2004/07/30

Pocket PC Notes - BizOrg


BizOrg is an easy to use pocket software for PocketPC. Pocket organizer, PIM, manage notes tasks, contacts journal and more. pocketpc freeware. synchronize, outlook synchronize.

Will report back when I get to try it

Trivilazation of ....


I agree with this:The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Triumph of the Trivial. It is certainly happening more in the UK too.

And I wouldn't limit it to TV either: it seems to me that more and more column inches are given over to trivia.

2004/07/25

Maudlin, Welsh mare


Just when everything is picking up in my favourite Welsh/Dorset reality sitcom, this happens:Chocolate and Vodka :: Have some Lamington: "http://chocnvodka.blogware.com/blog/_trackback/111808"

I ask you, who writes the plot lines for this? Too unpredictable to be plausible!!

2004/07/23

Quote of the day


Lisp Quotes: "Most papers in computer science describe how their author learned what someone else already knew.

- Peter Landin"

"Most software platforms are a rehash of older platforms, with a new buzzword -- Keith

2004/07/21

2004/07/20

Sick as a parrot (not a python)


Not been feeling top notch recently - summer flu or some such. Hope to get back to more blogging soon.

2004/07/18

Amen, brother


UrBlog: "If only I could be working in a dynamic language such as Smalltalk or Python"

2004/07/17

Got a clue ?


From UrBlog via Smalltalk Tidbits, Industry Rants

And Smalltalk folks will shake their heads and wonder when people will finally get a clue.


Must try Gemstone some time. I'm certainly enjoyting my programming play time right now - relearning Smalltlak, seeing what has changed after all this time. I hope my play application might actually get some real use, but if used at work it will have to be re-written in something else ......

Quote of the day test


Who said this, and is it correct:? :The Independent Weekly: With trembling fingers: "'It is always a simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.'"

2004/07/16


J2EE vs. .NET shootout at OOPSLA


Any "discussion" about this topic is bound to be fun:Spotted in Smalltalk Tidbits, Industry Rants

And adding a Smalltalk perspective should make it funner Will Alan represent Cincom Smalltalk or Cincom as a whole?

2004/07/15

Quote from Hackers and Painters


Spotted in Bill Clementson's blog quotes from Paull Graham's Hackers and Painters, including this:
"A programming language is for thinking of programs, not for expressing programs you've already thought of. It should be a pencil, not a pen. Static typing would be a fine idea if people actually did write programs the way they taught me to in college. But that's not how any of the hackers I know write programs. We need a language that lets us scribble and smudge and smear, not a language where you have to sit with a teacup of types balanced on your knee and make polite conversation with a strict old aunt of a compiler." P22

Ancient Greece vs. Soviet Russia


Spotted in David Buck - Blog :


There are two conflicting forces driving software development. The first force tries to help developers by giving them the tools and environments that let them do anything they need to do to solve the problem at hand. They give the programmer the freedom to create whatever solutions they deem necessary.

......

Do restrictions in the environment help? I believe that they only help a little and usually cause more harm than it's worth. They increase finger typing, hinder productivity, slow down development, increase refactoring efforts, and decrease code readability

Wheels within wheels


Re: More Alan Kay notice
Spotted in Smalltalk Tidbits, Industry Rants :
But late-bound has some deeper and more profound properties that include abilities to actually change the both the structure and metastructure of the language itself. Thus an important new idea can be assimilated into the constantly evolving process that is the system.

Another aspect of late-binding is the ability to change one's mind about already instantiated structures that are already doing work. These can be changed automatically on the fly without harming the work they are already doing.

Long lasting software


Good thinking, as usual, from Dan:
Software That Lasts 200 Years

One thing I have been struck by recently, is how many times we reinvent the wheel ; we produce a new platform, in a new technology ( including hardware/OD platform), with a new interface. However, to the application the new features are not that great - perhaps there are a few new things, just enough to warrant a re-write.

But surely, there is enough demand for new software that we can still employ our current developers and perhaps more. Of course, they might be specialists in other areas who can develop on the longer lasting platforms.

2004/07/12

OK, I'm starting to get this...


In this paper by Daniel Friedman:mex.pdf (application/pdf Object) he quotes Jon Rossie :
Programming languages are the box outside of which most programmers, architects and managers cannot think.

I guess this includes me !!! Or maybe included me.....

2004/07/11

Productivity quotes


I hadn't seen these before ( must have been prior to my taking another look at Smalltalk):
Smalltalk Tidbits, Industry Rants: Experts say Smalltalk is better:

"Kent Beck (Mr XP) said (at ESUG 1999 in Ghent) that, 'I program at a third of my Smalltalk speed in Java.'

Bran Selic (RealTime UML guru, built the tool that is now the RT part of Rational Rose) said (at UML 2000 in York) that, 'I was sorry to see Smalltalk lose out to Java because Smalltalk was the only language in which I noticed a real difference in my productivity'."

I know one of these gentlemen - I must get his latest thoughts on the matter......

uhoh.... be very afraid!


Scripting News: 7/11/2004


Re: Ted Leung on the Air: Croquet video


Ted Leung

Ted's last paragraph is interesting on a few counts: is the LISP community too fragmented? Is the Smalltalk community split between Smalltalk and Squeak? Also, I'd love to know Ted's take on where Python sits in this ? Can't the Python community (or Ruby, ....) push computer science forwards?

2004/07/08

Paul Graham's sneaky strategic advantage


And here is the Paul Graham article referred to: Beating the Averages: "Another unusual thing about this software was that it was written primarily in a programming language called Lisp. It was one of the first big end-user applications to be written in Lisp, which up till then had been used mostly in universities and research labs. Lisp gave us a great advantage over competitors using less powerful languages."

Strategic advantage and keeping quiet about it


Here is the quote I referred to earlier:: ONLamp.com: The Pragmatic Programmers Interview: "Ultimately, it comes down to ease of expression. If I can express myself in code at a level closer to the problem domain, then I'm going to be more effective, and my code is likely to be easier to maintain and extend. Paul Graham makes a big deal out of the way Lisp helped him while building the software that became Yahoo Stores, and he's right. These languages, applied properly, are a strategic advantage. I know some companies are using them with great success. And you know -- they're keeping quiet about it."

Is this the big secret?


I will dig out the refernce, but I saw a blog entry a while back talking about how vaiuos small companies are using certain languages as a competitive example, and they are keeping quiet about it !! I remember it cited Paul Graham's LISP implementation of Yahoo stores(note find pointer to his essay).

Here James Robertson points to a very important application ofthe experiments I have been doing:Smalltalk Tidbits, Industry Rants: How dynamic is dynamic?: "I can't imagine trying to manage a server without this capability. This blog hasn't been taken down in months, but I've made major changes to the underlying code base. How? By making use of the facility keith mentions, that's how."

This is an advantage I hadn't thought of before - my thoughts were on much smaller timespan benefits for client apps. Coolll!!

How dynamic is Python?


OK, this lunchtimes experiment was Python. Created a class and produced an instance, then modified the class by adding a method - the instance did not have this method available. However, a new instance with the new class did.

I have no idea whether ths old class and its instances stay around, disappear with gabage collection etc.

How dynamic is your (programming) language?


I'm doing some experiments on changing classes at runtime without affecting existing instances.

With Smalltalk ( at least with Visualworks) this was a breeze: added the code for a variable, accepted it and, hey presto, any inspector open on an instance got a new variable field set to nil.

Even tried Lisp, which I haven't used for $%$ years. Why ? 'Cos you can do anything in Lisp can't you, especially this dynamics stuff? Well, I tried CLISP first, and guess what ? A redefinition to add a new slot invalidated existing instances ( or so the message said). Not taking no for an answer I accessed an old instance and crashed the whole environment.

Now it has to be said that, from the docs I have read, I wasn't sure what the behaviour should have been. Finally, I found a doc which seemed to be adamant that it should have worked. So I tried the free version of Franz' Allegro Lisp..... and it worked.

What next? Well, what can other languages such as Python and Java do in this regard? Also try to be more scientific with Lisp and Smalltalk: add/remove variables, add/remove methods, add/remove supportable etc.

2004/07/07

BTF Blog post without title tag


Thanks to James Robertson for updating the blog posting tool to remove the title tag,

Now I just need to get the subject line to appear!!! If I surround it with say h2 tags it completely disappears. Hmm

2004/07/06

Lisp is procedural


A bit dated but I thought htis was interestingLSlashdot | Creating Applications with Mozilla: "Lisp was just procedural, while XML is more like logic programming."

Discuss(20 marks)

Logical Methods in Computer Science


Spotted in Lambda the Ultimate - Programming Languages Weblog

This is the trend of the future, by-passing the big publishers

Croquet: the movie


Croquet: A Collaboration Architecture

Takes about a 90 minutes, but I felt it was worth the effort!

You tell'em Dwight


Many people have quoed this excellent piece:Escapable Logic

But the section which leapt out at me was the 2nd Eisenhower quote about the military-industrial complex. Surely this influence is a major factor in Iraq.

the other salvo


Scripting News: 7/5/2004

...got most of the facts wrong...

Which ones ?


Just the facts, Dave, just the facts


I wish Dave would take the time to clarify what the facts are. Given the way this farce was announced, muttered about, rescued, it is hardly surprising that there is some confusion.

I'd like to see a sober setting out of the facts that show why the end of the service had to be announced, before a rescue package could be put together.

Another fact of importance would be,"when did the users get informed that they were being hosted by Dave, rather than Userland?" I think this escaped a lot of people.

Dave's latest salvoes:

Re: So Yale doesn't feel totally out there, Harvard Law School also took took a shot at me during the flamefest. Their comment about RSS is pretty nutty (it's a format, not software, it can't be licensed under GPL). They say they got their facts from Wired, so they're just passing on what they heard. I guess that's an okay excuse. Anyway, thousands of people weren't stranded and we got all the sites back on the air within a week. It would be nice if they published that part too.

2004/07/05

So why haven't the btf posts shown on the web ?


See if this flushes the system.

Yep, sems to be working.

If you are having problems posting from BottomFeeder under Linux - re-install!!

This is a post from Bottomfeederon Linux


This tool is now claiming that it is posting, as opposed to just hanging. All I did was reinstall !!

However, nothing has actually shown up on the site yet.

Update: but it does in the blogger console ......

2004/07/02

Croquet : Screenshots


Wow: Croquet Project

This looks truly wonderful.

LISP from Java


Cool; not sure when it would be used, but cool nonetheless!!
SourceForge.net: Project Info - Jatha - Java LISP library

PLT Scheme


This looks interesting:PLT Scheme

I don't know the details of LISP vs. Scheme but they look similar enough that the DrScheme with tutorial sounds like a good way to get started in this general area.

Let me know if I'm wrong !

Re: Sanjay Pande: Regular Expressions with CL
Spotted in