pmuellr is Patrick Mueller, Senior Node Engineer at NodeSource.

other pmuellr thangs: home page, twitter, flickr, github

Saturday, March 03, 2007

No, it doesn't work


Everyone seems to be all atwitter over Twitter. James Governer blogs about it, the Joyeur guys podcast about it, etc, etc.

This one, a bit like Second Life, sounds interesting, and at the same time, a waste of time. But I'm always trying to keep an open mind. So a few days ago I got an account, figured out how to 'follow' someone (though not sure I could do it again), and then waited for something to happen. Which it didn't. So this afternoon, I go to the site, click the Help link, only to be told "It works!".

"It works!" in some default goop that Apache dumps on your system when you install it. Basically, if you haven't finished configuring your server, or malconfigured your server, expect to see a web page saying "It works!".

Searching for some more background on "It works", I found this following hilarious exchange:

Make sure you read the response 'marked as done'. I may be reading that wrong, but it appears that a program decided to change the status of a bug based on the text in the subject line of the message.

This is reminiscent of the lovely authentication messages in CVS, "I LOVE YOU" and "I HATE YOU", especially when those messages leak out to the user.

Anyhoo, still no idea how to 'use' Twitter, but I think I'll survive.

BTW, I enjoy the Joyeur podcasts, "ps pipe grep", referenced above, but that might just be because I'm a customer; my teeny web site is hosted there.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

java closure horror

If the intent is to push people even farther away from Java, they're on the right track.

The very first comment there is spot on; Java needs type inferencing. With type inferencing, we could have gotten some of the benefits that generics were supposed to bring, without the horrifying syntax. # of Google hits for 'java' 'generics' 'horror': 541,000.

I'm not sure what to say about closures, none of the suggestions look very good to me. I'm still trying to recover from having to work on projects where people are starting to use generics. Luckily, because annotations comes along for the ride when with generics (in JSE 5), and Eclipse has handy dandy 'quick fixes' for adding a @SuppressWarnings when I want to write tidy code (ie, remove the generic crud), life is somewhat liveable.

browser smalltalk

From Peter Fisk's Almost Smalltalk:

Smalltalk running in Flash is not that far away.

I got goose pimples.

Check out Peter's site, he's got some pretty cool demos up there. On my DE-mentor's advice, I KVM'd over to my sad, bored, win32 desktop, installed the latest .net and ie, so I could run his .net version. Gorgeous. Check out some of Peter's other recent posts for other demos.

But, I'm not sure I'm ready to go back to Smalltalk. Sorry, John. Or Lisp. I've grown attached to using [ ]'s for array access. etc. Although I will admit that I just wrote in a note to someone the othe day that I liked Ruby because "it's Smalltalk in text files". The thing I really miss though, is the Smalltalk browser. An unadorned IDE, that I can fiddle with in the IDE itself.

Ruby and JavaScript are tough customers in that regard, with the amount of wild-west coding going on. JS doesn't even have language-level features to create classes, though you can programmatically create something similiar enough. And Ruby has class extension madness. But maybe we can add a bit of rigour to JS. Define some nicer class definition structures that would be amenable to a browser grokking them, and providing some useful meta information. And from the vista smalltalk work from Peter, doing IDEs in a browser seems quite do-able.

And somehow, this also ties into RESTy resourcey goodness. Somehow.

hmmmm ....

BTW, the image to the right is in my new style of 'flickr pictur with an attribution'. Got the idea to 'inline' the title, owner, license from Mark Pilgrim, and converted my old Ruby commandline program to build the HTML, getf4b, to a Greasemonkey script, getfwa.