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

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Monday, May 31, 2004

Memes we live by

What makes us (software developers) think most other disciplines are "predictable, schedule-able, reliable, budget-able and robust"?

Making Money with ReST and Smalltalk

From the on-line presentations to Smalltalk Solutions 2004 (PDF)...

A financial house posts trades to NASDAQ using HTTPS client and SSL framework.

  • Saves $5000/month over using an MQSeries link to NASDAQ.
  • No manual entry. HTML pages are automatically read, filled in, and posted. Report retrieval is automated as well.
  • Other companies are still using MQSeries and struggling to manually enter data within the 45 min NASDAQ requirement.
  • Implemented in less than a month and running for over a year.

Are Java and dotnet communities like Unix and Windows?

Ted Neward writes...

It's funny, in a way: it's almost as if Java has too much disagreement and disunity within its community, and .NET not enough.
I wonder how much this comes from Java having multiple strong vendors while dotnet has but one. Isn't this like the Unix and Windows communities? Multiple Unix vendors are going to disagree and so divide the communities to a more significant degree than the single Windows vendor.

With a Microsoft product, you accept the faults and go with it. There is at least a perception of no other choice, at least not without some significant compromise. Vendors of other "standards" have to find ways to differentiate and still conform.

Sunday, May 30, 2004

Does Microsoft Software Evolve Well?

Ralph Johnson comments on my piece about Microsoft's O/R mapping fiasco...

I think that Microsoft has perfected the notion that software has to evolve. They release early and often. The joke is that their software is never ready until version 3, and I've heard people from Microsoft tell that joke. I don't know the issues behind what you are saying about ADO.NET and Longhorn, but whatever the problem, it is not because Microsoft in general thinks that software will not evolve. When I talk with people from Microsoft, they seem much more aware than most that everything they do is transitory.
Maybe we'd have to discuss specific examples. I don't think Object Spaces is a good example of "release early and often". As I wrote previously, Microsoft is very late to the table with an O/R product. Even now that product is being pushed out, apparently to 2007 at the earliest.

Taking the subject of database connections more broadly, the Microsoft picture looks even worse. They have a history of introducing replacement connection technologies rather than finding a suitable abstraction that can evolve.

These various API's are transitory but they don't seem to be evolutionary. I won't fault Microsoft for packaging software and selling it successfully, and that includes getting software out early and improving it. But when it comes to software design, abstraction, and loose coupling of components, they seem to be getting worse rather than better.

Maybe that's the right approach: put everything into Longhorn, and force and upgrade. Or maybe it's just an accident of bad planning and design. Or maybe it's something else altogether. I don't know, but it doesn't seem evolutionary.

Dining Philospohers and ReST

The discussion on ReST and coordination continues with a really interesting example of the Dining Philosophers.

*All* things considered?

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting has taken a look at National Public Radio...

Characterized by conservative critics as "liberal" radio, NPR has more Republican than Democratic voices, and male sources outnumber female sources by nearly four to one.
For example and for example.

But don't get me wrong. I am *not* in favor of a government broadcasting company.

Big Bang?

Another kind of big bang...

Using estimates based on existing research, the five researchers calculated that the energy released by the asteroid strike was equivalent to that in 100 million megatons of TNT. The force of the impact would have thrown debris high into the air, much of it burning up while still in the atmosphere, the report said. This, in turn, would have turned the Earth into a giant broiler oven.

Jeffrey Ullman's Courseware

Yahoo... er... great! Jeffrey Ullman's courseware.

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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.