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

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Imagine That

Steve Loughran writes...

Slowly but surely, our applications are moving to a world where they persist state automatically, and can skip over a crash as a normal event.
Kind of like what Smalltalk provides for free using an "image". Um-hmm.
Most popular programming systems separate program code (in the form of class definitions, functions or procedures) from program state (such as objects or other forms of application data). They load the program code when an application is started, and any previous application state has to be recreated explicitly from configuration files or other data sources. Any settings the application programmer doesn't explicitly save, you have to set back up whenever you restart...

Smalltalk systems store the entire application state (including both Class and non-Class objects) in an image file. The image can then be loaded by the Smalltalk interpreter to restore a Smalltalk system to a previous state.

Imagine that.

Monday, October 22, 2007

1958 / 1964 - So What

Update: shmul recommends in the comments Bill Evan's "Sunday at the Village Vanguard". Oh. My. Yeah, that is a fantastic recording. It's probably another heavy link to Evans' addictions. Evans was always in search of his ideal bassist, and found Scott LaFaro. They developed their sound together, just as Evans did with Davis. A few days after these recordings, LaFaro was killed in a car accident. Evans was devastated.

Previously: Now with the correct links.

Compare a 1958 recording of So What (via Steve Dekorte) with a 1964 recording. What happened? Free jazz. And the Beatles.

Coltrane was on the edge of 1964 already in 1958. Miles Davis' sound for "Kind of Blue" was settling in. They could not have recorded it earlier or later than 1959. There's nothing else like it.

It could not have been recorded without Davis of course. Also indispensable: Bill Evans and Coltrane. Probably indispensable: Cannonball Adderley for the way he and Coltrane interact.

Bill Evans was still playing his sound he found around 1959, in 1979, just about dead from addictions that began in Mile's group, playing under incredible pressure from black audiences pissed off by a white pianist in the group. Davis was an icon in the black community in the 1950s. Incredibly successful and refusing to take any shit from powerful white men. By standing up for Evans, Davis showed he'd take no shit from black fans either: Davis was in awe of Evans' sound and made that sound the centerpiece of Kind of Blue even though the piano itself is not a centerpiece. The two of them came together perfectly influencing each other's sound.

(Aside: unlike Evans, Davis was able to hole himself up at his parent's place and kick his habit before this time. Evans would hole himself up at his family home subsequently, but never could kick all of his addictions. He slowly eroded his body's chance of ever recovering over 20 years. The pain from earlier damage fueled more drug use. Read his biography -- not as dramatic as other addicted musicians -- just incredibly slow, painful erosion.)

Anyway, Evans played on every piece on Kind of Blue except Freddie Freeloader. Listen to his notes on those pieces... unbelievably the right note in the right place at the right time. But Kind of Blue would be a snoozer if the only sounds were Davis' and Evans'. The saxophones and everything else keep the whole thing from falling over from inertia.

Kind of Blue is still my favorite album from any genre, any era. I bought my first copy as a teenager about 1977. I don't know how many hours I've listened to it, but it is a lot.


Fuzzy and I are all signed up for QCon in San Francisco early November. In particular we'll be at the track: "Connecting SOA and the Web: How much REST do we need?".

What a great line-up of people to talk with. Just in time with the work we're doing. Ed couldn't make it, something about a class for the baby on the way that Thursday.

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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.