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

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Saturday, December 30, 2006

Blitz 2.0

Also from Dan Creswell, a new release of Blitz Javaspaces is nearly available.

If you are not familiar with Javaspaces you will want to understand the programming model. (Among other resources, Dan's.)

Javaspaces is the most dynamic Java programming mechanism I know of. If you have a need to use Java but you like dynamic language things like Smalltalk, and dynamic concurrency and distribution like Erlang, you may like the Javaspaces programming model.

If you like object-oriented databases (for some strange reason), then Javaspaces gives you 80% of those benefits at 20% of the pain, suffering, and risk. No one really needs that other 20% of the OODB benefits anyway. Some kind of a database is typically involved in a complete system using Javaspaces, but it plays much less of a central role in the goings on.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Code Shrink, Programming Models, Patterns Are Dead

I was going to make a fairly short post pointing to Mike's observation of applying different tools and models to a familiar problem. An initial measure of effort and benefit is "code shrink" and that can draw you into the new approach even more.

Then I read Dan Creswell's post also about comparing JMS and Javaspaces...

In general, to measure the true suitability of a technology to a problem one must solve the problem in the appropriate way for each technology we are considering rather than from the single standpoint of a technology we are already familiar with.
This is something our group has been working a lot the last few weeks, i.e. the programming models for the tools we are considering. Some are more familiar than others. Also just determining where to start and how to get into a new tool and its model can be challenging. And then in some cases, rewarding when discoveries and insights are made, and you begin to see where things may lead.

By the way, the thought crossed my mind again recently... has "agile" killed "patterns" or did it die on its own? Are "patterns" the best way to present a new programming model? Does anyone really "do" patterns anymore, the way the original movement intended? Or do we just write some text and draw some pictures and call them patterns? Is there any point to the "patterns" idea anymore? I'm not sure either way.

In any case, Mike's and Dan's posts are worth absorbing... it takes some work to get into a new model, and not just repeat the familiar using a new API.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

I look pretty young, but I'm just back-dated, yeah

Tough questions about Apple's "options mess". (Under-reported financial scandal of the year if not decade spans many companies, many of which have not been discovered yet. Why are share holders not way up in arms? The ultimate white collar crime?)

Elayne Boosler

I really enjoy listening to Elayne Boosler when she fills in on the Stephanie Miller Show. Her wit is wide ranging, quick, and insightful.

Apparently she also is a thoughtful blogger...

Through all the negotiations in writing between the two generals leading up to the meeting of surrender, the points reiterated by both over and over again were the desire to "avoid useless effusion of blood", and to "save thousands of human lives, and hundreds of millions of property not yet destroyed". So while the south was bled, there was still much havoc and destruction to effect barring Lee's decision. I find the most moving phrase of Grant's letters, especially in consideration of the fact that he was winning at the time, to be: "..Seriously hoping that all our difficulties may be settled without the loss of another life.." A lifelong fighter who had seen the loss of millions understood the value of one more life. The terms of surrender and disposition of the men were subjects worked out in advance, and with great civility, befitting two warriors who understood the comportment of battle. While they could have fought to annihilation, as men who had actually served before, they knew the arc of war. They understood it took at least a few people left alive in order to form a more perfect union.

It's almost 2007. ..Seriously hoping that all our difficulties may be settled without the loss of another life...

Sources

  • "John Brown's Raid, 1859"
  • "Surrender at Appomattox, 1865"
  • EyeWitness to History, www.eyewitnesstohistory.com (2004)
Magnificent. Peace be with you in 2007.

A Vista of OSX

Fuzzy: "I love OS X. It is the only thing to have your family on."

Windley: "I love OS X. Simple as that."

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Fortran 2007 Anyone?

Will 2007 be the year of Dynamic Languages? Or was that 2006?

2008?

From Infoworld's 2007 predictions, Paul Krill writes...

I’m betting that by Christmastime 2007, people will not have noticed much difference at all...

Java in its so-called closed implementation already had spawned open source projects ranging from the Spring Framework to Apache Jakarta and the Eclipse project. Open source Java application server vendor JBoss also built quite a business model without needing an open source Java.

So, in 2007 we might have to look to the Microsoft camp for excitement in the application development space, because Java’s big splash won’t amount to much.

Of course most people even in the Java world will not be immediately or even directly affected by the implementation going open source. It will still be Java 1.6, or whatever version gets the treatment initially.

But neither would I expect the nod therefore to go to dotnet. The culture there waits on Microsoft, and then studies the scripture. They will be busy studying Vista and such. Ho-hum.

Meanwhile the Java world will continue to innovate in the open market as Paul describes. I don't think 2007 will top 2006 in dynamic language ways though. The Python and Ruby implementers made their announcements in 2006, and so will be getting down to business in 2007 with initial deliveries.

I think the 2007 language breakthroughs are still clouded. On the other hand its very post-modern. They won't be neat breakthroughs.

32

From Infoworld's predictions for 2007, Tom Yager writes...

By mid-2007, 64-bit quad-core CPUs will be the de facto standard for x86 desktop and server computers. A sub-$5,000 two-socket workstation or server will sport a mind-boggling eight processor cores. Intel engineered its dual core per socket Woodcrest server/workstation CPU to allow a four core per socket upgrade with nothing but a chip swap. AMD has done the same with Opteron and Athlon 64 FX systems built after Revision F. AMD’s capacity to expand Opteron systems to eight sockets means that in 2007, IT can buy 32-way servers for the price it once paid for four-way servers. Talk about consolidation!

Somewhat Fuzzy -- Anyone Have a Whiteboard?

An interesting thread around distributed data structures and coordination models. I'm not sure where it is going, but I'm interested in the finale.

I could use a whiteboard right about now.

Em, did anyone mention shared memory yet?

Trading... Up?

From playfuls.com comes no surprise to Wii aficionados...

The folks from GigaGamez ran this story a few days ago, after several searches on Craiglist revealed quite a few PS3 owners willing to depart with their hard-earned console, in exchange for a Wii and, generally, some extra cash...

And it's not just a couple of people, but a whole lot of them; and by the looks of it, more and more are joining this "trend" by the day...

You could say that Sony got off to a bad start, but then you'd be over-estimating them.

I saw a PS3 at a store a few days ago. Someone was playing a basketball game. The graphics were really good. The hardwood floor basketball court was shining a little glare in just the right places as the camera moved around. The figures were better than I've seen in a game, but not spectacular. Their movements and the crowd's had more of the look of a televised game than I've seen in other games.

However the player was still using pretty much the standard controller of the last several years. I hear it has some gyro capabilities, at the sacrifice of a rumble. There was nothing in the players expression that conveyed the fun and "magic" of a Wii controller, nothing by a long shot. As James Robertson has commented several times over the last year, if I were in a store with maybe $600 to spend, but more likely less, even after seeing the PS3 in action, I would have to think quite a lot about where else I could put that $600.

An easier decision would be to but half of it in a Wii with the Sports game plus one more, totalling about $300. That would still leave a plentiful $300 for more games, an ipod, or many other things... including letting it sit in the bank knowing I got the most magical game experience for much less.

Ajax'd to a Standstill

My "go-to" web page for TV listings for years had been Yahoo's. I could get to where I wanted to be in two clicks. Now they've gone all Ajaxy on me. I've tried several times over the last month or so to just bear with it.

I thought perhaps I just have to find the right links, or perhaps they'll improve the page. Maybe I should have sent them my opinions. But don't they have some evaluation process? Do these evaluators just get along with this new thing better than I do?

Maps are in a similar place for me. Both Google's and Yahoo's map services are not nearly as functional for me as the previous, non-Ajax, Yahoo map.

I used to go to maps.yahoo.com and tv.yahoo.com with ease and comfort, knowing I'll get what I want quickly. But no longer.

I am on the lookout for a simple TV listing and a simple map, no Ajax required, or frankly, not even desired.

Zap2It may meet my needs for TV listings.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Wii / Not Wee

This is something to try... a Wii Sports session at a movie theater (YouTube).

Anyone Seen Ray?

From Microsoft Watch, watching for signs of Ray Ozzie...

So, where is Ray Ozzie? ...

If you've seen him, please tell us where, and, Mr. Ozzie, if you're reading this, please do send us an e-mail or instant message. If you prefer, we could rendezvous in one of those Groove work spaces. We would even be content to see you blogging again.

Point and Click Opera

I've not been able to get control of the Wii long enough to try the Opera browser yet. My kids been browsing with it. The test I'll use is Bloglines. I can browse Bloglines on my Blackberry pretty easily with one hand, while standing up on the train. If I can browse as easily with the Wii Remote from the couch, happy, lazy me.

Eventually Nintendo will have to come out with a wireless keyboard for anything more than casual browsing. And why shouldn't they?

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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.