A trust metric enabled Wikipedia?

Wikipedia has been described as "the encyclopaedia that works in practice but not in theory". In theory, an encyclopaedia that anyone can edit should suffer from out-of-control trolling and vandalism, and collapse under its own weight in an instant. In practice, that hasn't happened; vandals attack Wikipedia daily, but it still does very well as a useful source of information, especially if you bear in mind that its primary competition is not Britannica or other paid-for sources, but the rest of the Internet. Nonetheless, a recent controversy over malicious insertion of false information into Wikipedia had some concluding that the very process by which Wikipedia has "incurable flaws".

Base conversions in Scheme

For a particular protocol we’re implementing, we need to fit some possibly large serial numbers (in the millions) into a rather limited number of characters (5); the answer, naturally, is to encode the number. To give ourselves room, we decided to use base 64. Jakarta Commons has some handy codec classes, which saves us the…

Java memory profiling with jmap and jhat

My colleagues and I have just spent over a week tracking down a repeated OutOfMemoryError in a fairly complex web application. In the process we looked at the jmap and jhat memory profiling tools for the JVM.