I wandered by This set of posts from the Dive Into Mark site, and got inspired. I went ahead and made sure all the images had alt tags, made sure that there were shortcut keys to the home page link (which is new) and to the search page. I added label tags to things that should have them - and rearranged the table so that the blog roll is on the right - which makes the content show up first in teext browsers like Lynx. I hope it's improved things - it seems to have.
After some fairly epic brain cramps (related to my lack of sleep from this sinus infection), I added category support to the blog. On entry, I give an entry a category. Still to be done is exposing that in a useful way - I will eventually add a list of categories I use for single click search access. But the hard work of changing the domain model is done - and without having to take the server down. Ahh, the joys of Smalltalk....
I added category support to the blog earlier today, and I've just wrapped up category searches. On the main page - just to the right of the entries - you'll see a list of all the existing categories. Clicking on the link will execute a search for all entries that have been categorized that way. I suppose allowing multiple categories per entry would be more useful, but I haven't gotten to that yet - it's a manual task determining what category an entry belongs in, and there are well over 500 log entries already. What I have now works, and it's pretty cool, if I do say so myself.
If you downloaded the BottomFeeder DEV build I posted two days ago, go grab the latest one now. The last build had a few problems at startup - both for initial (no prior use) and conversion (old style settings). Thiis build has been more thoroughly tested, and works in those situations here. Thanks to Dave for fixing the problems, and to Rich Demers for reporting them!
Then you should go read this article. I feel better knowing that I'm not the only one with issues....
According to this article in New Scientist:
One in four of the planetary systems identified to date outside the Solar System are capable of harbouring other Earths, say astrophysicists, a much higher proportion than anyone expected. The researchers decided the race to detect an extrasolar Earth-like planet is taking too long. So, instead of scanning the skies, they modelled all the planetary systems known so far to work out which could be hiding habitable planets.So what we need now is a handy Warp engine, ehh?
I should be taking down the Christmas tree, so of course I'm reading web logs and fixing BottomFeeder bugs. I have been meaning tto look through Gordon's blogroll - I usually find what he posts to be interesting, so I figured stuff he's reading would be interesting as well. I am not disappointed. I stumbled on the Loosely Coupled right off, and found this post:
A different picture emerges if we look back at what really happens when significant new interoperability standards emerge. HTTP over the Internet brought the commercial Web into being. The addition of RSS to that mix turned weblogs into a powerful channel for amplifying discourse. 802.11b has created an unanticipated blossoming of WiFi hotspots and ad hoc networking. None of these results were predicted (or even expected) by the creators of those standards. Reviewing the practical deployments of web services in 2002, there's been little in the way of heavyweight enterprise deployments, mainly because enterprises still regard the available standards as immature. But there have been plenty of casual or serendipitous discoveries and experiments. One of the best examples was Jon Udell's experiment in joining up URLs from multiple sources based on ISBN numbers. He's just published a new account, The disruptive Web, in which he sums up the ingredients which he believes contributed to its success:That's an interesting set of observations. If you make your main services available as straight HTTP-GETs, anyone can make use of them right now. That doesn't preclude offering other interfaces (SOAP), or using other mechanisms for your own internal operations - but what it does is make your services available to the widest possible audience. The other neat part of this - especially for Smalltalkers - is that it makes the implentation language irrelevant to the end user of your services. What then matters is how quickly and accurately you can get things done. Have a look at the Linea Engineering date and be encouraged - there is a coming software world that is ripe for those with higher productivity."Support HTTP GET-style URLs. Design them carefully, matching de facto standards where they exist. Keep the URLs short, so people can easily understand, modify, and trade them. Establish a blog reputation. Use the blog network to promote the service and enable users of the service to self-organize. It all adds up to a recipe for recombinant growth."
A few more bugs have been slain, but I need some feedback. The FTP uploads work, but I'm having issues with the FTP downloads. Might be my network setup; I need someone else to test that. I fixed the feed icon color issue - feeds stay marked red until all the feed items have been seen. Toggling items from all read to all unread (or vice versa) also changes the feed color appropriately. I also fixed a bug with the item caching setting - it was being ignored, but should not be being ignored any longer. Any bugs - please send them to me
Here's a post I identified with. In my case it's not my parent's - they are happy (and fairly sophisticated for non-tech users) Macintosh folks. My Dad's one of those who likes to mention how easy the Mac is every time I talk about some computer problem. But then there's my uncle and aunt - who are still running Windows 95 (yes, 95!) and using dialup access - because the newer stuff looks hard to them, and they understand what they have. Then there were my neighbors - they sent their computer to a repaiir place, and when it came back it couldn't print. The tech had apparently insttalled an HP driver as some kind of default, and they have an Epson printer. They were utterly baffled. Another example - a couple of years ago, I was visiting my sister. Her husband was at work when her neighbors had a problem signing into AOL. So I went over - they had no idea how to proceed - after a crash they had to reinstall AOL, and they did not know their password - it had always been auto-filled for them. They didn't know how to access any of the hint features most such things have. The printer issue is particularly relative - I see technical folks constantly talking about how people should just install Linux
- I can't imagine most people dealing with XFree86
- I can't imagine most people dealinng with printer installation. If they have trouble with plug and play, how are they going to manage Linux printer installation. And don't even think of asking them to figure out SAMBA.
- The root user/normal user divide will baffle most people. Software installation under Linux is no picnic for the non-technical (and if it's that damnable Oracle Java installer, it's no picnic for anyone) This is how the Fuzzy Blog summarized matters:
Both Jeremy and JWZ are realizing the issues of giving their Mom a Linux box (i.e. Momix): I'm sure that jwz's mother has more computer smarts than mine. And the funny thing is that most mothers aren't terribly adept at using computers. Why? Not because computers need to be difficult, but nobody designs software for them. Why is the way we save documents different than the way we locate them later? It makes little sense. This got me thinking about that old Linux box again. Why can't I at least get my Dad off Windows and make him happy? He'd be lost. Most of the Open Source software is no better than, say Windows, and worse yet it's never been subjected to a usability study. GoIt's a thing to ponder. And if you think aboutt it, it's the main reason that Windows (especially 9x) always defaults to ease of use over security.
If you thought David Gest was the only ass to recently sue Viacom, think again. A Montana man named Jack Ass has sued MTV's parent company, accusing the music channel of "plagiarizing" and "defaming" his good name in connection with the show "Jackass." The 44-year-old Ass, who legally changed his name from Bob Craft in 1997, is seeking at least $10 million from Viacom, which Ass contends is "liable for injury to a reputation I have built and defamation of character I have created."I spotted this over at Gordon Mohr's blog. Truth most assuredly is stranger than fiction
I made the mistake of watching the New York Giants playoff game today; yet again they grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory. So I had to do something useful; I fixed some more BottomFeeder bugs, and worked on adding referral logs to this weblog. After that, I went and added this page to the wiki.
The Cincom Smalltalk Web Toolkit offers developers a standards based way to build Web Applications. Using the Web Toolkit, developers familiar with ASP or JSP will be able to develop VisualWorks Smalltalk driven applications using the same style of development. There are a few examples of Smalltalk Server Page applications on our website: Web Toolkit Applications at Cincom
Visit the Cincom Smalltalk Product Manager's Blog The Cincom Smalltalk main Website Take the Cincom Smalltalk online Survey See Past Survey Results Register to download Cincom Smalltalk Non-Commercial editionThese are all examples of JSP style development in Smalltalk. The pages and stylesheets were created with DreamWeaver, and all the related servlets and backing code live in our application server - a VisualWorks image. ----- Documentation
We have posted the documentation for the WebToolkit in easily accessible HTML: Web Toolkit Documentation JSP Style Development with Smalltalk Server Pages Servlets in Smalltalk ----- Application Server Documentation VisualWave GUI Developers Guide
Web services will continue to struggle on the Internet. XMethods will list only 400 available-over-the-Internet services by the end of the year. The WSA WG will have their architecture document reviewed by the TAG and the Director. One or both of the two will reject it as being incompatible with Web architecture. Much nastiness will ensue.Can't find a lot to argue with there. At the same time, IBM, Sun, and Microsoft will continue to jockey over it, with Microsoft claiming that it's the next big thing. This means that Web Services will be on everyones development checklist, but no one will be quite sure what it all means. Like we haven't been down this path in the IT world before....
I am definitely a big fan of Java, which is a strongly typed programming language. There is something clean and tidy about using JSPs, servlets, and JDBC database connections (along with custom Java code, of course) to build web applications. I seldom use EJBs, JNDI and some other J2EE technologies, but the "lean and mean" combination of JSPs/servlets/JDBC is a pleasure to work with. Still, whenever I do a major project in an untyped language like Common Lisp or Smalltalk, I see a personal productivity gain of about a factor of two improvement over statically typed languages like Java. Still, unless you take into account available class libraries, you are only looking at part of the picture. I really love the Common LISP language but I immediately rule out Common LISP for projects that need technologies like SOAP, WSDL, etc. that are either not well supported in a portable way or are only available on specific vendor's platforms. The situation is better with Smalltalk: the free and excellent Squeak environment has some support for web services, etc. The commercial VisualWorks platform has every web based technology that you or I could name implemented. Note: I am a VisualWorks VAR, so I might be a little biased :-)I'm always pleased to see good things being said about our product. You should add Mark to your favorites list, and add his feed to BottomFeeder
I stumbled on this today and it hit home immeediately.
If Airlines Sold Paint: Hugely Worth ReadingROTFL. Hat tip to the Fuzzy Blog, who pointed here
This is definitely a best of. Totally funny and just plain awesome!Customer: Hi. How much is your paint? Clerk: Well, sir, that all depends on quite a lot of things. Customer: Can you give me a guess? Is there an average price? Clerk: Our lowest price is $12 a gallon, and we have 60 different prices up to $200 a gallon. Customer: What's the difference in the paint? Clerk: Oh, there isn't any difference; it's all the same paint. Customer: Well, then I'd like some of that $12 paint. Clerk: When do you intend to use the paint?
I've been working on a number of things today, including the 2.6 version of BottomFeeder. I have new dev builds up, and I think it's pretty close to release quality. There are nno defects that I know of, so I'll give it a day or two (more if I get error reports, obviously). In other matters, I now have access to the server logs, so I can start taking a look at referers. At this point, I have no idea as to what's going on there. I'll write some code to parse the logs and see what turns up...
- Windows NT
- Visual Basic
- MS Office
Small increases in demand have been tracked over the last two quarters in the following skills areas: Freehand, OLAP, Smalltalk, BPCS and EPOS for permanent positions, with JDBC, JSP EPOS, VPN, VBA and Switches had increased demand for contractors.Well, Smalltalk demand is up? That's great news! As usual, reports of our death have been greatly exaggerated
Remember DeCSS? A program that a fifteen-year-old in Norway hacked out which could decrypt DVDs? The MPAA wanted that kid in jail and filed a criminal complaint against him in Norway. The local court has now issued its ruling, finding him innocent on all counts:Head judge Irene Sogn, in reading the verdict, said no one could be convicted of breaking into their own property, and that there was no proof that Johansen or others had used the program to access illegal pirate copies of films. "The court finds that someone who buys a DVD film that has been legally produced has legal access the film. Something else would apply if the film had been an illegal ... pirate copy," the ruling said. It found that consumers have rights to legally obtained DVD films "even if the films are played in a different way than the makers had foreseen."
I've been yapping about my ReplayTV troubles for awhile now. I've gotten a few emailed suggestions, for which I thank my readers. Nothing has helped though; it's looking more and more like a hardware problem. Which is where the tech support hell comes in. I spent two weeks just trying to get them on the phone. Then when I do get them, I find I'm speaking to people for whom English is a second language. Worse, they tell me they will call back, and they don't. On my second go around with them, I had to try all the tips that didn't work the first time, apparently in accordance with the support script - the second guy said there was no record of my earlier call. But at least he finally accepted that I have a hardware problem. Of course, he said that their systems were down, and would have to wait for a return call to get an RMA number. That was yesterday. What do I draw from this? If your company decides to outsource call centers to an overseas location, be prepared for very, very upset customers. Your customers won't be dealing with people who can solve any actual problems, and also won't be dealing with anyone who is actually empowered to solve any problems. Whatever you think you are saving in salary will get sucked up in angry customers who start giving you bad word of mouth. Like this rant, for instance...
This Thursday I start a Smalltalk class for 4th and 5th graders. I would love to use VisualWorks (and probably would for high school) - but Squeak has more stuff that will be cool for the younger set. I'll probably start off with the Wonderland (Alice) stuff - the Energizer bunny should illustrate the object-message paradigm nicely, and be fun as well. This should be fun, and interesting. I've always said Smalltalk was simple enough for children - I can see how it goes with the 9 and 10 year old set.
In following the various blogs I read, I keep coming across items discussing server logs, referers, etc. I got access to the server logs for CincomSmalltalk last night, and wrote some quick software for scanning through them. I could probably have downloaded something, but it took less time to write the Smalltalk code than to track through google, throw away the first N tools..... etc. So I got to looking at them, and realized two things:
- I'm getting more blog visitors than I thought, since I'm not currently counting the views of the RSS file.
- I also realized that BottomFeeder doesn't tag the User-Agent header in the HTTP requests it makes
Well, it looks like I'm not the only one who thinks that Sun is dreaming with the Java story. Have a look here
On my drive over to the Sun Tech Days presentation in Toronto, an idea kept rattling around in my head: Sun cares a lot about WORA (Write Once Run Anywhere). During the sessions that I attended, one of the things that Sun speakers stressed over and over again was the need for portability across different EJB containers. The question that I don't see addressed very often is: why does Sun care about portability? The answer to this question isn't immediately obvious. After all, Sun is a hardware company that doesn't appear to make money directly from its Java technology suite. Java, however, is the technology that brought Sun into the forefront of public / developer consciousness. So I believe the question really is one of how Sun can turn Java mind share into hardware profits. The answer to this question is that Sun wants Java applications to run on Sun hardware. In order to make that a reality, Java must be portable, otherwise there would be too much friction involved in migrating an application from one hardware / container platform to Sun's. By adopting this strategy, they have effectively tied the future of Sun to the idea that folks could develop Java code on their existing hardware, but that eventually, someday, those folks would reach into their checkbook and buy some Sun hardware. While this is not necessarily a bad strategy, I think this is a horrible strategy for Sun. Java portability is a double-edged sword that lets folks switch to Sun hardware, but it also makes it possible for folks to switch away from Sun hardware. The only way that this strategy can work effectively in the long term is if Sun can outperform the competition in the price / performance. I really don't see how this is possible, as Sun builds and sells proprietary hardware. Their hardware commands a considerable price premium over competitor's products today. In fact, no Sun hardware can be found in the top 10 results for TPC-C raw performance or price/performance. This premium is likely to continue to exist in the future because they lack the economies of scale that are available to the competition. Unless Sun can turn this around, it is likely that businesses will exploit Java's portability to switch away from Sun hardware.I've said the same thing time and again - by making Java portable, Sun forgot what their core business is. They make virtually all of their money from Sparc servers. Thus, making it easily possible for people to migrate from eexpensive Sun hardware to cheap intel (Linux or Windows) hardware, Sun shoots itself in the foot. Business case studies will be written on this eventually - as an example of how not to invalidate your own market.
It's interesting to see how Joss Whedon and (especially) Marti Noxon actually explore these issues instead of merely asserting them. I love Spirited Away, for example, but Miyazaki's masterpiece has a tacked-on moral (always remember who you are) that's hardly more organic than the notoriously-subverted lesson of the Wizard Of Oz (there's no place like home). This weakness comes with the territory; all of these are Parsifals -- bar mitzvah tales -- in which our hero sees the hidden world of grownups and, for the first time, does what adults do. The last line of Spirited Away, "I think I can handle it," is an idiomatic translation of "Today, I am a man." But Buffy isn't doing that any more. Spike's done the unforgivable, and he desperately needs to be forgiven. We've established that enduring terrible trials is necessary, but it wasn't sufficient: he has a soul again, against all odds and in defiance of natural order, but that doesn't really change things. How can Buffy love him? Faith (in Buffy) and prayer are unavailing. Good works don't do it; join the Scoobies, save them, save the world: been there, bored now. Nor is Love enough, clearly, for at this point Spike is once more love's bitch.IMHO, Buffy has gotten better this year than last. I just hope that they don't do the MASH thing and linger well past the point of no return
Hat tip to Terry Raymond
TECH SUPPORT FOR HUSBAND 1.0 Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a slow down in the performance of flower and jewelry applications that had operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0 In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs, such as Romance 9.9, but installed undesirable programs such as NFL 5.0 and NBA 3.0. Conversation 8.0 no longer runs and Housecleaning 2.6 simply crashes the system. I've tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but to no avail. What can I do? DesperateThank goodness the wife doesn't read my blog ;-)
Dear Desperate, First keep in mind, Boyfriend 5.0 is an entertainment package, while Husband 1.0 is an operating system. Try to enter the command: C:/I THOUGHT YOU LOVED ME and install Tears 6.2. Husband 1.0 should then automatically run the applications: Guilty 3.0 and Flowers 7.0. But remember, overuse can cause Husband 1.0 to default to Grumpy Silence 2.5, Happy Hour 7.0, or Beer 6.1. Beer 6.1 is a very bad program that will create SnoringLoudly.WAV files. DO NOT install Mother-In-Law 1.0 or reinstall another Boyfriend program. These are not supported applications and will crash Husband 1.0. In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have a limited memory and cannot learn new application quickly. You might consider buying additional software to improve performance. I personally recommend Hot Food 3.0 and Lingerie 6.9. Good Luck, Tech Support P.S. Whatever you do don't install Winemaker 5.5 and Vineyard Manager 3.0 with Husband 1.0! That will really crash your system! However, Cellar Inventory 3.0 can provide some relief for certain occasions... And I can confirm that Travel 5.1 will not work with Husband 1.0 and the same with EatOut 10.3 and Entertainment 2.8. However, Yardwork 4.7 works extremely well as same with RetirementPlanning 3.9
Smalltalk Solutions 2003 will be held at this hotel in Toronto. The conference is scheduled for July 14-16 - make your plans now. We are actively looking for speakers and tutorial presenters - contact Alan Knight if you are interested in presenting. This will be a great show in a really nice location. And heck, by July all the snow should be melted...
I will be speaking at the NYSTUG meeting next week. This is the announcement from Charles Monteiro, who organizes the STUG there:
James Robertson, Product Manager for Cincom Smalltalk will repeat a recent presentation he gave at an XP conference in Brazil. Extreme Programming was developed in Smalltalk circles, join us and get an insight into why.
Directions: Take E or C train to 34th (Penn Station) walk to corner of 34th and 8th. Walk up one block to 9th. RSVP is requested. Please send mail to: Charles Monteiro with subject line of: NYC Smalltalk Jan 15th. Our meetings are opened to the general public. Invite a friend ! To join our mailing list simply send mail to: Subscribe
Date: January 15th Location: Suite LLC offices Address: 440 9th Avenue, 8th Floor Time: 6:00pm to 6:30 pm Open house 6:30pm to 8:00 pm Main Event
Well campers, it looks like another virus that targets Outlook and Outlook Express is out there. It also hits IE, and supposedly ICQ and IRC. I got this from The Fuzzy Blog.
Ms. Lavigne, a 17-year-old "skater-punk" pop star, joins a growing list of celebrities, most notably tennis beauty Anna Kournakova, who have served as virus writers' bait. Variously Called "Naith," "Avril" and "Lirva" by different antivirus companies, the virus spreads via e-mail, live-chat systems IRC and ICQ, music and file sharing on KaZaA and network file sharing systems, according to antivirus software maker Symantec Corp. (NasdaqNM:SYMC - News), which Tuesday labeled the virus low riskRead the whole thing
Smalltalk is interpreted, whereas C normally isn't. One of the powers of interpreted languages is the ability to easily add much more flexible debugging tools. Sure, you could create a debugging environment for C that had similar functionality, but you'd then be running your program on a completely different "platform" from that without a debugger. Along a similar line, I've seen many cases where a compiler was used to turn code in a normally interpreted language into machine code. Frequently, programs that ran just fine through the interpreter had serious problems in the compiled version. It ends up that there were bugs in the program that just didn't show up in the interpreter.The C language community seems to be stuck in a time warp, perfectly content with crappy tools, and completely unaware that better things have been done in the past, and are being done now.
(TechWeb) -- Human error was the cause of a five-hour outage to Microsoft's .Net Messenger instant message service, a Microsoft executive said Tuesday. Technicians were installing routers to upgrade the .Net Messenger service, which underlies both Windows Messenger and MSN Messenger. The technicians incorrectly configured the routers. Service was out from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern time on Monday. Ironically, the routers were being installed to make the service more reliable.I feel better now about the times I accidentally broke this server....
This item is priceless. I'm copying the entire thing, in between chuckles.
Bacterial Backup BureauThe New Scientist reports that scientists have stored text data in the DNA of a living bacteria -- and then recovered the message after a hundred generations of reproduction:His title for the entry alone makes it worth reading...The scientists took the words of the song It's a Small World and translated it into a code based on the four "letters" of DNA. They then created artificial DNA strands recording different parts of the song. These DNA messages, each about 150 bases long, were inserted into bacteria such as E. coli and Deinococcus radiodurans.No word yet on if they've searched the DNA of creatures in the wild for pre-existing messages from ancient extraterrestrials. Lawyers from Disney and the Harry Fox Agency have sent a "cease and desist" letter to the E. coli and Deinococcus radiodurans demanding that they immediately stop reproducing Disney's copyrighted lyrics. At 7 cents a copy, the petri dish of ever-reproducing bacteria now owes $24 trillion in mechanical licensing fees, and counting.
This job posting was forwarded to me by Charles Monteiro, who got it from Monster.com:
Java Consultant for financial client in New York/New Jersey area. Must have JAVA, SOCKETS, THREADS, AWT ,TCP/IP MUST ALSO HAVE SQL, DDL AND DO QUERY OPTIMIZATION WE DO NOT WANT ANYONE THAT HAS WORKED WITH EJB OR J2EE (ORB / RMI) - PLEASE DO NOT Apply if all you HAVE USED are THESE TECHNOLOGIES - these Java people are a different type that think a different way...SO NO EJB and NO J2EE.That's just way too amusing. I can't think of any other language/platform I've ever seen anything like that...
The comments for my previous post on this on this topic are interesting. Have a look
Jason Jone of Why Smalltalk writes:
Why Smalltalk now offers a home for authors to publish their Smalltalk and/or Object-Oriented articles to the web. This is a voluntary, non-profit effort. All articles will remain the intellectual property of the author. Why Smalltalk will only host the articles to further the educational advancement of the Smalltalk community. Send your submittals to Jason Jones Interested? Follow this link Jason
I taught the first class today. I only have 4 kids, aged 8-11. That makes it easy to get concepts across and give them plenty of hands on time. We used Squeak - it simply has far more kid friendly stuff than VW does. What I had them start with was the Energizer Bunny Alice world. They liked that a lot. They figured out the idea of sending messages to objects pretty quickly, and started working on combining actions to make the bunny do more interesting things. The hour passed quickly, and they all seemed to enjoy it greatly - and they were executing actual Smalltalk interactively! Try that with a set of Java tools
I got this from Dewayne Mikkelson's blog>]. Apparently, Adele Goldberg has published another book:
Article : Learning is a Community Experience : By Adele Goldberg - "Perhaps it is obvious - you do not learn alone, but you do take responsibility for your own education. (14-pages, 206 KB PDF) * Go to Learning is a Community Experience, published in the July/August 2002 edition of the Journal of Object Technology SynapShots Adele was one of the creators of the Smalltalk programming language. She worked at Xerox PARC with Alan Kay and later became the CEO of ParcPlace Systems where she worked to commercialize object-oiented technologies. This article contains her reflections on introducing object-oriented technologies and thinking to the technology world. Lots of good material. I was struck by this definition of an educated person:Go read the whole thingWe think that an educated person is one who knows a little about a lot, and a lot about some focused subject area - one who reads broadly so is conversant on many topics, but one who holds his or her tongue when the hard data is not there to back up the inclination of that tongue.Wouldn't the world be a nicer place if more of us took that advice to heart?
My old Dell laptop has had it - for the second time in 12 months, the keyboard went flaky. Some keys typed multiple times, some not at all. And it changed. It made typing a nightmare, and I spend my day at a keyboard. So you can imagine how fun this was. Today, a replacement came in - I swapped in the old HD, the PCI cards, and voila - back in business. So how often do keyboards go bad? The dell notebook is the first one I've ever had with a bum keyboard. I've had systems from NEC, from IBM, from Panasonic, and from Toshiba. Do other people see this?
I have been asked why I slam Sun and Java so much, and pay less attention to Microsoft. Partly, it's due to my low level of trust in anti-trust law in general - i.e., I don't have a lot to say about the monopoly case. On the language/development level, I think there's a big difference. Sun's mantra is all platforms, so long as you use Java. Microsoft's is any language, so long as you use Windows. To me it's clear which is the nearer term risk to anyone who favors Smalltalk. But there's more - read this
The technologists have won a rare victory over the marketeers at Microsoft this week: the latest renaming of the next release of Windows Server 2003 has removed the ".NET" branding that was first attached to the product in June 2001 - the original launch date of Microsoft's .Net strategy. The move is significant because, instead of attempting to push Windows as the default platform for .Net, Microsoft will now promote its flagship server platform as "Microsoft .NET Connected", a badge that third-party vendors will also be able to earn. As the Register's John Lettice explains:Does this make Microsoft all warm and fuzzy? Heck no. I liked the way Alan Knight put it on the IRC Channel the other day - MS, IBM, Sun (et. al.) are like Godzilla rampaging through Tokyo, and the best we can do is try not to get stepped on. They might sometimes knock down a wall in a way that helps us, but it will likely be an accident. In any case, this is why I slam Sun more often - Sun's current efforts, if successful, would be more damaging to Smalltalk than Microsoft's current efforts would be if they succeed."This logo will indicate 'its ability to easily and consistently connect disparate information, systems, and devices to meet customers' people and business needs (regardless of underlying platform or programming language).' That last bit may have some significance - is it perhaps more important that Windows has fallen off .NET than that .NET has fallen off Windows?"Some significance indeed. The move relegates Windows to the status of just another server platform within the .Net Framework, Microsoft's umbrella architecture for web services, confirming that .Net is now more strategically important to Microsoft than Windows. How long before some version of Linux earns the "Microsoft .NET Connected" badge? That day may be closer than anyone expects - I predict it will be in the first half of 2004.
A few weeks ago, I stopped using my Linux box as a router and bought a Linksys router. Since then, my wife's XP box has steadfastly refused to see the home LAN. It can ping, and do TCP/IP operations - just none of the Windows networking things. Since my Linux box and my Windows ME (bleah) box still talk, I don't think it't my fault. feel the ease of use...
I posted a new survey last week - the topic is categorization of code. With the introduction of Namespaces and Store in 5i, a lot of people voiced concern over how code should/could be organized - by namespace, by category, by parcel, by package (etc.). Here's your chance to let us know what you think. Thanks!
I prefer verbose logging too. I've been working with WebSphere Application Developer during the last year and I've never used the debugger. However verbose logging - IMHO - should be considered as a form of debugging too. Sure, it's not the boring act of step-by-step stumbling through control structures and loops glaring at a huge set off watches, but instead it focuses on what is important in a certain context (if logging is done properly) and is works much faster, because the result simply stays in the form of a log which one can take all the time needed to examine. An important pro of verbose logging to traditional debugging is that proper log statements preferably combined with assertions which validate the state of an object at runtime also provide very usefull documentation of a program. The remaining contra is extra code slowing down execution, even dramatically depending on the log format (imagine the time needed to format date/time information for each 5 or so lines of code). Comes to my mind the fact that object oriented languages use runtime linkage for virtual methods at great scale. Hence it should be possible to keep two versions of code, one containing debugging code and one that has been cleaned - eg. by a modified class loader for example, whic removes all calls to a classes from a certain package. This should enable switching at runtime from a clean non-logging version to a logging-version, if a certain condition is met. For example during a suspicious error, or simply a flag a user can set at the moment he or she detects a bug. This means that even production versions of software could be equiped with shiploads of logging possibilities having nearly no affection at all to their execution speed.What is it with the C syntax crowd that generates "pride" in not using a debugger? In this case, it seems again to be the huge over-emphasis on early optimization - the code must run as fast as possible, even if we have no metrics on how fast is necessary. So there this guy goes, blinders firmly attached, happily unaware that tools exist that could make him a better developer. In fact, there they are, just beyond his grasp...
The Family Room TV is over a decade old, and has a bum picture tube. Off we go to find a replacement. We are looking in the 45" and up range. Suggestions?