I won’t lie, my first impression was that this was going to be about how Twitter has treated their developer community / api access.
Ugh, the per-product user cap killed all the actually good clients, then the ever-stricter rate limit made it impossibly frustrating to use the mediocre ones. Why can’t they just turn the API off altogether instead of treating everybody like that?
If they finally kill Tweetbot I’ll remove my twitter account. The native web UI is not tolerable in comparison.
Right on the money! I am pretty certain that the main reason developer productivity on cloud software at Google is so high is because we have an entire division dedicated to it. With well over 10,000 (probably closer to twice that by now) total engineers it really has a massive impact to have a few thousand of them focused on tooling and infrastructure.
I am always … “amazed” isn’t quite the right word; maybe “bemused”? by people’s willful misunderstanding of the Hundred Flowers Campaign. Of course, technologists ignoring history is sort of the point these days, I guess, and it’s not like the details of Mao’s China are freely available for anyone to read about or anything.
Sometime over the past ~30 years, “let a thousand flowers bloom” has became a stock phrase in English, so I’d guess many people using it have encountered it elsewhere, and have no idea it originally derives from the Hundred Flowers Campaign of Maoist China (at some point apparently multiplied by ten). Judging by Google Books' ngrams, that seems to have happened around 1980 in American English, and around 1990 in British English (the latter probably imported from the American usage, rather than independently developed). It appears in all kinds of books with no apparent knowledge of the source, from Christian self-help to novels to technology books.
And within the last decade or so, Thailand has decided that Hitler is super-cool.
Sure, people grab phrases and ideas without knowing where they come from. I just wish people were a bit more selective and knowledgeable about genocidal maniacs when they did that.
That’s interesting because this article was the first place I had ever seen the phrase.
What do you mean by that? How is the author of this article “willfully misunderstanding” the Hundred Flowers Campaign? This is the first time I have heard the campaign mentioned.
According to Wikipedia:
The first part of the phrase is often remembered as “let a hundred flowers bloom”. It is used to refer to an orchestrated campaign to flush out dissidents by encouraging them to show themselves as critical of the regime, and then subsequently imprison them. This view is supported by authors Clive James and Jung Chang, who posit that the campaign was, from the start, a ruse intended to expose rightists and counter-revolutionaries, and that Mao Zedong persecuted those whose views were different from the party’s.
Using “let a hundred flowers bloom” as a clever shorthand for “open up for rude competition and let the best idea win” is so ironic it makes my teeth hurt. The whole point of the campaign (as noted in the quote from Wikipedia) is to let those so deluded as to think that Mao was calling for honest discussion walk right into the trap under their own steam.
I guess my misunderstanding lay in the fact that I had no idea how that metaphor applied to the article, so I was kind of confused about the whole argument right from the start. Thanks for clearing that up! :)
I freely accept that this is probably just me being a kook. I am OK with that.
The whole point of the campaign (as noted in the quote from Wikipedia) is to let those so deluded as to think that Mao was calling for honest discussion walk right into the trap under their own steam.
This is pretty common in the “hip” tech companies. I got burned by this at Google, but you see this at other tech companies.
“We’re an open company. We encourage dissent.” (Say something dissenting.) “Sorry, but you’re not a cultural fit.”
Or, just as often, tech companies will silently make notes that, regardless of your actual performance, you’re going to be rated poorly and end up biting the pillow . I was told at Google by someone at the Director level that when the company’s not doing so hot and they need a high percentage to get Perfed, eng-misc is one of the places that they look.
It’s not that other large companies don’t have these sorts of social expectations, but banks are more honest about it than tech companies. In a bank, you’ll be told in your first week if your dress or hours aren’t up to snuff, or if you’re damaging your reputation. Tech companies keep silent because it’s amusing as hell (from an executive’s viewpoint) to watch someone blow up.
 “Pillow biter” is a Google term for someone who gets a sub-3.0 Perf score (in the old system that was around in 2011). As in, “how many pillow biters does my organization have this cycle?” means “how many people do I have to fail in Perf?” Yes, it’s an offensive term, but don’t look at me because I didn’t create the system or the term.
Like I said on HN, it’s kind of like calling it “the final solution to the Twitter question”.
Sure, they didn’t mean anything bad by it, but it’s kind of a dumb and insensitive title conceived out of ignorance. It’s even worse when they add “then rip 999 out by the roots” when you imagine what happened to the Chinese dissidents.
I hadn’t connected my possible knowledge of 6 weeks in the summer of 1957 in China to the phrase. Unlike the phrase “drink the kool aid” which always brings up color pictures of mass dead to my mind.
In order to write software at scale you have to break a few eggs…?
“bemused” means “inattentive because of a distraction”, which is kind of the opposite of “amazed”, so I’m guessing that’s even less the right word.
The platform group was moving more and more toward Scala, partly because Scala could be made to look more like Ruby than Java could.
I am surprised by this. Scala has many merits, but “could be made to look more like Ruby” was not the one I thought of.
That rationale came from the author’s mind. It was not the real reason.