The Answers to All Your Questions

Beginning bloggers can often be recognized by their fixation on web server statistics. I don’t mind admitting that I’m no exception. It’s just as satisfying to see that people read my ramblings, as it is to see people use a computer program that I wrote. Besides, the stats can show you some very interesting information, like which posts are popular, and what other sites refer people to this blog. But what’s most intriguing, is the search words some people used that lead them here. With some search words I really wonder how they could have led here, and if the posts here ever gave people the answers they were looking for. (Then again, I guess that’s the beauty of the web: you usually find what you’re looking for, but more often you find ten other things you weren’t after but are still interesting enough to look into.)

For example, how about the person that asked his search engine of choice, literally, “did sauerkraut come from switzerland?” Why did they want to know? Was the answer ever found? Does it really matter where it comes from? Personally, I would say straight away: sauerkraut comes from the Alsace region in France. The best sauerkraut I’ve ever tasted, anyway. But sauerkraut is eaten in many places, and many varieties. In Holland it’s usually mashed with potatoes, baked lardons mixed in, and served with smoked sausage. We had braised cabbage in Slovenia, which looked a lot like sauerkraut but wasn’t sour at all. According to Wikipedia, sauerkraut originated in China. Strange, it’s never on the menu at the Chinese takeaway’s…

Sauerkraut-like cabbage on the Ljubljana market

On a different note, someone searched the answer to “what is a tldx file?” (Actually, they asked Google “what is * tldx file?”; don’t they know Google ignores the *?) That’s an easy one: in a BEA WebLogic environment, a tldx file accompanies a tld file, which contains definitions for custom JSP tags. The tldx file has additional information about the tags, to be used in Workshop for example to enable code completion in the tags. More info can be found in BEA’s documentation, under ‘Developing Tag Library Extensions’. How did they end up here? I only mentioned tldx once, very briefly…

This blog will also forever come up as a site to find “slovene lessons”, or so it seems. I guess these people are looking for another kind of lesson than I had in Slovenia. Still, Danny’s Blog currently comes up at #2 in Google. Maybe I should start a Slovene language school? Or sell my domain name to #8, who actually teaches Slovene online? Anyway, I wish these students-to-be a lot of luck, because the Slovene language didn’t sound to me like it’s an easy language to master.

Then there was the query for “six figure income blogging”. Unfortunately, I’m still working on that one. Right now, any one of those six figures is still a long way away. I did write Six Figure Ruby, describing 10 creative ways to make money with Ruby. I’m not so sure if it really works though, I’m still waiting to make my first Euro with Ruby.

I can’t tell you “how to make perfect cappuccino milk foam” either. My (n)espresso machine has a steam pipe, but I can’t be bothered to use it; it’s just too much work. I use a frothing pitcher instead (something like this but made entirely from stainless steel). Put it on the stove with some milk in it when you start making coffee; when it’s hot (not cooking!) move the sieve up and down vigorously, and there you have it: very acceptable milk foam. By closely observing the barristas in Italy this summer, I learned that while you pour the foam, by moving the pitcher back and forth, you get the foam out more easily, and not the unfoamed milk underneath it, which you don’t want in your cappuccino.

And why are people looking for a “judas unchained ebook”? And why on my blog? Do I look like someone who’s happy to type in 949 pages of the best science fiction published in 2005? Go buy the book, if only to encourage Peter Hamilton to hurry up with his next 3000 page trilogy.

Peter F. Hamilton, Judas Unchained, 2005’s best scifi book

(to be continued…)

2006-01-07. 2 responses.


  1. Danny,

    I found this post strangely compelling and intriguing. I’m guessing you never would have expected that! πŸ˜‰ Let me explain…

    Your “Why did they want to know?” response to the origins of sauerkraut query hit my funny bone. But I guess what’s so intriguing is that those people who queried their way to your site looking for answers to odd questions would in fact find an answer now. It’s sort of a crazy Schrodinger’s cat thing that I can’t get quite my head around. It’s like the answers are not on your site but yet they are.

    Or, you’re playing a subtle trick on readers. That possibility only adds to the mystery.

    Then again, I’m probably reading WAY too much into it…

    Anyway, thanks for the amusing post!


  2. I’m right there with you as a beginner blogger, being fascinated by the stats!

    I had a search on my blog this month, “do people use cars in the taklamakan desert ” (to which the answer is, “yes” – there are lots of camels, but cars tend to be less smelly, and they usually don’t spit either…)

    In my defence looking for a “Judas Unchained” ebook, I do all my reading on my palm pilot – I hate lugging books around, but I buy all of mine legitimately from What could be better for turning a profit than selling a book which has NO marginal cost per unit sold? There’s no printing costs, no shipping, no opportunity cost of having it on a shelf where you could have a better book sitting there. I’m doing my bit for Mr Hamilton…

    Blog on, mate! πŸ™‚