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Sunday, April 1, 2001



April 1, 2001 — In a move that surprised no one, the Internet Engineering Task Force and World Wide Web Consortium working groups have thrown their weight behind XXXML, the business-to-adult XML metadata schema recently proposed by the adult entertainment industry.

“We’re delighted,” chirped Buffy DeJour, senior spokesmodel for the XXXML Alliance, a nonprofit trade association based in Las Vegas. “Many of the IETF and W3C committee members privately indicated their enthusiastic support for our position during one-on-one meetings. In fact, several of the voting members asked for additional private consultation, and we tried hard to accommodate their every need.”

DeJour described XXXML (pronounced Triple-X ML) as the ultimate schema for describing the products and services required for robust B-to-A commerce. “Sizes, colors, preferences—they’re all part of the specification,” she said. “We made sure to document every model, so that there could be no confusion. In many cases, we even provided pictures or home movies.”

According to DeJour, the adult entertainment industry is at the leading edge of electronic commerce. “Look at what’s driven new technologies, like the VCR and the Web: adult products! That’s where the revenues are, the demand is, the profits are. That’s what consumers need and what the industry demands. And although we simply could have released XXXML as a specification from our alliance, we’d much prefer to go the standards route. That’s healthier, and more pleasurable, for all involved.”

New Language Targets Sub-Average Programmers


April 1, 2001 — Trying to bridge the gap between its Visual Basic for Applications and C# programming languages, Microsoft Corp. today unveiled the latest member of its Visual Studio.NET family: C--, a C-like language written for sub par corporate developers.

“During the past three or four years, many businesses have been forced to hire second-rate programmers,” said Jasper “mad cow” Holstein, Microsoft’s junior product manager for C-- (pronounced C minus minus). “We’ve known for a long time that those sub-par developers can’t hack real object-oriented programming languages like C++. We tried creating an easier language for them to use, C#, which is just like Java only better. But frankly, a lot of those old COBOL and RPG programmers just don’t get it. Thus, Visual C--.”

Unveiled by Microsoft chief software architect Bill Gates during February’s magnitude 6.8 earthquake in Seattle, C-- is poised to rock the world for millions of inept programmers across the globe, said Holstein. “Ask yourself these simple questions: Can you use a mouse? Can you connect lines to circles? Can you find the semicolon on your keyboard? If you answered yes to at least two of these, then you can program in C--. Not very well, but if you were any good, you’d be using C#. Right?”

According to technical documentation provided on Microsoft’s Web site, C-- offers developmentally challenged programmers several benefits over C# or Visual Basic: simplicity, in that the only punctuation mark used is the semicolon and the IDE accepts only upper-case letters; fiscally responsible object orientation without an inheritance tax; type safety, in that the integrated development environment includes a spell checker; scalability, in that programmers can run their software on either notebook or desktop PCs; and version control, because C-- programs run only on the latest version of Windows.

“The goal is to balance productivity and simplicity,” said Holstein. “Since corporations realize that their bottom-tier coders aren’t very productive anyway, C-- will help them do simple things. In our benchmarks, trained C-- programmers can create a ‘Hello, World’ program with only 150 lines of code, and can have it running in less than an hour. Those same programmers took nearly three days to perform that same task using C#, and most never got the C++ version of ‘Hello, World’ working even after a couple of weeks.”

Microsoft will be releasing the beta of Visual C--.NET on April 1, according to Holstein. Sun Microsystems Inc. chairman Scott McNealy, after watching the C-- introduction on CNN, hinted that his company had also been developing a watered-down programming language, code-named “AuLait,” and that it and the J2WE (Java 2 Weak Edition) should be ready for public consumption by this year’s JavaOne conference.