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Alan Kay's talk at O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference 2003   25 Sep 04
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(Source: Cory Doctorow) Notes from "Daddy, Are We There Yet?"

The last 20 years of the PC have been boring. PC vendors aim at businesses, who aren’t creative in their tool-use. They’re adults: they learn a system and stick to it. We should think about children. The printing revoltuion didn’t happen in Gutenberg’s day, it happened 150 years later, long after Gutenberg was dead, when all the pople alive had grown up with the press.

A small minority of Gutenberg’s contemporaries got the printing press, but it wasn’t until they were dead that the children who grew up with the press were able to put the ideas into practice.

James Licklieder: in a couple of years, human brains and computers will be coupled. It hasn’t happened yet. Except in science, where scientists and computers are indeed thinking as no human brain has ever thought before. ..

GNU Smalltalk 2.1e (Development)   25 Sep 04
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GNU Smalltalk is a free implementation of the Smalltalk-80 language.

Changes: Several bugfixes were made for the JIT compiler. A working Java-to-Smalltalk bytecode translator (which does not support networking and reflection yet) was added.

homepage download

Protecting commercial Ruby source   25 Sep 04
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Lothar Scholz posted this to the Ruby-ML.
 GM> Are there any accepted or already practiced ways for
 GM> companies to prevent Ruby source code from being read by potential
 GM> competitors? I can vaguely imagine redefining Ruby's
 GM> "require"-type methods so they can include zipped and passworded
 GM> ".rbz" files, say. Or using exerb (except for UNIX and without the
 GM> potential license issues).

 GM> I want to use Ruby at work but this is one of those "steps to
 GM> convincing your boss to use Ruby" I need to go through.

Just look at the "eval.c" file, i think the require is defined there and then write your hook. Or write a dll/so and add embedd your rb files as large c strings there (using maybe the "wrap" tool from the Fox Toolkit) and then do rb_eval_string("my c file"). After this protect the dll with something like "armadillo" (use google to find the URL). This works perfectly for me.

midilib initial release   25 Sep 04
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midilib is a pure Ruby MIDI library useful for reading and writing standard MIDI files and manipulating MIDI event data.

The latest version of midilib (0.8.0) can be found on the midilib Web site ( The midilib RubyForge project page is

midilib is also available as a Gem. The Gem has been uploaded to RubyForge, and should appear in remote gem listings soon.

Ruby Class Hierarchy   25 Sep 04
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(Source: Dalibor Sramek) A few charts describing various subtrees of Ruby class hierarchy.

Test Version of FreeRIDE with RRB Refactoring Support   25 Sep 04
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(Source: Curt Hibbs) I just put up a test version of FreeRIDE that includes RRB Refactoring support and I would like to ask your help in testing it.

For windows user’s there is a complete pre-built binary (it can coexist with your current FreeRIDE installation), and for non-windows users there are instructions for adding RRB refactoring support to your existing FreeRIDE installation.

You can find full details at:

Ruby 1.6.x/1.7.x to Ruby 1.8   25 Sep 04
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Simon Standgaard posted these two links for the curious Ruby coders to ruby-talk.

Euruko 2003 Videos available at   25 Sep 04
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The First European Ruby Conference was held at the University of Karlsruhein in Germany, from the 21st to the 22th of June, 2003. It was organized by Michael Neumann, Stefan Schmiedl, Armin Roehrl and with the help from many others.

Thanks to Michael, the presentations were digitally recorded and have been made available as AVI files. Some of theses are now available for download from The videos have had the some noise filtering and volume normalization applied, and have been converted to MPEG-1 to reduce (albeit slightly) their size.

Not all of the videos are available right now. Others will go up as time permits me to do the file processing.

I initially had some FTP timeout trouble uploading the files to, so I split them into chunks. I decided to leave them this way to help avoid marathon download sessions. To combine the chunks into the complete file you basically just need to 'cat' them in sequence. I've written a Ruby script to do this, available from the video download page. If anyone thinks they can mirror any of these files it would be a tremendous help.

If you know anything about video compression, and can tell me a way to make the files smaller without serious loss of quality, please tell me.

Are Dynamic Languages Going to Replace Static Languages?   25 Sep 04
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(by Robert C. Martin; on <a href=""></a>) For many years we've been using statically typed languages for the safety they offer. But now, as we all gradually adopt Test Driven Development, are we going to find that safety redundant? Will we therefore decide that the flexibility of dynamically typed languages is desirable?

[ANN] Springz 1.0   25 Sep 04
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The Springz library allows you to attach two objects together (in 2D space) with a spring, and simulate how they pull/push each other.

Boring when used between two objects, it becomes interesting when you attach thousands of springs with different strenghts and distances between hundreds of nodes, and let the simulation determine the best configuration of those nodes. (I wrote this library specifically to create a social network diagram from a large amount of data. I had written it first in Javascript + SVG, and it was working, but too slowly: 3 hours to render the first frame, and 12+ hours for each frame after that.)

Despite the very visual nature of this application, this library doesn't know jack about graphics; it just knows how to push/pull theoretical objects around in theoretical 2D space. Making this visible to the user is up to you. (My application reads in XML data and then outputs a few frames of SVG pre-rendered animation.)

The documentation for the Springz class lists the key features at the top of it. You can read this laboriously-written documentation, and download the file itself, from: here (click on Springz.rb under the Files listing).

If you happen to have the Adobe SVG plugin (freely avail for Win/Mac/Linux/Solaris) installed, you can see the JS version of this library in action at -- click the green rectangle to start the simulation, and then drag objects around and/or click the orange button to scatter them about.


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