I'll be at a customer location today, completely without network access (I know, the horror :) ). I should be back online later this afternoon.
I'll be getting an initial build of BottomFeeder on VW 7.4.1 out this afternoon - the major new stuff is plumbing (we now have NTLM auth support, for instance). I'll have a summary of what's new soon - I'm hoping to release Bf 4.2 on top of 7.4.1 in the very near future.
If I doubted the need for a better deployment answer for Cincom Smalltalk, I have been being reminded all afternoon. The process of working through Runtime Packager issues on a new release (7.4.1 in this case) are never fun. It's always fairly straightforward once I get the packaging script saved with the right parameter set, but until then - utter pain. This remains at the top of my agenda for things that need to be made better in the product.
I had thought of maybe using it to quickly create some apps for my personal data, but found myself backing off from putting my data on their server. It appears that their focus is on SMBs, but would SMBs want to put their business data online like this? I also found myself not wanting to pay the monthly fee; I do hope they can find another business model that doesn't require the consumer to pay. Maybe they could make it free up to 10MB of data or something. Otherwise I'm concerned that they just won't get the uptick I think they deserve.
The second concern is one of those things I find fascinating - the expectation that stuff should be free. Richard Stallman may be happy with that theory, but here's the thing - it costs real money to pay a mortgage and put food on the table. Where is this expectation of free coming from? Maybe developers should stop getting paid - that may be the only way to insert some reality back into the software space.
James McGovern throws the gauntlet down to the Ruby crowd again, challenging them to get something published:
Folks reading this blog entry need to consider adding him to their blogroll... Awhile back I threw out the challenge to the Ruby community that if within thirty days, they could get a single Fortune 100 enterprise whose primary business isn't technology to tell a story in a public forum (conference or magazine) about how they used Ruby to develop an enterprise application (aka system of record) that I would make a sizable donation to a mutually agreed upon charity. I still have my money in my pocket.
He repeats the challenge further down in his post. The thing is, non-technology companies have no real motivation to do that. If problems are being solved, they tend not to care how it was done - at least in the corporate marketing and executive suites. In the standards/architect groups, and in IT groups, on the other hand, they tend to be overly concerned with following the herd, due to the perceived safety - see my post earlier on that.
The people who most need to wonder about potentially better ways of doing things are the architects and IT managers. Asking for case studies - which will have to flow from the Marketing group - isn't going to move the ball forward.
Marten Feldtmann has joined the blogging lineup here - go check out his thoughts on Smalltalk and C# over here.
The Summer Release of Cincom Smalltalk is officially out - upgrades are being sent to existing customers now. I'll be updating the NC download application today.
Explain to me again how class action suits help people?
Just off the top of my head, The Object People created TopLink back in the early 90's. Around 1992 ParcPlace shipped the ObjectLens. There are likely hundred of others out there; those are just two Smalltalk specific implementations that come immediately to mind. Reading through the patent, it looks like the ObjectLens should certainly be prior art.
This is yet another example of how patents and software don't mix. Copyright ought to be enough.
Put Lessig on the list of utopians who believe that we can get neutrality legislation for the internet, but not get any of the content restrictions that have appeared on TV and Radio with it. You want the "7 bad words" banned? Then advocate for neutrality. You want the political free for all of the current blogosphere to fall under campaign finance laws? Then advocate for reform.
While you're at it, check the pile of manure - there might be a pony in there too.
This is a funny story, but at the same time it illustrates a problem not addressed by the humor:
This recently hired pilot fish is trying to improve security by installing security cables to lock each laptop to a desk. That's simple enough, right?
So IT locks each laptop to a desk to prevent theft. Ok... but that also completely destroys the rationale for getting a laptop in the first place. The point is mobility, both inside the office and outside of it. If your plan is to lock them down, just get desktop machines and flatscreen monitors - it will be less expensive, and easier to upgrade.
It's things like this that lead the user community to just shake their heads at the ideas that flow down from management and IT...
Microsoft shuffled their exec team again - it's starting to look a lot like IBM back in the bad days of the early 90's....
The download site has been updated - follow the link that was sent to you in email, or register for the NC here now. VW 7.4.1 and OST 7.1.1 are ready for download. Enjoy!
Update: All the configuration file issues have been dealt with now; the new bits are ready for download
I've just posted a new development build of BottomFeeder on the site - this is based on the newly released VW 7.4.1, and should support NTLM proxy servers. As well, the spell check code for the editor is now pure Smalltalk - which means that it's faster, and works on all supported platforms. The build scripts are updated as well - you should be able to build from the Public Store or from parcels.
Ted Murphy, CEO of advertising firm Mindcomet, has launched a new service called PayPerPost.com. You guessed it, it’s a marketplace for companies to connect with bloggers who are willing to blog about a product - for a price. The companies can set guidelines for their requests such as whether a picture must be included and whether they will only pay for positive blog coverage. There does not appear to be any requirement that the payment for coverage be disclosed. There is a requirement that PayPerPost.com must approve your post before you are paid. Wow.
This sounds like a blogosphere version of product placement. You know - you watch a movie, and when a laptop gets opened, it's a MacBook. When a soda gets drunk it's a coke. And so on. I'm not sure I'd call this the end of the blogosphere as we know it, but it sure will make separating the wheat from the chaff a lot harder.
Of course, you already need to pay attention to the messenger. I do Smalltalk advocacy here, and you should take note of the fact that I'm the product manager for Cincom Smalltalk. The relevant bit here is that I disclose that - and as Mike notes above, there's no apparent disclosure in the PayPerPost system. What this boils down to is that anyone using this service had better hope that they aren't found out - their stealth marketing will turn into an anti-campaign immediately.
It's time for my weekly look at the logs - first up, BottomFeeder downloads, which ran at a rate of 161 per day last week:
Those look about the same as always. Next, the HTML page accesses:
|Tool||Percentage of Accesses|
That looks like the normal distribution for the site. Interestingly, the absolute number of pageviews doesn't seem to be rising much, while the number of unique IP addresses in that mix is rising. Good trend, I'd say. Finally, the RSS accesses:
|Tool||Percentage of Accesses|
|Net News Wire||8%|
|Google Feed Fetcher||3.6%|
|RSS 2 Email||1.3%|
Slight increase in share for Bf this week, but about normal otherwise.
I've posted a new dev build - the one I posted yesterday had some issues with the update tool. THis one seems fine that way - go to the download page, and scroll down to the Dev section. Bear in mind that this is a dev build, so it would be prudent to back stuff up :)
Update: If you do grab this dev build, then grab the update for the main (BottomFeeder) component - there was a missing code problem in that piece, and the update addresses that.
Scoble explains in a Wired interview why RSS will remain important - but will also stay niche:
In an RSS aggregator it shows you any new things, so it makes it so much more productive. So the first thing I ask is, do you read more than a couple of sites? Do you keep going back to the same sites?
And that's why it's not going to go mainstream, because if you're reading only one or two, there's not enough of a productivity gain for you to care.
That's why journalists and newsfreaks care, people who are passionate about keeping up with lots of things. It's the passionate ones, and they're the ones getting everybody to pay attention anyway.
That's about the size of it. People like me (I'm subscribed to 311 feeds right now) are outliers - most people just aren't interested in that much news and information. If you visit a handful of sites once or twice a day, a browser works great, and bookmarks are sufficient. It's only when you start trying to follow tens (or, like me, hundreds) of news sources a day that an aggregator becomes critical.
I suspect that if I refer to the original creators of the agile manifesto as a club they may go into defense mode. Maybe they could tell us why none of the original members worked for large enterprises, the federal government, large consulting firms and so on. While the work was good, was this in rebellion to something else?
Well, the creation of XP itself happened on the C3 project at Chrysler. Which was (and is), a pretty big enterprise shop. In fact, the C3 project was an attempt to rescue an enterprisey project that was failing.
The Times catches up with the fact that every customer interaction is now part of marketing - they have an analysis up of the "please cancel my AOL" thing that made the rounds a few weeks ago (as well as the "sleeping Comcast technician" incident). Here's their take:
How should Mr. Finkelstein have responded? By writing a letter of complaint to some distant regulatory authority that will require years before it acts? Far more effective means are now at hand. He recorded, then uploaded the video clip with some humorous asides about missed appointments and unfulfilled promises, and got immediate satisfaction in the act of sharing. More than 500,000 viewers have watched Mr. Finkelstein's video "thank you" note to Comcast.
AOL and Comcast executives in charge of customer service may long for the good old days when they had to deal only with a finite number of federal regulators and state attorneys general, not a universe of millions of Web-savvy customers.
Maybe those execs should buy Glenn Reynold's book :) The fact is, every customer interaction is now a potential marketing incident - and the more Kafkaesque ones can create huge blowback. To wit - AOL has been flagged by regulators for this sort of thing before - but it didn't take. This sort of thing has a far better chance of succeeding, because it puts the negative experience of the people affected right on the front burner:
AOL internally boasts to its employees that third-party verification is an "industry-first initiative to guarantee quality," but isn't this like a parolee showing off his electronic ankle bracelet as proof of how trustworthy he is? The public embarrassment of the settlement faded with time, but then Mr. Ferrari's five-minute recording undid 10 months of public relations repair work.
Seems that even the slow learners at AOL have finally gotten the message:
On the Monday after the public debut of Mr. Ferrari's call to AOL, Scott Falconer, an AOL executive vice president, sent an e-mail message to company employees alerting them to Mr. Ferrari's blog post and warned, "On any interaction, you should assume that it could be posted on the Web."
That's only been obvious for a few years now. You would think that a supposed tech company would get that, but their failure to adapt to the broadband world has led them down a really stupid path. Reading the rest of the article, it sounds like they'll need a few more object lessons before they really get it.
I guess it was a good idea to just turn trackbacks off - since about 4 AM on the 29th, there have been 14,201 attempted trackbacks (and most likely a handful were actual, non-spam trackbacks).
With the Summer Release out the door, it's time to take a look at what's new in the upcoming Winter Release. Here's the list of what's planned:
- ObjectStudio 8 initial support (Probably Preview)
- ObjectStudio running on the VW VM
- Bug fixes for ObjectStudio 7.1.2 (7.x existing VM path)
We will have more details on ObjectStudio 8 as initial beta testing happens
- 64 bit support for HP (PA Risc) and PPC (PPC Mac, AIX)
- Support for intel based Mac OS X (should be available after the summer release, and before the winter release)
- New, more stable PPC Mac OS X VM (should be available after the summer release, and before the winter release)
- Shared Perm space implemented on 64 bit platforms
- Loadable GUI on PPC/AIX & HPPA/HPUX
- 64 bit DLLCC on all supported 64 bit platforms
- Initial support for deploying a Smalltalk app as a DLL/shared lib with callable APIs
- Base System
- Non-blocking DNS lookups
- Fix for font lookup issues that impact some Linux distributions
- Threaded COM Support
- Win CE support folded into the base system
- Continued work on simplifying the deployment of Smalltalk applications
- Delivery of a smaller base.im
- Continued Unicode improvements, including VM/image level support on the Mac
- More Locales - Chinese, possibly others
- Maintain Override loading order
- Atomic Source Loading
- Configuration Management with tools
- Improvements to the Merge Tool
- Preview support for Splash, the Pollock based GUI Builder
- Continued work on unifying the tools sub-strata for inspectors, debugger, and browsers
- XSchema moved to supported state
- Ciphers - CTR Mode, RSA-PKCS1v2 padding
- OpenSSL wrapper - add RSA, DSA, DH (preview)
- certificate creation APIs
- more extensions
- TLS v 1.1/1.2
- Pluggable APIs for the OpenSSL wrapper
- ASN.1 - further improvements
- Net Clients
- MIME enhancements
- HTTPS proxying
- Smalltalk to Smalltalk (Opentalk)
- bi-directional connections
- firewall/NAT traversal
- secure connections (SSL)
- Web Services
- Header support in WS Tools
- X2O binding editor
- WSDL binding editor
- Pollock - see the Roadmap for details
- Deliver Feature Set 3
- Web Toolkit
- Scripting (startup) support
- Better headless operation
- Browser (Web) Plugin
- Full support for Windows IE
- CAB installer support (Windows)
- Possible support for Linux/Mozilla and Safari
- Move to supported state
- Sybase 15 support
- SQL Server 2005 Support
- Oracle timestamp data type support
- ODBC Connection Pooling
- MySQL Support
- Connects for 64 bit platforms
I mentioned in passing that I was subscribed to 320 feeds the other day. This evening I did some weeding - it turns out that some of the feeds had been inactive for a long time (some for over a year). Pulling those out dropped me down to 284. Still a lot, but it's under the 300 level :)
My daughter's friends are all out (they had a sleepover last night), and now it's time to get ready for a holiday barbecue. We're having it today instead of on the 4th itself - this way, no one has to head out early for Fireworks. We've made mighty preparations - I have 12 pounds of beef ready to lay across the grill. Happy Fourth of July weekend to all!
I've made progress on freeing two packages from their dependency on BottomFeeder - PatchFileDelivery and SyndicationHandling. The former is a simple toolset for setting up HTTP based updates to an application. To use it, you have to set up an XML based config file on a server, and have HTTP access to that file. Setting up the file works like this:
defs := OrderedCollection new. list := #('ParcelFileName/pcl'). names := #('My Application Parcel'). descripts := #('Description of this component'). sizes := list collect: [:each | each asFilename fileSize]. allows := #(true). list do: [:each | | version nm timestamp properties index | properties := [CodeReader new readInfoFromFileNamed: each] on: OsError, CodeReader fileFormatSignal do: [:ex | ex return: Dictionary new]. version := properties at: #version. nm := properties at: #parcel. timestamp := properties at: #timestamp. index := list indexOf: each. comp := ComponentDefinition parcelName: nm parcelFilename: (each asFilename tail asString) version: version releaseDate: timestamp descriptiveName: (names at: index). comp description: (descripts at: index). comp fileSize: (sizes at: index). comp allowDynamicLoad: (allows at: index). defs add: comp].
That sets up a simple configuration file. You place that in an accessible location (along with the parcel, obviously), and you're ready to go. On the client end, you need to have the UpgradeManager class check for updates. You do that with the #grabRemoteUpgradeDefinitions message. That looks like this:
grabRemoteUpgradeDefinitions "try to connect to remote server and get the available updates" | url defs | url := self settings upgradeURL last = $/ ifTrue: [self settings upgradeURL, self settings upgradeFilename] ifFalse: [self settings upgradeURL, '/', self settings upgradeFilename]. defs := (XMLConfigFile loadFromURL: url). (defs isNil or: [defs isEmpty]) ifTrue: [self patches: #()] ifFalse: [| tmps | tmps := defs first. tmps do: [:each | each oldVersion: each getCurrentlyLoadedVersion]. self patches: (tmps select: [:each | each couldReplaceLoadedComponent])]
That uses the XMLConfigFile class (in a separate package) to load the update definitions. Those are then checked agains what's actually loaded, and we come up with a list of potential updates. In Bf, that's presented to the user - you could automate it from there. In the UpgradeManager, there's an #upgrade: and #upgradeAll API for doing that.
The other package, Syndication-Handling, is not as cleanly separated yet. There are a few ugly #isDefined checks, but it does load and work independently of Bf. Once you load it, you can see how it works by doing this:
doc := Constructor documentFromURL: 'http://www.cincomsmalltalk.com/rssBlog/rssBlogView.xml' forceUpdate: true useMaskedAgent: false. cls := Constructor determineClassToHandle: doc content. target := cls objectForData. feed := cls processDocument: doc content from: 'http://www.cincomsmalltalk.com/rssBlog/rssBlogView.xml' into: target.
You'll get back this if you inspect to feed object:
That code should work against any version of RSS or Atom out there, and should give you back a FeedList (a collection of feeds) if you hand it OPML or OCS.
An interesting question came up on the Smalltalk IRC channel. Say I create a class that I want to use as a model for something in a database. Say the database columns start with capital letters, and I want my accessors and mutators to match those names. If you define the class using the class creation tool, it will force the first letter of each of those methods to lower case - not what you want. You don't want to create all those methods by hand, so what do you do?
Well, out of the mists of old muscle memory I recalled class CodingAssistant. Before the RB was integrated, it was a tool that I had added into the browser's menu, so that I could easily generate those methods. It comes in with the UIPainter parcel, so just load that, and then open the tool this way:
Then enter your class name, select the variables to generate code for, and you're done.
Technorati Tags: smalltalk
We are having our 4th of July bbq a day early - we expect quite a crowd. Things are quiet right now, before they start arriving:
That's the patio we put in by hand a few years ago. It's a nice place now that I've forgotten the pain of moving all that dirt :)
Wouldn't be the fourth without the flag. Soon, this food will be all gone, and more will be arriving to keep it company - not to mention the burgers and dogs!
I was hanging out on the AVSForum the other day and saw several posts from people who said that in their comparisons HD-DVD is far superior to BlueRay tests.
See how the grassroots could be changing popular opinion?
Maybe, but I rather suspect that the biggest driver of opinion for the two formats will be this. For the HD-DVD:
prices start at $500
For the Blu-Ray:
prices start at $1,000
That differential will hit everyone, including those that pay no attention to the online forums. I'm sure that a set of influencers touting performance differences will have an impact - but the price differential will have a bigger one.
James Governor points to the curtain behind which lies the smallish pile of data upon which Gartner build magic quadrants.
Since industry analysts tend to focus on features at the expense of security, I figured I would use several tools to determine of what quality Ruby is relative to both Java and .NET. I wanted to also include a version of SmallTalk, more specifically the version that James Robertson evangelizes but wasn't sure of if benchmarking information could be published.
Heh. Unlike some of the big vendors, who get their panties in a twist over the idea of independent benchmarks, we don't care. If they don't look good, hey - they don't look good, and either we have work to do, or there's a problem with the test. Either way, we'll learn something.
Btw, it's Smalltalk, not SmallTalk :)
I posted on Ted Neward's failed analogy (in a post about O/R mapping) a week or so ago. Yesterday, at the party we had, a few of us were talking about this and that, and James McGovern's blog came up. One of my friends made an excellent point:
How can you take him seriously, when he posts the kind of silly, unrelated pictures he does?
Exactly. That's a large problem for his blog, and it's the same one Neward had in his post about O/R mapping. When an otherwise ancillary point overwhelms your message, you've failed in the basic task of communication. On McGovern's blog, most of the images he posts are political, and they are bound to irritate roughly half of his potential audience. A lot of the others are just pure nonsense images. In general, none of them have anything to do with the content of his posts.
Those images are like annoying popups - they detract from his message, and make it far less likely that his thoughts will be taken seriously.
Boris Popov has some small, but very cool mods that might help you trick out your VisualWorks image:
Here’s another package that we use quite a bit here, NewSystemIcon. It adds two new sub-menus to the System menu that allow one to pick a non-standard icon to be used throughout the image as well as a menu to change a global background color. Some may find this useful when running multiple images at the same time or simply when they need to differentiate special ones.
Head on over to his blog for some screenshots.
Technorati Tags: smalltalk
James McGovern suggests that Microsoft should OSS their products:
Now if he would only do the same thing to his operating system, Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Exchange. Seems like an opportunity to one up the folks over at Oracle. I wonder if this will get any industry analyst attention?
Yeah, right. How about the firm you work at, James - would it work out well for the employees if they started giving their core products away for free?
Users don’t care about specs, or arguments about formats. When you understand that you’ll understand how RSS got so big in the first place. Dave Winer evangelized RSS by building a publishing tool (Manila and later Radio UserLand) and an aggregator (Radio UserLand and later Share Your OPML.
Where’s the Atom publishing tool and aggregator that demonstrates Atom’s superiority?
Makes me wonder whether Robert got through more than the first paragraph of the post. Two thirds of the way down, DeWitt says:
Put it this way -- I couldn’t be doing half of the work that I’m doing right now on search syndication without Atom. Sending back search results snippets over RSS is one thing. Syndicating rich search content is an entirely different thing, and that requires a non-lossy syndication format.
My recommendation to application developers today is to use Atom 1.0, not RSS, as the basis for your content syndication.
The tools for Atom that demonstrate it's superiority are exactly what DeWitt said: they're all the tools and services being built up around micro-formats. Now, it didn't need to be this way - RSS could have been that spec. Sadly, Dave Winer wouldn't allow for that. For reasons understood only by Dave, he thinks that the lossy nature of RSS is a feature. When people on the RSS Advisory Board disagreed with him, he called their employer (note the resignations). When that wasn't an option, he tried threatening someone else with a lawsuit. Meanwhile, his enablers - like Scoble - say nothing. RSS could have been the unitary spec had Dave not been a complete jerk, and people like Scoble bear some responsibility for that by never, ever calling him on his BS.
Looks like someone is building a Smalltalk implementation native to .NET - have a look at the Vista Smalltalk blog. This is a great explanation of the value, to my mind:
As internet connectivity improves, we will increasingly be building ad-hoc, highly connected applications. Think of how online games or workgroups might evolve as Peer-to-Peer networking becomes commonplace, or think of how applications aggregating data simultaneously from dozens of webservices might evolve.
We will need a more powerful way of doing programming to build ”instant” applications robustly and quickly.
Smalltalk originated in the powerful biological concept of “protected universal cells interacting only through messages that could mimic any desired behavior (Alan Kay)”.
With its simple messaging paradigm and minimal syntax, Smalltalk is probably the best language yet invented for harnessing the increasing potential of the Internet.
Based on this YouTube video, you really, really don't want your fan to fail on an AMD based machine...
Apple is tempting me again:
Apple® today introduced a new $899 configuration of the 17-inch iMac® designed specifically for education customers featuring a 1.83 GHz Intel Core Duo processor, a built-in iSight(TM) video camera and iLife® '06, the next generation of Apple's award-winning suite of digital lifestyle applications. The 17-inch iMac for education is available immediately and will replace the eMac®, Apple's last CRT based computer, providing students and teachers everything they need to learn and create in today's digital classroom, all in the ultra-efficient iMac design.
My daughter is a student, see...
Well this is interesting. Amanda Congdon is out at Rocketboom - and according to her, not by her choice. The main page at RB takes you straight to the archives - and the Friday show from last week was pretty lame. No way to tell why she's gotten the boot, of course - but Rocketboom was Amanda Congdon. They'll need someone fairly dynamic to replace her, that's for sure. Also curious - seemingly no word from Rocketboom as to what's going on. I think they'll find that the lack of transparency is a problem.
Update: Let the speculation begin - anyone doubt that Amanda would be a huge addition to Podtech?
This is the sort of report that likely keeps a few people at the GooglePlex awake nights:
Internet advertisers paid $800 million for bogus clicks on their marketing messages last year, shaking confidence in the industry and prompting many to reduce spending with Google, Yahoo and other Web sites, according to a study to be released today.
While that's a big number, what really matters is how big it is in relation to all ad spending. Some of that context comes further down:
In today's report, advertisers say that 14.6 percent of all clicks are bogus. Moreover, three-quarters of advertisers said they had been victims at least once.
Which still doesn't tell me how big the space is. It may not matter though - the perception is what matters, and this story plays that up:
The study found that 27 percent of advertisers reduced or stopped spending on click-based advertising. An additional 10 percent said they intend to curtail spending.
"In our opinion, it is not acceptable that advertisers fund the illicit profits of the scammers," Chuck Richard, vice president of Outsell, said in the report. He added that the fraud is easy to get away with and that Web sites have done little to stop it.
I have no idea how accurate that survey is, but 27 percent is a decent size number. I've been wondering if/when click fraud would impact Google, and we might be getting near that point.
Update: Steve Rubel talks about the problem
Even more: Cali at GeekbriefTV has Amanda's video and Andrew's statement. Follow the link to watch the video. I don't know either of them, so it's all he said/she said to me...
And More: Jason Calacanis is pitching Amanda on his blog. Amazing...
I've discovered that I like listening to podcasts while I jog, and I noticed that Mike Arrington over at TechCrunch has been podcasting for awhile now. I finished listening to his June 26 interview with the Digg guys today, and something Mike said at the end of the interview struck me.
He was stating that - over time - user editing (i.e, the kind Digg does with its community) will beat out mainstream publications like the New York Times. He figures that the best writers will go independent, and their work will get picked up by sites like Digg. The bottom line - people will select democratized content over edited content.
I'm not so sure. I like Digg, and I check it regularly (using the feed in BottomFeeder). I do find that I'm reading fewer newspapers, but I haven't given up on editors. Rather, I've come to settle on a new set of them completely. Rather than faceless people at the (pick your paper here), I use various bloggers as my filter into the news. I follow people like Arrington, Scoble, Udell, and a raft of others (yes, even Winer - I may dislike his stance on RSS, but he does pick up on stuff I'm interested in) for tech news. I also use Techmeme and Digg - and, truth be told, the signal to noise ratio is way, way higher on Techmeme - nowhere near as much crap gets promoted up.
Which is not to say that Digg serves no purpose - far from it. I just wouldn't count on it as my sole source of input. Digg gets stories that would rarely get past a first cut on an editor controlled site, which does have value. There's room for both models, and I think most people will use both.
Guido van Rossum watched Alan Kay give a presentation recently, and has a number of kind things to say about Squeak, and about Alan's talk. Go read it all.
IT folks need to stop being so serious. One can learn alternative perspectives in a variety of ways. If images distract you then you can choose to not look at them. In the blogosphere there is no audience only folks who can freely choose which channels of information they choose to listen to or ignore. I would say though that several bloggers have indicated that imagery is a good thing.
What he misses is that the images distract from his message, period. It doesn't matter how, or why. It's just the way it is. Accept that simple fact and move along, rather than trying to explain why the problem shouldn't be a problem.
Update: Mark Evans notes that this is a PR nightmare, with most of the damage likely to land on Andrew Baron - regardless of who is mostly at fault:
A quick scan of the blogosphere suggests if Baron intends to fight a PR war against Congdon, he's going to lose - and lose badly. She's got a tremendous amount of goodwill and support so Baron has everyone to lose by trying to make her look back - even if she's wrong.
I think he's got that right. That post by Amanda makes them both look bad, but most of the resulting stench is going to stick to Baron - and I'm not saying that it should. I don't know either one of them, so I have no way of knowing the whole truth of the matter. What I can see is the way the PR wind will blow.
I agree 100 percent with Doc on this:
Which speaks to my concerns about Net Neutrality as well, and why I kinda hope the whole telco "reform" effort in Congress crashes and burns. I think Net Neutrality is a terrific rallying cry and a fine sentiment to carry around in the marketplace. Meaning it's a fire to which we should hold the carriers' feet. But I worry about making it into law.
As Michael Powell warned F2C several months ago, be careful about getting what you wish for. Unintended consequences are a certainty, and it takes a generation or more to unscrew screwy legislation, if it ever gets unscrewed at all.
The net isn't broken now; there's no telling what consequences will flow from yet another complex series of "reform" bills on net neutrality.
Dare Obasanjo reports that MS is going to ship support for ODF in the next rev of Office. This should be a fascinating thing to watch: MS Office will support an open format, and also beats the free tools in terms of legacy operation and disabled access. That last one will likely make for some quiet crow eating in some state governments.
This afternoon, Troy and I were trying to figure out why he couldn't load the feed for one of the internal blogs into BottomFeeder. At first, we thought it might be some kind of oddball network/proxy issue, and brought in one of our IT people to answer questions. Nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary there, so I had Troy go to the System menu in BottomFeeder and open up a workspace. This is one of the cooler things about the application; you can write Smalltalk script just like you can in a development workspace. So, I had him try this:
(HttpClient new get: 'internalUrlWentHere') contents.
That worked, so I had him try out the test code I normally use to look for feed issues:
doc := Constructor documentFromURL: 'internalUrlHere' forceUpdate: true useMaskedAgent: false. cls := Constructor determineClassToHandle: doc content. target := cls objectForData. feed := cls processDocument: doc content from: 'internalUrlHere' into: target.
Inspecting the feed variable at the end showed that the url was reachable - what we had was a cache problem. I had Troy reset his cache in Bf, and all was well. I'll have to see about not caching bad results, but the cool thing was that we could do this in the runtime - he didn't have to set up a dev version in order to try this stuff out.
That's the power of Smalltalk, right there.
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