Dan Bricklin on making money through open source

I know this has been discused before, but this pulls a lot of strands together:Thinking about software licensing for a small ISV and the issue of open source

I work for a big company, but aspire to work/own a small one.

As always, applying this thinking internally to a BigCo is also worth some thought.


Udell and Cuningham on Business Processes

Jon Udell: Refactoring the business

Java and Classpaths

Classpaths are a pain - not sure I would argue Python is better just becouse of that !

Keith Devens .com - Weblog: Why Python is better than Java - April 26, 2004

There are other reasons. Buth then python has its import statement.....

Python Import Woes

imports were always the thing I got wrong when I was learning Python - also when I go back to Python after a break!

Victor Ng's Weblog: python's import is broken

Given how nice most of Python is in terms of ease of use, this sticks out like a sore thumb


Live from my sofa

Yea, wireless is working on the iPaq on the sofa in the bosom of my family.

Missed opportunity: Winchester Mini-Blogcon

I have to say I have not seen this sight: You don't see that every day. Even though I live 12 minutes walk from that very spot !

Maybe there are enough folks for a Winchester Mini-blogcon ?

Miguel de Icaza on Longhorn

This makes somber reading:Miguel de Icaza

I think that Miguel is correct that the combinations of technlogies, with dominant position, distribution etc. are what makes this dangerous.

I think it is all too easy to be over impressed by these strategies however. Linux and the ilk have been successful by doing the basics well. The big strategies often don't deliver the benefits that are touted.


A new kind of operating system

I think this is an advance on a notion that Tim O'Reily espoused about the Linux killer apps:Three Species of Operating Systems

Rather the current OS is just part of a much larger OS.

Open Source Projects and Optimistic Concuurency

Ben Hyde provides this analysis:Ascription is an anathema to any enthusiasm: Optimistic Concurrency

Here is a good quote:
I've convinced myself that open systems and optomistic[sic] concurrency are very similar ideas. Open systems make a choice to be optomistic[sic] about the coordination problem. They assume that the system will rarely suffer from rivalry or conflict. Open systems presume that when it does arise, the conflict can be resolved after the fact

I think this is true. I also believe comments about an open systems reaction to a problem ( making it less open) is also true ; I think the reactions of governments (esp. US and UK) to introduce new legislation at the expense of democratic principles is an example.

Ouch - broken Shells

Economist.com | Shell.

Surely this is a good trend for business if not, short-term, for Shell. Greater transparency will keep standards higher. Perhaps it will alter the criteria by which managers and executives are chosen.

Testing trackback and cincom blogs

does it work ?

Yes it does ! Thanks to Haloscan and Cincom Blogs!

Now I just have to remember the real trackback I wanted to do

Learning Seaside

We are out in front - give up now!

Ditch smalltalk already, ok? had a disconcerting tone to it, and the comments are a bit tetchy.

It is almost certainly true that J2ME has more market share than Mobile Smalltalk. Does it have momentum ? Does Smalltalk have a sustainable and marketable advantage ? Is Sun's financial health a factor?

Only time will tell, but let us not be too complacent 'cos we are out in front .....allegedly

Here comes Zope

Open-Source Developers Form Group To Push Zope in the UK

I enjoyed setting up a Zope site; the Squishdot tool was great, for instance.

There was some churn around templates at that time, I seem to recall, and adding Python code seemed to be a lot more difficult. In other words, I hit a bit of a wall and stopped.

Time to take another look ?


It had better be a big bar....

Passwords revealed by sweet deal

Amazing !!


Iranian Politicians Blog

Mohammad Ali Abtahi - Weblog



Site Updates

Added a Creative Commons license tag!

Also a BlogRoll - thanks to BlogRolling

And thanks to
for this one.

Time for a new MPV

Thanks to Gary Turnerfor this pointer:New VW Camper

We were thinking of a new MPV; this could be it !

Praise for Python

Python Page:

"I have recently begun learning and coding in Python. This is a wonderful language with a lot of killer features. It's object oriented from the ground up, easily extendable, massively usable and runs fast. The Python tag line is "Batteries Included", which is very true. Coming from a pretty broad background, which includes languages such as Perl, C, Java, PHP, ASP, Visual Basic, Cold Fusion, Tcl and Objective C, I am flat out amazed by what this language is capable of doing."

Wish I could use it at work !


Carpe Diem

WebMink: my heart certainly goes out to Simon and his family. He accurately describes the kinds of fears that go through parents' minds.

It occured to me that I was glad that my chidren were a biy older, so that cot death was no longer an issue. But then Simon's relation was beyond that age, and only yesterday I found myself checking on our 15 year-old son after he returned from a party: was he really that tired or... ( He was that tired !)

I realise the truth of what my mother said a few years ago: " I worry about my grandchildren - actually I still worry about you as well". So we will never be totally free of this worry - and that is a good thing. We must make the most of life - we are certainly luckier than other ages, and other parts of the world today, where long life is a luxury.

Funny, but probably true...

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Terry Jones: Tony really must try harder


Fudge Factor: #14: April 1, 2004.

Don't think this is April Fools

Good to see a new issue. Even more intersting to read the interviews with Steffan O'Sullivan and Ann Dupuis. Fudge going OGL is certainly intersting, and Ann seems to be very enthusiastic about it, whereas Steffan appeared to be focussed elsewhere.

Just hope the Deryni Fudge rules come out soon!


Smalltalk VM rather than Java for Embedded?

Now this looks interesting:Resilient: Making Embedded Systems Serviceable at Smalltalk Solutions 2004.

A group of people with a deep Java background have rejected a JVM for the embedded market, and instead gone with a Smalltalk based one. There are some charts on the web, but no detailed rationale. Will keep an eye on this one.

Review of Python Blogging Tools

Py - The Online Python Zine looks at Kaa and Firedrop

Near-Time Flow

Looks cool:Near-Time

Only for OS X ?

New Python Wiki

Ian Bicking has been busy:Webware Wiki

Freedom of Choice

Interesting topic for debate Do we want choices? over at the Smalltalk Tidbits blog.

Having recently taken a look at Cincom Smalltalk, I was definitely left rather overwhelmed by what seemed to be a lot of overlapping concepts. I think there are several different cases:

  • There really are too many concepts, no mater how well they are explained
  • A subset of concepts are useful at a users level of sophistication. So typically a newbie needs far fewer concepts to get started
  • A subset of concepts are useful for a particular task. For instance, are ther differering needs for grouping classes during development versus packaging for deployment

I can't find the reference now, but I am pretty sure that the Cincom Smalltalk documentation warns folks away from one concept - could be an idication that it is in the 1st category.

Documentation such as turorials can help with the 2nd and 3rd categories, but obviously tool support is invaluable; many tools have a normal and advanced set of menus, though this can be rather unsophisticated.


Seiko's Ink Link

Another day, another gadget.

Got the Ink Link working, both with PC and iPAQ. Great for capturing sketches, doodles, written notes etc. With the iPAQ it is also meant to recognise handwriting - will try that later.

It is also meant to change ink color, on the screen, not the paper. But doesn't do that for me yet.

I can think of all sorts of useful things that Seiko could add to this, but I got this as an end-of-line, bargain. Will this live on ?


Great pocket PC software

I am still in love with my new gadget - the iPAQ 5550.

Still finding plenty of good softare:

  • PC Informant 5:Although it appears to replace the built in Pocket PC tools ( calndar, contacts etc.) it really does add some nice stuff: looks good, uses screen real estate efficienly, loads of new views, great search ability ("When am I meeting X?"), great filtering, templates etc.etc.
  • Full Screen Keyboard: Not for everyone, but as an ex-Psion user this appeals to me!
  • Pocket Plus: from the same folks as the keyboard, this has a nice set of things: really closes applications, displays various monitors on the today screen, allows you to tailor a list of application buttons to appear on Today, full screen Pocket Explorer and multiple web pages at a time.......
  • Resco Explorer: Another replacement for a built-in app, but allows encryption, zip, drag and drop, and probably a load of other things I haven't found yet. The reason I actually got it, was the ability to associate file types with applications !!
  • Sprite Backup Premium: Does what it says!! Also comes with Space Detective, to tidy up those irritating temp files.
  • Pocket Mindmap: Yes !! Really !! Mindmapping on a Pocket PC!!! Handles the small screen well, with zooming, folding etc. Also the ability to view the map as a hierarchy. Has a partner tool to convert to and from Mind Manager formats on your PC. Great stuff!

Freeview and the power of waiting

In our neighbourhood has very weak TV reception, and some of the channels require a wideband aerial for digital tv. A couple of weeks ago, I phoned around for a new aerial and was aghast at the prices.

Well, doing nothing turned out to be the right thing to do - the local transmitter is now broadcasting in the frequncy band for our aerial.

So, somethings do come to he who waits!!


Finally, got broadband, so surfing should be faster. Still not everything is quick; just hitting the next bottleneck I suppose. But i is gneerally a lot faster, the always on is good, and the occasional setup toime is fine.


Visual Works on Pocket PC

I have to say I found getting the VW environment to work on my iPAQ 5550 very cool. It is not a usable development environment, at least on my resolution, but it is just mind blowing that it runs at all!

I assume this is meant to be a platform for applications, rather than app. development, at least for now.

Very cool!


Blog improvements

Thanks to Haloscan we now have Comments and Trackback on this Blog.

Not sure I understand the Trackback mechanisms though!


Spring is here!

Must be : I mowed the lawn


Lovely Day

The weather was a lovely spring day; I was able to work at home, so whilst I couldn't fully enjoy it, at least I could wander round the garden when todays deadline for administrivia threatened to overwhelm me. Able to watch my wife weeding the flower bed.

Broadband will be installed next week, so that will spur me to get Wi-Fi going too. Surfing the web on the patio is getting closer.

Took #2 son swimming - after a slow start he is coming along well..