Microsoft continues to get its dynamic language support going for the CLR.
Meanwhile using foreign function interfaces appears to be a somewhat viable approach for integration when SOAP/XML-RPC won't do...
From James' Cincom Smalltalk blog...
Also of interest is the fact that the JVM remains frozen, making sure that actual progress in Java-land is limited. Microsoft seems to realize that's a mistake, and looks like they will be extending and changing the CLR as time goes by (in particular, they seem interested in adding better support for dynamic languages). Meanwhile, the Java folks are stuck with an early 90's vision of what a VM can and should do....
Funny thing is... there is a fully capable instruction set in silicon underneath each of these VMs. But the source language has to fit through what in these cases are crippled VM instruction set "keyholes", losing all of the useful higher level information on the way, before getting executed in that silicon.
Starbucks is just trying to cover its costs. Sure, leasing a broadband connection with a Wi-Fi base is cheap. But add a billing system - secure login server, transactional database, credit card processing, tech staff, customer service operators standing by - and the outlay skyrockets to $30, $50, even $70 a day, particularly if there are lots of support calls. (Ironically, most of those calls will be about problems with the billing system itself.)... Wi-Fi isn't a luxury or even a commodity. It's a condiment.
If we leave out any of these three concepts then we lose.
When you drill an oil well, you don't go straight down, you curve and bend - maybe later when you find the reservoir, you will go straight down, but not during exploration.
A friend of mine, prominent in the patterns community, told me when the Design Patterns book came out he believed that book would extend the future of C++ by a decade. He may have been right. (Since then other factors such as Boost have had a big influence as well.)
I am here today to make a prediction myself.
I believe that the GCJ compiler for Java will have a substantial influence on that language's future, maybe extending Java's future by a decade. This compiler will itself boost Java on the server, and in conjunction with Eclipse/SWT revitalize Java as a key language for desktop applications.
Moreover a secondary effect will eventually be to influence Microsoft's dotnet approach.
GCJ is a presage of the end of the virtual machine.
From Loosely Coupled...
speaking the same language as someone else doesn't necessarily imply you'll understand each other
A nice thin book that should be a part of every computer science degree program is Understanding Computers and Cognition: A New Foundation for Design by Winograd and Flores.
And anyone who names his software "SHRDLU" has my vote.