Microsoft UK: Earning a place as a national trusted advisor: "

"One of the things that has angered me recently in conversations with IT vendors and at least one standards body about the government's deeply flawed plans is a refusal to show the courage of their convictions. That is - organizations are unwilling to formally criticise current plans by the UK government in case it later impacts their ability to bid for the project.

I call it economic and political cowardice."
Soccer mom no more: " :

" Yes, the soccer season ended Saturday. Ten months until the girls play soccer again."

What? It has only just started - it only stops for 2 months (at most). Next year ( world cup) it won't stop at all!!


Lisp spreading !!

Reader: "I had to install Lisp in a Box and start working through Seibel's new book on Common Lisp until my brain started functioning again."

At least it's not negative !

Groundhog Day: "Loathe though I am to direct more attention to the authority which acknowledges no responsibility, I am pleased that, as of this post, Groundhog Day is 'worth' $0.00."

By a strange coincidence, my blog is worth the same amount!

BTW, I like Groundhog Day - that's my 2 cents :-)


This is a late parrot

Avian flu found in parrot in UK: "A parrot which died in quarantine in the UK has tested positive for avian flu, the government has said."

Well, you may as well go laughing ..... gulp.


Imminent threat?

It is always diffcult to judge from newspaper reports but ....Britain, UK news from The Times and The Sunday Times - Times Online: "The father of three from Hackney, East London, was shot in the head and hand on September 22, 1999 after a table leg he was carrying in a blue plastic bag was mistaken for a sawn-off shotgun." (My emphasis)

"The CPS has concluded that the prosecution evidence is insufficient to rebut the officers’ assertion that they were acting in self defence. We have also concluded that the threat which they believed they faced made the use of fatal force reasonable in the circumstances as they perceived them."
(My emphasis)

So in the UK, don't where quilted jackets(oh wait, I mean don't wear be Brazilian and where a denim jacket), don't carry things in plastic bags......

I think a large part of the problem is that, since they are normally deal with criminals, the police lose sight of the fact that most people are just going about there normal business.


You say GMail, I say GoogleMail

The BBC has this statement about the on-going dispute of the use of the term "Gmail" in UK and Germany:BBC NEWS | Business | Google drops Gmail address in UK: "For now, though, Google will not be able to promote one of its most high-profile brands in two of Europe's largest economies."

But what sort of "promotion" is Google doing? It seems to be mainly word-of-mouth, so this is not really an issue. Are there any technical limitations caused by this dispute? If not, no one will care.

Winchester Cathedral Concert

I had an extended lunch break yesterday and attended a "Lunchtime Concert" in Winchester Cathedral. It was given by the Winchester School Orchestra and the Flute Choir. Our daughter plays in the Orchestra. A lovely concert in a great venue.

On our way home my wife, daughter and I had a coffee; a super chance to chat in different surroundings, congratulate and generally feel good about things! Aren't proud parents embarrassing !

If you are in (old) Hampshire look out for these (free) concerts - highly recommended !


Good news for Eclipse

ActiveWin.com - Father of Wiki Moves from Microsoft to Eclipse: "Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation, announced on Monday that Ward Cunningham is leaving Microsoft to join the staff of the open-source tool consortium. Cunningham's new title is Director of Committer Community Development."


Eating out(side) in London

I am a bit behind in any blog entries except those sniping at other peoples comments - they are a lot easier to do!

Last week I was staying in London for a meeting. A colleague and I walked to the bank of the Thames just west of Southwark bridge, and were able to sit outside a restaurant and have dinner at 8pm in October. The weather was warm, it didn't rain, plenty of people sauntering passed, nice meal and a view of St Paul's Cathedral lit up across the weather.

It must be global warming!!


Yahoo! Mail: "The beta version is only available to
Yahoo! Mail users in the U.S. "

Why? Just makes me happier to stick with GMail


I think this is an incorrect statement:Reader: "But Lisp syntax was designed 50 years ago to make it easy to parse! We don't have to optimize for this anymore -- it's time to optimize for the programmer!"

I think the point of Lisp's rather odd looking syntax is to allow for the powerful Lisp macro feature ( not to be confused with the macro systems in other langauages). There is a whole notion of blurring the (false) distinction between code and data.

Of course, how often that is useful to you will colour your opinion of the advantage:pain ratio. What is more interesting is that if you don't try this aspect, you may never realise that you needed it. "Language shapes thought"

Abuse of power

Britain, UK news from The Times and The Sunday Times - Times Online: "Ms Cameron was being hailed yesterday as Scotland’s answer to Walter Wolfgang, the 82-year-old heckler manhandled out of the Labour Party conference last month. She was arrested under the Terrorism Act for walking along a cycle path in the harbour area of Dundee."

Give more powers and they will get used .... not as originally intended.


Looking a gift cow in the mouth

BBC NEWS | UK | US rejects British Katrina beef: "The US has blocked the distribution of around 350,000 packaged meals donated by Britain for victims of Hurricane Katrina, because of mad cow disease.

US officials said the meals - routinely eaten by UK soldiers - were not considered unsafe but fell foul of its post-BSE ban on British beef products.


I wonder why there is a "post-BSE" ban still in place?


The youth of today

What I Did this Summer: "I think in some cases it's not so much that they lack the appetite for work, but that the work they're offered is unappetizing."

I have to agree - I think this applies at school too ( perhaps more so). How to engage, interest, challenge ( and educate) ? And I don't mean this in some elitest sense; I'm not talking about the top5% or whatever. Most kids can do a lot better in a range of areas, many of which aren't what the schools get measured on.


Competition Time: Spot the errors of fact and argument

Scripting News: 10/13/2005: "After years of maintaining absolute control over user's data in Microsoft Office, the new version promises to give total control to the user, and creates a path for developers to siphon users from Microsoft to new or specialized products. One would think that this would spawn an explosion of new products designed to please Office users but that's not what's happening. A group of large technology companies is proposing a competing set of formats, and has formed an alliance to confuse the market, and at least double the work of any developer who might want to support their products (with almost no installed base) alongside Microsoft's (with a monopolistic dominant installed base). It's not surprising that the group is lead by the detritus of the last generation of tech companies. The thriving companies, Google, Yahoo and others have the good sense to sit this time and money-waster out. "


This says it all.....

Guardian Unlimited Football | Match Reports | Football: England 1 - 0 Austria: "A performance of outstanding character swept England through to the World Cup finals. It was given by Holland....."


Jimland RPG Lives On!

Terra Incognita: The NAGS Society Website: "Huzzah! Jim Wright has graciously agreed to make Adventures in Jimland, his game of adventure and exploration in wildest Jimland, available for download. The NAGS Society will host the files on the Adventures in Jimland page. Action, romance, humor, adventure, really big beasts, and bigger guns."

Never played it - but I did enjoy some of the stories !! Glad it is still available

Disparate Separate Languages

Stuart Kent:
"So I was mildly amused to see the title printed on the menu that interpreted the acronym 'UML' as 'Universal Modeling Language'. I also noticed that alongside the UML logo on the conference program, the acronym is expanded as 'United Modeling Language'. Having experienced OMG politics at first hand during the standardization process for UML 2.0, I find the latter interpretation particularly ironic."

Wow - Google Reader

I think this will change a lot of things. I tried it - it imported an OPML file of my feeds , it loaded the feeds quickly, and of course I can use a browser based blogger client very easily.

Spotted in Smalltalk Tidbits, Industry Rants

Google has jumped into the online aggregator game. That's going to impact BlogLines, I'm sure. I


Reading source code for edification, entertainment and shock value

I came across this by one of the greats:developerWorks : Blogs : Grady Booch: "I've mentioned this before, but no one bit on my comment: in universities, there are fine arts courses in reading the classics, but I've yet to see a technical course in selected readings of software source code.

I was somewhat surprised, given Grady's background, that the emphasis was on code rather than design ( unless he has converted to the "code is the design" way of thinking)

I certainly think the literate programming style would encourage code reading by highlighting key passages, perhaps discussing alternatives etc.

I did a quick google for "reading source code"; there were a couple of universities pointing at chunks of source code to be read. These also reminded me of the language sensitivity of the source reading approach - I have forgotten so much C that it was difficult to spot the key issues.

And I found this - perhaps this is why we don't read source code:
We Are Morons: a quick look at the Win2k source:

In the struggle to meet deadlines, I think pretty much all programmers have put in comments they might later regret, including swear words and acerbic comments about other code or requirements. Also, any conscientious coder will put in prominent comments warning others about the trickier parts of the code. Comments like "UGLY TERRIBLE HACK" tend to indicate good code rather than bad: in bad code ugly terrible hacks are considered par for the course. It would therefore be both hypocritical and meaningless to go through the comments looking for embarrassments. But also fun, so let's go.


Paul Graham is Wrong (Aaron Swartz: The Weblog): "Paul Graham is Wrong"


Good point James !!

Spotted in Smalltalk Tidbits, Industry Rants

If Google were actually interested in a future "sans Microsoft", you would think that their client tools would support the Mac and Linux, at least (and it says something about Sun's desperation that they were willing to appear with a vendor who will support Solaris approximately never).


Spotted in Making it stick.

WS-* usurped CORBA on the premise that the result would be simpler and better, yet years later both claims remain suspect.


Are all specs useless ( not just OPML :-) )?

Spotted in Slashdot

Linus Torvalds raised a few eyebrows (and furrowed even more in confusion) by saying "A 'spec' is close to useless. I have _never_ seen a spec that was both big enough to be useful _and_ accurate. And I have seen _lots_ of total crap work that was based on specs. It's _the_ single worst way to write software, because it by definition means that the software was written to match theory, not reality."

Spotted in Planet Lisp

Brad Parker emailed me to say that he has "permission from MIT to release all the LISPM source code with a "BSD like" source license". This is fabulous news as it means that, at long last, the key software components that made up the Lisp Machines will be publicly available.