Author Archives: filosofo

“filosofo” is the nom de guerre of Austin Matzko.

I Am an Official Regex Day Winner

Ben Nadel declared June 1, 2008 the first National Regular Expression Day, and to celebrate he hosted a giveaway of regex-related prizes, including Jeffrey Friedl’s Mastering Regular Expressions. As you can see, I won the book and got it in the mail yesterday. I use regular expressions all the time—in PHP, JavaScript, Perl, sed, grep, […] Returns

When I was first learning web development about ten years ago, I frequently consulted for tutorials about how to do all things “DHTML.” I still remember how an article comparing frames to a cafeteria tray made it all click for me, for some reason. I also picked up some bad habits that I had […]

What Motivates Islamic Radicals

A friend and I keep having different permutations of the same conversation, which revolves around this question: what is the essential explanation for Islamic terrorism? My friend’s answer is that it’s primarily religious; in other words, that something intrinsic to Islam spurs on suicide bombers and the like. I disagree for a number of reasons: […]

OpenID Servers: Allow Redundant Means of Access

That’s the lesson I take from Kyle Neath’s critique of OpenID (HT:, from his first point, the one that I think has the most traction. OpenID servers should allow users to associate their account with several OpenID providers, if they want, and/or an email address.

sed and Multi-Line Search and Replace

I’ve been experimenting with getting regular expression patterns to match over multiple lines using sed. For example, one might want to change <p>previous text</p> <h2> <a href="">A title here</a> </h2> <p>following text</p> to <p>previous text</p> No title here <p>following text</p> sed cycles through each line of input one line at a time, so the most […]

McDonald’s Spaced Out

This is McDonald’s idea of making their Happy Meals educational. (That I took this photograph may also be proof of bad parenting on our part, but let’s overlook that.) I think what they mean is that you can jump six times as high on the Moon. In case you were wondering, that’s because the surface […]