Source

shlomi-fish-homepage / t2 / meta / FAQ / index.html.wml

   1
   2
   3
   4
   5
   6
   7
   8
   9
  10
  11
  12
  13
  14
  15
  16
  17
  18
  19
  20
  21
  22
  23
  24
  25
  26
  27
  28
  29
  30
  31
  32
  33
  34
  35
  36
  37
  38
  39
  40
  41
  42
  43
  44
  45
  46
  47
  48
  49
  50
  51
  52
  53
  54
  55
  56
  57
  58
  59
  60
  61
  62
  63
  64
  65
  66
  67
  68
  69
  70
  71
  72
  73
  74
  75
  76
  77
  78
  79
  80
  81
  82
  83
  84
  85
  86
  87
  88
  89
  90
  91
  92
  93
  94
  95
  96
  97
  98
  99
 100
 101
 102
 103
 104
 105
 106
 107
 108
 109
 110
 111
 112
 113
 114
 115
 116
 117
 118
 119
 120
 121
 122
 123
 124
 125
 126
 127
 128
 129
 130
 131
 132
 133
 134
 135
 136
 137
 138
 139
 140
 141
 142
 143
 144
 145
 146
 147
 148
 149
 150
 151
 152
 153
 154
 155
 156
 157
 158
 159
 160
 161
 162
 163
 164
 165
 166
 167
 168
 169
 170
 171
 172
 173
 174
 175
 176
 177
 178
 179
 180
 181
 182
 183
 184
 185
 186
 187
 188
 189
 190
 191
 192
 193
 194
 195
 196
 197
 198
 199
 200
 201
 202
 203
 204
 205
 206
 207
 208
 209
 210
 211
 212
 213
 214
 215
 216
 217
 218
 219
 220
 221
 222
 223
 224
 225
 226
 227
 228
 229
 230
 231
 232
 233
 234
 235
 236
 237
 238
 239
 240
 241
 242
 243
 244
 245
 246
 247
 248
 249
 250
 251
 252
 253
 254
 255
 256
 257
 258
 259
 260
 261
 262
 263
 264
 265
 266
 267
 268
 269
 270
 271
 272
 273
 274
 275
 276
 277
 278
 279
 280
 281
 282
 283
 284
 285
 286
 287
 288
 289
 290
 291
 292
 293
 294
 295
 296
 297
 298
 299
 300
 301
 302
 303
 304
 305
 306
 307
 308
 309
 310
 311
 312
 313
 314
 315
 316
 317
 318
 319
 320
 321
 322
 323
 324
 325
 326
 327
 328
 329
 330
 331
 332
 333
 334
 335
 336
 337
 338
 339
 340
 341
 342
 343
 344
 345
 346
 347
 348
 349
 350
 351
 352
 353
 354
 355
 356
 357
 358
 359
 360
 361
 362
 363
 364
 365
 366
 367
 368
 369
 370
 371
 372
 373
 374
 375
 376
 377
 378
 379
 380
 381
 382
 383
 384
 385
 386
 387
 388
 389
 390
 391
 392
 393
 394
 395
 396
 397
 398
 399
 400
 401
 402
 403
 404
 405
 406
 407
 408
 409
 410
 411
 412
 413
 414
 415
 416
 417
 418
 419
 420
 421
 422
 423
 424
 425
 426
 427
 428
 429
 430
 431
 432
 433
 434
 435
 436
 437
 438
 439
 440
 441
 442
 443
 444
 445
 446
 447
 448
 449
 450
 451
 452
 453
 454
 455
 456
 457
 458
 459
 460
 461
 462
 463
 464
 465
 466
 467
 468
 469
 470
 471
 472
 473
 474
 475
 476
 477
 478
 479
 480
 481
 482
 483
 484
 485
 486
 487
 488
 489
 490
 491
 492
 493
 494
 495
 496
 497
 498
 499
 500
 501
 502
 503
 504
 505
 506
 507
 508
 509
 510
 511
 512
 513
 514
 515
 516
 517
 518
 519
 520
 521
 522
 523
 524
 525
 526
 527
 528
 529
 530
 531
 532
 533
 534
 535
 536
 537
 538
 539
 540
 541
 542
 543
 544
 545
 546
 547
 548
 549
 550
 551
 552
 553
 554
 555
 556
 557
 558
 559
 560
 561
 562
 563
 564
 565
 566
 567
 568
 569
 570
 571
 572
 573
 574
 575
 576
 577
 578
 579
 580
 581
 582
 583
 584
 585
 586
 587
 588
 589
 590
 591
 592
 593
 594
 595
 596
 597
 598
 599
 600
 601
 602
 603
 604
 605
 606
 607
 608
 609
 610
 611
 612
 613
 614
 615
 616
 617
 618
 619
 620
 621
 622
 623
 624
 625
 626
 627
 628
 629
 630
 631
 632
 633
 634
 635
 636
 637
 638
 639
 640
 641
 642
 643
 644
 645
 646
 647
 648
 649
 650
 651
 652
 653
 654
 655
 656
 657
 658
 659
 660
 661
 662
 663
 664
 665
 666
 667
 668
 669
 670
 671
 672
 673
 674
 675
 676
 677
 678
 679
 680
 681
 682
 683
 684
 685
 686
 687
 688
 689
 690
 691
 692
 693
 694
 695
 696
 697
 698
 699
 700
 701
 702
 703
 704
 705
 706
 707
 708
 709
 710
 711
 712
 713
 714
 715
 716
 717
 718
 719
 720
 721
 722
 723
 724
 725
 726
 727
 728
 729
 730
 731
 732
 733
 734
 735
 736
 737
 738
 739
 740
 741
 742
 743
 744
 745
 746
 747
 748
 749
 750
 751
 752
 753
 754
 755
 756
 757
 758
 759
 760
 761
 762
 763
 764
 765
 766
 767
 768
 769
 770
 771
 772
 773
 774
 775
 776
 777
 778
 779
 780
 781
 782
 783
 784
 785
 786
 787
 788
 789
 790
 791
 792
 793
 794
 795
 796
 797
 798
 799
 800
 801
 802
 803
 804
 805
 806
 807
 808
 809
 810
 811
 812
 813
 814
 815
 816
 817
 818
 819
 820
 821
 822
 823
 824
 825
 826
 827
 828
 829
 830
 831
 832
 833
 834
 835
 836
 837
 838
 839
 840
 841
 842
 843
 844
 845
 846
 847
 848
 849
 850
 851
 852
 853
 854
 855
 856
 857
 858
 859
 860
 861
 862
 863
 864
 865
 866
 867
 868
 869
 870
 871
 872
 873
 874
 875
 876
 877
 878
 879
 880
 881
 882
 883
 884
 885
 886
 887
 888
 889
 890
 891
 892
 893
 894
 895
 896
 897
 898
 899
 900
 901
 902
 903
 904
 905
 906
 907
 908
 909
 910
 911
 912
 913
 914
 915
 916
 917
 918
 919
 920
 921
 922
 923
 924
 925
 926
 927
 928
 929
 930
 931
 932
 933
 934
 935
 936
 937
 938
 939
 940
 941
 942
 943
 944
 945
 946
 947
 948
 949
 950
 951
 952
 953
 954
 955
 956
 957
 958
 959
 960
 961
 962
 963
 964
 965
 966
 967
 968
 969
 970
 971
 972
 973
 974
 975
 976
 977
 978
 979
 980
 981
 982
 983
 984
 985
 986
 987
 988
 989
 990
 991
 992
 993
 994
 995
 996
 997
 998
 999
1000
1001
1002
1003
1004
1005
1006
1007
1008
1009
1010
1011
1012
1013
1014
1015
1016
1017
1018
1019
1020
1021
1022
1023
1024
1025
1026
1027
1028
1029
1030
1031
1032
1033
1034
1035
1036
1037
1038
1039
1040
1041
1042
1043
1044
1045
1046
1047
1048
1049
1050
1051
1052
1053
1054
1055
1056
1057
1058
1059
1060
1061
1062
1063
1064
1065
1066
1067
1068
1069
1070
1071
1072
1073
#include '../template.wml'

#include "toc_div.wml"
#include "cpan_dists.wml"

<latemp_subject "Shlomi Fish’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) List" />
<latemp_meta_desc "Shlomi Fish’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) List" />

<p>
This document is a list of questions and answers to common questions I have
been asked or have found myself answering or telling about. I don’t mind being
asked the same question more than once (even by the same person) because I
still enjoy answering it. (See also
<a href="http://wilwheaton.net/faq.php">what Wil Wheaton says about it at the
beginning of his FAQ</a>
</p>

<p>
But this document is here just in case, you have a question, or at least so
I can link to it.
</p>

<toc_div />

<h2 id="about">About Shlomi Fish and this Site</h2>

<h3 id="who_are_you">Who are you?</h3>

<p>
I am <a href="$(ROOT)/personal.html">Shlomi Fish</a>, a professional Israeli
software developer, and author of articles, essays, presentations, and funny
stories, aphorisms and bits. I have a Bachelor of Sciences (B.Sc.) from
the Technion in Electrical Engineering, but it would be a stretch to call
me an Electrical Engineer, at least with my current level of expertise in
the field. I’m actually more of a programmer and a specialised mathematician.
</p>

<p>
At the moment, I’m a computer geek (person who is enthusiastic about
computers), and a nerd (a person without a social life). I’m interested in
many other fields, including linguistics, history, writing, children and
non-children literature, and T.V. and movies.
</p>

<p>
I should note that I am only <b>one</b> person, and in fact am unaware of
any other “Shlomi Fish”’es or “shlomif”’s of significance (at least not
according to Internet searches).
</p>

<h3 id="guy_or_girl">Are you a Guy or a Girl?</h3>

<p>
I am very much a guy, despite what my first name’s suffix (the “i” of
“Shlom<b>i</b>”) may imply to English speakers. I am also heterosexual,
and while hating being a macho in real-life, and having some other somewhat
feminine qualities, do not think I’m a woman born in a man’s body. (Or a
lesbian born in a man’s body, for that matter.)
</p>

<p>
Many Israeli masculine names end with an “i”: Avi, Ari, Meni, Beni, Ori, Uri,
Udi, Eli, etc. An “i” suffix means “of me” or “mine” in Hebrew, or
“having the property-of” (like “-ful” in English). There are also
many Israeli Hebrew feminine names that end with “i”. One reason I’m using
“Shlomi” instead of “Shlomy” is because “Shlomy” might be pronounced to rhyme
with the word “my”.
</p>

<h3 id="your_name">What can you Say about your Name?</h3>

<p>
Well, “Shlomi” or “שלומי” in Hebrew (see its <a
href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shlomi_%28Hebrew_name%29">wikipedia
entry</a>) means “my Shalom” in Hebrew, or perhaps “Shalom-ful” or “the
Shalom of Jehuvah”. “Shalom” in Hebrew means “well-being”, “welfare”, “peace”,
“harmony”, etc. and is derived from
<a href="http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:Proto-Semitic/%C5%A1al%C4%81m-">proto-Semitic
origins</a>. See also <a href="http://shlomif.livejournal.com/42172.html">what
I wrote about it on my blog</a> (and some of the comments I received).
</p>

<p>
Now, most Israelis pronounce this name with the stress on the “lo”. I, however
prefer it to be pronounced with the stress on the “mi”, albeit I also answer
to people who pronounce it the other way around. My version is the correct
Biblical pronunciation. You can hear me pronounce it in
<b>Hebrew</b>
(<a href="sounds/How-I-pronounce-Shlomi-Fish-Hebrew.ogg">Ogg</a>,
<a href="sounds/How-I-pronounce-Shlomi-Fish-Hebrew.mp3">mp3</a>)
and in <b>English</b>
(<a href="sounds/How-I-pronounce-Shlomi-Fish-English.ogg">Ogg</a>,
<a href="sounds/How-I-pronounce-Shlomi-Fish-English.mp3">mp3</a>).
</p>

<p>
Please spell the name as starting with “Sh”, similar to the common spelling
in English — not with “Sch” (the German spelling).
</p>

<p>
My last name - Fish - naturally means
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fish">the aquatic creatures</a> in
English or (with a different spelling) in German. It was the last name of my
late grandfather who was a Polish-born Jew, and I’m still carrying it.
</p>

<p>
“Fish” is an uncommon name in Israel, but there are also some variations
such as “Fisher”, “Fishman”, “Fischer”, “Fishlov”, “Fishelson”, etc.
</p>

<h4 id="is_shlomi_fish_your_real_name">Is Shlomi Fish Your Real Name?</h4>

<p>
Despite what the name may imply to non-Israeli people, Shlomi Fish is my
real, and legal, name. See <a href="#your_name">the question above</a>
for more information about its etymology.
</p>

<h3 id="shlomifish_org_domain">Why did you get the
www.shlomifish.org domain?</h3>

<p>
Well, I originally set up my home-site on shlomif.il.eu.org, which is a free
DNS service, but it had a lot of DNS problems. Thus, I set up
<a href="http://www.shlomifish.org/">http://www.shlomifish.org/</a>. I didn’t
take shlomifish.org.il because .il domains used to cost a lot of money, and
also required co-ordination by a fax message (how low-tech) upon every
change. I also didn’t want a .com domain because I feel I’m a private individual
rather than a company.
</p>

<p>
http://shlomifish.org/ used to be a parked hostname of my DNS registrar, but
now I redirected it to a different site, which just contains a link to
the appropriate page on www.shlomifish.org. I’m not making it an alias
so the links and page rank won’t be fragmented.
</p>

<h3 id="website_in_english">Why is this website in English? Why not
Hebrew?</h3>

<p>
For several reasons:
</p>

<ol>
<li>
There are many more English speakers (either as their mother tongue or as
a secondary language) than Hebrew speakers. So I’m reaching a bigger target
audience by writing in English.
</li>
<li>
Most native Hebrew speakers (i.e: Israelis) can read English well enough to
understand my English writing. So most of the target audience for writing stuff
in Hebrew will benefit from it very little.
</li>
<li>
I find it more comfortable and faster to type in English and express myself in
writing using English for most types of writing (some
<a href="$(ROOT)/humour/">stories I’m writing</a> being an exception).
</li>
<li>
I often use a lot of tech jargon or slang, which is more difficult to
translate to Hebrew.
</li>
</ol>

<p>
That put aside, if you wish to translate a piece I wrote to any other
language (including Hebrew), feel free to do so. I contributed some
Hebrew translations to some English articles that other people originated,
and also translated some things I wrote in Hebrew to English.
</p>

<p>
Note that <b>I’m using Commonwealth English</b> on this site. Partly because
I think that’s what Israelis are supposed to use, partly because I have been
somewhat British-oriented, and partly because it feels nicer to use an
uncommon spelling. I am still using US English spelling for source
code and for technical documents, though.
</p>

<p>
My thoughts are that both the British spelling and the American spelling (and
their common subset), are inconsistent and confusing, but I have to make
a choice of some sort.
</p>

<h3 id="nicknames">How else are you known?</h3>

<p>
I’m also known as “shlomif” or on the IRC as “rindolf”.
</p>

<h4 id="origin_of_rindolf">What is the origin of your “rindolf” IRC nickname?</h4>

<p>
For more information about the name "rindolf", see
<a href="$(ROOT)/me/rindolf/">the dedicated page about my Rindolf nickname</a>.
</p>

<p>
Rindolf “Woman-hands” [Forgot the last name] was a Dwarven warrior I
played on a series of
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Editions_of_Dungeons_%26_Dragons#Advanced_Dungeons_.26_Dragons_2nd_edition">AD&amp;D 2nd edition</a> sessions,
and one of my favourite tabletop Role Playing Games characters of at all times.
I probably picked up the name by analogy with such Germanic-originated names
as <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randolph_%28given_name%29">Randolph</a>
or <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudolph_%28name%29">Rudolph</a>.
I'm not sure if "Rin" or "Rind" means anything in Germanic languages, but it
has a nice ring.
</p>

<p>
The first IRC nickname I used was “dori” after one of the dwarves in
Tolkien’s <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hobbit">the Hobbit</a>,
and later on decided it was a common name, so I switched to “gloin”, the name
of a different dwarf. Then I wanted something more original, so I picked up
“rindolf” and the name stuck.
</p>

<p>
If I had been able to change it again, I would have picked “shlomif” for my IRC
career, because it is my handle almost everywhere else, but now everyone
on IRC know me as “rindolf” so I feel it's too late (not to mention that,
in my impression, it is common and accepted to use a pseudonym on IRC, to
show some creativity).
</p>

<p>
The running joke we have on IRC, is that Rindolf is the evil twin brother
of Santa Claus’s goody-two-shoes reindeer, Rudolph and Randolph, who are
among his arch-enemies. Rindolf is also one of the cornerstones of the
Evil Reindeer Evil World Domination Evil Conspiracy, with the evil aim to the
spread the Reindeer Evil all over the world. You can find some of the
manifestations of this joke in
<a href="$(ROOT)/humour/fortunes/">the IRC conversations quoted on my fortune
cookies</a>.
</p>

<h3 id="refer_or_address">How should I address you or refer to you?</h3>

<p>
When writing a letter to me you can start it with
“Hi Shlomi!”, “Dear Shlomi,”, “Hello Shlomi,” etc. or with “Hi Mr. Fish”,
“Dear Mr. Fish”, etc. Not “Hello Fish” please... I hate when people call
me “Fish” to my face, albeit “Mr. Fish” is OK.
</p>

<p>
Some letters begin with “Shlomi,” in a separate paragraph. I personally
feel that the person is always trying to preach to me in this case, but
I was told it is not considered bad form in English-speaking countries,
so it may just be a culture gap.
</p>

<p>
If you wish to refer to me in third person, you should start with
“Shlomi Fish” and continue with “Shlomi”, “Fish”, “Mr. Fish”, etc.
Alternatively you can start with “Shlomif” or “shlomif”, which are my
common Internet handles which I use everywhere I can. I also seem to be
virtually
<a href="https://duckduckgo.com/?q=shlomif">the
only “shlomif” on the Internet</a>.
</p>

<p>
On the IRC, I generally use <a href="#origin_of_rindolf">the nickname “<tt>rindolf</tt></a>.
</p>

<h3 id="spent_on_the_site">How much Time Do you Spend on this Site?</h3>

<p>
A lot. I spent several hundreds of hours on the site, possibly several
thousands. While the pages of this site were originally just a collection of
hand-maintained HTML pages, they were then converted to use
<a href="http://thewml.org/">Website Meta Language</a>, and converted to have a
common look and feel, a style that’s hopefully semantic, converted to use
<a href="http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/">valid XHTML markup</a>
(XHTML 1.1 for the while); some navigation aids were added, etc.
</p>

<p>
All of the source code for the site is available online in various places. I’ve
prepared <a href="$(ROOT)/meta/site-source/">a top-to-bottom
document</a> on how to compile the site from
scratch). Some of the hand-crafted code was released as
<a href="http://web-cpan.shlomifish.org/latemp/">the Latemp Content Management
System</a> or various <a href="<shlomif_cpan />">assisting
CPAN modules</a> under an open-source license.
</p>

<p>
I am still working on the site, both by adding new content and attractions,
by revising or correcting existing ones, by making it more usable, or by
trying to publicise new attractions in various online resources.
</p>

<h3 id="site_history">What can you tell me about this site’s history?</h3>

<p>
Well, a journey of a thousand miles begins with one small step and continues
with many subsequent small steps.
</p>

<p>
My homesite started from a small number of static HTML pages kept on the
server of my workplace back then (Smart Link - smlink.com). It had the
address http://www.smlink.com/~shlomif/, now inactive,
where shlomif was my username on ibm.net back then (which ended up becoming
my general unofficial ID). We hosted the server behind our Point-to-Point
connection (not such a smart idea retrospectively) and we had to create the
alias in IIS specifically for me to put stuff there.
</p>

<p>
I recall that I had <a href="$(ROOT)/humour.html">the Humour collection</a>
with a few jokes I originated, as well as
<a href="http://www.shlomifish.org/toggle.html">the report about the
algorithmic solution to the Toggle Squares
puzzle</a> I sent to its originator (with whom I was corresponding at
the time). And it also had a rudimentary pageful of links, and a bio.
</p>

<p>
When I became a student in the Technion, I moved my site to its undergraduate
server at the address http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/ . There I added more
and more resources to the site. I had a limited quota there, and when I got
an account on “vipe”, a server managed by the students, I hosted part of
my home site there as well, as http://vipe.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/ . The
two parts of the site had cross-links to one another.
</p>

<p>
Eventually, I was about to graduate and so moved the t2.technion.ac.il part
of my homesite, first to shlomif.il.eu.org (a free hostname, which ended up
causing too many DNS problems), and then to www.shlomifish.org which is
where it residing now. In the process, I converted all of the main pages to
use <a href="http://thewml.org/">Website Meta Language</a> and what would
eventually become <a href="http://web-cpan.shlomifish.org/latemp/">Latemp</a>.
This has enabled the site to have a common look and feel, a nice CSS
stylesheet, a navigation menu and other navigation aids and other nice
features.
</p>

<p>
Eventually I realised that the vipe server has too much down time (due
to problems at the Technion’s network) and moved all of its content over
to the www.shlomifish.org domain.
</p>

<p>
Throughout all this time, many resources were added to the homesite: software,
essays, stories, artwork, presentations, puzzles, and more information about
myself. I also now maintain a large number of
<a href="$(ROOT)/me/blogs/">blogs</a> and sites for my projects, as well as
sites I volunteered to maintain. I really like the way the web allows me to
express myself, and to communicate using text, hypertext, and other types of
media.
</p>

<p>
In case you’re interested in setting up a personal web site of your own, I
wrote
<a href="$(ROOT)/philosophy/computers/web/create-a-great-personal-homesite/">an
article about it</a>, which you can read.
</p>

<h3 id="idf_service">Did you serve in the Israeli Military (the IDF)?</h3>

<p>
No, I did not. I’m exempt from service, due to the various
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinical_depression">depressions</a>
I got into during High School. Please don’t accuse me of being a “Mishtamet”
(“משתמט”), who is a person who purposely avoided a military service, while
being fully capable of it. That’s not the case for me, as back in the time,
I wanted to join the army.
</p>

<p>
That put aside, I
<a href="http://groups.yahoo.com/group/philosophy-il/message/25">oppose the
draft</a> in Israel or wherever.
</p>

<h3 id="favourite_music">What kind of Music do you like Listening to?</h3>

<p>
I mostly listen to Rock and Pop, but have some favourite songs of many genres
including Dance, Rap/Hip Hop, Soft Music, Classical Music (especially
Crossover Classic, which I find very fun), Instrumental Music, Country, Rhythm
and Blues and Soul, Ethnic Rock, etc.
</p>

<p>
My favourite Israeli artist is
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yehuda_Poliker">Yehuda Poliker</a>,
and my favourite International artist are
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beatles">the Beatles</a>. My
favourite Israeli song is “Shlal Sharav” (or “Heat Booty” in English); it is
sang by Gidi Gov, but it was composed by Poliker with words written by Meir
Ariel. My favourite song in English is “You Gotta Be” by
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Des'ree">Des’ree</a>.
</p>

<h3 id="should_i_email">May I email you about X?</h3>

<p>
While the amount of emails that I receive is not overwhelming (yet), I still
find that people are sending me a lot of annoying emails. Here are a few
ground rules for when <b>not to</b> send me emails:
</p>

<ul>

<li id="reply_to_list">

<p>
If the email to which you are replying was sent by me to a mailing list,
<b>please reply to the list</b>. I loath such emails sent in private to mailing
list posts. They tend to be preachy, annoying, and worthless.
</p>

<p>
One person, who sent me a lot of emails like that, and whom I talked to about
it on IM and told him how I felt, claimed that he sent such emails when what
he had to say was not well-thought enough. Well, my reply now is that if you
want to send me a non-well-thought email - don’t. Please respect me enough
to make sure it is a mature idea or else don’t send it at all.
</p>

<p>
Feel free to criticise me in public, as long as you do it with decency,
respect, and while avoiding common logical fallacies.
</p>

<p>
If you do want to send me a private E-mail to a mailing list post, please
explicitly say that the E-mail is sent in private, and detail the reason for
it. Else, I am likely to throw away your E-mail.
</p>

</li>

<li>
<p>
Please don’t send me a <b>“Can you teach me how to become a hacker?”</b>
emails. See my
<a href="$(ROOT)/philosophy/computers/open-source/how-to-start-contributing/">How
Can I Start Contributing to Free and Open Source Software (FOSS)</a> essay
instead. If you’re living in Tel Aviv and vicinity and are
willing to pay for me giving you private lessons, then this is an option.
</p>
</li>

<li>
<p>
Please don’t send me emails, trying to interest me in contributing to an
open-source project <b>for free</b>, a pro-bono commission, or anything else
that doesn’t involve payment. I follow my own interests and
<a href="http://shlomif.livejournal.com/39551.html?thread=32127#t32127">don’t
work for free</a>.
</p>
<p>
If you have an online or offline publication, and can pay me for the trouble
of writing an article, then feel free to inform me about it. Other possible
commissions such as book reviews are also appropriate.
</p>
</li>

<li>
<p>
Please don’t send me emails with <b>technical questions</b> about open source
projects. These better belong in an IRC channel, in your local Linux User
Group mailing list or web forum, in the local Perl mongers mailing list, and
so forth. An exception may be projects that I personally created or maintain.
</p>
</li>
</ul>

<h3 id="diet">What can you tell about your diet?</h3>

<p>
I don’t drink alcoholic beverages, don’t consume caffeinated beverages, don’t
smoke, don’t do drugs. I find that
this way I’m less tired, more energetic, and less moody. I don’t need such
negative bio-physical aphrodisiacs to be happy, and neither do you.
</p>

<p>
Most of the people I talk with on the IRC who consume caffeine have become
dependent on it and cannot function without their
morning/mid-morning/midday/etc. coffee. On the other hand, I’m energetic
from the time I wake up until I go to sleep. As for alcohol, it has negative
short-term and long-term effects. And I also don’t want to become drunk
because it will cause me to lose control of myself, and do silly things and
say silly stuff.
</p>

<p>
I have never smoked or taken drugs, and never intend to do so. People with a
drug dependency reduce their happiness and self-esteem like this, and damage
their health.
</p>

<p>
All that put aside, I still believe
<a href="$(ROOT)/philosophy/politics/drug-legalisation/">all these substances
should be legal</a>, and should not be regulated in any way.
</p>

<h3 id="mental_illness">Do you have any mental illnesses?</h3>

<p>
As a matter of fact, I do. I used to get into
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinical_depression">Clinical
depressions</a>,
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinical_depression#Anxiety">anxieties</a>
and
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinical_depression#Hypomania">Hypomanias</a>
and even a few <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mania">Manias</a>. The
presence of the latter may indicate I have
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bipolar_disorder">Bipolar Disorder</a>
(or “Mania-Depressia”).
</p>

<p>
I’m no longer getting into depressions or anxieties, which is good because
when I’m in them, I feel that I am a bad person, think the whole world is bad
and cannot concentrate on doing anything. I’m still getting some hypomanias, in
which I feel quite elevated, while in fact knowing that I feel bad, and where I
can still function, and still know that I’m a good person. Most of the time, I
am OK.
</p>

<p>
Note that the opinions I express and what I say are not a consequence of my
mental status, but rather of the
<a href="$(ROOT)/philosophy/books-recommends/">many
philosophical influences</a>, I’ve been exposed to, which I feel made my
thinking process straighter and more logical. Some people take many common
“truisms” for granted, but I can demonstrate they are wrong.
</p>

<p>
Here are a few jokes about it:
</p>

<blockquote>

<p>
Shlomi Fish once defined himself as a “Programmer, Writer, Amateur
Mathematician, Wannabe Philosopher, and someone who studied in the Technion in
the vain hope of becoming an Electrical Engineer”. He does not consider himself
a sane person, but is quite certain that only makes him more interesting.
</p>

</blockquote>

<p>
And:
</p>

<pre>
  &lt;tyler-&gt;  rindolf: you are seriously the craziest fucker I know
  &lt;tyler-&gt;  and I know some crazy ass people
  &lt;mofino&gt;  haha
 &lt;rindolf&gt;  tyler-: I am crazy. And proud of it.
  &lt;tyler-&gt;  rindolf: you should be
  &lt;mofino&gt;  haha
  &lt;mofino&gt;  Ahh man
 &lt;rindolf&gt;  tyler-: being crazy is hard work. I worked all my life to be
            crazy.
  &lt;mofino&gt;  Normal people aren’t fun.
 &lt;rindolf&gt;  tyler-: “Craziness is not an action. It’s a process.”
  &lt;mofino&gt;  heh
  &lt;tyler-&gt;  rindolf: I see
 &lt;rindolf&gt;  You need to tend to your insanity.
 &lt;rindolf&gt;  tyler-: do you want to be crazy?
  &lt;tyler-&gt;  rindolf: that’s why I feed my leprechaun at least once a
            day.
 &lt;rindolf&gt;  tyler-: I can teach you everything I know.
</pre>

<p>
(and “Ask not what your insanity can do for you - ask what you can do for
your insanity.”)
</p>

<p>
My opinions are subject to change - they have changed in the past, and it’s
likely they will change again. Furthermore, reality is dynamic, and
Ethics, philosophy and opinions change with time, as technology, culture
and education progresses.
</p>

<h3 id="irc_part_message">What is the origin of your IRC part
message (“Yay! I’m a Llama again!”)?</h3>

<p>
It’s a quote from the Disney Animated film
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Emperor's_New_Groove"><i>The
Emperor’s New Groove</i></a>, which is otherwise highly recommended. Here is
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5GjhMMPM00">the clip on YouTube</a>.
</p>

<h3 id="obscure_email_addr">Why don’t you obscure/hide your email address?
People can spam you.</h3>

<p>
First of all, in this day and age, it’s unlikely that the spammers <b>will
not find</b> my email address. That’s because they also install a lot of
malware on vulnerable computers to harvest email addresses from. Since I can’t
refrain from sending email to Windows users, and would rather not, I can never
prevent spam entirely.
</p>

<p>
I deal with spam by filtering it on the client side. I’m using
<a href="$(ROOT)/open-source/favourite/#spamassassin">SpamAssassin</a>
to filter my email and so far it’s doing a very good job. Some spam still
arrives at my inbox, but otherwise very little. There are
<a href="http://freecode.com/articles/view/964/">several other open-source
spam filters</a> (and some non-open-source solutions), which you may wish
to look at. <a href="http://gmail.com/">GMail</a> and other webmail
services also do a good job in filtering spam (regardless of
<a href="http://shlomif.livejournal.com/46955.html">their other faults</a>).
</p>

<p>
All of that put aside, I think that having a convenient “mailto:” link
is recommended because people don’t need to go through inconvenient
hoops to send you an email. I love receiving (good) email about my site,
and I’d rather not throw the baby along with the water, just because spammers
may have an easier time harvesting my already public email address.
</p>

<p>
For more information, see
<a href="http://discuss.joelonsoftware.com/default.asp?joel.3.717364.8">my
post to the “Joel on Software” forum</a> about
“Email at the bottom of every page”.
</p>

<h3 id="xhtml_11">Why are you using XHTML 1.1 for many pages on your site
while serving them as “text/html”?</h3>

<p>
I feel that validating against an XHTML schema makes my code cleaner and less
buggy, because I need to have closing tags, as well as use a trailing “/” for
standalone tags, etc. I also find the additional XHTML 1.1 restrictions
to be a good idea.
</p>

<p>
Therefore I decided to make XHTML 1.1 the default doctype for the pages
on my site. The reason I’m serving them as <tt>text/html</tt> is because
<a href="$(ROOT)/no-ie/">Microsoft Internet Explorer</a> does not handle
<tt>application/xml+xhtml</tt> properly, and I’d rather not needlessly
discriminate against people who still use it (possibly against their
will).
</p>

<p>
I realise that it stands against the XHTML standard, but I’m not a standards
purist, and want to be a bit pragmatic in still supporting Explorer.
Note that some pages in the <a href="$(ROOT)/MathVentures/">Math-Ventures
section</a> end with the <tt>.xhtml</tt> suffix and are served as XHTML
because they contain <a href="http://www.w3.org/Math/">MathML</a>.
</p>

<h3 id="evilphish-emblem">What can you tell about the Fish Emblem on the top-left corner?</h3>

<p>
This is <a href="http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=20030803">EvilPHish</a>
from
<a href="http://userfriendly.org/">the comics’ strip UserFriendly.org by
Iliad</a>. I was a big fan of UserFriendly.org when EvilPHish was featured
there, and it was so me, so I decided to make it my emblem. After downloading
the big version of the comic, and tempering with it a little with
<a href="http://www.gimp.org/">GIMP (= the GNU Image Manipulation
Program)</a>, I was able to produce a transparent PNG file that I could use.
</p>

<p>
After a while, I realised that most people recognised this emblem and
associated it with me (in part because my last name is Fish) and decided
to standardise on it everywhere, and so I did. Note that the image is still
copyrighted by Mr. Iliad, but I hope its use is OK.
</p>

<p>
As a child and a teenager, I’ve been a bit frustrated by my last
name being Fish, and was often teased for it. But I feel OK about it now,
and it’s good that people can associate my last name with something
they are familiar with, and with a memorable emblem such as EvilPHish.
</p>

<h3 id="computers-specs">What are your Computers’ Specifications?</h3>

<p>
My primary machine is a desktop machine with a:
</p>

<ul>

<li>
An Intel Core i3 CPU (x86-64).
</li>

<li>
8 GB of RAM.
</li>

<li>
Intel Corporation Sandy Bridge Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 09)
</li>

<li>
A 2 TB hard-disk.
</li>

<li>
A 21״ Wide LCD Screen by LG.
</li>

<li>
Intel Corporation Cougar Point High Definition Audio Controller.
</li>

<li>
Intel Corporation 82579V Gigabit Network Connection.
</li>

</ul>

<p>
I’m running <a href="http://www.mageia.org/">Mageia Linux</a> on it. This
desktop computer replaced my older computer which was a:
</p>

<ul>

<li>
Pentium 4, 2.4 GHz CPU.
</li>

<li>
2.5 GB of RAM.
</li>

<li>
An ATI Radeon HD 2600 card.
</li>

<li>
One 160 GB Hard-disk and two smaller ones of 80 GB or so.
</li>

<li>
A 19״ LCD Screen by ViewSonic.
</li>

<li>
A standard built-in AC’97 sound-card.
</li>
</ul>

<p>
I’m using mostly
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_and_open_source_software">Free
and Open Source Software</a> (FOSS) on it, and try not to depend on
non-FOSS software. I explained
<a href="http://shlomif-tech.livejournal.com/65226.html">the reason
I no longer trust non-FOSS software</a> on my technical weblog.
</p>

<p>
I also have an Acer Aspire 5738DZG laptop with the following specs:
</p>

<ul>

<li>
Intel Pentium(R) Dual-Core CPU       T4300  @ 2.10GHz. (x86-64).
</li>

<li>
ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 4570 (r700)
</li>

<li>
15.6״ 3D HD LCD Screen.
</li>

<li>
3 GB Memory
</li>

<li>
320 GB Hard Disk Drive.
</li>

<li>
“DVD Super Multi DL drive”
</li>

<li>
Acer Nplify™ 802.11b/g/n.
</li>

</ul>

<p>
This dual-boots between Windows 7 Home something and Mageia Linux
(which is what I’m using most of the time.).
</p>

<h3 id="programming_languages">Which Programming Language did you start with? Which programming languages do you know now?</h3>

<p>
When I was in the 4th grade (back around 1987), my father bought my family
a PC XT machine, with 640 KB of memory, and a colour
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_Graphics_Adapter">CGA</a>
screen. Using this, my
friends and I started learning how to program, first using the
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BASIC">BASIC</a>
interpreter that was installed on the BIOS and was invoked if you didn’t put a
diskette inside, and then using some of the BASIC variants that ran on DOS such
as BASIC.COM,
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GW-BASIC">GWBASIC</a> and
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_BASICA">BASICA</a>. So for better
or for worse, BASIC was my first language.
</p>

<p>
I’ve neglected programming for a long while and just played games on the
computer, and possibly did some work on it. However, I returned to programming
when I was in the 9th grade, this time on a 386 SX with
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QBasic">QBasic</a> which came with
some later versions of DOS, and later on with
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turbo_C%2B%2B">Borland Turbo C++</a>
3.0 (which sported a much more primitive variant of C++ compared to today’s
flavours). Despite knowing C and C/C++, I still found QBasic of use, due to
my ability to rapidly develop code in it (what Larry Wall later called
“whipuptitude” in some of his talks.). I also may have dabbled with Excel’s
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_Basic_for_Applications">Visual
Basic for Applications (VBA)</a> before I graduated from high school, and
during my 10th grade, I learned some Pascal using Microsoft QuickPascal on
DOS.
</p>

<p>
After I graduated from high school, I worked at three firms. In some of them
I've done C or C++ development on Windows, but I also studied some
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SQL">SQL</a>, and
became familiar with some
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unix">UNIX</a> flavours
and with <a href="http://perl-begin.org/">Perl 5</a> and the UNIX shells. UNIX
has been an epiphany for me: until then I used DOS and Windows, and considered
them bad, but did not know what a good system is. UNIX was the first genuinely
good system that I have encountered. I also fell in love with Perl, and it
became my favourite language.
</p>

<p>
By the time I started studying the Technion, I had a relatively early
distribution of
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux">Linux</a> installed on my
computer, and started playing with various languages available there.
</p>

<p>
You can find a list of languages that I currently know on
<a href="$(ROOT)/SFresume.html">my résumé</a>.
</p>

<h3 id="homesite_or_blog">Is www.shlomifish.org a blog?</h3>

<p>
The short answer is that www.shlomifish.org is a good, old-fashioned,
Web 1.0-style home site - not a weblog/blog/online journal. Despite all that,
my web site is fairly modern in its client-side technology and its
look-and-feel should be usable and attractive enough. I have
<a href="$(ROOT)/me/blogs/">several blogs</a> and am not opposed to the
concept, but a classic web site has many advantages. For more information,
see:
</p>

<ul>

<li>

<p>
<a href="$(ROOT)/philosophy/computers/web/create-a-great-personal-homesite/rev2.html">“Create a Great Personal Home Site”</a>
</p>

</li>

<li>

<p>
<a href="$(ROOT)/philosophy/computers/web/homepage-vs-blog/">“Homepage vs. Blog”</a>
</p>

</li>

</ul>

<h3 id="revealing_incriminating_details">Why are you revealing incriminating
details
about yourself? This makes you look bad for potential employers?</h3>

<p>
A few people told me that I shouldn't mention the fact that I have been exempt
from military service or that I used to get into clinical depressions and
still get into hypomanias, because other people may think less of me. My
response is that these are real and <b>honest</b> details about myself, that
I would rather not keep to myself given the context, and the fact that I had
to mention them many times.
</p>

<p>
While some employers may look down on me for mentioning that, I’d rather work
for employers who appreciate honesty, sincerity, and openness, and eventually
realise that keeping non personal details to yourself is a sure recipe to
lose your mind.
</p>

<p>
For more information, see:
</p>

<ol>

<li>
<p>
<a href="http://unarmed.shlomifish.org/2615.html">“‘Publish or Perish’ →
‘Life or Death’”</a> - blog post.
</p>
</li>

<li>
<p>
<a href="$(ROOT)/philosophy/philosophy/putting-all-cards-on-the-table-2013/#honesty">“Honesty” section</a> - from “Putting all the Cards on the Table (2013)”
</p>
</li>
</ol>

<p>
I believe that honesty is the best policy, and trying to be who you are not,
or keep important details about you not in the open will end up working against
you, and cause you a lot of aggravations.
</p>

<h3 id="how_did_you_learn_english">How did you learn English?</h3>

<p>
Well, I am Israeli-born, but my parents moved to the United States when
I was one years old until I was five years old (first to
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dallas">Dallas, Texas</a>,
and then to
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockville,_Maryland">Rockville,
Maryland</a>, where I spoke English with the fellow children. However, after
I returned to Israel at the age of five, the children there ridiculed me
for my English, and, as a result, I did not want to speak it, and so forgot
most about it, and just spoke Hebrew (which is my mother language).
</p>

<p>
After that, I had to regain English much more painfully as I learned it
at school, and from other sources such as
<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adventure_game">computerised Adventure
games</a>, books, films, Television shows, and the Internet. Shortly after
high school, I felt that my English has dramatically improved. Nonetheless,
looking back at my English text from a few years back, I cringe at how bad
it was, and am still being told that some of my writing is non-idiomatic by some
native speakers.
</p>

<h2 id="foss">About Free and Open Source Software (FOSS)</h2>

<h3 id="how_to_become_hacker">How can I become an open-source contributor?</h3>

<p>
See
<a href="$(ROOT)/philosophy/computers/open-source/how-to-start-contributing/">what I wrote</a> about it on my homepage. I’m giving instructions there.
You may also wish to read my
<a href="$(ROOT)/philosophy/philosophy/advice-for-the-young/">“Advice
for the Young”</a> essay.
</p>

<h2 id="political_correctness">Political Correctness (or Lack of it)</h2>

<h3 id="pc_rating">What is the Approximate Maturity Rating of this Site?</h3>

<p>
Most of it should be either U (Universal) or PG-Something (Parent Guidance).
I’m not a blatantly pornographic person.
</p>

<h3 id="pc_girl">Why are you using the terms “girl”, “chick”, etc.?</h3>

<p>
I’m using the term “girl” for lack of a better term for “a female guy”. I was
told that some feminazis consider it derogatory, but until a better word
emerges, that’s what I’m going to use. (And I don’t find it particularly
derogatory).
</p>

<h3 id="pc_nazi">Why are you using the term “nazi” to refer to people
who are “needlessly strict”?</h3>

<p>
Because it is an acceptable use for such a word. You can find the
fallout from one of my uses of it
<a href="http://linmagazine.co.il/node/view/9351">on
this linmagazine.co.il page (in Hebrew)</a>
(“And what does it have to do with anything? Did Hitler use Linux?”). I
didn’t stop using the word “nazi” afterwards, and also see
<a href="http://shlomif.livejournal.com/53966.html">the post
“The Grammar Nazis Conspiracy”</a> on my personal/philosophical blog.
</p>

<p>
Many people treat the Nazis/Hitler/Holocaust/World War II issue
with too much “holiness”.
</p>

<h4 id="pc_nazi_writings">Why do you mention Hitler, Nazis, etc. in some of
Your Writings?</h4>

<p>
I found it suitable to use it for them, so I did. For the record, my
grandfather lost most of his family during the Holocaust, and so I cannot
be accused of misusing such facts. Steven Spielberg whose parents
are Jewish Holocaust survivors, also featured the Nazis or Hitler in many
films (notably the Indiana Jones trilogy), so if a fire has caught the
Firs…
</p>

<h3 id="pc_porn">What do you think about Porn?</h3>

<p>
Every person has an inalienable right to expose his or her body in private,
and to allow people to photograph it, paint it, describe it, etc. Sexual
activity is also similarly acceptable. Claiming that porn should be illegal
or illegitimate undermines both the right of free speech, and the right of
a man or a woman to their body.
</p>

<p>
Furthermore, the artwork that a person decides to enjoy in his free time, is of
no concern to the Peace and Justice in a Liberal country, and should not be
enforced. Only when a person is influenced from such artwork in his everyday
actions, then he may be prosecuted.
</p>

<p>
Nevertheless, I find most porn disgusting and disturbing, but still think
one should be allowed to produce it, distribute it, and experience it. Some
of the greatest artists in history produced pornographic or erotic artworks.
</p>

<h4 id="pc_porn_links">Are there any Links to Porn on your Site?</h4>

<p>
There may be some links to soft porn, etc. Or to individual pornographic
pages that illustrate a certain point.
</p>