Still relevant today...

Jan Smuts in the Houses of Parliament on "Thoughts on a New World": perhaps more so than in 1943.

We are facing to-day probably the most perplexing complicated human situation that has confronted the world for many generations, and anybody who thinks he has a panacea at his command to deal with these problems must either be sub-human or super-human. . .

This will never catch on ...


A use for philosophy!

The Fishbowl: The Principle of Charity

I knew there was (at least one) hole in my education - a use for philosophy ! Any others?

Insert your favourite language here

The Fishbowl: The Joy of Bombast: "More importantly, whenever I start hacking Ruby, I am overwhelmed by the feeling that this is... right. And I find myself going back to Java and thinking 'Why does this language keep getting in my way?'"

I might put Python instead of Ruby, or perhaps Smalltalk (less familiar).

I agree with the sentiment though! Whether Java is doomed is another question altogether - maybe it will become undead like Cobol.


Heez crazy!:Danny Ayers, Raw Blog


Mandrakesoft GLobeTrotter: wrong answer

Mandrakelinux Globetrotter FAQ: "Can GlobeTrotter be upgraded to future versions of Mandrakelinux?
This is not officially supported by Mandrakesoft. It should be possible (and not too difficult if you know Mandrakelinux well) but we won't be able to give you any support if you choose to do so."

The product looks interesting - this upgrade policy looks dumb


The MSDN Camp vs. The Raymond Chen Camp: "The Microsoft culture is about creating the newest, latest greatest thing that 'changes the world' not improving what is already out there and working for customers. When I read various Microsoft blogs and MSDN headlines about how even though we've made paradigm shifts in developer technologies in the recent years we aren't satisfied and want to introduce radically new and different technologies all over again. This bothers me. I hate the fact that 'you have to rewrite a lot of your code' is a common answer to questions a customer might ask about how to leverage new or upcoming functionality in a developer technology."
Open Source Article


Manufacturing lines they are a changing

Bill de h?ra: Add Nothing But Value

An excellent perspective. We have lots of promising, intelligent programmers, and treat them like idiots.

Classic Pilgrim

Spotted in dive into mark

Most developers are morons, and the rest are assholes.

Assessing Java code quality

AMK's Journal: Computing Archives: "'The problem here is that programmers are not as scared of using threads as they should be.'"


More on static typing

Ned Batchelder: August 2004:
"Static typing prevents certain kinds of failures. Unfortunately, it also prevents certain kinds of successes"


The Fnordistan Department of Software Engineering ? What Java Owes to Smalltalk

More regrets

The Fnordistan Department of Software Engineering ? What Java Owes to Smalltalk

That’s the sort of thing I didn’t really notice until I started working with Smalltalk. Now I shake my head and wonder how much better life would be if it had been Smalltalk rather than Sun’s Java that had been poised to catch the wave in the 90s.

Forget the particular languages mentioned here (though I do agree), there seems to be a lot of feeling that things haven't improved in the area of language design. I see Python, Groovy, Ruby etc. restating older things, almost looking over the morrass of C, C++, Java, C# et al which form a tar pit between now and then. Of course other languages like Smalltalk, Lisp etc. have waded through; but are they prepared to move forwards themselves ?

Return of Java

The article refernced here is wierd:Slashdot | The "Return" of Java Discussed

Slashdot asks whether Java has been anywhere, but I wonder what makes us think it is getting renwed attention. The article cites:

  • Jon Schwartz of Sun saying Java helps keep the cost of substitution low: cost of substitution is just part of the costs, and anyway you can only substitute vanilla installs - must Java apps sit on app servers and you certainly can't easily substitute those
  • VCs think games can be written in it

  • I'm convinced !!

    Personally I think the whole Prog Language game is more wide open than it has ever been.

Spotted in Dilbert
Darn what's my excuse?


More heresy!

IT industry warned over wasted money | The Register : "It [the survey] highlights the need for the industry to deliver tangible benefits, focus on selling practical solutions not technology for technology's sake and most importantly to improve after sales customer service. With the customer in mind, it is also important for us to focus on integrating new technologies with existing systems and not automatically adopt the 'rip out and replace' mindset."

So why does the industry get away with this approach? I think it may partly be because elements within the customers also like to focus on technology, haven't thought through what the business wants etc.

Treating workers well increases productivity?

Dangerous and subversive ideas: IT company gives workers free beer - wins award | The Register : "n fact, AGI spends around $1m a year on freebies and perks for staff, according to the Detroit Free Press. As a result, workers are more productive, motivated and enjoy coming to work - while the company saves buckets loads of dosh in recruitment and training."

Billionaires For Bush: Our Candidate

Frustrating lack of choice

Shame there are only (really) 2 to choose from, especially when on so many topics they seem tro have identical stances.
Preston L. Bannister:Yes, I want “someone else” for President.

Where is Python going ?

Pensieri di un lunatico minore: The joy of Smalltalk distributed programming:"mostly because I’m bored with Python, and think it’s zooming off into lala land in some ways"

WHich ways, please ?


Spotted in Ted Leung on the air

Those of us fortunate enough to use a Symbolics or a Dorado know that an expressive language and good tools are not mutually exclusive. Perhaps someday there will be another system that combines both. But for now, I'm still looking for a home.

Spotted in Ted Leung on the air

people would pay a service to make up a lie for them so they could get out of a date

Amazing Like hiring a lawyer to get out of a marriage

Spotted in dive into mark

Babies are all-consuming. She¢s fine now, she¢s at her regular kennel and quite happy there.

Baby dog ?

Spotted in Joi Ito's Web

At the Brainstorm conference in 2002, I heard Shimon Peres say, "What can you learn from History? Very little... History was written with red ink, wth bloodshed. We should educate our children how to imagine, not how to remember." I think his words are extremely relevant.

Making it stick.: "We need to think less about the VM (and even less than that about the OS) and more about (sometimes distributed) interprocess communication. But we need to do this without the heavy burden of the WS-* ice field."
bknr: another LISP based web system. Worth a closer look - glad these to-do lists are infinitely long!!

Back from Vacation

Well, that is not the only reason for a paucity of entries, but hope to do better over the next few days.

By the way , we took a week to go around Southern England ( which is where we live). Amazing how many places there are to visit ( and our outstanding list didn't get much shorter). The weather was fantastic: beaches were great, water warm, body-boarding was good. The sailing was fantastic - beautiful sunshine, constant but reasonable breeze. The best sailing I have done in ages.

Now back to work, and it is raining more but still warm. Oh well.



Lisping at JPL: "programming in Java means a life of continual and unremitting pain."