Strangely Consistent

Musings about programming, Perl 6, and programming Perl 6

November 23 2009 — of China(s) and cheese

38 years ago today, representatives of the People's Republic of China (PRC) first attended the United Nations, including the Security Council, as China's representatives, where previously the Republic of China (ROC) on Taiwan had represented China.

Since 1991 the ROC (now commonly known as Taiwan) has re-applied for UN membership to represent the people of Taiwan and its outlying islands only, under such names as "The Republic of China (Taiwan)," "The Republic of China on Taiwan," and most recently (in July 2007, under DPP President Chen Shui-bian) as simply "Taiwan." Taiwan has also requested that the UN consider the issue of its representation in other ways, such as granting it status as a "non-member entity," a position currently held by Palestine. Because of the opposition of the PRC [that is, mainland China], however, which holds veto power in the Security Council, all such applications have been denied. The ROC continues to call on the international body to recognize the rights of the 23 million people of Taiwan, who since 1971 have received no representation in the UN, or in its related international affiliates such as the World Health Organization.

[...] Although the ROC no longer actively asserts its claim to be the government of the whole of China, it has not renounced that claim. Taiwan independence supporters argue the ROC not renouncing its claim is mainly because the PRC has publicly stated that any movement to change the ROC constitution would be seen as a move towards declaring independence, and thus a reason for military action. Given the PRC's attitude, even having the General Assembly admit the ROC or "Taiwan" as an observer (as has been done with Palestine) would be problematic. The case of Palestine is distinguishable from that of the ROC, because of the UN's commitment to a two state solution for the Israel-Palestine conflict, and no such commitment to the Taiwan issue.

[...] In 2009, for the first time in 17 years, Taiwan will not submit a bid to join the United Nations as a member.

If grooming the relations between the Perl 5 and Perl 6 cliques feels like an uphill undertaking sometimes, imagine the epic tangledness of two governments with a namespace conflict.

Today, despite being quite well-rested, I couldn't bring myself to code. Maybe because the weekend left many impressions needing digestion, or maybe because I have a plane to catch today, and I need to focus so I don't accidentally put the hand lotion in my hand luggage again.

But coding isn't everything; instead, remembering my blog post about cheese, I threw together a sketch of how I imagine the daily status page, which would hopefully be visited by many active Perl 6 community members, and needs to look clean and simple.

Doing that sketch raised another question, which I will probably spend some time thinking about on the plane home: what factors should contribute in the 'King of the Hill' scoring? Surely having tests (even if they fail) is better than not having them? Or is it somehow unfair to give a lower score to a project just because it doesn't have tests? Which project would receive the higher score: one with 1000 tests, out of which 100 pass — or one with 99 tests, out of which 98 pass? When I think about it, I switch from having one as my favourite, to preferring the other.

The more I think about it, the more similar questions turn up. Still, I'm optimistic that somewhere in the large space of scoring algorithm, there is (at least) one which is sensible enough to produce results that people will agree with, and yet fairly simple.

I guess we'll have to find that algorithm in the same way we arrive at other algorithm, by iterating up to it, methodically. Maybe even with tests; why not? 哈哈 But in the meantime, we can discuss how we think it'll look.