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

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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Dan Ingalls Interview

A really great interview with Dan Ingalls from Randal Schwartz and Leo Laporte. This goes into all kinds of Smalltalk and other history from the 70s and 80s and then into more current stuff like Lively Kernel.

At one brief moment, Dan mentions Fabrik, which is a visual data flow programming model he built at Apple in Smalltalk in the 80s.


Friday, May 30, 2008

XMPP Gears and Damn All We Need Now Is a Better UI Programming Model

Bill de hÓra predicts...

if Gears (or something like it) becomes ubiquitous (and it will), then eventually XMPP will become a protocol option alongside HTTP, allowing data to be pushed down into the client.
I'm for it. Note Adobe's AIR has all of these things, and then some, not to mention an API for either Flash/Flex or HTML/Ajax-based UIs.

I'd love to see more competion to the browser's current UI programming model, which is still what you are left with after adopting Gears. At least AIR gives you a choice, and Flex is open, so conceivably Google, Mozilla, or whoever could build off of Flex.

(I discount Lively Kernel for the time being. It's probably got more promise than I give it credit for. SVG has a lot of interesting capabilities especially for display, but it's still too clunky for the interactive bits. Kind of like NeWS vs. Display Postscript, ironically.)

Even Flex is so 1990s. There have been several significant improvements on that old MVC-ish model from the pre-web client/server days. Most of them in fact *pre-date* the 1990s adoption of Smalltalk's 1970s MVC. Still Flex is way better than HTML/Ajax for developer countenance though.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

An Open Source Twitter Clone

I am not a twitterer, er, one who twits. Well some might argue with
that last bit.

But one thing I've wondered is why the fascination with this service
that as far as I know is run by one outfit, has some "issues" (e.g. I
clicked on Mike Herrick's twitter URL the other day and each time saw
nothing but apologies from twitter for failing to work properly), and
is not federated across multiple providers as with, well, the web.

And I've wondered why people don't just use XMPP which is a federated
messaging platform with pub/sub topics etc. Or why not create a
twitter-ish system that can be federated.

So someone just published the source to an erlang-based twitter clone...


I don't know if this specific clone is the answer, but it begs the question.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

McCain the Maverick

I'm old enough to remember the savings and loan scandal as an adult. I'm jaded enough to be tired of this "McCain is a straight-talking maverick" hoodwink. Let's not forget he is from an "elite" family, and his questionably unethical interfering on behalf of rich beneficiaries goes back decades and involves activities that has cost us real money, and some worse. From the wikipedia article on the Keating Five, of which McCain is one...

"Gray testified that several U.S. senators had approached him and requested that he ease off on the Lincoln investigation. It came out that these senators had been beneficiaries of $300,000 (collective total) in campaign contributions from Keating. McCain received $112,000 by 1987 from Keating and Keating's relatives and employees to McCain's Senate campaign, more than any of the other Senators. In September 1987 National Thrift News was the first media outlet to break the story. In October 1989 The Arizona Republic reported that in addition to campaign contributions, McCain's wife and her father had invested $359,100 in a Keating shopping center in April 1986, a year before McCain met with the regulators. The paper also reported that the McCains, sometimes accompanied by their daughter and baby-sitter, had made at least nine trips at Keating's expense, sometimes aboard the American Continental Corporation (parent of Lincoln) jet. Three of the trips were made during vacations to Keating's opulent Bahamas retreat at Cat Cay. McCain also did not pay Keating for some of the trips until years after they were taken, after he learned that Keating was in trouble over Lincoln. Lincoln Savings and Loan's collapse is said to have cost taxpayers $3.4 billion."

Animated Graffiti

Via Signal vs. Noise, the following video is incredibly inventive. The theme becomes tedious for me before halfway, but still... I'd like to see more like this with a better story to tell...

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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.