Be there

So many thoughts and feelings ran through me when I read this:Julie Leung: Seedlings & Sprouts: He is not here: Easter morning 2005: "He is not here"

Maybe I will organise them to write about them, and relate this to my similar yet different experiences.

I thank Julie, and others, who share their deeply personal experiences; it enriches us all.

Heaven in Cubesville?

Joe Beda's EightyPercent.net: "Switching teams at Google is a very fluid process. An engineer can be 40% on one project, 40% on something completely different and 20% on his or her own thing. That mix can be adjusted as project requirements change. Switching groups should also not have an affect on your annual review score because of arbitrary team politics. Joining a new group is more about find a good mutual fit then going through HR and a formal interview loop. "

Worth reading the whole thing.... and showing to your boss ( unless s/he has pointy-hair)


What is she talking about?

Chocolate and Vodka :: Main Page: "In reality, we're all a bit fiendish and a bit phobic, but understanding how your mind functions will help you to create a set of learning techniques which work best for you."

Diversity of suppliers in less popular languages

Bill Clementson's Blog: "CL Implementations for Mac OS X". Bill points to several different implementations of CL on Mac OS X. More the merrier? Hmm, actually none of them sound that good to me ! Would they be better off collaborating on fewer implementations, and being better at linking to multiple GUI's, stores, SOAP/WS-* for example?

I have similar experience: I have been playing with SBCL and McCLIM on Linux. If I want to continue playing when I only have my Laptop around then I have to do it under Windows. Well, SBCL doesn't run on Windows, but there are several other possible CL implementations. But wait, McCLIM doesn't run under Linux - there is talk about porting it, but that would probably need more people..... but they are too busy build multiple CL implementations.

Of course the answer is to shell out some Euros on a commercial CL implelentation, but that discourages newcomers ( or returners like me) in the early stages of experimentation. It's all about groundwell, folks?

newsgroup also had a thread on the viability of Dolphin Smalltalk - this lead to s discussion of this versus VisualWorks. Sounds like the Dolphin guys are building a system for money - great idea ! But how could it be setup so that they don't have to try to maintain a language implementation, IDE etc. Should they start using Visual Works or Squeak? Or could they use a Smalltalk core and add components?

From a commercial point of view, is there an advantage in knowing there are many potential suppliers of a language? Probably. But what if half of them appear not to be small and not flourishing? Well, that coud be worse than just one viable one.

My passing observation is that there is a similar myriad of small Eiffel companies as well.

This situation plays into the hands of Java, C# etc.

What's to be done?


What is Microsoft's MOF?

Jean Bezivin: "The big challenge is how to cope with the fragmentation problem, i.e. the co-existence of hundreds or even thousands of these DSLs."

I'm an outsider

Julie Leung: Seedlings & Sprouts: The Outsider: why high school never ends: "Doc is right too. We don't have to be like anyone else. The more we try to be like others, the less worth we have. Diversity is beauty."


Another lesson from Lisp?

fare: What Makes Lisp Great: "What Makes Lisp Great"

Interesting discussion. In the comments, the point made about "pointy-haired managers" not stopping the uptake of Linux is interesting; I wonder whether the next popular language ( or language revival!) will be driven by uptake in the technical community on the Web? Is IBM's adoption of PHP a sign of this phenomenon? I think the adoption of Java was a combination of marketing and smart, quick moves getting Java into browsers.

Making it stick.: Preventing Death: "How much longer can our 'culture of life' continue to ignore millions of deaths a year? "


Free Software Foundation denies GPLv3 forking risk - ZDNet UK News: "'When it's all over people will say about the GPL 3, 'it's better, it's not that different, what's all the fuss about?'' said Moglen. 'People have to trust that we know what we're doing.' This echoes his previous statements where he said that the process was 'going to be a screaming match some days, but it is going to be a noble effort when it's over.'


The FSF anf EFF have done a great job so far, so they deserve some trust. There is no imminent crisis, so time can be taken. It would be great if GPL3 helped to staunch the multiplication of Open Source licences.


BeyondVC: When competitors are acquired...: "First of all, the majority of acquisitions fail. Secondly, your competitor will be inwardly focused and quite distracted for the first 6 months trying to integrate with the parent company. Finally, depending on how the acquisition was completed, employees will begin to leave as soon as they get the bulk of their money off of the table. When a competitor is acquired, rather than sulk and worry about why it wasn't you, try to aggressively exploit the situation and use it as an opportunity to grab market share and poach some experienced and talented personnel from your nemesis. "


England a success

Spotted in Seth's Blog
In England more people are employed by Indian restaurants than in steelmaking, coal mining, and ship building combined

Obviously we have transitioned away from the old-fashioned manufacturing-based economy !


Survival of the most flexible?

From James Robertson Smalltalk Tidbits, Industry Rants:

Patrick Logan says that Java and C# (et. al.) are not only dead ends, but doomed:

Not only did Lisp and Smalltalk languages and tools support evolution as well as backward compatibility, the culture and organization encouraged even drastic swings in features.

J/J and C/C do not have those benefits, neither technical nor organizational. They are ultimately doomed, so the word to the wise would seem obviously to get off those platforms ASAP. Invest in systems that have proven themselves already for decades."

So, the big question is, how do you get the advantages of Java/C# ( common libraries, low costs, a huge range of tool builders etc.) for good languages?

Code and Other Laws of CyberSpace updated by wiki

WikiHome: "Lawrence Lessig first published Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace in 1999. After five years in print and five years of changes in law, technology, and the context in which they reside, Code needs an update. But rather than do this alone, Professor Lessig is using this wiki to open the editing process to all, to draw upon the creativity and knowledge of the community. This is an online, collaborative book update; a first of its kind.

Once the the project nears completion, Professor Lessig will take the contents of this wiki and ready it for publication. The resulting book, Code v.2, will be published in late 2005 by Basic Books. All royalties, including the book advance, will be donated to Creative Commons."

Via Slashdot


Steve Cook on Software Factories

Inside Software Factories:

Stage two involves what we’re developing here in Cambridge in conjunction with Redmond, which is the Microsoft Tools for DSL (Domain Specific Languages). These are a way of building customised modelling tools for Visual Studio, so you can essentially define your own modelling language and implement it very simply.

And Steve hasn't changed a bit.....


Lessig right again

Lawrence Lessig:
"But why Europe would voluntarily adopt a policy that will only burden its software developers and only benefit US interests is beyond me.

They call it a 'democracy' that they're building in Europe. I don't see it. Instead, they have created a government of bureaucrats, more easily captured by special interests than anything in the US."

Couldn't have said it better myself.



Spotted in The Doctor is in

You people who don't jump on the bleeding edge really should thank folks like me who do.


I hear you , brother!

James Governor's MonkChips: SOA = Some Other Acronym: "SOA? SOA What? What is important is discipline. Screw The S and the O. Its all about the A"

We need more A, less M and less H.... and we need D too.

What is brittle?

Spotted in Smalltalk Tidbits, Industry Rants

IBM's own Visual Age toolset was based on the Smalltalk language and "was getting increasingly brittle." The new development environment would have to remain flexible and allow dissimilar tools to plug into it and share files.


Metacase and Smalltalk?

Steven Kelly on DSM: "Aside from being a Domain-Specific Modeling cheerleader, I'm a member of the 'I'll stop using Smalltalk when they pry it from my cold dead fingers' club."

Is Metacase a smalltalk app ?

Richard Gabriel: Lifetime Achievement

WebMink: "I see that my friend and inspiration Richard Gabriel has been awarded a lifetime achievement award by the ACM. It's richly deserved. He's an insightful and reflective person and has been the philosophical guide behind many startlingly new things Sun has done in the field of software development. "

I agree that Richard is a great influence.

Anyone seen a review of the book mentioned? Innovation Happens Elsewhere

SOA does have pictures

If you register for CDBI ( recommended if you are in this field) you can see some SOA pictures:Communicating SOA:

"We noted a recent ITWorld article by Sean McGrath that suggested that there are no commonly accepted pictures that represent SOA. He said, 'When I think of entity/relationship modeling I see pictures. When I think of data flow diagramming I see pictures. When I think of Jackson Systems Design I see pictures. And so on it goes through network databases to relational modeling to distributed objects. Until we arrive at some of today's buzzwords du jour. Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)'.

He went on to say, 'Without a good set of pictures, SOA might as well stand for Some Other Architecture. On today's pictorial evidence, perhaps it does.'

Well that's very strange. Hopefully CBDI subscribers will think differently because we have made hundreds of images available from our presentation and workshops.

Strangely enough CBDI had been discussing precisely this point recently and we had already set ourselves the task of coming up with just 6 diagrams that depict SOA. In the end we decided upon 11. This suggested set doesn't try to be comprehensive. Rather it attempts to communicate the basic concepts. If you like them we encourage you to use these images to communicate and explain the concepts to others. All we ask is please ensure that CBDI is attributed."

Of course the view in an earlier post about requiring more definite artefacts is still true. I'm interested in diagrams with precise semantics - too often the architecture/golfers diagrams make people feel safe, but say very little.

Practical Common Lisp - on-line forever

Spotted in Planet Lisp

I have on my desk a fully-executed addendum to my contract with Apress that will allow me to keep the full text of Practical Common Lisp online in perpetuity. I hope that having the book freely available will help bring new people to Lisp.

And I think this will help books sales

More on SOA hype

[Spotted in Smalltalk Tidbits, Industry Rants > http://www.cincomsmalltalk.com/blog/blogView?showComments=true&entry=3287310973]

The whole SOA myth makes for a great sales pitch by IBM types to high level 'architect' types whose job involves little more than doodling with crayons and going on IBM sponsored golfing trips. It does not, sadly, translate well to gruntspeak. us grunts are simple folk, we like code examples, we like concrete classes, and by god, we like xml. Anything else and most of us will be flailing about helplessly trying, and failing, to relate to the subject matter.


I need to move

Scripting News: 3/1/2005: "Basic requirements for a place to live: Starbucks, Barnes and Noble, an NPR station within range."

Darn, Winchester has no Starbucks, no Barnes and Noble - and I was so happy here until Dave pulled the scales from my eyes.

Via Adam Curry, I started listening to Catholic Insider(http://www.rorate.com/catholicinsider/scripts/index.php). Yesterday's podcast was a tour around Trastevere in Rome ( my wife and I visited Rome 2 years ago at this time and loved it but missed this part); one of Fr. Roderick's remarks concerned how the people there had no need of Starbucks as their coffee shops were so wonderful.

Dave, run quick, BigCo tentacles have amost dragged you into their domain - perhaps you can still escape. Support your local coffee and book shops !!

Webmink as a subversive

Hmm, too deep for me ; what is he suggesting?
Spotted in WebMink

Sean McGrath on SOA - where are the pictures?

ITworld.com - SOA = Some Other Architecture?

I think that one of the problems for SOA is that most of the key concepts are not new - at a conceptual level we are talking about interconnected components. At the level where new stuff starts to show up, e.g. use of Web Services, we are annotating diagrams. We could as easily use CORBA as WS-*

So I am not expecting new types of picture