The Los Angeles Smalltalk Users Group is meeting on the 19th at 7pm - head on over here for details.
|Smalltalk Solutions 2008 is coming up fast - the schedule of events is here, and registration is here. There are a ton of great talks, like this one from Petr Stepanek:|
Craft.CASE is a business process management tool written entirely in VisualWorks. Its main goal is to help process analysts to analyze existing complex processes and process designers to design replacement processes in a way of creating a concise, compendious and consistent model. It helps most in cases of unclear and changing requirements. If the business processes are to be supported by a software product, Craft.CASE supports a UML notation for a conceptual model and maintains links between elements of processes and elements of conceptual model.
This from John Dvorak is probably the best summation I've seen of fair use and copyright:
All we are seeing with YouTube clips is a modern version of a quote or excerpt. That's all it is. It's not piracy. It's not stealing. It's not a threat to any income stream. There is no net loss to anyone except the host paying for the bandwidth. It's fair use. Let's not forget how important the notion of fair use is. And don't let bullies like Redstone tell you otherwise.
Technorati Tags: fair use
HBO will begin selling some of its most popular television series on Apple's iTunes Store, the companies announced on Tuesday
I think this only makes NBC look stupider...
Randal Schwartz gave a Seaside talk at MySpace recently, to a pretty engaged audience, sounds like. He has his presentation at the link. One correction: Cincom does not use Envy - but we ship Store for version control with the product. We'll have more to say about how that's integrated with Web Velocity soon :)
Technorati Tags: smalltalk
Steve Yegge gave a dynamic language talk recently, and I have to comment on this from the Q&A segment:
Q: These great things that IDEs have, what's gonna change there, like what's gonna really help?
Well, I think the biggest thing about IDEs is... first of all, dynamic languages will catch up, in terms of sort of having feature parity. The other thing is that IDEs are increasingly going to tie themselves to the running program. Right? Because they're already kind of doing it, but it's kind of half-assed, and it's because they still have this notion of static vs. dynamic, compile-time vs. run-time, and these are... really, it's a continuum. It really is. You know, I mean, because you can invoke the compiler at run time.
Hmm - that sounds a lot like what Smalltalk has done for, I don't know, 3 decades now :)
You could have a look at this video to see what I mean.
|Smalltalk Solutions 2008 is coming up fast - the schedule of events is here, and registration is here. There are a ton of great talks, like this one from Michael Rueger:|
Sophie is an all purpose tool for dealing with media. It will allow users to easily create books that can contain any sort of media on hand Â text, image,s sounds, videos, animations. Sophie does for media what a physical book does for text and images: with Sophie, authors can create multimedia books. You might think of it as a wrapper for anything digital.
Sophie is built using Squeak, integrating both OpenSource components like Cairo and freetype as well as platform native technologies like Quicktime.
Doc Searls points to this older post (7 years back now), but it's still a good read. Pulling a metaphor out, I've come to the conclusion that a lot of the management we deal with in the software industry is nothing but human traffic cones. The problem is, real traffic cones portend eventual progress - a road gets fixed/widened (etc). The human kind just sits there, slowing all forward progress.
While I love my Mac, it's not perfect. Earlier today, the drive I use for Time Machine developed some kind of problem - the mac simply didn't recognize it at all. Disk Manager saw it, but couldn't attempt a repair for reasons I couldn't fathom. I tried plugging it into Windows, and it was recognized and mounted (not in a readable form; it is a Mac formatted drive). Still - I figured maybe I could at least format it and then bring it back to the Mac, reformat it and run fsck on it.
Well, the Windows format failed, but when I tried it back on the Mac, Disk Utility found it, and was now able to do a repair - which is still running. Once that's done, we'll see what kind of shape it's in. Fairly disappointing that the Mac refused to see it right off though.
Oh boy, Comcast, last seen doing packet shaping, has bought Plaxo, last seen doing bad things with data they shouldn't have access to. It's a match made in hell.
|Smalltalk Solutions 2008 is coming up fast - the schedule of events is here, and registration is here. There are a ton of great talks, like this one from Arden Thomas:|
This presentation discusses what is in Cincom Smalltalk s just released products, as well as plans for future releases. Products discussed are VisualWorks, ObjectStudio8, and ObjectStudio Classic.
Arden Thomas got started with Smalltalk in 1986, looking for better ways to do software development (he found it). He is now the product manager for Cincom Smalltalk, and previously worked as a senior field application engineer for Cincom working to help Cincom's Smalltalk customers, and help move Smalltalk forward. He worked for ParcPlace for many years as a trainer, sales engineer, and consultant, and recently did extensive software development at Forest Investment management, which included choosing and using an application framework.
Looks like Zucker's brand of stupidity is everywhere at NBC - they started using the broadcast flag on Monday:
Handfuls of Windows Vista Media Center users found themselves blocked from making recordings of their favorite TV shows this week when a broadcast flag triggered the software's built-in copy protection measures. The flag affected users trying to record prime-time NBC shows on Monday evening, using both over-the-air broadcasts and cable. Although the problem is being "looked into" by both NBC and Microsoft, the incident serves as another reminder that DRM gives content providers full control, even if by accident.
Yet another reason not to go to Vista; MS crawled into bed with all the DRM cheerleaders. Never mind that, though - just what does NBC think they are achieving with this? If I'm recording a show weekly, and then I discover that NBC stopped me from doing so, do they seriously think I'm going to rearrange my schedule to be in front of the TV at the time they want to run the show?
Earth to NBC: there are too many other choices available, and your content simply isn't good enough to warrant that.
I understand the idea of CBS buying CNet, but for $1.8 Billion???
CBS will pay $11.50 a share for CNET. The all-cash deal represents a premium of 44% above the $7.95 CNET closed at yesterday.
As AlleyInsider notes, CNet hasn't traded above $10 in years. This isn't as much of an over-payment as Schwartz made for MySQL, but - then again - it takes real work to land in the same "waste money like an idiot" league that he lives in.
On the positive side, CBS just bought a ton of good podcast knowledge. The question is, are the managers there in the Zucker "customers are thieves" mindset, or do they understand the way things are changing?
|I just finished a book about sales that I liked quite a bit: "The Contrarian Effect: Why it pays (Big) to take typical sales advice and do the opposite". The book is short, and filled with useful examples of how typical "close now!" tactics work against the interests of your company. Sure, you might get a revenue spike from a forced sale now - but what's the cost in terms of customer loyalty and future revenue? Not to mention something else the authors (Michael Port and Elizabeth Marshall) bring up: word of mouth is no longer limited to the water cooler. Pick almost any company name and try to search for "XXXX sucks". You'll be amazed at what you turn up.|
The question is, do you want to be the next company listed there? Probably not, and that's one of the primary reasons to listen to these authors. They advise something pretty simple:
- Listen to the people you want to sell to
- Expand your pool by sharing your network of contacts with them, so as to grow your common interests
- In any conversation you have with interested parties, offer something of value - advice, a place worth visiting on your website, etc.
- Work with partners - a lot
- Don't force sales through typical "closing questions" - ever
The last one is crucial - people have too many choices in terms of products and services - if you get pushy, they will go somewhere else. Ask yourself this: Do you like dealing with the car salesman who tries to make the sale today, when all you want to do is test drive? If not, what makes you think your customers and prospects enjoy talking to your sales staff?
It's a quick read, but highly useful. Well worth recommending to decision makers in your company, so that you can start making headway towards the right kinds of changes now.
|XBox 360||188,000 units|
The PS3 might be catching up to the XBox, but the Wii is still way, way ahead. That's amazing given how long the Wii has been out. I'll tell you, even though battle mode on Mario Kart is sub-par, the Grand Prix mode is very, very cool. The Wii is just fun.
But it does it in a way that Facebook will never be able to block. Why? Because itâs your browser that scrapes all your friendâs info into Minggl's browser bar. That bar then uploads all that information back up to Minggl. Thereâs no way that Facebook will be able to block Minggl. If Google wants to push the issue they should do exactly what Minggl is doing. Privacy is dead.
Anyone who puts anything on a computer screen that they want hidden from public view should think again.
So, does that include your bank account numbers? What about your credit card numbers? Perhaps your passport number, too? Social Security number? All phone numbers, including ones you would prefer to be for family and close friends only?
|Smalltalk Solutions 2008 is coming up fast - the schedule of events is here, and registration is here. There are a ton of great talks, like this one from Georg Heeg:|
Johann Sebastian Bach lived in Koethen from 1717 to 1723. He worked for Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Koethen and composed well-known music. But where did he live? This question has been open for 130+ years. The EU, the state of Anhalt-Saxony, Koethen County, and the City of Koethen sponsored a project to find out. Georg Heeg eK won the bidding and started the digging. After almost two years using VisualWorks, COM-Connect, GemStone/S and Seaside all known data (both text and tax figures) could be viewed in a semantic network. Bibliometry was used to evaluate statements of historians. Finally a process of elimination showed: Bach lived in Schalaunische Str. 44 until he moved to Wallstr. 25/26 in 1719. He always had the same landlord Johann Andreas Lautsch. In early phase existing software packages were evaluated, before agile software development process inside the agile research project was started to get insight in the history of Koethen.
Georg Heeg learned about Smalltalk in 1983 at Dortmund University. In 1987 he founded the now oldest 100% Smalltalk enterprise located in Dortmund, Koethen and Zurich. His organization supports Smalltalk customers world-wide. He is co-founder of ESUG and since 2007 he is Executive Director of STIC Smalltalk Industry Council.
On today's Smalltalk Daily, we look at something that's sometimes useful, even though it's often the wrong approach: cloning a class. Typicaly, if you need a class just like one you already have, but with small variations, you should either look at the existing class again, or subclass. However, it's sometimes better to create a parallel class. With that thought in mind, today we look at a small add on that makes that a menu pick in the browser.
Technorati Tags: smalltalk
I don't need one (My Pro is still great), but this news might convince me to buy a new one for my wife, and have her existing one pass down to my daughter. Decisions, decisions....
If you're thinking about attending Smalltalk Solutions in June, then the next few podcasts should be interesting. We spoke to Georg Heeg today - he's the founder of his eponymous company in Germany, and also the executive director of STIC. I should have the podcast out over the weekend - we covered a lot of ground about the conference.
Michael has been looking at MooTools for Seaside, and demonstrates the power of community while he's at it:
The first and foremost of these is the Mocha GUI components. Here is a screenshot from a collaboration Boris and I did to get Mocha working in Seaside with Seaside-Mootools. The package is in public store as Seaside-Mootools-Mocha. Without Boris's interest and work, this wouldn't have happened so quickly.
Smalltalk: it's not about being on the island anymore :)
I just snagged an invite to the beta of DropBox, and it is very, very cool. Rather than have me extoll its virtues and explain it, go watch this video now.
Dare Obasanjo makes a very good point about giving offline capabilities to online apps:
Once you decide to "go offline", your Web application is no longer "zero install" so it isn't much different from a desktop application.
True enough, but I'm still not as down on the idea as he is. Part of why I like iWork better than MS office is that it's so much lighter weight. I don't have any interest or need in all the features. I've tried Google docs, and they probably satisfy my basic needs for that kind of app as well.
Bottom line, I think the ugly reality is that most people neither want nor need the "rich experience" that Dare is on about. Sure, there are plenty of exceptions - but there's also a huge unmet need for vastly simpler apps.
ESUG has anounced this year's innovation awards - follow the link for full details:
The European Smalltalk Users Group (ESUG) is proud to announce its 5th Innovation Technology Awards. The top 3 teams with the most innovative software will receive, respectively, 500 Euros, 300 Euros and 200 Euros during an awards ceremony at the 16th International Smalltalk Joint Conference 2008. Developers of any Smalltalk-based software are welcome to compete.
Technorati Tags: smalltalk
I ran across this interesting tidbit from ObjectWave:
Sounds interesting - I'll have to see what that's about.
Technorati Tags: smalltalk
On this week's podcast we were happy to have Georg Heeg, founder of his eponymous company in Germany, and Executive Director of STIC, on as a guest. We chatted about the upcoming Smalltalk Solutions show, which starts on June 18 in Reno, Nevada.
We each brought up a few talks that we thought would be interesting - which is not to say that we did an exhaustive review of the sessions (we didn't). It should be a good way to get an idea of what's coming though, and you can check the entire schedule here.
Maybe I'm easily amused, but I find this radar map interesting:
I live in that corridor between the two areas of precipitation. I suppose that gives me a window for jogging :)
Steve Rubel notes that there's a "digital divide" of sorts within the community of well connected (internet) segment of the population:
The first piece of research from Parks Associates (via Dwight Silverman and CNET) reveals that one-fifth of all U.S. heads-of-household have never used e-mail. Based on the conversations I had in Europe this past week, this is even more pronounced outside the US. High mobile penetration outside the US, however, make things a bit more complicated to track.
Meanwhile, a separate white paper from IDC/Nortel (via Jackie Huba) - this one spanning 17 countries - found that 16% of the information workforce is already "Hyperconnected" and that another 36% will be joining us soon. Definitely download the PDF. It's an interesting read.
Steve concludes that traditional media's (and advertising's) half life is longer than some people might think - but I've got a different question about this: what's the age breakdown look like? Anecdotally, there's a fairly sharp divide at my age: there are those of us in our forties who have latched onto the net, and then there are those of the same generation who simply haven't. As you increase the age cohort, the number of "not really connected" grows larger and larger.
However, if you go in the other direction, it's the opposite: very, very few people (at least in the income brackets I'm familiar with) in their 20's and younger aren't online constantly. In my teenage daughter's cohort, I would be astonished to find someone who didn't use a mobile, a social network (probably Facebook), and IM.
I rather suspect that the divide Steve Rubel spots now will be more or less gone in 20 years.
"In light of developments since the withdrawal of the Microsoft proposal to acquire Yahoo! Inc., Microsoft announced that it is continuing to explore and pursue its alternatives to improve and expand its online services and advertising business. Microsoft is considering and has raised with Yahoo! an alternative that would involve a transaction with Yahoo! but not an acquisition of all of Yahoo!"
The thinking seems to be that MS wants the search business from Yahoo. That would be a smaller value of stupid than buying all of Yahoo, but still a problem. Why? Well, look at the infrastructure: Microsoft uses Windows based everything, Yahoo tends to be a Linux/Unix shop using a variety of other things. MS' entire track record of acquisition involves rewriting the acquired stuff in MS technology and rehosting on Windows - along with relocating everyone involved to Redmond.
Now, let's assume that MS doesn't actually do any of those things this time around - does it matter? Not really, because all of the acquired Yahoo employees will assume that's what's in store, and the good ones - the ones MS would really like to keep - will start bailing in huge numbers. The remaining staff will end up in a (losing) knife fight with the MS employees who already work in the search area.
The result? A smaller net search business than Yahoo or MS have individually right now. Why will they try to do the merger, given that all of this is obvious? Because most executives have been "out of the trenches" for so long that none of this registers. To them, technology A and technology B are interchangeable, as are the developers who work on them. That's why they end up positively stunned when the supposed synergy fails to arrive.
I sent him a reaction email shortly after he posted his article, and he encouraged me to make it public in an attempt to document our two opposing viewpoint publicly.
I'm happy to be the Luke Skywalker to his Darth Vader. Evil shall not prevail.
Yeah Cedric, that moves the conversation forward. When you graduate from the 5th grade, just let the rest of know, ok? And while you're at it, learn something about refactoring tools in dynamic languages....
More words of wisdom from Beust:
What will keep preventing dynamically typed languages from displacing statically typed ones in large scale software is not performance, it's the simple fact that it's impossible to make sense of a giant ball of typeless source files, which causes automatic refactorings to be unreliable, hence hardly applicable, which in turn makes developers scared of refactoring. And it's all downhill from there. Hello bit rot.
I hate giving anecdotal evidence to support my points, but that won't stop me from telling a short story that happened to me just two weeks ago: I found myself in this very predicament when trying to improve a Ruby program that 1) I just wrote a few days before and 2) is 200 lines long. I was staring at an object, trying to remember what it does, failing, searching manually in emacs where it was declared, found it as a "Hash", and then realized I still had no idea what the darn thing is. You see my point..
To be brutal, if you put down a tiny program for two days, come back to it, and can't make sense of it? Please, please, stop writing code. To be brutal about it, you simply don't have what it takes.
|Smalltalk Solutions 2008 is coming up fast - the schedule of events is here, and registration is here. There are a ton of great talks, like this one from Thomas Hawker:|
Porting an application in one version of VisualWorks to a newer version is usually straightforward - provided the versions are close relatives. The OOCL principle enterprise application, however, is written in VW5i, uses ENVY for its source code management, and involves packages no longer supported for GemStone server code management, display widgets, and testing. This talk will explore the migration path taken, the obstacles encountered, and the solutions developed to move the application to VW7 using Store.
See you there!
Scoble is reporting that MS will first buy Yahoo search (which will kill it), and will then buy Facebook (killing that).
I suppose it's a great time to be competing with Microsoft - they'll be busy with two huge cases of indigestion if Scoble is right.
Randal Schwartz keeps spreading the word about Seaside:
What makes this slightly amusing is that I'm here because I was hired to teach a 3-day Perl class last week, but happened to have an extra layover day. I started talking about Seaside to my contacts here, and they encouraged me to present my talk. When I got to the part where I said that the teenagers sold Auctomatic for $5 million, one of them said "man, what am I doing here?". Oops.
Technorati Tags: smalltalk
Cringely asks the question about IT analysts that more people ought to ask: why?
So Gartner and, by association, Gartner's competitors help customers make better IT decisions. There is nothing inherently wrong with that. But why do governments and big companies NEED help making IT decisions? Don't most companies hire IT professionals to make those decisions in the first place? Do they really need to spend more than $2 billion per year between these consulting companies just to make better IT decisions?
It's a broader topic that goes far beyond analyst firms though. Consider the following all too common scenario (which I've seen from both ends):
- Your company has a problem. Many of the internal staff understand the problem, and have recommended a solution
- The executives are baffled by the problem, and don't know what to do
- An outside consultant is brought in to make a recommendation
- The consultant recommends a solution - the same one that the staff has been agitating for
- Now that said solution has been blessed by an "expert", it's ok to try it
Lots of companies develop an interesting mindset towards their own staff, seeing them as no better than errant children. Gobs of money end up being wasted on outside firms (analysts and consultants) who do no more than recommend what your own staff already knows. Only when the "outside expert" made the case was it a safe decision though.
Ultimately, what this says is that the old adage tends to be very true: a fish rots from the top.
Technorati Tags: analysts
Anyone developing products - either desktop or net - needs to take Apple into account. Why?
Consider this: Apple's retail market share is 14 percent, and two-thirds for PCs costing $1,000 or more.
To make it short, nearly the entire demographic of computer users willing to spend non-trivial amounts of money are buying Macs. This is why I'm starting to see announcements of games being ported to the Mac, I think.
Couple that with the huge market share for Macs in universities, and you begin to understand why the Vista flop is a serious problem.
|Smalltalk Solutions 2008 is coming up fast - the schedule of events is here, and registration is here. There are a ton of great talks, like this one from Michael Lucas-Smith:|
WebVelocity is a new Smalltalk Development Environment that is oriented around Seaside for Web Development and Glorp for Object/Relational Mapping. Come and see how WebVelocity re-targets the Smalltalk development experience into the Web Browser and simplifies the challenge of learning a new environment for newcomers. We'll even build an entire application using Active Record and Scaffolding during the presentation with minimal programming. If you're a fan of Ruby on Rails, you must come and see this presentation.