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What the bubble got right   29 Sep 04
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Enjoy reading the latest essay by Paul Graham and you will understand why I continue to fight against wearing ties :-).

(Source: Paul Graham) I had a front row seat for the Internet Bubble, because I worked at Yahoo during 1998 and 1999. One day, when the stock was trading around $200, I sat down and calculated what I thought the price should be. The answer I got was $12. I went to the next cubicle and told my friend Trevor. "Twelve!" he said. He tried to sound indignant, but he didn’t quite manage it. He knew as well as I did that our valuation was crazy.

Yahoo was a special case. It was not just our price to earnings ratio that was bogus. Half our earnings were too. Not in the Enron way, of course. The finance guys seemed scrupulous about reporting earnings. What made our earnings bogus was that Yahoo was, in effect, the center of a pyramid scheme. Investors looked at Yahoo’s earnings and said to themselves, here is proof that Internet companies can make money. So they invested in new startups that promised to be the next Yahoo. And as soon as these startups got the money, what did they do with it? Buy millions of dollars worth of advertising on Yahoo to promote their brand. Result: a capital investment in a startup this quarter shows up as Yahoo earnings next quarter— stimulating another round of investments in startups.


I especially like this part: Nerds don’t just happen to dress informally. They do it too consistently. Consciously or not, they dress informally as a prophylactic measure against stupidity.

[ANN] Rubydium 0.1 - Tech Preview   27 Sep 04
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Alexander Kellett posted this to the ruby-ML
 Whoa, say what?
 Rubydium is aiming to become an optimising reimplementation
 of the Ruby 1.8 interpreter, currently its as good as vapourware
 however the key mechanism has been prototyped, thusly before
 commencing a major rewrite I thought i'd release the
 current state of the art.


Ruby Forum   25 Sep 04
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Alexey Verkhovsky saids, `Ruby Forum is a newly created bulletin board for discussing Ruby. Unlike ruby-talk mailing list, it allows anonymous posting and implements more understandable interface for searching. Intended target audience of this forum is newcomers to Ruby that are not committed enough to subscribe to a 100+ posts/day mailing list.’ RubyForum

[XP] OT: Regarding the Subjunctive Mood, if you happen to be in one ...   25 Sep 04
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(Source: Ron Jeffries) It’s important to take grammar seriously, even if she has been dead for years.

Heisenberg principle of projects   25 Sep 04
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At Incipient(thoughts) blog I tound this nce quote:
 This came up in conversation with a client today - the problem with
 projects is the equivalent of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle.
 The more control you want on their status (or position), the less you
 have over their velocity. Pick one of the two - and pick wisely.

[ANN] Why's (Poignant) Guide to Ruby: Expansion Pak I: The Tiger's Vest (with a Basic Introduction to Irb)   25 Sep 04
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Yes, I’ve been taking forever. Well, what can I say? Answering threats is quite consuming. (But apologies to those of you whose threats have been too jarring for me to reply or breathe.)

Today I’m passing on to you the first fruits of a big batch of material forthcoming. The Tiger’s Vest (with a Basic Introduction to Irb.)

Stick around. Picture a man with a balloon, pinching the air out slowly, cats tied to his leg. If you can do that, then you’re all prepped for chapter 5.

Thank you, -talkers.


Ukraine joins France .. no Russian pop music allowed in the bus!   25 Sep 04
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Local Ukrainian politicians have now drafted a language law which would take away the licences of bus drivers playing Russian pop music.

I always think of such measures as inferiority complex. People will listen to what is best, no need to purify one’s language. Evolution will win in the end anyhow. .. but doesn’t marketing power brainwash us? Yes, but vote with your money and buy the cds of the language you want to support.

How come some sucessful bands like "Wir sind Helden" still sing German in Germany? If you sing English, the audience is much larger .. where is the problem? It’s a good thing .. people can actually understand it.

Countries like France that try to push French even in scientific publication only shoot themselves in the leg and live in the past. Sorry, vive la belle France!

There are cultural differences between countries. The French are still more likely to buy a French car than Germans buying German cars.

Why does Europe not wake up and only use one official language? Already now with 11 languages we wasted 550 million euros per year on translation. 1,300 translaters translate 1.5 million pages a year. Now the budget will increase to 800 million euros.



[ANN] rpa-base 0.2.1pre1   25 Sep 04
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Mauricio aka batman at his best again!!! Make sure you check out the animation on the website.
 rpa-base 0.2.1pre1 is now available at .
 Many of the most popular libraries/applications as per Rubyforge
 statistics (rails, rake, redcloth, activerecord, sqlite, log4r, copland,
 ruvi, to name a few) have been packaged for use with rpa-base 0.2.1pre1.

 You can find a list of the 100+ packages at

 Screenshots and animations can be found at

 rpa-base 0.2.1pre1 fixes some issues in the bootstrapping phase, which
 couldn't hence be solved through the normal self-upgrade mechanism.
 In addition to several other bugfixes, 0.2.1pre1 features better proxy
 support, isolation of unit tests run automatically when installing a
 lib/app, and improvements in the command-line tool.


 The Ruby Production Archive (RPA) will provide packages of Ruby
 libraries and programs in a form that allows production use, engineered
 through a stringent process resembling FreeBSD's or Debian's.

 rpa-base is a port/package manager designed to support RPA. Its scope and
 purposes are different to those of other systems like RubyGems.
 rpa-base is a port/package manager designed to support RPA's client-side
 package management. You can think of it as RPA's apt-get + dpkg. It
 features the following as of 0.2.1pre1:

 * strong dependency management: rpa-base installs dependencies as needed,
   keeps track of reverse dependencies on uninstall, and will remove no
   longer needed dependencies
 * atomic (de)installs: operations on the local RPA installation are atomic
   transactions; the system has been designed to survive ruby crashes (OS
   crashes too on POSIX systems)
 * parallel installs: you can install several ports in parallel; builds
   will be parallelized and the final phase will be serialized properly
 * self-hosting: rpa-base installs and updates itself
 * modular, extensible design: the 2-phase install is similar to FreeBSD and
   Debian's package creation; rpa-base packages need not be restricted
   to installing everything under a single directory ("1 package, 1 dir"
 * rdoc integration: RDoc documentation for libraries is generated at install
   time (currently disabled on win32)
 * ri integration: ri data files are generated for all the libraries managed
   by RPA; you can access this information with ri-rpa
 * handling C extensions: if you have the required C toolchain, rpa-base can
   compile extensions as needed
 * unit testing: when a library is installed, its unit tests are run; the
   installation is canceled if they don't pass

 Several of the above features are illustrated in the screenshots and
 animations available at

 A number of features have been pushed back to 0.3.0:
 * full support for binary platform-specific packages
 * signed packages/ports
 * system-wide configuration system
 * better user interface
 In practice, the first one is the most limiting at the moment since it means
 that win32 users in particular need a working C toolchain to install
 extensions. This will soon be addressed.


[ANN] Arachno Ruby IDE 0.2.3   25 Sep 04
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This is the inital announcements for Arachno Ruby on this newsgroup.

Arachno Ruby IDE is a commercial IDE that is currently available for Windows 2000 and Windows XP. A Linux version will follow later this year.

The most important feature is the integrated debugger which is the first debugger not based on "debug.rb" and which allows to debug GUI’s, Interactive Console Applications and Web Applications.

For the later it comes with a full integrated local apache environment that is started and stopped behind the scenes, whenever you open/close a project. It is possible to set breakpoints in CGI and ERuby (.rhtml) scripts and single step through the code.

The editor has some convenience features based on Emacs and the Delphi CodeRush IDE plugin like stack based markers (Control-Enter drops a quickmark, ESC goes back), one key copy/cut, incremental search, autoindentation, good syntax highlighting (handles even nested heredocs) and a mixture of tiled/tabbed window handling.

Ruby for the Web: The Arrow Web Application Framewor   25 Sep 04
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I’ve posted the slides from my session "Ruby for the Web: The Arrow Web Application Framework" on Arrow’s project page

I thought the sessions went well, considering that we were in a room off in a corner on a floor completely separate from the other conference events. Quite a lot of people showed up at the sessions I saw (standing-room only), and people seemed interested.


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