Via PVRBlog, I ran across a good article on using a Mac Mini as a DVR (as opposed to a Tivo, Cable Box, etc). I've got an EyeTV on my MacBook Pro, and it is pretty cool - it would definitely suffice on a dedicated device. The UI is way, way better than the crappy one on the Comcast DVR, that's for sure.
Recently, this query came up in the Seaside mailing list:
Looking for advice on best way to handle following situation: same application running with different database on different images on different machines where application code is the same but some key configurations are different such as various locale items like number formatting, currency symbol and large scale text changes do to different languages being used.
Rather than give you the stock market-speak from me, the product evangelist, I'll let a customer (Boris Popov) answer from the same thread:
The VisualWorks version of Seaside supports per-session locales and message catalogs dealing with both formatting and language issues AFAIK. I was going to look at that closer in a week or two and could report back if you're interested.
Although, that should be broadened to Cincom Smalltalk - you get that kind of thing in VW and ObjectStudio.
Samsung's just announced their first 256GB SSD. Not that you needed to know anything more than that to trigger salivation, but the MLC-flash SATA II drive has speeds of 200MBps read and 160MBps sequential write. Not like we'll be able to afford it or anything, but they'll be available come September, with a 1.8-inch version due in Q4.
Sure, it'll be expensive at first, but it will come down - and the size - my MacBok Pro has a 250 GB drive, but just imagine the battery life (and near silence) of one with a 256 GB flash drive.
Eclipse had its start as a re-implementation of the VisualAge IDE so it's fitting that we bring Smalltalk to Eclipse in the form of the Smalltalk Development Tools (STDT). Based on VisualAge for Smalltalk (aka ENVY/Smalltalk), STDT seeks to bring a Smalltalk runtime into Eclipse.
This talk will provide an overview of the effort to bring Smalltalk to Eclipse, our goals and aspirations, and the current status of the Smalltalk Development Tools. We will present our future plans for STDT, including a discussion of some of the challenges in implementing a Smalltalk IDE in a Java-based platform.
"Imagine, putting source code in files! How quaint." -- Kent Beck
It was a fun talk - we also talked briefly about the discussion going on between Squeak developers and Debian folks about getting EToys into Debian.
I just finished reading "Flags of our Fathers", and can think of no more fitting tribute to Memorial Day than "The Photograph"
Dare Obasanjo points out that design will trump a lot of other things, especially if you need to scale massively:
Scaling a service infrastructure is all about optimizations and trade offs. My original post wasn't meant to imply that Twitter's scaling problems are unsolvable since similar problems have obviously have been solved by other online services and Enterprise products in the messaging space. It was meant to inject some perspective in the silly claims that Ruby on Rails is to blame and give readers some perspective on the kind of architectural problems that have to be solved.
The only caveat I'd add is this: most applications don't have anywhere near the scaling demands of Twitter - which is why "architecture astronauts" can be dangerous.
Technorati Tags: twitter
Read Write Web points out that the "wisdom" of crowds can go in any number of directions - not all of them good:
SitePoint Marketing Manager Shayne Tilley talked about the company's efforts to promote a recent book giveaway via Digg on an SP blog. Within an hour after the promotion went live it had been dugg 30 times, but then, just as quickly, it was buried. Was it because SitePoint had submitted their own content to Digg, something that Digg users generally frown upon? No, SitePoint hadn't done that, they just put a "Digg This" button on the campaign page. The reason for the bury was likely this comment, according to SitePoint, who noticed the bury come down shortly after the comment was posted:
"It's a trap. When you download it runs a validation check to see if you are running a pirated version of photoshop. Which then logs your ip back to Adobe HQ who then mark the ip address in the automated billing system. You will recieve [sic] a fine for $500 in the next 2 to 5 working days. Congratulations" -- luke16
Which wasn't true. What we forget is this: people in groups will do things that - as individuals - they know are stupid. We see this every day in meetings, and we all remember it from our childhoods. What makes us think that groups are any wiser because they are virtual?
Technorati Tags: crowdsourcing
|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. This experience report will discuss the internal architecture of Craft.CASE, its metamodel, components etc. We will report on design and implementation issues, ease and difficulties we had with the implementation using VisualWorks Smalltalk and current state of development.
James Governor has some excellent advice for Microsoft - pity they won't listen to it:
t seems to me that Microsoft’s most important competitor is Apple, not Google. Google’s revenues don’t actually hurt Microsoft, they just grow Google. But if Microsoft wasn’t fully aware of just bad its core business is hurting after it announced revenues fell 24% year over year, last week’s news from eWeek should serve as another glass of water on the head on the pillow. While Microsoft is dreaming sweet dreams of out-searching Google, Apple has taken 2/3 of the $1000+ PC market.
There's a whole generation of high school and college age kids learning that Macs are better right now; if you don't think that will have an impact over the next few years, dream on. IBM was certain that they were on top in the mid 80's - that ended fairly abruptly.
While Microsoft is off wasting money on its pursuit of Yahoo, their next generation of core revenues are being threatened. IMHO, it's time to clean house at the top.
If you're coming to StS08, you'll likely be checking in with the vendors and STIC folks in the exhibit area; here's the schedule for that:
|June 18||6:30 PM - 9 PM (or later)|
|June 19||7:30 - 8:30, 10:00 - 10:30, 12:00 - 1:30, 3:00 - 3:30, 5:00 - 7:00|
|June 20||7:30 - 8:30, 10:00 - 10:30, 12:00 - 1:30, 3:00 - 3:30|
To Register Onsite:
|June 18||1:30 - 2:30, 5:30 - 7:30|
|June 19||8:00 - 8:30, 1:00 1:30|
|June 20||8:00 - 8:30, 1:00 1:30|
|June 21||Open During Breaks|
Technorati Tags: smalltalk
Randal Schwartz is doing some more evangelism:
Aran Deltec of the Thousand Oaks Perl Mongers has moved rapidly to enable me to make a last-minute presentation of my "Seaside: Your Next Web Framework" tomorrow night. Details are available from their mailing list note. It's an open invitation if you're in the greater LA area, although you may find it easier if you're already north of the hills.
Speaking of which, another Ruby group has just accepted a Seaside talk I volunteered. I should have details soon.
This can't be fun:
The main toilet aboard the International Space Station has broken down, forcing the three crew members to use the loo on the Soyuz escape craft that's permanently attached to the ISS, according to various media reports. However, the Soyuz head will offer only temporary relief, as its holding tank will quickly fill up.
Fortunately, a replacement toilet is on the way. Makes it clear that no problem is simple in space though.
Well, that was more trouble than it should have been. I upgraded an internal blog server from VW 7.4.1 to VW 7.6 earlier today, and after a few API issues got resolved, it was pretty smooth. So I went ahead and started the upgrade of the server here - which went a bit less smoothly. There was an outage of about an hour as I fiddled around trying to figure out the problem (not helped by watching the updated "Andromeda Strain" out of the other eye :) )
Anyway, things should be back to normal - but I won't be surprised to see a few small issues here and there either.
|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 Randy Coulman:|
At Smalltalk Solutions 2006, I did a presentation on Ward Cunningham's Framework for Integrated Test (FIT). This tutorial provides a more detailed and interactive introduction.
After a brief introduction to Fit, and the related FitNesse and FitLibrary, I will introduce a small project. As a group, we will write Fit tests for the project and then get them to pass. As part of the exercise, we will talk about good and bad ways of writing Fit tests and introduce the primary ways of connecting the Fit tests to the system under test.
Mathew Ingram spotlights the larger issue that is bedeviling music right now: how to get payment for what's rapidly becoming a commodity:
As Ethan points out, these kinds of concerns aren't solely the province of the music business. Other content-related industries are struggling with the same issues: if content can flow in dozens of different ways, and in many cases is effectively free, how do content producers generate something meaningful that people will be willing to pay for?
Here's where I'd start: don't treat your customers as if their criminals. That's the bad place that the RIAA and the MPAA have gone, and it's the place we're all going with idiotic proposals like ACTA. The answer isn't to extend the DMCA across the planet. How's this: make it conveneient to pay, and see how that works out?
We did a success story with MetaCase here.
Turns out, the upgrade went smoothly - the only issues were my own brain cramps. I had an older version of one parcel in place (which caused a bug in going to the archives), and that was about it. The server is now running on VW 7.6, and it seems noticeably snappier (and it's using fewer resources on the back end, always a good thing).
The main lesson I learned should have been obvious - don't upgrade a server while engaged in the plot of movie on TV :)
Blaine Buxton is giving a Seaside talk in Omaha:
At the next Omaha Dynamic Language User Group, I will be speaking on Seaside. If you missed my talk at the BarCampKansasCity, you can catch it now. I will be showing how to build web applications with the best web framework out there. Expect lots of simplicity and heretical statements.
This Seaside thing is starting to catch on.
Technorati Tags: smalltalk
|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 Andreas Hiltner and Mark Grinnell:|
This talk will discuss several groundbreaking features of ObjectStudio, such as it is the first and only Smalltalk environment to receive Microsoft's Vista certification, and the first and only Smalltalk to be hosted on a different Smalltalk's VM. It will also cover ObjectStudio's strengths in a Microsoft-centric infrastructure and outline a customer's experience choosing ObjectStudio 8 for a new application during its beta cycle.
Every so often I read about the large amount of unexploded ordinance in France and Belgium from WWI - this morning I looked for more information and ran across this Wikipedia page:
In the Ardennes region of France, large-scale citizen evacuations were necessary during UXO removal operations in 2001. In the forests of Verdun French government "demineurs" working for the Department du Deminage still hunt for poisonous, volatile, explosive munitions and recover about 900 tons every year. The most feared are corroded artillery shells containing chemical warfare agents such as mustard gas. According to the film "Aftermath", these demineurs "have gathered more than twenty million shells but have lost six hundred demineurs. At the current speed, France will be fully cleared and safe - in seven hundred years." French farmers still find many UXOs when ploughing their fields; the so-called "iron harvest."
Seven Hundred years - the mind boggles. History isn't as far removed as many people seem to think.
iRobot's various military robots are already capable of packing some weaponry, but it looks like Metal Storm is set to give their arsenal a considerable boost, with it recently demonstrating its remotely-operated FireStorm weapons system on one of iRobot's standard Warrior platforms. That system essentially makes the ammunition the only moving part in the weapon, with it able to fire bullets electronically at a rate of thousands of rounds per minute (or "theoretically" even up to a million), which Metal Storm says makes the system ideal for a whole range of applications including, somewhat ominously, "crowd control."
Incidentally, I wonder if author John Birmingham ("Weapons of Choice", "Final Impact") came up with the term "Metal Storm" independently?
Well, if there's one thing I can't accuse movie execs of, it's originality:
On the heels of the successful revival of the "Indiana Jones" franchise, Paramount has set in motion a fourth installment of "Beverly Hills Cop."
More "Incredibles", less of this, please...
Well, this is disappointing:
Warlords did not produce a great number of sales, far less than was expected. There is also the problem of programing for Civ 4, now as I said above using the same engine as previous game usually makes porting new titles easier, that is not the case for the Civ 4 titles. While the actual game is fairly stable (not perfect of course) the code behind it on the PC side is a mess. This kind of thrown together code makes it difficult to port the game and fix problems that arise in the port. Due to the sheer number of problems we have encountered with working with the PC code for the Civ 4 titles it may be that production does not wish to have to go through it again. For instance when patching games it usually takes a couple of weeks or as much as eight weeks. Civ 4 patches take us months to program and test because of constant problems.
That's apparently from a support engineer at Aspyr - at least it works under Parallels!
Technorati Tags: civ4
Jim Louderback of Revision 3 explains how an MPAA/RIAA backed company took them off the air over Memorial Day weekend - and it happened because they (Revision 3) discovered and closed a back door in their network. Apparently, if these self appointed copyright guardians can't steal your bandwidth, you can't have it either...
We did a podcast with Carl Gundel (Part 1, Part 2) awhile back, and we talked a bit about his runbasic site - which is a Cincom Smalltalk/Seaside site. While it's Smalltalk powered, it's all about Carl's product, Liberty Basic - and he's been wrapping Seaside with Liberty Basic to bring the language into the Web world. Here's a snapshot of one of his examples, which you can run directly on the site:
If you want to introduce someone to software, Basic is a great way to do it - and picking this one gives you all the back-end power of Smalltalk :)
Todd Blanchard asks about where scaffolding support for Seaside and ActiveRecord is:
Anyhow, activescaffold works with activerecord and infers a really slick AJAX UI that supports sensible CRUD more or less instantly. Once installed, you can go through and customize views by adding actions links, filtering columns, and generally overriding bits of logic to make it more task focused. It would be really cool to have a similar facility in Seaside.
Well - have a look at Michael's latest video to see what we're up to in that regard :)
|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 me:|
In this tutorial, you'll get an introduction to Seaside 2.8 using Cincom Smalltalk. No knowledge of Cincom Smalltalk is required. No knowledge of Cincom Smalltalk is required, nor is any familiarity with Smalltalk assumed. Attendees will build a simple blog server over the course of the session, and learn about:
- The Seaside component model
- Seaside Callbacks
- Building Forms using Seaside
- State Tracking
- Using AJAX to update parts of a Seaside page
- Integrating CSS styling
- Integrating external files (Images, etc)
The tutorial will be broken up into as many as 10 sections, depending on time and pacing. Attendees will be able to "synch up" with the current material as the session proceeds, as working versions of the project will be available throughout.
This is not an expert session on Seaside; experts should look elsewhere. This is a beginners walkthrough of Seaside basics.
On today's Smalltalk Daily, we take a look at embedding an ActiveX control into an ObjectStudio 8 application. Since ObjectStudio is now hosted inside VW, that means that all Cincom Smalltalk developers - VW and OS - can take advantage of ActiveX components on Windows,
I see that people are talking about Twitter's obvious scaling problems - one of their developers, Alex Payne, said this:
The events that hit our system the hardest are generally when "popular" users - that is, users with large numbers of followers and people they're following - perform a number of actions in rapid succession. This usually results in a number of big queries that pile up in our database(s). Not running scripts to follow thousands of users at a time would be a help, but that's behavior we have to limit on our side.
Here's a thought: Facebook limited the number of friends you could have to 5000 - I suspect a lot of that had to do with scale worries. I suspect Twitter could go a long way towards solving their problems if they implemented a follower limit. Would it irritate people over that limit? Sure, but it might be better than this:
That pops up a lot in Twitterific, every day.
I'll be bringing my camera to Smalltalk Solutions 2008, but I can only film one thing at a time (and we have multiple tracks. So: I would appreciate suggestions as to what I should film. I intend to make the video (and audio - only as well) available for download, both off this site and of STIC - so go ahead, tell me what you want. You can see the entire agenda here.
If you haven't registered yet, what are you waiting for?
Dare Obasanjo has done a great summary of the issues with "social media" sites:
Social news sites like Reddit & Digg also have to contend with the fact that the broader their audience gets the less controversial and original their content will be since the goal of such sites is to publish the most broadly popular content on the front page. Additionally, ideas that foster group think will gain in popularity as the culture and audience of the site congeals. Once that occurs, two things will often happen to the site (i) growth will flatten out since there is now a set audience and culture for the site and (ii) the original crop of active users will long for the old days and gripe a lot about how things have changed. This has happened to Slashdot, Kuro5hin, Reddit and every other online community I've watched over time.
It's not a new problem, either. Back when we all followed usenet news groups we saw the same progression over time.
I have to say, Dan Quick does an amazing job of editing. I mentioned that I was a guest on Polycast (a podcast about the Civilization PC game) last week, and it's online now. We rambled for a long while, and Dan edited it down to a nicely focused discussion. If you're a fan of Civ4, you should subscribe.
The hardware that runs this server had a brain cramp this morning - and it was the one day of the week that I decided to sleep in - figures :)
Anyway, it seems to be sorted out now - I'll scan the logs and see if anything makes sense.
"One thing leads to another. High gas prices prompt employers (including the federal government) to allow employees to work from home once a week. Once that's accepted culturally, an elephant appears in the boardroom: If it's OK once a week, why isn't it OK five times a week? (This is what happened with 'casual Friday' -- its once-a-week acceptance lead to the current trend of casual wear every day.) Once telecommuting is accepted, 'extreme telecommuting' -- working from the Bahamas or Paris or an internet-connected shack on the Australian Outback -- becomes acceptable, too. After all, once you're out of the office and connecting to the company over the Internet, it doesn't really matter where you are, does it?"
I hadn't really thought about "casual Friday" and the move to all casual, but it's true. Fifteen years ago, any visit to a Wall Street firm was in a suit. Now, it's business casual - and I've seen people in those offices dressed like California startup staff from the original web bubble.
The next phase seems to be underway, and I guess I was one of the first fulltime adherents to the remote lifestyle. I've been a remote worker since 1992 - I go to an office by plane when I need to go. It looks like that trend is picking up speed, and I suspect it will drive demand for bandwidth. It should be an interesting next decade.
Technorati Tags: telecommuting
I had been planning to spread some topsoil and soil conditioner on my gardens today - I bought a bunch of bags late last week. However, my daughter's school schedule tends to leave me in a chronic state of undersleep, so I slept in today.
Of course, that's when events decided to conspire against me :)
- The server running this blog had a brain cramp, apparently just before 8 AM my time
- The thunderstorms that were about 50% likely rolled in just as we got the server back online
So much for the plan :)
Antony Blakey blogged up a storm a few days back, and one of his posts talks about Gemstone's MagLev as a possible game changer. I tend to think that most applications will stay with an RDBMS, so the sweet spot for Smalltalk will lie with good integration of Seaside and an RDBMS - which led me to Todd Blanchard's comment in Antony's post:
If Seaside had active record and activescaffold, I would switch to that in a heartbeat to get the vastly superior development tools. Sadly, the persistence story on the Smalltalk side remains rather spotty.
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.
If it's scaffolding, Active Record, and Seaside you're after, then Cincom is who you want to talk to :)
Heh - my friend Mike sent me this after a failed network game of Mario Kart this morning:
Every time the A/C kicked in, my connection to WFC dropped. Off to buy a line filter.
Something was up on my end as well; I lost connectivity more than once myself.
If you like competence, don't look to the RIAA, the MPAA, or their attack wing, Media Defender for it. Here's how Jim Louderback, CEO of Revision3 describes what happened over the Memorial Day holiday:
"That's when MediaDefender went into overdrive and started pummeling us," Louderback said. "If a tracker was previously open and suddenly shut, their systems are automatically configured to put them out of business."
It never occurred to Media Defender to, say, send an email or pick up the phone and tell Revision3 - "hey, your systems are wide open and people are stealing your bandwidth" - nope, here's what the bright guys over there say instead:
Saaf said MediaDefender had been seeding the tracker with fake torrents for some time. Fake files corrupt BitTorrent downloads. "We saw an open BitTorrent tracker with a lot of pirated content on it. We had been posting fake files to their tracker. Over Memorial Day weekend, Revision3 changed some configurations," Saaf said.
Translation: they made their site secure, and Media Defender simply couldn't have that - they would rather be a problem than a solution to problems. There are plenty of words I can think of to describe those clowns, but I don't like using that sort of language on my blog....
This week we have an interview Dave Buck did with Andres Valloud. They discussed Andres' Smalltalk books (which you can find here and here on lulu), how Andres came to Smalltalk, and the hashing work that Andres has been doing of late.
I added a small bit of Smalltalk news at the start of the podcast - you should definitely head on over to FLOSS weekly and listen to the interview with Dan Ingalls - and while you're at it, subscribe to the podcast.