Quotes in 2006

Sunday, December 31, 2006
It's a very different world when a program is an algebraic structure rather than a bag of characters, when you can actually do algebra on programs rather than just swizzling characters around. A lot of things become possible.

--James Gosling
Read the rest in Analyze this!

Saturday, December 30, 2006
Two years from now, spam will be solved,

--Bill Gates, January, 2004
Read the rest in Spam Will Be 'Solved' In 2 Years--Gates

Thursday, December 28, 2006
the single most critical variable in the biohol trajectory is the coming rise in the number of gallons of fuel produced per acre. As we migrate from biomass derived from corn to biomass from so-called energy crops like switchgrass and miscanthus, I estimate that biomass yield will reach 20 to 24 tons per acre, a fourfold increase. At the same time, new technologies will enable us to extract more biohols from every ton of biomass, potentially to 110 gallons per ton. The result: We’ll be extracting 2,000 to 2,700 gallons of fuel per acre (as opposed to about 400 gallons with today’s technology). With better fuels and more-efficient engines improving mileage by about 50 percent, we can safely predict a seven- to tenfold gain in miles driven per acre of land over the next 25 years. Given this biohol trajectory, a future of independence from gasoline becomes not only possible but probable. And the trajectory begins with garden-variety corn ethanol.

--Vinod Khosla
Read the rest in Wired 14.10: My Big Biofuels Bet

Monday, December 25, 2006
So divorced has Christmas become from religion that I find no necessity to bother with euphemisms such as happy holiday season. In the same way as many of my friends call themselves Jewish atheists, I acknowledge that I come from Christian cultural roots. I am a post-Christian atheist. So, understanding full well that the phrase retains zero religious significance, I unhesitatingly wish everyone a Merry Christmas.

--Richard Dawkins
Read the rest in An Atheist Can Believe in Christmas

Thursday, December 21, 2006
I have made it my life’s work to rid my brain of recursive thinking: it simply does not gel well with text processing under a fixed-stack system like Java. For text processing, the recursive solution is always the wrong solution…unless your system implements the tail recursion optimization of course

--Rick Jelliffe
Read the rest in Fake real-time blog from XML 2006: day one...some more

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

there’s a 100% chance that the voting machines will get hacked and all future elections will be rigged. But that doesn’t mean we’ll get a worse government. It probably means that the choice of the next American president will be taken out of the hands of deep-pocket, autofellating, corporate shitbags and put it into the hands of some teenager in Finland. How is that not an improvement?

Statistically speaking, any hacker who is skilled enough to rig the elections will also be smart enough to select politicians that believe in . . . oh, let’s say for example, science. Compare that to the current method where big money interests buy political ads that confuse snake-dancing simpletons until they vote for the guy who scares them the least. Then during the period between the election and the impending Rapture, that traditionally elected President will get busy protecting the lives of stem cells while finding creative ways to blow the living crap out of anything that has the audacity to grow up and turn brownish.

--Scott Adams
Read the rest in The Dilbert Blog: Electronic Voting Machines

Tuesday, December 19, 2006
I understand the philosophy that developer cycles are more important than cpu cycles, but frankly that's just a bumper-sticker slogan and not fair to the people who are complaining about performance.

--Joel Spolsky
Read the rest in Joel on Software

Monday, December 18, 2006
Implementation inheritance causes the same intertwining and brittleness that have been observed when goto statements are overused. As a result, OO systems often suffer from complexity and lack of reuse.

--John Ousterhout
Read the rest in Scripting, IEEE Computer, March 1998

Sunday, December 17, 2006
Last year, a Republican Congress passed a highway bill with 6,371 special projects costing the taxpayers 24 billion dollars. Those and other earmarks passed by a Republican Congress included $50 million for an indoor rainforest, $500,000 for a teapot museum; $350,000 for an Inner Harmony Foundation and Wellness Center; and of course, as you all know, $223 million for a bridge to nowhere. I didn’t see these projects in the fine print of the Contract with America, and neither did the voters.

--Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona
Read the rest in McCain Tells Conservatives G.O.P.’s Defeat Was Payback for Losing ‘Our Principles’

Friday, December 15, 2006
it's likely that in most incidents of people being killed as a result of software bugs (or IT systems bugs), the software wasn't thought to be safety-critical at all. For example, a word-processor failing to recognize that a print request has failed, resulting in a patient not getting a letter giving a hospital appointment. Or someone committing suicide because of an incorrect bank statement.

--Michael Kay on the xml-dev mailing list, Wednesday, 17 Aug 2005 08:25:54

Thursday, December 14, 2006
Did you every try to get a bunch of freshmen to add a JAR to their class path? It's not a pretty sight.

--Cay Horstmann
Read the rest in Cay Horstmann's Blog: The World's Simplest Unit Testing Framework

Wednesday, December 13, 2006
GPL version 2 is the proper forcing function. By keeping all the industry innovations viewed and shareable, it pushes everyone toward compatibility."

--Rich Green, Sun
Read the rest in Sun picks GPL license for Java code | Tech News on ZDNet

Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Ironically, C programmers understand this much better than Lisp programmers. One of the ironies of the programming world is that using Lisp is vastly more productive than using pretty much any other programming language, but successful businesses based on Lisp are quite rare. The reason for this, I think, is that Lisp allows you to be so productive that a single person can get things done without having to work together with anyone else, and so Lisp programmers never develop the social skills needed to work effectively as a member of a team. A C programmer, by contrast, can't do anything useful except as a member of a team. So although programming in C hobbles you in some ways, it forces you to form groups whose net effectiveness is greater than the sum of their parts, and who collectively can stomp on all the individual Lisp programmers out there, even though one-on-one a Lisper can run rings around a C programmer.

--Ron Garrett
Read the rest in Rondam Ramblings: Top ten geek business myths

Monday, December 11, 2006

I think there’ll be lots of forks, and I approve. I suspect that basement hackers and university CompSci departments and other unexpected parties will take the Java source, hack groovy improvements into it, compile it, and want to give it to the world. They’ll discover that getting their creation blessed as “Java” requires running the TCK/trademark gauntlet, which isn’t groovy at all. So they’ll think of a clever name for it and publish anyhow.

Which is terrific. I see no downside, and I see huge upside in that the Java mainstream can watch this kind of stuff and (because of the GPL) adopt it if it’s good, and make things better for everybody.

Remember: However many forks there are, it ain’t Java unless it’s called “Java” or has the coffee-cup on it. If it has the name and cup, it is Java and it’s compatible. And Sun will absolutely enforce that in court if we have to. We have in the past and we will again.

--Tim Bray
Read the rest in ongoing · Java Is Free

Friday, December 8, 2006
The Republican Party is not now, never was and never will be a conservative party. It is what it has always been – a representative of the rich and of big business.

--Charley Reese
Read the rest in No Conservative Party by Charley Reese

Tuesday, December 5, 2006
What Sun's actually done, and what almost no company before them has done, is to bend over backwards to do this right. They've resisted the siren-song of corporate counsel who feel the need to FUD their employer into paying them to invent entirely new legalise, which doesn't interoperate with anyone else's legalise.

--Roland Turner
Read the rest in Armadillo Reticence: Sun, Java and GPLv2

Monday, December 4, 2006
There’s class warfare, all right; but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.

--Warren Buffett
Read the rest in In Class Warfare, Guess Which Class Is Winning

Sunday, December 3, 2006
The faithful do resist the bogus certainties of religion—when they come from any religion but their own. Every Christian knows what it is like to find the claims of Muslims to be deeply suspect. Everyone who is not a Mormon knows at a glance that Mormonism is an obscenely stupid system of beliefs. Everyone has rejected an infinite number of spurious claims about God. The atheist simply rejects one more.

--Sam Harris
Read the rest in RichardDawkins.net

Saturday, December 2, 2006

We have won the "struggle to liberate Java" in the finest possible way: with Sun deciding to come with flying colors in support of setting Java free, and taking the leading position in that movement that they deserve, as the creators of the platform.

I’m very pleased with Sun’s execution of it all so far. For example, they’ve been very responsive to resolve questions about the licensing model from Java community members, who may not be familiar with the way the GPL or the Classpath exception works. They’ve done a great job on the FAQ for the OpenJDK project.

--Dalibor Topic
Read the rest in Cutting Free

Friday, December 1, 2006

People ask how I can be a conservative and still want higher taxes. It makes my head spin, and I guess it shows how old I am. But I thought that conservatives were supposed to like balanced budgets. I thought it was the conservative position to not leave heavy indebtedness to our grandchildren. I thought it was the conservative view that there should be some balance between income and outflow. When did this change?

Oh, now, now, now I recall. It changed when we figured that we could cut taxes and generate so much revenue that we would balance the budget. But isn’t that what doctors call magical thinking? Haven’t the facts proved that this theory, though charming and beguiling, was wrong?

--Ben Stein
Read the rest in In Class Warfare, Guess Which Class Is Winning

Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Just because you buy a DVD to watch at home doesn't give you the right to invite friends over to watch it too. That's a violation of copyright and denies us the revenue that would be generated from DVD sales to your friends.

--Dan Glickman, MPAA
Read the rest in BBspot

Monday, November 27, 2006
Java Standard Edition contains about 6 million lines of code. Our legal team had to go over it, line by line, and look for all copyright marks and third-party involvements. Where Sun didn't have the correct licenses, we had to contact the owners, one by one, and determine the rights.

--Mike Dillon, Sun General Counsel
Read the rest in Sun Pours Out Java Cup

Sunday, November 26, 2006
Anything that we scientists can do to weaken the hold of religion should be done and may in the end be our greatest contribution to civilization.

--Dr. Stephen Weinberg
Read the rest in A Free-for-All on Science and Religion

Saturday, November 25, 2006
The terms of the Vista EULA, like the current EULA related to the “Windows Genuine Advantage,” allows Microsoft to unilaterally decide that you have breached the terms of the agreement, and they can essentially disable the software, and possibly deny you access to critical files on your computer without benefit of proof, hearing, testimony or judicial intervention. In fact, if Microsoft is wrong, and your software is, in fact, properly licensed, you probably will be forced to buy a license to another copy of the operating system from Microsoft just to be able to get access to your files, and then you can sue Microsoft for the original license fee. Even then, you wont be able to get any damages from Microsoft, and may not even be able to get the cost of the first license back.

--Mark D. Rasch, J.D.
Read the rest in Vista's EULA Product Activation Worries

Friday, November 24, 2006
First let’s get something straight. The real Jean Grey committed suicide in “The Uncanny X-Men” #137 in 1980. Every issue since then with “Jean Grey” in it is a PACK OF LIES.

--Erik Even
Read the rest in Furinkan High School Kendo Club: The 20 Sexiest Sci

Thursday, November 23, 2006
For some strange reason, we got the end of last week off. As best I can determine, there was a surplus of turkeys in the turkey farms, and so the entire country had to be called into an emergency session of turkey eating. I've never seen this kind of thing happen before, it was weird. (Actually, come to think of it, when I was interning for Netscape there was a week in November where it seemed I was the only one working — I had assumed that there had just been some mysterious illness, but maybe it was related to this turkey emergency... It could be an annual thing. I'll have to keep an eye out next year, see if it happens again.)

--Ian Hickson
Read the rest in Hixie's Natural Log

Wednesday, November 22, 2006
People have been hesitant to distribute Java worldwide with Linux because of license alignment. This is the last gate to ensure that Java will be distributed worldwide.

--Rich Green, Sun Microsystems
Read the rest in Sun picks GPL license for Java code | Tech News on ZDNet

Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Anyone who tries to predict the long-term future effects of Free Java is braver than me. I have one concrete hope: that the people working on the GNU/Linux desktop can be unshackled from the tyranny of C++. Aside from that, who knows? Freedom is scary; but on balance I think Java’s new path will be more interesting and more profitable and more fun

--Tim Bray
Read the rest in ongoing · Java Is Free

Monday, November 20, 2006
If Java was an open standard, technologies like C# and the technologies it works with might not exist today.

--Bob Sutor, IBM
Read the rest in IBM pressures Sun to free Java - TechUpdate

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Over the last 7 years I have come to the following conclusions:

  1. There are no instances in which TDD is impossible.
  2. There are no instances in which TDD is not advantageous.
  3. The impediments to TDD are human, not technical.
  4. The alternative to TDD is code that is not repeatably testable.

--Robert Martin on the junit mailing list, Sunday, 17 Aug 2006 10:53:39

Friday, November 17, 2006
The JRE+JDK was a loss-leader from the outset; the intent was to get adoption as widespread as possible so that they could sell related products and services. Sadly, they were obsessively focussed on preventing forks, which meant no open-source licensing, which severely curtailed reach amongst their largest natural constituency (developers with horizons wider than "we use it because it comes from Microsoft"). Sun has at last realised this error, realised that trademark law makes it possible to prevent forks from creating confusion, perhaps even realised that the ability to fork is a good thing, not a bad thing.

--Roland Turner
Read the rest in Armadillo Reticence: Sun, Java and GPLv2

Thursday, November 16, 2006
As a rule of thumb, whenever multiple threads share data, you must make sure the relevant threads exchange monitor locks to ensure consistent memory views.

--Vladimir Roubtsov
Read the rest in The thread threat

Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Sun has firmly laid down the gauntlet to it's competitors to "walk the walk" and not just "talk the talk". Over the last few years we have had a number of them saying exactly the same thing to us. Well, the line has been firmly drawn in the sand. Sun has released it's two major crown jewels (Java and Solaris) as open source. Should we expect to see DB2 and Openview follow the same path from their respective owners, or shall they just continue to "talk the talk"?

--Alan Hargreaves
Read the rest in Alan Hargreaves' Weblog : Weblog

Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Sun's policy of GPLing Java which we are celebrating now is an extraordinary achievement in returning programming technology to that state of freely available knowledge that people can share and improve together. It's a crucial step in the process of turning the technology today into knowledge that people can use freely to make the technology of tomorrow.

--Eben Moglen
Read the rest in Alan Hargreaves' Weblog : Weblog

Monday, November 13, 2006
I think Sun has well, with this contribution have contributed more than any other company to the free software community in the form of software. It shows leadership. It's an example I hope others will follow

--Richard M. Stallman, Free Software Foundation
Read the rest in Alan Hargreaves' Weblog : Weblog

Sunday, November 12, 2006
How do you decide between C#, Java, PHP, and Python? The only real difference is which one you know better. If you have a serious Java guru on your team who has build several large systems successfully with Java, you're going to be a hell of a lot more successful with Java than with C#, not because Java is a better language (it's not, but the differences are too minor to matter) but because he knows it better.

--Joel Spolsky
Read the rest in Joel on Software

Saturday, November 11, 2006
The war is over and Linux won.

--Dana Blankenhorn
Read the rest in Open Source | ZDNet.com

Friday, November 10, 2006
I actually have been doing a lot of work over the years in the real time world, and once upon a time, I’d get people from the real time world, particularly folks from the really spooky end, like the people who do flight avionics, and they say “I’d like to do this in Java”. And I’d say “I don’t really think I’d like to get on your airplane”. And then they’d say, “Do you want to know how we do it today?”, and it was always much, much scarier.

--James Gosling
Read the rest in James Gosling Q & A: Builder AU: Program: At Work

Thursday, November 9, 2006
Tomorrow you're all going to wake up in a brave new world, a world where the constitution gets trampled by an army of terrorist clones created in a stem-cell research lab run by homosexual doctors who sterilize their instruments over burning American flags; where tax and spend Democrats take all your hard-earned money and use it to buy electric cars for National Public Radio and teach evolution to illegal immigrants. Oh, and everybody's high!

--Stephen Colbert
See the rest in Colbert calls it quits

Wednesday, November 8, 2006
Extending a class that you don't have source code for is always risky; the documentation may be incomplete in ways you can't foresee.

--Peter Norvig
Read the rest in Java IAQ: Infrequently Answered Questions

Tuesday, November 7, 2006
IN ORDER TO CATCH THE REPUBLICANS STEALING YOUR VOTE, YOU FIRST HAVE TO VOTE. There are huge and valid concerns about the new electronic voting machines that must be addressed. It is far too easy to use new technology to rig the vote. But if your fear of that leads you to decide that you shouldn't bother voting, well, then, I guess they've succeeded in snuffing out your voice without having to rig the machine. Make them break the law if they want to win. Vote. We'll catch them if they do. I promise.

--Michael Moore
Read the rest in MichaelMoore.com : 5 Good Reasons to Vote Today ... a letter from Michael Moore

Monday, November 6, 2006
At this point, nobody should have any illusions about Mr. Bush’s character. To put it bluntly, he’s an insecure bully who believes that owning up to a mistake, any mistake, would undermine his manhood — and who therefore lives in a dream world in which all of his policies are succeeding and all of his officials are doing a heckuva job. Just last week he declared himself “pleased with the progress we’re making” in Iraq.

--Paul Krugman
Read the rest in Limiting the Damage

Sunday, November 5, 2006

A true conservative is fiscally responsible. Laying debt and interest payments on posterity is neither conservative nor liberal. It is just obscenely irresponsible.

A true conservative believes in noninterference in the affairs of other countries. Regime change is a policy favored by fascists or communists, but it has nothing to do with American conservatism. Americans have the right to govern only one country – their own. Americans have an obligation to defend only one country – their own.

A true conservative believes in a free economy and that beyond protecting the public from force and fraud, the government should not interfere in private affairs.

There are a lot of other things that define a genuine conservative, but suffice it to say that the Republican Party, with its imperialistic foreign policy, its disdain for the Constitution and the rule of law, its fiscal irresponsibility and its erosion of personal liberty, is not by any stretch of the imagination a conservative party.

--Charley Reese
Read the rest in No Conservative Party by Charley Reese

Saturday, November 4, 2006

if I'm really excited about solving a problem, the first thing I do is quickly throw together methods and prototype it until I get the right bits on the screen or the right behavior. That's my proof of concept. It might take an afternoon or a couple of hours.

But once I've proved that it works, I start thinking about how to properly design the API. Working on a toolkit team, or anywhere in Sun, we're writing code for others to use, so we have to think about creating the right API. Once we have committed to it, we can never pull it from the JDK. So we design it with developers in mind. There's a big difference between making it work really quickly for me and actually designing it flexibly. There's a lot to consider.

--Shannon Hickey
Read the rest in Meet Shannon Hickey, Technical Lead for the Swing Toolkit Team at Sun Microsystems

Friday, November 3, 2006

when I think about what killed most of the startups in the e-commerce business back in the 90s, it was bad programmers. A lot of those companies were started by business guys who thought the way startups worked was that you had some clever idea and then hired programmers to implement it. That's actually much harder than it sounds—almost impossibly hard in fact—because business guys can't tell which are the good programmers. They don't even get a shot at the best ones, because no one really good wants a job implementing the vision of a business guy.

--Paul Graham
Read the rest in The 18 Mistakes That Kill Startups

Thursday, November 2, 2006

You can also use a fake boarding pass to fly on someone else's ticket. The trick is to have two boarding passes: one legitimate, in the name the reservation is under, and another phony one that matches the name on your photo ID. Use the fake boarding pass in your name to get through airport security, and the real ticket in someone else's name to board the plane.

This means that a terrorist on the no-fly list can get on a plane: He buys a ticket in someone else's name, perhaps using a stolen credit card, and uses his own photo ID and a fake ticket to get through airport security. Since the ticket is in an innocent's name, it won't raise a flag on the no-fly list.

You can also use a fake boarding pass instead of your real one if you have the "SSSS" mark and want to avoid secondary screening, or if you don't have a ticket but want to get into the gate area.

--Bruce Schneier
Read the rest in Wired News: The Boarding Pass Brouhaha

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

In short, it really sucks looking around at the wreckage that is my party and realizing that the only decent thing to do is to pull the plug on them (or help). I am not really having any fun attacking my old friends- but I don’t know how else to respond when people call decent men like Jim Webb a pervert for no other reason than to win an election. I don’t know how to deal with people who think savaging a man with Parkinson’s for electoral gain is appropriate election-year discourse. I don’t know how to react to people who think that calling anyone who disagrees with them on Iraq a “terrorist-enabler” than to swing back. I don’t know how to react to people who think that media reports of party hacks in the administration overruling scientists on issues like global warming, endangered species, intelligent design, prescription drugs, etc., are signs of… liberal media bias.

And it makes me mad. I still think of myself as a Republican- but I think the whole party has been hijacked by frauds and religionists and crooks and liars and corporate shills, and it frustrates me to no end to see my former friends enabling them, and I wonder ‘Why can’t they see what I see?”

--John Cole
Read the rest in Balloon Juice

Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Java EE's days have been numbered for a while now. Clearly, every time a new version comes out or module gets added, it only adds to the complexity. Eventually, it'll simply collapse under its own weight. It's not like there will be a future version of Java EE that's more lightweight than its predecessor.

--Jason Bloomberg, ZapThink
Read the rest in Analysts see Java EE dying in an SOA world

Monday, October 30, 2006
I find it interesting that Republicans like Senator Hatch repeatedly want to deregulate businesses but regulate the individual and it proves time and again that this is not the government conservatives espouse as being small and limited. It's "We want to be in control of your daily lives to the extent that we're watching what you're doing on your computers, we're watching whether you're violating any corporate copyrights. We're going to be the unpaid copyright police for the corporations."

--Pete Ashdown
Read the rest in Wired News: Techie Faces Orrin Hatch Nov. 7

Sunday, October 29, 2006
There's an infinite number of things that we can't disprove. You might say that because science can explain just about everything but not quite, it's wrong to say therefore we don't need God. It is also, I suppose, wrong to say we don't need the Flying Spaghetti Monster, unicorns, Thor, Wotan, Jupiter, or fairies at the bottom of the garden. There's an infinite number of things that some people at one time or another have believed in, and an infinite number of things that nobody has believed in. If there's not the slightest reason to believe in any of those things, why bother? The onus is on somebody who says, I want to believe in God, Flying Spaghetti Monster, fairies, or whatever it is. It is not up to us to disprove it.

--Richard Dawkins
Read the rest in Wired News: Battle of the New Atheism

Friday, October 27, 2006
Right now, there are two main groups, the Alliance and the Horde, which roughly correspond to "good" and "evil," although when most of your quests involve committing murder for a bribe, the moral distinction becomes tricky. I suggest they give us a third faction, the "apathetic" faction. The group's quests will all involve posting on message boards about how both sides are equally stupid and there's no point in trying because frankly demons are going to invade our dimension whether or not we do anything so everyone should just quit whining, except for people who are whining about how everyone's whining. When you get to 70th level, someone creates a Wikipedia article about you.

--Lore Sjöberg
Read the rest in Wired News: Warcraft Wonders of Tomorrow

Thursday, October 26, 2006
I am quite convinced that test-first is a good approach to a huge majority of software situations. It is my default position. When, as very rarely happens, this approach leads to an apparent impasse, I will expend significant energy to find a way through before abandoning the test-first approach.

--Robert Martin on the junit mailing list, Sunday, 1 Jun 2006 08:41:34

Wednesday, October 25, 2006
One of the basic rules of debugging applies: any given bug is far more likely to be in your code than in the library. (Not "must be", but definitely "far more likely to be".) Can you create a *simple* program that demonstrates the problem?

--Glen Fisher
Read the rest in Re: Java Spelling Framework bugs

Tuesday, October 24, 2006
don’t be shocked when our grandkids bury much of this generation as traitors to the nation, to the world and to humanity.

--Kevin Tillman
Read the rest in Truthdig - Reports

Monday, October 23, 2006

I learned long ago that it was a waste of my time to smile and nod as if I understood the conversation, just to be able to pretend that I knew something. Especially if I then turned around and reiterated my misunderstanding to another smile-and-nodder, so that eventually everyone got the wrong idea. Much better to just suck it up and say "I don't know what that means." I try to be very aggressive with myself about this, telling myself not to let anything slide and to ask the question. This has the important secondary benefit of discovering whether the person explaining the topic really knows what they're talking about.

My perception is that for an organization to be able to consume consulting, they must have that same attitude, but on a group scale. Maturity is when you don't say "uh oh, here's something that I don't know, and maybe other people will discover that and think that I'm stupid." Instead, you have enough experience to know that you are competent and valuable, and yet "I know some things, but there is a ton of stuff I don't know, and if I never ask the question I'll never learn any more."

--Bruce Eckel
Read the rest in Testing vs. Reviews

Sunday, October 22, 2006
I recently ported a medium-sized Python program I'd written (about 1200 lines of fairly dense Python code) to Java, because the Python was taking about an hour to run, and I wanted to parallelize the work. I spent about 3 days doing the rewrite: one day on the straight port, a day adding in the threading, and a day fine-tuning it. The straight port wound up as 1300 lines of Java (surprising that it wasn't bigger, but maybe I code in Python with a Java accent?), and ran about 50% faster, down to about 30 minutes. After adding in the threading and state machine, the program ran in 50 to 60 seconds. So I got an order of magnitude improvement with only about a 50% increase overall in program size.

--Steve Yegge
Read the rest in Stevey's Blog Rants: Blogger's Block #4: Ruby and Java and Stuff

Friday, October 20, 2006

Mostly, in the end, it appears that Java on the client lost out to Flash of all things! This must be embarrassing for Sun, but it puts Java in its place. It couldn't even be competitive in the most inessential of tasks.

--Larry Seltzer
Read the rest in Java's Momentum Is Running Low

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Platform is a vague word. It could mean an operating system, or a programming language, or a "framework" built on top of a programming language. It implies something that both supports and limits, like the foundation of a house.

The scary thing about platforms is that there are always some that seem to outsiders to be fine, responsible choices and yet, like Windows in the 90s, will destroy you if you choose them. Java applets were probably the most spectacular example. This was supposed to be the new way of delivering applications. Presumably it killed just about 100% of the startups who believed that.

--Paul Graham
Read the rest in The 18 Mistakes That Kill Startups

Wednesday, October 18, 2006
It is possible to write functioning programs entirely with public, static variables. Mind you, it's not a good idea, but it can be done - it's just harder, and more fragile. The value of encapsulation is that it makes it possible to analyze the behavior of a portion of a program without having to review the code for the entire program.

--Brian Goetz
Read the rest in Testing Concurrent Programs

Tuesday, October 17, 2006
we could do away with the whole standards thing very easily if a few customers just exercised their economic power a little bit intelligently. Big customers have huge power, but they seem to have forgotten that. If the CTOs of 10 FORTUNE 500 firms announced that they were deferring further purchases of VPN products until they saw proof of interoperability, and open published specifications that weren't encumbered by patents or licenses, the whole market would standardize practically overnight. Because the truth is nobody cares about standards - everyone cares about what you can do with interoperable systems. If customers just openly refused to do business with vendors that produce non-interoperable systems, the whole thing would clear up really fast.

--Marcus Ranum
Read the rest in Interview with Marcus Ranum

Monday, October 16, 2006
That reminds me of when I started out as a programmer and I was very intimidated by the fact that I knew so little and everyone else must know so much. After a while I got some experience but it was not "real" experience, we didn't have really good control over what we were doing so I dreamt of working on a "real" team, you know the kind they must have in banks and when developing medical equipment and such... Later I have been working at a bank and I know more than I would like to know about development of medical equipment.

--Joakim Ohlrogge on the junit mailing list, Friday, 4 Aug 2006 12:54:46

Sunday, October 15, 2006

This issue is no different than searching airplane pilots, something that regularly elicits howls of laughter among amateur security watchers. What they don't realize is that the issue is not whether we should trust pilots, airplane maintenance technicians or people with clearances. The issue is whether we should trust people who are dressed as pilots, wear airplane-maintenance-tech IDs or claim to have clearances.

We have two choices: Either build an infrastructure to verify their claims, or assume that they're false. And with apologies to pilots, maintenance techs and people with clearances, it's cheaper, easier and more secure to search you all.

--Bruce Schneier
Read the rest in Wired News: Why Everyone Must Be Screened

Sunday, October 15, 2006
why does everyone use ArrayList and hate Vectors these days? Because Vector is synchronized and is slower (or because it's trendy to use the later collection APIs to show how superior you are?) Try it sometime. Add a million objects to a collection and get them out again. Which is faster? The winner is... Vector.

--Rolf Howarth on the java-dev mailing list, Friday, 4 Feb 2005 07:44:53

Friday, October 13, 2006
It's an urban myth that final actually speeds up anything in Java, just like it's an urban myth that synchronized blocks slow it down. Both may have been true in Java 1.0 but ain't any longer. A modern JIT compiler is almost certainly waaaay cleverer than you, so don't try and second guess it. Just write code that does what it's supposed to and is easy to read and let the compiler worry about low level optimisations.

--Rolf Howarth on the java-dev mailing list, Friday, 4 Feb 2005 07:44:53

Thursday, October 12, 2006
I don't have a problem with anyone protecting their intellectual property and making sure that they are paid fairly for their work, but I am dismayed when, time after time, they seem to blur the line between fair use and piracy. The more that legitimate users are being made to feel like they have been cheated out of being able to use what they've paid for, the more people are being pushed into looking for tools that allow them to circumvent copy protection … simply to use what they paid for. That sets a worrying trend that will ultimately make things worse for the movie and recording industry. Imagine if keys were outlawed and people had to turn to lockpicks to get into their own homes? Would that make us all more secure? I doubt it! The same thing is happening here. The entertainment industry is forcing ordinary users to look for tools to bust copy protection in order to use a product they’ve paid for, ordinary users feels abused and ripped off by a big, faceless corporation, and the next time they want a song or movie, they're less likely to pay for it and more likely to acquire it through other channels.

--Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
Read the rest in » Protect DVD-Video

Wednesday, October 11, 2006
The Java Virtual Machine is reasonably general purpose. Over the years there have been literally hundreds of languages built on top of it, most of which nobody has really cared enough about. So, when you take a language and you host it on the Java Virtual Machine, you get really interesting portability, if you do it right you can get very interesting performance and most of all what you get is the ability to interoperate and interact across languages – having stuff written in JRuby directly calling stuff written in Python or Jython or Groovy. There's even a compiler for Visual Basic to target the Java Virtual Machine. The traditional way of implementing programming languages is one where they're all individual islands that don't really interoperate at any level that's more fine grained than network protocols. You can't call similar APIs without breaking it into a server and calling across address faces, something that's fairly expensive. The Virtual Machine is what lets them be one big reasonably happy family.

--James Gosling
Read the rest in James Gosling: For Ruby or Ajax or SOA, it's NetBeans

Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Dynamic code feels great to program in. After the first day you have half the system built. I did a huge portion of my thesis work in Python and it was a life saver. Thesis work doesn’t need to be bug free, it is the quintessential proof-of-concept (and yet so many CS students, when faced with a problem, break out the C++). But I have also worked on a large, multi-programmer, multi-year project, and this was not so pleasent. A large dynamically typed code base exhibits all the problems you would expect: interfaces are poorly documented and ever changing, uncommon code paths produce errors that would be caught by type checking, and IDE support is weak. The saving grace is that one person can do so much more in Python or Ruby that maybe you can turn your 10 programmer program into three one programmer programs and win out big, but this isn’t possible in a lot of domains. It is odd that evangelists for dynamic languages (many of whom have never worked on a large, dynamically-typed project) seem to want to deny that static type-checking finds errors, rather than just saying that type-checking isn’t worth the trouble when you are writing code trapped between a dynamically typed database interface and a string-only web interface.

--Jay Kreps
Read the rest in Empathy Box :: 5 Principles For Programming

Sunday, October 8, 2006
If you copy-n-paste a handler half a dozen times, each time making minor changes, it's a good bet that the resulting code can be rearranged to separate the bits that stay the same from the bits that changed; the former become a generic handler and the latter into additional parameters to that handler. Bloat and complexity are reduced, which makes for better code, plus you've also now got a nice reusable handler you can use the next time.

--Hamish Sanderson on the applescript-users mailing list, Sunday, 29 Sep 2005 23:05:39

Saturday, October 7, 2006
Programmers have very well-honed senses of justice. Code either works, or it doesn’t. There’s no sense in arguing whether a bug exists, since you can test the code and find out. The world of programming is very just and very strictly ordered and a heck of a lot of people go into programming in the first place because they prefer to spend their time in a just, orderly place, a strict meritocracy where you can win any debate simply by being right.

--Joel Spolsky
Read the rest in A Field Guide to Developers

Friday, October 6, 2006
C/C++ datatypes were based on the pysical host architecture and not on the effective data model that people want when developing portable applications; this is the major cause of the complexity of porting C/C++ applications across platforms, and even the most "portable" libaries are in fact "ported" by adding lots of modifications and conditional macros that are alien to the effective semantics of the language.

--Philippe Verdy on the unicode mailing list, Sunday, 21 Sep 2006 23:38:54

Thursday, October 5, 2006

The oil interests fought the increased mileage requirements for new cars and trucks. They lobbied Congress for tax breaks and environmental waivers. Oil companies have received direct subsidies that add up to more than $120 billion, according to the General Accounting Office, and substantially more in indirect subsidies. When the EPA decided that the lead in gasoline was a serious health hazard and pushed for its removal, the oil companies spent millions fighting the change.

Today they are fighting for waiver from MBTE pollution liability and avoiding responsibility for carcinogenic benzene in our air. When municipalities in California decided to purchase cleaner natural gas buses, the diesel industry sued to block the switch. At every turn in the history of our oil dependence, the oil companies have spent their considerable fortune to make sure that we as a nation remained dependent on oil. They did this in large part by lobbying Congress, by providing congressmembers with large amounts of campaign cash, and by trying to suppress cleaner, cheaper alternatives to oil.

--Vinod Khosla
Read the rest in Wired 14.10: My Big Biofuels Bet

Wednesday, October 4, 2006
It matters not one whit that you and all your buddies think that your idea is the greatest thing since sliced pizza (unless, of course, your buddies are rich enough to be the customer base for your business). What matters is what your customers think. It is natural to assume that if you and your buddies think your idea is cool that millions of other people out there will think it's cool too, and sometimes it works out that way, but usually not. The reason is that if you are smart enough to have a brilliant idea then you (and most likely your buddies) are different from everyone else. I don't mean to sound condescending here, but the sad fact of the matter is that compared to you, most people are pretty dumb (look at how many people vote Republican ;-) and they care about dumb things. (I just heard about a new clothing store in Pasadena that has lines around the block. A clothing store!) If you cater only to people who care about the things that you care about then your customer base will be pretty small.

--Ron Garrett
Read the rest in Rondam Ramblings: Top ten geek business myths

Tuesday, October 3, 2006
secrecy is the essence of evil.

--Len Bullard on the xml-dev mailing list, Friday, 29 Sep 2006 10:47:43

Monday, October 2, 2006
I think that conspiracy-mongering on 9/11 is a waste of time. The far greater conspiracy occurred after 9/11 when basically a neo-cabal inside our government hijacked policy and went to war. That was as broad a conspiracy as we can get and it was about 20, 30 people. That's all, they took over

--Oliver Stone
Read the rest in CNN.com - Oliver Stone: 'I'm ashamed for my country'

Sunday, October 1, 2006
people always say static typing catches more errors at compile time. It is true, but these are the sort of errors that raraly occur anyhow and are usually trivial to notice, find and fix (if you have tests). And static typing makes you pay a high price for preventing these trivial errors - it's not just the type declarations for the vars, the impact goes a lot deeper.

--Antti Karanta on the junit mailing list, Friday, 3 Feb 2006 13:07:17

Saturday, September 30, 2006
Eclipse development is far out-pacing its open source rival. This is likely because Eclipse benefits from a huge and growing ecosystem of contributors around the world, many of whom work on commercial software based on Eclipse RCP. Despite intense marketing and bundling efforts, and breaking down the barriers between the NetBeans and JDK teams, Sun has so far failed to put a dent in Eclipse's momentum. If you can't beat 'em…

--Ed Burnette
Read the rest in » NetBeans 6.0M3 vs. Eclipse 3.3M2 | Ed Burnette's Dev Connection | ZDNet.com

Friday, September 29, 2006
I'm not in the business of using code to protect people from their own carelessness. I provide good documentation in the form of a roadmap, some Javadoc and tests. If, after all that, they insist on being careless or lazy, then they deserve whatever they get.

--J. B. Rainsberger on the junit mailing list, Friday, 02 Sep 2005 08:35:49

Thursday, September 28, 2006

People no longer necessarily install Java, and they don't notice it missing when it's not there.

Years ago, there were numerous sites I went to that had Java components on them for displaying data in ways richer than HTML could handle. Nowadays this is the province of Flash and AJAX.

Nobody uses Java for it, and if more sophisticated and intensive computation needs to be performed it is done on the server, not the client.

--Larry Seltzer
Read the rest in Java's Momentum Is Running Low

Wednesday, September 27, 2006
My big complaint with Mac OS security is that things like FileVault and secure virtual memory shouldn't be options -- they should be defaults. I believe that it's unethical for the computer to give the appearance of deleting information while actually leaving that information on the disk; computers shouldn't lie (explicitly or implicitly) to their users.

--Simson Garfinkel
Read the rest in Safe storage, Mac style

Tuesday, September 26, 2006
if every one of 110 million American households bought just one ice-cream-cone bulb, took it home, and screwed it in the place of an ordinary 60-watt bulb, the energy saved would be enough to power a city of 1.5 million people. One bulb swapped out, enough electricity saved to power all the homes in Delaware and Rhode Island. In terms of oil not burned, or greenhouse gases not exhausted into the atmosphere, one bulb is equivalent to taking 1.3 million cars off the roads.

--Christopher Griffith
Read the rest in How Many Lightbulbs Does it Take to Change the World? One. And You're Looking At It.

Monday, September 25, 2006
In five years, Java EE will be the CORBA of the 21st Century. People will look at it and say, "It had its time but nobody uses it any more because it was too complicated."

--Richard Monson-Haefel
Read the rest in Analysts see Java EE dying in an SOA world

Saturday, September 23, 2006
What has to be especially satisfying about this plan for Apple is that there is literally no response even possible from its greatest competitor -- Microsoft. The level of technical sophistication and application integration required to make this work is beyond Microsoft within the next year or five years from now. So where Windows Vista will bring a variety of older Apple OS features to the PC desktop, Apple's Leopard will go far past the desktop metaphor altogether and introduce friggin' TELEPORTATION.

--Mark Stephens
Read the rest in PBS | I, Cringely . September 22, 2006

Friday, September 22, 2006
What WiMP11 represents is one of the biggest thefts of your rights that I can think of. MS planned this, pushed the various pieces slowly, and this is the first big hammer to drop. Your rights, the promises they made, and anything else that gets in the way of the content mafia making yet more money gets thrown out. Why? Greed. Your rights? History. You were dumb enough to let it happen, don't say I didn't warn you.

--Charlie Demerjian
Read the rest in Microsoft Media Player shreds your rights

Thursday, September 21, 2006

we must recall in this room that in just a few days there will be another anniversary. Thirty years will have passed from this other horrendous terrorist attack on the Cuban plane, where 73 innocents died, a Cubana de Aviacion airliner.

And where is the biggest terrorist of this continent who took the responsibility for blowing up the plane? He spent a few years in jail in Venezuela. Thanks to CIA and then government officials, he was allowed to escape, and he lives here in this country, protected by the government.

And he was convicted. He has confessed to his crime. But the U.S. government has double standards. It protects terrorism when it wants to.

And this is to say that Venezuela is fully committed to combating terrorism and violence. And we are one of the people who are fighting for peace.

Luis Posada Carriles is the name of that terrorist who is protected here. And other tremendously corrupt people who escaped from Venezuela are also living here under protection: a group that bombed various embassies, that assassinated people during the coup. They kidnapped me and they were going to kill me, but I think God reached down and our people came out into the streets and the army was too, and so I'm here today.

But these people who led that coup are here today in this country protected by the American government. And I accuse the American government of protecting terrorists and of having a completely cynical discourse.

--President Hugo Chavez (translated)
Read the rest in President Hugo Chavez Delivers Remarks at the U.N. General Assembly

Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Everyone in Iraq knows Bush is a dickhead. He's the boss' kid. Everybody I know who has a successful business who has a kid - the kid is always a fuckhead. Have you ever noticed that?

--Jesse James

Tuesday, September 19, 2006
I've always been a big fan of diversity and diversity certainly has its dark sides and it's like it's really confusing. The thing that Java tries to do and is actually remarkably successful at is spanning a lot of different domains, so you can do app server work, you can do cell phone work, you can do scientific programming, you can write software, do interplanetary navigation, all kinds of stuff in Java, whereas a lot of these other languages get a lot of their strength from being fairly domain specific. And at some level I don't really care about the programming language. What I really care about is the underlying semantics and the ability for things to interconnect.

--James Gosling
Read the rest in James Gosling: For Ruby or Ajax or SOA, it's NetBeans

Monday, September 18, 2006
Software development is, ultimately, controlled innovation - a software developer (unlike nearly all other professionals) is typically required to innovate on a daily basis. In only comparatively rare cases do software developers get to keep the fruits of their innovation; far more often they will receive wages that, when actual time versus "in-seat" time is calculated, place them fairly low down the totem pole in comparison to most other professionals. I'd argue that for most of the programmers working today on Longhorn, Microsoft will likely be making $100 return on investment for every $1 spent on compensation - with the resulting IP owned by Microsoft to boot. Not a bad return for a shared office, a few cola machines and strategically placed foosball games.

--Kurt Cagle on the xml-dev mailing list, Monday, 6 Jun 2005 16:41:24

Saturday, September 16, 2006

At one time, the term alpha test meant something that was feature complete but had known bugs, and the term beta test was likewise feature complete and had no known bugs.

The purpose of an alpha test was to find out whether the feature set was what the users needed, and a beta would be the version shipped to manufacturing if the test showed no significant issues.

With XP, this sequence has reversed: an iteration test version should be defect free but be feature incomplete.

--John Roth on the fitnesse mailing list, Monday, 11 Sep 2006 16:05:20

Friday, September 15, 2006
And all of them have every right to BE RIGHT. All of them, ARE right. The problem comes if anybody believes that one institution, one product, one single leadership team can synthesise all of that into something which is optimal for EVERYBODY. It’s just not possible to deliver one thing which is optimal for two sets of conflicting requirements, let alone those of a thousand or so of the smartest, most passionate, and lets face it most eclectic of the world’s free software developers.

--Mark Shuttleworth
Read the rest in Mark Shuttleworth » Blog Archive » Conflicting goals create tension in communities

Wednesday, September 13, 2006
It is always possible to write tests first. The question is whether it is always practical. There are some situations, specifically having to do with untested legacy code, in which the cost to write tests is so high that manual testing might be cheaper; at least in the short term. But over time those situations can be mitigated to make testing easier.

--Robert Martin on the junit mailing list, Sunday, 1 Jun 2006 20:46:33

Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Remember the ASSSSS principle - A Simple Site Saves Stress Sometimes.

--David Matusiak on the webgroup mailing list, Monday, 11 Sep 2006 11:26:30

Sunday, September 10, 2006
Today, in the West, there are no good excuses for religious belief - unless we think that ignorance, reaction and sentimentality are good excuses.

--Martin Amis
Read the rest in The Observer | Review | The age of horrorism (part one)

Friday, September 8, 2006
trying to make digital files uncopyable is like trying to make water not wet.

--Bruce Schneier
Read the rest in Wired News: Quickest Patch Ever

Thursday, September 7, 2006
What kind of contract includes a provision that one of the parties has the right to violate the contract with impunity? Well, the Windows XP EULA for one, as an interesting analysis of Microsoft's legalese points out.

--Ed Foster
Read the rest in InfoWorld GripeLine by Ed Foster | InfoWorld | A Contract Only Microsoft Can Break | September 5, 2006 12:08 AM | By Ed Foster

Wednesday, September 6, 2006
When Java was first released, performance was that of a middling interpreted language - now it is as fast as any compiled language (including C) and only the design of your application holds back performance,

--Jack Shirazi on the Java Performance Tuning Newsletter mailing list, Sunday, 31 Mar 2005 14:34:42

Saturday, September 2, 2006

Some people want the future of desktop Java to lie in rebuilding existing Java apps. This was the vision in the late '90s. Today some think Java apps have failed on the desktop because they don't see lots of Java technology-based word processors, spreadsheets, or graphics apps. It was shortsighted of us to think that developers would rewrite all of their old apps to run in the Java programming language. Existing apps aren't written in Java software or Perl or Ruby or .NET or anything else new simply because they haven't been rewritten at all. Existing apps are still in C++ and always will be.

The future of desktop Java technology -- and the future of other new languages and runtimes -- is in new kinds of applications, often talking to web-based services. I'm thinking of something like iTunes, where a web service, the music store, is as much a part of the application as the local app itself.

--Joshua Marinacci
Read the rest in Meet Josh Marinacci of the Swing Toolkit Team at Sun Microsystems

Friday, September 1, 2006
typically on new projects there's a long evaluation period where you decide what technology to use, along with lots of debates that include some crazy person actually wasting quite a lot of time evaluating Squeak and Lisp and OCaml and lots of other languages which are totally, truly brilliant programming languages worthy of great praise, but just don't have the gigantic ecosystem you need around them if you want to develop web software. These debates are enormously fun and a total and utter waste of time, because the bottom line is that there are three and a half platforms (C#, Java, PHP, and a half Python) that are all equally likely to make you successful, an infinity of platforms where you're pretty much guaranteed to fail spectacularly when it's too late to change anything (Lisp, ISAPI DLLs written in C, Perl), and a handful of platforms where The Jury Is Not In, So Why Take The Risk When Your Job Is On The Line? (Ruby on Rails).

--Joel Spolsky
Read the rest in Joel on Software

Thursday, August 31, 2006
It's interesting how many bugs you can find in ancient code that thousands of people use every day

--Jeremias Maerki on the fop-dev mailing list, Tuesday, 30 Aug 2005 21:22:01

Wednesday, August 30, 2006
A good programmer can write a better program in a more appropriate language.

--Dan Saks

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I took the classic approach to software development:

  1. encounter a bug
  2. blame the tool
  3. post to the mailing list and complain about it
  4. read the docs
  5. find own mistake and crawl back into my corner ;-)

--Ralph Scheuer on the java-dev mailing list, Tuesday, 30 Aug 2005 15:38:11

Monday, August 28, 2006
Test your multi-threaded code on an unusually slow system. We developed a bunch of code that passed its unit tests just fine when run from our desktops (fast single processor WinXP machines) and on our CruiseControl server (fast dual processor Linux machine). But when we tried running it on a quad processor PIII, stuff failed that we thought for months was safe and sound.

--Todd Bradley on the junit mailing list, Friday, 25 Aug 2006 09:02:09

Sunday, August 27, 2006
Third World lives are worth much less than the European lives. That is what colonialism was all about.

--Srirupa Prasad, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Read the rest in Wired News: Testing Drugs on India's Poor

Saturday, August 26, 2006
That's one of the nice things about living in Cleveland: visiting just about any other city in the US a really cool experience.

--Alex Papadimoulis
Read the rest in The Daily WTF

Friday, August 25, 2006
The biggest problem with Swing was that it can do so much that it’s kind of become like the 747 cockpit if you like APIs. There’s a lot of complexity there, and the hard part is figuring out how to use it. It’s in this weird situation where pretty much anything you can want to do in Swing, you can do easily. But what’s hard is to figure out the easy path through all of the different options, the different ways you can do things. Once you figure out the one true path to get what you want done, then it’s pretty easy. People often say “Why don’t you just make it easier by simplifying it?”, and say, “so you simplify it in this way, it would make my life better”. But then for the next guy it would be worse, because he wants to not go there, he wants to go on this particular path. So it’s been difficult to manage the complexity right.

--James Gosling
Read the rest in James Gosling Q & A: Builder AU: Program: At Work

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Any programmer that cannot follow rule N cannot follow rule M. My experience is that refusal to follow coding conventions is a warning flag, and that more serious problems will eventually appear.

This is especially true for rules where the intent is to produce code that can be manipulated by others. A programmer that refuses to do this is costing money, and very likely doing so deliberately (with job security in mind).

--Andrew Gideon on the wwwac mailing list, Sunday, Fri, 11 Aug 2006 14:18:15

Wednesday, August 23, 2006
we had chosen PHP for a big Web application. That choice turned out well for a while—until we tried to maintain the application. Even though productivity [with PHP] was high, maintainability was horrible, and maintaining that application became a huge hassle. It was still the early days of PHP 4, and the PHP project had a habit of fixing critical bugs in minor version upgrades. Some of those changes made the APIs incompatible with previous versions. Since PHP had no static type checking or a compilation phase, you had to verify every page manually to see if that page still loaded after a minor upgrade.

--Geert Bevin
Read the rest in The Philosophy of RIFE

Tuesday, August 22, 2006
We're quite happy with the momentum and direction we have with Netbeans, and we're quite happy that Eclipse exists. Eclipse several years ago was relatively far ahead of Netbeans from a technology and functionality standpoint, and Eclipse really made Netbeans a lot better. The competition between us is a good thing for Java developers against the proprietary closed-source models that others are using to compete against the Java ecosystem

--Dan Roberts, director of marketing for developer tools, Sun
Read the rest in Sun: We're happy with Eclipse, honest... | The Register

Monday, August 21, 2006
While we’re at it, yes, it’s miraculous and wonderful that the plot was foiled, if it was. But now the whole Western world will be seriously inconvenienced in its travel for years, maybe decades. Isn’t this already a victory for our enemies? Isn’t this already a blow against world business? Might it be enough to push our already slowed growth into a recession?

--Ben Stein
Read the rest in Looking for the Will Beyond the Battlefield

Sunday, August 20, 2006

I'd like to make two quick points in favor of static typing:

  • The value is not so much about robustness (I agree that mis-casts are rare) but about documentation. I do a lot of code reviews every day and I can tell you that reviewing Python or Ruby is an order of magnitude harder than reviewing Java because I can never tell what types are expected from method signatures.

  • Refactoring in dynamically typed languages is inherently unsafe. You can't even rename a method reliably. I'm glad it worked for you, but you need to keep in mind that renaming in a dynamically typed language is nothing more than a string replace. Use with caution.

--Cédric Beust on the junit mailing list, Monday, 6 Feb 2006 08:40:05

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Java start-up time is the number one ill of the whole Java phenomenon. This single fault killed the Java applet concept, and spawned the application server market: "Hey, that Java thing starts so slowly, why don't we pre-start a Java process, and cramp all of our applications into that one instance."

It really is unforgivable that after ten years, we are still suffering from the slow-start-ness of Java.

--Weiqi Gao
Read the rest in The First Thing I Would Do When I Get My Hands On Open Source Sun-Java ...

Thursday, August 17, 2006
Despite what some parts of the media industry would like us to believe, copyright does not and is not intended to give authors complete control over all use of anything someone might have written.

--John Levine on the cbp mailing list, Sunday, Aug 2006 01:02:04

Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Smalltalk was more of a conceptual breakthrough than Java, but Smalltalk itself had several important predecessors from which it borrowed programming concepts. Java is a broadly successful synthesis of predecessor ideas plus its own unique networking-oriented innovations--just right for the Internet. Java will still be broadly used long after Smalltalk has contracted to a smaller and smaller niche.

--Charles Babcock
Read the rest in InformationWeek Weblog: 5 That Almost Made The List Of Greatest Software Ever

Tuesday, August 15, 2006
While you may think you (or your colleague) couldn't possibly get used to a different format, empirical evidence otherwise. Whether it's Hungarian notation, K&R vs. ANSI C, underscores_in_names vs. midCaps, whatever, people quickly get used to whatever they're dealing with day to day. Style /consistency/ is far more important than the particulars of the style itself.

--Colin Strasser on the wwwac mailing list, Friday, 11 Aug 2006 11:03:25

Sunday, August 13, 2006
How many buttons do you need to click? This was the excellent question asked during a demo I recently saw. What was so good about that question? It is one of the better metrics for measuring user-interface productivity, which is in turn a key metric for perceived performance of user interfaces.

--Jack Shirazi in the Java Performance Tuning Newsletter, Sunday, 31 Jul 2005 15:42:45

Friday, August 11, 2006

Operation Iraqi Freedom has been exposed as a gruesome travesty. An old-fashioned colonial war, built on lies, greed and geopolitical fantasies, it has nothing to do with 'disarming' Iraq or 'liberating' the Iraqi people. Iraq is a threat to no one. No connection has been found between Iraq and the terrorist attacks of September 11, and no evidence has been provided that Iraq has continued to manufacture chemical, biological and nuclear weapons and might pass them on to terrorist groups. All this is malicious propaganda to mask the real war aims which are what they have been since 1991: to affirm America's global supremacy in a strategically vital, oil-rich part of the world, and to protect Israel's regional supremacy and its monopoly of weapons of mass destruction.

--Patrick Seale
Read the rest in Dar Al Hayat

Thursday, August 10, 2006
The biggest misconception managers have is that they can cut back on the number of people in their group working on a project by making it open source, because the community will pick up the slack. Actually, it's just the opposite: An open-source project takes more resources than an internal proprietary one. Employees working on open source might spend an additional 25 percent of their time on community interaction. It costs more to do open-source development, but the benefits of better design and increased quality justify those costs. The community contributes to the quality of the final product by reporting and fixing bugs, and by innovating.

--Ron Goldman
Read the rest in Innovation Happens Elsewhere: Part Two of a Conversation With Sun Microsystems Laboratories' Ron Goldman

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

When I think that things around me works good enough and I can't see any problems that needs to be solved I will be really scared since it probably means that:

  • a) I have given up
  • b) I have stopped learning and trying new things.
  • c) there is probably a c...

--Joakim Ohlrogge on the junit mailing list, Friday, 4 Aug 2006 12:54:46

Monday, August 7, 2006

Again and again, we hear the argument that a particular technology can be used for bad things, so we have to ban or control it. The problem is that when we ban or control a technology, we also deny ourselves some of the good things it can be used for. Security is always a trade-off. Almost all technologies can be used for both good and evil; in Beyond Fear, I call them "dual use" technologies. Most of the time, the good uses far outweigh the evil uses, and we're much better off as a society embracing the good uses and dealing with the evil uses some other way.

We don't ban cars because bank robbers can use them to get away faster. We don't ban cell phones because drug dealers use them to arrange sales. We don't ban money because kidnappers use it. And finally, we don't ban cryptography because the bad guys it to keep their communications secret. In all of these cases, the benefit to society of having the technology is much greater than the benefit to society of controlling, crippling, or banning the technology.

--Bruce Schneier on the CRYPTO-GRAM-LIST mailing list, Sunday, Wed, 15 Jun 2005 03:00:49

Friday, August 4, 2006
Today is yet another Big Layoff Reduction-in-Force Day at Sun Microsystems. Between 4,000 and 5,000 jobs are expected to be cut this year, and today 311 jobs were cut from my local Sun Colorado campus. I have only a few friends left there... most of us got the boot one way or another over the last 4 years. But what I think is worse than the layoffs is the anticipation of layoffs. Ever since the first cuts began (the first one was supposed to be the only one, but there have been a gazillion since then), most of the employees who made each successive cut became more and more anxious, and less and less focused on whatever it is we were supposed to be doing to help the company turn things around (after the whole "we're the dot in dot com" thing stopped being Good Positioning).

--Kathy Sierra
Read the rest in Creating Passionate Users: Silver lining on Sun layoffs?

Thursday, August 3, 2006

It's all about the frameworks. People talk about Java vs. Objective-C vs. Python vs. whatever, and I think the discussions are just idiotic. It's like arguing what kind of needle you want to use on a syringe and not paying any attention to what substance you're actually injecting yourself with.

Frameworks are the substance of programming. You build on top of a good one, your program is solid and fast and comes together beautifully. You build on top of a bad one, your life is miserable, brutish, and short.

I have much respect for my homies running Linux, but I just don't care for the frameworks. I programmed X11 in college and it sucked rats. I'm not going back to that, ever.

--Wil Shipley
Read the rest in On Being and Deliciousness, with Wil Shipley

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

I’m sitting here, for example, in my house tonight in darkness -- there’s no electricity -- next to a car park. What if someone launches a missile from the car park? Am I supposed to die for that? Is that a death sentence for me? Is that how Israel wages war? If I have children in the basement, are they to die for that? And then I’m told it’s my fault or it’s Hezbollah's fault? You know, these are serious moral questions.

It’s quite clear from listening to the IDF statement today that they believe that family deserved to die, because 90 feet away, they claim, a missile was fired. So they sentenced all those people to death. Is that what we're supposed to believe? I mean, presumably it is. I can't think of any other reason why they should say, “Well, 30 meters away a missile was fired.” Well, thanks very much. So those little children’s corpses in their plastic packages, all stuck together like giant candies today, this is supposed to be quite normal, this is how war is to be waged by the IDF.

--Robert Fisk
Read the rest in Democracy Now! | Robert Fisk Reports From Lebanon on the Israeli Bombing of Qana That Killed 57, Including 37 Children

Tuesday, August 1, 2006
I've said it before, I'll say it again: the real problem is LACK OF DOCUMENTATION. Those who describe application interfaces as 'frustratingly inconsistent' merely misdiagnose a symptom and miss the cause completely. Application developers who do not provide comprehensive interface documentation need to be held accountable by their users, because without accurate, detailed documentation users are left to figure out mystery meat APIs with nothing more than intelligent guesswork and random attempts at applying what's already been found to work on other applications to see if anything sticks on this one as well (where the 'inconsistent' misdiagnosis comes from).

--Hamish Sanderson on the applescript-users mailing list, Sunday, 29 Sep 2005 09:33:27

Monday, July 31, 2006
A common view of the schema or DTD is as a means to validate the instance for acceptance. However, it is perfectly useful as a means to validate an instance for rejection. You can have anti-schemas, anti-anti-schemas and so forth given some dynamic exchange such as messages which are themselves, evolving (the schema is a kind of message).

--Claude L (Len) Bullard, on the xml-dev mailing list, Sunday, 10 Feb 2005 10:46:05

Sunday, July 30, 2006
America wasn’t founded as a theocracy. America was founded by people trying to escape theocracies. Never in history have we had a Christian theocracy where it wasn’t bloody and barbaric. That’s why our Constitution wisely put in a separation of church and state. I am sorry to tell you that America is not the light of the world and the hope of the world. The light of the world and the hope of the world is Jesus Christ.

--Rev. Gregory A. Boyd
Read the rest in Disowning Conservative Politics, Evangelical Pastor Rattles Flock

Saturday, July 29, 2006
I used to have a blog, a wiki and forum software on my web server. But I got fed up with the never-ending job of staying on top of the latest "oops!" exploit.

--Steve Manes on the WWWAC mailing list, Tuesday, 09 May 2006 10:12:45

Friday, July 28, 2006

In almost every successful IT project I've ever been involved with it's been a nuts-and-bolts techie that's had the most important impact. More often than not, the "business skills" types were more hindrance than help. Many times their superiority and arrogance led to project failure.

For as long as I've been following IT, it's been the dream of business people and others to banish hard-core techies from such an important industry. There's always some prediction about how some new tool or methodology will finally make us irrelevant. Five years down the line, we'll have built thousands of new successful products, while those new tools and methodologies will be long forgotten.

You need us guys, get over it.

--Paul Knapp
Read the rest in Sorry businesspeople, but you need techies to build technology

Thursday, July 27, 2006
Scripting languages will hit their peak interest period in 2006; Ruby conversions will be at its apogee, and its likely that somewhere in the latter half of 2006 we'll hear about the first major Ruby project failure, most likely from a large consulting firm that tries to duplicate the success of Ruby's evangelists (Dave Thomas, David Geary, and the other Rubyists I know of from the NFJS tour) by throwing Ruby at a project without really understanding it. In other words, same story, different technology, same result. By 2007 the Ruby Backlash will have begun.

--Ted Neward
Read the rest in The Blog Ride

Wednesday, July 26, 2006
I've never been a big fan of IDEs, but I have to admit that NetBeans is a pretty nice environment for Java coding. It certainly simplified the construction and running of unit tests and offered lots of useful context-sensitive information. It's only serious flaw is that it isn't Emacs, but I'm not sure I can legitimately hold that against it.

--Norm Walsh
Read the rest in Working with JAXP namespace contexts

Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Regulatory compliance (BASEL II, Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPPA) will be an influence. If you have to be able to defend how you arrived at some numbers seven years ago, you're probably going to want a repository that supports versioning for XML schemas, source libraries, executables, XML documents, specifications, e-mails, diagrams, spreadsheets, and more.

--Ken North on the xml-dev mailing list, Monday, 3 May 2004

Monday, July 24, 2006

a program that is 10 times longer is 32 times harder to write.

Or put another way: a program that is 10 times smaller needs only 3% of the effort.

--Stephen Pemberton, XTech 2006
Read the rest in The Right Way to do Ajax is Declaratively | What Not How | http://duncan

Sunday, July 23, 2006
Invoking the sanctity of human life, George Bush wielded the presidential veto for the first time in his presidency to halt US embryonic stem cell research in its tracks. He even paraded one-year-old Jack Jones, born from one of the frozen embryos that can now never be used for federally funded research, and talked of preventing the "taking of innocent human life". How hollow that sounds to Iraqis.

--Patrick Cockburn
Read the rest in Independent Online Edition > World Politics

Saturday, July 22, 2006

this is exactly the issue Dell — and any company — has in all its customer interactions in the age of customer control: The person who answers the phone — or now responds to a blog post — is acting on behalf of Dell and to the customer is Dell, since that person is our connection to Dell. See the AOL cancellation video. Every one of your “customer service” employees and every one of your “public relations” employees in every encounter represents your company. That has always been the case. Only now, we can record their actions and report them to the world. There are many Chrises in many companies. The fact that they feel they can treat customers this way is a good indication, though, of the culture and management of the companies that employ them.

: I want to add that I hope young Chris does not lose his or her poor-paying internship. I’m sure that Chris, in fact, speaks for many people at Dell when it comes to what they think of me and perhaps other bloggers. Fine. I want transparency, I want conversation, this is the transparent conversation. Let’s have it. No more pussyfooting. The customers and the customer-service representatives have a real dialogue. The public meets the public relations company. No one-way mirrors. No hold buttons. No Muzak. No fake supervisors. Chris: Coffee’s on me, young man or woman.

--Jeff Jarvis
Read the rest in BuzzMachine » Blog Archive » Some friendly advice from Dell

Friday, July 21, 2006

We don't allow doctors to perform surgery before washing their hands. It took a lot of effort and angst to get doctors to agree to this procedure when it was first discovered as beneficial. I think the effort was noble, and certainly not pointless.

I look at TDD in exactly the same way. It is a minimum standard of professionalism. You wash your hands before you cut, or you don't cut. Period.

--Robert Martin on the junit mailing list, Sunday, 1 Jun 2006 08:41:34

Thursday, July 20, 2006
if two methods in two related classes have a similar naming scheme, they'll be interpreted as performing a similar action. One of the worst examples I can think of in J2EE is ejbCreate() method--which means "create a new object" in Session beans, but for Entity beans, "insert a new record in the database and, oh yeah, pull an existing object from the pool..." It would have been easier to remember what ejbCreate() does for entity beans if they'd given it a completely different name... even an arbitrary name (although ejbInsert() might have been nice). Having two different behaviors with the same name means cognitive load because your brain wants to find the pattern between the two matching names

--Kathy Sierra
Read the rest in Creating Passionate Users: Do your graphics say the wrong thing?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Every time you do something for the first time in your life, you're going to do a better job than other people who have done it before. You're aware of the most modern components. I was aware of the best chips that existed and used them for jobs for which they weren't intended. Poor design is a result of people not wanting to work hard. By working very hard, you can make devices that operate more simply.

--Steve Wozniak
Read the rest in The Great Woz Tells All

Monday, July 17, 2006
The odds are zero that RFID passport technology won't be hackable."

--Bruce Schneier , Counterpane Internet Security
Read the rest in Technologists object to U.S. RFID passports

Sunday, July 16, 2006
Let's see if I have this right. The Arab "terrorists" attack military units, destroy at least one tank, and are therefore terrorists. Israel retaliates by launching aerial, naval, and artillery bombardments of civilian areas and they are engaging in self-defense. If we are unable to recognize the hypocrisy of this construct then we ourselves are so enveloped by propaganda and emotion that, like the Israelis, Hezbollah, and Hamas, we can't think rationally. We can only think in terms of tribalism and revenge.

--Larry C Johnson
Read the rest in NO QUARTER: Israel Takes A Stupid Pill

Friday, July 14, 2006
If you are a member of AT&T (including Cingular and SBC), Bell South or Verizon, your telecom company willingly sold the private telephone records of American citizens to the Bush administration’s illegal domestic spying operation.

-- Michael Kieschnick, Working Assets
Read the rest in WorkingForChange

Thursday, July 13, 2006
The goal of the virtual machine is to provide for code portability, while in SOA, interoperability is far more important. Why go through all that trouble to build portable code, when in SOA, you want to leave the code where it is? Fundamentally, the virtual machine approach to distributed computing is through the serialization of objects leading to remote method invocation, while SOA runs on the exchange of messages between services with contracted interfaces.

--Jason Bloomberg, ZapThink
Read the rest in Analysts see Java EE dying in an SOA world

Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Let’s review what led up to me receiving this comment. 1.) I spend hard earned dollars on a Dell computer. 2.) I detect unwanted software on my computer 3.) I try to remove unwanted software on my own, only to discover it doesn’t easily uninstall. 4.) I ask Dell customer service for support and am asked to pay $49 to have it removed. 5.) I exercise my freedom of speech by truthfully complaining about my experience on my web site. 6.) Dell calls me a dipshit. Wow, what a way to win back your customers, Dell.

--Michael Righi
Read the rest in www. Michael Righi .com

Tuesday, July 11, 2006
We programmers need all the help we can get, and we should never assume otherwise. Careful design is great. Testing is great. Formal methods are great. Code reviews are great. Static analysis is great. But none of these things alone are sufficient to eliminate bugs: They will always be with us. A bug can exist for half a century despite our best efforts to exterminate it. We must program carefully, defensively, and remain ever vigilant.

--Joshua Bloch
Read the rest in Official Google Research Blog: Extra, Extra

Sunday, July 9, 2006
The challenge isn't from the government alone, from industry alone or from technology alone. In different moments, each of these are friends of civil liberties. Sometimes they conspire in some combination of the three to be a challenge to civil liberties.

--Jennifer Granick, Center for Internet and Society
Read the rest in CHAMPION OF CYBERSPACE FACES ITS BIGGEST CASE YET / Listening in? Electronic Frontier Foundation accuses AT&T of violating users' digital privacy

Saturday, July 8, 2006
The DB and the middle tier are merging, clearly. The current situation of having to deeply understand programming objects (top tier), XML etc. (mid-tier) and SQL (back-end) AND somehow keep track of which knows the state of what in order to work effectively does not make people happy.

--Michael Champion on the xml-dev mailing list, Wednesday, 4 May 2005 14:47:57

Friday, July 7, 2006
MacOS X is an inconsistent mess. Yes, it really is. Graphically, that is. OSX now has, what, 7 or 8 different themes, and as far as I'm concerned, that's 6 or 7 too many. Some people say Apple is experimenting with all these themes; that's fine, but please keep that reserved for testers, and not for people like me who do not like to spend 130 Euros every 18 months on a piece of software that is only getting more inconsistent instead of less. If you like graphical consistency, stick with BeOS/Zeta or GNOME.

--Thom Holwerda
Read the rest in What Sucks About DEs, pt. II: Apple, MacOS X

Thursday, July 6, 2006
If you bring somebody in and they have problems, it's not because they're dumb, but we were dumb with the design.

--Robert Moritz, Sprint Nextel
Read the rest in iWon News

Wednesday, July 5, 2006
It's usually considered better engineering practice to assume that a building, a bridge, or a standard will be in existence for a long time, and to build it so as to allow incremental upgrades such as earthquake retrofitting, than to assume its imminent obsolescence and underengineer it.

--Doug Ewell on the Unicode mailing list, Tuesday, 17 May 2005 06:56:15

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

“It’s not the money.” While we’re on the topic of money, I tell this lie when asked to write, speak, or consult for low fees. But it is the money. I have four children and a wife, and I hate to travel away from them. If a for-profit organization wants me, it has to pay. I don’t care how prestigious the event is or what beautiful resort it’s in (all I’m going to do is answer email from my room and speak anyway), I simply won’t do it.

I’m more of a pushover for not-for-profits; the test in these cases is whether the organization is changing the world, and I believe I have a moral obligation to help out. But no cause is more important to me than my family.

--Guy Kawasaki
Read the rest in Signum sine tinnitu-

Monday, July 3, 2006
It is acceptable to be stale much of the time. Most data isn’t updated frequently, if at all. It is inserted as a new version (because of audit trail issues, etc.). Therefore, it doesn’t matter if what you see is a bit out of date. For example, if one uses the tracker for FedEx to look for a package and the data it shows is 30 minutes out of date, it will hardly be catastrophic. Unless one runs too fine a line on meetings or catching flights, even an airline’s landing info may be two to three minutes out of date without any serious ramifications. This fact inherently enables scalability by enabling the lazy copying of data to extra disks.

--Adam Bosworth
Read the rest in ACM Queue - Learning from THE WEB

Sunday, July 2, 2006
Code coverage is the perfect example of the old maxim that "things get worse before they get better". Everyone's experience with code coverage is basically the same. The first time you run code coverage, you are horrified because no matter how comprehensive you think your test suite is, the initial percent coverage is surprisingly low. That's the beauty of using code coverage -- it gives you a useful quantitative result to replace a qualitative guess which is almost always wildly optimistic.

--Eric Sink
Read the rest in My life as a Code Economist

Saturday, July 1, 2006
The one place where Java does have a legitimate remaining performance issue is startup time. But these days it's down small enough to where anything that runs more than a few seconds has a hard time noticing it. Most startup time in modern Java apps goes to the app itself, not the VM.

--James Gosling
Read the rest in Java Urban Performance Legends

Friday, June 30, 2006
One of the things that is often not well appreciated is that Java is really a two-level language: It's the virtual machine and it's the sort of ASCII syntax…all the other really interesting magic is in the virtual machine, the things that people never actually see. There are many, many, many scripting languages that have been put on top of that virtual machine.

--James Gosling
Read the rest in Is Java getting better with age?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

For some bizarre reason, we seem to have settled on always, always, always giving users undo for such critical operations as deleting a single character. When users delete an entire document, however, we offer no possible recovery. That, in the real world, would be evidence of insanity. In the earliest days of the computer world, it was sometimes unavoidable. Now, it is inexcusable, particularly since large-scale undo is often so easy to implement with the use of a little magic.

The key to magic is that there are two performances: The one the magician is actually doing, and the one you think he is doing. If they coincide, the magic doesn't work. One of the keys to this separation is time: The actual manipulation-removal of the ball from under the cup, moving the coin from the top of the table to the underneath, etc.-either occurs before you think it did (anticipation) or after you think it did (premature consumption).

This separation of illusion from reality can work to our advantage as well. In the case of a deletion,

  1. We throw up a confirmation dialog
  2. The user confirms
  3. We delete the file
  4. We tell the user we deleted it.

What if we left out step three, at least for a while? The user can now experience that familiar sinking feeling that only occurs after we tell them the document is gone, go to the Edit menu, discover to their delight an active Undo and, magically, get all their information back. It requires no reconstruction of anything. We just reopen the same window we just blinked out.

--Bruce Tognazzini
Read the rest in The Scott Adams Meltdown: Anatomy of a Disast

Monday, June 26, 2006
API design is a whole parallel world to straight programming, which has its own aesthetics and rules - it's the meta-space around any problem space where what you write has to interact with other things. I know my sense of what's right and wrong, good and bad, has evolved enormously in recent years, and continues to. If you ever get a chance to work on a large codebase with a long history and lots of APIs, take it. It will make your outlook grow in unexpected ways. The beauty in API design is how to design it so users will enjoy using it, and at the same time leaving the API clean and small, with room to grow and evolve without breaking anything. It's an excercise in practicing kindness and decency both to the people who will use it, and to yourself, for you'll have to maintain it; and at the same time designing an API that's complementary to what the computer will phsyically need to do to accomplish whatever the task is (the Responder pattern in Cocoa is a lovely example of doing all three of these things).

--Tim Boudreau
Read the rest in Tim Boudreau's Blog: Of saxophones, westerns and the sense of beauty in programming

Monday, June 19, 2006
At the moment, the threading in Perl and Python and Ruby and PHP tends to be amateurish-to-absent. Java’s threading/concurrency machinery, on the other hand, has been excellent for years, and got a lot better in the 1.5 release. The dynamic-language guys will be working on this, but they’re starting from way behind.

--Tim Bray,
Read the rest in LAMP and Java

Saturday, June 17, 2006
If Share Your OPML was a Java project I would've been heartsick to destroy it, but I coded the application in PHP. I've never written anything in PHP I didn't want to completely rewrite six months later.

--Rogers Cadenhead
Read the rest in Workbench: Settlement Reached with Dave Winer

Friday, June 16, 2006

Developers are renowned for underestimating effort, and I don't think that test-effort estimation is any different. In fact, given the disregard many developers have for testing, I think they would be more likely to underestimate the effort required to test their code than they would be to underestimate anything else.

The main cause of this test-effort blow-out is not that executing the test cycle in itself takes longer than expected, but that the number of test cycles that need to be executed over the life of the software is greater than expected. In my experience, it seems that most developers think they'll only test their code a couple of times at most. To such a developer I ask this question: "Have you ever had to test anything just a couple of times?" I certainly haven't.

--Ben Teese
Read the rest in Should we be doing more automated testing?

Thursday, June 15, 2006
There are two kinds of legal departments in large companies: (a) the kind that automatically says, “No,” when asked, “Can we do this?” (b) and the kind that automatically says, “No,” when asked, “Can we do this?

--Guy Kawasaki,
Read the rest in The Top Ten Lies of Corporate Partners

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Testing everything is a good thing. An important difference between TDD and double entry bookkeeping is that it /does/ matter whether we do the test or the code first.

The most apparent reason is that the test is a /user/ of the code and the code is an /implementer/ of the usage. So when we write the test first, we are designing the interface to our code from the viewpoint of a user and when we write the code first, we have (more) the viewpoint of the implementer.

--Ron Jeffries on the junit mailing list, Friday, 2 Jun 2006 19:47:28

Monday, June 12, 2006
I’m not writing shitty code; I’m creating refactoring opportunities.

--Steven R. Baker
Read the rest in Always the Optimist.

Saturday, June 10, 2006
literacy is so bad, that those few of us who can read can make a lot of money just by reading the manuals noone else can read...

--Rick Marshall on the xml-dev mailing list, Saturday, 10 Jun 2006 13:28:08

Friday, June 9, 2006
When these containers talk about how they are so useful because they implement "Inversion of Control" I end up very puzzled. Inversion of control is a common characteristic of frameworks, so saying that these lightweight containers are special because they use inversion of control is like saying my car is special because it has wheels.

--Martin Fowler
Read the rest in Inversion of Control Containers and the Dependency Injection pattern

Thursday, June 8, 2006
Mac OS X may be only a small percentage of the PC installed base, but it's a HUGE percentage of the installed base of leading-edge developers.

--Tim O'Reilly
Read the rest in O'Reilly Radar > Tim O'Reilly

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

My thought on the rise in fundamentalism is that it’s a reaction to what’s becoming increasingly obvious–the Enlightenment was no lark, but in fact was the beginning of a profound shift in society that shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. One thing that really sticks out to me is that the authoritarians have to reference Enlightenment principles when trying to argue for their side–creationists try to tear at science by saying scientists don’t have enough evidence, sexists trying to bolster their arguments by saying women have it worse elsewhere (i.e., we suck, they suck more), and conservatives in general are infatuated with the Founding Fathers, though I notice the praise is often less for the groundwork they laid for future generations to push for progress than for the ways their vision was incomplete.

That authoritarians have to dress up their anti-progress arguments in progressive language demonstrates how entrenched the Enlightenment has become. It’s a mirror image of the way that early thinkers had to justify themselves by leaning on the authoritative ways–the Founding Fathers had to reject the king’s authority by invoking a higher one, after all. That shift means that progressives have an extra card in our hands, and that’s why fundamentalism is getting louder and more violent–they’re desperate.

--Amanda Marcotte
Read the rest in Freedom from choice is what you want at Pandagon

Tuesday, June 6, 2006
Remember my doom-and-gloom prediction last week for Sun Microsystems? That's based almost entirely on the company's inability to see itself moving from being vertically integrated (doing its own proprietary hardware and software) to competing on a level (that is horizontal) playing field. While that might make them just another PC vendor, don't worry about that happening because Sun would rather die first. And will.

--Mark Stephens
Read the rest in PBS | I, Cringely . May 11, 2006 - Google

Monday, June 5, 2006
the best user interface is no user interface at all. Self configuration, self diagnosis, automatic assembly are all better than interfaces that require human interaction.

--John Loiacono
Read the rest in JohnnyL's Blog

Sunday, June 4, 2006

In my experience the Indian outsourcers have a harder time keeping their best talent than outsourcers in other countries. (Granted, my experience is with software development, not customer service.) First of all, demand is so high in India right now that good people jump from firm to firm to work on more interesting projects for more money. And second of all, many of these folks follow the /real/ money right back to the countries doing the outsourcing, where they can easily get high-paying jobs. In the US, they're here on H1-B visas.

This leads to a spiral: A big outsourcing firm hires large numbers of programmers to meet demand. Most of the new hires suck. The relatively few good ones leave. The firm hires more programmers to replace them and the percentage of sucky programmers goes up. (Either that, or they poach their competitors' best people and contribute to the rising cost of quality in their market.)

--Colin Strasser on the wwwac mailing list, Friday, 10 Mar 2006 12:46:57

Saturday, June 3, 2006
A developer should not release code that they haven't tested. They should not release a line of code that they have not tested. Every line, every statement, every condition should be tested before the developer releases the code. It seems to me that's a minimum professional standard. Releasing code that you have not thoroughly tested is, simply, unprofessional.

--Robert Martin on the junit mailing list, Sunday, 1 Jun 2006 20:50:49

Friday, June 2, 2006

My first exposure to Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) was circa 1989. First with C++ and shortly thereafter, Eiffel. It's an interesting way to enter this complex domain, probably akin to being punched in the nose and in the stomach at the same time. It wasn't always pretty but I did gain some interesting insight on how radically different languages can tackle a programming idiom.

Another good thing about it is that people feel sorry for me when they read my resume. At least, I think that's the reason.

--Cedric Beust
Read the rest in Otaku, Cedric's weblog

Thursday, June 1, 2006

As much as any policy prescriptions, conservatism has always been based, more than anything else, on a fundamental distrust of the power of the federal government and a corresponding belief that that power ought to be as restrained as possible, particularly when it comes to its application by the Government to American citizens. It was that deeply rooted distrust that led to conservatives’ vigorous advocacy of states’ rights over centralized power in the federal government, accompanied by demands that the intrusion of the Federal Government in the lives of American citizens be minimized.

Is there anything more antithetical to that ethos than the rabid, power-hungry appetites of Bush followers? There is not an iota of distrust of the Federal Government among them. Quite the contrary. Whereas distrust of the government was quite recently a hallmark of conservatism, expressing distrust of George Bush and the expansive governmental powers he is pursuing subjects one to accusations of being a leftist, subversive loon.

--Glenn Greenwald
Read the rest in Unclaimed Territory

Wednesday, May 31, 2006
As the virtualization of the movie experience (and secondarily the TV experience) continues unabated, DRM becomes an increasing rallying cry - largely along with the argument that because the studios control the "best" talent, that they should be able to gate that talent, and get a fee for being the gatekeeper. The problem here is that this assumes that in fact it is in the best interests of the actual creators of that content to do so. If that talent is largely made up of heavily promoted divas, I suspect that this may serve the studios but not the independent producers, which actually now make up, in aggregate, the bulk of the actual production of television and theatrical content worldwide. One telling example is the recent Battlestar Galactica. Produced largely independently, it would have been cancelled because the Nielsons indicated that no one was watching it. The web told a very different situation, however, with BG episodes becoming some of the most heavily watched on the Internet, with numbers that rivalled blockbuster shows. If these episodes had been DRMed, the show would have died an early death, because people would not have wanted to pay money for a show that came from one of the most campy of vintage 1970s campiness. If ads had been placed in, either as trailors or discretely, chances are that the ads would have remained. The value proposition of having the ads to support the product is a reasonable one to the "community", whereas the individual per-play costs are generally less so.

--Kurt Cagle,
Read the rest in Scarcity vs. Abundance

Tuesday, May 30, 2006
The problem with blogging is that sometimes it is so easy to publish your thoughts that you don't stop to think about what you are writing.

--Dare Obasanjo
Read the rest in Dare Obasanjo aka Carnage4Life

Monday, May 29, 2006

In fact, the price meltdown - and the landowner's fate - had been precipitated by the British government and USAID (the United States Agency for International Development), which in the 1980s hatched a plan to boost the fortunes of Toledo's cacao growers by providing bank loans for seed and agrochemicals. Communal reservation land was broken up so the deeds for plots could be used as collateral; forest was cleared and saplings planted less than 10ft apart - too narrow for shade trees to grow. The resulting diseases could be controlled only with fungicides, sold to farmers at a price. Instead of providing cacao varieties familiar to these subsistence farmers for centuries, the aid workers gave them alien hybrid seed. Meanwhile, Hershey - the US confectionery giant - pledged to buy all the cacao 'at a fair price'.

In 1992, the aid workers left and Hershey's agent progressively lowered the price, leaving farmers struggling to pay off huge debts. Many abandoned their farms to work as migrant orange pickers, sugar-cane cutters and shrimp farmers in the north, simply to service their loans and support their poverty-stricken families back home.

--Andrew Purvis
Read the rest in The Observer | Food monthly | How a £1.50 chocolate bar saved a Mayan community from destruction

Sunday, May 28, 2006
Pseudo-Christians pay lip-service to Christ's forgiveness and mercy but it's only for the pseudo-Christians. It's terror that holds them in line. Fundamentalist terror. Terror of Christ's judgment, the terror Christ will wreak when he comes (which could be as soon as Tuesday) to kill billions of Falwell's and Dobson's and Robertson's enemies, starting with Barney Frank, Susan Sarandon, NPR, every Muslim on earth and all of Huffpost. Their sweetest dream is inconceivable slaughter and pain, they preach on it every Sabbath, the Left Behind books (80 million sold) wallow in oceans of human blood. And these are people who call themselves pro-life.

--Tony Hendra
Read the rest in The Blog | Tony Hendra: The Christian Right? Their Christ Is No Christian | The Huffington Post

Saturday, May 27, 2006

What kind of courage does it take, for mercy's sake? The majority of the American people (55 percent) think the war in Iraq is a mistake and that we should get out. The majority (65 percent) of the American people want single-payer health care and are willing to pay more taxes to get it. The majority (86 percent) of the American people favor raising the minimum wage. The majority of the American people (60 percent) favor repealing Bush's tax cuts, or at least those that go only to the rich. The majority (66 percent) wants to reduce the deficit not by cutting domestic spending, but by reducing Pentagon spending or raising taxes.

The majority (77 percent) thinks we should do "whatever it takes" to protect the environment. The majority (87 percent) thinks big oil companies are gouging consumers and would support a windfall profits tax. That is the center, you fools. WHO ARE YOU AFRAID OF?

--Molly Ivins
Read the rest in CNN.com - Molly Ivins: Not. backing. Hillary.

Friday, May 26, 2006
schools close us off from creative development. They do it because education has to be provided to everyone, and that means that government has to provide it, and that's the problem. Also, we've trained kids in schools to only do things certain ways, not to get out of line, not to go off into other topics.

--Steve Wozniak
Read the rest in The Great Woz Tells All

Thursday, May 25, 2006
Imposing legal hurdles to surveillance protects civil liberties by placing an independent judge in the loop, to check and make sure that there's adequate cause for investigation. But it also imposes costs that prevent a government with limited resources from pursuing the most extravagant, unlikely avenues of investigation. In general, this is a good thing.

--Jennifer Granick, Center for Internet and Society
Read the rest in Wired News: Security vs. Privacy: The Rematch

Wednesday, May 24, 2006
People didn't die because the storm was bigger than the system could handle, and people didn't die because the levees were overtopped. People died because mistakes were made, and because safety was exchanged for efficiency and reduced cost.

--Raymond B. Seed, University of California, Berkeley
Read the rest in New Study of Levees Faults Design and Construction

Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Not all databases are created equal — which means before you do anything with a database, you have to pick the appropriate database. Time and again I've seen Access databases groaning to bear the load of huge data sets that would have been child's play for SQL Server, or harried users trying to pay for and set up SQL Server to hold a few hundred rows of data. Broadly speaking, there are three tiers of databases in the market these days: desktop and embedded databases suitable for smaller tasks, "Express" versions of the major players that are good up to a few gigabytes of data, and the truly enterprise databases like SQL Server, Oracle, and DB2 that can handle just about anything you can throw at them. Before you do anything else, you need to make some realistic estimates about the amount of data that you'll be storing and pick the appropriate product to do the storage.

--Mike Gunderloy
Read the rest in Ten of the Biggest Mistakes Developers Make With Databases

Monday, May 22, 2006
The exciting things that are happening are not all being sourced from Sun. They have to accept things that don’t originate with them, and that’s not what we’ve seen. They’ve tied themselves to NetBeans and haven’t tied into Eclipse. I’m not sure that helps the community very much.

--Joe Lindsay, president of QS Labs
Read the rest in CRN | JavaOne, Sun Microsystems | Sun Partners Call For More Open Java Control

Saturday, May 20, 2006
There are a number of people using anti-spam services that cause me a huge amount of grief when sending out announcements. I will not be responsible for clicking a link, sending another email, standing on my head or whatever other action you want me to do.

--Jon Eaves on the dev-crypto mailing list, Monday, 08 May 2006 10:26:00

Friday, May 19, 2006
At this point, it's not a question of whether. It's a question of how.

--Rich Green, Sun software chief
Read the rest in Dr. Dobb's | Sun To Open

Thursday, May 18, 2006
Java I/O has been a key book for me for years, providing the concrete information I needed to sort out Java's many options for handling Readers, Writers, and other techniques of getting information, especially Unicode, in and out of my programs. Thanks to its examples and detailed explanations, I was able to write a number of projects which gave me vastly more flexibility than an XML parser could provide, which in turn helped me with my editing for O'Reilly.

--Simon St. Laurent
Read the rest in oreilly.com -

Wednesday, May 17, 2006
The gulf between Web Services™ and web services have been widening as of late. HTTP awareness is on the rise, atompub is shining a light for best-practice REST, and the complexity of the WS-* stack is reaching astronautical heights. Opinions are being formed and decisions are being made. I remember thinking about whether or not to do a SOAP interface, complete with WSDLs and other fancy dressing, for Basecamp's API a good while back. Today that's not even a consideration. I couldn't dream of going down that path for any products we're working on at 37signals.

--David Heinemeier Hansson
Read the rest in Routing around the WS

Tuesday, May 16, 2006
They were also jobs I didn't want. Server administration is a whole other animal, to me. It's face-to-face support with people you'll see again and again, and you can't become the bad guy to to many of them or your job is on the line. Technically, it sounds like a good deal. Practically, it's politics-laden, and I try my best to avoid jobs where there are politics involved in any significant amount because, frankly, I'm an egomaniacal perfectionist asshole and I don't work well with liberal arts school graduate wussies. I tend to make them cry. It's not intentional, it's just that they're idiots.

--Adam Knight
Read the rest in After Apple

Monday, May 15, 2006

Often, developers wanting to avoid undo will throw in a confirmation dialog instead. Confirmation dialogs are only effective in the odd case; confirmations that pop up every single time an operation is completed are quickly ignored, with the user learning, for example, to click, then press Return, instead of just clicking. The only effect of such dialogs is to make the developers feel good: “The users may be screwing up, but we warned them, so it is their own fault.”

No, it isn't.

Any time your user loses any work, consider it your fault, and figure out how to prevent it from happening to anyone else.

--Bruce Tognazzini
Read the rest in The Scott Adams Meltdown: Anatomy of a Disast

Sunday, May 14, 2006
This is a town where everyone says they are for science-based decision making — until the science leads to a politically inconvenient conclusion. And then they want to go to Plan B.

--Sherwood Boehlert, R-NY
Read the rest in A Science Advocate and 'an Endangered Species,' He Bids Farewell

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The rhetoric of Bush followers is routinely comprised of these sorts of sentiments dressed up in political language – accusations that domestic political opponents are subversives and traitors, that they ought to be imprisoned and hung, that we ought to drop nuclear bombs on countries which have committed the crime of housing large Muslim populations. These are not political sentiments, and they’re certainly not conservatives sentiments, but instead, are psychological desires finding a venting ground in a political movement.

It’s not an accident that Ann Coulter and her ongoing calls for violence against "liberals" (meaning anyone not in line behind George Bush) are so wildly popular among conservatives. It’s not some weird coincidence that the 5,000 people in attendance at the CPAC this last week erupted in "boisterous ovation" when she urged violence against "ragheads,’ nor is it an accident that her hateful, violence-inciting screeds -- accusing "liberals" of being not wrong, but "treasonous" -- become best-sellers. Ann Coulter has been advocating violence against liberals and other domestic political opponents for years, and she is a featured speaker at the most prestigious conservative events. Why would that be? It's because she is tapping into the primal, rather deranged rage which lies in the heart of many Bush followers. If that weren't driving the movement, she wouldn’t provoke the reactions and support that she does.

--Glenn Greenwald
Read the rest in Unclaimed Territory

Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Free and open source software (FOSS) is founded on the four software freedoms: (a) freedom to run; (b) freedom to study; (c) freedom to modify; and (d) freedom to redistribute a program. However, it seems that wider adoption of FOSS can be achieved if greater development effort is focused on the first freedom – the freedom to run. More importantly, this freedom should be understood in the sense of “freedom from complexity”. It is often forgotten that, from the standpoint of an ordinary user, freedom to run a program means the program itself must be user-friendly and it must be easy to download, install and use. This freedom means nothing if the exercise of such right excludes people who do not possess high technical knowledge or advanced skills sets. Without the guarantee of “ease of use”, the freedom to run FOSS for most users is a hollow promise.

--bong dizon
Read the rest in lawnormscode » Blog Archive » Freedom to Run Means Freedom from Complexity: An Argument for Running FOSS on Windows

Tuesday, May 9, 2006
As I suffered through the nth application crash of the day, I couldn't help thinking of my favorite underappreciated Java feature: fault containment. Between try{}catch and the tight memory model, failures tend to happen close to where the error is, and they can be caught with a very good chance that there has been no corruption of neighbouring data structures. So if you're using some sort of editor and one of the commands has a bug in it, if it's written in Java you usually get a little pop-up box that says something like "error in command", and you can carry on working. In C apps, one bad pointer and you're blown out of the water, with all of your editing lost. This is particularly bad in systems that use plugins where the amount of QA is variable. A lot of what motivated the tight memory model was me having wasted too much of my life tracking down weird exotic memory smashes, and vowing to never have to waste time on stuff like that again.

--James Gosling
Read the rest in James Gosling: on the Java Road

Monday, May 8, 2006
Sun is simply doomed. Their software isn't better, their hardware isn't better, and they can't see themselves as anything but a maker of hardware or software, so my simple recommendation is that they take the rest of their cash and try entering a hot new field like -- say -- space flight. Or making really fine cakes. The world will always need fine baked goods. Or just give it back to the shareholders. Really.

--Mark Stephens
Read the rest in PBS | I, Cringely . May 4, 2006

Sunday, May 7, 2006
given the supine and cowardly American reporting of the Middle East conflict, you might wonder why the Pentagon wishes to create its absurd "Office of Strategic Influence (OSI)" to peddle truth and lies to the press. US journalists are so gutless -- so quick to adopt the government line -- that it is surely unnecessary to plunder the $10bn supplement to the Pentagon budget to sell this kind of trash.

--Robert Fisk
Read the rest in Independent Argument

Friday, May 5, 2006
What Dell is doing should be illegal. They are being paid to install spyware on new computers. They are making it difficult for customers to remove the spyware on their own. Then, they charge $49 to teach you how to remove it. This would be like a doctor being paid to infect you with a disease and then charging you for the antidote.

--Michael Amor Righi
Read the rest in www. Michael Righi .com

Wednesday, May 3, 2006
In settings in which large numbers of employees are screened to determine whether they are spies, the polygraph produces results that are extremely problematic, according to a comprehensive 2002 review by a federal panel of distinguished scientists. The study found that if polygraphs were administered to a group of 10,000 people that included 10 spies, nearly 1,600 innocent people would fail the test -- and two of the spies would pass.

--Dan Eggen and Shankar Vedantam
Read the rest in Polygraph Results Often in Question

Tuesday, May 2, 2006
Open-sourcing Java does not mean that Sun relinquishes the Java trademark. If you pass the Java compatibility test, you will get the right to call it Java. If not, you call it something else. Microsoft has already done that, first with J++ and then with C#, and no one thinks either of these are Java

--Peter Yared
Read the rest in Will Sun Open

Monday, May 1, 2006

All fanatics of dynamic languages are quick to point that they don't need an IDE to use Ruby, Python, Groovy or other. And they will quickly add that if you need one, you're probably not being rubyic or pythonic enough and that you should probably switch back to your old language and leave the grown ups alone.

This is nonsense. Ignore these people, they don't understand how the real world works and how developers think, and they are one of the reasons why so many great technologies never make it to the mainstream. Don't ever be ashamed to need an IDE or to ask for one. Of course, there are bad ways to use an IDE (e.g. you want code generated for you) but if you are interested in Ruby on Rails, chances are that you are a decent developer and you know how to leverage an IDE to make you more productive than when using emacs. Code completion or navigation, debugging, refactoring, project management, source control integration, etc... there are too many features to list that make you more productive if you use a tool that enables them.

This is 2006, not 1996. The programs we are writing and the problems we are solving every day are orders of magnitude harder than back then, and our tools need to keep up with that need. Emacs is a fine text editor, but it's no longer adequate for modern development.

--Cedric Beust
Read the rest in Otaku, Cedric's weblog: Why Ruby on Rails won't become mainstream

Saturday, April 29, 2006
It's a point that too many cost-conscious companies seem willing to overlook. In an era of fierce competition, when customers have more choices than ever, the toughest business challenge isn't to keep expenses down. It's to keep loyalty high. Anything that a company does to make its products and services a little more engaging, a little less ordinary, can pay big dividends.

--William C. Taylor
Read the rest in Your Call Should Be Important to Us, but It's Not

Friday, April 28, 2006
most of the time, the API I have offered in Saxon has grown out of the implementation. The current Java XQuery interface is an example of that. This almost invariably leads to bad API design. Good APIs are designed from a user perspective, by someone thinking about the design of the user-written application; they are not produced by taking the implementation and deciding which of its classes and methods to expose.

--Michael Kay
Read the rest in Saxon diaries :: APIs for XML processing

Thursday, April 27, 2006
Security by obscurity is just hiding the symptom, not tackling the cause.

--Angsuman Chakraborty on the wp-hackers mailing list, Tuesday, 25 Apr 2006 10:21:35

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Sun's problem is huge and it is simple: Linux. The free operating system, yoked to low-cost processors from Intel and Advanced Micro Devices, has decimated the Unix market by offering customers a cheap alternative to pricey Unix boxes like the ones Sun makes.

Sun's top-end machines cost more than $1 million apiece and run a proprietary Unix-based operating system, Solaris, on Sun's proprietary SPARC microprocessors. But who needs those boxes when you can instead just lash together loads of cheap x86-based servers running free Linux?

--Daniel Lyons
Read the rest in Wired News: Don't Blame Scott

Monday, April 24, 2006
Negotiation-free deals are a rare example of good enterprise usability. When you want to advertise on a search engine, you simply go to its site and enter your ad and your bid. Several search engines offer one-click access to distribute your ads on their network of additional websites, without having to negotiate any further deals. Whenever lawyers get involved, business opportunities die because of delays and friction. Self-service deals are a boon to enterprise usability because they let individual decision-makers move ahead and spend their budgets as they see fit.

--Jakob Nielsen
Read the rest in Enterprise Usability (Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox)

Saturday, April 22, 2006
The failure of Bush's reform effort illustrates an important point about psychology and economics—what writer Barry Schwartz* calls the "paradox of choice." Given too many options, rational actors are more likely to be paralyzed than to pick wisely. To take another example, consumers now have the right to choose from a long list of electricity suppliers via their local utilities. If you are a frustrated energy trader, this is a fabulous new benefit. If you just want the electricity to stay on in your house, you're likely to ignore the menu and accept the default setting. The potential savings from choosing a new supplier—which come with a risk of increased costs as well—don't justify the investment of time, even for the small minority of people capable of figuring out the new system.

--Jacob Weisberg
Read the rest in Drug Addled

Friday, April 21, 2006
I got an email recently from a recruiter for a high tech company saying that they were very interested in me as a "female thought leader". I didn't reply, because I wasn't interested in the job, but I fantasized replying, "Thank you for your interest. Although my credentials as a thought leader are impeccable, I must warn you that I am not that qualified as a female. I can't walk in heels, I have no clothing sense, and I am not particularly decorative. What aspects of being female are important to this job?"

--Radia Perlman
Read the rest in Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology

Thursday, April 20, 2006

No one sets the price of gasoline. If they could, oil company executives would charge $10 a gallon or more. However, because of competition, they have to charge an amount that will allow them to sell the gasoline that they are able to produce. After Katrina, they were able to produce less gasoline, so that at $2 a gallon they would have run out. They raised their prices to the point where they could not raise them further without losing most of their business to competitors.

If an oil company had decided magnanimously to sell gasoline at low prices, it would have run out of gasoline. If enough companies had done so, there would have been so little gasoline left that by October the public would have been at the mercy of those few suppliers that held any inventories. If gasoline had cost $2 a gallon in September, the shortage in October might have pushed the price up to $5 a gallon.

If a monopolist were in charge of the oil industry, he would shut down some refineries in order to reduce the availability of gasoline. A monopolist would rather produce less gasoline and charge $3 per gallon than produce more gasoline but have to charge $2 a gallon to sell it all.

Fortunately, the oil industry is not run by a monopolist, and we do not have to face $3 a gallon all the time. A competitive firm will not shut down its refinery capacity to keep supply off the market, because that only benefits its competitors.

--Arnold Kling
Read the rest in TCS: Tech Central Station

Wednesday, April 19, 2006
The lamest defence I could offer – one used by many supporters of the war as they slam into reverse gear – is that I still support the principle of invasion, it’s just the Bush administration screwed it up. But as one anti-war friend snapped at me when I mooted this argument, “Yeah, who would ever have thought that supporting George Bush in the illegal invasion of an Arab country would go wrong?” She’s right: the truth is that there was no pure Platonic ideal of The Perfect Invasion to support, no abstract idea we lent our names to. There was only Bush, with his cluster bombs, depleted uranium, IMF-ed up economic model, bogus rationale and unmistakable stench of petrol, offering his war, his way. (Expecting Tony Blair to use his influence was, it is now clear, a delusion, as he refuses to even frontally condemn the American torture camp at Guantanomo Bay).

--Johann Hari
Read the rest in After three years, after 150,000 dead, why I was wrong about Iraq

Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Libertarians still tend to identify with the Republican party. Save for historical reasons, it is hard to see why. The current administration, despite its free market rhetoric, has been no better--arguably worse--than its predecessor on economic issues. Its policy on public schooling, the largest governent run industry in the U.S., has been a push towards more central control, not less. Its support for free trade has been at best intermittant. Reductions in taxes have been matched by increases in government spending, increasing, not shrinking, the real size and cost of government. It has been strikingly bad on civil liberties. Its Supreme Court nominees have not been notably sympathetic to libertarian views of the law. Libertarians disagree among themselves on foreign policy, but many support a generally non-interventionist approach and so find themselves unhappy with the Iraq war.

--David Friedman
Read the rest in Ideas: Howard Dean to the White Courtesy Phone

Monday, April 17, 2006

Several bills floating around Congress, for instance, have proposed tax incentives to buyers of hybrid cars, irrespective of their gas mileage. Thus, under one failed but sure to resurface formulation, the suburbanite who buys a hypothetical hybrid Dodge Durango that gets 14 miles per gallon instead of 12 thanks to its second, electric power source would be entitled to a huge tax incentive, while the buyer of a conventional, gasoline-powered Honda Civic that delivers 40 miles per gallon on the open road gets none.

And under some imaginable patchwork of state and local ordinances, the Durango buyer might get a special parking space at the train station and the right to use a high occupancy vehicle lane, despite appalling fuel economy and a car full of empty seats, while the Honda driver will have to walk to the train from a distant parking lot after braving the worst of morning rush hour traffic on the highway just like everybody else.

Pro-hybrid laws and incentives sound nice, but they might just end up subsidizing companies that have failed to develop truly fuel-efficient vehicles at the expense of those that have had the foresight to design their cars right in the first place. And they may actually punish citizens who save fuel the old-fashioned way — by using less of it, with smaller, lighter and more efficient cars. All the while, they'll make a mockery of a potentially useful technology.

--Jamie Lincoln Kitman
Read the rest in Life in the Green Lane

Sunday, April 16, 2006
Since when is it anti-American to believe that American foreign policy ought to be consistent with international law, that the use of military force should be limited to legitimate self-defense or sanctioned by international organizations, that American foreign policy should be democratically accountable and guided by American republican principles, that the United States should not only oppose empires but eschew imperial policies, that wherever possible the United States should act like a good neighbor in trying to work with other nations to solve common problems, and that the United States should promote the advancement of human rights, shared prosperity, and ecological sustainability?

--Katrina vanden Heuvel
Read the rest in The Blog | Katrina vanden Heuvel: The Crucial Difference Between Joe Klein and Reality | The Huffington Post

Saturday, April 15, 2006
It's not that users are dumb, it's that while many Linux users are busy working on Linux, most users are busy working as housewives or lawyers. It's not that they're dumb, it's that they don't have time to learn Linux the way we have,

--Kevin Carmony
Read the rest in Carmony dispels Linspire Linux myths

Friday, April 14, 2006
This is a kind of classic call in academic freedom. If universities stand for anything, they stand for getting ideas out there and then for open debate. Some ideas are controversial, some ideas are very controversial, some ideas are wrong. But the administration shouldn't be in the position of making a judgment on something like this. Other scholars should be making those judgments, and ideas should rise and fall in the bright light of scholarly debate.

--David T. Ellwood, Kennedy School
Read the rest in Essay Stirs Debate About Influence of a Jewish Lobby

Thursday, April 13, 2006
People aren't thinking about small, fast, thin systems. Suddenly it's like a very fat person (who) uses most of the energy to move the fat. And Linux is no exception. Linux has gotten fat, too.

--Nicholas Negroponte
Read the rest in Negroponte: Slimmer Linux needed for $100 laptop | CNET News.com

Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Too often, executive compensation in the U.S. is ridiculously out of line with performance. The upshot is that a mediocre-or-worse C.E.O. — aided by his handpicked V.P. of human relations and a consultant from the ever-accommodating firm of Ratchet, Ratchet & Bingo — all too often receives gobs of money from an ill-designed compensation arrangement.

--Warren E. Buffett
Read the rest in Outside Advice on Boss's Pay May Not Be So Independent

Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Have you ever come across Smalltalk or Lisp programmers? You know, these people who, no matter what you tell them, will always respond that "Smalltalk did that twenty years ago" or that "Nothing has been invented since Lisp". They listen to you patiently with an amused light in their eyes and when you're done talking, they will just shrug away your points and kindly recommend that you read up on a thirty-year old technology that was the last thing they ever learned and that has been dictating every single technical judgment they have offered since then.

--Cedric Beust
Read the rest in Otaku, Cedric's weblog: Why Ruby on Rails won't become mainstream

Monday, April 10, 2006
it kind of depends on what you’re doing; a lot of the folks in the scripting world, a lot of the justification of scripting stuff is that people are trying to get stuff together and running really quickly, and Java was optimised for getting things together and running really quickly, but what I was really trying to optimise for was not getting the first demo to run, but to get real production software to run. So I didn’t really care so much about how long it took to get the first demo to run, but how long it took you to get to something you could actually release and call a solid piece of software. So Java’s got a lot more stuff in it that’s about upfront testing; things like static typing and the memory model and all that sort of stuff which, if you’re just trying to do something really quick, actually kind of slows you down. But when you’re actually deploying this stuff, you think, “I’m glad it’s actually forced me to pay attention and think to go on with the exception mechanism”, or whatever. And a lot of the scripting languages, because they’re trying to be so fluid, actually don’t have much in the way of structuring techniques; the interface and object-oriented methodologies aren’t quite as well-developed or they often have barriers that are somewhat more porous, so it’s easier to write small things and harder to write large things.

--James Gosling
Read the rest in James Gosling Q & A: Builder AU: Program: At Work

Sunday, April 9, 2006
I'm sure there must be a big rule written somewhere, that I can't seem to locate, that states that all enterprise software must have a less-than-optimal user experience, especially the interface.

--John Loiacono
Read the rest in JohnnyL's Blog

Saturday, April 8, 2006

Last week, a Microsoft data security guru suggested at a conference that corporate and government users would be wise to come up with automated processes to wipe clean hard drives and reinstall operating systems and applications periodically as a way to deal with malware infestations. What Microsoft is talking about is a utility from SysInternals, a company that makes simply awesome tools.

The crying shame of this whole story is that Microsoft has given up on Windows security. They have no internal expertise to solve this problem among their 60,000-plus employees, and they apparently have no interest in looking outside for help. I know any number of experts who could give Microsoft some very good guidance on what is needed to fix and secure Windows. There are very good developers Microsoft could call upon to help them. But no, their answer is to rebuild your system every few days and start over. Will Vista be any better?

I don't think so.

--Mark Stephens
Read the rest in PBS | I, Cringely . April 6, 2006

Friday, April 7, 2006

I think the problem here is that "intellectual property" isn't property. It isn't a computer, it isn't "real estate", and it isn't cash.

As long as there has been a conception of "intellectual property", it's been in its own class, with limited rights relative to other forms of property.

Unfortunately, over the last century or so, a key group of those who have had the limited rights have decided that they'd like those rights to be less limited, and the rest of us have watched those limitations decay without doing nearly enough about it.

Those rights are limited because unless other forms of property, there's much more value in sharing intellectual property than there is in hoarding it. Licensing pretends to be a happy medium, but even that approach cuts off many of the rights we all used to have with regard to intellectual property.

Property rights aren't the problem here. Trying to promote "intellectual property" as just another form of property is the problem.

--Simon St.Laurent on the cbp mailing list, Tuesday, 04 Apr 2006 11:50:07

Wednesday, April 5, 2006
Once, conservatives used to deplore the left's cult of victimhood and ridicule the obsession with real or imagined slights toward women, minorities, and other historically oppressed groups. Now, the right is embracing a victimhood cult obsessed with slights toward a group that makes up 85 percent of the American population.

--Cathy Young
Read the rest in Reason: What War On Christians? : Disagreement isn't oppression

Tuesday, April 4, 2006
Countless chief executives pledge to improve their company's products and services by listening to the "voice of the customer." Memo to the corner office: Answer the phone! How can companies listen to their customers if those customers have such a hard time reaching a human being when they call?

--William C. Taylor
Read the rest in Your Call Should Be Important to Us, but It's Not

Monday, April 3, 2006
Socialism collapsed because it did not allow the market to tell the economic truth. Capitalism may collapse because it does not allow the market to tell the ecological truth.

--Oystein Dahle, Exxon
Read the rest in Wired News:

Saturday, April 1, 2006
I refuse to install Flash on any of my computers. I don't accept any EULA with an audit clause. I see no reason to allow Macromedia to enter my home and examine my computers, so they can audit my compliance with their EULA. Many might argue that they would never actually do that. My response is that if they wouldn't, they shouldn't put the audit clause in the EULA. They put it there for a reason. Call me paranoid, but I have no desire to learn first hand what that reason is.

--Ray Lischner on the cbp mailing list, Sunday, 15 Dec 2005 17:11:05

Friday, March 31, 2006
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

--U.S. Constitution, 4th Amendment
Read the rest in Defending Spy Program, General Reveals Shaky Grip on 4th Amendment

Thursday, March 30, 2006
Auto-Responders should no longer be used. You'll actually be spamming innocent email addresses that spammers have forged... as well as spamming your friends when worms get sent around forging their names. Auto-Responders are what's known as backscatter... and contribute to email noise. SpamCop considers backscatter the same as spam. So, if you send an auto-response to someone who never emailed you (which will happen) they are well within their rights to report it to SpamCop. SpamCop will treat it as any other spam and with enough reports, blacklist your mail server.

--John T. Haller on the wwwac mailing list, Wednesday, 29 Mar 2006 13:45:57

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly and the rest of these clowns get paid to host a talk show (or shows), a major component of which is, broadly defined, debate…

So why do they act like big pussies whenever they are challenged? To a person, each of these right wing blowhards runs to cut the mic whenever they feel the slightest bit challenged…

Telling, no?

--Mike Stark
Read the rest in Calling All Wingnuts

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

It is just as sad to remember the support that once existed for the United States, then at the pinnacle of its power and prestige. On 9/10/01 America had adversaries, but mainly on the fringes. The invasion of Afghanistan brought barely a peep from the Arab street. No one had much use for Al Qaeda, even in the Islamic world. Global polls like those taken by Pew and the German Marshall Fund showed a remarkable degree of global consensus in favor of a one-superpower (in other words, American-dominated) world. The silver lining of 9/11 was a chance to reaffirm the legitimacy of America's role as trusted overseer of the international system. That is why Bush had so much support when he ousted the Taliban in Afghanistan, who were clearly harboring bin Laden, and so little backing when he shifted attention to Saddam, whose connection to bin Laden was plainly manufactured. The post-9/11 period was a fantastic opportunity for alliance- and institution-building. All that was required was American leadership.

How then did we arrive at this day, with anti-American Islamist governments rising in the Mideast, bin Laden sneering at us, Qaeda lieutenants escaping from prison, Iran brazenly enriching uranium, and America as hated and mistrusted as it ever has been? The answer, in a word, is incompetence. We now have testimony from enough Republicans and Bush loyalists—from former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill to former CIA senior director Paul Pillar — that the administration knew all along how flimsy its WMD case against Iraq was. We also now know, from Berntsen and others, that the administration knew then how solid the intel on bin Laden's and Zawahiri's whereabouts was. So catastrophic was Bush's decision to shift his attention and resources to Iraq, when bin Laden was panting at Tora Bora, that one is tempted to rank it with Adolf Hitler's decision to invade the Soviet Union in June 1941, at a time when Great Britain was prostrate and America was still out of the war (a decision that almost certainly cost Hitler the war then and there). Yes, Iraq may some day become a legitimate democracy. But for now it is mainly a jihadi factory, cranking out new generations of hardened bomb-ready Islamists, as we have seen with the cross-pollination that has brought Iraqi-style suicide bombs back to Afghanistan.

Bush of course has been lucky in his adversaries as well—not bin Laden, but the Democrats (not to mention many a media pundit). To this day they seem afraid to make the case that the great war presidency has been a disastrous war presidency, in large part because of the fraudulent Iraq invasion. Has any presidential candidate ever had a better talking point than this, as John Kerry did in 2004? But Kerry, a true combat hero, turned out to be a political coward, declining to attack while the Bush-Rove machine slowly emasculated him. Today the only Democratic candidate with the necessary money and renown to run for president, Hillary Clinton, is also one who must prove her presidential timber by out-hawking the hawk-in-chief. So forget about her calling it as she sees it. No wonder Karl Rove is telling the GOP that the war on terror is still the president’s ace issue in 2006, as it was in 2002.

--Michael Hirsh
Read the rest in Hirsh: Bush’s Poor Leadership in Terror War - Newsweek Politics

Monday, March 27, 2006
It's always easier to loosen the rules when it's found to be necessary than to retrospectively tighten them.

--Ed Davies on the 'xom-interest' mailing list, Wednesday, 22 Mar 2006 10:10:10

Friday, March 24, 2006
Open source software is not a free lunch, it is stone soup.

--Rick Jelliffe on the xml-dev mailing list, Friday, 24 Mar 2006 20:48:31

Thursday, March 23, 2006
The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) is one of those consultancies (this time Australian) that hands out free samples of its thinking from time to time, but unfortunately still chooses to do so in the form of a PDF (rather than through a feed or some other more user-friendly form). As we noted on a previous occasion, since the object of the exercise is presumably to advertise to everyone how bright CAPA is, imprisoning the info within a PDF is probably not a great idea.

Read the rest in New World Carrier: Silly Name, Interesting Thought/Where Are Europe's High Touch LCCs?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006
So when people ask if I think I was wrong, I think about the Iraqi friend – hiding, terrified, in his own house – who said to me this week, “Every day you delete another name from your mobile, because they’ve been killed. By the Americans or the jihadists or the militias – usually you never find out which.” I think of the people trapped in the siege of a civilian city, Fallujah, where amidst homes and schools the Americans indiscriminately used a banned chemical weapon – white phosphorous – that burns through skin and bone. (The Americans say they told civilians to leave the city, so anybody left behind was a suspected jihadi – an evacuation procedure so successful they later used it in New Orleans.). I think of the raw numbers: on the largest estimate – from the Human Rights Centre in Khadimiya – Saddam was killing 70,000 people a year. The occupation and the jihadists have topped that, and the violence is getting worse. And I think – yes, I was wrong. Terribly wrong.

--Johann Hari
Read the rest in After three years, after 150,000 dead, why I was wrong about Iraq

Tuesday, March 21, 2006
So, Scientology, you may have won THIS battle, but the million-year war for earth has just begun! Temporarily anozinizing our episode will NOT stop us from keeping Thetans forever trapped in your pitiful man-bodies. Curses and drat! You have obstructed us for now, but your feeble bid to save humanity will fail! Hail Xenu!!!

--Trey Parker and Matt Stone, servants of the dark lord Xenu
Read the rest in Variety.com

Monday, March 20, 2006
File sharing is not theft. It has never been theft. Anyone who says it is theft is wrong and has unthinkingly absorbed too many Recording Industry Association of America press releases. We know that script line was wrong. It was a mistake. We're very, very sorry. If copyright infringement was theft then I'd be in jail every time I accidentally used football pix on Newsnight without putting "Pictures from Sky Sport" in the top left corner of the screen. And I'm not. So it isn't.

--Adam Livingstone, BBC
Read the rest in BBC NEWS | Programmes | Newsnight | A bit of BitTorrent bother

Sunday, March 19, 2006
IDG is claiming they are not issuing media badges like they use to due to limited space and increased interest in Apple. The limited space argument makes some sense, but considering the pressroom is usually somewhat empty after the first day of MacWorld it is a shame they couldn't figure out a way to grant some media access to the pressroom, and some full access media badges according to how big their audience is. Instead they opted to say there is more interest in Apple, which is really a silly argument, for it seems there is enough room for Dave Winer (someone who isn't even in the media). Most of the corporate big name media outlets such as CNN and others simply show up on the day of the keynote, shoot a minute of footage, maybe have one reporter show a line of people playing with what ever Apple releases and that's it. They do not go from booth to booth visiting vendors and writing articles and reviews on new products. They do not publish large galleries of Mac users using new products. They are simply there because their boss told them to be; odds are they most likely don't even own a Mac. The people who will truly be lose by not having Mac media sites with media access are the companies paying thousands of dollars for booths at MacWorld trying to get noticed by both the Mac media and the public.

--Trent Lapinski
Read the rest in The End Of Mac Media MacWorld Access :: AppleXnet :: Alternative Mac Tech News, Analysis, Reviews, and Opinion

Saturday, March 18, 2006
Take smoking in public; I favor banning that because I don’t like to be around it. According to Penn and Teller – notable skeptics – there isn’t any good science proving second hand smoke hurts people. So I’ll stop using that argument. But there isn’t any science that says littering hurts you either, and I’m against that because I don’t want to look at it. Second hand smoke is like litter in my nose.

Read the rest in Am I a Libertarian?

Thursday, March 9, 2006
There is no "sweet spot for O/X binding". Anyone who has hung around with me long enough knows that one of my favorite adages is: "databinding is evil". Whether O/R or O/X, the IT community has long suffered through the painful experience of using tools that purport to yield developer nirvana. While these tools often work effectively for the trivial examples shipped with the tool, they typically fail miserably when applied to most real-world use cases either because of impedance mismatch, excruciatingly poor performance, or both.

--Chris Ferris
Read the rest in developerWorks : Blogs : Chris Ferris

Wednesday, March 8, 2006
One of the problems with Solaris on x86 has been that support for laptops has been very thin. With Solaris 10 there is a lot of laptop support. I’m currently looking to get myself an x86 laptop but I want to get the right one because Apple notebooks are just physically better, they are mechanically more solid than most of the PC ones. I put too many files on my laptop to deal with something that is going to break and every PC laptop I’ve ever had is a piece of crap, technically speaking.

--James Gosling
Read the rest in Developer spotlight: James Gosling: Builder AU: Web Development

Tuesday, March 7, 2006
"Demand" for W3C Schema support came from on high as edict, to which W3C-related vendors responded; the grassroots demand for RELAX NG is merit-based and users are in a position to make demands of vendors for support.

--G. Ken Holman on the xml-dev mailing list, Wednesday, 08 Feb 2006 13:24:16

Monday, March 6, 2006
one of the great things about open source is ... if you think the project is going in a direction you do not like, you are free to take the code and, dare I say it, start a "fork" that you control. Pissing on the leg of the leadership is not likely to get you anything but ignored.

--Douglas Daulton on the WP Hackers mailing list, Saturday, 04 Mar 2006 21:54:17

Saturday, March 4, 2006
Unused features are not only useless, they can slow you down and diminish ease of use. Over time products become convoluted and increasingly complex to use. The frustration of not finding the one feature you need among a flurry of stuff you don't need, want or even understand, can be considerable. (Ever heard of program called Word?)

--Andreas Pfeiffer
Read the rest in ACM Ubiquity

Friday, March 3, 2006

In the consumer world, there is more of a tendency to find out just how a consumer will use a product, then focus engineering efforts to build and improve on that process. In the enterprise development world, we tend to build a service or application that serves a need, or more often, meets a spec. (I say we and I readily include Sun in this, though it's a widespread issue in the enterprise software industry.) Only after we build the foundation and frame the house do we ask the "interface" folks to slap on a GUI and maybe (maybe) look at how to improve the usability.

I can't tell you how many times I see prototype product demos from my team who warn me, "Don't look at the interface or usability, we'll fix that later. But isn't this incredible functionality?" Ooops. Too late; we've missed it.

--John Loiacono
Read the rest in JohnnyL's Blog

Thursday, March 2, 2006

The main advantages of declarative languages are that you need to write less code for achieving a given function point, you operate on a large set of data at once, and that an execution engine can apply rewrites (if they are based on an algebra) and other optimizations to execute it more efficiently.

Procedural languages are much harder to optimize due to their often lower expressivness at the operator level, their one-item at a time processing model, and their tendency to allow and sometimes encourage programming by side-effect.

--Michael Rys on the xml-dev mailing list, Tuesday, 28 Dec 2004

Wednesday, March 1, 2006
The macabre, slightly bitter edge to this year's parade -- hazmat suits decorated with sequined penises, little people drowning and writing HELP on their roofs while Mayor Nagin lies in bed masturbating -- made me as proud of New Orleans as anything that's happened since our return. Nothing destroys us so thoroughly that we can't make fun of it, and Mardi Gras is a greater force of nature than any hurricane.

--Poppy Z. Brite,
Read the rest in Krewe du Vieux

Tuesday, February 28, 2006
bin Laden and Zawahiri have been fortunate in their enemies. Had the Bush administration been more competent, these two would have long since been bloody pulp, perhaps largely forgotten. Luckily for the rest of us, the Al Qaeda revolutionary program is so abhorrent that most of the world still has no choice but to stick with us, through thick and thin—and dumb and dumber. How long we can test the world’s patience is another matter. Alan Cullison’s 2004 article based on Zawahiri’s private thoughts is again instructive here. "Al Qaeda understood that its attacks would not lead to a quick collapse of the great powers,” he wrote. “Rather, its aim was to tempt the powers to strike back in a way that would create sympathy for the terrorists. ... One wonders if the United States is indeed playing the role written for it on the computer." What I wonder is, how many more years will we have to wait for Rumsfeld to figure that one out?

--Michael Hirsh
Read the rest in Hirsh: Bush’s Poor Leadership in Terror War - Newsweek Politics

Friday, February 24, 2006
So as I understand it, the SWT team has not found a simple way to fix this in SWT alone, and the Apple team has not found a simple way to fix this in Apples code alone. In my perception, there is the extreme solution left: talk to each other (teams and code. Especially teams).

--Gerd Castan
Read the rest in Bug 67384

Thursday, February 23, 2006
beware of cases where some code invokes more than one method on the same object. This occurs with accessors and more reasonable commands. If you ask an object for two bits of data, can you replace this with a single request for the bit of data you're calculating? If you tell an object to do two things, can you replace them with a single command? Of course there are plenty of cases where you can't, but it's always worth asking yourself the question.

--Martin Fowler
Read the rest in GetterEradicator

Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Elliotte Rusty Harold usually has something useful to say but every once in a while he crams his foot into his mouth. Today is one of those days.

Read the rest in Design Decisions: Too Much Cafe

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Eventually, all enterprise application development will be done on Eclipse, regardless of the programming language. The exception is, of course, Microsoft which will continue to dominate on the Windows platform where they have the home court advantage.

What is interesting about Eclipse is that because its open source and built on a flexible plug-in model, the development world will continue to innovate even if its the only IDE platform available (other than Microsoft Visual Studio). Because Eclipse is not a closed system (a proprietary tool) there is little worry about a single vendor having a stifling effect on innovation.

Here is my prediction: In five years Eclipse will be used in 70% of enterprise development regardless of the programming language (excluding Microsoft .NET languages). In 10 years, there will be a small cottage industry of commercial eclipse plug-ins but for the most part everyone who is not developing to the Microsoft platform, will be using open source Eclipse. In fact, I anticipate that Eclipse will invade non-enterprise tooling markets such as IDEs for embedded devices by that time. Like it or not, for the next 20 years the future of the IDE market appears to be Eclipse

--Richard Monson-Haefel,
Read the rest in Eclipse is decimating the IDE market

Monday, February 20, 2006
A failure rate of a few percentage points can still be a pretty big number, and often the folks experiencing the failure aren't equipped to diagnose the problem and/or find the right entity to yell at. They are just as likely to shrug their shoulders, say it doesn't work, and move on to something that does.

--Kyle Marvin on the atom-protocol mailing list, Monday, 13 Feb 2006 09:28:16

Sunday, February 19, 2006
Recently I quit caffeine. My doctor seems to think that 17 Diet Cokes per day is too much. In case you ever consider getting off caffeine yourself, let me explain the process. You begin by sitting motionlessly in a desk chair. Then you just keep doing that forever because life has no meaning.

--Scott Adams
Read the rest in The Dilbert Blog: Caffeine

Sunday, February 19, 2006
If Congress wants to do something truly useful, they should force network providers to support multicast in every router. The capability is there already, just waiting to be turned on. Flicking that switch would do more to help multimedia applications (and to foster continued U.S. leadership in multimedia applications) than Congress can even imagine.

--Mark Stephens
Read the rest in PBS | I, Cringely . February 9, 2006

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Dick Cheney is a pussy.

'Twas the latest incident that really brought it home for me. Oh, the signs were there all along--he got five deferments during Vietnam, for God's sake, and while that's no sin if you're against the war, it's pretty shady if you're for it. (If I have to explain why, you're probably a pussy). Still, like many pussies, he covered himself in the vestments of manliness. He seems stoic to a fault, reticent even. He's allegedly loyal to his boss. Oh, he's able to snarl at an opponent now and then, but that's a typical manly fault.

But the shooting of Harry Whittington does more than tie Dick Cheney to historic pussy Aaron Burr. It throws into high relief the utter wimpiness of Cheney.

Dick Cheney was hunting in a private where quail were almost certain to be present--somewhat better than his previous Pennsylvania killing spree, perhaps, but something no real man would do. Real men, of course, would go hunting where quail may or may not be--go hunting knowing full well that the word implies that they may not find anything. Dick Cheney had no such concerns--he was too much of a pussy to risk failure.

Harry Whittington may not have been where Cheney thought he was--like any accident, even the victim may have some fault. But a real man doesn't farm out excuses. He stands up and takes the blame, especially when it comes to the honor of friends. A real man--or even one of us feminized men--jumps in to defend their friend's honor, and to take the blame upon themselves. A pussy has surrogates leak that it was probably someone else's fault.

And of course, that right there is the biggest proof of the non-manliness of Dick Cheney of all. A man stands up and takes responsibility, because a man is responsible. Only a pussy's pussy would not only hide from the press, not only try to blame his friend, but shove the woman who owns the ranch out in front of the press in order to avoid the abuse. Only an epic pussy would refuse to answer anyone's question, would only visit his friend in the hospital briefly, and would make his first public statement a discussion of questions about his hunting license.

--Jeff Fecke
Read the rest in Blog of the Moderate Left-

Friday, February 17, 2006
I love the logic of creationism, which goes something as follows: We believe in a magical Sky Fairy that no one has ever seen, spoken to, heard from or even seen evidence that he exists. This gives us the authority to denounce scientific theories that are backed up by evidence, because the evidence will always be somewhat incomplete. Because it’s better to believe something with no evidence whatsoever than to believe something that’s actually backed up by facts.

--Amanda Marcotte
Read the rest in Freedom from choice is what you want at Pandagon

Thursday, February 16, 2006
when bugs show up in our GUI code I usually try to write a test case to replicate them. When I have to debug its much faster to debug from a test case than clicking around in the GUI.

--Mark Levison on the junit mailing list, Sunday, 9 Feb 2006 20:39:41

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

the central belief of the Bush follower's "conservatism" is no longer one that ascribes to a limited federal government -- but is precisely that there ought to be no limits on the powers claimed by Bush precisely because we trust him, and we trust in him absolutely. He wants to protect us and do good. He is not our enemy but our protector. And there is no reason to entertain suspicions or distrust of him or his motives because he is Good.

We need no oversight of the Federal Government’s eavesdropping powers because we trust Bush to eavesdrop in secret for the Good. We need no judicial review of Bush’s decrees regarding who is an "enemy combatant" and who can be detained indefinitely with no due process because we trust Bush to know who is bad and who deserves this. We need no restraints from Congress on Bush’s ability to exercise war powers, even against American citizens on U.S. soil, because we trust Bush to exercise these powers for our own good.

The blind faith placed in the Federal Government, and particularly in our Commander-in-Chief, by the contemporary "conservative" is the very opposite of all that which conservatism has stood for for the last four decades. The anti-government ethos espoused by Barry Goldwater and even Ronald Reagan is wholly unrecognizable in Bush followers, who – at least thus far – have discovered no limits on the powers that ought to be vested in George Bush to enable him to do good on behalf of all of us.

And in that regard, people like Michelle Malkin, John Hinderaker, Jonah Goldberg and Hugh Hewitt are not conservatives. They are authoritarian cultists. Their allegiance is not to any principles of government but to strong authority through a single leader.

--Glenn Greenwald
Read the rest in Unclaimed Territory

Tuesday, February 14, 2006
We are now at 2.5 billion Java devices on the planet--700 million cell phones, 700 million PCs. We had 17 million and 20 million downloads in the last couple months of the J2SE environment. That is a stunning number. The new Blu-Ray spec is going to put a Java virtual machine in every new next-generation DVD player, and all your DVDs are going to have Java bytecode on that gets executed

--Scott McNealy
Read the rest in McNealy on message

Monday, February 13, 2006
I got my PhD, which was nice because although I seldom use a title, if someone obnoxiously insists on knowing whether I'm "Miss" or "Mrs." I can say "Dr."

--Radia Perlman
Read the rest in Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology

Sunday, February 12, 2006

If the limiting factor were typing then yes, writing twice as many lines of code would take longer. If the limiting factor is really other activities: communicating with the rest of the team, understanding the problem, designing, finding and fixing errors, then it is not inconceivable that practicing TDD with JUnit can give you an overall speedup. The trick is learning how to integrate JUnit as part of all of these other activites--activities which all software developers perform.

That has been my personal experience and the experience of our teams writing commercial software (usually with fixed-time, fixed-price contracts) for the last 5 years. Consistent JUnit testing by the whole team--using TDD--decreases the time it takes to produce production-ready software.

--Jeff Nielsen on the junit mailing list, Friday, 10 Feb 2006 10:25:23

Friday, February 10, 2006

I sometimes find evidence of cheating on exams but I rarely take action, I don't have to. Almost invariably the cheaters get abysmally low grades even without penalty. Some people I know get annoyed when students without evident handicap ask for and receive special treatment such as extra time on exams. I comply without rancor as the extra time never seems to help. Over the years I have had a number of students ask for incompletes. None have ever become completes.

I call this the law of below averages.

--Alex Tabarrok
Read the rest in Marginal Revolution: The Law of Below Averages

Thursday, February 9, 2006
Truthiness is tearing apart our country, and I don't mean the argument over who came up with the word. I don't know whether it's a new thing, but it's certainly a current thing, in that it doesn't seem to matter what facts are. It used to be, everyone was entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts. But that's not the case anymore. Facts matter not at all. Perception is everything. It's certainty. People love the president because he's certain of his choices as a leader, even if the facts that back him up don't seem to exist. It's the fact that he's certain that is very appealing to a certain section of the country. I really feel a dichotomy in the American populace. What is important? What you want to be true, or what is true?

--Stephen Colbert
Read the rest in Stephen Colbert | The A.V. Club

Wednesday, February 8, 2006
Unit Tests are real safety. Static typing is the illusion of safety, I choose the former.

--=Daryl Richter on the junit mailing list, Friday, 3 Feb 2006 08:31:14

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

One of the slogans that was brought up in the commentary to my previous blog entry was "freedom vs. safety". Once upon a time I used to believe that: it has certainly been conventional wisdom for years. But a lot of the time, the truth is actually that safety is freedom (eg. a good safety harness and rope give you the freedom to climb a mountain).

When I'm writing a function and declare a parameter to be an Image, I am free to trust that it is an Image. I'm free to trust that no one's array access has smashed my data structure. Examples abound.

--James Gosling,
Read the rest in Safety is Freedom

Monday, February 6, 2006
WORA, while a good ideal, hurts Java as an ideology. The first round of WORA war got us a Microsoft technology (.NET) that competes with Java. The second round of WORA war got us an IBM technology (SWT) that competes with Swing. I'm not sure Sun wants to fight another WORA war. For what? To lose the hand held market place?

--Wei Gao
Read the rest in Weiqi Gao's Observations

Saturday, February 4, 2006
As I suffered through the nth application crash of the day, I couldn't help thinking of my favorite underappreciated Java feature: fault containment. Between try{}catch and the tight memory model, failures tend to happen close to where the error is, and they can be caught with a very good chance that there has been no corruption of neighbouring data structures. So if you're using some sort of editor and one of the commands has a bug in it, if it's written in Java you usually get a little pop-up box that says something like "error in command", and you can carry on working. In C apps, one bad pointer and you're blown out of the water, with all of your editing lost. This is particularly bad in systems that use plugins where the amount of QA is variable. A lot of what motivated the tight memory model was me having wasted too much of my life tracking down weird exotic memory smashes, and vowing to never have to waste time on stuff like that again.

--James Gosling
Read the rest in Fault Containment: an unsung hero

Friday, February 3, 2006
To me, "Wait for your vendor" is a Linux remark that should get thrown in the trash. The way I see it, without installers, I strongly believe that Linux will never amount to anything in the mainstream market. In addition, I don't want to wait 3-6 months to have the newest software whenever my "vendor" releases a new revision. When Microsoft releases its newest Directx, you don't have to wait until the next version of Windows to utilize it, you are free to download and install it right away.

-- Jeremy LaCroix
Read the rest in Linux - How To Take Over The Market

Thursday, February 2, 2006

Swing is a huge beast, but it is well worth learning. I think the architecture is much cleaner, and this is starting to show. The latest Netbeans 4.0 and 4.1 on Tiger are as fast as native applications, and if you want to get the feeling for what can be done at the top try the Intellij's Early access Preview.

--Henry Story on the java-dev mailing list, Monday, 6 Jun 2005 11:38:13

Tuesday, January 31, 2006
A home that survived for eighty-seven years is falling to pieces on my watch, because of my indecision and poverty, because of the insurance company's foot-dragging, because of the city's inability to let us know what's going to become of our neighborhood, because of the country's unwillingness to give us the protection they'd told us we already had. Today it came out that in the immediate aftermath of the storm, FEMA turned away hundreds of boats, trucks, and rescue workers (many of whom were police and firefighters) that were volunteering to help, then stopped their own search-and-rescue mission after three days even though they knew people were still dying down here, because they didn't have enough resources.

--Poppy Z. Brite,
Read the rest in In/Sanity

Monday, January 30, 2006
People understand a graph composed of tree-like documents (HTML) related by links (URLs). In some ways I find this the most surprising of all. For years we assumed people had trouble with trees, never mind graphs. And suddenly hyperlinks come along, and as long as there is a Back button, they work.

--Adam Bosworth
Read the rest in ACM Queue - Learning from THE WEB

Sunday, January 29, 2006

In the actual halls of power, Democrats are foolishly listening to Republican talk about how bad it is for their future electoral chances to be “obstructionist”, though thankfully now that Kerry’s signed onto the filibuster idea, there might be a bout of common sense coming over the party now. But overall, the trend is really discouraging–liberals are increasingly afraid to stand up for anything, and the reason the fear that is they are believing conservative hype designed to make us afraid.

Meanwhile, due to the double standard where conservatives feel free to go beyond the pale while flipping out if a liberal even has a firmly stated opinion, conservatives have amassed a truly jaw-dropping amount of power, especially considering that their policy ideas are a laundry list of How to Fuck Over Everyday Americans–gut the schools, take people’s Social Security money and bet it on the stock market, send our young people off for a colonial war to get killed, and take away our basic rights. But people still vote for them, and the reason people vote for them is that they perceive conservatives standing for something and liberals as wishy-washy idiots who can’t even put together a basic opinion on anything. That conservatives lie outright about what they stand for–they say “family values” when they mean “bankrupt families so Paris Hilton can have even more weird pets”–doesn’t matter so much because they have so much rhetorical ground since they allow themselves the self-righteous anger, the belittlement of their enemies, everything that liberals are told will somehow hurt our cause. Told to us, needless to say, by people who want to hurt our cause.

--Amanda Marcotte,
Read the rest in Who the hell are you calling “churlish”?

Saturday, January 28, 2006
despite their sizable presence in data structures/algorithm books, in most applications, advanced string searching algorithms such as KMP and Boyer-Moore are rarely more advantageous than naive search algorithms. This is because the search strings are usually small and the code for naive algorithms is typically much simpler and maintainable.

--Werner Moise
Read the rest in Smart Software: Software Paradoxes: The Cost of Trying Too Hard

Friday, January 27, 2006

Bush, Cheney and Co. will continue to play the patriotic bully card just as long as you let them. I've said it before: War brings out the patriotic bullies. In World War I, they went around kicking dachshunds on the grounds that dachshunds were "German dogs." They did not, however, go around kicking German shepherds. The MINUTE someone impugns your patriotism for opposing this war, turn on them like a snarling dog and explain what loving your country really means. That, or you could just piss on them elegantly, as Rep. John Murtha did. Or eviscerate them with wit (look up Mark Twain on the war in the Philippines). Or point out the latest in the endless "string of bad news."

Do not sit there cowering and pretending the only way to win is as Republican-lite. If the Washington-based party can't get up and fight, we'll find someone who can.

--Molly Ivins
Read the rest in CNN.com - Molly Ivins: Not. backing. Hillary.

Thursday, January 26, 2006
Every good upgrade should have at least one feature, which, once you’ve used it, you come to rely on it so often that you’d fight anyone who tried to take it away from you.

--Kelly Turner
Read the rest in Macworld: News: First Look: iPhoto 6

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

the whole point of the GPL in the first place was to ensure certain freedoms, including preventing rapacious businesses from ripping off the community's work, which is a primary reason why the GPL is the most popular license chosen by developers. They trust it. Of course, businesses rarely think of themselves as rapacious, but sometimes they get so honed in on money, honey, they forget about us users and what we'd like and they forget that GPL'd code belongs to the folks that wrote it. It's not public domain. Think SCO if you have any doubts about why one might wish to be alert or about the GPL's efficacy in an attempted rape-and-pillage event.

But if decent businesses want to use the code -- and that is voluntary -- perhaps they need to consider being more "freedom friendly" and realize that the GPL community is quite serious about protecting users' and developers' freedoms, by protecting the code's freedom. While many businesses are buying into the DRM, cuff-the-customer balkanization strategy, the GPL stands for users and against the business mentality of profit at *any* cost to anyone and anything. Even Bill Gates said recently that in his view one of the DRM schemes chosen by the Hollywood titans is overly friendly to business and hostile to customers. The GPL simply makes that official, by preventing anyone from using GPL code in such hostile ways. Within the framework of freedom, you can still make money with GPL code -- businesses already do -- but not at the expense of users.

--Pamela Jones
Read the rest in GROKLAW

Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Beware the Four Horsemen of the Information Apocalypse: terrorists, drug dealers, kidnappers, and child pornographers. Seems like you can scare the public into allowing the government to do anything with those four.

--Bruce Schneier on the CRYPTO-GRAM-LIST mailing list, Sunday, Sun, 15 Jan 2006 01:36:16

Monday, January 23, 2006
defining "best" is rarely helpful, especially when we first need to agree on what's "worst"!

--J. B. Rainsberger on the junit mailing list, Sunday, 22 Jan 2006 13:04:13

Sunday, January 22, 2006
I have terrifying visions of Stephen Harper grinning like the proverbial cat that swallowed the canary, barely able to control his glee: "I'm the Prime Minister. I AM THE PRIME MINISTER! BWAA-HA-HAHAHA." Whether this happens before or after he begs the White House for permission to "perform a sexual favour" for George Bush in the Rose Garden, my imagination can't encompass.

--Vanessa Williams
Read the rest in fridgebuzz: "Don't Make The Same Mistake We Did"

Saturday, January 21, 2006
In a sane world, grown men who chew the foreskins off little babies, infect them with diseases and kill them don't get to arrogantly walk out of meetings with health officials. They don't get to create impasses with powerful mayors. In fact, they don't get to meet with health officials or mayors. They're dragged out of their beds at 4 a.m. by police officers, locked up in prison for life and, if they ever get out, forced to register as sex offenders until they die.

--The Raving Atheist,
Read the rest in Hasadistic

Thursday, January 19, 2006
Quickly making a list of unit tests to write in a coding session is often a useful way to break the TDD ice and get started, but don’t ever assume that that list is final or correct. It is nice to get a full set of acceptance tests for the feature before you start the coding, but writing all of the unit tests before starting coding is not efficient. My experience has been consistent. Anytime you write several unit tests in a row before you start implementing the code you end up wasting effort because you always learn something in the first test that invalidates the next unit test.

--Jeremy D. Miller
Read the rest in Microsoft’s recommendations for Test Driven Development are wrong!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Trying to solve almost any non-trivial problem in AppleScript itself is a losing proposition. AS's strength is as a scripting language, not a programming language. Generally, the right question when attacking a problem from AppleScript is, "What tool do I already have on my system that knows how to the solve this problem for me, and how can I tell it to do that from AppleScript?"

--Neil Faiman on the applescript-users mailing list, Monday, 28 Feb 2005 18:59:36

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The basic idea of the Free Software Movement is that the user of software deserves certain freedoms. There are four essential freedoms, which we label freedoms 0 through 3.

Freedom 0 is the freedom to run the software as you wish. Freedom 1 is the freedom to study and change the source code as you wish. Freedom 2 is the freedom to copy and distribute the software as you wish. And freedom 3 is the freedom to create and distribute modified versions as you wish. With these four freedoms, users have full control of their own computers, and can use their computers to cooperate in a community. Freedoms 0 and 2 directly benefit all users, since all users can exercise them. Freedoms 1 and 3, only programmers can directly exercise, but everyone benefits from them, because everyone can adopt (or not) the changes that programmers make. Thus, free software develops under the control of its users.

Non-free software, by contrast, keeps users divided and helpless. It is distributed in a social scheme designed to divide and subjugate. The developers of non-free software have power over their users, and they use this power to the detriment of users in various ways. It is common for non-free software to contain malicious features, features that exist not because the users want them, but because the developers want to force them on the users. The aim of the free software movement is to escape from non-free software.

--Richard Stallman
Read the rest in ZNet |Corporate Globalization | Free Software as a Social Movement

Monday, January 16, 2006

Barely-surviving mom and pop shops are routinely invoked by lobbyists of massive multinationals attempting to stop progressive policies. If a business is operating at margins that don't allow for a slight increase in the minimum wage, it should be culled by the market, not left to limp on and gum up the political process.

As it is, the Chamber of Commerce tends to shield themselves with undercapitalized organizations, shoving them in front of legislation like a parent halting the tractor with their kid. It's disgraceful. And yet liberals like to fall for it, building in all manner of weird subsidies so we can promise a minimal impact on floundering shops -- they're just too important to sacrifice.

Companies should be evaluated on their business practices, not their size. This weird, unthinking, vestigial affection for a Jeffersonian economy is not only economically nonsensical, it's simply not compatible with progressive goals.

--Ezra Klein
Read the rest in Ezra Klein: Against Small Business

Sunday, January 15, 2006
Dear All SUV Owners...

--Chris Pirillo
Read the rest in Dear All SUV Owners...

Saturday, January 14, 2006

A good way to learn Swing is to develop a GUI using an interface builder. Netbeans is really helpful there (better than intellij in some respects). In the end Swing is not quite as difficult as people make it out to be. It just does take 2 weeks of serious playing around with and a good book to get the hang of it. Just watch out for the threading model!

In one month I think one can be quite fluent. But User Interface development is a huge field. So you will never end up learning. Just think about the complexities of fonts, of 2D graphics, of 3D, of cross platform variations... The easiest cross platfom UI tool in the end is html, and even there you can spend a huge amount of time getting really good at it.

--Henry Story on the java-dev mailing list, Monday, 6 Jun 2005 11:38:13

Friday, January 13, 2006

According to MSNBC, about 50 people died in Saudi Arabia during the annual ritual of throwing stones at the devil. Apparently a stampede broke out when somebody tripped on luggage. That sounds like a poorly conceived punch line, but it actually happened. And it isn’t the first time. In 1990, 1,426 people died in a stampede while throwing stones at the very same devil. (No word as to whether luggage was involved.) And in 2004, the devil killed another 244 stone-throwers the same way. By my count, the score is Devil 1,720 and Believers 0.

Read the rest in The Devil

Thursday, January 12, 2006
It wouldn’t surprise me that once the majority of residents are using EZPass, (aka the hook is set), that all of a sudden the government will decide to utilize this new found data to increase their revenues. Distances between toll booths is known to the inch, so with the simple equation of average speed = distance / time, it will be easy to determine who was speeding, and issue a summons, with absolutely no way to wrangle your way out of it. That is of course once the politicians make sure their EZPass accounts are hidden from this scrutiny. But speeding tickets would only be the start. Cross the EZPass data with a database of wanted persons, and all they have to do is to wait for you to use your EZPass, and snag you at will. Not worried because you are a model citizen? Did you forget to pay that parking ticket? Gotcha. Forgot to pay your vehicle registration, or get your car inspected. Gotcha again. Do some business in New York City and conveniently not pay NYC Income Tax on it (since there was no paper trail). Gotcha again, since now there is a paper trail.

--Don Demsak,
Read the rest in Evils of EZPass and an Alternate Solution

Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Liberals practice "K Street liberalism" with an easy conscience because they believe government should do as much as possible for as many interests as possible. But "K Street conservatism" compounds unseemliness with hypocrisy. Until the Bush administration, with its incontinent spending, unleashed an especially conscienceless Republican control of both political branches, conservatives pretended to believe in limited government. The past five years, during which the number of registered lobbyists more than doubled, have proved that, for some Republicans, conservative virtue was merely the absence of opportunity for vice.

--George Will
Read the rest in For the House GOP, A Belated Evolution

Tuesday, January 10, 2006
if the business rules say that an employee must not work more than 40 hours and the employee says he has worked 43, what should happen? Do you want the database to record incorrect data, on the basis that the correct data is unpalatable?

--Michael Kay on the xml-dev mailing list, Monday, 23 Aug 2004

Sunday, January 8, 2006
Creating a good install is about 10% definition and about 90% testing and 100% perspiration.

--Andrew C. Oliver
Read the rest in Hacking Log 4.0

Saturday, January 7, 2006
My long-shot dream: JBoss goes out of business, the JBoss source code goes back to being maintained by developers whose principal interest is in maintaining open-source projects rather than making money, and it all gets folded together with what the Geronimo folks are doing. In other words, the open-source community stops the infighting and starts pulling oars in the same direction at the same time. For once.

--Ted Neward
Read the rest in The Blog Ride

Friday, January 6, 2006
the semantics of equal/hashCode/clone are trouble, because they are required to have consistent behaviour across so many things, yet most people get them wrong. And if two uses of them have different expectations, then there are incompatible goals.

--Steve Loughran on the xom-interest mailing list, Friday, 6 Jan 2006 08:58:34

Thursday, January 5, 2006
design flaws are transitive. There is no known method in software engineering able to predict that a detected design flaw in a particular area has not corrupted the design of the rest of the software including the other assertions potentially causing them to falsely accept incorrect contracts

--Christopher Diggins
Read the rest in Contract Programming 101

Wednesday, January 4, 2006
Strange as it might seem, most people get used to being treated as criminals or inmates in a concentration camp. Americans are no exception. Keep beating them down, and eventually you will produce a thoroughly cowed and compliant herd, a mass of pliant raw material in the hands of their political masters, perfectly willing to sacrifice their dignity rather than irritate an airport-security thug and be made to miss a flight. And heaven forbid that they write their congressional representative to complain. Such impudence might get them placed on some black list at the TSA or even at the FBI. Best to keep quiet, stay in line, act as they are ordered to act. Even making jokes, an airport sign I saw in Houston warned, might result in your arrest; so nobody jokes.

--Robert Higgs
Read the rest in Traveling Sheep: Newsroom: The Independent Institute

Tuesday, January 3, 2006
McDonald's does not close down and move across the state line when you raise the minimum wage

--Dan Cantor, Working Families Party
Read the rest in New Yorkers Who Earn the Minimum Get a Raise

Monday, January 2, 2006
I love deadlines. I love the sound they make as they go whooshing by.

--Douglas Adams

Sunday, January 1, 2006
There was a funny incident at a recent developer event where some folks had a booth where they where demo-ing a high end industrial strength C compiler and had a benchmark that they had transliterated into Java. They were comparing their compiler to GCC and Java. GCC was running at about 2/3 the performance of this high end compiler; the Java version was running at about 2/3 the performance of the GCC version. Folks were gathered around the booth and someone noticed that the script they were using to run the Java version didn't have optimisation turned on. A few seconds with vi to add the "-server" switch and Java's performance jumped up to match the fancy C compiler. This got the pro-GCC crowd all excited, so a bunch of them started fiddling with its command line switches. They got a bit of improvement, but not much (the original selection had been pretty good).

--James Gosling
Read the rest in Java Urban Performance Legends

Earlier quotes:

[ Cafe au Lait | Books | Trade Shows | FAQ | Tutorial | User Groups ]

Copyright 2006 Elliotte Rusty Harold
Last Modified at Sunday, December 31, 2006 9:18:08 AM