And that's what you're all missing....

Hmm, I think Robert is missing something too.........

Spotted in Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger

And, as a user, I wonder "why can't the developers just get their OPML to work with Dave's application?"

"Because it is a crappy spec, and Dave has the advantage of extra information in his head and so doesn't depend on said spec"

Live editing

Spotted in Ted Leung on the air

Congrats to Abe Fettig on the launch of JotSpot Live. Abe was madly hacking on this during Gnomedex, and a few of us we able to do some collaborative note taking.

This looks really cool - I wish I had written that !


Swapping Java out

Not the BEA kind of swap :-)

Uncentered Mind ? Blog Archive ? Friend says Java is out of his workplace:

"A friend of mine told me tonight that his boss is putting the axe in Java at his workplace. This is explained by the very low productivity of Java."

So my friend asked me what I would recommend. Since they were doing web-based stuff with Java, I suggested that they look into Ruby on Rails and/or LAMP. I also mentioned that Smalltalk would be a good choice, because they could get commercial support from Cincom.


Getting Things Done: Psyche and Health

An interesting perspective on an focus of mine - mental attitude and health: David Allen:

"Katharine and I had lunch here in London with a dear old friend and very senior professional who's been a champion of GTD and our work for years, who's dealing now with a rather rare form of cancer. He mentioned that one of the great things about the GTD thought process that's made a huge difference to him is in being able to relate to the cancer as a 'project.' There's so much negative mystique about cancer, apparently, that the more one can view the illness as simply something to be dealt with, with actions to be taken, the healthier it is for the psyche (and who knows, then, how much for the body?)

A savvy and awesomely sobering perspective, to be sure.

We are coming to understand health not as the absence of disease, but rather as the process by which individuals maintain their sense of coherence (i.e. sense that life is comprehensible, manageable, and meaningful) and ability to function in the face of changes in themselves and their relationships with their environment. - Aaron Antonovsky"

Squeak can warp your mind

Does Squeak get you to work this way too??: "But, I've come a conclusion. I believe that Squeak forces you to exercise your browsing and code comprehension skills. It's a fact. Just about the only way to do some things in Squeak is dig in deep to understand what the heck is going on first. My impression is that folks who do a lot of work with Squeak are very skilled at working 'legacy' Smalltalk code."


May things only get better

Howard Stearns' Inventing the Future: A Model of Success: "The other day I was sitting on my back porch. Resting comfortably on my lap was all the resources I needed to do my high-tech computer work. The box also played my favorite music, and when my wife asked about the lyrics, I was able to look them up in the greatest library the world has ever known. We checked our calendar, and printed a custom map to the next day's event. And so forth. "

Quick send for the marines, another country developing WMD... oh, wait !

Spotted in The Register

The US Army has asked companies to bid for contracts to produce large quantities of anthrax and equipment to produce other unnamed biological agents, according to New Scientist, but has not said what it needs the facilities for.

Now if Iraq had done something like this......

What is it with HP and upgrades?

Official: HP iPAQ hw6500 no Windows Mobile 5 Upgrade @ Dave's iPAQ: "therefore HP will not provide MS Windows Mobile 5.0 on the iPAQ h6300 and hw6500 models"

Hmm, I have an iPaq 5550; HP refuse to upgrade that from Pocket PC 2003. When I upgrade I will look at each vendors record of upgrades (You have been warned - my masive upgrade budget is up for grabs :-) )

Yes, he was missing something

:: Reviews : First Look at Ubuntu 5.10 Preview: "Was I missing something? "

Possibly a sense of humour!

The first obstacle I had to get by was the naming the developers chose for their releases. I find it amazing that they've gotten so popular with such atrocious branding. This release (v5.04) is called “Hoary” or “Hoary Hedgehog”

hmm, hoary translales as old - I think the author maybe thinking of horny?

Ubuntu's current version this time around is called “Breezy Badger”, and I'm not going to even bother trying to decipher that. Recently, it was announced that the next release of Ubuntu would be named “Dapper Drake”... which I believe might translate directly to “gay duck”.

Well, actually, no that isn't how it is translated - let's not decimate the language needlessly - "dapper" - means well dressed.

BTW, all definitions checked in dictionary.com (just in case anyone feels I'm playing the English English vs. US English game)


Spotted in Planet Lisp

Every so often, some troll appears on c.l.l. and asks something along the lines of "What's so great about lisp?".

Read it all

Gartner as a big co. competitor

James Governor's MonkChips:
"It seems to me Gartner will increasingly be competitive with major vendors when it comes to industry mindshare and account control, benchmarking and best practices. It is also going to be hit by open source analysis.

Define the language used to speak about technology deployment and you are on the way to defining the market and its purchasing patterns. There are some signs Microsoft, for one, is becoming less willing to play Gartner's bucket game, if recent public disavowals around ESB and SOA are anything to go by, which is interesting."

Gartner are a low grade tech info broker. They gather stuff up via briefings with vendors who seek the opinion because... they distribute a regurgitated form to IT management that is not very technical and is worried about being fired for not following "best practice"......

Silt Blog Plugin works on Linux again

Just upgraded to BottomFeeder 4.0, and the Blog Tool works again under Linux - your mileage may ( or may have) vary(varied).

Good stuff

Spotted in Lemonodor

Hurricane researchers at the NOAA Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory in Miami, Fla., marked a new milestone in hurricane observation as the first unmanned aircraft touched down after a 10-hour mission into Tropical Storm Ophelia, which lost its hurricane strength Thursday night.

Interesting timing....

BBC NEWS | Politics | Lib Dems facing donation inquiry: "The Liberal Democrats are to be investigated over a ?2.4m donation received before May's general election, the Electoral Commission has confirmed."

You have to wonder why this came out this week? That's politics ,I guess


Hey, where was my invitation?

Spotted in Smalltalk Tidbits, Industry Rants

So he can't talk about Yahoo's plans - but wait, I thought secret meetings were evil? I guess they're evil only if they don't involve certain people with overly large egos....

James missed a major opportunity to practice his blog-flouncing - I mean how come he wasn't invited? How come I wasn't invited? And how come the patron saint of down-trodden bloggers not only got an invitation, but actually attended? huh?

A thread in time saves 9 hours debugging

Spotted in Smalltalk Tidbits, Industry Rants

Now, some will pop up at this point and say that non-OS threads (like VisualWorks Smalltalk has) raise the same problems. The answer is, no they don't. Why? Well, the process model for VisualWorks processes is written in Smalltalk, at the image level. That means that you as the developer have complete control over lightweight process semantics. If you don't like the process model, it's simple to implement a different one, because you don't need to dive into the VM to do it.

OK, but one of the points in the original post was that multi-threading gave error-prone code - are VWs semantics simpler, the debugger better? Being easy to change from a base which is the same on all platforms is cool, but didn't answer that point (for me at least).

Multi-threading hell

Via:: cleverdevil ::: Needled by Threads a quote from D. Richard Hipp:

"I am constantly amazed at the prevailing idea (exemplified by Java) that software should be strongly typed and should not use goto statement or pointers – all in the name of reducing bugs – but that it is OK to use multiple threads within the same address space. Strong typing helps prevent only bugs that are trivially easy to locate and fix. The use of goto statements and pointers likewise results in deterministic problems that are easy to test for and relatively easy to track down and correct. But threading bugs tend to manifest themselves as timing-dependent glitches and lock-ups that are hardware and platform dependent, that never happen the same way twice, and that only appear for customers after deployment and never in a testing environment."

The other question is: for whom?

Smalltalk Tidbits, Industry Rants: Retrenchment, not realignment: "The question is, how bad will the pain get between now and then?"
Making it stick.: Happy Goldfish in a Bowl: "Focusing on the structure that's connected directly to the 14x14 retinal patch, Olshausen pointed out that the amount of data fed to that structure by the retina, and passed up the column to the next layer, is dwarfed by the amount of feedback coming down from that next layer."


Spotted in Smalltalk Tidbits, Industry Rants

A few authors have decided to sue Google over their library project - apparently, they would rather remain obscure and hard to find. Google has a response here, and I think their response makes a lot more sense than the suit.

From the Google piece, it would appear authors can opt in as far as showing content...

What is all the fuss about?

Spotted in Planet Lisp

With such age comes a tendency towards slow deliberation, a sense that the time spent mulling over decisions and examining all possibilities is in the end more fruitful.

Spotted in Smalltalk Tidbits, Industry Rants

the next time I'm in the market, I'm much more likely to get a Mac.



NICE TITS - Pictures of Tits: "A selection of beautiful pictures of Tits."

Oh no we don't

British Computer Society - Member view: The trouble with open source: "What we really need from government is an investigation of the long-term effects of OSS"

To paraphrase Dilbert "This aricle is wrong on so many levels" - if I stay annoyed long enough while articulate all of them!

So, it would appear that the only people who are actually free to participate in OSS projects are self-employed or unemployed software professionals, students and enthusiastic amateurs.

Or professional programmer employed by companies who see benefits in OSS?

The open source movement, with its hacker ethic, doesn't promote professionalism.

See above - the author hasn't got a handle on the members of the community. Also, note the absence of facts - the whole paragraph is just a set of assertions.

I remember a quote saying how good the leaders of OSS projects tended to be - they had to be as the only ruled by the consent of the ruled. Unlike companies where factors other than being good at software development can get in the way.......


Understanding programs ... language bias ahead

Spotted in Smalltalk Tidbits, Industry Rants

Have you ever tried to go back an make significant changes to a large Smalltalk application that you haven't touched the code for in 3-5 years or maybe didn't even a part in writing? Try that some time if you haven't and then tell us what you think of Smalltalk. If a language can't pass that battle test, it sucks. IMO, Java passes that test very well, much better than Smalltalk or C/C++.

Anything objective here? I suspect the answer for any particular person is which language they are most familiar. I really can't see much difference between Java and Smalltalk in the respect.

Actually, I suspect that "module" design, naming conventions, comments etc. have far more impact anyway


Raible Designs ~ We Build Web Apps: "I think it's more important to hire smart people that can learn a technology, rather than hiring those that know a technology."

Spotted in Smalltalk Tidbits, Industry Rants

Warning: The first time I saw Smalltalk was free download of VisualWorks in 2000. I was learning J2EE at the time and my immediate reaction was, "We've been had!" Learning Smalltalk can leave you with a huge level of disappointment with the current "state of the art" languages.

Bad PR

Miguel de Icaza: "What they failed to mention is that the Mono BOF was never listed for voting, and hence it never received a single vote. My submission was confirmed as I exchanged two emails with Stuart Celarier at Corillian, but the BOF was never listed and further emails to Stuart went unanswered"


The other side of bad science reporting

New Scientist Breaking News - Most scientific papers are probably wrong: "Surprisingly, Ioannidis says another predictor of false findings is if a field is 'hot', with many teams feeling pressure to beat the others to statistically significant findings."

"We should accept that most research findings will be refuted. Some will be replicated and validated. The replication process is more important than the first discovery," Ioannidis says.


Spotted in Smalltalk Tidbits, Industry Rants

This is the sort of thinking that irritates me

Me too. And after being sensitised the Guardian's article on bad science this irritates me too:

Some scholars think so
"And I don't think that's healthy in the long run."

Note the introduction of the word scholar to give weight to the conclusion - then notice the "thinking". If you read the article (


there is a total absence of what makes scholars words more weighty - evidence from research. Where are the survey results? It is hard to say if this is because of poor reporting, or the absence of research.

I guess it will fuel some bar conversations, but it isn't otherwise useful.


Spotted in Simon Phipps, SunMink

All these (and more, watch for it now I've mentioned it) want you to approach the discussion from the perspective this is Microsoft vs OpenOffice.org, Microsoft vs Sun, Microsoft vs Free Software - in other words, they want to frame the conversation as company competitive when it's nothing of the sort. Massachusetts are not mandating OpenOffice.org or any other specific product.

Spotted in Planet Lisp

the quality and functionality of the LispM development environments has yet to be matched by any current IDE in any programming language.


Enough politics and technology - now cycling!!

OK, I bought the Lemond Etape road bike that I mentioned a few posts back !

First, a hat tip to Peter Hansford Cycles here in Winchester, UK - they went the extra mile to make sure I was happy, the bike was setup right and to add a few extra pieces. No great discounts, but a few extras and great service.

I have only had a chance to ride it twice so far. The first ride was for an hour - I thought I was going a bit faster than my old bike - then I realised I now had the trip computer set to miles an hour , instead of km/h on the old one. In other words, I was going a lot faster.

The second ride ( yesterday) was 2 hour s, with a couple of other guys planning to do the GridIron. That is when the comparison's really hit home -it was effortless to be out if front, with people I have struggled to follow before! I think there maybe two more purchases of bikes in this area soon.

All in all, this is so much better than I anticipated - it has put the fun back in cycling for me.


Please expand on this...

Thousands of HP Europe staff to feel Emperor Hurd's axe | The Register: "HP can ill-afford damaged morale at this juncture"

Why is this? Don't get me wrong, this may be true, and I certainly would prefer to see no job losses, but I do hate these unsubstantiated comments. Would it be better to damage morale at another time ? When? Or must morale never be damaged, no matter what?


Why does the rule say that?

BBC SPORT | Football | My Club | Chelsea | Chelsea charged over drugs policy: "The rule says: 'The independent private testing/screening of players by clubs, club officials or any other person subject to FA rules is prohibited.'"

Thoughtful stuff - applicable world-wide

I'm tuning into this blog.Groundhog Day: "somewhere out of all this hot air must come a discussion, an argument, (not a 'conversation') about the value of public service, the role of leadership, an examination of authority, responsibility, and accountability. We need to take a close look at that 'social fabric' that supposedly binds us as a nation. Is it nothing more than a blind faith in the 'invisible hand' of the marketplace? How can what is presumably 'the best of us,' so grievously fail 'the least of us?' What do we expect from our leaders in the way of leadership, at all levels of government? And don't look to our so-called 'leaders' to lead this discussion.

I've seen a lot of folks wondering what 'we' can do to address this situation, and, predictably, people are focusing on technological solutions, when what we have is not a fundamentally technological problem. It's something far less physical. It's a crisis of faith, it's a kind of identity crisis about who we are as a people and what we say we believe."


Smalltalk Tidbits, Industry Rants: The power of dynamic: "The guys describe a small web app that they built using a 'lite' Java stack - Spring and Hibernate instead of the full J2EE stack. Time to build - 4 months. Ok, they decided, on a whim, to try Ruby on Rails. Time to build?

4 Days

That's a pretty amazing productivity jump, and they were pretty shocked. They went on to state that dynamic languages just have it all over Java in this sphere, mentioning Ruby, Lisp, Python, and Smalltalk (stating that Ruby has momentum)."


Katrina will hit eurozone finances hard - Analysis - Times Online: "...let me begin by saying that the events in New Orleans have epitomised everything most abhorrent about an American dream that has turned to nightmare since George W. Bush came to power."

Simply amazing.... New Orleans photo

Pass Christian House Before/After on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Time to buy a road bike

I have been a keen cyclist for many years. Most recently I have had a mountain bike, but recently realised that I had been riding almost exclusively on roads. I even swapped to slick tyres.

Weel, tomorrow I'm off to be fitted for a road bike. I have looked at a Trek 1000 and a Giant OCR 3, but I think I will go for a Lemond Etape. These are very much entry level road bikes, but I am rather excited about it nonetheless!

My intention is to do the New Forest GridIron 100km on October 16th with it - wish me luck.
GridIron 2005


New Orleans' founders had a clue

Smalltalk Tidbits, Industry Rants: New Orleans: A Prediction: "The historic district seems to have mostly escaped"

Hmmm, so its the newer bits that are underwater? Strange.....

Never happens in the UK. You never get property developers looking round and saying "Wow, look at all that flat land no one has built on yet. Wonder why they call it a flood plain..."

BTW: I noticed someone mentioned the fact that New Orleans was built on a flood plain - no, it is in a basin ( except the old part).


Blair said this in May too

BBC NEWS | Politics | Blair pledges new 'yob' crackdown:

"Yobbish behaviour in Britain's streets and schools will not be tolerated, Tony Blair said as he set out his priorities for a third term in office."

My emphasis added.

"He put much of the blame on parents, saying he could bring in laws but could not raise people's children for them."

Hmm - schools where children spend 7 hours a day..... are there any effective sanctions for bad behaviour there ? Or can schools just point at parents as classes which start with a few disruptive elements degenerate as a whole?

Uh-oh : vague increase in state powers approaching (again)

BBC NEWS | Politics | Blair calls for better parenting: "He says bad parenting is not just a private matter for families, and that the state should intervene earlier."

And why pick on the parents? So much of society ( which the government does influence) allows anti-social behaviour with no real threat of punishment, and, in the absence of any other "rewards", encourages activities which raise individual's reputation amongst their peers. Can people be allowed to watch/read nearly anything on mainstream media without an effect? Successful government propaganda throughout the ages and across the continents suggest otherwise. How about other aspects such as government quotas on new houses in certain regions ? Overcrowding perhaps? Too few amenities/ entertainments.....

Man, things are getting worse.

Politics News Article | Reuters.com: "'America should be heartened by the fact that the world is reaching out to America at a time of need,' he added.

Earlier, President George W. Bush said in a television interview that the United States could take care of itself. "
The Washington Monthly: "The Army Corps of Engineers budget for levee construction in New Orleans is slashed. Jefferson Parish emergency management chiefs Walter Maestri comments: 'It appears that the money has been moved in the president's budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that's the price we pay.'"
AMK's Journal: Most inept administration ever: "It took me two minutes of Googling to identify the Erickson Air Crane Company and obtain their email address and phone number. The Air Crane is one of the most powerful helicopters in the world (used for lifting trucks and putting out fires, for example). I emailed them today asking if anyone had contacted them about the levee. They replied immediately that while they had put out the word to government entities, and while they are a DOD-listed contractor, they had not been contacted by any Government entity as of Wednesday evening."


Senator Will Ask Rumsfeld to Testify to Panel on Iraq - New York Times: "'The level of concern is, I think, gradually rising,' Mr. Warner said in an interview on Friday. 'Our nation has given so much to the Iraqi people, and what are they giving us in return?'"

I think a large section of the Iraqi population don't regard it as "giving".