Illustration by Greg Mably
Illustration: Greg Mably

The blog search engine Technorati now tracks nearly 100 million blogs, with nearly 200 000 new ones added every day. (As the Technorati tagline has it: some of them have to be good.) Folks from all walks of life use blogs to opine to the world, and it’s a rare day when some celebrity doesn’t start a celeblog . But the dirty secret is the massive number of abandoned blogs. The market research firm Gartner, in Stamford, Conn., recently put the number at more than 200 million. Clearly most people who start a blog soon give it up for dead.

Why do so many blogs go belly-up? Probably because blogging is hard . Unless you love to write, churning out even remotely interesting mini-essays every day of the week is a tough slog, particularly when you’re not even sure anyone outside of your immediate family is actually reading your musings. Perhaps this explains the recent explosion of interest in microblogging , posting short thoughts and ideas to a personal blog, particularly by using instant messaging software or a mobile phone. Jaiku ( http://jaiku.com) lets you create a miniblog to which you post short messages—called jaikus —either via its site or by texting the messages through your mobile phone. Fotolog.com enables members to exchange short messages about posted photos.

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
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A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar
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You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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