Ted Leung on the air
Ted Leung on the air: Open Source, Java, Python, and ...
Mon, 07 Jul 2003
I've been to my share of conferences, but OSCON is my first O'Reilly Conference. I have to say that I really like what I've seen from the outside so far. As an example, take the OSCON Wiki. This is really great tool for solving lots of the problems that you have right before, during and after a conference.

I hope the ApacheCon planners are taking notes...

[02:19] | [computers/open_source] | # | TB | F | G | 0 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
The Lure of Data or Internet ADD or Multitasking, the new speed
Matt Richtel's NY Times article on The Lure of Data is interesting from the always on aspect, but it's also interesting for the multitasking aspect.
The pair have their own term for this condition: pseudo-attention deficit disorder. Its sufferers do not have actual A.D.D., but, influenced by technology and the pace of modern life, have developed shorter attention spans. They become frustrated with long-term projects, thrive on the stress of constant fixes of information, and physically crave the bursts of stimulation from checking e-mail or voice mail or answering the phone.

"It's like a dopamine squirt to be connected," said Dr. Ratey, who compares the sensations created by constantly being wired to those of narcotics - a hit of pleasure, stimulation and escape. "It takes the same pathway as our drugs of abuse and pleasure."

"It's an addiction," he said, adding that some people cannot deal with down time or quiet moments. "Without it, we are in withdrawal."

My impression has always been that people who multitask always claim that they are getting so much done, but my observation has been that they tend to get very little done if the tasks that they are doing involve producing something, whether physical or virtual. Multitasking may be more efficient if what you do all day long is talk to people, whether that's meetings, e-mail, or phone. The problem is that at some point you have to produce something. A sales order, a document, a program, a widget. When that point comes, its hard to multitask because you make mistakes, etc.

There are some things which only happen in quiet moments, or after some careful reflection. People who are constantly multitasking and always on don't get to have those moments.

[02:13] | [misc] | # | TB | F | G | 1 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Jason, Andy, and the JCP
Jason, Andy, and I are continuing our ravings on the JCP...

I can hear the the incredulity in Jason's voice (except that I've never actually heard Jason's voice):

You want us to suggest to the JCP to stop making specs? Then they would just cease to be, wouldn't they? I see the need for specs, just not impractical crappy ones like we see come out too often. Most of the good specs came from an implementation to begin with. Most of the crappy ones were invented or (like JSP) copied from crappy implementations (ASP). Someone needs to be in charge over there with some sense of what quality is and enforcing the idea that specs are meant to be used, so they should be usable
I don't care if we suggest anything to the JCP. The post you responded to says what I'm going to do. It would be nice if the JCP stopped issuing specs for everything under the Sun, but that's not going to happen, and even the changes being proposed for the JCP are going to do nothing to change that. I'm suggesting that those of us who see a problem, route around the JCP. If we're right, and the JCP specs are bad, then word will start to get around. What we can do is form a place where people can go where they can hear the straight truth as opposed to the vendor party line. The blogosphere is serving that purpose for me at the moment. I suppose that if you wanted to you could try to build a community that was doing that.

Andy is being a die hard, or an optimist, or a wishful thinker, I'm not sure which.

I thought it best and moved the JCP rethinking wiki to Java.net.
It's not clear to me that the JCP is really interested in changing its behavior all that much. I'm not interested in expending my energy on JCP politics -- I could have done quite effectively at the ASF. Open source is happening, and nobody can stop that. The vendors can't stop it with closed source implementations, and I believe that they cannot stop it with poor specs. So I believe that the thing for the open source community is to get better at routing around these kinds of problems. To do so will require some organization, and probably more organization than some open source folks might want. I see this as inevitable, it's only a question of when the moment of inevitability is. Whether we like it or not Pandora's box is open. Now we all have to figure out how to live in a world that's forever changed.
[01:58] | [computers/programming/java] | # | TB | F | G | 9 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post

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I work at the Open Source Applications Foundation (OSAF).
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