Nowadays, whenever I program in Common Lisp, I tend to think of the quote by Obi-Wan (Alec Guinness) from Star Wars:

"This is the weapon of a Jedi Knight. Not as clumsy or as random as a blaster, but an elegant weapon for a more civilized age."

I have another answer

Advert on The Register:

"What do you do when customers contact you because their system has failed? If you're a member of the Microsoft Partner Programme you can access free* Business Critical Telephone Support from Microsoft engineers - worth ?199 per incident. It's free to become a Registered Member of the Microsoft Partner Programme and takes only minutes online."

Or swap to Linux where you have a chance of fixing it yourself, contacting a forum, IRC channel.......

I've seen the future and it is sub-optimal

Smile: you're under global surveillance | The Register: "The result, however, will be a massive loss of freedoms in exchange for systems which do not succeed in their intended purposes, and which may even obstruct them by chasing down the blind alleys of predictive 'threat models' and risk profiling. 'The initiatives described in this report are not effective in flagging terrorists or stopping their determined plans,' it says. 'They divert crucial resources away from the kind of investments in human intelligence we need to give us good intelligence about specific threats, rather than useless information on the nearly 100 per cent of the population that poses no threat whatsoever.'"


MBA Thesis?

Mini-Microsoft: Who ain't John Galt: "somewhere along the way some crap and chum got snagged in the net and crap begets crap and crap hires crap"


Jon Udell on SOA Forum

Could be an interesting discussion:Jon Udell: InfoWorld SOA Executive Forum: Building applications on the SOA platform: "on objects, components, and services: Roger Sessions suggests the following definitions: objects share common operating system processes and execution environments; components cross process boundaries; services cross process and environment boundaries. Do we agree with these definitions? If so, what do they imply for service-oriented development?"

ACM Queue - Schizoid Classes - Of class, type, and method: "Good article. Just two notes. First, a commercial Smalltalk is not noticably slower than C# or Java. Second, Smalltalkers (and other dynamic language users) consider the lack of static typing a HUGE plus, but that gets into an unproductive religous war that both sides should just agree to disagree on.
Regardless, I would not consider either a 'high price' to pay."

Someone agrees with me!

ACM Queue - Schizoid Classes - Of class, type, and method: "Smalltalk pays a high price elsewhere for taking object orientation to the extreme, notably in complete loss of static typing and serious runtime efficiency penalties."

Is the complete loss of static typing a high price to pay ? I don't think so. Much slower than Java: which benchmarks?


Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater

From my perspective this advice is OK:Simplicity Blog: "Wharton's Michael Useem nails one of the things our own Cincom research on business reorganization indicates as vital leading the internal team culture so that it can accept the kinds of change needed for success. 'Hurd should give thought to H-P's culture -- a problematic area for Fiorina, who clashed with longtime H-P employees accustomed to the collegial, time-honored 'H-P way. Here, Hurd should take his guidance from the great Lou Gerstner [former CEO at IBM]. After two years of working to transform IBM - in much the same way Hurd has to do now at H-P -- a barrier to the kind of performance Gerstner wanted was the inward-looking IBM culture. It had a resisting effect within IBM vis-a-vis the kinds of changes Gerstner sensed were critical to turning the company around. He worked hard on reconstituting the culture. For Hurd, the question is going to be whether the H-P culture is where it ought to be to make it the kind of company he wants.'"

but my experience is that the whole culture gets really knocked around - this needs to be done in such a way that the good parts of the culture are not lost. Otherwise you end up with an average (or below-average) company.

I think it is very easy for any company to become inward looking, and this what needs to be changed. Get your engineers/development mgrs/etc. out with customers and ensure that what they learn flows round the organisation. Make sure they haven't become so process bound that they can't breathe without permission. Make sure you change of ethos is real, and affects all the organisation. Again my experience is that the grass-roots devlopers are happy to get out more, but are often restricted by IP concerns, contractural concerns, projects which already take 80 hours a week. And you actually find ( especially when the company is in crisis) that the development managers are given stretch targets in terms of delivering products at the very time you need the developers to be more outward looking. So the top-brass trumpets a new culture, but do not play enough attention to the pragmatic day-to-day decisions that affect peoples careers: what targets are they being set, what behaviours will be rewarded at review time etc.

HP needs to keep the elements of its culture which lead to technologically savvy, high-quality products. A consensus is only a problem if it takes too long, or has only internal priorities to balance.


: "Stay tuned; I'll tell you all about it." - Hope the next installment makes sense!
LWN: Big-ticket software gets a haircut (News.com): "Gartner forecasts that the total revenue from application server license sales will start to decline in 2006."



UK to use passports to build national fingeprint database | The Register: "but the Government is said to contend that as passports are issued under royal prerogative, it doesn't need legislation to demand fingerprints from passport applicants."


Spotted in Planet Lisp

The good acceptance of Lispers is encouraging and growing. According to Peter, the book " is selling like hotcakes". I am just one of the many who preordered it several months ago. Lisp is back. You will be assimilated.


Downer of the month?

Alexander Payne: "loathed son of the teeming Slashdot cesspool"

Spotted in Making it stick.

Witness the really neat integrations of Python, Smalltalk, and Lisp with the Next Step frameworks. No contortions or compromises, just simple, straightforward integration of reusable frameworks into your language of choice, static or dynamic.


A keyhole on Norvig's Python And Lisp

Python for Lisp Programmers: "GUI, Web, etc. libraries Lisp: Not standard Python:GUI, Web libraries standard"

This is a key problem for Lisp

Scheme (and C) on developerWorks

Higher order functions: "Functions are the wonderful and powerful building blocks of computer programs. Functions allow you to break code down into simpler, more manageable steps. They also allow you to break programs into reusable parts -- parts that are both reusable within the program and in other programs as well. In this article, learn how to create new functions at runtime based on templates, how to create functions that are configurable at runtime using function parameters, and how the Scheme language can be a valuable tool with functions."



Last month I typed:KBM's Web Log: "Dave, run quick, BigCo tentacles have amost dragged you into their domain - perhaps you can still escape. Support your local coffee and book shops !!"

Now I find this: Delocator; need to enable pop-ups

Aftermath of BitKeeper

No More Free BitKeeper:
"A vocal group has long protested Linus' use of BitKeeper, considering Linux the free and open source flagship product. GNU Project founder Richard Stallman [interview] is among the protestors, harshly criticizing Linus' decision to use a non-free (as in freedom) tool "

I have to say I think Richard was right - why sacrifice so much to get a tool which forces Linus to look at things in less detail? Was there no other way?

Was the OSDL contractor working in his own time? Do we want a system where an open community turns into the Marine core to "discipline" its members? I don't think so.

Or have the BitKeeper folks realised that they need to focus on a different market? Why not just say so and leave quietly?

Spotted in Smalltalk Tidbits, Industry Rants

You don't have to live with text editors and command line compilers :)

One of my feelings with VAST (and I assume it would be the same with VW, Sueak etc.) is that integrating with tools ( other than those expressly designed for VW etc.) is expensive. I was delighted when VAJ left the "enclosed IDE" model.

Spotted in Ted Leung on the air

Is it really such a great achievement to be incorporating this feature 8 or 13 years after it appears in Emacs?

The New York Times > Opinion > Editorial: The Judges Made Them Do It: "It was sickening that an elected official would publicly offer these sociopaths as examples of any democratic value, let alone as holders of legitimate concerns about the judiciary."

Spotted in Making it stick.

DSL's are best built in Lisp and Smalltalk, somewhat less so in Ruby and Python. But Ruby and Python programmers could argue that pretty well with me. I think I know both of them pretty well but not so well as to say I know I know both of them pretty well.

Spotted in Juha-Pekka on DSM

I personally don't see MOF suitable for constructing Domain-Specific Modeling languages.

Spotted in Planet Lisp

Some person had some reason for thinking it would be a good thing for somebody. And until we know what the reason was, we really cannot judge whether the reason was reasonable. It is extremely probable that we have overlooked some whole aspect of the question, if something set up by human beings like ourselves seems to be entirely meaningless and mysterious.
Via Brian Mastenbrook


Lest we forget

Idle Words: "My own grandfather is older than modern Poland; being in Europe means we can now take the independence and continued existence of this country for granted, a remarkable luxury."

Of course, it depends what you mean by independence! And for how long ? I guess the Roman Empire lasted a few hundred years.

Take that !

Idle Words: "But you, sir, are no painter. And while you hack away at your terminal, or ride your homemade Segway, we painters and musicians are going to be right over here with all the wine, hash, and hot chicks."

One programmer/painter puts down another!


gapingvoid: this is a whole different league: "No, sorry. This isn't Designer Label. This isn't Madison Avenue. This is a whole different league."


"Poor management can increase software costs more rapidly than any other factor." -Barry Boehm
Via Making it Stick


Groan !

memoria technica | Gary Turner's Weblog: "Do you think it would be reasonable to characterise a mean spirited sense of competition existing between two landscape gardening companies, as a turf war?"

Gary will get Scottish humour a bad name.


Why do they keep these things in beta?

Google Gulp

Mac sensation

Via Ted Leung: According to Paul Graham, the Mac is the hackers machine of choice.

Is it working?

BBC NEWS | Wales | North East Wales | Tardis builder awaits new Daleks: "A Doctor Who fan who built a life-size Tardis in his family's back garden has given the new BBC television series about his hero the thumbs-up."

Kent Beck: Don't just hang on!

Hmm, food for thought for many I suspect - but what about the pension fund? :-)

Yahoo! Groups : xpbookdiscussiongroup Messages : Message 606 of 625: "Desperately
hanging onto a job by any means necessary doesn't lead to either personal
satisfaction or job security. I think integrity and accountability are
particularly important in a climate of fear. The culture of abundance is
inside your heart, not something you rely on someone else to hand you."