Chris's Annotated Set of Links

This is what my hotlist aspires to be but would be useful as; an annotated selection of things I find that I want to tell other people about and persuade them to go take a look at. I've tried to resist the temptation to make this a large list of things that I like; I'm trying to keep it down to a small list of things that stun me enough that I press them on random semi-strangers and babble a lot.

Things on the World-Wide Web

Prabhakar Ragde's home page
From this page you can see an amazing illustration of what can be done on the web without strange formatting, without graphics, without blinking lights and Java. It is one of the best web areas I've ever gone through and, unlike many, it makes a clever and apropos use of hyperlinks. To enter into this, you should go find out what his one regret is.
Why the Web sucks
This is C J Silverio's discussion of why so much of the World-Wide Web pages out there are bland, boring, and bad. I think everyone writing WWW pages should read it and think carefully about the issues she discusses; your pages will be better for it (I know mine are). She's also got several useful links to more food for thought.
Uncle Jimbo's Story Hour
A collection of hysterically funny stories written by, well, Uncle Jimbo. They're short and they're all at least funny, and poking around Ducky's home page will also give you lots of food for thought (I particularly like her article Being Female in the Engineering Workplace ).
The Universe of Discourse
Stuffed full of text and excellent uses of the Web, this is almost a mandatory link (and thus something I'd leave out), but every time I look at it I find something new and interesting; I just hope that Mark-Jason Dominus never disappears, taking it with him. In this pass, I spotted his list of interesting other places to visit (down at the bottom).
Unfortunately this seems to have turned into mostly a collection of Perl information; the old Universe is either hiding or gone.

Things available by FTP

A long-running (1 megabyte) and very well written piece of Shadowrun fiction, written by Mary Kuhner (currently reachable at There is also an HTML version done by Dave Flowers of Caltech; you probably want to read that instead.
Tom Duff's rc paper
A paper describing Plan 9's rc shell, why it was written, and why he did things differently than the Bourne shell.
Builder is a program for doing off-MUD building of areas on Tiny-style MUDs, so you can edit things easily, break up big areas into manageable chunks, and potentially even move areas from MUD to MUD easily. Oh, and of course you have an off-MUD backup in case something goes wrong with it.
Tcltt is my MUD client, a programmable single-MUD thing for Unix. When it came out, it was one of the first programmable clients (using TCL), but by now it's sort of old and lacking a lot of the features people want. I still use it, though. Someday I'll upgrade it to use a current version of TCL.


Your tastes will differ from mine (if they don't, let me know; I'd like to talk to you).

I still don't have any tools to automatically verify if URLs still exist or are correct (if you find any, send me mail telling me about it), so it's quite possible that some of these links have slipped out of date. If you find one, drop me a note.

Chris Siebenmann, last update January 2nd, 1998 (previously November 15th 1994)