jm + standards   12

Standard Markdown
John Gruber’s canonical description of Markdown’s syntax does not specify the syntax unambiguously. In the absence of a spec, early implementers consulted the original Markdown.pl code to resolve these ambiguities. But Markdown.pl was quite buggy, and gave manifestly bad results in many cases, so it was not a satisfactory replacement for a spec.

Because there is no unambiguous spec, implementations have diverged considerably. As a result, users are often surprised to find that a document that renders one way on one system (say, a GitHub wiki) renders differently on another (say, converting to docbook using Pandoc). To make matters worse, because nothing in Markdown counts as a “syntax error,” the divergence often isn't discovered right away.

There's no standard test suite for Markdown; the unofficial MDTest is the closest thing we have. The only way to resolve Markdown ambiguities and inconsistencies is Babelmark, which compares the output of 20+ implementations of Markdown against each other to see if a consensus emerges.

We propose a standard, unambiguous syntax specification for Markdown, along with a suite of comprehensive tests to validate Markdown implementations against this specification. We believe this is necessary, even essential, for the future of Markdown.
writing  markdown  specs  standards  text  formats  html 
7 weeks ago by jm
Why Mt. Gox is full of shit
leading Bitcoin exchange "Magic The Gatherine Online Exchange" turns out to suffer from crappy code, surprise:
why does Mt. Gox experience this issue? They run a custom Bitcoin daemon, with a custom implementation of the Bitcoin protocol. Their implementation, against all advice, does rely on the transaction ID, which makes this attack possible. They have actually been warned about it months ago by gmaxwell, and have apparently decided to ignore this warning. In other words, this is not a vulnerability in the Bitcoin protocol, but an implementation error in Mt. Gox' custom Bitcoin software.


The rest of the article is eyeopening, including the MySQL injection vulnerabilities and failure to correctly secure a Prolexic-defended server.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7211286 has some other shocking reports of Bitcoin operators being incompetent, including 'Bitomat, the incompetent exchange that deleted their own [sole] amazon instance accidentally which contained all their keys, and thus customer funds'. wtfbbq
mtgox  security  bitcoin  standards  omgwtfbbq  via:hn  bitomat 
february 2014 by jm
Dark Mail Alliance
Founded by Silent Circle and Lavabit. this is promising....
To bring the world our unique end-to-end encrypted protocol and architecture that is the 'next-generation' of private and secure email. As founding partners of The Dark Mail Alliance, both Silent Circle and Lavabit will work to bring other members into the alliance, assist them in implementing the new protocol and jointly work to proliferate the worlds first end-to-end encrypted 'Email 3.0' throughout the world's email providers. Our goal is to open source the protocol and architecture and help others implement this new technology to address privacy concerns against surveillance and back door threats of any kind.
privacy  surveillance  email  smtp  silent-circle  lavabit  dark-mail  open-source  standards  crypto 
october 2013 by jm
RFC 6585 - Additional HTTP Status Codes
includes "429 Too Many Requests", for rate limits
api  rfc  http  reference  standards  web  rest 
march 2013 by jm
PUBLIC joho / 7XX-rfc
At Railscamp X it became clear there is a gap in the current HTTP specification. There are many ways for a developer to screw up their implementation, but no code to share the nature of the error with the end user. We humbly suggest the following status codes are included in the HTTP spec in the 7XX range.


Includes such useful status codes as "724 - This line should be unreachable".
http  standards  humour  funny  jokes 
january 2013 by jm
The Future of Markdown
'I'd really prefer not to fork the language; I'd much rather collectively help carry the banner of Markdown forward into the future, with the blessing of John Gruber and in collaboration with other popular sites that use Markdown. So... who's with me?'
markdown  markup  html  web  standards 
october 2012 by jm
Knots on Mars! (and a few thoughts on NASA's knots)
amazing post from the International Guild of Knot Tyers Forum:

While a few of the folks here are no doubt aware, it might surprise most people to learn that knots tied in cords and thin ribbons have probably traveled on every interplanetary mission ever flown. If human civilization ends tomorrow, interplanetary landers, orbiters, and deep space probes will preserve evidence of both the oldest and newest of human technologies for millions of years.

Knots are still used in this high-tech arena because cable lacing has long been the preferred cable management technique in aerospace applications. That it remains so to this day is a testament to the effectiveness of properly chosen knots tied by skilled craftspeople. It also no doubt has a bit to do with the conservative nature of aerospace design and engineering practices. Proven technologies are rarely cast aside unless they no longer fulfill requirements or there is something substantially better available.

While the knots used for cable lacing in general can be quite varied -- in some cases even a bit idiosyncratic -- NASA has in-house standards for the knots and methods used on their spacecraft. These are specified in NASA Technical Standard NASA-STD-8739.4 -- Crimping, Interconnecting Cables, Harnesses, and Wiring. As far as I've been able to identify in the rover images below, all of the lacings shown are one of two of the several patterns specified in the standard.

The above illustration shows the so-called "Spot Tie". It is a clove hitch topped by two half-knots in the form of a reef (square) knot. In addition to its pure binding role, it is also used to affix cable bundles to tie-down point.


Some amazing scholarship on knot technology in this post -- lots to learn! (via Tony Finch, iirc)
via:fanf  mars  nasa  science  knots  tying  rope  cables  cabling  geek  aerospace  standards 
september 2012 by jm
A one-line software patent – and a fix
Just another sad story of how software patenting made a standard useless. "I had once hoped that JBIG-KIT would help with the exchange of scanned documents on the Internet, facilitate online inter-library loans, and make paper archives more accessible to users all over the world. However, the impact was minimal: no web browser dared to directly support a standardized file format covered by 23 patents, the last of which expired today. About 25 years ago, large IT research organizations discovered standards as a gold mine, a vehicle to force users to buy patent licenses, not because the technology is any good, but because it is required for compatibility. This is achieved by writing the standards very carefully such that there is no way to come up with a compatible implementation that does not require a patent license, an art that has been greatly perfected since."
via:fanf  patents  jbig1  swpats  scanning  standards  rand  frand  licensing 
april 2012 by jm
Twitter's misuse of OAuth
Twitter seem to be attempting to control misbehaving clients, by using the "consumer key" pair as a secret key for app developers. This is proving impossible for FOSS clients to work with, and is trivially hacked to allow third-party app impersonation. Bad idea, Twitter
twitter  fail  oauth  standards  open-source  gwibber  security  from delicious
september 2010 by jm
WebM
open audio/video for the web, from Google; VP8 video codec, Ogg for audio, and a subset of Matroska as the container format. still a patents minefield, though, I'd guess
codec  foss  google  open-source  patents  audio  video  vp8  webm  standards  mozilla  open  web  from delicious
may 2010 by jm
RFC 5782 - DNS Blacklists and Whitelists
John Levine gets DNS*Ls standardized, at last. we should really check SpamAssassin to see if it's compliant, I guess ;)
dnsbls  anti-spam  dnswl  dnsbl  rfcs  standards  via:fanf  from delicious
february 2010 by jm

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