It's the opening session of SPA 2007, here at Homerton College. It's a nice location - I like it better than last year's spot, the Robinson Centre. There are three sessions of interest to me this afternoon after the opening - I'm going to head on over to Joseph's session though, since we are adopting more of a Scrum-type approach to development on the Cincom Smalltalk team. Here's to a good week!
I wanted to exercise, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to hear Dave Thomas (Smalltalk Dave) give a talk. Dave is having a fun time offering to let us vote on which of his two presentations to give :) Heh - he's skipping the planned talk due to audience demand, and saying only that there are ways to introduce agile techniques into large organizations. Instead, we're going to take a look at where Dave thinks development is going in the next decade and a half.
Since leaving OTI, Dave has founded Bedarra Research Labs - he's looking to be able to do some development again, but current technology fads make him feel like he's had all his limbs hacked off. The problem: we're in an incredible complexity mess due to the badness of the current languages. This has generated a plethora of tools to try and compensate for that, but it only makes for a bigger pile. We have what Dave calls "Latent Technical Complexity".
Open SOurce from OS to Application allow every customer application to be "unique".
Why the latent complexity?
- Objects, components, interfaces, AOP, WS*, SOA (etc, etc)
- Enterprise Applications and the need for their customization
- Integration is difficult.
- Flagrant disregard for limited resources (Embedded Java, XML, SOAP)
- "Linux works because it's basically BSD circa 1980"
- KLOCS kill both performance and ability to evolve
- A Better Algorithm is better than optimization
There's a real skills gap: "everyone" knows Java: "Certification is a statement that you aren't competent". If you want to be where the action is, it's in the domain (business) side, not the development side.
MDD: The Ideal. Then there's the OMG (Object Losers Group, heh). way: MDA, or UML all the way down. This gives you development and debugging at the level of the abstraction. Interestingly, UML isn't even fully defined.
Heh - you aren't getting the real flavor of this talk - Dave is a truly funny guy.
The challenges of next generation applications: Business Driven vs. Technology Driven.
- Based on sound and deep understanding of the business
- complexity mandates development driven by business experts - domain fusion, probablities and fuzzy reasons)
- Support for high performance teams
- First time applications vs. traditional processes improvement
Real time business:development in real-time, execution in real time. They have masses of data and event streams. Important point: Processors, memory, bandwidth, and storage are "free" - Amazon ECL and S3, for instance.
So going back to games: Not just the fun stuff of the graphics and physics. You also have data persistence and versioning. You have distributed processing, visual content editors, scripting and compiler technologies, and UI work.
Game updates happen at high speed, they are distributed, and state changes hit multiple other objects. So back to MDD: a natural way of expressing application requirements in a disciplined and well understood "language" which models some aspect of the domain.
We want to work in a high level, domain oriented language - which will allow us to specify the domain more easily. Ideally, the developers would work with a domain (not a software engineer) expert who is versed in computational modeling. This is really about DSL (Steve Kelly!) - Domain Specific Languages.
Back to the future: We want languages that encourage "think and try it" - not ones that favor "design code and test". There are lots of examples of end user programming: Spreadsheets, MatLab, QBE tools, visual languages like ProGraph, DabbleDB, etc. There are lots of important things that aren't being taught anymore:
- Constraint Programming: ThingLab
- Dynamic Object Programming: Smalltalk, CLOS
- Logic Programming: Prolog
- Reactive Programming: Erlang
He listed others - point being, "fad" training is what Universities do now. Language design challenges:
- Readable and Writeable
- Strong specific vs. Strong generic (domain-wise)
- Uniform access to data (i.e., LINQ)
- Supporting multiple domains
- Supporting multiple paradigms
James McGovern talks about outsourcing in India (et. al.), and makes a snap judgement based on an utter lack of historical awareness:
People are poor if they have to purchase their basic needs at high prices no matter how much income they make. Take the case of India. Because of cheap food and fibre being dumped by developed nations and lessened trade protections enacted by the government, farm prices in India are tumbling, which means that the country’s peasants are losing $26 billion U.S. each year.
So.... The migration of industries like textiles and heavy manufacturing from England to the US in the 19th century did long term damage to the US? Sheesh - I wish people had some base awareness of what's happened in the past before they started making sweeping generalizations.
This workshop is going to deal with how we deal with problems on a project - Joseph Pelrine and Ben Fuchs (tech and psychology). More information on this stuff on their website: http://www.cateams.com/index.php. Difficult Behaviors - from minor to bad:
- estimate fudging
- chronic lateness/under-performance
- physical violence
For our purposes, "difficulty" is in the context of the team and the project. We can deal with the team or with the individual.
A nice metaphor for team state - compare to cooking:
- Burning: Team in panic mode, chaos, ruination
- Cooking - things mix properly, flavors come out, things progress
- Medium Heat - things stagnate, don't mix - things break (meetings missed, bugs accumulate)
- Low Heat - things congeal - "This is how we do things"
- Off - solid, "This is how you must do things" (no discussion possible)
Periodically, you have to "turn the heat up", and then let things cool on their own (as the team self organizes). How do you turn the knobs?
- Work Pressure (TimeBox vs. amount of work)
- Diversity (age, gender, perspectives, ethnicity, etc)
- Physical environment
- Tools to slow down/and/or amplify team dynamics
- And, of course, conflict
Dealing with conflict: Pre-Conventional (Police, Medical staff use these sorts of approaches)
- Core Issues: Physical Safety
- Metaphor: Conflict as a threat to survival
- Model: Conflict management, de-escalation
- Approach: Positive authority
Conventional (most professional situations)
- Core Issues: Identity, Rank, Power
- Metaphor: Conflict as a threat to identity
- Model: Conflict Resolution
- Approach: Mediation/Facilitation
Post-Conventional (teams/inter-personal, for instance)
- Core Issues: Shared meaning
- Metaphor: Conflict as opportunity
- Model: Conflict transformation
- Approach: Sense-making
Constructive conflict requires emotional maturity and an ability to be self reflective. The session included multiple exercises, and I can't really convey those here.
Interesting perspective: We look at things via OIC: Observation, Interpretation, Conclusion - where the latter two come from our own beliefs, biases (etc). Often times, we see things completely differently than the other person intended.
We wrapped up with a group exercise: one of the participants related an actual work problem, in order to generate some feedback. I'm not going to say anything about it, as we all agreed to keep all the people involved anonymous.
Phillip Greenspun explains that Java is fading from cool to passé:
In September 2003, I innocently posted Java is the SUV of programming languages? based on the fact that students in 6.171 who’d chosen to use Java were incapable of getting anything done. It created quite a stir in the comments and on Slashdot. This semester is the first time that we’ve taught 6.171 since then. Despite the fact that all the students are expert Java programmers, having used Java to build a big project in 6.170, none have chosen to use Java this semester. It is all Ruby on Rails, Microsoft .NET (C#), and a touch of Python.
Meanwhile, the Enterprisey folks - who are always years behind the curve - still think it's the end all, be all :)
It's been a good day at SPA 2007 - I attended a Creativity workshop this morning, which was pretty neat. The idea was this: we got a problem statement, and then we did some brainstorming exercises to either find solutions or better understand the problem. Our group had a "Lotus Blosson" exercise:
- Toss out an idea
- Find eight related ideas and ring them around it
- Then pick one or more of those, put them out, and repeat
We didn't find solutions, but we iterated towards understanding the problem. Here's a shot of one of the other groups, using lots of paper on another approach:
Earlier, we had a little exercise that went like this: Statements on a board, handouts with other statements. Find the ones that are "opposite" and tack them up:
So that was a fun session - I might well try some of the ideas out at work.
Here are a few shots I took during the day. First: Dave Thomas' keynote - and it was a great talk:
Funny dinner story on that - turns out that a lot of people didn't really "get" Dave's talk - those of us in the room who were Smalltalkers, or Ruby-ists (etc) - we spent the entire speech nodding our heads. Very interesting difference in perspectives :)
Here are two pictures from a humorous "panel" that ran this evening - hard to describe, but think of tech/geek word association and Startup send-ups:
I really do like this conference - it's a great bunch of people :)
So, since she doesn’t feel safe. I’m going to stop blogging in support of Kathy, who I consider a friend and someone who’s voice would be dearly missed here. I’ll be back Monday.
The Internet culture is really disgusting. Today when I was on Justin.TV the kinds of things that people were discussing in the chat room there were just totally disgusting and over the top.
It's not specifically internet culture - we've seen this in email (and further back, on BBS systems) for years. People will say things in text that they would never say in person - because they feel like it isn't "personal". The answer isn't pulling back - it's more speech, more condemnation, more un-acceptance of bad behavior. If we want bad behavior to stop, we have to stand up to it. Pulling back only encourages it.
So here's my part of the disapproval: The people Kathy mentions in her post who were willing participants (active or passive) in this set of disgusting threats (including death threats) against Kathy - you should all be deeply ashamed of yourselves, and - at the very least - you should all offer personal apologies to her. Failure to do so will demonstrate one thing, and one thing only: that you have no character. I mean you, Jeneane Sessum, and you, Allen Herrel, and you, Chris Locke. I would hope that those three (and anyone else involved) get actively shunned until they publicly apologize. Maybe Scoble wants to withdraw and not call a spade a spade. That's not me.
Update: Sadly no - this blizzard of "Not Me!" doesn't count as an apology or explanation.
Technorati Tags: news
Time for the weekly jobs posting from Precision Systems:
Northern New Jersey – multiple projects, various cities
Senior Smalltalk Developer (permanent, 6 month contract-to-hire and 12+ month contract)
New York, NY – multiple projects
Smalltalk Developer, Smalltalk Team Lead, and Smalltalk/Java Developer (contract and permanent)
Ohio – multiple projects
Smalltalk Developer (permanent)
Smalltalk Developer (permanent or contract-to-hire)
Software Engineering Manager (permanent)
Texas – multiple projects in different cities
Smalltalk Developer (contract or 6 month contract-to-hire)
Smalltalk Developer (permanent)
.Net Developer, Smalltalk a plus (permanent)
Senior Smalltalk Developer and Junior Programmer/Analyst (permanent)
Don’t forget to pass along your co-workers and friends; for any new and successful referral to Precision we will pay you $1,000!
I look forward to speaking with you!
Smalltalk Staffing Group – Precision Systems
The basis for the talk is Seaside , a web framework for Smalltalk that Avi wrote several years ago. The problem with Seaside is you're not going to use it! There are a lot of interesting ideas in Seaside that people should know, so this tutorial is way of spreading the ideas outside of Smalltalk.
In a nutshell, there's what's wrong with the software industry. People see a fantastic technology, but insist on rewriting it (badly) in other languages because it's "politically correct" to do so. Productivity? Time Saving? ROI? Apparently irrelevant.
Technorati Tags: development
I wasn't awake enough to take notes on Brian Marick's keynote, but I should have - it was a great talk. In any event, I'm attending Michael Feather's talk on API design. He's starting with a common problem developers have: say you want to fetch mail in code. You then have to dig through the API documentation (or in VW, the PDF docs) to figure out how to use the mail code. Interestingly enough, raw API doc isn't that useful without accompanying "how to" type doc. IMHO, what you really want in this case is example code - the API documentation doesn't help you initially (although it will help you down the road, when you want to do more. On the Smalltalk side, you then go browse code, but that works just as well - even though it's "politically incorrect" compared to massive API doc :) )
This particular example is of interest to me because I did screencasts on mail sending and receiving just last week - and I didn't have to create a new class just to figure that out. After perusing the example code in ours doc, I just tossed a few lines into a workspace and tried them out. Once I had that down, I just did the screencasts :). Ultimately, you do what I did in BottomFeeder - create a class that wraps mail sending (or receiving), and deal with your own API, and then have a simple place where the underlying vendor API is isolated and easy to manage.
So API Design: The art of creating interfaces that are useful to clients and extensible for future needs. Not all interfaces are APIs.
Unit Tests: They really do need to be isolated (i.e., not dependent on network communication, database results, etc).
API Development is hard work because:
- APIs live forever
- Meaning, Mistakes live forever
- Early choices can close off future desires
Interesting comment next: Avoid Static Methods. I would have said that Sun simply screwed up, and didn't create real objects. If classes in Java were actual objects, this problem wouldn't exist. Heh - he also recommends against using Sealed, Final, and non-virtual. Again, those aren't features - they are bugs.
Here's a good piece of advice: write code that uses your own APIs. If it's too hard for you to use, then what will your clients think? As well - supply your tests to the end users (developers). There's no good reason not to.
After the API talk and lunch, there was a croquet game set up outside - so I headed out and played two games. It was a lot of fun, and I managed to get a lucky wicket by rolling my ball over another :) Here are two pictures of the Croquet game:
After that diversion, I headed to the Web 2.0 Fishbowl session, as I was part of the initial panel. I took two shots while I was outside the fishbowl:
That was fun - second fishbowl I've done, and I hope not the last :)
On this one, I take the side of the mean kids, because no one else is, and I have a soft spot for people who are being attacked by a mob, no matter how pathetic they are.
Tip for those - like Dave - who are too stupid to understand: There should be a mob after those who condone death threats. I'll add Winer to my list of people who the decent sorts should shun - his post is just despicable.
Technorati Tags: stupidity
After the sessions wrapped up, we had a champagne tasting event - I don't much care for champagne, but I gave it a whirl. We had five bottles to identify by taste. Since I've already said more than I know about the topic, I got one of each and lined them up:
That didn't help me much, but other people used the lineup to compare:
Later, we retired to the Combination Room (lots of couches and chairs) to while away the evening:
Jon Udell notes that authenticated RSS is hard to do, and ended up picking up RSSBandit to solve his problem:
Today I created a private blog site that is, Internet-accessible but SSL-and-password-protected and realized that there was no easy way for most people to subscribe to it. Even if the popular cloud-based readers like Bloglines and Google Reader supported authenticated feeds, I wouldn't want to let them use my credentials to impersonate me.
BottomFeeder has supported Digest and Basic Auth protected feeds (with or without SSL) for years now :)
Technorati Tags: BottomFeeder
Via TechCrunch, I see that a way for Twitter to make money does in fact exist:
Currently, it costs a lot of money to launch a start-up in the SMS/mobile space — you have to license a shortcode monthly ($500-$1000/mo), pay a SMS gateway provider, and then pay anywhere from $0.03 - $0.05 per inbound or outbound text message. It adds up. But now, if a start-up chooses to use Twitter as a command line to their web service, it’s free (until Twitter starts charging for it).
So right now, Twitter could be in "viral" mode, getting people hooked. Later, they could start charging a nominal fee for the service. Hmm...
There was a very good session this morning on scoping, which involved a game to get the idea across. We set up teams of three, and each of us got money, product cards, and feature cards, along with marketing info. Our task - decide which products to ship with which features, given the constraints of reuse vs. one off features (more cost for reuse) and the monetary limit. Here's a picture I took of the board after round 2:
In round one, we didn't spot a way to tradeoff one of our dollars, and decided to ship only 2 of 3 possible products - which is why we tied for second in round two: we were just too far behind after that mistake. It was fun though, and it put the whole product marketing/management decision process "in my face" in a very good way. Food for thought.
Another SPA is done - and it was a fun conference. I'll be back next year - it looks like another Smalltalk tutorial is a real possibility. I like the Cambridge location, too - it's nice, and being near a sizeable town has its advantages.
As the show wrapped, we all put up post-its with "what did you learn", or "what did you think" ideas on them - I took a few shots, and no - I didn't add the "Smalltalk" one :) I did like the one in the middle:
It's been a great week!
I suppose it's reassuring to know that the TSA is not the sole repository of stupid rules that have no impact on actual security (TM). This morning, I had to go through security here at Heathrow - so I get to the outer line, and they tell me that I can't have more than one bag (I have my laptop bag and a new bag I got as swag at SPA 2007). However - and here's the stupid part - it was fine so long as I turned one of the bags sideways and stuck it inside the other one (mind you, a good fourth of it was sticking out at that point).
So far as "the rules" go, I was no A-OK. Of course, I got down to the actual scanners, and had to separate everything for the machines - but that was fine, since the only ones concerned with the "one bag" rule were the gatekeepers. Once inside, you could take everything back apart and have as many bags as you liked.
The bizarre thing is that someone thinks this serves a purpose.
Technorati Tags: stupidity
This post from an anonymous MS insider hits a lot of good points on what's wrong (and right) with Microsoft - but more importantly, it makes points that many companies would do well to listen to. Take this, for instance - which is very much in line with things Laura Ries has written:
Stop fighting major wars on multiple fronts simultaneously. It is simply ridiculous for current management to assume that MSFT can fight the biggest and best companies on earth, across a dozen or more battlegrounds, and still hope to prevail. Just take a look at some of the folks MSFT is going up against: SONY (and Nintendo) in gaming, Nokia and many others in mobile, GOOG and YHOO in Search, Everyone from Alcatel to Siemens in IPTV, IBM/Oracle/SAP (and smaller players Salesforce.com. Rightnow, etc.) in ERP and CRM, IBM/Adobe/FOSS in middleware and development, AAPL and most of MSFT's former partners in mobile media, AAPL and GNU/Linux in Operating Systems, and FOSS in personal productivity. Worse, these battles are spreading MSFT too thin, and leaving its core cash cows increasingly vulnerable (would Vista have taken 5 years to develop if management hadn't been distracted with a dozen other battles?). MSFT needs to prioritize the current list down to something more realistic, while ensuring that the appropriate vigilance is maintained on the crown jewels. As a start, any new battle should require them to give up an existing one. Notice how that NEVER happens and they're always additive instead?
In the small, the new roadmap we just published takes that thinking into account: we (Cincom Smalltalk) simply cannot pretend that we can keep up with every development trend in the industry - while we aren't tiny, we certainly aren't as big as IBM, Sun, or Microsoft.
It's something that every company needs to keep in mind though: MS might dwarf a lot of outfits, but even they can be spread too thin and be fighting too many battles. If you're a product manager, as I am, that paragraph I quoted above provides a lot of food for thought.
Technorati Tags: PR
Daver Winer, on the latest revelations from the Kathy Sierra mess:
Next time -- think before you trash someone, no matter how much you dislike them, especially because you dislike them. It takes courage to stand up to a mob, but that is the best of what it means to be an American.
Small problem: The morons who set up meankids.com knew where that was going to go. Or worse, if they didn't know, they've been living in a cultural deprivation cave for their entire lives. If you're old enough to remember the early "social media" - BBS systems, USENET, and forums - then you darn well knew what was going to come out of a site that encouraged anonymous stuff.
Doesn't mean the people who set it up intended to see death threats tossed around, no. However - if they thought anything valuable was going to come out of such a venture after watching online behavior over the last two decades, then there's something deeply, deeply disconnected about them.
Technorati Tags: stupidity
Filed under "whistling past the graveyard", David Hughes, a senior VP at the RIAA:
"The RIAA is well-aware that they are becoming irrelevant. They are also aware that nobody likes them, but they don't care about that. Someone also brought up the fact that the RIAA was recently voted as being the "worst company in America", to which David responded with some laughs and a quip about how they've been "beating Exxon-Mobil for years" in that arena."
But hey - we'll just keep suing people - that's got to provide positive PR.
This is late - I didn't do a log post last weekend. Before I left Heathrow, I downloaded all of the log data from the server though, so I'm able to pound my way through it at 30,000 feet :) Anyway - the BottomFeeder downloads went at a rate of 199/day - the details:
Add to the the 24-25 a day I'm getting from the CNet site, and it looks pretty good. On the HTML page access:
|Tool||Percentage of Accesses|
Looks like my normal audience was back two weeks ago, both in terms of raw traffic and in terms of the distribution by tool. Finally, let's have a look at the syndication numbers:
|Tool||Percentage of Accesses|
|Net News Wire||4.9%|
|Google Feed Fetcher||4.2%|
Interestingly, the HTML page accesses are holding steady, but the syndication numbers are going up.
Dare Obasanjo made a provocative point yesterday in a post titled "Open Source is Dead". His premise? That services like Twitter (and Flickr, and other "Web 2.0" things) create vendor lock-in differently - it's the community that matters most. So what if I have the source for a Twitter clone: can I create a community around my open alternative that somehow grabs people from Twitter? It's an interesting essay, and rather than try to summarize it, I'll recommend that you head on over there and read it.
On the one hand, there are outlets all over the terminal I'm leaving from here at JFK. On the other hand, none of them actually work - which makes the "pay as you go" WiFi" a whole lot less useful. Sigh...
The 2007 WOOR event will be held in Berlin this summer, and they are calling for papers. Head on over here for information.
Engadget reports on a fascinating hardware mashup: a way to dump your RSS feed out as morse code - using a telegraph machine :)
I should mention the "outputs" of the Smalltalk tutorial that I did last Sunday. The SPA conference (and Ot before it) has always been big on session outputs - the idea being that other people should be able to benefit even if they didn't/couldn't attend the session.
With that in mind, the tutorial page on the Wiki is here.
To summarize the summary :)
- Download Cincom Smalltalk non-commercial here
- Access the Smalltalk Daily screencasts in order
- Access the Smalltalk Daily screencasts by topic
- Subscribe to Smalltalk Daily in your news aggregator
IBM is looking for a Smalltalker (VisualWorks) to help build Proviso:
Join the team developing Proviso. Proviso is a highly distributed and scalable stream processing platform for collecting, processing and persisting large volumes of network performance data. Our largest customers manage many terabytes of network performance data. Proviso was recently acquired by IBM Tivoli as part of an initiative to expand its presence in the telecommunications industry and become the leading provider of network management software.
Looks like the slot in in Lowell, MA.
Technorati Tags: smalltalk
Well, my plants seem to think so, anyway - I sure hope we don't get a late snow storm to prove me wrong :) My daughter took some close-ups of the bulbs flowering:
I'm interested in some feedback from people - specifically, people who have dealt with Cincom (whether it was the Smalltalk group or not). I'd like you to tell me two things:
- What have you liked most about your interactions with Cincom?
- What have you liked least about your interactions with Cincom?
Those are wide open questions - the answers could be on any aspect of Cincom you've dealt with. Feel free to post comments here, or send me email. I won't post email comments unless you specifically ask me to.
Vorlath is inventing "problems" with closures that I haven't seen. We've had closures in Smalltalk for a long while now, and the issues he's afraid of just don't seem to come up. Perhaps it's those curly brace languages, and not the closures.
- Some email feedback from our listeners
- What's coming up at Smalltalk Solutions - in particular, what Dave is presenting there
Next week, we'll be back with a show focusing on Smalltalk Solutions 2007, which we are all attending. We'll likely do a first ever "all in the same room" podcast from there.
April Fool's is starting early this year: go check out the early silliness from TechCrunch.
Dave Winer continues to demonstrate that he lacks a moral core. Here's a tip: Defending indefensible behavior is not a profile in courage.
One of the nice things about the Swallow (Twitter client) project that Michael and I have been working on is the fact that we decided to make it a Widgetry (Pollock) project. I hadn't really worked in Widgetry before, so it's been a learning experience - especially the lack of a GUI builder :)
Still, it's gone pretty well. Here's one of the things that nicer in Widgetry than it was in Wrapper: keyboard handling. Say you have an input field, and you want to look for a specific character. In Wrapper, you had to install a keyboardHook block on the controller, and then write all the handling code in the block (or in methods called from the block. In Widgetry, we register to get an Announcement:
(self paneAt: #input) inputField when: KeystrokeAboutToBeProcessed send: #possibleCREvent: to: self.
The pane in question is a combo-box, so I first grabbed the input field and then waited for the Announcement (which is an actual object). Here's the handler:
possibleCREvent: announcement "if the key pressed is a CR, then send the message" | key | key := announcement keystroke key. key = Character cr ifTrue: [self sendStatusNow].
Which seems more straightforward to me than the old keyboard handler setup - for one thing, I don't need to remember whether to return the keyboard event or nil :). Anyhow, it's a nice little project, and a nice experiment.
Scoble - and I have to admit, many other people - are utterly, utterly confused about freedom of speech:
I was going to not blog until Monday, but I saw something today that just has to be blogged about. Seriously, on Monday I’ll be on CNN with Kathy Sierra and Chris Locke talking about this week’s events. I spoke against more rules or other infringments on our freedom of speech. No matter how vile or disgusting that speech is. That said, I reserve my right to take a week off to point out the rotten strawberries sitting on our meme shelf.
There is no requirement to defend vile speech, nor is there a problem with individuals condemning vile speech. The only thing to worry about is when government tries to restrict your speech - and mind you, incitement to violence isn't protected as free speech, either. It's not a restriction on your freedom when your ideas get attacked by other people - and it most certainly is not a restriction on your freedom when you get condemned for out of bounds behavior.
Look at it like this: if the crap aimed at Kathy Sierra had been done in person, would you be defending it? If not, why are you defending the same thing done online behind a mask of anonymity?
I might be able to do a test build of Swallow today - it's looking pretty nice now that Michael has pushed the new multi-line edit control out to all the tabs. Here's a look:
A real release is at least 1-2 weeks away. We are building this in VW 7.5, which will be released before the end of this month.
A few years ago, some of the April Fool's day posts were inventive enough to be funny. Now? It just all seems so forced.
The section on Amazonia is particularly interesting - the "Stone Age" tribes that we thought had been living in a "state of nature" since time immemorial may instead have been remnant populations - cast "back in time" via catastrophic population loss in the wake of the various European diseases - diseases they had no resistance to.
Anyway, it's a great book - I highly recommend it.
Here's a question Jason Calacanis could have asked Evan: "Blogger is about 75% splogs, and Odeo has major problems with keeping track of valid feeds. Should we expect Twitter to be any different, and if so, why?"
Evan discusses the details of the Web's latest love affair with Twitter , and also shares many interesting insights into his former projects - Blogger and Odeo .
Along those lines, I read Tim O'Reilly's outline of a blogger's code of conduct - I'm utterly baffled as to how anyone could object to it. It really boils down to the rules most of us learned in kindergarten.
Technorati Tags: behavior
This story from ArsTechnica - if it holds up - is very encouraging:
EMI will announce on Monday that it will be freeing much of its catalog from the shackles of DRM. The Wall Street Journal, citing "people familiar with the matter," reports (sub. required) that Apple CEO Steve Jobs will be present at the announcement in London and that the music will be sold through the iTunes Store and possibly other online outlets.
If that happens, it'll be the first big nail in the coffin of DRM. I fully expect a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth before we get to the end, but this is a good sign.
Technorati Tags: music
Scoble notes the joint statement from Kathy Sierra and Chris Locke - which is a very positive thing to my way of thinking. While they disagree about some things (who doesn't?), it looks like they understand each other now. That's all to the good, but this (below) from Scoble just drives me nuts:
One thing, though, that I won’t support: more rules or laws or, even, more “guidelines.” I value my freedom of speech. This is not a “theory” for me. My mom grew up in Nazi Germany where free speech wasn’t allowed. My wife grew up in Iran, where free speech still isn’t allowed. You’re definitely not allowed to attack the government in Iran, even today
Asking people to treat each other with dignity is not a call for governmental censorship. Being judgmental about bad acts and bad actors is not an attempt to shut down free speech, any more than indicting someone for a stampede following a false cry of "fire" in a theater is. I wish more people understood that, instead of having the utterly bizarre belief that we must have tolerance for everything and anything. We don't. Guidelines are a good thing - manners are nothing more than guidelines, for instance. Shall we rid ourselves of those, too, in the name of "more freedom"?
Technorati Tags: speech
I have the patches ready to roll in, but don't have time to do that right now. Later tonight though: every time I push a new post up, a Twitter update will roll. Anyone on the server with a Twitter account will be able to do the same thing, if they want to go to settings and add the Twitter account info.
Technorati Tags: Twitter
I've posted the update - new posts hitting the Silt server will now also add an update to my Twitter stream (my screen name there is "jarober" if you want to add me). We are fairly close to releasing an 0.1 of the Swallow client for Twitter - Michael is constructing a website. It's all coming together :)
We are just about ready for the next release of Cincom Smalltalk: VisualWorks 7.5, ObjectStudio 7.1.2, and a beta of ObjectStudio 8 - ObjectStudio 8 will be going out in the summer. The release has been delayed, mostly due to some issues with the Mac VM. Good news on that front though: due to some hard work by our VM team: John Sarkela, Andres Valloud, Sean Glazier, and Peter Hatch, it looks like the major issues have been solved. You can expect to see the release shipping before Smalltalk Solutions (which starts on April 30).