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Showing posts from July, 2019

"Support" incompetence at Amazon (and elsewhere)

For a while now, I've been paying Amazon an extra $29.00 per month in hope to get at least perfunctory support if ever needed. Now, I need the most basic thing - remove the SMTP sending limit and create a reverse DNS record for a new IP address - and those $29.00 are accomplishing nothing. I have filed three requests already over several days. I'm just getting canned and inappropriate responses, and it seems nowhere closer to being done. I stand a real risk of not being able to reply to customers if this is not sorted.

I've been happy with Amazon Web Services in general. 99% of the time, it works great – as long as you don't have to interact with anyone. But when you need a human to look at something, it's only happening if your request is so ordinary that it just needs to be rubber-stamped.

I had no trouble, two times in the past, having Amazon process a similar request for new instances. But now, I'm trying to move an existing email server to a new Elastic IP…

What's wrong with computing?

What's wrong is that we are:
Using a bad universal data format.Depending on a universe of tools that make this bad format seem like the best choice.The bad universal format are text files. HTML, XML, JSON, and most programming languages are based on them. The universe of tools are all manner of utilities to create, search, process, edit, compile, compare, and store versions of them.

We need that universe of tools. But we need them for a better data format.

What's wrong with plain text, then?

It is fundamentally incongruous with the data we store. Almost all data is structured: HTML, XML, JSON, TOML are all ways to store structured data in text files. Programming languages are structured with complex grammars. Where we use binary formats, almost all of them store structured data. ZIP files, DOC files, PNG files, everything is structured.

The incongruity is in the use of in-band signaling to delineate data. We can signal start and end of data in two ways:
Length-prefixed encoding.