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HREF Considered Harmful   25 Sep 04
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(Source: Avi Bryant) I came across Avi Bryant's blog. Tons of interesting stuff, especially about Seaside.

Smalltalk must be dead because ...   25 Sep 04
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Donald Raab posted this goodie to the st-mailinglist.

It’s probably because in order to post in the Java ng he has to be 10x as verbose as in the Smalltalk ng.

He probably has to declare himself, cast himself, wrap himself in a try catch block, bubble up any exceptions, use some external iterators, implement some interfaces, and wrap up his primitives in real objects. Maybe after auto-boxing and generics are supported, he’ll only have to post 7 or 8x as often.

Don’t worry James, we appreciate and understand your terseness over here. ;-)

RubyConf 2003 Presentations Posted   25 Sep 04
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(Source: Ryan Davis) In absolute record time (5 days compared to 3 months), rubyconf 2003 presentation materials have been posted.

I’m still waiting for some more, so check back periodically to see updates.

Squeak is a toy - so ?   25 Sep 04
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(source: email from Martin Drautzburg to stx-users ML; Oct, 22, 2003)
 > PPS:
 > I remember working for a company, where it took the make utility3/4 of
 > an hour to figure out *what* to compile, and the compilers a day to
 > compile- it was a C++ project b.t.w. which was canceled and replaced by
 > a Smalltalk program after they spent 50man-years on a non-working
 > program - so much for non-toy languages !

Yeah and I just spent 3 days in an inhouse J2EE workshop held by one of our chief architects. We spent most of our time fighting with the tools. Changed setting over and over. The goal of the workshop was to demonstrate how to insert a row into an oracle table. At the end of the 2 days the table was still empty. Another non-toy language.

I have written two small apps (apx 5000 LOC) one in squak and one in stx. It was a dream. Got up in the morning and fixed two or three bugs before breakfast. You can only do this with a real cool environment.

Skype will come to the Penguin!   25 Sep 04
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As I rely heavily on skype to keep my phone bill down, I use skye a lot to stay in contact with my friends around the world.

I saw this post, dated May 16, 2004 by terminus, a skype staff member, which made me very happy. I am sick of running windows on my laptop only to use for skye. Now I can stay in good old Penguin-land.

 Skype is now starting a closed Linux beta. We are looking for forum
 members who would be willing to actively test the Linux version and
 provide input and feedback to finalize the Linux version development.


Outed: Skype project to dial real phone numbers   25 Sep 04
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(Source: Register) I just spent nearly ten minutes on the phone to Paris, at a cost of about 10 pence. Using Skype, dialling a Paris landline number, that is.


Symbian founder on mobile past, present and future   25 Sep 04
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Nice interview on The Register.
 So what innovation and what services do you think we are going to see?

 Ask yourself, what are people going to with all their pictures in the future?
 What are they going to do? Is writing to CD-ROM really safe? Sorry -
 it's gone in a few years. Are people going to do a 3-stage offering, or
 make one of their copies in an alternative geographical location?
 Nobody does that.

 With digital you can do things better; for a really simple straight forward

 No one has designed architecture for the home. We've got Wi-Fi and broadband
 and Bluetooth but there's no way to put it all together.

 So who, then? We've seen that even with the best intentions Wintel can't do
 a good job. It has to come from the consumer electronics people;


 What would you do differently, if you had your time as CEO again?

 We wouldn't have spent time on user interfaces. We'd have left that
 much earlier. [In 2001, Symbian left the business of designing UIs to its
 licensees, with the exception of UIQ, which remains part of the company].
 Everyone was keen to share and we tried hard for two years, but it was never
 going to happen. Everything about those companies [phone OEMs] is based
 in their own UIs. So that was two years wasted.

 In hindsight we came to the right view; but we never learnt that lesson.
 There were other things people were keen for us to get into early, for
 example WAP. We could never have NOT done it, but I had a pretty good
 feeling it wasn't going to be worth it. But I wasn't the customers.
 So it has to go back to being vertically integrated; you have to tackle
 the product offering yourself. You start doing something vertically
 because you can't work with everybody. So somebody has to break through,
 starting with a niche.

Smalltalk isKindOfLike: Yogurt   25 Sep 04
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(Source: Stefan, comp.lang.smalltalk) Smalltalk is like an Apache hellicopter. Java is like a B52 bomber with pretty heavy duty jet engines.

Smalltalk is very well thought out, extremely well engineered, very flexible, and generally gives quite good performance in a multitude of situations. It’s very adaptable to many different situations, and has lots of tricks up it’s sleeve. Driving it is a bit of a paradigm shift from driving your average plane, it has some new fancy controls, but once you get the hang of it, it can be totally amazing and really fun. Even if you don’t totally know what you’re doing you can still get yourself out of a jam. Given that you’ve got a good pilot you can launch off to a quick start and really do some very heavy and impressive damage in a very short time. It also tends to perform quite impressively if you’ve got a few of them around, and easier to coordinate an army of them.

Java is pretty difficult to drive, and once you get it going in a certain direction it’s pretty hard to get it going somewhere else. It has a few turbo buttons on it so that if you really know when and where to use it, it can fly pretty well. You can surely get it going really fast if you fly it high enough and then point it straight into the ground. It’s generally not very flexible and often a real pain to deal with, but overall once you’ve got a flightplan fixed in stone you can fly it reasonably well and run it reasonably efficiently. If you are meticulous in your planning and implementation, it can really deliver the goods. If you make some mistakes, things can go very wrong that may become almost impossible to correct. Don’t count on any big changes, quick maneuvers, or any sort of fancy tricks that just might save the day, and leave yourself a good bit of time for planning and implementation before you expect to be able to deliver the goods. If you come accross any surprise attacks or come up against an Apache hellicopter, you could be doomed.

DE: Squeak Artikel C't   25 Sep 04
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In der C’t 7/2004 erschien ein Artikel ueber Squeak. Programmieren lernen mit Squeak: Von kleinen und grossen Erfindern. pdf

Rake 0.40. is out   25 Sep 04
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Rake is a make-like utility written entirely in Ruby. It allows to you specify build target and actions, with the action being standard Ruby code.

You can get Rake from rubyforge. If you have rubygems installed, then all you need to do is

  gem -i rake

If you have a very recent version of rubygems (i.e. from CVS), then the gen-rdoc option finally produces a decent rendition of the Rake documentation locally.



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