"I have a mind like a steel... uh... thingy." Patrick Logan's weblog.

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Saturday, April 03, 2004

Of Sun and Java

James Robertson being insightful on Sun and Java...

What truly amazes me about Sun is their business plan - Java loses them money, costs MS little or nothing, and shovels money at IBM. It's an amazing thing to watch, really - business schools will end up writing case studies on it.

Oh, irony.

"Modal" or "Continuation-based"?

I vote for "continuation-based", I hope I'm not too late. You don't know how long I've been waiting for continuations to have their due.

I understand the rationale for "modal". The name just loses some of its sex appeal. Maybe it loses some of its mystery, and maybe that's a good thing.

For the sake of the technique in web server implementation, the value of "modal" is to point out even less expressive languages can be used.

I'd personally rather see those more complex implementations be accompanied by an apology along with a nod to the simpler and more expressive (and longer lived, Smalltalk (early history) and Lisp (Evolution of Lisp, scroll down to the essay)) languages that enabled the discovery in the first place.

More Crap

Unsafe fixed arrays (of values only) in the 2005 release of dotnet?

These arrays are stored inline, and, I believe, only work with value types. Since length information is omitted, no range checking is performed; hence, code that uses this feature must be declared unsafe.
Didn't someone say something once about piling feature on top of feature? Oh, yeah. It's from a well designed language that has lasted more than 25 years and yet is the foundation of some of the most innovative work on the web today.

Friday, April 02, 2004

Air America Radio and Operation Northwoods

I'm loving the new progressive talk station, Air America Radio. Streaming internet, or if you live in a handful of cities (including Portland, Oregon on 620 am) you can listen in your car. You can also stream the Portland station on the Internet if you want the Pacific time shift. Air America itself streams the New York station.

The "morning sedition" program today mentioned Operation Northwoods, but laughed it off as a conspiracy theory.

Nope. See the National Security Archives at George Washington University.

Released through the Freedom of Information Act (which the current administration would like to narrow), documents signed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the early 1960s reveal their intent to stage fake "terrorist" acts within American cities and on American troops in order to incite support for an attack on Cuba.

Could that happen again in America, in the 21st century? Why or why not?

How Common Lisp Survives

Via Bill Clementson's blog, an explanation of how Common Lisp survives, i.e. by being what might be called a language and a "meta" language rolled into one. By contrast, we have Java which can be extended, but the implementation of the extension is itself "outside" the language. (Oh, it might be implemented *using* Java, but it is not implemented *within* Java.)

Kenny's Cells is Common Lisp. Uncommon SQL with its embedded SQL reader macros is Common Lisp. The LOOP Macro is Common Lisp. Uncommon Web, with its limitations and limited CPS macros, is Common Lisp. CLOS is Common Lisp. Garnets KR is Common Lisp.

But, for example, AspectJ, is not Java. Java like, Java inspired, sorta looks like Java, Works with Java, but not Java. They could have done Aspect C++, or AspectPython, or AspectIntercal.

Why the distinction? They had to go outside the domain to implement it. If I throw an AspectJ program at a system that 'knows Java', it will go 'WTF? THIS isn't Java.'

You can not extend the Java language.

Of course the same is true of C#. Consider the popular Xen experiment. If C# were Common Lisp, you'd be able to use Xen already.

Smalltalk operates a bit differently than Common Lisp, but again it is the simplicity of the language and the openness of the implementation that keeps Common Lisp and Smalltalk alive after 20-30 years. And why we will wish Java and C# were dead five years from now.

MS/Sun: The Real Story

Jim tells it like it is. Period. End of sentence.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Cynical Attack on Free Speech

Do you know the Federal Election Commission is taking comments on a proposal that would greatly reduce your right to free speech, especially where that speech would be in opposition to a holder of political office?

Read more. (pdf)
Search too.

Monday, March 29, 2004

Healthcare in India

Healthcare in India...

India's public health spending is among the lowest in the world - $4 a person per year, less than 1 percent of its gross domestic product, the United Nations Development Program says. The United States spends about $2,000 a person, or almost 6 percent of gross domestic product.

But India's experience also shows that more money alone is not the answer. India sharply increased its health spending in the 1990's, but most went for new hiring and for pay raises to those doctors and nurses who are not showing up for work, according to a World Bank analysis.

Sunday, March 28, 2004

For the record...

This should be the tag line for my whole site...

For the record, this is a "rant", so it is devoid of research or prior preparation. It's not a term paper, an article, or a thesis, it's a weblog entry. (From Michael Earl's blog)

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About Me

Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.