With the outcry over Dolphin's death, it would be easy to miss the newest Smalltalk - Smalltalk YX. It looks like it's targeted at the scripting space, and it's portable.
Good thing I wasn't drinking a beverage when I read this; I would have been snorting it out my nose. The phrase "piece of work" comes to mind...
Arden Thomas ponders what Smalltalk might have looked like sans MVC:
Don’t get me wrong I’m not disparaging MVC; it is a framework that is widely used and there are many derivatives of it out there it is an attractive idea. But I am wondering how the less-is-more approach would have worked out. Would it have been quicker for folks to “spin-up” using Smalltalk with this simpler approach? Would it be better/simpler/faster to use in some circumstances?
Technorati Tags: design
It was a beautiful day here in Florida - we went to the beach earlier - my daughter and her cousins had a good time:
We had two boogie boards to fool around with, too:
Later, I went for a bike ride down A1A - one thing about riding here: no hills, so there's no coasting. There are nice views of the Indian River though:
Chris Petrilli has nothing good to say about Make or AutoMake; having seen what our VM team has to deal with, I have to agree with Chris.
|I can't announce the location and timing quite yet - there are a few loose ends to wrap up first. However, plans are well in hand for the 2008 show, and an announcement is imminent. Stay tuned :)|
This seems pretty big - a lot of people rely on skype pretty heavily - I know I use it for a lot of voice calls, chat, and the podcasts. But it's offline today:
Some of you may be having problems logging into Skype. Our engineering team has determined that it’s a software issue. We expect this to be resolved within 12 to 24 hours. Meanwhile, you can simply leave your Skype client running and as soon as the issue is resolved, you will be logged in. We apologize for the inconvenience. Additionally, downloads of Skype have been temporarily disabled. We will make downloads available again as quickly as possible.
12-24 hours is a huge outage - imagine the outcry if your local phone service dropped that way, and it wasn't due to a weather emergency that took out the lines. VOIP systems aren't (yet) ready to replace copper, it seems.
In his farewall post, Sifry says the company will be run in the interim by a committee of the board (trust me when I say this is rarely a good sign), and that the search for a CEO continues. The Technorati founder says he will continue to be “engaged strategically from the point of view of a director on the board.” According to his post, he will be chairman.
It's hard to be in the same field with Google, and it looks like Technorati won't be for much longer.
Oh, and I agree with Ingram - this bit from Sifry about the layoffs there? It's very highly refined management-speak:
Which brings me to my next big piece of news: today we also say goodbye to eight of our team members. Because we'll be focusing our efforts more precisely moving forward, it became clear we needed to adjust our expense structure to be more appropriately aligned with our priorities moving forward. So, we had to make the difficult decision to part ways with eight of our staff members. Undertaking this action was gut wrenching - all our team members are greatly valued - but was necessary to ensure the ongoing success and growth of Technorati.
Let me translate: "Our revenues and expenses don't line up. We are firing some staff to fix that problem".
Seriously - does anyone think that verbiage like that softens the message?
Update: Jason Calacanis thinks Technorati's problems are a sign of general "web 2.0" market issues:
Technorati *laid-off* eight people today. I have not seen a LAYOFF situation since 2002 I think. This is significant because Technorati didn't say restructuring. They said we don't need these positions and we can't afford them. Dave says in his post, in fact, that they are scaling the business in line with their revenue. Why would you scale a growing business to revenue!?!? Why not keep scaling it up!??! Oh, right... the market is changing...
Not sure I agree with that. The market may be changing, but Technorati most certainly has not been growing - they've been having problems vis-a-vis Google. In this case, I think we're seeing a continuation of the search market consolidation that started with Google's ascendance. There may or may not be a "web 2.0" bubble getting ready to pop, but I don't think I'd read much into this particular set of layoffs.
Technorati Tags: web
I wonder whether the skype team has heard of the "rollback" concept. You know - you roll out new code, it doesn't work - so you roll back to the old version? As of this morning, I'm still not connected to skype (nor are any of the people I normally talk to via skype). There's a client update available, but it doesn't help. This long an outage is a really, really bad thing for them - I'm going to have to start looking for alternatives for the podcast at this rate.
Update: Well - skype finally signed in at 9:40 AM. I only see 2 people online, and I know one of them did the update - so I presume that the client update is mandatory.
Update: Well, that was short-lived. As of 9:50 AM, it's back to "connecting". Looks like skype's troubles are far from over.
David Meerman Scott has written something similar to what Doc Searls has been saying for a long time now - marketing is about personal communications, and the "mass media" model is a recent thing. What the web is doing now is returning the old style to prominence:
Instead of making everything "new," the Web has brought communications back full circle to where we were 60 years ago. On the Web you can finally communicate again in the way that people respond to. What people respond to, and the way they make purchase decisions, really hasn’t changed at all.
Here's part three of our three part series on version control tools and Smalltalk - we wrapped up the conversation with some recommendations for future directions. This was a fun conversation - it actually all took place back on August 5th - it was just long enough that we split it out. If you haven't listened to the previous tow episodes, you can get part 1 here, and part 2 here.
As usual, if you have feedback, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org - if you have a rant about anything we've said, send it as an mp3 attachment (zipped - Cincom's mail filters may block it otherwise!) and we'll play it on the air.
Time to look at the logs again - BottomFeeder downloads went at a rate of 147/day last week. The details:
So on to the HTML page accesses:
|Tool||Percentage of Accesses|
And finally, the syndication breakdown:
|Tool||Percentage of Accesses|
|Google Feed Fetcher||5.9%|
|Net News Wire||5.5%|
I swear, do outages time themselves for when I'm out of pocket? First, there was a power outage at home that was just long enough to blow through my UPS - which stopped the DVRs from recording things while I was away. When did that happen? On my way out of town.
Next? The blog server had some kind of problem while I was in the air (on the way back home) today - it's back online now. Sigh.
I don't really like class actiona lawsuits, but since nothing else seems to get the attention of the RIAA, maybe this one will do some good. From the Consumerist:
Remember Tanya Anderson? After the RIAA's case against the 42 year-old single mother for downloading gangsta rap was dismissed with prejudice, Tanya turned around and sued the RIAA for fraud, racketeering, and malicious prosecution. Now, her lawyers have filed papers in federal court asking to grant her suit class action status.
What I'd like to know is, why does the RIAA think that preying on their customers is a good business practice?
It's posts like this one from Jim Louderback (who just stepped down as editor in chief of PC-Magazine) that explain why I use XP in Parallels rather than Vista. He goes through a litany of issues with networking and sleep/hibernation modes, and sums up thusly:
I could go on and on about the lack of drivers, the bizarre wake-up rituals, the strange and nonreproducible system quirks, and more. But I won't bore you with the details. The upshot is that even after nine months, Vista just ain't cutting it. I definitely gave Microsoft too much of a free pass on this operating system: I expected it to get the kinks worked out more quickly. Boy, was I fooled! If Microsoft can't get Vista working, I might just do the unthinkable: I might move to Linux.
To which I'd say - nah, buy a Mac, put XP under Parallels, and be happy :)
Update: Phillip Greenspun adds more Vista woes to the list.
This is fascinating - Walter Reed is using the Wii in physical therapy sessions with injured veterans. Unsuprisingly, the patients find the games more enjoyable than the repetitive motion exercises more commonly used:
"Wii games like tennis or boxing can help increase range of motion, and patients enjoy them much more than doing ten repetitions of an exercise," says Lieutenant Colonel Stephanie Daugherty, chief of occupational therapy at Walter Reed. "We also have an Xbox for finger range of motion, and Dance Dance Revolution, which helps with balance and sequencing."
Console games: they're not just for parties anymore.
This is just weird. I brought my iPod on vacation with me, and I used it while jogging in Orlando. We went from there to my parent's house in Melbourne Beach, which is right on the Atlantic coast. The iPod crashed after a couple of minutes outside. It worked fine in the house, worked fine in the car - but would not stay on outside. While I was down there, I was wondering if it was the humidity, but heck - it was humid in Orlando, too.
Salt ar, maybe? That makes no sense to me, but I'm no mechanical whiz either. If it works fine here at home (likely test: tomorrow, as it's raining today), then I'll have to chalk it up to high humidity and salty air. Very weird. It's an older iPod mini (i.e., with a hard drive) if that rings any bells.
Technorati Tags: iPod
I had a very relaxing time while I was in Florida - played a few rounds of golf over the last few days, and managed to figure out my long game - I was driving the ball 260 yards off the tee on many holes, which is a real achievement for my game. I'm back home now, but I have two photos my daughter took with my phone after our last game - these are of the sunset, over the club house:
She's really a much better photographer than I am :)
|I wouldn't call it light summer reading, but I read a great book while I was away: "The First Total War", by David A. Bell. It's a survey of the intellectual changes in perception wrought by the French Revolution - in particular, the changes in view it brought to thinking about war.|
Bell's premise is that Europeans (and the book is limited to that region) had been moving away from total war after the wars of religion. While warfare was nearly constant throughout the 18th century, it tended to be limited in both size and scope. The French Revolution changed that - it brought back the "all against all" sort of war that had been fought earlier, but with larger armies and more modern weapons.
Additionally, Bell posits that the eliminationist rhetoric used by the revolution (and eventually by its enemies) has passed down through time (obviously during the 20th century wars, and through to today). It's a thought provoking read, and while I have a few nits with some of his conclusions, I can highly recommend the book. If you want a better view of where modern thinking on war originated, you can't go wrong with this book.
Technorati Tags: history
Dvorak makes a lot of sense in this post about "old" media: they aren't doing what they need to do given the onslaught from the web. Just as movie theaters have been going with bigger screens and better sound systems (and now, more IMAX) in order to pull us from the home theater, print needs to offer something that the web can't, or can't as well. Here's how, according to Dvorak:
People in the variously attacked media must understand why their medium is special. Then they have to optimize for that specialness. For example, newspapers allow people to scan vast amounts of information quickly and efficiently. No online mechanism can do this, but newspapers often choose to simplify content delivery, copying the way other mechanisms work. Thus, newspapers are trying to be more Internet-like. Have you ever seen newspapers from the 1950s? They were packed with stories and not filled with features and fluff. Newspapers were practically all news items that readers could scan visually.
That's part of it, but the type of content matters, too. print simply can't do breaking news anymore, and they need to internalize that message. What they can do is get more analytical, and offer longer pieces. I'm far more willing to read a long piece in print than I am to read the same thing online - I'm not even sure why that is, but once a web piece reaches a certain size, I either skip it or print it.
Print needs to adapt to this changing reality, and pronto. A lot of print outlets are probably going to sink as they refuse to deal with it.
Well, there was a daily "Pep Rally" at Disney Hollywood Studios, and my daughter and her friends are positively obsessed. Here's a NY Times story that shows that it could be the biggest basic cable event ever.
There's an interesting PR angle to the Beauchamp/TNR thing - and no, I'm not going into the war in Iraq, or the politics surrounding it :) For those unfamiliar with the story, start with this Google search - the piece that got my attention from a PR perspective is this one, from PajamasMedia. The short summary: a story has blown up in the faces of TNR, and - at least thus far - they haven't been willing to come forward and admit to being taken. For a magazine that was taken for a ride by Stephen Glass, this is not a good thing:
Perhaps a cone of silence has descended. A longtime New Republic editor told me that she was not sure that she was allowed to discuss the Beauchamp affair, citing the magazine’s lawyers.
If the magazine had provided a full and immediate accounting of the incident, the story might look very different, full of mitigating factors and useful distinctions. It is a pity that the editors did not provide it.
And there's the problem - "citing the magazine's lawyers". This is standard PR failure #1 in the new world of media. When you have sharks circling you, the worst thing you can do is clam up and cite "lawyers" as a reason to stay silent. Lawyers make for lousy PR; the public doesn't trust the legal profession much, and doing this just makes things worse - a lot worse.
In this kind of case, it's best to be completely open about what your position is, early and often. More transparency is the only thing that can save your bacon when a media/blog buzz-storm blows your way. Sadly for TNR, they chose the old "batten down the hatches; it will blow over" approach. I don't think it's working out for them, and I suspect that both Glenn Reynolds and David Meerman Scott could have explained why it isn't working, if TNR's editors had read either of their recent books.
Sometimes in an application, you have an expensive calculation to do, and you would like it to run in the background. However, it's often much nicer to just be able to write a simple method and return a value:
myExpensiveMethod | expensiveAnswer | expensiveAnswer := self doExpensiveThing here. ^expensiveAnswer.
Well, you need a background process, but then it needs to pause the one in the foreground, right? And you need to run this in the background so that it doesn't consume all available CPU (especially important in server apps). That's the topic of today's Smalltalk Daily - using class Promise.
Smalltalk Solutions 2008 has been announced by Georg Heeg, director of STIC
I am proud to announce that Smalltalk Solutions 2008 will be held from Wednesday June 18th to Saturday June 21st, 2008 in the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino, 2500 East Second Street, Reno, NV 89595. The conditions look excellent: The room rate is 79 $.
I can speak to the readiness of the website; it should be up as soon as I can FTP the bits to the new server, and the appropriate Apache redirects have been set up. Stay tuned!
Technorati Tags: smalltalk
I'm at a cocktail party, but I've been drinking water because I'm being taped in every conversation I have. One guy is even live-broadcasting it to god knows who. I feel like a presidential candidate. What if I say something which, taken out of context, sounds like I have a belief that's politically incorrect. Think that's crazy? In 2003 if you said the war in Iraq wasn't patriotic, and that Bush wasn't a visionary, people in some contexts, people looked at you like you're strange. I don't have to imagine living in a totalitarian state, we've been there, maybe we're still there. But I really would like to be at a party with friends and have a chance to relax and enjoy myself without having to worry whether what I say there makes sense when viewed in a completely different context by people who weren't there.
Wow, so now getting funny looks for opinions is enough to proclaim a tyranny? Wow - all of us Smalltalkers have been living under a totalitarian programming regime for 20 years now - who knew? It's great that Winer was able to explain that to me - it all makes sense now.
This little kerfuffle explains everything that's wrong with the practice of "professional" journalism. Here's Michael Skube, making a point about blogs:
Yet here are people, whole brigades of them, happy to write for free. And not just write. Many of the most active bloggers -- Andrew Sullivan, Matthew Yglesias, Joshua Micah Marshall and the contributors to the Huffington Post -- are insistent partisans in political debate. Some reject the label "journalist," associating it with what they contemptuously call MSM (mainstream media); just as many, if not more, consider themselves a new kind of "citizen journalist" dedicated to broader democratization.
So I'm reading TPM today, and I run across this:
So against my better judgment, I sent Skube an email telling him that I found it hard to believe he was very familiar with TPM if he was including us as examples in a column about the dearth of original reporting in the blogosphere.
The amazing thing is the eventual answer from Skube, after a few exchanges between the two:
Not long after I wrote I got a reply: "I didn't put your name into the piece and haven't spent any time on your site. So to that extent I'm happy to give you benefit of the doubt ..."
"I said I did not refer to you in the original. Your name was inserted late by an editor who perhaps thought I needed to cite more examples ... "
I guess that's one of those examples of "layers of editors" helping to make the reporting accurate, huh? Never mind the field: science, politics, health, whatever - this is what passes for professionalism, and it's why I don't trust most reporting. At least with bloggers, the allegiances are right there on their sleeves, where we can see them.
Technorati Tags: reporting
Scoble compares PodTech to kyte.tv, and ends up explaining why PodTech is better:
PodTech is, by far. Why? Because Rocky (my editor) brings my video into Final Cut Pro in near HD quality levels, edits it there, and then exports it to MPG4. This process takes a LOT longer than Kyte, but results in MUCH higher quality that you can see if you watch both videos. Oh, if you want to watch my ScobleShow videos in the best quality possible, you’ll want to download them. Look for the little “Download this” video. The “Video” file (here’s the one for Elliot Soloway’s interview) is much better quality than the one that plays in the player that’s embedded
That explanation sounds an awful lot like a newspaper guy explaining why his pages are better than the product of bloggers - the "layers of editors" argument (which I showed so much respect for yesterday). The funny thing is that "new media" distribution is getting disintermediated this fast - PodTech is still in the early funding phase of its life, and the people there are already having to deal with the problem.
ArcterJournal notes that the wonderful world of "get your free gift here" spam has hit Facebook. I got tired of Twitter after the umpteenth "friend" request from pr0n (etc) bots; now it looks like Facebook is allowing the same kind of crap. The cycle from utility to world O' crap is getting shorter all the time...
Engadget reports that the 800 pound gorilla of retail has gotten into the DRM-free game:
The DRM dominos continue to fall with Wal-mart joining the DRM-free for all. Their new MP3 catalog (no AAC limitations here, folks) includes "thousands of albums and songs" from both EMI and Universal Music Group (presumably, as a trial) at $0.94 per track or $9.22 per album. So what's the matter Sony BMG and Warner Music, don't you like parties?
Things are starting to look good on this front - now if the RIAA can get positively smacked over their obnoxious lawsuit tactics...
On today's Smalltalk Daily, we take another look at class promise - but at the kind of usage that would be more common. Say you had a set of tasks (like, say, a bunch of HTTP downloads) that had to hapen before the next action could take place. Well, that's what class Promise is for. Here's the example code from today's Screencast:
"collection of urls" urls := #('http://www.yahoo.com' 'http://www.cincomsmalltalk.com' 'http://www.cincomsmalltalk.com/blog/blogView' 'http://www.podcastalley.com' 'http://www.cincom.com' 'http://www.smalltalkindustrycouncil.org' 'http://www.stic.st' 'http://www.cincomsmalltalk.com/CincomSmalltalkWiki'). "block to download each one" downloadBlock := [:url | | client response | client := HttpClient new. response := client get: url. Transcript show: 'Downloaded: ', url; cr]. "with Promise" downloads := urls collect: [:each | [downloadBlock value: each] promise]. downloads do: [:each | each value]. "without Promise" downloads := urls collect: [:each | | sem | sem := Semaphore new. [downloadBlock value: each. sem signal] fork. sem]. downloads do: [:each | each wait].
Technorati Tags: smalltalk