Ontology is overrated

Recommended by Jeremy Yallop.


Hugh and Dave's Wine Store

Example Web site to implement in Links, and to evaluate (recommended by Rodney Topor):

Hugh and Dave's Wine Store, from Hugh Williams and David Lane, Web Database Applications with PHP and MySQL, Second Edition (O'Reilly, 2004).



Jane Street Capital is recruiting OCaml programmers

Here is their ad:

OCaml Jobs at Jane Street

Are you an OCaml hacker looking for a job where you can program in a good language? Where you can do work that's technically challenging and engages with the real world? Where the people in charge actually care about writing good code? Then send us an application.

Jane Street Capital is looking for people interested in systems administration, software development, and quantitative research (and potentially all three in the same day). We are a rapidly growing trading firm that specializes in bringing programming skills, mathematical tools and scientific thinking to the problem of trading on the financial markets.

We're looking for people with:

* A commitment to the practical. One of the big attractions of our work is the opportunity to apply serious ideas to real-world problems.

* A well-rounded background in computer science. We use a variety of programming languages, so we need people who are comfortable learning new programming paradigms. Our primary programming language is OCaml, so experience with ML or other functional languages is important. Applicants should also have a strong UNIX/Linux background.

* Great communication skills. We need people who can explain things clearly and concisely, who can read dense academic papers and write good documentation.

* A strong mathematical background. This is a must for candidates interested in research, and includes a good understanding of probability and statistics, calculus, algorithms, etc. We draw on ideas from everywhere we can, so we value interest and experience in a range of scientific fields.

Jane Street is an open and informal environment -- you can wear a t-shirt and jeans to the office. The lunches are free, the kitchen is stocked, and discussions are always lively. And it's an environment with a focus on learning, both through formal seminars and classes, as well as through day-to-day conversations with colleagues. The pay is good, and advancement is rapid for people who do well.

If this all sounds too good to be true, there is a catch: we only hire top-notch people. If you think you're up to it, send us an application. We're currently looking for full-time positions as well as summer interns for next year.

Send an application to Yaron Minsky including a resume and a cover letter, as well as some sample code if you have anything you're particularly proud of.



W3C tackles rich web clients

Rodney Topor for points out there is a new W3C activity on rich web clients.

Web APIs
Web applications


Computer Science Unplugged

Don Sannella writes:

I wrote:
> there is some
> child-friendly stuff around about algorithms, for instance a card
> trick that illustrates a simple error-correcting code. (I recall
> seeing a book full of such things, and will try to track it down.)

"Computer Science Unplugged" by Tim Bell, Ian Witten, and Mike
Fellows. I found a copy on the web at

and so on, up to

or buy it at





FP in the real world: Raschke on XML in Python

Many thanks to Francesco Cessarini, who organized an informal get together of Erlang programmers at Cafe Royale on Sat 22 Oct.

Afterwards, Robert Raschke sent me a description of how he uses FP in Python to process XML, not as an academic exercise but as part of his day job. Follow the link above. Thanks, Robert!

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