linux, "if you want it done, do it yourself" version

You download several hundreds megabytes of development tools, strange toolkits and weird libraries, then you try to compile the 0.07-license-to-kill version of cappuccino-prepare. You stop after a couple of hours, when you realize that it requires the bleeding edge SVN version of libpango, which requires the last version of the X server, running only with the latest drivers of your graphic card which require a custom patch to the -mm2 tree of the kernel...

GNU/Linux, "life is great but non-free" version

After installing a working version of cappuccino-prepare, you find out it only makes green tea.

To do cappuccino you have to download CappuccinoMaker.exe and use a binary tool that extracts parts of the code and creates, through a wrapper, a library that cappuccino-prepare can use to make cappuccino. Green tea is free, cappuccino is not; drink only green tea and complain with those who produce cappuccino but don't explain how they do.

GNU/Linux, "life is great but quarrelsome" version

There are five different forks of the original cappuccino-making program. Each of them has a different license, and different bugs and features. Three of the forks are included in your distro, two aren't but nobody dares to explain why -- it seems that everything is linked to a failed love story and a cheating episode. None of the forks looks more updated than the others, and when you ask which is the best one they start to flame each other and call you a nazi.

You took random parts of the code of each project and start to write YITBCM, YITBCM Is The Best Cappuccino Maker.

OS X, "life is great" version

Cloudy is an Aqua application loosely based on the cappuccino-prepare code. Download, drag to Applications and forget about it until you want a cappuccino. When you pronounce the word "cappuccino", it auto-starts and shows a dialog saying "You talked about cappuccino: would you like one?".

It includes an esoterically beautiful icon and you can tune the transparency of the cup.

OS X, "life is so and so" version

CappuccinoX is a brutal port of cappuccino-prepare. To compile this software and gnome-cappuccino, besides XCode you'll need a dozen development packages of the Fink project. The graphical front-end will work only after running the X server; you'll forget the wonders of the Aqua interface and you'll find buttons and menus of an indefinable gray and fonts with no antialiasing.

Having a Mac and using such a horror gets you disheartened.

OS X, "money is my god" version

iCapp shares 90% of the code of Cloudy, but for some reason you don't know about the latter.

iCapp works egregiously and it has an incredibly sleek interface, but it's shareware: only $29.99. Until it's registered, on average one cappuccino out of five will have a mild aftertaste of sewage and an ironical window will elegantly hint at your stinginess.

OS X, "money is my god... but what about bucaneering?" version

You look for an iCapp serial number on and you find a text file:

"My dear pirate, iCapp is used by thirty people in the whole world: fifteen are relatives of the author, the other fifteen make cappuccino as a job and they regularly paid for the software. Since the Apple Cinema Display on which you're reading this cost you around 2.299 bucks, what about shelling out 29.99 more and BUY THE BLOODY PROGRAM?"

The message goes on with an unintelligible delirium that can be synthetized as "I've got better stuff to do than cracking this stuff." The signature baffles you: "HACKAD00D".

Prey to guilt and dismay at the absurdity of the situation, you take your credit card and pay.

OS X, "Vintage" version

MacCapp is a great cappuccino program, but it babbles about carbonlib and extensions.

It works only with MacOS Classic: fortunately, you let it live besides OS X for this kind of situation.

Loading MacCapp requires three minutes of intense work, and at the end it looks like using Windows XP on a Sharp scientific calculator. On the other hand, it's a shareware: you can make ten cappuccinos with it. On the website, this wasn't explained because it's implicit that freely-downloadable software is shareware.

Google Cappuccino (Beta) makes cappuccinos on your browser. It only asks to know how many cappuccinos you make and when; if you wish, you can also offer them via gmail. Everything is misteriously free. Besides, cappuccinos are excellent: you feel there's something suspect about that, but you don't really know what it is...

Web Application, "life is great" version (2.0) (Beta) makes cappuccinos online. You don't need to login and it stores on the server up to fifty cappuccinos. You can get them anywhere you have Internet access.

If you want advanced functionalities, such as sharing cappuccinos with friends and Google Docs integration, you can login via OpenID (so you don't need another username and password).

It's free; if you pay, you can store any number of cappuccinos on the server instead of fifty.

The website has a mobile version and a free iPhone app.

Web Application, "your internet provider makes you cappuccinos" version

Make Cappuccino with Provider is your provider's FREE* web application that prepares you great cappuccinos!

You just need to login with the username you use to connect to Internet, adding "", the password you use to check your email (remember: not the one you use to connect to Internet!) and the odd digits of your social security number!

You can make ten cappuccinos per day and share it with all your friends that use YourProvidersProprietaryMessenger. It requires Macromedia Shockwave and Internet Explorer 6; remember to disable your antivirus program before using it. If it doesn't work, reload the webpage and login again. This time, use the even digits of your social security number instead of the odd ones.

*Make Cappuccino with Provider is a free service for registered users of Provider for the first two months. Afterwards, it will cost just $29.99 per month; to unsubscribe, send a letter (authenticated by a public officer to testify your identity) with return receipt to your provider, including details about the bank transfer of $130.00 for closure expenses.

Facebook, "Finally, the application adding a cappuccino button to your profile! It really works!" version

If you join this group and annoy at least thirty friends inviting them to join, tomorrow morning a south-american drug dealer will ring at your door and give you the instructions to activate the "Cappuccino" button in your Facebook chat!

The "Send A Cappuccino" button will appear near to each contact. And we'll give you cool zebras for the background of your profile!

Facebook, "Join if u like capuchino" version

It's a group. You like cappuccino. Whatever, you join. Wow, kewl.

Facebook, "Hey, your friend needs you for an aubergine cappuccino: click here to help him!" version

CappucciniWorld - Zynga is a Facebook application making cappuccinos of any shape and size. You can do normal coffee right away; for cappuccinos, you need at least ten friends using the application; for chocolate toppings you need at least fifty; to garnish with drawings you need a hundred friends.

Don't worry: there are groups and petitions clamoring drawings even for people with few friends. It's just a question of time: since there are so many people, the CappucciniWorld developers will be certainly persuaded. And, since you're there, while you're signing the petition please also protest against violence on Escherichia Coli in Papuasia and against the cruel people who mercilessly skin lemons.

Every time you make a cappuccino, it gets photographed and sent to all your friends and relatives; also, the more cappuccinos you offer, the more you can make every day, in an unmatched caffeinic escalation.

To make a cappuccino you have to click at least in ten places and confirm twelve times, making you reload the Facebook page at least four times to finally get to the flash page that actually creates cappuccinos. To see decently the animation of coffee blending with milk you need at least a quad-core processor.

iPhone, "take the risk" version

iCappuccino ($1.59) appears identical to "Cappuccini”, “iCappuccio”, “CappPhone” e “Stongah!” (all of them on the App Store); you don't understand why it costs $1.59 while all the others are between 79 cents and ten dollars. In the reviews, iCappuccini gets four stars from a user whose life got changed by the application; another user notes bitterly that instructions don't explain how to accelerate and brake in the bonus level. He curses Apple, Barack Obama and immigrants and threatens to come back to Nokia.

iPhone, "there's also the trial" version

iCappuccio ($0.79) makes cappuccinos exactly as iCappuccino does, but the LITE version is FREE!

Weird banners offer cheap viagra, and the icon is covered by a "FREE!!!" overlay.

Other icons in the home screen snub it and contemptuously move a square away to avoid being infected but, apart from this, it works.

Anyway, to avoid having class struggle in your iPhone main screen you shell out one dollar and buy the full version.

The day after and for the next six months, great offer: the application becomes free.

iPhone, "there had to be a letdown" version

Cappuccini (FREE!) makes a cappuccino. Once.

If you want more, you can buy them via in-app purchase.

But it uses the accelerometer and the compass to compute sun reflections on the foam, so it requires an iPhone 3GS.

Obviously you can't offer the cappuccinos you buy to anybody, but you can send people a photo of you drinking them. And post it on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, MobileMe and YouPorn (for the fetish-lovers).

iPhone, "crafty advertising" version

Stongah! (FREE!) makes cappuccinos. To get to the option screen, you have to pass through three advertisement screens for other applications of the same software house.

The first one promises the most naked and hardest girls of the whole App Store; the second one promises the hardest and hottest, the third one the hottest and most naked.

Intrigued, you buy the one with hottest and most naked. It's a slideshow of eighties' girls in bikini, with back-combed hair and huge pixels, and a weird German music. Ah, wunderbar!

jailbroken iPhone, "bucaneering has no limits" version

You download iCappuccino, cracked version. Or, as they say now, "cured".

At launch, a multi-color screen greets you: "cracked by gunman85". The bootloaders of cracked games for Amiga turn in their grave, grumbling about bad taste.

However, it works, even if sometimes it randomly hangs. Everytime you connect your iPhone to iTunes, you think you're hearing a threatening voice in the distance, and lights in your home go away for a fraction of a second. The first sunday of each month, the "Satan" contact appears in your contact list; yesterday morning you had to re-install everything because iTunes thought your iPhone was a first-generation iPod shuffle.

But you spared one dollar and a half, and you laugh hard at Steve Jobs and at people spending a lot of money in useless stuff. Like costly smartphones.

jailbroken iPhone, Cidya, "rebuilding your OS from scratch" version

Cappucciner makes cappuccinos. Optionally, you can add to your SMS messages an "also send a cappuccino" button. The app writes the number of prepared cappuccinos in your status bar. It can change the behavior of the "Home" button so that it makes a cappuccino instead of doing its normal job.

With separate packages, you can change the background to a cappuccino, make all icons cappuccino-like, change the system font with a cappuccino-ish font and you can make it generate a cappucciney gurgle during phone calls.

It's the perfect application.

Unfortunately, yesterday Apple released a new firmware version for your iPhone: you updated and re-installed Cappucciner, but now, when you try to make a cappuccino, the phone hangs whimpering.