I've just finished the presentation to the NYC STUG, and it started a fascinating conversation. I'll post details later; right now I have to find my way back to the train station!
I am headed off to the NY Smalltalk User's group meeting, NC CD's in hand. Follow this link for details and directions to the meeting.
In fact, the same controversy that happened 10, 15, and 20 years ago in the manufactoring sector. I can't find the original story online (at least not free - this link will lead you to pay options), but here's something I got in email:
A wellspring of resentment is gushing among information technology workers as employers ship more computer jobs overseas - often to India - and bring foreign workers here. The job export, a stunning reversal of the late-90s demand for local IT employees, is raising questions about the industry's future and sending more U.S. workers into a downwardly mobile spiral. Businesses in the Hartford area alone have terminated hundreds of American IT employees and consultants in the past year, under pressure to boost profits and please shareholders. And more layoffs are on the way. Companies such as Aetna, ING Group and CIGNA say that they must find cheaper IT labor to keep their costs down and compete, and that Indian companies offer a well-trained and eager pool of talent. The U.S. employers also like the overnight staffing that stems from the time difference between countries.I remember these stories - about other industries - from the 70's and 80's. Not sure what can be done about it - protectionism rarely works out the way you want it to. For more commentary, I did find a link to some feedback to the original newspaper story
Slashdot has a story on the AMD FAB30 plant in Dresden, Germany. I wonder how many of the readers know that AMD FAB plants run on Smalltalk?
The Loosely Coupled Blog has an interesting post on the transparency of apis. It's done in the context of URI's, and the question he raises is, should a URI be a well defined interface into a site's functionality, or should it be an opaque thing, freeing the site designer's to change the URI namespace at will?
Apparently it's a bad idea if ignorant users like you or I can decipher how a URI works. That is, we shouldn't be allowed to look in the location bar of our browser and be able to see, for example, that http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=SOAP is a request to Google to search (/search) in the English language (?hl=en) for the term SOAP (&q=SOAP). According to Tim-Berners Lee, the original creator of the WorldWide Web and still head of its leading standards body, the W3C, that's too transparent. He - along with many other influential figures in the technology world - believes that "a Web application's URI namespace should be opaque," writes Jon Udell this week in his InfoWorld column. The purpose of Berners-Lee's opacity axiom, Jon explains, "was to ensure that a service provider can always reorganize a namespace without fear of breaking clients that depend on that namespace." In other words, Google should be free, for example, to insert new elements in front of the &q= operator (which indeed it often does) - or even to change it to, say, &query= (which to my knowledge it never has) - without having to worry about the potential effect on systems that interact with it. Heaven forbid, after all, that anyone should be able to link to Google's, or Amazon's, or any other provider's URI in ways that the system's designers hadn't originally thought of. That might lead to - horror of horrors - unintended consequences.Go read the whole post - it's worth it. IMHO, transparency in this area is good - the more people there are who can make use of your content, the better.
I posted on this yesterday, and immediately contacted the DC User's group. It looks like they are interested in a presentation! So I'll be doing that sometime in February. Cool!
Until I noticed where it was posted. See the story talking about how Windows might be the most secure OS.
According to a new Aberdeen Group report, open-source solution Linux has surpassed Windows as the most vulnerable OS, contrary to the high-profile press Microsoft's security woes receive. Furthermore, the Aberdeen Group reports that more than 50 percent of all security advisories that CERT issued in the first 10 months of 2002 were for Linux and other open-source software solutions. The report muddles the argument that proprietary software such as Windows is inherently less secure than open solutions. And here's another blow to the status quo: Proprietary UNIX solutions were responsible for just as many security advisories as Linux in the same time period. Could Windows be the most secure mainstream OS available today?The report is from one of the analyst groups, and the site touts Windows. So take it for what it's worth...
Ezboard has well over 10 million registered members and runs on 150 servers .. All Smalltalk.. And the technology improves constantly... We have built some pretty cool stuff using a basic image and BOSS files as our flat file databaseWell, I guess the BOSS file back end for this blog isn't so unreasonable ;-)
I just had an odd bug reported. In BottomFeeder, select an item, and then in the html pane, click a link. Then click the link again. Notice how nothing happens? BottomFeeder uses Twoflower for the html widget. The problem is, the Twoflower machinery keeps track of the page its currently on, and then doesn't submit a request if it's already on the requested page. This is probably ok if you are browsing with Twoflower, but most BottomFeeder users are launching an external browser - in which case, a mystifying nothing is just bad. I've just overridden the code in question, and verified that it works as expected. I'll eventually push a new dev build up.
Here's an idea - XP started out in Smalltalk (on the C3 project, specifically). XP and Agile Methodologies are getting a lot of buzz right now - and there are a growing number of XP user groups around the US and the world. One thing that would help get the word out on Smalltalk is a little pro-active behavior - take a look at the list, and see if there's an XP group near you. Then see if they would be open to a talk on Smalltalk and XP - you could go in and demonstrate the support for XP in Smalltalk - SUnit, the Refactoring Browser, etc. I think we all need to go outside the group more and be proactive. Thoughts?
Resolved: whenever I see someone in the grocery store pick up an Old El Paso Taco Pizza kit, and they seem to be debating the purchase, I will spring forward, knock the box from their hand and shout RUN! POISON GAS STREAMING IN FROM THE JERSEY MARSHES! They will leave the store, and forget all about the Taco Pizza kit. I will have done my part.It's well worth reading the whole thing. This is the same guy who wrote The Gallery of Regrettable Food, a truly funny send up of 50's food.
I changed the way comments show up in the RSS feed - new ones show up with a link back to the original entry. Unfortunately, the relative url (which is used for the posting itself) does not work and play well with the RSS feed. I have a fix, and will be posting it in a few
Smalltalk is the most mature object-oriented language on the market. Most other OO language implementations, ranging from Object COBOL to Java, have drawn inspiration from Smalltalk. (If you're not already familiar with what object-orientation means, see the OO page for a basic tutorial.) One of the distinctive features of Smalltalk (versus, say, Java) is that it does not require type specifications for variables and arguments. If you look at a typical Java or C++ program listing, you'll see that a great deal of space is taken up by type definitions, and related stuff such as casting (which is required, for example, to use Java collection classes). Some people argue that strong typing makes programs more reliable. Most Smalltalkers believe that the visual clutter necessitated by strong typing, and the fact that it complicates the language syntax, more than offset its advantages. In Smalltalk, the programmer just focuses on the semantics of the problem, writes simpler code faster, and has more time left for user feedback and testing.
Charles Monteiro put out this notice for the STUG meeting this Wednesday, January 15th:
This should be a good time, and it sounds like Charles has gotten RSVP's from a fair number of non-Smalltalkers. If you are going to be in NY, stop by and say hi!
Extreme Programming in Smalltalk
James Robertson, Product Manager for Cincom Smalltalk will repeat a recent presentation he gave at an XP conference in Brazil. Extreme Programming was developed in Smalltalk circles , join us and get an insight into why.
Date January 15th Location Suite LLC offices Address 440 9th Avenue, 8th Floor Time - 6:00pm to 6:30 pm Open house Time - 6:30pm to 8:00 pm Main Event
Take E or C train to 34th (Penn Station) walk to corner of 34th and 8th. Walk up one block to 9th. RSVP is requested. Please send mail to: Charles Monteiro with subject line of: NYC Smalltalk Jan 15th. Our meetings are opened to the general public. Invite a friend ! To join our mailing list simply send mail to: NYC STUG Any questions send mail to: Charles Monteiro Charles
I can definitely identify with this strip. Scott Adams got that about right...
I've been reading about Trackback and Pingback. The idea is to semi-automate the process whereby a site owner (in particular here, a blogger) gets notified about links to their content. The huh from me comes up due to site logs - what exactly is provided by these things (other than a whole lot of messaging) that you can't already dig out of your server logs? I've built some rough VW tools for parsing logs, and a few minutes in a workspace gets me all the information I could ever want about people referring to the various parts of my site. Gathering this information via the logs chews no additional bandwidth, uses information that's being gathered already, and means very little new code to write. So other than the buzzword bit, what's the point? I don't get it.
Well, it seems that I have egg on my face with this release. Awhile back in the Dev build cycle, I had changed the monolithic save file format to binary (BOSS) from XML. I released 2.6 yesterday, but I had not gone back and tried it out on a 2.5 XML format save file. That's what users are for - to point out how much testing I didn't do :-( I have uploaded a fresh build that fixes the problem - I tested on an XML save file from a user, and on one of my binary save files. All should be well now. My apologies for not catching this before I announced the release. Visit the BottomFeeder Home Page to get it
Have a look at this register story - there's been an attempt to have the DMCA laws prevent third parties from selling replacement inkjet cartridges. Follow the links at the end of the story as well - the DMCA seems to be being stretched in all sorts of directions. For my wife's color HP printer, the cost of two replacement cartridges can be nearly half the original cost of the printer! No wonder the printer vendors want to muscle out the competition...
I've often wondered about the odd pauses IE will sometimes have when browsing. There are times I've had to go so far as to start up a new instance. So I was interested when I stumbled across this post from last December. The author is talking about 5 year old behavior, but I still see those symptoms. I've seen others comment on IE oddness as well - have a look here, for instance. So what gives? Is IE specifically optimized for IIS, or is there something else going on here?
Here's a story about China filtering blogs out.
"Bloggers" from all over China are reporting that they are unable to access their on-line journals or "blogs". Journals hosted at Blogspot.com and other blog providers have joined a growing list of sites blocked by Chinese authorities. An anonymous blogger in Henan Province said, After talking to other Blogspot users all over China it seems that the ban is present throughout the entire country. I know that a lot of people have blogs and that they will not be pleased to see their personal journals taken away for unknown political reasons. . . Initial scans indicate that blogspot.com is being blocked by IP number at the international gateway level.Who knew that all this online blathering would get noticed?
BottomFeeder 2.6 is finally released. Check the main site for download information and the changelog. Enjoy!
This is just too funny:
For three months, staffers at Piqua, Ohio's Flesh Public Library, which is named after the man who donated the land for the library, Leo Flesh, worked on the library's new website. But when the big day came in early December and director James Oda assembled the entire staff to premiere the finished site - www.fleshpublic.lib.oh.us - the library's computer system denied him access. The Internet filtering system used by the library to protect children from pornography had blocked the site because the url contained the words "flesh" and "public." As Oda later told the Dayton Daily News, "We banned ourselves."I found this here
The Family Room TV is over a decade old, and has a bum picture tube. Off we go to find a replacement. We are looking in the 45" and up range. Suggestions?
I prefer verbose logging too. I've been working with WebSphere Application Developer during the last year and I've never used the debugger. However verbose logging - IMHO - should be considered as a form of debugging too. Sure, it's not the boring act of step-by-step stumbling through control structures and loops glaring at a huge set off watches, but instead it focuses on what is important in a certain context (if logging is done properly) and is works much faster, because the result simply stays in the form of a log which one can take all the time needed to examine. An important pro of verbose logging to traditional debugging is that proper log statements preferably combined with assertions which validate the state of an object at runtime also provide very usefull documentation of a program. The remaining contra is extra code slowing down execution, even dramatically depending on the log format (imagine the time needed to format date/time information for each 5 or so lines of code). Comes to my mind the fact that object oriented languages use runtime linkage for virtual methods at great scale. Hence it should be possible to keep two versions of code, one containing debugging code and one that has been cleaned - eg. by a modified class loader for example, whic removes all calls to a classes from a certain package. This should enable switching at runtime from a clean non-logging version to a logging-version, if a certain condition is met. For example during a suspicious error, or simply a flag a user can set at the moment he or she detects a bug. This means that even production versions of software could be equiped with shiploads of logging possibilities having nearly no affection at all to their execution speed.What is it with the C syntax crowd that generates "pride" in not using a debugger? In this case, it seems again to be the huge over-emphasis on early optimization - the code must run as fast as possible, even if we have no metrics on how fast is necessary. So there this guy goes, blinders firmly attached, happily unaware that tools exist that could make him a better developer. In fact, there they are, just beyond his grasp...
I posted a new survey last week - the topic is categorization of code. With the introduction of Namespaces and Store in 5i, a lot of people voiced concern over how code should/could be organized - by namespace, by category, by parcel, by package (etc.). Here's your chance to let us know what you think. Thanks!
A few weeks ago, I stopped using my Linux box as a router and bought a Linksys router. Since then, my wife's XP box has steadfastly refused to see the home LAN. It can ping, and do TCP/IP operations - just none of the Windows networking things. Since my Linux box and my Windows ME (bleah) box still talk, I don't think it't my fault. feel the ease of use...
I have been asked why I slam Sun and Java so much, and pay less attention to Microsoft. Partly, it's due to my low level of trust in anti-trust law in general - i.e., I don't have a lot to say about the monopoly case. On the language/development level, I think there's a big difference. Sun's mantra is all platforms, so long as you use Java. Microsoft's is any language, so long as you use Windows. To me it's clear which is the nearer term risk to anyone who favors Smalltalk. But there's more - read this
The technologists have won a rare victory over the marketeers at Microsoft this week: the latest renaming of the next release of Windows Server 2003 has removed the ".NET" branding that was first attached to the product in June 2001 - the original launch date of Microsoft's .Net strategy. The move is significant because, instead of attempting to push Windows as the default platform for .Net, Microsoft will now promote its flagship server platform as "Microsoft .NET Connected", a badge that third-party vendors will also be able to earn. As the Register's John Lettice explains:Does this make Microsoft all warm and fuzzy? Heck no. I liked the way Alan Knight put it on the IRC Channel the other day - MS, IBM, Sun (et. al.) are like Godzilla rampaging through Tokyo, and the best we can do is try not to get stepped on. They might sometimes knock down a wall in a way that helps us, but it will likely be an accident. In any case, this is why I slam Sun more often - Sun's current efforts, if successful, would be more damaging to Smalltalk than Microsoft's current efforts would be if they succeed."This logo will indicate 'its ability to easily and consistently connect disparate information, systems, and devices to meet customers' people and business needs (regardless of underlying platform or programming language).' That last bit may have some significance - is it perhaps more important that Windows has fallen off .NET than that .NET has fallen off Windows?"Some significance indeed. The move relegates Windows to the status of just another server platform within the .Net Framework, Microsoft's umbrella architecture for web services, confirming that .Net is now more strategically important to Microsoft than Windows. How long before some version of Linux earns the "Microsoft .NET Connected" badge? That day may be closer than anyone expects - I predict it will be in the first half of 2004.
My old Dell laptop has had it - for the second time in 12 months, the keyboard went flaky. Some keys typed multiple times, some not at all. And it changed. It made typing a nightmare, and I spend my day at a keyboard. So you can imagine how fun this was. Today, a replacement came in - I swapped in the old HD, the PCI cards, and voila - back in business. So how often do keyboards go bad? The dell notebook is the first one I've ever had with a bum keyboard. I've had systems from NEC, from IBM, from Panasonic, and from Toshiba. Do other people see this?
I got this from Dewayne Mikkelson's blog>]. Apparently, Adele Goldberg has published another book:
Article : Learning is a Community Experience : By Adele Goldberg - "Perhaps it is obvious - you do not learn alone, but you do take responsibility for your own education. (14-pages, 206 KB PDF) * Go to Learning is a Community Experience, published in the July/August 2002 edition of the Journal of Object Technology SynapShots Adele was one of the creators of the Smalltalk programming language. She worked at Xerox PARC with Alan Kay and later became the CEO of ParcPlace Systems where she worked to commercialize object-oiented technologies. This article contains her reflections on introducing object-oriented technologies and thinking to the technology world. Lots of good material. I was struck by this definition of an educated person:Go read the whole thingWe think that an educated person is one who knows a little about a lot, and a lot about some focused subject area - one who reads broadly so is conversant on many topics, but one who holds his or her tongue when the hard data is not there to back up the inclination of that tongue.Wouldn't the world be a nicer place if more of us took that advice to heart?
I taught the first class today. I only have 4 kids, aged 8-11. That makes it easy to get concepts across and give them plenty of hands on time. We used Squeak - it simply has far more kid friendly stuff than VW does. What I had them start with was the Energizer Bunny Alice world. They liked that a lot. They figured out the idea of sending messages to objects pretty quickly, and started working on combining actions to make the bunny do more interesting things. The hour passed quickly, and they all seemed to enjoy it greatly - and they were executing actual Smalltalk interactively! Try that with a set of Java tools
Jason Jone of Why Smalltalk writes:
Why Smalltalk now offers a home for authors to publish their Smalltalk and/or Object-Oriented articles to the web. This is a voluntary, non-profit effort. All articles will remain the intellectual property of the author. Why Smalltalk will only host the articles to further the educational advancement of the Smalltalk community. Send your submittals to Jason Jones Interested? Follow this link Jason
The comments for my previous post on this on this topic are interesting. Have a look
This job posting was forwarded to me by Charles Monteiro, who got it from Monster.com:
Java Consultant for financial client in New York/New Jersey area. Must have JAVA, SOCKETS, THREADS, AWT ,TCP/IP MUST ALSO HAVE SQL, DDL AND DO QUERY OPTIMIZATION WE DO NOT WANT ANYONE THAT HAS WORKED WITH EJB OR J2EE (ORB / RMI) - PLEASE DO NOT Apply if all you HAVE USED are THESE TECHNOLOGIES - these Java people are a different type that think a different way...SO NO EJB and NO J2EE.That's just way too amusing. I can't think of any other language/platform I've ever seen anything like that...
This item is priceless. I'm copying the entire thing, in between chuckles.
Bacterial Backup BureauThe New Scientist reports that scientists have stored text data in the DNA of a living bacteria -- and then recovered the message after a hundred generations of reproduction:His title for the entry alone makes it worth reading...The scientists took the words of the song It's a Small World and translated it into a code based on the four "letters" of DNA. They then created artificial DNA strands recording different parts of the song. These DNA messages, each about 150 bases long, were inserted into bacteria such as E. coli and Deinococcus radiodurans.No word yet on if they've searched the DNA of creatures in the wild for pre-existing messages from ancient extraterrestrials. Lawyers from Disney and the Harry Fox Agency have sent a "cease and desist" letter to the E. coli and Deinococcus radiodurans demanding that they immediately stop reproducing Disney's copyrighted lyrics. At 7 cents a copy, the petri dish of ever-reproducing bacteria now owes $24 trillion in mechanical licensing fees, and counting.
(TechWeb) -- Human error was the cause of a five-hour outage to Microsoft's .Net Messenger instant message service, a Microsoft executive said Tuesday. Technicians were installing routers to upgrade the .Net Messenger service, which underlies both Windows Messenger and MSN Messenger. The technicians incorrectly configured the routers. Service was out from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern time on Monday. Ironically, the routers were being installed to make the service more reliable.I feel better now about the times I accidentally broke this server....
Smalltalk is interpreted, whereas C normally isn't. One of the powers of interpreted languages is the ability to easily add much more flexible debugging tools. Sure, you could create a debugging environment for C that had similar functionality, but you'd then be running your program on a completely different "platform" from that without a debugger. Along a similar line, I've seen many cases where a compiler was used to turn code in a normally interpreted language into machine code. Frequently, programs that ran just fine through the interpreter had serious problems in the compiled version. It ends up that there were bugs in the program that just didn't show up in the interpreter.The C language community seems to be stuck in a time warp, perfectly content with crappy tools, and completely unaware that better things have been done in the past, and are being done now.
Well campers, it looks like another virus that targets Outlook and Outlook Express is out there. It also hits IE, and supposedly ICQ and IRC. I got this from The Fuzzy Blog.
Ms. Lavigne, a 17-year-old "skater-punk" pop star, joins a growing list of celebrities, most notably tennis beauty Anna Kournakova, who have served as virus writers' bait. Variously Called "Naith," "Avril" and "Lirva" by different antivirus companies, the virus spreads via e-mail, live-chat systems IRC and ICQ, music and file sharing on KaZaA and network file sharing systems, according to antivirus software maker Symantec Corp. (NasdaqNM:SYMC - News), which Tuesday labeled the virus low riskRead the whole thing
I will be speaking at the NYSTUG meeting next week. This is the announcement from Charles Monteiro, who organizes the STUG there:
James Robertson, Product Manager for Cincom Smalltalk will repeat a recent presentation he gave at an XP conference in Brazil. Extreme Programming was developed in Smalltalk circles, join us and get an insight into why.
Directions: Take E or C train to 34th (Penn Station) walk to corner of 34th and 8th. Walk up one block to 9th. RSVP is requested. Please send mail to: Charles Monteiro with subject line of: NYC Smalltalk Jan 15th. Our meetings are opened to the general public. Invite a friend ! To join our mailing list simply send mail to: Subscribe
Date: January 15th Location: Suite LLC offices Address: 440 9th Avenue, 8th Floor Time: 6:00pm to 6:30 pm Open house 6:30pm to 8:00 pm Main Event
Smalltalk Solutions 2003 will be held at this hotel in Toronto. The conference is scheduled for July 14-16 - make your plans now. We are actively looking for speakers and tutorial presenters - contact Alan Knight if you are interested in presenting. This will be a great show in a really nice location. And heck, by July all the snow should be melted...
Hat tip to Terry Raymond
TECH SUPPORT FOR HUSBAND 1.0 Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a slow down in the performance of flower and jewelry applications that had operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0 In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs, such as Romance 9.9, but installed undesirable programs such as NFL 5.0 and NBA 3.0. Conversation 8.0 no longer runs and Housecleaning 2.6 simply crashes the system. I've tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but to no avail. What can I do? DesperateThank goodness the wife doesn't read my blog ;-)
Dear Desperate, First keep in mind, Boyfriend 5.0 is an entertainment package, while Husband 1.0 is an operating system. Try to enter the command: C:/I THOUGHT YOU LOVED ME and install Tears 6.2. Husband 1.0 should then automatically run the applications: Guilty 3.0 and Flowers 7.0. But remember, overuse can cause Husband 1.0 to default to Grumpy Silence 2.5, Happy Hour 7.0, or Beer 6.1. Beer 6.1 is a very bad program that will create SnoringLoudly.WAV files. DO NOT install Mother-In-Law 1.0 or reinstall another Boyfriend program. These are not supported applications and will crash Husband 1.0. In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have a limited memory and cannot learn new application quickly. You might consider buying additional software to improve performance. I personally recommend Hot Food 3.0 and Lingerie 6.9. Good Luck, Tech Support P.S. Whatever you do don't install Winemaker 5.5 and Vineyard Manager 3.0 with Husband 1.0! That will really crash your system! However, Cellar Inventory 3.0 can provide some relief for certain occasions... And I can confirm that Travel 5.1 will not work with Husband 1.0 and the same with EatOut 10.3 and Entertainment 2.8. However, Yardwork 4.7 works extremely well as same with RetirementPlanning 3.9
It's interesting to see how Joss Whedon and (especially) Marti Noxon actually explore these issues instead of merely asserting them. I love Spirited Away, for example, but Miyazaki's masterpiece has a tacked-on moral (always remember who you are) that's hardly more organic than the notoriously-subverted lesson of the Wizard Of Oz (there's no place like home). This weakness comes with the territory; all of these are Parsifals -- bar mitzvah tales -- in which our hero sees the hidden world of grownups and, for the first time, does what adults do. The last line of Spirited Away, "I think I can handle it," is an idiomatic translation of "Today, I am a man." But Buffy isn't doing that any more. Spike's done the unforgivable, and he desperately needs to be forgiven. We've established that enduring terrible trials is necessary, but it wasn't sufficient: he has a soul again, against all odds and in defiance of natural order, but that doesn't really change things. How can Buffy love him? Faith (in Buffy) and prayer are unavailing. Good works don't do it; join the Scoobies, save them, save the world: been there, bored now. Nor is Love enough, clearly, for at this point Spike is once more love's bitch.IMHO, Buffy has gotten better this year than last. I just hope that they don't do the MASH thing and linger well past the point of no return