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

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Friday, May 05, 2006

What's On Your Hard Disk

Found on ACM Queue's "What's on your hard disk" results...

Who: S... R.......
What industry: Technology vendor (software, hardware, etc.)
Job title: Programmer/Analyst
Flavor: Develops on Windows for all platforms (JVM)
Tool I love!
Squeak. I am forced to use Java at work to build enterprise applications, but at home I play with and enjoy Squeak. After eight hours of working in a traditional IDE, coming home to Squeak is pure joy. Its system browser and method finder are excellent programmer resources.
Tool I hate!
Eclipse. This IDE suffers from a misleading and often incorrect debugger. Furthermore, it can’t refactor multiple files correctly and has a buggy interface. But it is free and nicely configurable. I love it and hate it.


Follow this link because Bill de hÓra has some good links to follow.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Not Yet In A Groove

Kris Tuttle of Research 2.0 on Microsoft's future...

Ray Ozzie seems to be the face of future innovation at Microsoft these days. So far we are pretty unimpressed. We have used Lotus Notes and Groove. Both definitely had visionary elements in their functionality but operationally left a good bit to be desired. In fact Groove reminded us of Outlook in terms of the vast resources it consumed relative the functions delivered. (We don't use any bloated products anymore in this shop...) Ray has been a trooper and introduced concepts like the Live Clipboard that some like, we think it treats the symptom and not the disease.
Maybe give him some time. I was kind of shocked years ago when I read about the technology developed for Groove.

Kris in a subsequent post writes about expanding her use of Google ads to incude Microsoft's ad machine...

So wanting to be fair I went to MSN AdCenter today to set it up in a similar fashion to how our company uses Google AdWords. Unfortunately I didn't get to square one because they don't support FireFox.
I wonder if Groove had leveraged open source components in a platform-independent way if it would have been a bigger success and still evolving. Microsoft has a great big wall around their universe, nevertheless it is still a wall and they continue to imprison themselves.

Agile Languages and SAP

Piers Harding announces...

I'm proud to announce the latest updates of the SAP RFC integration packages for Perl, Python and Ruby.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Dup or Ref?

Bill de hÓra writes...

Both JRuby and Jython have experienced stop start development.
And then goes into several interesting directions. (BTW, the original Erlang book is good, but not essential for adopting Erlang. Instead start with Erlang in Real Time which is online and more in-depth. Everything else you need is on the erlang site, including the mail lists.)

Anyway my thought is that running multiple languages on the JVM or CLR is beneficial simply because there are no *really* good inter-language communication mechanisms. Being in the same OS process is useful but certainly there are times when that is undesirable for security and reliability reasons.

Given the oncoming multi-core low end systems, the oncoming many-core high end systems, and the realization that "SOA" in its best possible interpretation is just "reality" for tomorrow's programmers (cf. "Notes on Postmodern Programming") we need to get over this "use my OS/VM/language" / "no, use *my* OS/VM/language" parade asap.

Erlang may never be popular regardless of the books available or not. (Then again with ejabberd, Erlang *may*... er, forget it. Jabber will more likely be the inter-language communication mechanism I claim we're missing.) But just as Lisp got data right, and Smalltalk got objects right, Erlang got processes right.

Sooner or later your language and runtime will too. And the sooner the better because I cannot count on anyone porting my language to your runtime, and I sure don't have any incentive to do so myself.

Meanwhile rather than try to program all of the latest Ruby or Python in the JVM or in the CLR, I am wondering whether we need to expose Java and C# libraries via their own processes connected to a simple communication mechanism with a simple, reflection-based interpreter on the receiving end.

Hey, JVM, just sit there and do what I tell you. I don't need that to be more than the current implementation of Jython or (the upcoming 1.0 release of) IronPython. Or take your pick, maybe Javascript is the lingua franca via Rhino and... er, dotnet does have a Javascript interpreter, right?

If I ship my application to you as a, say, a VMWare player and image running the OS of my choice, pared down to what my application needs, plus a few OS processes running on that image, each implemented in the language of choice for that process, plus some inter-communication between them, and all of them going out to the real world as desired, then... would I be happy with that kind of Gordian Knot post-modernism?

Just a Little is Enough

Steve Loughran writes...

As an aside, ...it's clear that Tomcat is all that most server-side [Java] installations need.

More Colbert Gushing

Steven Hart writes that Colbert's performance is like Swift delivering A Modest Proposal in the king's court. Of course this is still America and critics are deflecting a lot of heat by writing about how great America is that Colbert has the right to do such a thing. But Hart responds to those statements correctly...

Colbert is as much a target for big media now as Howard Dean was in 2004 once he announced on NBC's Meet the Press that he'd be in favor of disallowing General Electric from owning NBC. He will have more than a little trouble getting the White House Correspondents' forum back again for similar comments. Making this into a triumph for "free speech" is missing the point by as wide a margin as the adminstration missed so many calculations about the Iraq invasion.

It's one thing to march into the lion's den and yank a fistful of hairs from his mane. It's quite another to march into a den full of people who think they're lions and rub their noses in the fact that they're nothing more than fat, spayed tabby cats who are less interested in exposing the powerful than they are in curling up by their feet.

That's what Stephen Colbert did at the White House Correspondents Dinner, and for his perfidy he will now be subject to their endless mewling and kitty-kat clawing. Even if he loses his nerve and backtracks with an apology — something I don't think for a second he would actually do — he will always be their target. After all, the eunuchs of the court were often the most devious and vengeful of the players surrounding the king...

Colbert's performance was a display of wit at its most lethally cutting. He went into a room with the most powerful man in the world and his courtiers, and he excluded them from the land of the free and the home of the brave.

If the White House courtiers had an ounce of self-respect, they'd all book a flight to Alaska, find a good-sized ice floe and shove themselves out into the ocean. Instead, they'll just go about their routines. They may walk funny for a little while, after the way they've been used, but after six years of covering the Bush administration, they're probably accustomed to that kind of thing.

Daily Zen

Daily Zen...

"You’re traveling beyond hope of return"

- Hsieh Ling-yun (385-433 C.E.)

I Have A Brief Statement...

The Daily Show and the Colbert Report are two of the three television programs that I know of where real news is reported. Democracy Now is the third, and ranks above the comedy shows. TDS and TCR though are simultaneously the two comedies worth watching. (If Amy Goodman could even just learn to crack a smile once and again...)

Colbert has balls, so view the videos and thank him for what he did to Washington and the press. Some people are arguing that it was uneven or did not have a comedy crescendo. I thought it was hilarious in places but to be appreciated overall just as a supreme "fuck you" to the establishment in Washington.

Even by TDS and TCR standards, he blew past them in an opportunity that he may never have received again to spell it out plainly right to the president's and the press' faces... the establishment is circling the drain in credibility, so stop with the games.

"It’s not just that Colbert’s jokes were hitting their mark. We already know that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, that the generals hate Rumsfeld, or that Fox News lists to the right. Those cracks are old and boring. What Colbert did was expose the whole official, patriotic, right-wing, press-bashing discourse as a sham, as more ‘truthiness’ than truth."

-Michael Scherer, Salon Magazine

From Colbert's "audition tape" for the White House Press Secretary's job...

"I have a brief statement. The press is destroying America."

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Losing the War (No, not *that* war)

If Microsoft looks at Ruby as competion then Microsoft has already lost the war, let alone the battle. Whatever happened to that IronPython thingy? I thought that was supposed to make any agile language first-classable on the CLR.

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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.