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

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Saturday, February 05, 2005

Cooler than That

Web shopping in particular, and web user interfaces in general, just got a lot cooler. Clearly, 2005 is now officially the year of the rich thin client.

This is really inspiring work (try it), and the contact information shows Portland, Oregon. Anyone know who is behind this?

(Via Mark Baker)

Lessons Not Learned (Yet?)

Avi Bryant writes...

In Smalltalk, however, the only thing that's in C is a tiny virtual machine that understands a very simple set of bytecodes - it knows about pushing and popping objects from the stack, accessing indexed slots, blocks, and method dispatch. What it doesn't know anything about is the language syntax, standard library, compiler, debugger, profiler, thread scheduler, exception system, and so on, and so on - all of these things are implemented in Smalltalk.

[Smalltalk] doesn't support continuations and you want to add them? No problem; 10 lines of [Smalltalk] code and you're there.

...clearly you could implement the Ruby language with a Smalltalk-style VM (hopefully one with a Smalltalk-style JIT as well, which would bring a 20x or so speed increase to the current Ruby interpreter). But really what I'm talking about is a philosophical difference, not a technical one: to Smalltalkers, it's essential that as much of a system as possible be implemented in Smalltalk, whereas this simply isn't a priority for the scripting language community, and it's the priorities rather than the individual implementations that draw me to Smalltalk.



Via Blaine Buxton

Modern Software Architecture

Gordon Weakliem writes...

Mozilla is still a C++ app though, and seems to be very stable. Architecturally, it seems to be built around JavaScript and XUL though. It's almost like a VM architecture in that respect. I've been messing with Mozilla Extensions lately, and though it's not the greatest development environment ever, it's very easy to write code for once you get your bearings. The XUL architecture seems to extend very far down into the browser, with most of the browser implemented in XUL and script. Again, it seems like an underlying VM is a prerequisite for a modern software architecture.
Which is ironic given not more than ten years ago the programmers using this architecture were fighting heated arguments about the very idea.

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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.