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Fri, 04 Jul 2003
Extreme Mobility
Ray Ozzie has a great article titled Extreme Mobility. It's a great read along with Tim O'Reilly's article on networked software.

I've wanted to carry a computer with me for a long time (since the days of the Apple Powerbook Duo), but I've never felt that I could because I'd always be giving something up. The introduction of the Intel Pentium-M and Centrino chipset have convinced me that I won't have to give anything up hardware or performance wise. The question comes down to the software, and from his article, you can see that there's lots to do.

In addition to some great thoughts on mobility, he leaves us with a good insight on innovation:

Regardless, one thing seems certain: with the notable exception of a small number of truly visionary CIO's such as the one mentioned above - exceptional individuals who are willing to move their enterprises forward by taking risks - discovery and innovation in mobility and interpersonal productivity & communications - in "relationship superconductivity" - is being driven primarily from "the edge": from small businesses, organizations and individuals who are experimenting with new communications technologies and software. Innovation now works its way into the enterprise; it no longer migrates outward. The technology leaders of the past - enterprise IT - are now focused (for very good economic reason!!) on cost reduction and efficiency, on "fast solutions", and on a very tough regulatory environment, through strict controls. Liability, and the sheer mass and difficulty of managing broad ICT deployments encourages conservatism, and this won't be changing anytime soon. The new leader in ICT is the fast-moving, pragmatic yet open minded ultra-small business or virtual organization.
[23:20] | [computers] | # | TB | F | G | 0 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Curly braces are the blue pill
  • Gordon posted commentary on a post by Patrick Logan. All of the posts are about how nice it is to write XML-RPC programs in Python. Patrick says
    I have taken a liking to Python over the last several months. I used to be more of a snob. Python seemed to be a grab bag of reasonable ideas that were better expressed elsewhere. The thing about Python though is it seems to work well in practice.
    I have much the same feeling. The one thing that I wish was different was performance. I know that Python is supposed to be for gluing C apps together, but I just did a little hacking on Kai Hendry's LuPy version of my Lucene plugin for pyblosxom, and it wasn't pretty. I wasn't sure that LuPy was reading the Lucene index files right, so I decided to reindex using a LuPy based indexer. Talk about slow.

    Gordon is tantalized by the prospect of some way cool lispy way of doing this. I think that all the components are there for that. And you'd get decent perf to boot by compiling lisp to native code.

  • Larry O'Brien responded indirectly to Angelika Langer's post on "curly brace" programming languages -- I love this term. I hope it becomes an adjective -- "oh, that's so curly brace". In any case O'Brien's post is wonderful. I'm going to quote from it, but GO READ IT.

    Here's a series of thought provoking zingers from his post

    Give a 500MHz P3 to one professional graphics designer and a 3GHz P4 to another and compare their productivity: you will see a productivity difference, because this is a task / profession which has managed to leverage the computer itself. Give the same disparate hardware to two comparably talented programmers and what productivity difference will you see? None, or so little difference as to be immeasurable. Similarly, give two designers the current feature set of a preferred professional tool (let's say, Photoshop) and the feature set of that tool 5 years ago, and you'll see a difference. In programming? Doubtful (with the notable exception of a refactoring IDE such as IDEA).
    Pattern matching is absolutely fundamental to human problem-solving, but where's the computer-support for pattern matching in the task of software development? That is, why can't a programming language leverage the fact that the vast majority of computer programs are built from examples?
    What's wrong with today's languages? Everything.
  • The last of today's Blue Pill entries is Dave Thomas' kata on the tradeoffs between hashes and classes. I'll just leave you with the end, so you can go do the kata yourself.
    This kata is a thought experiment. What are the top three advantages and top three disadvantages of the two approaches? If you're been using classes to hold data in your business applications, what would the impact be if you were to switch to hashes, and vice versa? Is this issue related to the static/dynamic typing debate?
All this cogitating on today's languages just gets me a little more aggravated. Where is Paul Graham's Arc? I haven't heard anything about it in all too long.
[23:04] | [computers/programming] | # | TB | F | G | 1 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Bob Werken posted about PapersInvited.com, the Largest listing of call for papers in all areas of specialization.

This whole area would be a great application RSS. You could have RSS feeds for researchs in particular feeds. Those RSS feeds could be driven off the RSS feeds from the program committee chairs. The feeds could help with all the logistical announcements that go along with announcing a call for papers, reminding people that the call is going to expire, announcing the program, announcing the arrangements, and making announcements about the conferences.

Actually, I'm surprised that O'Reilly isn't trying to do something like this with an RSS feed for their conferences. I know I'd subscribe to a feed for OSCON and ETCON...

[22:38] | [computers/internet/weblogs] | # | TB | F | G | 0 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
XMLBeans going open source
Steven's already posted his opinion on XMLBeans moving to Apache. He's made himself an ASF sponsor of the proposal to bring XMLBeans to the ASF. Steven's post focused on the political end of the proposal. Most of his reasoning would be subsumed by my repeated postings here, so I won't repeat myself.

I'm also interested in seeing XMLBeans go open source, even if it ultimately doesn't end up at the ASF. The reason is simple. Most of the API's that we have for dealing with XML suck. I think that we can do a lot better, and XMLBeans looks pretty good. The open source community needs to start thinking about targeted areas for improvement. The whole XML API area is ripe for this. Having XMLBeans go open source is much better than having it go to the JCP. I'm planning to try and help shepherd this through the Apache incubator.

[22:31] | [computers/programming/xml] | # | TB | F | G | 1 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Let the music play
This press release was issued on June 30th, but it would have been more appropriate for today:
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today launched a "Let the Music Play" campaign urging the more than 60 million U.S. citizens who use file-sharing software to demand changes in copyright law to get artists paid and make file-sharing lega
[22:16] | [society] | # | TB | F | G | 0 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Feedster it
I just added a "Feedster it" link to each story, so you can quickly get to that treasure trove of RSS goodness.
[22:04] | [computers/internet/weblogs] | # | TB | F | G | 0 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
I love a parade
Today my older two kids were in the annual Bainbridge Island Fourth of July Parade. They are part of the Parks and Recreation Gymnastics program, so they got invited to walk in the parade. The parade is one of the best ways to see how diverse the activities on Bainbridge Island are. We were float 170-something out of 200. Not bad for an island with 20,000 people on it. It was a bit of a bummer not getting to see most of the parade, but the experience of being in the parade made up for it. Growing up in the Philadelphia area, we always associate parade with the Mummers, which is in a totally different league. This little small town parade is one of the highlights of the year. I've never been in a parade until today, but my kids are veterans at 5, 2.5, and 10 months.
[22:02] | [places/us/wa/bainbridge_island] | # | TB | F | G | 0 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Please welcome Wilhelm Fitzpatrick
My friend Wilhelm Fitzpatrick has started his blog. Why he went with iBlog when he could have used pyblosxom is beyond me ;-)
[00:29] | [computers/internet/weblogs] | # | TB | F | G | 0 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post

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