Answers to Episode 3 (“One of these things…”)

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Well, I certainly thought last week’s question was incredibly fun. If you missed it, I posed five “find the odd man out” questions which turned out to be quite difficult.

Nobody who attempted to answer got all five right. However, I may have left just a little to much ambiguity in some of the questions for the “right” answer to be findable… Either way, I’ll dive in and explain which answers I was looking for. Let me know in comments if I’m totally out of my mind :)

1. Specifications

Of the four specifications given (WSDL, APP, RDF, and WS-Policy), only RDF specifies a non-XML-based data representation. Yes, RDF can be represented in XML, but it also has alternative formats; the other three don’t.

2. HTTP methods

kasimir got it: “POST is not idempotent”.

Idempotence is actually an incredibly important concept in web development, but rather than shoot my mouth off about it, let me point you to Wikipedia’s words on the subject, which are quite good.

3. MD5 hashes

Mindaugas got it: B is an MD5 hash of the empty string.

This one was a little bit of a “gotcha” question; I usually try to avoid trick questions, but I just couldn’t resist here.

4. Programming langauges

Also a bit of a trick question: the answer is based on some knowledge of the history of the languages, not on features languages themselves.

The answer? Python is the only language not named after a (real) person.

5. HTML 4 elements

boomsb got it first: <U> is deprecated.

There’s a little bit of a joke in this one, though: even though <U> is officially deprecated, it’s nevertheless supported by every browser under the (virtual) sun, while <Q> — officially part of HTML — is not supported by Explorer.

Isn’t this a fun world to code for?

Got a question of your own?

If you’ve got a question, puzzle, or challenge that you think would make a good question for this quiz, email me at jacob -at- If I use your question in a future quiz, I’??ll even send you a nice little present…


Tune in tomorrow for the next question. I think I’m going to try something a bit more open-ended this time: a question about data modeling. Be sure to check it out.

Jacob Kaplan-MossJacob Kaplan-Moss
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