Mr Speaker

Author Archives: Mr Speaker

Olive vs OliveDrab

“Name as many of the web ‘X11 color set’ named colours as you can.” should be the new fizz buzz. I think I’d do pretty good, but would always fall down on the “mediums” and “lights”. “MediumPapayaWhip? LightRosyBrown?”. If it were in an interview situation, I could talk for hours about the faded glory of […]


Thanks to a decreased demand in shaving recently, I discovered several grey facial hairs. It’s happening – I’m becoming a graybeard! The timing is suspicious: I start using Emacs, I turn into a graybeard. But did Emacs cause me to get grey hairs, or did the hairs coerce me into to using Emacs?

It Just Works ™

My favourite marketing phrase in all of computers is “It Just Works”. It unwittingly represents nearly all of software engineering. It just works. Only just. The absolute minimum. (Side note: my favourite marketing phrase in sports and fashion is “Just Do It”. If you have to do it, only just do it.)

JavaScript’s Numeric Separators

During a particularly-late night coding session, I accidentally discovered that JavaScript now has “numeric separators”. What started as a simple test in my browser console: `dx=100+xo`, would be drailed by a typographical error that revealed a hidden secret… `dx=100_` As I depressed the underscore-instead-of-plus key, Firefox’s auto-evaluator-thingy sprang into action and warned: “Uncaught SyntaxError: underscore […]


You learn something new every day. Today I learned about insect reproductive systems, and also that document.designMode is a thing. Both seemed pretty interesting, but only the latter let’s you make any text on any web site “editable”. Open up the dev console and type document.designMode=”on”, and marvel as you can type over any text […]

Blog-o-thon ahoy!

I hereby declare my intention to spam a whole tonne of blog posts in the near future. I’ve made this declaration several times in the past – and never managed anything remotely close to “a tonne”, but this time we find a confluence of important factors – contributing to a near-perfect storm. A very-adequate storm. […]

Mr Speaker lives!

Phewwwweeee. You have no idea how close this URL came to not existing. Of ALL the URLs not existing! Sit back and let me tell you a tale of how I almost let – the cornerstone of the Mr Speaker ™ Corporation – be erased from the existance. The story begins not long after […]

Word-processing Code

Notepad -> HotDog Pro -> HomeSite -> TopStyle (a handful of months) -> NetBeans -> Notepad++ -> Visual Studio -> IntelliJ -> TextMate -> Sublime Text -> Atom ->VSCode (a handful of months) -> Emacs. After so much sampling, I’m 99.6% sure I’m done with this journey. My conclusions from this 30+ year study: choose […]