Ted Leung on the air
Ted Leung on the air: Open Source, Java, Python, and ...
Thu, 24 Jul 2003
Speaking of James Robertson, he's cut loose with a lengthy series of StS posts via Niall Ross. These posts are so long and voluminous that they put my OSCON notes to shame. One that particularly stood out to me was about AOStA. I don't know what AOStA stands for, but it looks like a Smalltalk in Smalltalk, that tries to infer type information at run time and then JIT the code appropriately. Sounds very cool.

So you have Squeak, which is Smalltalk in Smaltalk, you have AOStA, you have PyPy, which is Python in Python, and you have any of a number of Lisps in Lisp. I'd guess that there's a Ruby in Ruby in the works out there somewhere. This is an interesting trend.

[01:10] | [computers/programming] | # | TB | F | G | 0 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Timewarp debugging
Kim Burchett posted on simplifying debugging. There are a couple of good points in the post:
  1. The presence of state makes debugging a pain. This arguest for a more functional approach to programing wherever possible.
  2. Something like a timewarp or replay debugger that captured the state of the program at every state transition could help with these problems. In languages that reify activation records (as closures or continuations), this should not be that difficult to do, albeit hugely expensive in memory.
There's also some work that was done in the 90s' on reversible debugging.

Elliotte Rusty Harold's request for conditional breakpoints based on the contents of the call stack:

I'd like to be able to set a breakpoint that's conditional on another method being executed. For example, I'd like to stop in the startMakingElement method, but only when the testZ method has been called. I don't want to stop in startMakingElement for testA through testY
is just icing on the cake.

Seems like debugger folks have a lot of work to do. At least until James Robertson posts and tells us that all of this can be done in VisualWorks ;-). In the meantime, the IntelliJ and Eclipse folks should get busy.

[01:04] | [computers/programming] | # | TB | F | G | 2 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
How to hire the "A-Team"
The hardest part about hiring is getting the right people to apply. Posting job openings is a mass media approach which achieves mass media results. The conventional wisdom on hiring is that contacts acquired via personal connections are of much higher quality. One way to view the blogosphere is that it is a publicly visible portion of a person's network. Find a sharp person, then follow the links, trackbacks and comments to find out who they know. It's not foolproof, but it's way better than getting mailbombed with resumes.

I think that Martin Roell's post on this is right as far as the usefulness of blogs, but wrong about a "Blog-Headhunting Agency". Once people figure this out, everyone will do it. The biggest problem is probably that there aren't enough people out in the blogosphere yet.

[00:47] | [computers/internet/weblogs] | # | TB | F | G | 2 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Lucene searches on source code
Kevin Burton is starting to use Lucene to index Java source code. This is a good idea, and one that works well. When I worked in the Newton group at Apple, we were doing a port of JDK 1.2 to the Newton 2000/2100 series. We were using MkLinux to do some of our development, and I used glimpse to index our source base in much the same way that Kevin is doing. Sure brings back memories. Now that glimpse has gone closed source, Lucene provides a fine alternative.
[00:34] | [computers/programming/java] | # | TB | F | G | 1 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post

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