enjoying salad since 1978.

Friday, November 29, 2002

whoops, I forgot to syndicate this article.

I didn't miss DaringFireball's point, that there are some problems with the Finder, but I did find his anti-NeXT diatribe offensive.

On the subject of File Managers; frankly there were better file managers than the Finder. I picked up a PowerMac 7500 and ran OS 8 for 6 months in 2000, and ran x86 BeOS 4.5 right along with it at the same time. Be's File Manager felt better to me, and much more intuitive. Intuitive? How could anything be more intuitive than the Precious classic Finder? Please remember that half of intuition is experience. I can't explain why it was more intuitive to me than the Finder, it just was. I also ran NeXTStep on a color turbo slab that year and I was much happier with NeXT than MacOS and not merely because of the stability and improved tools. More on the point of the MacOS v. NeXT mindset; Drue Loewenstern gave me a choice quote from Greg Anderson: "Here we are in the land of the blind selling working eyeballs and they complain about the color."

Several of the points made on his second post are well taken, though. Especially the dissolution of the Human Inteface Group.

But if OS X were just OS 9 with more stability and memory protection, I never would have switched. I'm much happier with OS X than I would have been with OS 9+1.

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

site feeds and me! and you! one big happy family.

In case you're wondering: I really do read all the links in my sidebar daily. Site Feeds make that possible. Some of the other nice things about using site feeds is that if somebody posts infrequently, I don't feel frustrated since I'm not actively making an effort to find out if they're posted new material. My only complaint is that going from NetNewsWire Lite or the other news reader I use (who's creator I think wants to keep under wraps) is that it's hard to keep my list of rss feeds in sync with my blogroll. It's taken me months to get those links into blogrolling.com

Something else I've noticed about my behaviour with newsreaders. I'm unlikely to go to a site to read their content if they only post teasers or short descriptions. I actually find those sites to be really frustrating. Also, I wish NNW Lite supported mod_content.

hey neandertal, your bus is waiting. "ugh, me no understand bus. me use two foot"

Some people have nothing better to do than whine that new things don't act EXACTLY the same as the old things. It's called progress. I don't agree with a single point made here. The new finder seems fine and if I were to change it, it wouldn't be back to the classic finder. I hated the classic finder. So many open windows! This goes doubly for the dock. Old Mac OS dweebs hate the dock but I find it perfectly acceptable. I guess I don't expect the world of my UI's. Maybe I'm a bit, as they say, open minded and ready to embrace new things and not prepared to scream "It must act just like DOS 5, the only real operating system!". If you remember, there were lots of people who said that, and they sounded as ludicrous to me then as these Classic Mac OS stalwarts do now.

Monday, November 25, 2002

An evening with the K language

An introduction to the K Language. A few things of note. K is written by the same guy who wrote the A+ financial language for Morgan Stanley. The Kx team also wrote KDB, a super-fast relational db in K. KDB is written with no loops. None, not a while, not a for, not a do. Apparently that's not uncommon of K.

My opinion on closed languages is to avoid them and I've done that sofar with K, even though I've known about it for a year or so and I was therefore interested to hear the Kx team is apparently open to the idea of releasing K if there's a big enough developer community behind it. It's such an interesting language I can't imagine not programming in it if it were open. Is Kx creating a Catch 22? [via LtU]

I don't either, pal.

The other week at a restaurant I was washing my hands before dinner when two 12-year old buddies were running around the bathroom, and one of them ran into a stall and yelled at his pal to come over and look what he had found. The other kids ran over, stopped, looked for a while, and finally said "I don't like looking at poop" as if it was a thought he'd never had before. Ah, self discovery.

stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, people

On a note unrelated to Stacy; Do you know what I hate? People who link to stuff by putting the word "link" in the body of their work and linking from that. STOP THAT! Verbs are very, very useful, link from those. Yes, I'm talking about you. (No, I'm not talking about BoingBoing's 'link' at the end of each article, that makes good sense.)

lots of bands

Speaking of the Stacy-human (I never call her that so don't send me hate mail), we went and saw the Slackers the other weekend and the Bosstones the other night. She blogs the events better than I could. Except to say The Spaz Out ain't a dance, kids, it's a way of life.

stacy loves fallout 2.

I got my girlfriend hooked on Fallout 2, a Post-Apocalyptic RPG with Mutants, strange quests, and bizarre happenings. fun stuff.

Sunday, November 24, 2002

concurrent javascript?

So before anybody else gets the idea; I don't think Concurrent JavaScript is possible without either using the subset of JavaScript that's just functions or modifying the JavaScript object model to not allow access to internal state. I'm not sure what else would have to be done to JS to make a version suitable for concurrency as I can't find any papers on Sequential Pascal, which is the subset of Pascal that was used to develop Concurrent Pascal. Why does this matter? I need the correlations between the two languages since it's the closest language out there to be retrofitted with concurrency constructs. Of course, you can access Java fields in an object and that leads to a lot of misery when you're programming with threads in Java.

Last night I was reading through Origins of Conucurrent Programming which is an interesting, but anemic, look at concurrent system development. Lots of people classify it as an Operating Systems book but I think there's as much of interest to a language designer in there as interest to an OS designer. Something's starting to tell me that those two groups of people aren't that far apart from each other. Maybe there's some zen there that's under-utilized?

Thursday, November 14, 2002

cvsweb is too bland!

I find that I read a lot of code in cvsweb. I sure wish it had code2html built-in.

dave's rule

"Of course if you don't even try to make software that other people use, it can't be very shitty. The people who make the most noise are people who don't show us their software, they don't stick their necks out. That's why their opinion about how software is made isn't very interesting! Show us your software that doesn't suck and I will bow down and worship at your altar."
yes, it's also true of people who claim to be able to critique software engineers when they themselves don't put out code. They know who they are. Actually, they probably don't. Frightening.

I had been wondering what happened to Simon Kittle, his old site simon.kittle.info disappeared and google offered no consolation prize. Here's Simon Kittle.

Mozilla and RDF

One nice thing about Mozilla using RDF for everything is that I was able to fix a bug without having to patch Mozilla itself. I ran into a problem where my windows were all 1 pixel wide and 1 pixel tall. I couldn't figure out how to maximize that so I just fired up emacs and edited my profile's localstore.rdf and changed the relevant bits:

<RDF:Description about="chrome://navigator/content/navigator.xul#main-window"
                   height="722" />

Today I noticed in other parts of the internet, people are again confusing the RDF model with the RDF xml serialization syntax. If you don't like the xml format, just use N3. Don't fault the whole of RDF for the ugly xml syntax. Besides, all xml is ugly anyway. Speaking of which, the Water Language has an interesting paper critiquing xml 1.0. I think we all know where I stand on xml.

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

On Christopher Hitchen's "Why Orwell Matters"

Question. In Orwell's 1984, do you remember off the top of your head, what land and people the three nations were fighting over?
In my several readings of the book, I don't remember the answer. The presenter of this question states that most students of Orwell miss his Cultural Connections. I'm totally lost. Somebody? Anybody? Don't say Spain.

Update: Matt remembers clearly: "they were fighting over (bits of) the middle east, africa, india and indonesia"

An Aside: Orwell had strong feelings about India, he was born there during British rule where his father was a servent of the crown, and himself served in their Indian Imperial Police for a few years, leaving when he realized that he was the "hand of the oppressors". Coincidentally, he hated Ghandi early on, thinking Ghandi to be a puppet of British imperialism. He later recanted and apologized. Orwell had also worked as a broadcaster for the BBC reporting on India.