Quotes in 2000

Sunday, December 31, 2000
From 1997 through about mid-2000, it was possible to build Internet services using a business model based on separating gullible investors from their money. Because this is no longer feasible, the focus is now shifting to separating customers from their money. A much healthier way to build a business.

--Jakob Nielsen
Read the rest in Web in 2001: Paying Customers (Alertbox Dec. 2000)

Friday, December 29, 2000
In 1979, when I was working at IBM, I wrote an internal memo lambasting the Apple Lisa, which was Apple's first attempt to adapt Xerox PARC technology, the graphical user interface, into a desktop PC. I was then working on the development of APL2, a nested array, algorithmic, symbolic language, and I was committed to the idea that what we were doing with computers was making languages that were better than natural languages for procedural thought. The idea was to do for whole ranges of human thinking what mathematics has been doing for thousands of years in the quantitative arrangement of knowledge, and to help people think in more precise and clear ways. What I saw in the Xerox PARC technology was the caveman interface, you point and you grunt. A massive winding down, regressing away from language, in order to address the technological nervousness of the user. Users wanted to be infantilized, to return to a pre-linguistic condition in the using of computers, and the Xerox PARC technology's primary advantage was that it allowed users to address computers in a pre-linguistic way. This was to my mind a terribly socially retrograde thing to do, and I have not changed my mind about that.

--Eben Moglen
Read the rest in Immaterial Incorporated — Complete transcript of interview with Eben Moglen: The Encryption Wars, Part I

Saturday, December 23, 2000
With respect to software, it's already been demonstrated that in the real world in which we live, zero-marginal cost products that are collaboratively developed in the net and that have measurable functional characteristics - so that one can say, in an objective way, this is better or worse — are better produced anarchistically than they are in a proprietary mode. This is what the development of GNU, Linux, and all the rest are about. You can have more people doing more work, contributing more rapidly, fixing more bugs at the point of discovery, and you have Lamarckian evolution of software so that all favorable characteristics are inherited and therefore you get very rapid development. That's why the development curve on free software products has been so staggering to commercial producers who didn't know how these things could have roared up out of nowhere.

--Eben Moglen
Read the rest in Immaterial Incorporated — Complete transcript of interview with Eben Moglen: The Encryption Wars, Part I

Friday, December 22, 2000
Twenty years of covering Silicon Valley as a reporter may have turned me into a cynic. But I'm sure I'm not alone when I say I'm not ready to put my unqualified trust in any machine when it comes to something as sacred as counting my vote. At least not when a kid in Bulgaria can still penetrate our defense department networks using little more than a PC and a telephone.

-- Hal Plotkin
Read the rest in Machine Error/The Case for Paper Ballots

Wednesday, December 20, 2000
if you look at the computer science 101 syllabi of universities in India, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, if you go on the web and look at these, the CS 101 curriculum in these universities assumes that people are using a Linux based computer rather than a Windows based computer. I mean, it's free. So, Singapore and Thailand and Malaysia are going to produce a lot of young adults who learned about computers using free software; the computers in their homes are going to be free-software computers; their children are going to grow up with free software computers. Which bunch of people are going to be the talented, engaging, aggressive programmers, busy making changes?

--Eben Moglen
Read the rest in Immaterial Incorporated — Complete transcript of interview with Eben Moglen: The Encryption Wars, Part II

Tuesday, December 19, 2000
Pair programming does seem to be the strongest point of resistance developers have to XP: it's well outside most coders' comfort zone. The point of doing it is that quality code gets written with less agony in less time and it is known to work to that end. XP is an ideal as much as anything: how close you want to get to that ideal is up to you.

--Bill dehOra on the xml-dev mailing list

Monday, December 18, 2000
the electors need to put the nation's best interest above their party's best interest. It's not in the nation's best interest for the candidate who didn't win the most votes to become president. And I think that there are probably a few Republicans who are conscientious enough to realize that.

--David Enrich, Citizens for True Democracy
Read the rest in Gore E-Truth: It's Not Too Late

Sunday, December 17, 2000
You look again and again at how we educate people about technology in this society and again and again you see people who've given money to have their technology taught and to have other's people technology not taught. Cisco Systems is a very interesting business, which is now regarded somehow as the antithesis of Microsoft. If Microsoft is bad and weak and vulnerable which it now, suddenly is thought to be, Cisco somehow is unquestionable. Well, what do they make? They make the infrastructure of the internet. What is that? We don't know, but we buy their stock. Cisco is in fact a most extraordinary example of the paper tiger, a hollow animal. The Cisco world consists of selling at exorbitantly high prices routers which use proprietary software. So, in order to know how to program a router you have to know Cisco-talk. They spend vast amounts of money in junior colleges on vocational educational systems to teach people Cisco-talk, and those kids graduate with Cisco certification, they go to work in the businesses that need network infrastructure, and they install Cisco hardware. There's a bilateral monopoly between technically, vocationally trained people, who have learned a proprietary way of doing things, and a manufacturer which sells goods at very high markups, because it has a proprietary, secret language.

--Eben Moglen
Read the rest in Immaterial Incorporated — Complete transcript of interview with Eben Moglen: The Encryption Wars, Part II

Saturday, December 16, 2000
XP is an outgrowth of practical experience with developing production code within modern methodologies/fads, management practices/fads and technologies/fads in highly changing business environments. It is as far as I know the only methodology to date that properly addresses constant change in code and business requirements while holding down a clean, working, maintainable code base. So it is definitely a method for '21st century' projects, especially 'internet time' projects.

--Bill dehOra on the xml-dev mailing list

Friday, December 15, 2000
The whole point of free is freedom to change, not low cost, and the whole point of the world towards which we are moving is that the primary power distinction, the class line, is between those people who know how to change the behavior of computers and those people who don't. Because that kind of knowledge, in particular, the ability to interact with complex technological systems to alter their behavior, is power over ordinary daily life in a profound way.

--Eben Moglen
Read the rest in Immaterial Incorporated — Complete transcript of interview with Eben Moglen: The Encryption Wars, Part II

Thursday, December 14, 2000
Sun is a large company with a lot of different people inside, with different views. I've had conversations with many people at Sun, and... let's just say that Sun is still developing its ideas :-)

--Eric S. Raymond
Read the rest in LWN: Eric Raymond interview

Wednesday, December 13, 2000
These naming issues may appear superficial at first -- "cosmetic", as programmers sometimes say. But do not forget that one of our eventual aims is to provide the basis for powerful, professional libraries of reusable software components. Such libraries will contain tens of thousands of available operations. Without a systematic and clear nomenclature, both the developers and the users of these libraries would quickly be swamped in a flood of specific and incompatible names, providing a string (and unjustifiable) obstacle to large-scale reuse.

Naming then, is not cosmetic. Good reusable software is software that provides the right functionality and provides it under the right names.

--Bertrand Meyer
Object Oriented Software Construction, 2nd Edition, p. 128

Sunday, December 10, 2000
The big lie of computer security is that security improves by imposing complex passwords on users. In real life, people write down anything they can't remember. Security is increased by designing for the way humans actually behave.

--Jakob Nielsen
Read the rest in Security & Human Factors (Alertbox Nov. 2000)

Saturday, December 9, 2000

software is much harder to change en masse than hardware. C++ and Java, say, are presumably growing faster than plain C, but I bet C will still be around. For infrastructure technology, C will be hard to displace.
--Dennis Ritchie
Read the rest in The future according to Dennis Ritchie

Friday, December 8, 2000

The real story behind the projections debacle on Election Night -- when the networks prematurely called the winner of the presidential race -- is that it was as much a failure of antitrust regulation as of statistical sampling. For although ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox and NBC each presented its newscasters and pundits as if they were sitting on top of their own vast and busy information enterprise, in fact they all were relying on the same statistical sample, provided by Voter News Service -- a joint venture of the television networks and the Associated Press that conducts exit polls.

When each news team talked about "our projection" and "our call," it was, in effect, committing consumer fraud.

--Moshe Adler
Read the rest in Salon.com Technology | Bungled election projections? Blame the feds!

Thursday, December 7, 2000

At least for the people who send me mail about a new language that they're designing, the general advice is: do it to learn about how to write a compiler. Don't have any expectations that anyone will use it, unless you hook up with some sort of organization in a position to push it hard. It's a lottery, and some can buy a lot of the tickets. There are plenty of beautiful languages (more beautiful than C) that didn't catch on. But someone does win the lottery, and doing a language at least teaches you something.
--Dennis Ritchie
Read the rest in The future according to Dennis Ritchie

Wednesday, December 6, 2000

The initial wording in Amazon's privacy policy gave assurances it would never disclose consumer information. Under the revised policy there are a whole series of circumstances where that information will be disclosed. We believe they are engaging in unfair and deceptive practices.
--Marc Rotenberg, Executive Director, EPIC
Read the rest in CNET.com - News - E-Business - Privacy groups call Amazon policy "deceptive"

Tuesday, December 5, 2000

Although the IITRI study appears to represent a good-faith effort at independent review, the limited nature of the analysis described in the draft report simply cannot support a conclusion that Carnivore is correct, safe, or always consistent with legal limitations. Those who are concerned that the system produces correct evidence, represents no threat to the networks on which it is installed, or complies with the scope of court orders should not take much comfort from the analysis described in the report or its conclusions.

--Steven M Bellovin
AT&T Laboratories

Matt Blaze
AT&T Laboratories

David Farber
University of Pennsylvania

Peter Neumann
SRI International

Eugene Spafford
Purdue University CERIAS
Read the rest in Comments on the Carnivore System Technical Review

Sunday, December 3, 2000
there is still billions in VC capital sitting around in secure investments looking to be placed. It may not be placed as freely as during the gold rush, but compared to the days when you had to get financed by banks, investment capital is flowing like beer at a keg party.

--Steve Gilliard on the wwwac mailing list

Saturday, December 2, 2000

Don't click on any cute attachments that happen to show up in your e-mail inbox, no matter what fairytales they claim to contain. What appears to be Prince Charming may actually be a very angry penguin.
--Michelle Delio
Read the rest in Wild Worm With Pro-Linux Message

Thursday, November 30, 2000
Most systems undergo numerous changes after their first delivery. Any model of software development that only considers the period leading to that delivery and ignores the subsequent era of change and revision is as remote from real life as those novels which end when the hero marries the heroine -- the time which, as everyone knows, marks the beginning of the really interesting part.

--Bertrand Meyer
Object Oriented Software Construction, 2nd Edition, p. 103

Wednesday, November 29, 2000
In the development of VRML2.0 and now X3D, ISO has been an active contributing partner to the development of the standard. The input of ISO has been timely, the technical insights valuable, and the process actually made more clear and better managed. Perhaps this is one case and ISO HTML is another. Still we know that it can work where all parties work toward a common goal. We can't say it is "too slow for Internet time" any longer because we have empirical demonstrations this is not the case. We can't say the ISO process is unwieldy because it is process which ISO guarantees and which has proven to be the best means of consolidating competing interests.

--Len Bullard on the xml-dev mailing list

Monday, November 27, 2000

Outside of three companies--HP and Microsoft and depending on what day of the week it is, IBM--nobody complains about Java.
--Ed Zander
Read the rest in CNET.com - News - Newsmakers - Sun's brash Zander talks tough against competitors

Wednesday, November 22, 2000

Software patents would allow large U.S. companies to dominate the developing European market, and any startup companies would be legally prevented from competing with them. This would have disastrous results for the long-term competitiveness of the European technology sector.
--Janos Kovacs
Read the rest in Europe Starts Debate on Patents

Tuesday, November 21, 2000

I skipped a lot of classes at high school going over to the university. But by and large, my high school instructors were pretty cool about it because most people were skipping class to go off and do drugs, and here I was, writing software for satellite ground stations.
--James Gosling
Read the rest in Linux Today - The father of Java gets tough; James Gosling on Microsoft, Java

Monday, November 20, 2000

For many years now, Microsoft has been the Goliath everyone complains about, but no one sees any effective way of dealing with. Not to mention the deceased pile of would-be Davids lying at its feet that serve as something of a deterrent to others. The open-source world, on the other hand, has taken the approach that if enough ants go after Goliath with their painful stingers, you don't need a David.
--Jordan Hubbard
Read the rest in Salon.com Technology | Open-sourcing the Apple

Friday, November 17, 2000

If an applet crashes a browser, it is the fault of the browser (or the applet support w/in the browser). There should be *no way* that an applet, regardless of how bad, can crash a browser.
--Andrew Gideon on the wwwac mailing list

Thursday, November 16, 2000

About 99% of the time, the presence of Flash on a website constitutes a usability disease. Although there are rare occurrences of good Flash design (it even adds value on occasion), the use of Flash typically lowers usability. In most cases, we would be better off if these multimedia objects were removed.
--Jakob Nielsen
Read the rest in Flash: 99% Bad (Alertbox Oct. 2000)

Wednesday, November 15, 2000

The major historical justification of the Electoral College was to perpetuate smarmy political paternalism and to make it easier to rig elections. Sure there was also the idea that the Electoral College was a more efficient way to vote in a large nation with a sparse agrarian population that required many days' ride on horseback to get to the Capitol. Washington, D.C., is so far away from my home in California, in fact, that I have never visited there by horse. Not many people have.

We haven't NEEDED the Electoral College since the invention of the telegraph. But it didn't really qualify as a useless institution until, I suppose, the broad adoption of radio in the 1920s. With the advent of radio news coverage of elections, the communication of political will became two-way and pretty much instantaneous. Now that we have almost universal telephones and televisions and more than half of American are on the Internet, well, the Electoral College has transcended, moving into a state of complete absurdity.

--Robert X. Cringely
Read the rest in I, Cringely | The Pulpit

Tuesday, November 14, 2000

Now with the new Gecko display engine, we're looking for increased rendering speed, better layout reliability and increased support for many of the standards that Netscape has been letting Explorer take the glory for. We'll finally have competition for Explorer. And now that Netscape is back, they have to pick up the pace and roll out feature updates and bug fixes.
--Stephen Smith, chief technologist at Ice
Read the rest in CNET.com - News - Entertainment & Media - Netscape 6 finally ships after 32-month gestation

Monday, November 13, 2000

We learned back in the 1980s that when you rake your legitimate users over the coals in the hopes of catching the occasional thief, you end up with a lot of realy raked off users. Apparently, someone at Adobe has forgotten.

I'm buying less and less software now because I'm tired of getting beaten up during installations and initial runs. The only reason I'm not returning this little opus from whence it came is that I'm trying to get my Mac fully tricked out before January, when the Mac operating system is no more. At that point, I want my machine perfect, so I can go as long as possible before switching over to Windows.

--Bruce Tognazzini
Read the rest in AskTog: November, 2000

Thursday, November 9, 2000

The NIH is a wonderful institution as a whole and truly their interest is in science, but the NIDA really lost its where science is concerned and has become a ministry of drug propaganda.
--Dr. Lester Grinspoon, Harvard Medical School
Read the rest in Lucy In the Sky, With Therapists

Sunday, November 5, 2000

There is only one reason Java and dot-NET don't have multiple inheritance: It makes dynamic class loading far more difficult to implement.
--Bertrand Meyer, Software Developmment, November 2000, p. 51

Friday, November 3, 2000

The big rule for exception handling is something I don't see written in Java books very often: the message should rethrow exceptions. When I started writing out to code in Java four or five years ago, I would always catch the exception, and print an error and then continue. And, one day, a while ago, I realized that's the wrong thing to do. You want to throw the exception further up, until someone can handle it. And, once I figured that out, it became very easy to write code that handled errors in a more appropriate way.
--Nelson Minar
Read the rest in Power from the people - JavaWorld October 2000

Saturday, October 28, 2000

Four of ICANN's self-appointed directors have announced they will perpetuate themselves.  Through an arbitrary and secretive process, four of the initial directors, each of whom had originally undertaken to serve for only one year, or two years at most, have been chosen to serve for at least two more years. In confronting this upcoming opportunity to again perpetuate themselves, each of these four persons must ask themselves: "Are my promises to be trusted? What would continuing on the ICANN Board say about me?" The answer is clear: "Staying on past your original term says you are a Board Squatter."

Who decided which Directors would stay on? "The decision on those who would accept extended terms was made by the nine original Directors" in secret, with no public process.  In the past, ICANN's unelected Board members have cited 'continuity' as a reason for staying on. That's balderdash: even if they all left today, a majority of the Board - nine members - would be experienced, and only five would be new (what's more, most of the five new directors have considerable ICANN experience and/or superior technical credentials). Plus, there's the continuity provided by the staff members who have been with ICANN since it started. No, the real reason why unelected Board members would hang on is because they are afraid of what ICANN might do if they are not there to stop it. They don't trust their own system, and they especially don't trust the result of elections.

I call on Frank Fitzsimmons, Hans Kraaijenbrink, Jun Murai, and Linda Wilson to honor the pledge made at the time you were named: that your term would end not later than two years after your appointment.  Resign. It is the right thing to do.

--A. Michael Froomkin, Professor, University of Miami School of Law
Read the rest in Beware the ICANN Board-Squatters

Friday, October 27, 2000

Writing a program to use a code page is like hand building a car. If you just make one then it is probably the best choice. Going to Unicode is like setting up an assembly line. If you provide a multi code page version that each new locale for each release requires some program change. With a fully globalized Unicode solution such changes are outside of the program. Localization is a matter of message files, resources, etc. nothing else.
--Carl W. Brown on the unicode mailing list

Thursday, October 26, 2000

Although ICANN says it is looking out for the stability of the Internet as it tries to micromanage the domain name space, that argument flies with the all the grace of a penguin. ICANN is cowed by big money interests. And money and power talk, in cyberspace, just as they do in the halls of Congress.
--Brock N. Meeks
Read the rest in Dirt in the domain name game

Tuesday, October 24, 2000

Mac OS X. It's not perfect, but it's light years ahead of where it has been.
--Tim Orbaker
Read the rest in UnixWorld | Workshop | Page 1 | Sneak Preview: Mac OS X Public Beta

Sunday, October 22, 2000

People code in Java because its an easy language and you can get your work done faster. Portability is certainly important too, but its not necessarily the reason that people use Java.
--Frank D. Greco on the wwwac mailing list

Saturday, October 21, 2000

Unix administrators who have in the past "been stuck" with Mac users should be happy to hear this one: Apple's new OS is now Unix. Mac users need not panic, however. The new Aqua window manager (user interface) can handle anything Mac users could want to do without ever exposing them to a command prompt. What's more, the OS's integration of "Classic" Mac applications is almost completely transparent -- all while sporting the full power of Unix under the hood.
--Tim Orbaker
Read the rest in UnixWorld | Workshop | Page 1 | Sneak Preview: Mac OS X Public Beta

Friday, October 20, 2000

Our children are being exposed now to something the general public does not want them to be exposed to. . . . I'm proud the Jefferson Parish council is taking a lead.
--Councilman John Lavarine Jr.
Read the rest in NOLA Live; Times-Picayune East Jefferson Bureau

Thursday, October 19, 2000

Every successfully solved "AI" problem eventually turns out to be a pattern-matching problem. The challenge has been finding faster and more robust pattern engines.
--Joseph Kesselman on the xml-dev mailing list

Wednesday, October 18, 2000

I'm not interested in sending in a proposal to some invisible committee who will decide on its merits and whether or not anyone else will see it. I want to make my proposal in the open, where everyone can see it.
--Tim O'Reilly
Read the rest in O'Reilly Network: How the Peer-to-Peer Working Group Ought to Be Organized

Tuesday, October 17, 2000

We seem to have entered a new era. There was a time we expected standards organizations and governments, typically elected governments, to carry the banner of standards compliance. We valued the role of organizations such as ISO, which includes national standards federations and ballots by member country.

The new model, as evidenced by Java and XML, is to abrogate the traditional means of promoting standards. Instead, we see de facto standards emerge from the corporate world -- either a single corporation and its partners through a community process (Java), or a consortium with representation and balloting by member company (XML).

If support for the new model persists, developers and technology consumers should not look to standards organizations or government agencies to create or foster new information processing standards. Instead, we emasculate standards organizations and delegate their functions to corporations and consortia.

--Ken North on the xml-dev mailing list

Monday, October 16, 2000

An Open Source project is explicitly open. People looking at the interim fruits of that project largely understand that they're allowed to see this *precisely* to find the mistakes and help fix them (if only just by reporting them).

But Microsoft (and other traditional software companies) claim that their process is superior, and that what's being released is the end result of a careful quality-controlled process. So people expect the public fruit to be of superior quality - and it's not.

--Christopher R. Maden on the xml-dev mailing list

Sunday, October 15, 2000

As computer scientists, haven't we realized that no single paradigm perfectly fits every problem? We make tradeoffs in every solution, trying to minimize the pain and maximize efficiency, but never entirely ridding ourselves of the pain and never quite building the perfect system.
--Michael F. Maddox on the xml-dev mailing list

Saturday, October 14, 2000

There are legitimate places in Java where it needs some additional tweaking to match C/C++ performance (eg., "smart" array bounds checking and async I/O), but changes are coming to Java over the next 6 months that will close the gap in these areas.
--Frank D. Greco on the wwwac mailing list

Friday, October 13, 2000

The 4 million people who use Napster each day don't think they're stealing anything. Only the content creators and distributors seem to think it's stealing. The Internet has trained people to believe that there is such a thing as a free lunch, and it's their God given right to eat it.
--David L. Rogelberg on the "Computer Book Publishing" mailing list

Thursday, October 12, 2000

It doesn't make sense to pay too much attention to official government policies on standards, etc., since they are rarely followed if they cause even the slightest inconvenience (note the Government of Canada's official requirements for bilingual software). In the end, ministries and departments will do whatever works to get their projects out the door.
--David Megginson on the xml-dev mailing list

Wednesday, October 11, 2000

Writing is actually my first and strongest line of defense for debugging code. If I can't write a simple comment explaining the code, then it's time to start redesigning and recoding. Almost all of the bugs that survive are typos (e.g. = instead of ==) and the few design bugs that survive are ones where I never really was able to write a simple comment.
--Ronald Bourret on the xml-dev mailing list

Sunday, October 8, 2000

we didn't get into this 'space' cuz we're internet gold seeking cockos. we're legitimate nihilistic media terrorists as history will no doubt canonize us.
---Rob Lord
Read the rest in ph34r us

Saturday, October 7, 2000

Nullsoft is and was about all these good things that ultimately don't matter to most businesses. The people, the environment, the blatant disregard for conventional thinking. We did shit because it was cool, and because it was what we wanted to do.
--Justin Frankel
Read the rest in Salon.com Technology | The Gnutella paradox

Friday, October 6, 2000

The popularity of JDOM in the Java world is a testament to the fact that developers want simpler APIs that more consistently abide by the conventions of their chosen programming language.
--Michael Brennan on the xml-dev mailing list

Tuesday, October 3, 2000

If you build it, someone will inevitably hack it.
--Leander Kahney
Read the rest in Turning CueCat Into a Cool Cat

Saturday, September 30, 2000

Most of the digital signature excitement is fluff. We will not see immediate results. Consumers aren't leaping to buy cars or homes online. There is no real public outcry for a need for digital signatures.
--Joe Pescatore
Read the rest in CNET.com - News - Entertainment & Media - Digital signatures prepare to wipe away ink

Friday, September 29, 2000

I'm waiting to see if MacOS X is the first unix where most people don't just double click on Terminal and do all their work with text commands.
--Norris Weimer on the MRJ-Dev mailing list

Thursday, September 28, 2000

Two years ago, Sun's biggest target was Microsoft. Today, its biggest target is executives at Fortune 150 enterprises. I think they've figured out it's in their interest to stop fighting technical fights with the Microsofts of the world and to focus on business problems with customers.
--Michael Dortch
Read the rest in CNET.com - News - Enterprise Computing - Sun rises with new generation of servers

Tuesday, September 26, 2000

AOL's lack of willingness to help and sheer fact that they stole a domain name that I rightfully owned shows exactly what happens when companies become as large as AOL is. AOL's merger with Time Warner can only make this occurrence more the normal. Taking AOL's advice I am looking to settle this with "an attorney." Although it could have been much easily settled if I was able to receive at least some information on what was happening with the domain name WWW.AOLBETA.COM. --Nicholas Grove
Read the rest in AOLBeta.Com stolen from 16 year old

Monday, September 25, 2000

If Microsoft came out with new operating systems every two years that required us to rewrite our code or lose a large percentage of our customer base, we wouldn't be happy. If Dell or Compaq or Gateway suddenly decided their new machines won't run DOS or Windows 95 or NT and require only the latest version of Windows, we wouldn't buy those machines. Yet this is exactly what happens time and time again in the Apple world. And people leave and the Mac market shrinks. They use some fancy advertising to win people back. And then they screw them over again and people leave again. Like I said, Apple just doesn't get it! Just as most people don't buy a new car every 2 years (the average car on American roads today is about 8 years old), real people just don't buy new computers every 2 years.
--Darek Mihocka
Read the rest in Emulators Online - Power Macintosh Emulation

Sunday, September 24, 2000

I've been reading about Java2's security-policy declarations too much. It becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish fact from fantasy, especially after you realize that any non-trivial policy statements are both impossible for humans to comprehend, and mechanically unverifiable because there is no software tool to simply show you what you've got. It's like trying to sketch a landscape by writing directly in PostScript.
--Greg Guerin on the MRJ-dev mailing list

Saturday, September 23, 2000

Congratulations Apple, you will finally (next year?) offer the same OS technology that Linux and even Windows users have enjoyed for years. Real multitasking. Ooooh. To this day, even Mac OS 9.0.4 is based on a 2 decade old OS technology which is why even today, it isn't very difficult to lock up or crash a Mac and why Apple has to keep putting disclaimers on their software to not use it for critical applications. But Mac OS X is really an entirely new operating system. It isn't just yet another Mac OS upgrade, it's as drastic a step as moving over to Windows NT or to Linux. Completely new user interface, new kernel, limited backward compatibility, and hardware requirements that will put it out of the range of the great majority of today's Mac users. This is not right and watching this week's demos, the more I learned about Apple's future plans the more disgusted I got.
--Darek Mihocka
Read the rest in Emulators Online - Power Macintosh Emulation

Monday, September 18, 2000

Privacy is (imo) dead, and anyone talking about trying to improve the situation is either an optimist or trying to distract you before they rip you off. Possibly both.
--Dori Smith on the "Computer Book Publishing" mailing list

Sunday, September 17, 2000

So, if the open source model is not a bazaar, what is it? To the certain consternation of Raymond and other open source advocates, their bazaar is really a cathedral. The fetchmail and Linux projects were built by single, strong architects with lots of help -- just like the great cathedrals of Europe. Beautiful cathedrals were guided by one person, over many years, with inexpensive help from legions of workers. Just like open source software is. And, just as with open source software, the builders of the cathedrals were motivated by religious fervor and a divine goal. Back then, it was celebrating the glory of God, now it is toppling Bill Gates. (Some people think these goals are not so different.)
--Charles Connell
Read the rest in Open Source Projects Manage Themselves? Dream On

Friday, September 15, 2000

Vulnerabilities are inevitable. As our networks get more complex and more pervasive, the vulnerabilities will become more frequent, not less. We're already seeing this; every year brings more security holes than the previous one. The only way to close the window of exposure is to make it not matter. And the only way to do that is to build security systems that are resilient to vulnerabilities.
--Bruce Schneier on the crypto-gram mailing list

Thursday, September 14, 2000

Right now it's hard to write software, you need a huge team. There's no such thing as a mom-and-pop shop anymore writing commercial applications. Cocoa is going to bring back the early days of computing when three guys in a garage can make software that will ship to millions without having a big company like Microsoft or Adobe behind them.
--William Shipley
Read the rest in Could MacOS X Be 'Holy Grail'?

Wednesday, September 13, 2000

To speak against computers is considered blasphemous, not only in Silicon Valley but around the country. It's time for a few heretics to stand up and say we need to look at this more closely. We can't just sit on this bandwagon charging down the road with our public funds and our children.
--Lowell Monke, Wittenberg University
Read the rest in Report: Computers in schools do more harm than good (9/12/2000)

Sunday, September 10, 2000

There are some trivial things that are wrong with C: the switch statement could have been better designed, the precedences of some operators are wrong, but those are trivial things and everybody's learned to live with them. I think that the real problem with C is that it doesn't give you enough mechanisms for structuring really big programs, for creating ``firewalls'' within programs so you can keep the various pieces apart. It's not that you can't do all of these things, that you can't simulate object-oriented programming or other methodology you want in C. You can simulate it, but the compiler, the language itself isn't giving you any help. But considering that this is a language which is almost 30 years old now and was created when machines were tiny compared to what they are today, it's really an amazing piece of work and has stood the test of time extremely well. There's not much in it that I would change.
--Brian Kernighan
Read the rest in An Interview with Brian Kernighan

Saturday, September 9, 2000

The languages that succeed are very pragmatic, and are very often fairly dirty because they try to solve real problems. C++ is a great example of a language that in many ways has serious flaws. One of the flaws is that it tried very hard to be compatible with C: compatible at the object level, compatible very closely at the source level. Because of this there are places where there's something ugly in the language, weird syntactic problems, strange semantic behaviors. In one sense this is bad, and nobody should ever do that, but one of the reasons that C++ succeeded was precisely that it was compatible with C, it was able to use the C libraries, it was usable by the base of existing C programmers, and therefore people could back into it and use it fairly effectively without having to buy into a whole new way of doing business. And this is not the case for ML, which was being done at about the same time and, at least partly, in almost the same place, but which took a very different view of the world. As a pragmatic thing, C++ is extremely successful but it paid a certain price by being compatible with the previous language.
--Brian Kernighan
Read the rest in An Interview with Brian Kernighan

Friday, September 8, 2000

We cannot allow law enforcement to simply say "trust us" as they cull through reams of highly sensitive information of innocent citizens while they search for criminals,"
--Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.).
Read the rest in Carnivore to Continue Munching

Thursday, September 7, 2000

C++ I think is basically too big a language, although there's a reason for almost everything that's in it. When I write a C program of any size, I probably will wind-up using 75, 80, 90% of the language features. In other words, most of the language is useful in almost any kind of program. By contrast, if I write in C++ I probably don't use even 10% of the language, and in fact the other 90% I don't think I understand. In that sense I would argue that C++ is too big, but C++ does give you may of the things that you need to write big programs: it does really make it possible for you to create objects, to protect the internal representation of information so that it presents a nice facade that you can't look behind. C++ has an enormous amount of mechanism that I think is very useful, and that C doesn't give you.
--Brian Kernighan
Read the rest in An Interview with Brian Kernighan

Wednesday, September 6, 2000

ML, which is arguably the best combination, perhaps the one that ought to succeed: in spite of being a very well designed language, thought hard about by a lot of good people over a very long time, embodying an enormous amount of effort of compiler technology, still does not seem to be broadly used. I will oversimplify a lot, and probably offend my friends, by saying that the only thing people do with ML is to make ML compilers. [laughing] I'm overstating intentionally, but it has some of that flavor, and I don't really understand why. I think, speaking only for myself, part of the reason that ML in particular, and functional programming languages in general have not caught on more broadly, is that they're aimed at people who have mathematical sophistication, who are able to think in more abstract ways, that lots of other folks, and I include myself, have trouble with. Whereas languages like C are very operational, you can see how every single piece of them maps into what's going on in the machine in a very very direct sense. If I had been brought up at a different time and in a different environment perhaps I'd be totally comfortable in ML and would find C unsafe, a little dangerous, not very expressive. But my sense is that the functional languages come out of a fairly mathematical community and require a fairly mathematical line of reasoning and therefore are difficult for the people on the street.
--Brian Kernighan
Read the rest in An Interview with Brian Kernighan

Tuesday, September 5, 2000

C is the best balance I've ever seen between power and expressiveness. You can do almost anything you want to do by programming fairly straightforwardly and you will have a very good mental model of what's going to happen on the machine; you can predict reasonably well how quickly it's going to run, you understand what's going on and it gives you complete freedom to do whatever you want. C doesn't put constraints in your way, it doesn't force you into using a particular programming style; on the other hand, it doesn't provide lots and lots of facilities, it doesn't have an enormous library, but in terms of getting something done with not too much effort, I haven't seen anything to this day that I like better. There are other languages that are nice for certain kinds of applications, but if I were stuck on a desert island with only one compiler I'd want a C compiler.
--Brian Kernighan
Read the rest in An Interview with Brian Kernighan

Saturday, September 2, 2000

If J. Random Websurfer clicks on a button that promises dancing pigs on his computer monitor, and instead gets a hortatory message describing the potential dangers of the applet, he's going to choose the dancing pigs over computer security any day.
--Bruce Schneier
Read the rest in Salon.com Technology | Ain't no network strong enough

Friday, September 1, 2000

It is not unheard of for NSA to offer preferential export treatment to a company if it builds a back door into its equipment. I've seen it. I've been in the room. Generally with high-level executives it's an appeal to patriotism - how important it is for us to listen to the world. With the midlevel commercial types, it's, "Do this and we'll give you preferential export treatment." To the real technical people, it's, "Why don't you do this?" And you don't realize what's being suggested until you see the engineers are turning white. There's the threat: You'll never get another export approval if you don't start to play ball.3
--an unnamed government source, allegedly with "long experience in the field" as quoted by Scott Shane and Tom Bowman
Scott Shane and Tom Bowman, Rigging the Game, Baltimore Sun, Sunday, December 10, 1995, p. 1A, Online at News Library for a $1.95 fee.

Friday, September 1, 2000

It is not unheard of for NSA to offer preferential export treatment to a company if it builds a back door into its equipment. I've seen it. I've been in the room. Generally with high-level executives it's an appeal to patriotism - how important it is for us to listen to the world. With the midlevel commercial types, it's, "Do this and we'll give you preferential export treatment." To the real technical people, it's, "Why don't you do this?" And you don't realize what's being suggested until you see the engineers are turning white. There's the threat: You'll never get another export approval if you don't start to play ball.3
--an unnamed government source, allegedly with "long experience in the field" as quoted by Scott Shane and Tom Bowman
Scott Shane and Tom Bowman, Rigging the Game, Baltimore Sun, Sunday, December 10, 1995, p. 1A, Online at News Library for a $1.95 fee.

Wednesday, August 30, 2000

Based on a set of easily configurable factory patterns, the java.net.URL architecture allows you to implement easily a custom protocol handler and slip it into an application's java.net.URL class structure. This architecture has hardly changed since 1.0. Only now, with all the dependencies on URLs in Java 2's Core APIs and extensions, is it really worth your while to study this architecture and maybe even build your own custom protocol handlers.
--Brian Maso
Read the rest in A New Era for Java Protocol Handlers

Tuesday, August 29, 2000

There is a lot of need for intellectual property protection, but we have many instances in the industry where people are trying to overprotect to the disadvantage of the public and to legitimate businesses trying to compete
--Ed Black, president of the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA)
Read the rest in More Napster-Friendly Briefs

Sunday, August 27, 2000

The reasonable probability is that any extraterrestrial intelligence we will detect will be machine intelligence, not biological intelligence like us.
--Seth Shostak
Read the rest in Future Life: Machines or ET?

Saturday, August 26, 2000

Sun is incredibly vulnerable to Linux, and the reason is that their whole strategy is based on Solaris. And for them to embrace Linux... they can't. They've got an incredible investment in this proprietary software platform and hardware stack, and I think that's going to become increasingly difficult to maintain. If you look at the workstation market, we just passed Sun in the workstation market. Well two or three years ago if you had said "Dell's going to pass Sun in the workstation market" people would say "You're crazy. That's never going to happen." Well we're going to pass Sun in the server business too, and we're not going to do it with a proprietary Unix. Linux is a big part of the strategy.
--Michael Dell
Read the rest in Interview

Friday, August 25, 2000

GNOME is meant to encourage Windows users to switch to GNU/Linux, but we should not focus on Windows as a technical target. The original plan was to aim to make a desktop as good as the Macintosh, and we should not lower our ambition by making one merely as good as Windows.
--Richard M. Stallman
Read the rest in LinuxPlanet - Opinions - Editor's Note: Conned by the Gnomes - Top-Down Standards in Linux? Bad Gnomes!

Thursday, August 24, 2000

Judge Kaplan does not know his head from his ass. Outlawing a site from linking to another site that has DeCSS is just plain wrong.
--Adrian Bacon, Linux News Online
Read the rest in Only News That's Fit to Link

Tuesday, August 22, 2000

in the beginning of the 21st century, we are in a connected conversational market. And in that market, there are two very important attributes. One of them is that you can converse freely without having to pay the Dane-Geld, if you get that reference. It comes from a poem by Rudyard Kipling. In England, back in the days of the Vikings and the Britons, the Viking invaders imposed a tax on the Britons, and told them if they kept on paying the tax, they wouldn't be attacked. Kipling pointed out that if you kept on paying the Dane-Geld, you'd never get rid of the Dane. And the point is, that in the 90s, it was okay to pay the Dane-Geld, to a certain degree. But in a connected conversational market place, where there are so many links from person to person, you can't afford to have a transaction cost per-conversation. Consequently, all of the conversation has to be based upon open standards. If anything is based upon something that is proprietary or patented -- that involves a transaction charge or a purchase price of software -- the conversation becomes unaffordable. The whole reason the Web works, is because open standards have made it possible to have relationships without responsibility.
--Simon Phipps
Read the rest in Simon Says -- Java Technology Interview

Monday, August 21, 2000

by far the ugliest, most redundant and hard-to-understand language construct in C# is the Attribute. Attributes are objects of certain types that can be attached to any variable or static language construct. At run-time, practically anything can be queried for the value of attributes attached to it. This sounds like the sort of hack someone would work into a language ten years after it's been in use and there was no other way to do something important without breaking backwards compatibility. Attributes are C#'s version of Java reflection, but with none of the elegance and appropriateness. In general, and especially in light of C#'s overall design, the Attributes feature is out of place, and inexcusable.
--Nir Arbel
Read the rest in Slashdot | C# Under The Microscope

Sunday, August 20, 2000

Okay, so what's the second most annoying thing about working in C and C++? It's figuring out exactly what type of data type to use. In C#, a Unicode character is no longer a wchar_t, it's a char. A 64-bit integer is a long, not an __int64. And a char is a char is a char. There's no more char, unsigned char, signed char, and wchar_t to track.
--Joshua Trupin
Read the rest in Sharp New Language: C# Offers the Power of C++ and Simplicity of Visual Basic -- MSDN Magazine, August 2000

Friday, August 11, 2000

What's one of the most annoying things about working in C++? It's gotta be remembering when to use the -> pointer indicator, when to use the :: for a class member, and when to use the dot. And the compiler knows when you get it wrong, doesn't it? It even tells you that you got it wrong! If there's a reason for that beyond out-and out taunting, I fail to see it.
--Joshua Trupin
Read the rest in Sharp New Language: C# Offers the Power of C++ and Simplicity of Visual Basic -- MSDN Magazine, August 2000

Thursday, August 10, 2000

Part of a modern language is the ability to actually use it for something. It seems simple enough, but many languages completely ignore the needs for financial and time-based data types. They're too old economy or something.
--Joshua Trupin
Read the rest in Sharp New Language: C# Offers the Power of C++ and Simplicity of Visual Basic -- MSDN Magazine, August 2000

Tuesday, August 8, 2000

When and if ECMA actually arrives at a standard for C# and a common language infrastructure, the result will be available under ECMA's copyright and licensing policies, which are truly open. Any customer, and any person, will be able to license the ECMA C# standard, subset it, superset it, and they won't have to pay royalties. They'll be able take it and go implement it on any platform or any device. We fully expect people to do that. That is something fundamentally different from our competitors who wandered around the standards bodies, looking for someone to rubber-stamp their proprietary languages.
--Tony Goodhew, Microsoft
Read the rest in windows.oreilly.com -- Deep Inside C#: An Interview with Microsoft Chief Architect Anders Hejlsberg

Monday, August 7, 2000

open standards take away the mystical twaddle of technology
--Simon Phipps
Read the rest in Simon Says -- Java Technology Interview

Sunday, August 6, 2000

the underlying technology was designed without a thought for security. All of the security in computing platforms like Windows 98 is imposed rather than designed in. So naturally, it's going to be a constant battle to put more and more Band-Aids over the problem -- until you've got a complete ball of Band-Aids.

The fact about Java technology that was really remarkable to us back in 1995, was that it was designed with security built-in. I'm not aware of there ever really being a security breach on the Java platform. But if there were, it would be a matter of simply repairing the security model. Whereas, in the world where these viruses are flying around, it's a matter of creating a security model.

--Simon Phipps
Read the rest in Simon Says -- Java Technology Interview

Saturday, August 5, 2000

What stands before us is the solution to one of the holy grails of society: the elimination of scarcity; the creation of plenty for all. Computer and communications technology has dropped the price of copying information to a point where scarcity is gone today in small areas of society. Biotech and nanotech offer the possibility of much broader elimination of scarcity. The challenge is doubly hard because not only do we need to create technology and economic models that create plenty; we also need to defend ourselves from those who profit from scarcity. I think we are up to the challenge.
--John Gilmore
Read the rest in Copyright and the Law

Friday, August 4, 2000

What stands before us is the solution to one of the holy grails of society: the elimination of scarcity; the creation of plenty for all. Computer and communications technology has dropped the price of copying information to a point where scarcity is gone today in small areas of society. Biotech and nanotech offer the possibility of much broader elimination of scarcity. The challenge is doubly hard because not only do we need to create technology and economic models that create plenty; we also need to defend ourselves from those who profit from scarcity. I think we are up to the challenge.
--John Gilmore
Read the rest in Copyright and the Law

Thursday, August 3, 2000

We cannot seriously have component-based development without developing, for every component, a specification of the component that is distinct from the component itself and serves as the sole basis for users ("clients") of the component.
--Bertrand Meyer
Read the rest in July 2000: Beyond Objects: Contracts for Components Interface Definition

Wednesday, August 2, 2000

Larry indicated that Perl 6 could be a big change from Perl 5. Like most major releases, Perl 6 will probably break some existing Perl 5 scripts. Larry says that conversion scripts will take care of most of the changes, but that some small number (5%-10%) of scripts may need some recoding. Only book publishers were pleased to hear that.
--Frank Willison. O'Reilly & Associates
Read the rest in Frankly Speaking -- Open Source Convention: Keynotes and Announcements

Tuesday, August 1, 2000

Most C programmers would argue that shorter code is better, and be dead wrong.
--Brett McLaughlin on the jdom-interest mailing list

Monday, July 31, 2000

IDLs as we know them today are doomed. The notion of interface isn’t doomed, but the idea that you should write an interface as a separate effort is. It may work for a few stable components, but in the long term this is a broken approach for at least two reasons.

First, software will change. We need mechanisms to help us avoid updating a component and forgetting to update its official specification (and conversely).

Second, much of the information about a component can and should be expressed in the text of the component itself, where it complements the component’s implementation-specific properties. Aside from the problem of ensuring compatibility in case either aspect (specification and implementation) changes, it is not realistic in the long term to ask component developers to write the specification properties twice.

--Bertrand Meyer
Read the rest in July 2000: Beyond Objects: Contracts for Components Interface Definition

Sunday, July 30, 2000

You're not going to get a diverse developer community built around code that is too damned hard to read...
--James Duncan Davidson on the general@xml.apache.org mailing list

Saturday, July 29, 2000

The windows-menus-mouse "desktop" interface, invented by Xerox and Apple and now universal, was a brilliant invention and is now obsolete. It wastes screen-space on meaningless images, fails to provide adequate clues to what is inside the files represented by those blurry little images, forces users to choose icons for the desktop when the system could choose them better itself, and keeps users jockeying windows (like parking attendants rearranging cars in a pint-sized Manhattan lot) in a losing battle for an unimpeded view of the workspace — which is, ultimately, unattainable. No such unimpeded view exists.
--David Gelertner
Read the rest in EDGE: THE SECOND COMING: A MANIFESTO - Page 3

Friday, July 28, 2000

You're not going to get a diverse developer community built around code that is too damned hard to read...
--James Duncan Davidson on the general@xml.apache.org mailing list

Thursday, July 27, 2000

You definitely can do Java development using the MRJ SDK, but it seems awkward to me -- as though Apple has pushed drag and drop to the point of absurdity.
--Bill Hamilton on the mrj-dev mailing list

Wednesday, July 26, 2000

I always considered many C++ developers (Bjarne included) over concerned with speed. A bit like assembler coders that want to save CPU cycles everywhere.

In the end, clear design and code often lead to better optimizations and faster production. And a product that goes to the market in a robust state and in a shorter time has usually much more value than a product that is a bit faster but late and not so stable.

--Paulo Gaspar on the xerces-j-dev mailing list

Monday, July 24, 2000

...from where *I* stand, .NET appears to be:

- A recognition that Visual Basic has run out of gas and needs to be replaced with a more modern, object-oriented, net-friendly language, supported by the Visual Studio UI.

- An attempt to kill Java (the *obvious* choice for the VB replacement) with a language that is *roughly* the same subset of C++ and an interpreted /JIT compiled "Intermediate Language" that is conceptually pretty similar to the idea behind the JVM.

--Michael Champion on the xml-dev mailing list

Saturday, July 22, 2000

The computer mouse was a brilliant invention, but we can see today that it is a bad design. Like any device that must be moved and placed precisely, it ought to provide tactile feedback; it doesn't.
--David Gelertner
Read the rest in EDGE: THE SECOND COMING: A MANIFESTO - Page 3

Friday, July 21, 2000

Targeting, profiling, and tracking individuals across the Internet is UNETHICAL unless the individual has given these companies explicit permission to do so. Absent explicit permission, surveillance represents spying which should be prevented, banned, and outlawed.
--Steve Gibson
Read the rest in OptOut -- Anonymous Surveillance

Thursday, July 20, 2000

I was asked back in the early days of the lawsuit to write an Op-Ed piece for the New York Times, but they didn't print it. I got a letter back from the editor months later saying that maybe they’d run it, but it needed a little fixing. So, rewrite it. I wrote "Microsoft's a monopolist" and the Times wanted to edit it to say, "Microsoft is innovative." The funny thing is that I had started out in my own head without having a bias. I thought Microsoft did a lot of things that were good and right building parts of the browser into the operating system. Then I thought it out and came up with reasons why it was a monopoly. I specified the strong penalties they should undergo. Eventually I found out that the New York Times had tight friendship ties with Microsoft and that one of Microsoft's key people had an editorial column in the Times. They were trying to use me.
-- Steve Wozniak
Read the rest in Failure Magazine-Failure Interview

Wednesday, July 19, 2000

One of the things that made Java so attractive to embedded designers originally was its portability, because it meant that costs of development and time-to-market could be significantly reduced through the reuse of code and components. These issues are no longer just the domain of large companies who have numerous software efforts and multiple platforms on which they are doing development. Now even the smallest developer is faced with even standard architectures with which they are familiar spinning off market and application-specific variants.
--Marc Erickson, product manager for embedded systems at Object Technology.
Read the rest in Techweb > News > Processors/Components, Internet > Embedded Applications > IBM To Release Java Ports, Common Code Base > Jul 18, 2000

Tuesday, July 18, 2000

The power of desktop machines is a magnet that will reverse today's "everything onto the Web!" trend. Desktop power will inevitably drag information out of remote servers onto desktops.
--David Gelertner
Read the rest in EDGE: THE SECOND COMING: A MANIFESTO - Page 3

Monday, July 17, 2000

Perhaps the worst shortcoming of Java's security system is that it's only HALF a security system. There's diddly-squat when it comes to real-world management and maintenance of keys, certificates, trust relationships, and permissions. Even in Java 2, the principal tool for managing "policies" (statements of trust relationships and consequent permissions) in policy-files is a text-editor: no testing tool, no consistency-checking tool, no visual display of trust tree, no viewer for cert contents, nothing...

It's like a steel-lined concrete bunker built atop beach sand: hard on top but a soft foundation. As long as you can keep all the attackers on top, you're fine. But if there's even a SINGLE slip-up regarding the foundation, you're as good as dead, though you probably won't even know it until it's too late.

--Greg Guerin on the MRJ-dev@public.lists.apple.com mailing list

Sunday, July 16, 2000

They held up a poor guy, Eiffel author, as proof of their party language support. His language looks similar to C#...he won't be there next year. Hey Bill, how about inviting the Javasoft folks up there to talk about third party language support? When the COBOL guy got up to talk about COBOL support in the Common Language Runtime the hall emptied. It was like the stench of death was in the air, gathering around this poor slob in his "Got Cobol?" t-shirt.
-- J. Scott Bushey
Read the rest in J. Scott Bushey: About Me

Saturday, July 15, 2000

Indeed, the Motion Picture Association of America claims that if you rendered sand to slightly impure silicon, wrote the program which compiles to masks for your cpu, made the chip in your own factory, and assembled the rest of the hardware out of parts which you bought and paid for, and then wrote your own DVD movie viewer that runs on an OS coded by you, that you have no right to use your system to view even a single DVD disk that you own.

This is analogous to book publishers claiming that books can only be read by light supplied by them, which light you must buy from a tight oligopoly, at oligopoly prices.

--Jay Sulzberger on the wwwac@lists.wwwac.org mailing list

Friday, July 14, 2000

For a long time, Sun's Java compilers and VMs did a horrible job of optimizing code. Simple optimizations that most developers expect from a modern compiler were missing. But Java was so cool that we started to do the optimizations on our own.

Now that the compiler and VM are doing what they ought to, our code is hurt by our attempts to work around the missing optimizations. We never wanted to worry about optimization in the first place.

It's as if Sun thought we wouldn't use Java for the first 5 years. Now they want a do-over. Sun can't expect the world to re-write all code for each new release of the VM. One of the selling points of Java is that code won't have to be constantly re-written.

Why can't HotSpot figure out that it's slowing down execution and put itself into -classic mode for specific classes?

--Eric Hodges on the general@xml.apache.org mailing list

Thursday, July 13, 2000

Tolkin's law of spam: "Any email stating it is not spam, is spam."

Tolkin's law of programming languages: All programming languages have serious problems.

Tolkin's law of bugs: most bugs produce output that appears normal. Explanation: Programmers detect and repair bugs whose output is unexpected.

--Steve Tolkin on the XML-INTEREST mailing list

Wednesday, July 12, 2000

C++ and Java are fundamentally different languages. Java uses some of C++'s syntax, but that's it. I vote that a Java version be developed, and any good strategies that show up AND work well in C++ be appropriated when the C++ version is developed. But trying to find one design that fits both languages well will produce one design that doesn't quite fit either language.
--Eric Hodges on the general@xml.apache.org mailing list

Tuesday, July 11, 2000

Sun produced an XSL processor. Why did they have to bother, I ask? Were we actually lacking for decent XSLT implementations? I think not. It's not like Sun is well-known for producing the best implementations on the block - JSWDK is fair, and J2EE is lousy. Mind you, jaxp is pretty good, but again, why jaxp when you've already got other better stuff? So when I see this I see a big corporate entity starting to operate by fiat. And it raises my hackles.
--Arved Sandstrom on the general@xml.apache.org mailing list

Monday, July 10, 2000

"The network is the computer" — yes; but we're less interested in computers all the time. The real topic in astronomy is the cosmos, not telescopes. The real topic in computing is the Cybersphere and the cyberstructures in it, not the computers we use as telescopes and tuners.
--David Gelertner
Read the rest in EDGE: THE SECOND COMING: A MANIFESTO - Page 2

Sunday, July 9, 2000

If you have three pet dogs, give them names. If you have 10,000 head of cattle, don't bother. Nowadays the idea of giving a name to every file on your computer is ridiculous.
--David Gelertner
Read the rest in EDGE: THE SECOND COMING: A MANIFESTO - Page 3

Saturday, July 8, 2000

Any Microsecond Now Computing will be transformed. It's not just that our problems are big, they are big and obvious. It's not just that the solutions are simple, they are simple and right under our noses. It's not just that hardware is more advanced than software; the last big operating-systems breakthrough was the Macintosh, sixteen years ago, and today's hottest item is Linux, which is a version of Unix, which was new in 1976. Users react to the hard truth that commerical software applications tend to be badly-designed, badly-made, incomprehensible and obsolete by blaming themselves ("Computers for Morons," "Operating Systems for Livestock"), and meanwhile, money surges through our communal imagination like beer from burst barrels. Billions. Naturally the atmosphere is a little strange; change is coming, soon.
--David Gelernter

Wednesday, July 5, 2000

I can safely say that the age of computing hasn't even begun yet. We're still playing around in essentially Stone Age times technologically.
--Stanley Williams, director of the quantum structures research initiative at Hewlett-Packard Labs
Read the rest in The Year 2020, Explained

Monday, July 3, 2000

One Code to rule them all.
One Code to find them.
One Code to bring them all,
And in the Darkness bind them,
In the land of Unicode where the Planes lie.
--Curtis Clark on the Unicode mailing list

Thursday, June 29, 2000

Viewed through Redmond spectacles, it does make some sense, albeit at the cost of admitting that Real Men Don't Eat Visual Basic. Over the years the VB community has gained more and more O-O features, and in theory at least, a semblance of robustness, but the downside has been that COM projects frequently end in tears when VB is being deployed. Visual Basic in COMland is really just a wrapper for C++ classes - which typically work fine - except synchronisation and tidy error handling really aren't possible. So C# gives Microsoft a grown-up language to throw at developers that has a far shorter learning curve than C++.
--Andrew Orlowski
Read the rest in The Register

Wednesday, June 28, 2000

C# is the work of Anders Hejlsberg, the former Turbo Pascal and Delphi luminary who was the most prominent Borland staffer lured to Redmond in a stream of defections between 1996 and 1997. Later Borland alleged that a "Dead Borland Society" of ex-Borland employees at Redmond was poaching key staff from their old employer, with Anders signing up for a reputed $3 million. Borland eventually settled out of court on favourable terms, and to confuse those Microsoft head-hunters removed itself from the 'B' section of the Scotts Valley telephone directory by changing its name to Inprise.
--Andrew Orlowski
Read the rest in The Register

Tuesday, June 27, 2000

The designers of the Java programming language chose to omit the union construct because there is a much better mechanism for defining a single data type capable of representing objects of various types: subtyping. A discriminated union is really just a pallid imitation of a class hierarchy.
--Joshua Bloch
Read the rest in Shift Into Java

Monday, June 26, 2000

anything that a 41-year-old thinks up, a 14-year-old can undo.
--Michael Robertson, CEO MP3.com
Read the rest in Musicians, Go Home

Sunday, June 25, 2000

Part of the problem is that we live in a country where many, many people can't program VCRs, and as a result, a pure technical solution to privacy is probably going to leave many -- if not most Americans -- outside of good privacy protections."
--Paul Schwartz, Brooklyn Law School
Read the rest in Critics: P3P Debut A 'Step'

Saturday, June 24, 2000

There was no mistaking the deepest thinking behind the company's most ambitious strategy announcement in years. Oh, so-called "partners" will be permitted to provide some services on the Microsoft Net, but one company intends to control everything that matters.

Anyone who doubted the company's intention to use its desktop monopoly as leverage in the next generation of computing just isn't paying attention. The .Net platform isn't all Microsoft, all the time, but it's close.

--Dan Gillmor
Read the rest in .Net initiative is close to all Microsoft, all the time (6/22/2000)

Friday, June 23, 2000

C# is Java by another name. Microsoft has its own unique programming model with Visual Basic. But it's not designed to be a scaleable, multi-user system like Java, and C# is the alternative to Java
--Steve Mills, IBM
Read the rest in CNET.com - News - Enterprise Computing - Microsoft brewing Java-like language

Thursday, June 22, 2000

the advantages of typesafe enums over int enums are great, and none of the disadvantages seem compelling unless an enumerated type is to be used primarily as a set element. or in a severely resource constrained environment. Thus, the typesafe enum pattern should be what comes to mind when circumstances call for an enumerated type. APIs that use typesafe enums are far more programmer-friendly than those that use int enums. The only reason that typesafe enums are not used more heavily in the Java platform APIs is that the typesafe enum pattern was unknown when many of those APIs were written.
--Joshua Bloch
Read the rest in Shift Into Java

Wednesday, June 21, 2000

Why does a language that claims to not have pointers have a NullPointerException?
--Jim Rudnicki on the jdom-interest mailing list

Tuesday, June 20, 2000

Sun may employ an impressive number of really good designers, but it does not therefore follow that everyone working at Sun is automatically a really good designer. And even despite the so-called "Java Community Process", there are an impressive number of bad design choices made at Sun.
--Greg Guerin on the MRJ-dev mailing list

Monday, June 19, 2000

One area where Open Source projects have been week has been internationalization. Sometimes it seems that Open Source has been a disaster for i18n. Part of this has been that LINUX and the standard C libraries have been so poor, but part of it is because adding reasonable internationalization has tended to move a project beyond the scope of a single programmer's effort. If we look at Emacs, it is really good for providing a package mechanism to let the single man-month programmer or weekend hacker build a tool. But it has taken years for the MULE (MULtilingual Extensions) version of Emacs to get grafted into the mainstream release.

Fortunately, things have changed rapidly: the two biggest technological contributions, I would say, are Java and C++'s IBM's International Classes for Unicode. If anyone is approaching a C++ Open Source project, I would strongly recommend they start by adopting the ICU International Classes.

--Rick Jelliffe on the xml-dev mailing list

Sunday, June 18, 2000

A CIO considering Java for corporate use is given the option of retaining his installed base of 2 year old PowerPC machines and using JDK 1.1.8 (which does not support Java 2 Enterprise Edition, upon which most corporate apps will be deployed in the future) or replacing these machines with G4 boxes, waiting another 6 months and hoping Apple delivers on OSX. More likely (s)he'll force Mac users to "upgrade" to NT and adopt one of the proprietary workflow apps, a loss for both Java and the Mac platform.
--Scot Marburger
Read the rest in MacInTouch Reader Reports: Apple and Java

Saturday, June 17, 2000

It should have been as obvious up-front as it is now in retrospect, but the major unsolved problem in every "modern" OS and application is versioning and distribution of infrastructure. <duh>Java applets are components in a component architecture.</duh> The moment Sun decided that Java 1.1 would be a Great Leap Forward, yet made no plan for versioning or distribution other than manual downloads, the writing on the wall appeared in 72-point Helvetica Extra-Bold. I think the overall problem -- version Hell, DLL Hell, feuding libraries, whatever you call it -- is going to get worse before it gets better.
--Greg Guerin on the MRJ-dev mailing list

Thursday, June 15, 2000

I am a gadget lover, and have literally hundreds of processors at my command. I have also done a lot of work on integrating these various devices together and connecting them to the Net. When I stand back and watch the explosion of mobile devices and growth of the Internet, I'm excited, but I have some complaints and reservations. Many of these devices are not easy to interact with; there are major data synchronization problems; and most of them are not designed to work together. Although I love the devices, I don't want to have to carry dozens of them, and I don't want to move data and media in manual ways. On a recent international trip, I had about a dozen power adapters in my suitcase. On several trips I forgot certain adapters and was really thrown for a loop. I've also done a lot of experiments with mobile application software, and I believe that most so-called mobile devices today are not really very mobile at all.
--Doug Sutherland
Read the rest in "Jacketized" Computing

Wednesday, June 14, 2000

Right from the early days of Java it struck me as odd that Sun put so much effort into uniquely identifying class names (using your domain name at the start of the package is supposed to guarantee global uniqueness) without tackling the infinitely more common problem of handling different versions of the same class, ie. they tackled the space but not the time dimension. Deprecation as a concept is utterly feeble in this regard.
--Rolf Howarth on the MRJ-dev mailing list

Tuesday, June 13, 2000

Perhaps the best indicator of the situation was Sun's decision to deploy a JavaOne schedule configuration tool that they knew would crash the latest versions of Netscape on the Mac. Apple is just too small a flea on a very big Sun dog, and its up to Jobs put the Mac on an even footing with Windows and UNIX platforms. Until then Mac users in both the corporate and home environments won't be able to take advantage of the latest E-commerce and productivity offerings that Java makes possible, further maintaining the status of Mac users as second class citizens.
--Scot Marburger
Read the rest in MacInTouch Reader Reports: Apple and Java

Monday, June 12, 2000

I have yet to plumb the depths of the Visio's immense power, flexibility, and configurability, but I have already established one thing beyond all reasonable doubt:

The Visio user interface SUCKS.

You'd think that since this is a GRAPHICS program, the company would employ some people who have a CLUE about VISUAL COMMUNICATION. But NOOOOOO. They must be REFUGEES from the MICROSOFT OFFICE SCHOOL OF INTERFACE DESIGN, and therefore, believe that if you give the user toolbars and icons ALL OVER THE FRIGGING SCREEN, then you have a graphical user interface.

Those poor UNIX WEENIES are stuck in the SIXTIES with CRYPTIC COMMANDS like "rm", "ls", and "grep", while we Visio users are moving into the TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY, with EASY-TO-UNDERSTAND ICONS like little green boxes, little red boxes, little blue boxes, and little gray boxes -- the distinct meanings of which are scattered ALMOST AT RANDOM through the Using Visio Products manual, two hundred and fifty pages of brilliant BLACK AND WHITE.

--Seth Gordon
Read the rest in Visio Rant -- Seth Gordon -- ropine.com

Sunday, June 11, 2000

Building on quicksand is acceptable for 'scripts' of limited longevity and applicability. It is not acceptable for 'programs' of significant commercial value. I think the lack of a firm, stable, well-defined foundation is the major inhibitor for the continuing commercial evolution of Perl.
--Larry Rosler
Read the rest in www.perl.com - ANSI Standard Perl?

Saturday, June 10, 2000

AT&T handed control over C and C++ to ANSI/ISO technical committees, while keeping an active leadership role to ensure that the goals of the originators of the languages were met. Sun should do the same.

On the other hand, Microsoft's desire to 'embrace and extend' Java should be doomed by standardization, just as they failed to subvert the target independence of C and C++.

--Larry Rosler
Read the rest in www.perl.com - ANSI Standard Perl?

Friday, June 9, 2000

Companies from all over the world have shelled out thousands of dollars to send delegates to Sun's JavaOne here this week. But instead of going to the talks and seminars and soaking information about Java, hordes of shiftless employees are wasting time playing computer games, watching movies in the conference center's lobby, and checking out new cars.
--Leander Kahney
Read the rest in Games Distracting at JavaOne

Thursday, June 8, 2000

Microsoft, convinced of its innocence, continues to do business as it has in the past, and may yet do to other markets what it has already done in the PC operating system and browser markets. Microsoft has shown no disposition to voluntarily alter its business protocol in any significant respect. Indeed, it has announced its intention to appeal even the imposition of the modest conduct remedies it has itself proposed as an alternative to the non-structural remedies sought by the plaintiffs.

Third, Microsoft has proved untrustworthy in the past. In earlier proceedings in which a preliminary injunction was entered, Microsoft's purported compliance with that injunction while it was on appeal was illusory and its explanation disingenuous. If it responds in similar fashion to an injunctive remedy in this case, the earlier the need for enforcement measures becomes apparent the more effective they are likely to be.

--Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson
Read the rest in Transcript of Jackson's Order

Wednesday, June 7, 2000

not all platforms will have color displays, nor will they have any particular guaranteed-minimum screen dimensions. Even if someone is targeting "Windows", the screen sizes of W9x is very different from the typical WinCE screen sizes. And those differ from the dimensions of the Palm devices so beloved of the Kestrel JVM developers.
--Greg Guerin on the MRJ-dev mailing list

Sunday, June 4, 2000

When it comes to real-life Java, "from smart-cards to supercomputers" is cute marketroid sloganeering, but utterly vacuous in any practical sense. It also begs the question: What apps might actually be useful on both a smart-card and a supercomputer?
--Greg Guerin on the MRJ-dev mailing list

Saturday, June 3, 2000

MySQL is a pickup truck with a hotroded engine and no spare tires. Systems like Oracle, Sybase, etc. are like semis with no-flat super-tires. If it rains, your cargo will get wet with MySQL. If you get a flat, you'll have to stop and fix it. But it's a lot cheaper, runs on gas vs deisel, can accelerate faster and get your stuff there faster.
--Robert Mah on the wwwac mailing list

Tuesday, May 30, 2000

Microsoft has built in the ideal virus transmission mechanism into the operating system.
--John Pescatore, Gartner Group
Read the rest in CNET.com - News - Enterprise Computing - Microsoft criticized for lack of software security

Monday, May 29, 2000

There are a lot of people who have lobbied one way or the other. The patent office basically has a set of marching orders from Congress, and Congress has got its marching orders from the people who really care about the system, so the people who have not historically been involved in the system effectively get disenfranchised. And that's the thing that I guess I came away from my Washington visit more than anything: with that idea that the field belongs to the people who care most about it. The people who care most about it are the people who are looking to use the patent system to profit from it, and, you know, I wish I could get across more to these guys there's a huge corps of inventors who are doing things that are valuable to the future of technology, to the future of this country, who are not devoting their resources to patenting, who are just happy going off inventing, and they're basically having their rights taken away by other people. I think the patent office needs to work a lot harder to protect the rights of those non-patenting inventors.
--Tim O'Reilly
Read the rest in O'Reilly Network: A Few More Thoughts on the Patents Issue by Tim O'Reilly

Saturday, May 27, 2000

Sun is not only not interested in working on any standard in the Java area, but also would actively oppose any proposal for work in this area. I think this also includes parts of the technology including the Java Virtual Machine. Without Sun's support, standards work in Java technologies is doomed (to drag on too long and be irrelevant if finally decided and be a constant source of organizational argument and be an embarrassment to the standards process).
--Bob Mathis on the sc22jsg1 mailing list

Friday, May 26, 2000

At Suzee's Smut Shop Dot Com, you can see enough naked booty to make your libido boil over -- but bring your Visa, because Suzee'll take off all her clothes before your eyes, but she won't take American Express
--Craig Bicknell
Read the rest in Amex Nixes X-Rated Exchanges

Thursday, May 25, 2000

a lot of the best work is done as a labor of love, and always will be. Those who need a revenue model before they are willing to even think about working will lose one of the golden opportunities of the web, which is free expression and the building of communities, regardless of financial issues. For instance, Slashdot was born as a community and still is one. Eventually, Slashdot got into a position where it could make money, but Slashdot is true to itself and was not corrupted or changed by any commercial considerations. So it is possible to make a good thing and not blow it when the cash register starts jingling. But a lot of other sites and communities have turned to dreck when money was involved.
--Jeffrey Zeldman
Read the rest in Slashdot | Jeffrey Zeldman Bites Back

Wednesday, May 24, 2000

Incorporating Flash into an HTML page or splash screen is bad, but entire sites built with Flash are positively evil because they make the Web much less usable. Flash sites render useless the browser's Back button and address bar, and make bookmarking pages inside a Flash site impossible. Printing Flash pages from your browser doesn't work, nor does intra-page keyword searching. Finally, Flash sites eliminate HTML links' visited and unvisited colors, and that color-changing feature is the Web's single most important navigational cue.
--Dack Ragus
Read the rest in dack.com > web > flash is evil

Tuesday, May 23, 2000

SOAP is actually the core of NGWS. This would make sense - SOAP is basically Visual Basic calls wrapped in XML, and it's been well understood at Microsoft for some time that to get Bill Gates behind a project it just takes some connection with his crowning technical achievement (Basic, that is).
--Dennis Sosnoski
Read the rest in THE REGISTER: MS sends in lawyers to stop 'open' SOAP info getting out

Saturday, May 20, 2000

Anything that requires my address, company name, a login, phone number and business type, isn't free
--Matt Sergeant on the xml-dev mailing list

Friday, May 19, 2000

When I first started programming in Java, I read about how awful GridBagLayout was, so I never used it. Instead I used arrangements of nested panels, which sometimes had to be absurdly complicated in order to get the layouts I wanted. Then one day I found a layout that simply couldn't be done in any other way. So I finally broke down and learned how to use GridBagLayout.

And you know what I found? It was simple! Once you learn how it works, GridBagLayout is easy to use and very powerful. I was able to tear out all my old arrangements of nested panels and replace them with GridBagLayouts in half as many lines of code (and a LOT fewer AWT components).

--Peter Eastman on the MRJ-DEV mailing list

Thursday, May 18, 2000

Flash has contributed to the amount of gratuitous animation on the Web, and unlike animated GIFs, Flash animations do not respond to your browser's Stop button or your keyboard's Esc key, so they cannot be easily turned off. Users must resort to either covering the offending animation with their hand, or, more likely, leave the site altogether.
--Dack Ragus
Read the rest in Flash is Evil

Wednesday, May 17, 2000

Motif remains resilient precisely because the Linux culture is entirely foreign to how the Motif community works. Secrecy, intellectual property rights, and long-term, large-scale projects do not marry well with open source public announcements. The essential nature of commercial software is anonymity. As commercial engineers, we don't plug our own names or reputations with the software that we sell. There's nothing in X-Designer or the manual sets to say who wrote it.
--Antony Fountain
Read the rest in O'Reilly Unix Center -- Is Motif Dead? No Way!

Tuesday, May 16, 2000

the original Mac prized simplicity, and some of that simplicity has been lost. The Mac has gone, in certain respects, downhill on the ease-of-use curve over the years, and part of that is the natural evolution of a system to order to fulfill the complex and varied needs of it's users. There's just a tendency in the world toward complexity. On the other hand, one of the things distressing me is the lack of innovation over time. Just your very question indicates that even though the hardware now is thousands of times more capable than what we had when we were working on the original Mac, the software paradigms have not advanced in the same way.
--Andy Hertzfeld
Read the rest in Slashdot | Making Linux Easy With Eazel's Andy Hertzfeld

Monday, May 15, 2000

At Microsoft, they always go for more functionality over security. That's what the marketplace wants, because the marketplace isn't very educated about security. It's easy to sell products that aren't perfect to people who are ignorant. The customers' No. 1 job isn't security, it's getting their job done.
--Gary McGraw, Reliable Software Technologies
Read the rest in CNET.com - News - Enterprise Computing - Microsoft criticized for lack of software security

Sunday, May 14, 2000

You couldn't do a whole bank in Java. It's too unstable. There are too many different implementations on different browsers and different platforms. It has lower penetration and there are security issues like malicious Java applets. Flash is almost foolproof. It's just graphics. There's no key to the door.
--Phillip Torrone, director of new media at BrainCraft
Read the rest in Flash Is a Gas, Gas, Gas

Saturday, May 13, 2000

Microsoft steadfastly declares that their monopoly has done nothing to harm consumers. CNN reports $100 Million in damages from the ILOVEYOU virus in North America alone. In biology, a monoculture is highly susceptible to disease (see Irish potato famine, for an example). Windows is a monoculture. A monoculture is clearly a bad thing when computer systems worldwide can be infected so readily.

Today, I have gotten the ILOVEYOU message 5 times so far - with no ill effects. Why? three of the five messages came to a Mac, no problem there. The others came to my Windows laptop - which run Eudora - not Outlook. Yes, I know that I could have been affected by the virus if I had clicked on the attachment.

But all in all, as a result of my "genetic diversity" in choice of computers, I'm protected from those things that affect the "herd".

So, my conclusion? Microsoft is BAD for consumers and should be broken up.

--Martin T. Focazio on the WWWAC mailing list

Friday, May 12, 2000

The legislators are calling for stronger penalties for those who get caught writing viruses, as if that would have any effect in this case. The penalties should all be applied to *Microsoft*, since the entire problem here rests at their feet for having done such an incredibly bad job of designing all their mail clients.
--David W. Fenton on the WWWAC mailing list

Thursday, May 11, 2000

porting Sun's Solaris JDK reference release to what's merely a different flavor of Unix is an absolutely trivial task compared to porting it to a vastly different operating system like the 'classic' Mac OS.
--Jens Alfke on the mrj-dev mailing list

Wednesday, May 10, 2000

Not so long ago, Web designers who wanted to create fancy sites with dynamic interfaces had to take a deep breath and code their pop-up menus and glowing menu buttons in Sun's Java.

But buggy Java engines, performance problems, and design tools geared toward programmers instead of graphic artists has prompted a mass exodus from Java to a once-obscure form

--Leander Kahney
Read the rest in Flash Is a Gas, Gas, Gas

Tuesday, May 9, 2000

The people who designed Java wrote it so that you can run whatever you get as long as the model is perfect. That leaves room for error. But Microsoft lets you decide whether to give over complete control. The I Love You thing is a perfect example of what happens when you give that control with two clicks of the mouse. It's incredible. That's all it takes to give away the keys to your computer.
--Gary McGraw, Reliable Software Technologies
Read the rest in CNET.com - News - Enterprise Computing - Microsoft criticized for lack of software security

Monday, May 8, 2000

The king has a court now, fantastic. But the king still makes decisions. I have to give Sun credit for making what appears to be an honest effort, but I believe that Sun should honor its original promise to hand the technology over to a recognized standards body. That way everyone who wishes to invest in the technology can do it with confidence that no single economic interest will be able to divert the technology's evolution for the sake of its gain.
--Rick Ross
Read the rest in Sun Opens Java Management Process

Sunday, May 7, 2000

Before companies will trust in any way not to be manipulated by Sun, Sun needs to give up as much control as they can. I think that's the goal here and it will help
--Peter Dibble, MicroWare
Read the rest in Sun Opens Java Management Process

Saturday, May 6, 2000

Companies are making five-year business plans around Java. They would feel much more comfortable if they knew not just one for-profit company was making decisions around the future of the platform.
--Ken Urquhart, Sun
Read the rest in Sun Opens Java Management Process

Friday, May 5, 2000

Every successful company maintains a fluid and constantly changing organization. This realignment will put even greater emphasis on a single face to the customer...and increased focus on product execution. It also gives us an opportunity to create a cross-company focus on availability and quality."
--Edward Zander, chief operating officer of Sun
Read the rest in CNET.com - News - Enterprise Computing - Sun reorganizes to hone business focus

We trained hard, but it seemed that everytime we were beginning to form up into teams, we would be reorganized. I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganizing; and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency and demoralization.
--Petronius Arbiter, 210 B.C.

Thursday, May 4, 2000

Behind the well-paid geeks in cubicles and the sharp-dressed entrepreneurs is an industry that consumes as many resources, uses as many lethal chemicals, and generates as much toxic waste as some of the worst culprits of the pre-Internet age. And both industry workers and the people who live near the plants are feeling the effects: the toxins damage aquatic life in the bay, poison drinking water, and, increasing evidence suggests, kill high-tech industry workers.
--Christopher D. Cook and A. Clay Thompson
Read the rest in SFBG News | Silicon hell | April 26, 2000

Wednesday, May 3, 2000

Sun's Java for Windows (95, 98, NT, and [afaik] 2000), is on every AOL 5.0 CD.

That's right -- every AOL drink coaster has all 7MB of the Java 2 installer right there:

[AOL CD]/Win9x/Addons/Java/Java2.exe

--Brad Schrick on the MRJ Dev mailing list

Tuesday, May 2, 2000

for all it's blustering, Sun's best Java platform is on Windows and developers there are constantly being coaxed into a proprietary, MS-only development environment. I can't realistically develop Java on Linux - it's easier to get an intercal compiler on Linux then it is to get Java development environment on Linux.
--Kevin Lyda
Read the rest in osOpinion: Why Java seems doomed to fail...

Monday, May 1, 2000

Flash is everything Java applets were supposed to be
--Phillip Torrone, director of new media at BrainCraft
Read the rest in Flash Is a Gas, Gas, Gas

Friday, April 28, 2000

Unicode is really cool. I mean really cool! I can't begin to tell you what a pain it is to deal with special characters -- even something as trivial as accented characters in a name -- in a non-Unicode environment. And using GIF images for Greek letters is really not satisfying.

So, the way to go is really to try to use Unicode as much as possible. If your environment is not Unicode-enabled, your first priority should be to try to upgrade your tools to get a fully Unicode system. Make it a criteria when you get new tools (pressure your vendors to add Unicode support). It will save you a tremendous amount of energy in the long run.

--Michel Rodriguez
Read the rest in XML.com - Encodings in XML::Parser: Conclusion

Wednesday, April 26, 2000

the JAXP API and the JAXP JAR file both come with strings attached from Sun. All code from ExOffice, DataChannel, IBM, and all the other xml.apache.org contributors is under the Apache license, which doesn't have those strings.
--Mike Pogue on the xerces-j-dev mailing list

Tuesday, April 25, 2000

Java has the good fortune to be born in a boring world where every computer has a 2-s complement 8-bit byte binary architecture, and says so. C didn't have a clue, with programs behaving differently on different machines "for efficiency reasons".
--Philip Bath on the mrj-dev mailing list

Monday, April 24, 2000

She's my ex because of all the gadgets I have with me all the time. She called me up at work and said, "It's either me or your odd fetish for technology." I said, "Can I send you an email about it when I get home?" and that was that.
--Philip Torrone
Read the rest in Gadgets Drive New Jersey Man

Saturday, April 22, 2000

any programmer who uses println() to produce allegedly cross-platform text is either mistaken or deluded.
--Greg Guerin on the MRJ-dev mailing list

Wednesday, April 19, 2000

As someone who survived (just barely) the OSF vs. Sun and OMG vs. Microsoft wars, I don't look at vendor consortia like OSF, OMG or OASIS as non-aligned any more than the Republican or Democratic parties are non-aligned.
--Don Box on the xml-dev mailing list

Tuesday, April 18, 2000

Mexico does produce very little technology, depends a lot on foreign technology and pretty much our main exports are raw materials. Raw materials are extremely cheap (and in some cases it took nature a few million years to produce). For example, a barrel of petrol costs about $25 these days, and a copy of Microsoft Office and Microsoft Windows 2000 costs around $700. Which means that for each copy of Office+Windows 2000 the country is paying with 24 barrels of petrol.
--Miguel de Icaza
Read the rest in Slashdot | Interviews | Miguel de Icaza Tells All!

Monday, April 17, 2000

Arguing about language design is almost as fruitless as arguing whether Microsoft is an agent of the Evil Empire. (But almost as much fun:-)
--David Carlisle on the xsl-list mailing list

Sunday, April 16, 2000

XML and Java used to be luxuries. Now they become a requirement as we evolve to an open standards environment.
--Scott Hebner, director of e-business technology marketing at IBM
Read the rest in IBM Stirs Up Java Issue With Sun

Saturday, April 15, 2000

The cold, harsh reality is that de facto standards often count as much or more than open standards. At this point, Java is the de facto standard for e-business applications. Nothing Microsoft nor IBM is going to do will change that.
--Michael Goulde, Patricia Seybold Group
Read the rest in IBM Stirs Up Java Issue With Sun

Friday, April 14, 2000

For at least 50 years, high-tech employers have claimed that labor shortages restrict U.S. economic growth, and engineers and other technical professionals have worried about the consequences of rapid obsolescence of their technical skills. Despite the employer claims, there is no evidence that general shortages of technical people have occurred. This has not kept employers from lobbying Congress for increased access to foreign workers and taking other steps to beef up the size of the pool of IT specialists. A large supply of workers is advantageous for industry, helping to contain the costs and bargaining power of labor and supplying a large pool of talent.
--Richard Ellis
Read the rest in Apr00: The IT Labor Shortage: Fact or Fiction?

Thursday, April 13, 2000

Java and XML solve different problems and it is rare that you'll have to decide between the two. But they have been pitted against each other because they were caught in the battle between Sun and Microsoft.
--David Smith, Gartner Group
Read the rest in vnunet.com Java, XML to survive Sun/Microsoft war

Wednesday, April 12, 2000

People want control of the technology, and that's a model Microsoft doesn't cater to
--Bob Young, chairman of Red Hat Software
Read the rest in Newsweek.com: Newsweek US Edition: Business: Microsoft's Crapshoot

Tuesday, April 11, 2000

If Microsoft has a weakness, it's the fanatical religious belief in Windows. I think that Windows is so inappropriate for some devices that it might be their downfall.
--Mitchell Kertzman
Read the rest in Newsweek.com: Newsweek US Edition: Business: Microsoft's Crapshoot

Sunday, April 9, 2000

It has long been my (unsubstantiated) view that the success of the IBM PC was entirely unexpected. Remember that in 1980 there were hundreds of different kinds of computers, including desktop ones (Apples, CP/M-80, CP/M-86, etc), and IBM had previously tried to enter this arena not once, but twice, and failed (first with a desktop APL system, then with the CS9000).

But a group within IBM thought they should not totally give up on this market and won the right to slap something together hurriedly that (a) would trump the CP/M market by offering 16 bits and (up to) 640K of memory ("more memory than you'll ever need"), and (b) putting the IBM logo on it. But it certainly wasn't the only game in town. As far as I can tell, the PC was put together from Radio Shack parts and the result was (a) successful beyond their wildest dreams, and (b) an architectural and design nightmare, one that determined the future of computing for decades to come. My point being that IBM, if they had it to do over again, might have put a bit more thought (funding, time) into it.

--Frank da Cruz on the Unicode mailing list

Saturday, April 8, 2000

I get full-motion streaming video and sound, I listen to radio and steal, steal uh, you know, my music through MP3, like everybody else does. I write the laws that say it's illegal, and I do it anyway,
--U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey, D-Nebraska
Read the rest in Meet Sen. Kerrey, MP3 Pirate?

Friday, April 7, 2000

Microsoft Corp. is officially a corporate lawbreaker. The rule of law, at least for the moment, is victorious over the tyranny of untrammeled capitalism.
--Dan Gillmore
Read the rest in A day of satisfaction as corporate bully gets comeuppance (4/03/2000)

Thursday, April 6, 2000

There are a couple of chronic computer projects that people keep trying over and over again, and rediscovering that the problems are much harder than they look, and had they done their homework they could have found out how previous attempts failed, usually exactly the same way they just failed again. Natural language translation is one of them. Another is a universal intermediate programming language, on the theory that you could then build one front end for each programming language, and one back end for each machine type, and have a complete set of compilers. We call that UNCOL, after the original 1950s project.
--John R Levine on the Computer Book Publishing mailing list

Thursday, March 30, 2000

Any sufficiently complicated C or Fortran program contains an ad-hoc, informally-specified bug-ridden slow implementation of half of Common Lisp.
--Philip Greenspun
Read the rest in Philip Greenspun's Research

Wednesday, March 29, 2000

XML is trying to bridge the gap between Java programmers and reality, and that gap is data representation.
--Brett McLaughlin at the O'Reilly Conference on Java

Monday, March 27, 2000

There's definitely some funkiness in the print API.
--Jonathan B. Knudsen at the O'Reilly Conference on Java

Saturday, March 18, 2000

just a few years ago a law was passed exempting surgery from patent law. Patents can still be granted for surgical procedures, but doctors cannot be sued for patent infringement for performing them. Exactly this sort of law is what we need to solve the software patent problem.
--Richard M. Stallman
Read the rest in O'Reilly Network: The Harm of Patents

Friday, March 17, 2000

Perhaps you are starting from the idea that "Where there is a real invention, there should be a patent." But why assume that? People who note the existence of absurd patents often assume (without any grounds they can cite) that these are the whole extent of the problem--that the patent system would be ok for software, if only it were competently run. But there's no basis for that belief, except a reluctance to doubt the system.

Under the Constitution, the purpose of the patent system is to promote progress. In the field of software, patents do more harm than good, even the ones that cover real inventions. Have you read the LPF's position paper, Against Software Patents? If not, I urge you to take a look. You can find it easily through http://lpf.ai.mit.edu.

--Richard M. Stallman
Read the rest in O'Reilly Network: The Harm of Patents

Wednesday, March 15, 2000

Selfishly speaking, I want to live in a world where most software is written in a decent programming language. Java is decent, and I don't mind it. Therefore I don't begrudge its success. But I consider it a proprietary language surrounded by a re-invent-the-wheel culture.
--Paul Prescod
Read the rest in Why I Promote Python

Tuesday, March 14, 2000

In my 8 years of working as a professional programmer, I have never had a colleague who was a female programmer (i.e. working for the same company as me), despite working in groups that sometimes included up to 20 developers. This has both intangible effects (e.g. reducing the diversity of ideas and viewpoints) and tangible effects (e.g. some of our programming brethren bathe less often than they might otherwise :-).
--Matthew Gertner on the xml-dev mailing list

Monday, March 13, 2000

To most people, including people at Microsoft, you're either anti-Microsoft or pro-Microsoft. Then thinking about it some more, this isn't just true of Microsoft. It's also true of Apple. And it's true of Linux and Open Source. And Amazon! And it's not just about computers either. It's pretty much everywhere. And it's total bullshit.
--Dave Winer

Sunday, March 12, 2000

C and assembly have historical reasons for being so low-level and thus difficult to use and learn. It makes sense sometimes to trade usability for performance. C++ and Perl have no such excuse. They are cryptic and complex because of an overemphasis on backwards compatibility and plain, old-fashioned poor design.
--Paul Prescod
Read the rest in Why I Promote Python

Saturday, March 11, 2000

Perl is sometimes called a `scripting' language, but only by people who don't like it or don't understand it. Firstly, there's no real difference between programming and scripting - it's all just telling the computer what you want it to do. Second, even if there was, Perl's as much of a scripting language as Java or C. I'm going to talk about Perl programs here, but you might hear some people call them Perl scripts. The people who call them `programs' on the whole write better ones.
--Simon Cozens
Read the rest in www.perl.com - Ten Perl Myths

Friday, March 10, 2000

Computer programming is hard. It is precisely because it is hard that there is no excuse for adding artificial obstacles like modern languages rooted in the idioms of dead languages, and adding syntaxes so complex that humans cannot keep them in their head.
--Paul Prescod
Read the rest in www.oreilly.com -- Why I Promote Python

Thursday, March 9, 2000

Java isn't platform independent; it is a platform. Like Windows, it is a proprietary commercial platform. That is, you can write programs for Windows/Intel or Java/JVM, and in each case you are writing code for a platform owned by a single corporation and tweaked for the commercial benefit of that corporation.
--Bjarne Stroustrup
Read the rest in Windows 2000 Sales Brisk; and Musings on "Pure Java"

Wednesday, March 8, 2000

Sun's value proposition for Java has been write-once, run-anywhere—build your application logic, use our APIs, our programming language, our environment, stick it on all of your platforms, and somehow magically the world will be all better. Now, there are a couple of problems with that. One is, it's a rip-and-replace solution. You have to retrain all your developers in the Java language. Getting the Java VM to behave the same on all the different platforms is an "iffy" proposition. The PC Magazine tests still peg it at about "works half the time."

But if you agree on the wire format—and this is something that MSMQ and MQSeries messaging systems realize—if you agree on the message format and you can crack that open and interpret it, then you're dealing with a whole new level of integration. Rather than requiring rip-and-replace, you can get true interoperability and it doesn't matter what's at the far end of your remote-procedure call or the message that you're sending. You could have Visual C++ talking to Java over SOAP; you could have Perl talking to Corba over SOAP.

Because SOAP abstracts out the object model and the operating system and it's just XML on the wire, it makes it very easy to build large-scale interoperable solutions using the stuff you have today. It solves the integration problems at a very fundamental level.

--John Montgomery, Microsoft
Read the rest in EXPERT VOICES

Tuesday, March 7, 2000

Up until Swing showed up, the absolute recognized way of properly writing a piece of software was to adopt the look and feel of the given platform, along with all its underlying philosophy. Anyone who would do their own look and feel usually didn't have much success. So if native platform controls have been the way to go for as long as user interfaces have existed, why would it change now?
--Steve Roy on the mrj-dev mailing list

Monday, March 6, 2000

Despite a lot of C++ and a little VB and Python (no Perl that I remember!), XML is still very much joined at the waist with Java. Partly, that reflects the fact that Java is central to big vendors like Oracle and IBM, partly that reflects the fact that Java and XML were both designed for client-side use but have migrated to server-side, and partly it reflects the fact that Java open-source programmers, still eyed suspiciously in the Linux community (where even C++ is making slow progress), have found a home in XML and a community on XML-Dev.
--David Megginson on the xml-dev mailing list

Sunday, March 5, 2000

They just don't want to give up control. It is 100% my opinion that Sun is publicly saying they want to make Java a standard, but privately not making it happen.
--Jan van den Beld, secretary-general of ECMA
Read the rest in Sun walks tightrope with licensees over Java control

Saturday, March 4, 2000

My primary reason for working with open-development projects is the highly effective teach/learn side effects. If you want to learn a particular area, you will want to talk to as many other people in that area as possible. Explaining things to others is the best way to learn. And the more people are involved, the greater the chance that you will be able to pick up words of wisdom from others. It's a bit like "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." If you apply that principle in practice, you'll notice that it is a very efficient way to evolve and grow as an individual, while at the same time accelerating the growth of the group. It's a very philosophical idea in one sense, but at the same time a very pragmatic approach.
--Rickard Oberg
Read the rest in EJBoss: An Open Source EBJ Server

Friday, March 3, 2000

average software vendors follow the commandments appropriate to their industry about as well as most religious fanatics follow that commandment outlawing murder. And most of them go unpunished, unless there's a circle of Hell specifically set aside for software product managers.
--Steve Champeon
Read the rest in RTFM: A Guide to Online Research

Thursday, March 2, 2000

I think that object orientedness is almost as much of a hoax as Artificial Intelligence. I have yet to see an interesting piece of code that comes from these OO people. In a sense, I am unfair to AI: I learned a lot of stuff from the MIT AI Lab crowd, they have done some really fundamental work: Bill Gosper's Hakmem is one of the best things for a programmer to read. AI might not have had a serious foundation, but it produced Gosper and Stallman (Emacs), Moses (Macsyma) and Sussman (Scheme, together with Guy Steele). I find OOP technically unsound. It attempts to decompose the world in terms of interfaces that vary on a single type. To deal with the real problems you need multisorted algebras - families of interfaces that span multiple types. I find OOP philosophically unsound. It claims that everything is an object. Even if it is true it is not very interesting - saying that everything is an object is saying nothing at all. I find OOP methodologically wrong. It starts with classes. It is as if mathematicians would start with axioms. You do not start with axioms - you start with proofs. Only when you have found a bunch of related proofs, can you come up with axioms. You end with axioms. The same thing is true in programming: you have to start with interesting algorithms. Only when you understand them well, can you come up with an interface that will let them work.
--Alexander Stepanov
Read the rest in An Interview with A. Stepanov for Edizioni Infomedia srl

Wednesday, March 1, 2000

secrecy, and the kinds of closed intellectual properties that are bound up with secrecy, are not efficient. They're not an effective way to generate value in software.
--Eric S. Raymond
Read the rest in An Interview with Tim O'Reilly & Eric Raymond

Tuesday, February 29, 2000

a patent on something like "1-Click ordering" is a slap in the face of Tim Berners-Lee and all of the other pioneers who created the opportunity that Amazon has done such a good job of exploiting. Amazon wouldn't have existed without the generosity of people like Tim, who made legitimate, far-reaching inventions, and put them out into the public domain for all to build upon. Anyone who puts a small gloss on this fundamental technology, calls it proprietary, and then tries to keep others from building further on it, is a thief. The gift was given to all of us, and anyone who tries to make it their own is stealing our patrimony.
--Tim O'Reilly
Read the rest in Ask Tim -- Software Patents Issue

Monday, February 28, 2000

I think Java is the best language going today, which is to say, it's the marginally acceptable one among the set of complete bagbiting loser languages that we have to work out here in the real world.
--Jamie Zawinski
Read the rest in java sucks

Sunday, February 27, 2000

I spent several months programming in Java. Contrary to its authors prediction, it did not grow on me. I did not find any new insights - for the first time in my life programming in a new language did not bring me new insights. It keeps all the stuff that I never use in C++ - inheritance, virtuals - OO gook - and removes the stuff that I find useful. It might be successful - after all, MS DOS was - and it might be a profitable thing for all your readers to learn Java, but it has no intellectual value whatsoever. Look at their implementation of hash tables. Look at the sorting routines that come with their "cool" sorting applet. Try to use AWT. The best way to judge a language is to look at the code written by its proponents. "Radix enim omnium malorum est cupiditas" - and Java is clearly an example of a money oriented programming (MOP). As the chief proponent of Java at SGI told me: "Alex, you have to go where the money is." But I do not particularly want to go where the money is - it usually does not smell nice there.
--Alexander Stepanov
Read the rest in An Interview with A. Stepanov for Edizioni Infomedia srl

Saturday, February 26, 2000

New "paradigms" are touted every year, but most are not fundamental and few are genuinely new. Probably the most interesting are those based on "components" such as COM and CORBA. I'm undecided whether these constitutes a "new paradigm" or simply a new set of systems-level building blocks. Would we talk of Unix processes as a new paradigm? Anyway, my main concern with such components is that they are still less than perfectly integrated with programming languages, such as C++, and with the various "traditional" programming paradigms, such as OOP and generic programming.
--Bjarne Stroustrup
Read the rest in Slashdot | Interviews | C++ Answers From Bjarne Stroustrup

Friday, February 25, 2000

How much money do you need to be able to tell the truth?. It seems that the more money you have, the less courage you have, which is weird, and sad.
--Bill Joy
Read the rest in Wired 8.03: Fear and Trembling in Silicon Valley

Thursday, February 24, 2000

Software is becoming a smaller part of the overall picture, and you've got to somehow have a strategy that goes beyond just selling your bits.
--Tim O'Reilly
Read the rest in An Interview with Tim O'Reilly and Eric Raymond

Wednesday, February 23, 2000

If Linux succeeds in a significant portion of the computer world, and it looks like it might, your time in the limelight is short.

I worked at Digital Equipment in the mid-80s, when they were on top of the computing heap. Their annual user's meeting in Boston was so large and lavish that they rented the ocean liners Oceanic and Queen Elizabeth II. DEC docked the boats next to the convention center, using them to house and entertain important customers. Executives at DEC believed they were invincible and that, if they kept doing things as they were, the good times would continue to roll. Just a couple years later, the mini-computer fad was dying and DEC failed to embrace PC's. DEC's stock sank to 10% of its previous value and before long the company ceased to exist.

Lotus nearly went out of business when it did not see that Windows was more popular than OS/2. IBM's mainframe division took a nosedive when they failed to understand the importance of mini-computers and connectivity (allowing DEC to flourish for a while).

The same thing will happen to you. The Linux killer is just around the corner. You don't know what it is, and you won't recognize it when you first see it. The next generation of techies will understand it and will consider you old fogies for having your heads buried in the Linux sand.

--Charles Connel
Read the rest in What the Linux Community Needs to Grok

Tuesday, February 22, 2000

My projection of the immediate short-term future at this point is I think the OS monopoly is going to break decisively some time in the first six months of 2001, with the defection of one of the major gray-box OEMs, somebody on the level of a Dell or a Gateway. And within a week after that happens, we're going to see an announcement of Office for Linux.
--Eric S. Raymond
Read the rest in An Interview with Tim O'Reilly
Monday, February 21, 2000

I know of several restaurants who went down the tubes because their happy hours were wayyyyy tooo extravagant and when they stopped giving out all the free stuff, everyone got mad and stopped going to the restaurants altogether. Once you start giving something away for free, you can basically never charge for it again as it has been commoditized to such a low value.
--Tyler Baker on the xml-dev mailing list

Saturday, February 19, 2000

I find my Sun systems are up for months at a time, but my NT systems have to reboot all the time
--Jay Zimmet, director of information technology, Applied Micro Circuits
Read the rest in Dot Com Dissing

Friday, February 18, 2000

We're flattered. Clearly Microsoft feels that Sun is a major competitor to them and since Microsoft is the largest software company on Earth, that must mean we're doing something right if they want to put us in their crosshairs.
--David Harrah, Sun flack
Read the rest in Dot Com Dissing

Thursday, February 17, 2000

implementing the Java libraries has been an ongoing struggle with poorly documented interfaces. In the end I usually give up and just read Sun's C source code to see what a routine is supposed to do. More often than not it is supposed to do whatever the corresponding system call would do on Solaris, and there is hell to pay when that call does something differently on another platform.
--Greg Colvin on the sc22jsg1 mailing list

Wednesday, February 16, 2000

The news in this round of testing is that Blackdown's Linux JDK replaces Sun's Solaris JDK as the only Java virtual machine able to handle 4,000 active concurrent connections on our 256-megabyte test machine (see Table 2). There are a few things to watch out for, though. Blackdown's JDK 1.2.2 RC4 for Linux uses the "sunwjit" just-in-time compiler, which has been abandoned by Sun. Sun's JDK 1.2.2 Production Release for Linux, on the other hand, still contains a few bugs which have already been fixed in the Blackdown releases.

So ... your best bet for server-side Java on Linux is to go with Blackdown's Release Candidate 4, but replace Sun's just-in-time compiler with the one from Inprise.

--John Neffenger
Read the rest in The Volano Report

Tuesday, February 15, 2000

IF hypocrisy were an Academy Award category, the technology industry would vie with politics for the Oscar.
--Dan Gillmor
Read the rest in Tech hypocrisy running rampant (2/14/2000)

Monday, February 14, 2000

for Eiffel to grow significantly Eiffel needs to very rapidly become primarily an Internet system development tool. It is really the only chance for Eiffel to grow. I believe this should be the new focus for Eiffel for this decade. All other markets are shrinking because the Internet markets are rapidly eating them, and in some cases cannibalizing them. Software development systems without an effective, integrated Internet development capability will vanish from the market by the end of the decade, if not sooner.
--Des Kenny on the eiffel-nice-discuss mailing list
Read the rest in eiffel-nice-discuss message #279

Sunday, February 13, 2000

Eiffel: You give the gun to the compiler to be not able to shoot yourself in the foot. The compiler attaches a sound absorber to the gun, wraps it in some cloth , targets the whole thing at your foot and pulls the trigger twice.
--Matthias Meixner in the comp.lang.c++ newsgropup
Read the rest in Deja.com: Re: Stroustrup on Java?

Saturday, February 12, 2000

Sun decided that rather than fix the problems with the peer-based AWT, they would throw out the baby with the bath-water and chose to deprecate the elegant peer-based architecture in favour of an over-engineered Pure Java monstrosity. We've used Swing to add JProgressBars and JSliders to our own application, and all I can say about working with Swing is that it's another supposedly fun thing I'll never do again.
--Eric Smith on the MRJ-Dev mailing list

Friday, February 11, 2000

We see the value proposition here in the development and deployment of an open platform," he says."To do this, there are a number of initiatives that are important but don't do it on their own--XML is obviously important, as is Linux for servers and Java for development. But you need to combine tools from these initiatives.
--Scott Hebner, IBM's director for e-business technology marketing
Read the rest in LinuxPlanet - Opinions - Editor's Note: IBM Takes the Lead in Java for Linux - Finally: Important Java Tools for Linux

Thursday, February 10, 2000

The only category of application that has any hope of existence outside of a browser are authoring apps, whether for docs or graphics. 99% of all real-world business apps amount to database retrieval and update. Why would you ever run one of those through anything but a browser
--Tim Bray on the xml-dev mailing list

Thursday, February 3, 2000

For lack of trained personnel, the Patent Office in the last few years has approved thousands of patents regarding online (Web) business systems that will never hold up in court. Most of the patents have been filed defensively on the advice of attorneys. In other words, if a corporation sues your company for a patent infringement based on its bogus patent, your company can counterclaim for infringement on its bogus patent. The result is a wash and a moneyless settlement. But if you don't have a bogus online business systems patent or the money for an attorney, your're a victim in this Silicon Valley blood sport.
--Joseph T. Sinclair on the "Computer Book Publishing" mailing list

Wednesday, February 2, 2000

the usefulness of JavaScript hinges on its ability to access and manipulate DOM objects. (Otherwise it's like Java without the class libraries)
--Todd Blume on the MRJ-dev mailing list

Tuesday, February 1, 2000

Einstein used to be a patent inspector in Switzerland. Clearly the US office maintains a lower standard.
--Tim Bray on the xml-dev mailing list

Monday, January 31, 2000

Microsoft's unauthorized distribution of incompatible implementations of Sun's Java Technology threatens to undermine Sun's goal of cross-platform and cross-implementation compatibility
--U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte
Read the rest in Sun wins Java ruling (1/25/2000)

Saturday, January 29, 2000

Sun has demonstrated that Microsoft introduced strategic incompatibilities in its implementations of the Java Technology and relied on its unparalleled market power and distribution channels in computer operating systems to unfairly impede competition in the Java development tools market
--U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte
Read the rest in Sun wins Java ruling (1/25/2000)

Friday, January 28, 2000

There is no quid pro quo. The only thing that eToys is getting out of this is a black eye; etoy isn't giving anything up at all.
--Chris Truax, eToy lawyer

Thursday, January 27, 2000

Sun has demonstrated that Microsoft introduced strategic incompatibilities in its implementations of the Java Technology and relied on its unparalleled market power and distribution channels in computer operating systems to unfairly impede competition in the Java development tools market
--U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte
Read the rest in Sun wins Java ruling (1/25/2000)

Wednesday, January 26, 2000

Say goodbye to anonymity on the Web. DoubleClick Inc., the Internet's largest advertising company, has begun tracking Web users by name and address as they move from one Web site to the next.
--Will Rodger
Read the rest in Activists charge DoubleClick double cross

Friday, January 21, 2000

Programming languages have the same history; the first were designed to fit one machine and one machine only. The current software industry owes everything to standard languages which hide the details of the machine and enable the designer to concentrate on function and real innovation, not how many registers are available and whether a conditional branch can be made within the limits of a near jump.
--Lee Anne Phillips on the xml-dev mailing list

Wednesday, January 19, 2000

When the performance of an industry leader's products overshoots what its customers can absorb, it creates the potential for a disruptive technology to emerge. Java software is such a disruptive technology. Programs written to Java protocols don't perform as well as those written in C++ in the applications that constitute the core of Microsoft's customer base. But Java has other attributes that make it useful in emerging applications, many of them on the Internet. Just as PC makers grew by participating in new computing applications and then improved so rapidly that they overtook the minicomputer and mainframe vendors, companies writing software in Java for use on the Internet are growing at a breathtaking rate. The capabilities of their products are improving just as quickly.
--Clayton M. Christensen
Read the rest in TechSearch

Monday, January 17, 2000

While GJ is designed to be eminently practical, it has its roots in some esoteric theory. Ideas that contributed to the design of GJ include Church's lambda calculus from the 1930s, Curry and Hindley's type inference system from the 1950s, and Girard and Reynold's polymorphic calculus from the 1970s. GJ programmers don't need to understand these concepts, but they helped the GJ designers to do a better job. Mathematics from the last century is relevant to designing languages for the next millennium.
--Philip Wadler
Read the rest in Feb00: GJ A Generic Java

Sunday, January 16, 2000

Because a disruptive technology can't initially compete directly against the existing technology for the original uses even without taking the network effects into consideration, the only successful way to market one is to carve out a new "roaches under the floorboards" niche taking advantage of the new technology's distinctive advantages. This new niche is a market the existing technology can't fit into, and is usually too small and low margin for the existing companies to care about anyway. But it gives the disruptive technology a protected base within which to develop, and which can finance an upscale attack into the existing value network. Since the disruptive technology can eventually be made to serve the same purposes as the old technology, and it has its protected base to draw from as well, it forms a larger network than the old technology.
--Rob Landley
Read the rest in Fool.com: Microsoft vs. Linux (Rule Maker) November 24, 1999

Saturday, January 15, 2000

The good news is that consumers all over the world will have access to the strongest encryption built into products they use every day.... The bad news is, if you want to send an encryption program outside of the United States, you still need to hire a lawyer.
--Alan Davidson, staff counsel at the Center for Democracy and Technology.
Read the rest in Reducing US Crypto Export Rules

Friday, January 14, 2000

even though Netscape should get lots of credit for getting the Java ball rolling, being licensee #1 and putting it into the browser and all, Netscape ended up by being a drag on Java. Many people's first impression of Java was through applets in Netscape. Not all of the applets that didn't work can be blamed on Netscape, but Netscape's Java support didn't help.
--Norris Weimer on the mrj-dev mailing list

Thursday, January 13, 2000

Sun talks out of both sides of its mouth with respect to serialization: On the one hand, it's a great thing and definitely meant to be used with RMI, but on the other hand, they plan on changing the way it works and so don't recommend using it for persistence.
--Dan Kampmeier on the MRJ-Dev mailing list

Wednesday, January 12, 2000

Sun could revive the Java dream by making it an open source product. Unhappily, asking Sun CEO Scott McNealy to take that route is like asking Saddam Hussein to fix Serbia. Doing the right thing just won't occur to the man.
--Jesse Berst
Read the rest in How Open Source Could Save Java (And Why It Probably Won't)

Tuesday, January 11, 2000

Sun's "revolutionary" idea was to swap out the old dictator (Microsoft) with a new one (Sun Microsystems).
--Jesse Berst
Read the rest in How Open Source Could Save Java (And Why It Probably Won't)

Saturday, January 8, 2000

Then Steve talked a bit about the foundation of OS X being BSD Unix, very similar to the foundation of Linux. This produced a few chuckles from the crowd... it's a bit like saying that the PalmPilot has similar foundation to the original Mac, based on its use of the 68K processor, and a programming trick known as A-Traps. The reality is that the BSD foundation is well hidden (as it should be) from users of Mac OS X. And in any case, anyone who has ever used Unix/Linux knows that it's the antithesis of the Mac experience - extraordinarily difficult to set up and learn, command-line driven at its heart, runs best when it's set up as a server and stuffed in a closet. Sure, there are movements afoot to change this - UIs with poor names like KDE allow Linux to look like Unix stuffed into Windows. It's ugly and non-standard. So why mention the similarity of OS X's underpinnings to Linux? One has to wonder. Perhaps to drive up Apple's stock price? "Internet! Linux! Internet! Linux!"
--Jorg Brown
Read the rest in MacInTouch on Macworld SF 2000: Jorg Brown Letter

Friday, January 7, 2000

Open source keeps designers honest. By depriving them of the crutch of obscurity, it forces them towards using methods that are provably secure not only against known attacks but against all possible attacks by an intruder with full knowledge of the system and its source code. This is real security, the kind cryptographers and other professional paranoids respect.

It's the kind of security the Linux kernel and the Apache webserver have, and the kind people victimized by the Melissa and Chernobyl viruses and Back Orifice and the latest Microsoft-crack-of-the-week don't have. If you're betting your personal privacy or your business's critical functions on the integrity of software, it's the kind of security you want, too.

--Eric S. Raymond
Read the rest in The Case of the Quake Cheats

Saturday, January 1, 2000

In the '80s, there were huge dollars spent for products upfront but not a lot on development. Now there is tremendous innovation going on and it is the job of marketers to figure out how to make it pay. Now we have to generate the groundswell for products by getting the product out the door and then trying to figure out how to do the revenues.
--Kevin Cornell, President of Inprise
Read the rest in Business - Ottawa Citizen Online

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