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

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Friday, February 06, 2009

What Do Nintendo, Squeak Smalltalk, and an EMCAScript-based OS Have in Common?

I knew some people at Nintendo have been doing something with Squeak Smalltalk. At least this aspect of that was not something I'd expected...

Using commands

From the command line shell, you can use the programs like below. Most of the commands are written in ECMAScript:

Command Name  Description
cat [file ...]  Prints the contents of files to the screen
cd [dir]  Sets the current directory to dir
clear  Clears the canvas for drawing graphics
date [-u]  Displays the current date and time.
echo [arg ...]  Prints the arguments to the screen
edit [file]  Edits text files
exit  Exits the command line shell
figure  Draws chars using the CanvasRenderingContext2D interface (A demo script)
ls [dir ...]  Lists names of objects in the directory
rm [file ...]  Removes the files
squeak  Squeak - a Smalltalk programming environment

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Bertrand / Wm Leler at pdxfunc meeting - Feb 9, 7pm

This month, Wm Leler will talk about Constraint Satisfaction Systems
and the Bertrand Programming Language. Wm is the creator of Bertrand
and the author of the book "Constraint Programming Languages: Their
Specification and Generation".

Constraint Satisfaction Systems were a hot topic of research in the
80's -- famous constraint systems include Ivan Sutherland's Sketchpad,
Alan Borning's ThingLab (built on top of Smalltalk), Guy Steele's
constraint language, and James Gosling's Magritte. These systems were
used for computer graphics, design, and general numeric problem
solving, but most of these solvers were domain specific and thus of
limited usefulness.

Bertrand is an equational programming system whose purpose is to build
constraint satisfaction systems using simple equational rules.
Bertrand has an purely declarative semantics and an absurdly simple
syntax, yet it is a powerful and expressive language, capable of
solving problems in a large number of domains including graphics, word
problems, electrical circuits, or -- with the right rules -- virtually
any mostly-linear domain.

Since this is the Functional Programming Study Group, this talk will
cover the underlying equational programming language of Bertrand and
ways in which it could be extended to make it more powerful.

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visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/pdxfunc?hl=en
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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Original Hotcake House

I was recently reminded how much I love the Original Hotcake House on Powell Blvd. here in PDX. Really, really, "diner" good. As captured in this review from alt.portland...

The hot cakes were absolutely hot cake-like, doused in some butter-like substance, and then served with something that is heated, but probably not pure maple syrup. Hell, it may contain no maple syrup for all I know (I saw some patrons bring in their own)!

...

The coffee looks scary—we didn't go there.

The coffee, like everything else, is great. It's just sitting in a pot over there, and you go up and pour yourself a cup, then squirt some milk into it from this big squirter thing.

Now I have to plan a trip there soon.

PITA

Ron Jeffries again...

"I often tell teams that apparently my purpose in life is to tell
people that the sensation in their butt is called "pain", and that
they should get rid of it."

http://xprogramming.com/blog/2009/02/02/discovering-essential-technical-practices/

Grade: Incomplete

Ron Jeffries writes...

Jeff Sutherland, co-inventor of Scrum, says he has never seen a Scrum team become hyper-productive without adopting the XP practices. Less elegantly, I have said that teaching Scrum teams how to get Done-Done is why I have such a lovely blue convertible...

Well, my dear little children, I’ve got bad news for you. It is your precious context that is holding you back. It is your C-level Exeuctives and high-level managers who can’t delegate real responsibility and authority to their people. It is your product people who are too busy to explain what really needs to be done. It is your facilities people who can’t make a workspace fit to work in. It is your programmers who won’t learn the techniques necessary to succeed. It is your managers and product owners who keep increasing pressure until any focus on quality is driven out of the project.

So Called

I get frustrated listening to smart people talk about things they are only marginally familiar with. Part I of this recording was interesting... people talking about their own experience with specific systems and practices.

Part II of this recording is frustrating because they've not called in anyone with experience with XP, and so debate XP as they understand it. Not that they don't have good experiences and smart things to say here and there. Just that this one could have been much better.

Good software development evolves from a team's conversation about what's working for them. The heart of XP in my experience are practices that foster a teams conversations. Those practices should themselves evolve from those conversations.

This recording has some good conversations, but mostly I am frustrated because I'd love to be a part of their conversation.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Agile Open Northwest 2009, Feb. 10-11

We've had two great AONW open space conferences, 2007 in Portland, and 2008 in Seattle.

This year we are back in Portland, close to the MAX, and as low-cost as ever: $125. There's still a bit of room to sign-up if you don't wait. The conference is Feb 10-11.

Agile Open Northwest 2009, the best open space conference in the world. Learn from each other at AONW 2009...

"These two-day Agile Open Northwest conferences are an extremely good value. ..[Y]ou learn directly from practitioners in the agile community what works and what doesn't. I attended the first two of these conferences, they were stunningly good... loads of practical, useful stuff and stimulating discussions." -- Ian Savage, PNSQC Program Chair

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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.