Category Archives: They didn’t think it through

They didn’t think it through #3: Stargazer

The climactic track of Rainbow’s swords-and-sorcery metal masterpiece Rising (1976), Stargazer tells the tale of a sorcerer whose slaves build a tower so they can watch him fly from it — only to see him not so much fly as plummet.

In the free-form coda that ends the song, Ronnie James Dio cries out:

I see a rainbow rising
Look up, on the horizon

Now here is the problem. Even if we accept the dubious proposition that rainbows rise (I suppose they might do so as the sun sinks) and even accepting the notion of a rainbow on the horizon (something you only see when the sun is unusually high in the sky), even then you would not look up to see a rainbow rising on the horizon. You would look horizontally.

So the song should say:

I see a rainbow rising
Look horizontally, to the horizon

They just didn’t think it through.

Major releases are disasters, and should be avoided whenever possible

If you use semantic versioning in your project — and you should — then you fix bugs in patch releases (e.g. going from v2.4.6 to v2.4.7), and add new features in minor releases (e.g. from v2.4.6 to v2.5.0). These are both unambiguously good things to do: downstream projects that use your project can happily and blindly upgrade to your new versions knowing that everything is compatible and nothing will break.

But when you issue a new major release (e.g. from v2.4.6 to v 3.0.0), that’s because you made an incompatible change. Now the maintainers of downsteam packages have to stop and think and read your release notes before they can be confident whether it’s safe to upgrade, or whether (as with all the various React-related libraries’ major versions) they’re going to have to rewrite their code first. Most often, they won’t have the time or energy to do this for all the many dependencies their project has.

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They didn’t think it through #2: Jailbreak

The opening and title track of Thin Lizzy’s enjoyable 1976 album Jailbreak begins:

Tonight there’s gonna be a jailbreak
Somewhere in this town

I’m going to go out on a limb and guess it’s going to be at the jail.

They just didn’t think it through.

Getting website registration completely wrong

I just got a Google alert that someone going  by the name of Teratophoneus on DeviantArt did rather a nice drawing of Brontomerus, one of the dinosaurs I co-described and named:


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TalkTalk want £10 for a 13-month-old bill

I’m putting together my expenses for running the small home office where I do my work. One expense is my phone line. I went to the web-site of TalkTalk, my phone provider, only to find that they won’t show me the older bills unless I pay them £10:

Screenshot from 2013-10-29 12:00:52

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They didn’t think it through #1: Stormbringer

By Ritchie Blackmore and David Coverdale, on Deep Purple’s Stormbringer album, the song of the same name begins:

Coming out of nowhere, driving like rain
Stormbringer dance on the thunder again
Dark cloud gathering, breaking the day
No point running ‘cos it’s coming your way

Now here’s the thing. If it’s coming your way, then there is a point in running — to get out of the way. The only time there would be no point running would be if it wasn’t coming your way — in fact, running would be contraindicated since you would run the risk of putting yourself in a position where it was coming your way.

So really that second couplet should read:

Dark cloud gathering, breaking the day
No point running unless it’s coming your way

They just didn’t think it through.