Quotes in 2007

Sunday, December 30, 2007
the very things that make J2EE and Relational Databases suitable for Enterprise scale applications are the very things that act as road bumps on workgroup scale and on web scale applications. Simply put, relational databases will get squeezed on both sides.

--Sam Ruby
Read the rest in Sam Ruby: Dare Takes a Look at CouchDB

Friday, December 28, 2007
if Hibernate fulfills your needs, you never needed a SQL database in the first place - what you needed was ACID persistence. Why not just use something like Berkeley DB JE, which doesn't have the overhead of a query language at all - and is significantly faster because of it.

--John Snelson on the xml-dev mailing list, Wednesday, 28 Nov 2007 12:51:32

Thursday, December 27, 2007
Java applets were dead in 1997. Everyone knows that.

--Frank D. Greco on the wwwac mailing list, Wednesday, 10 Oct 2007 23:53:18

Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Once you make your fist 100G, and you actually have health and dental insurance for everyone - THEN think about managing your own servers, but not before. Don't waste any time on hosting issues, work on your SITE

--Edward Potter on the "NYPHP Talk" mailing list, Wednesday, 26 Dec 2007 10:02:29

Tuesday, December 25, 2007
C: All the power of Assembler with all the ease of use of Assembler.
C++: All the power of C with all the ease of use of C.
Java: All the ease of use of C++ minus the power of C.

--Colin Strasser on the wwwac mailing list, Sunday, 4 Oct 2007 14:51:54

Monday, December 24, 2007

Since Java is the coin of the realm at my big company I decided to finally learn it.

Working with it I feel like I am falling through a time warp back in time. 20 or 30 years

I know I just started but it seem to be a language without much beauty or style.

--Scott Wickham on the wwwac mailing list, Sunday, 4 Oct 2007 13:46:30

Sunday, December 23, 2007
The feeding frenzy over John Kerry’s botched joke showed that many people in the news media are still willing to be played like a fiddle.

--Paul Krugman
Read the rest in Limiting the Damage

Thursday, December 20, 2007
On the government level, which is to say NASA, the space culture is one of risk aversion and budget preservation: all budgets are spent but most projects are cancelled. Space technology is moving forward at a very slow rate, with propulsion systems, for example, little changed from 40 years ago. Moore's Law has described many things, but serious space advancements aren't among them. The result is that hard-won knowledge has retired with the men and women who developed it and we are substantially LESS able to go to the Moon today as a nation than we were 30 years ago.

--Mark Stephens
Read the rest in I, Cringely . The Pulpit . Revolution, Not Evolution | PBS

Wednesday, December 19, 2007
after dropping over 2 G's on a Rev A Core Duo Intel iMac less than 2 years ago, there's no way I'm going to spend a comparable amount just so I can run Java 6 in 64-bit mode.

--Luke deGruchy on the java dev mailing list, Wednesday, 19 Dec 2007 21:14:25

Friday, December 14, 2007
It’s a lot of work getting your head around some of these deeper, darker parts of QuickTime. Not only are they harder to find documentation and sample code for, but they often lack convenient all-in-one API calls, requiring you instead to build up structures of QuickTime “atoms” by yourself.

--Chris Adamson
Read the rest in Rebooting Java Media, Act II: Development

Friday, December 14, 2007

After years and years of Microsoft promising that this set of frameworks was The Next Great Thing™, I've given up. I just don't have the time.

They're like the boyfriend who keeps coming back and saying, "Really, baby, I went to counseling, and I'm better now, just give me one more chance..." I don't want to be one of those chicks on Sally Jesse saying, "But I love him!"

I've lived through Microsoft's COM and Active-anydamnthing and MFC, and hearing how each one was going to really make it easier for programmers, finally. And, it keeps being bullshit. Now it's .Net and C# and soon it'll be Avalon, and I just can't believe people are buying it.

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

Thursday, December 13, 2007
the single-minded focus on particular massacres, and the hasty application of the term "genocide", is exploited to justify military intervention which occurs only when it suits United States geopolitical purposes and which on balance makes bad situations worse. Prevention of an imaginary "genocide" in Kosovo was the pretext for the United States to establish the precedent of unauthorized military intervention, convert NATO to a new mission of "humanitarian intervention", and thereby reaffirm U.S. supremacy in Europe after the end of the Cold War. When no "weapons of mass destruction" are found, "humanitarian intervention" to overthrow the "genocidal" Saddam Hussein becomes the retroactive excuse for the invasion of Iraq. And what next...?

--Diana Johnstone
Read the rest in Alexander Cockburn: Storm Over Brockes' Fakery

Monday, December 10, 2007
But it's always said, "The business is dying! The business is dying!" I don't think so. There's too many good musicians around for the music business to be sagging. There's so many different styles and facets of the 360-degree musical sphere to listen to. From tribal to classical music, it's all there. If the bottom was to sag out of that, for God's sake, help us all.

--Jimmy Page, 1975
Read the rest in Led Zeppelin '75

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Good apps, once built, tend to be in production for an astonishingly long time. Which means that they have to be maintained for an astonishingly long time. Which means that maintainability is important. There are a lot of things that go into maintainability, but I suggest that the biggies are object-orientation, MVC architecture, code readability, and code size (less is more, a lot more).

This is PHP’s Achilles’ heel, of course. Yes, it is possible to write clean, object-oriented, modular, MVC-style PHP applications. But most people don’t; the majority of apps that I’ve seen have spaghetti PHP code wrapped around spaghetti SQL embedded in spaghetti HTML. Also, a lot of the people who really understand O-O and MVC and maintainability would rather work in Java or Rails.

--Tim Bray
Read the rest in ongoing · Comparing Frameworks

Friday, December 7, 2007
Never underestimate the value of observability, especially during development.

--Greg Guerin on the java-dev mailing list, Sunday, 25 Nov 2007 12:14:59

Wednesday, December 5, 2007
A partnership seldom takes place between equals. As a result, the more powerful side is tempted to squeeze the other party. The weaker side, for its part, will begrudgingly accept such deals and try to get what it can. Bad idea. Bad karma. Bad practicality. If the partnership is a win-lose deal, it will blow up because concrete walls and barbed wire cannot hold a partnership together. Only mutually beneficial results can. In the long, the bitter seed of resentment planted at the start of a partnership will grow into a giant, destructive weed.

--Guy Kawasaki,
Read the rest in The Art of Partnering

Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Both Eclipse and NetBeans are supporting the basics, in particular autocompletion of JSF tags and EL expressions. For the purpose of JSF development, neither IDE seemed particularly slick to me; procedures for achieving common tasks seemed haphazard, unflexible, or unintuitive. At this point, I prefer Eclipse, but not by a huge margin. To gain parity, NetBeans needs to support resource bundles, make a wizard for adding genuine JSF (and not just JSP) pages, and rig its visual editor to handle non-Creator pages.

--Cay Horstmann
Read the rest in Cay Horstmann's Blog: JSF Support in Eclipse Europa and NetBeans 6.0m10

Monday, December 3, 2007
We often judge a program to be the most elegant if it can do as much as possible in the fewest lines of code. Instead I ask you do judge if the user can do the most possible work with the fewest features. Think of it as the Zen of UI Design.

--Joshua Marinacci
Read the rest in Joshua Marinacci's Blog: Please: think of the users!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

There's nothing wrong with offshoring per se, but I think it's a LOT more challenging than most people will admit.

It severely magnifies a whole slew of problems that are inherent in technology development projects regardless of who's doing them. These problems are magnified by outsourcing of any kind, and moreso by offshoring. It's hard to keep a team in sync, motivated, and communicating. Little things like complete lack of physical presence, time zone offsets, and language barriers often compound, and the members of the dev team that face them tend to start drifting away from the efforts of the rest of the team. In your case, this would be the entire tech team, and you'll likely see the result of any drift between the tech team and your business goals.

--Adam Fields on the WWWAC mailing list, Friday, 30 Nov 2007 09:25:49

Saturday, December 1, 2007

it's hard to find good developers no matter where you go. The implicit assumption in off-shoring is that you can get *more* developers for the same amount of money as domestic developers, and that more developers produce more work.

I'm here to tell you that more developers may very well produce *less* output unless you are very, very diligent, and your developers are top notch. If you are an expert technology manager you *might* be able to eek a benefit from an off-shore team. If you are less than expert, your project may quite possibly end up being more expensive, of less quality, and development will take longer.

--Jesse Erlbaum on the WWWAC mailing list, Friday, 30 Nov 2007 18:27:04

Friday, November 30, 2007
Fork is not a dirty word. Forks are almost always good things, if they are viewed in the right light. The purpose of a fork is to explore new ideas. Forks either succeed or fail. If they succeed, they either replace the original, or they merge back in, or they become an independent entity.

--Rich Bowen on the wp-hackers mailing list, Wednesday, 08 Mar 2006 09:38:37

Thursday, November 29, 2007
When a company gets into trouble, all management wants to do is to use PR to fix the PR problem. Instead they should be doing something to fix the underlying problem that is causing the PR problem.

--Laura Ries
Read the rest in The Origin of Brands Blog: Dude, Dell’s got a problem.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007
SSL won't solve every security problem. If you download a Trojan'ed executable over a bidirectionally authenticated SSL connection, with super-reliable root certificates, you've still downloaded a Trojan'ed executable that will still compromise the machine it's run on. The only thing SSL did is ensure integrity (you got the exact Trojan'ed executable the provider sent), confidentiality (no one else could tell what Trojan'ed executable you got), and direct authenticity (the provider you got the Trojan from is certified by its CA).

--Greg Guerin on the java-dev mailing list, Sunday, 25 Nov 2007 12:14:59

Monday, November 26, 2007

One basic philosophy of HCD is to listen to users, to take their complaints and critiques seriously. Yes, listening to customers is always wise, but acceding to their requests can lead to overly complex designs. Several major software companies, proud of their human-centered philosophy, suffer from this problem. Their software gets more complex and less understandable with each revision. Activity-Centered philosophy tends to guard against this error because the focus is upon the Activity, not the Human. As a result, there is a cohesive, well-articulated design model. If a user suggestion fails to fit within this design model, it should be discarded. Alas, all too many companies, proud of listening to their users, would put it in.

Here, what is needed is a strong, authoritative designer who can examine the suggestions and evaluate them in terms of the requirements of the activity. When necessary, it is essential to be able to ignore the requests. This is the goal to cohesion and understandability. Paradoxically, the best way to satisfy users is sometimes to ignore them.

--Donald Norman
Read the rest in Don Norman's jnd.org / Human

Friday, November 23, 2007
Although private enterprise is welcome to build and maintain their own infrastructure, there comes a point where the private enterprise intersects the public at large, and we have ample precedent for the public good coming ahead of the bottom line. For example, a shopping mall can't put up a sign that say "wheelchairs stay out" - in fact there's a host of laws the specifically pertain to a place of "public accommodation" and these laws are to protect, among other things, public access to private property.

--Martin Focazio on the WWWAC mailing list, Friday, 10 Aug 2007 13:20:33

Thursday, November 22, 2007
Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.

--Mark Twain, 1916
Read the rest in The Mysterious Stranger

Tuesday, November 20, 2007
The thing I found quite dramatic was how fast you can code if you get rid of project managers, marketeers, junior programmers, and every other kind of colleague who has their own ideas on what to do next. In fact, not having paying customers helps a lot too

--Michael Kay on the xml-dev mailing list, Sunday, 7 Apr 2005 17:44:12

Sunday, November 18, 2007
we suffer amnesia during the time it takes to make a decision, even a little one, such as what cursor key to press next. This decision interval is equivalent to the time it takes to find a mouse, leading people to believe that cursor keys are faster because their subjective experience is faster, even though stopwatch studies, including my own, consistently find cursor keys about half as fast as the mouse.

--Bruce Tognazzini
Read the rest in Slashing Subjective Time

Saturday, November 17, 2007

perhaps all databases will simply become hybrid databases, offering multiple interfaces for the same data - an XML view, a relational view, etc. When working with XML and relational, of course, the XML view will be easier.

Regardless, it's not just XML and relational, but various feeds and files and many other kinds of data that need to be integrated in many, many systems. XQuery is really well designed for this kind of integration. So far, I don't know another language that is.

--Jonathan Robie on the xml-dev mailing list, Friday, 19 Oct 2007 11:37:28

Friday, November 16, 2007
Netbeans provides some syntax highlighting and code completion for the language, but it's barely better than notepad when compared to the authoring tools being offered by Adobe. To take on the competition, Netbeans will need timeline driven animation and Matise-like component layout from day one. On day two, we need vector drawing tools to compete with Illustrator and Expression

--Bryan Young
Read the rest in Scruffles.net: JavaFX in Perspective

Thursday, November 15, 2007
An international watch list seems like a sensible precaution for reviewing visa and immigration requests. Keeping terrorists out of the country is a worthwhile goal, and it makes sense for the government to keep a master list of individuals with documented links to terrorist activities. However, the list would be more useful if it were a lot shorter. It seems unlikely there are anywhere close to 750,000 people plotting terrorist acts around the world. A list that large ensures a high false-positive rate, wastes law-enforcement resources, and ensures that border control officials will not take the watch list as seriously as they should when an actual terrorist shows up.

--Timothy B. Lee
Read the rest in Bloated terrorist list may contribute to security problems

Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Generally an optimization done without hints is ten times better than one that has to be switched on by the user, because only a tiny fraction of users will ever work out how to turn the knobs.

--Michael Kay on the xsl-list mailing list, Saturday, 10 Nov 2007 17:06:51

Tuesday, November 13, 2007
“Rip, mix, burn” is a great metaphor for what people want to do with their media in the Web 2.0 era. And when Apple says “rip, mix, burn”, what you should hear in the abstract is “capture, edit, export”. JMF’s biggest problem is that it can barely do the first (and pretty much only on Windows), and can’t do the second at all.

--Chris Adamson
Read the rest in Rebooting Java Media, Act II: Development

Monday, November 12, 2007
What made Apple stand out was Steve's uncompromising vision, which often runs counter to prevailing wisdom, but yields "insanely great" new products.

--Tim O'Reilly
Read the rest in Yahoo's Revival Meeting

Thursday, November 8, 2007

1. Would you be willing to give up your right of privacy in your telephone conversations, would you allow the telephone company to charge you extra for carrying conversations between you and your bank, and sell information gathered to anyone they choose?

2. If the phone company were allowed to wiretap every conversation over their system, and degrade at will whatever circuits they wished to, would that be an improvement?

I ask these questions because, if common carriage is bad for the Net, why then, it must also be bad for old fashioned telephone service. And trucking, and water borne transport, etc..

--Jay Sulzberger on the wwwac mailing list, Sunday, 4 Oct 2007 12:13:04 -0400

Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Sun got distracted and IBM took the Java lead away.

--Jose Cornado on the java-dev mailing list, Saturday, 27 Oct 2007 09:33:34

Monday, November 5, 2007
There is a good ugly code and there is bad ugly code. Good ugly code is not "elegant", whatever that means, but it works well and isn't full of holes. Diebold is the poster child for bad ugly code, which they have fought mightily to conceal under the tattered "trade secrets" excuse. As if- they were shipping shoddy code, and they knew it. I wonder where they got the idea that no one would notice, because hiding the code doesn't hide what it does.

--Carla Schroder
Read the rest in What's So Precious About Bad Software?

Sunday, November 4, 2007
true concurrency support -- the ability to run pieces of a program on multiple processors -- is hard in a dynamic language. Although they both have threads, neither Python nor Ruby is able to actually allocate those threads to multiple processors. The threading is just for code organization and to handle blocking operations. Ruby and Python are prevented from using multiple cores because they both suffer from the global interpreter lock problem.

--Bruce Eckel
Read the rest in Python 3K or Python 2.9?

Friday, November 2, 2007
We've definitely drunk the kool-aid at this point. Building resource-oriented applications will be the Rails default before too long. By Rails 2.0, we'll have the new scaffold_resource be the default scaffolder. Indoctrinate good RESTful practices to people even before they know or care as to why it matters.

--David Heinemeier Hansson on the rest-discuss mailing list, Monday, 27 Nov 2006 19:13:54

Thursday, November 1, 2007
In 2001 (!), JSF was envisioned as "Swing for the Web", a standard framework for delivering high quality web applications. I remember asking Amy Fowler at the 2002 Java One whether it will include professionally designed components similar to those in Swing, and she said "of course". Unfortunately, in 2007, we still don't have a standard set of widgets that is needed in practice, such as tabs, breadcrumbs, header/footer, menus, etc. etc. We also have no standard way of plugging third-party component sets into visual tools. JSR 314 promises JSF 2.0 by April 2008, with a huge laundry list of desirable features. A standard widget set is not among them.

--Cay Horstmann
Read the rest in Cay Horstmann's Blog: JSF Support in Eclipse Europa and NetBeans 6.0m10

Wednesday, October 31, 2007
The greatest fallacy of the new generation of scripting languages (IMHO) is that they are not aligned with where computing is headed towards - Multicore, Multithreaded architectures. Intel, Sun, IBM and AMD are all committed to multicore computing as their primary future strategy. What the hell is the Global Interpreter Lock still doing in Python and why in the name of heavens can it not be recursive ? Guido even refuses to acknowledge this as a problem and tells us to write non-multithreaded code. It is easier to write code that way, but that is not where the future is headed, unless he has a release of “Quantum Python” planned some time soon ;-) Ruby has the same fundamental problem - Only one ruby thread can be scheduled into the run queue at any instant.

--Ananth Shrinivas
Read the rest in Java != Slow « Thermal Noise

Monday, October 29, 2007

it's difficult to see what purpose is served by a domestic no-fly list. If government officials have concrete evidence that an American person is engaged in terrorist-related activities, then the government should be doing a lot more than putting that individual on a no-fly list. They should be actively investigating the individual, tapping his phone, reading his email, monitoring his financial transactions, and generally gathering the evidence required to either clear his name, deport him, or arrest him.

If, on the other hand, the government doesn't have enough evidence of terrorist ties to justify starting an investigation against an individual, then it's unreasonable, not to mention a waste of law enforcement resources, to ban him from flying on airplanes or subject him to heightened scrutiny every time he goes to an airport.

--Timothy B. Lee
Read the rest in Bloated terrorist list may contribute to security problems

Sunday, October 28, 2007
As several people have noticed at my talks over the past few months, I no longer carry a Mac laptop. As much as I love the Mac's eye candy, it really hasn't been keeping up as a developer's machine - their attention has clearly been elsewhere. Meanwhile, the Solaris folks have made huge strides in Solaris's usability on a laptop with recent Nevada builds: the latest Gnome is quite lovely. Firefox, Thunderbird and Lightning kick ass. The new installer is totally slick. The nwam (network automagic) service makes network hassles almost totally disappear. And Java, NetBeans and Glassfish go like the wind! It's amazing how fast things run.

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

Friday, October 26, 2007

There's a Java oriented software conference called No Fluff Just Stuff that's been going on for the past six years. When I first started going, I was one of the only guys carrying a Mac. Over the last couple years, Macs have sprung up like weeds, and more importantly, nearly all the presenters were carrying them.

This year, the Mac were still there, but the first thing most presenters did was fire up Parallels and flip over to XP/Vista or Linux. That's not going to sell many Macs when they are just being used as stylish Windows machines...

--Wilhelm Fitzpatrick on the java-dev mailing list, Friday, 26 Oct 2007 13:35:04

Thursday, October 25, 2007
Apple is a company that values secrecy above absolutely everything else, including profit, reputation and goodwill.

--Brendon McLean on the Java-Dev Mailing List mailing list, Wednesday, 17 Oct 2007 14:12:54

Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Engineers know that you have to choose version numbers early during development, and that you have to maintain a consistent numbering scheme long-term over a series of releases. Marketing people think you can dream up a version number while drafting a press release three days before the product ships.

--Michael Kay on the jdom-interest mailing list, Wednesday, 12 Sep 2007 09:21:50

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I call the biggest misconception about Java concurrency "The Law of Greek Driving," which I will be describing in my newsletter in detail. The Java memory model is quite clear about what you can and cannot do, and like Greek driving, the laws are also quite clear here. You may not exceed the speed limit, you have to wear a seat belt, stop at stop signs, etc. However, the available JVMs are more forgiving than they need to be. Similarly, in Greece and Crete where I live, you are unlikely to be caught or fined for breaking traffic laws, which leads to bad driving. At stop signs, it's wise to slow down but not stop completely because you risk being rear-ended by a Cretan. The laws are strict but often aren't enforced.

In the same way, the Java memory model rules are not always enforced or obeyed by the JVMs. Your concurrent code may seem correct and may test out on all available JVMs and hardware but might still be incorrect. As hardware changes, the JVM manufacturers might be forced to apply the rules more strictly, in which case your code might break. Anyone using multiple threads must have a solid understanding of what is and isn't allowed. Even the best test may fail to flush out one's mistakes.

--Heinz Kabutz
Read the rest in Becoming a Better Programmer: A Conversation With Java Champion Heinz Kabutz

Monday, October 22, 2007
In the summer of 1997 I was contacted by a stranger out of the blue with a kind of random offer. During the previous school year Nate Oostendorp (who now works with SourceForge, Inc. while working on his Masters) had coded a Space Invaders clone. He wrote a Java sprite library, and I wrote the game and illustrated the alien armada. This guy had an old DEC Alpha Multia 166, and a client that wanted to remake the game with popcorn instead of aliens. So I drew the popcorn up, replaced the gifs, and he mailed me my first non x86 box since the 286 I got in middle school. (Later Sun sent me legal threats forcing me to take the game offline since it was called Java Invaders, and clearly this was an evil crime against the universe. My hatred for Java has never died since that moment.)

--Rob Malda
Read the rest in Slashdot | A Brief History of Slashdot Part 1, Chips & Dips

Sunday, October 21, 2007
In order to make the American Afghan War appear 'just', it becomes imperative to completely block out access to information on the true human costs of this war. The actions of the Bush-Rumsfeld-Rice trio speak eloquently to these efforts: calling-in major U.S news networks to give them their marching orders, buying up all commercial satellite imagery available to the general public, sending Powell off to Qatar to lecture the independent Al Jazeera news network, and lastly, when that failed targeting the Kabul office of Al Jazeera and scoring a direct missile hit on it. In mid-October, Duncan Campbell reported how the Pentagon was spending millions of dollars to prevent western media from buying highly accurate civilian satellite pictures of the effects of the U.S bombing. The Pentagon decision was taken on October 11th after reports of heavy civilian casualties from overnight [10/11] bombing of Darunta near Jalalabad. The Pentagon bought exclusive rights to all Ikonos satellite pictures from the Denver-based Space Imaging Inc.27 Lastly, as has been pointed out, the major U.S corporate media have devoted only sparse moments to the topic of civilian casualties, obeying the Bush-Pentagon directives.

--Marc Herold
Read the rest in A Dossier on Civilian Victims of United States' Aerial Bombing of Afghanistan: A Comprehensive Accounting

Friday, October 19, 2007

Linux was created to service the home desktop personal computer, and the PC is here to stay. For those who were looking for some excitement and enjoyment in using their computer, the defacto operating system just doesn't cut it. We want to tinker, we want control, we want power over everything. Or alternatively we believe in some sort of freedom or some combination of the above. So we use Linux. That is certainly how I got involved in Linux; I wanted something to use on the home desktop PC.

However, the desktop PC is crap. It's rubbish. The experience is so bloated and slowed down in all the things that matter to us. We all own computers today that were considered supercomputers 10 years ago. 10 years ago we owned supercomputers of 20 years ago.. and so on. So why on earth is everything so slow? If they're exponentially faster why does it take longer than ever for our computers to start, for the applications to start and so on? Sure, when they get down to the pure number crunching they're amazing (just encode a video and be amazed). But in everything else they must be unbelievably slower than ever.

Computers of today may be 1,000 times faster than they were a decade ago, yet the things that matter are slower.

--Ashton Mills
Read the rest in Interview with Con Kolivas part 1: computing is boring | APC Magazine

Thursday, October 18, 2007
Much talk has been given to Service Pack 1 and how this update should address many of the issues users have with Vista, but I simply don't agree. Will SP1 eliminate the ridiculous Microsoft licensing schemes? Will SP1 drop the price on the higher-end versions? Will SP1 eliminate the need for users to buy a new computer just to use the faulty OS? SP1 will do nothing but fix the holes and issues we currently know about and create even more.

--Don Reisinger
Read the rest in Why Microsoft must abandon Vista to save itself | Tech news blog

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Even using Hibernate (or JPA, or JDO, or Castor JDO, or Toplink, or any of the other ORM tools available), mapping problems don't go away, however -- they just move into configuration files. What's more, there's no avoiding the feeling that you're pushing round pegs into square holes. For example, if you're trying to create a nicely-stratified inheritance model, mapping it to a table or set of tables involves weighing one ugly trade-off against another. Weighing query performance against violation of normal form ends up pitting DBA against developer at some point.

The problem here is that it's hard to get really excited about building a rich domain model (a la Martin Fowler or Eric Evans's respective books) if you're then going to have to either compromise it in order to match an existing database schema, compromise the database's ability to carry out its operations to support the object model, or both.

--Ted Neward
Read the rest in The busy Java developer's guide to db4o: Introduction and overview

Monday, October 15, 2007
With the Intel switch finished, Apple no longer sells a machine capable of running pre-2001 Mac software. 17 years of executable Mac history gone. Does anyone care?

--Chris Adamson
Read the rest in Classic Goes Out with Nary a Whisper

Saturday, October 13, 2007
The Duopoly did not invent email, the WWWW, ssh, voip, rsync, storing data elsewhere, running a business with a web front, etc.. But now the Duopoly is moving to claim that each and every one of these things is a separate "service" which the Duopoly alone can provide. If your so-called "Net connection" does not allow you to run an httpd on port 80, then you do not actually have a Net connection. You have something else, and if that something else were the only thing available in 1988, there would be no World Wide Web, because every httpd would either be owned and run by the Duopoly, or, more likely, there would be nothing even close to the WWW, just "interactive TV". Remember that was the dream of the Duopoly back then. Luckily, back then we had freedom of the Net, which means that we can, with perfect legality, invent and deploy and use what applications we want on our Net, so long as we pay for the passage of our bits.

--Jay Sulzberger on the WWWAC mailing list, Monday, 1 Oct 2007 21:05:10 -0400

Thursday, October 11, 2007
A single-app database is fairly easy to evolve, a multi-app database is more difficult. A lot of OR mapping frameworks seem to assume that the object model should drive the data model and that it's the only thing accessing the db. In real organizations this is rarely the case, or at least it would be rarely the case if the object developers were mature enough to understand that their work needs to fit into the rest of the overall IT infrastructure.

--Scott Ambler on the agile-data mailing list, Monday, 1 Oct 2007 12:30:35

Wednesday, October 10, 2007
The American people weren't just failed by a President -- they were failed by much of Washington. By a media that too often reported spin instead of facts. By a foreign policy elite that largely boarded the bandwagon for war. And most of all by the majority of a Congress -- a coequal branch of government -- that voted to give the President the open-ended authority to wage war that he uses to this day.

--Barack Obama
Read the rest in Glenn Greenwald - Political Blogs and Opinions

Tuesday, October 9, 2007
The last time I used views was over 10 years ago on DB2. Then I moved to using light weight relational DB's like MySQL - which lacked the features of an enterprise database, but also lacked the high hardware requirements of one. Now MySQL is slowly approaching the features of enterprise databases, but it's a different time. Memory and CPU are a lot cheaper now than 10 years ago.

--Gary Mort on the NYPHP Talk mailing list, Friday, 28 Sep 2007 15:12:44

Monday, October 8, 2007
I'm a former reporter, so maybe I'm picky, but I've found that I can't listen to this "embedded" stuff. When NPR brings an "embedded" reporter on the air, I change the channel. In the newspaper, I just don't bother reading the stories with "embedded" bylines. What's the point? With all due respect to these brave people, what they're doing isn't journalism. It's better written than Tommy Franks' press conference material, but it has exactly the same amount of credibility. I was in the trade press, so you could say (and you'd be right) that I'm used to a lower standard of independence than, say, a metro daily reporter, but this stuff makes the trade press look like Izzy Stone.

--Ted Kuster
Read the rest in Poynter Online - Forums

Sunday, October 7, 2007
The massive subsidy provided to drivers in the form of free roads is obviously producing highly inefficient outcomes, which is why DC feels like a prison from which it is impossible to escape unless one wants to spend four hours on the Beltway. We clearly need to institute comprehensive road tolls combined with a congestion pricing scheme. Plus, of course, a carbon tax to compensate for the negative externalities drivers are imposing on those of us who use primarily mass transit.

--Brad Delong
Read the rest in Grasping Reality with Both Hands: Brad DeLong's Semi

Saturday, October 6, 2007
Do I recommend Windows Vista [for everyone]? Not a snowball’s chance in… I’m waiting on Apple to release Mac OS X Leopard. As far as I’m concerned at this point, Microsoft is taking a huge hit. The future of Windows, in my opinion, is inside a Virtual Machine or Boot Camp on a Mac.

--Chris Pirillo
Read the rest in Vista Rants ~ Chris Pirillo

Thursday, October 4, 2007
Unfortunately Java has a bad rep on the desktop because it spent many years cursed with terrible performance and hideous GUIs. It seems that too many people were burned by their early experiences of Java to believe that those problems just don’t exist any more, but it’s true, they don’t. The JVM is blazingly fast now, almost as fast as native code. For GUIs, we have Eclipse RCP which is a great framework built on a sane GUI library, SWT. Even Swing sucks a lot less these days than it used to. Eclipse RCP hasn’t made a big splash yet in rich internet applications or in the kind of widely downloaded consumer apps that get reviewed in magazines, but it is rapidly colonizing the landscape for internal corporate applications, particularly in banks, which is the vertical I work in.

--Neil Bartlett
Read the rest in Neil’s point

Wednesday, October 3, 2007
be careful when assuming that threads are the right solution. We came to threads through a series of steps, like the temperature being turned up on a frog in a pan of water. People assume that you "must have threads to do concurrency properly." But threads are fraught with problems and notoriously difficult -- some experts even say impossible -- to get right (hey, the GIL might be your friend a lot more than you know). Yes, with processes you don't get everything you get with threads, but you can use multicores and multiple machines right now and write robust code because the OS is protecting you by not allowing you to share memory. That's a good thing!

--Bruce Eckel
Read the rest in Reply to Guido's Reply

Tuesday, October 2, 2007
if you want to play in the bazaar and not the cathedral, you need to be open to the hoi polloi every once in a blue moon.

--Doug Stewart on the wp-hackers mailing list, Wednesday, 26 Sep 2007 07:07:01

Monday, October 1, 2007

What's the real reason for closed, proprietary code? Embarrassment.

Sure, we are drowned in tides of twaddle about precious IP, Trade Sekkrits, Sooper Original Algorithms that must not be exposed to eyes of mere mortals, and all manner of silly excuses. But that's all a smokescreen to cover up the real reason: to hide code of such poor quality that even PHBs know to be embarrassed. Exhibit A: Windows itself. Which proves it takes more than throwing billions of dollars and thousands of programmers at a software project to build something that is actually good.

--Carla Schroder
Read the rest in What's So Precious About Bad Software?

Sunday, September 30, 2007
Hypocrisy, my friends, is the most obvious of political sins — and the people will punish it. We were elected to reduce the size of government and enlarge the sphere of free and private initiative. We increased the size of government in the false hope that we could bribe the public into keeping us in office. We lost our principles and our majority, and there is no way to recover our majority without recovering our principles first.

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

Saturday, September 29, 2007
If you're asking what is the process for determining what Wikipedia says on a subject, then we know the answer: it's a democratic process moderated by benevolant dictators. We also know that the process is imperfect; but I for one believe that it's nevertheless as good as or better than the process for determining what appears in other more traditionally authoritative media such as academic papers, history books, and newspapers.

--Michael Kay on the xml-dev mailing list, Monday, 29 Jan 2007 00:08:41

Friday, September 28, 2007
While Vista was originally touted by Microsoft as the operating system savior we've all been waiting for, it has turned out to be one of the biggest blunders in technology. With a host of issues that are inexcusable and features that are taken from the Mac OS X and Linux playbook, Microsoft has once again lost sight of what we really want.

--Don Reisinger
Read the rest in Why Microsoft must abandon Vista to save itself | Tech news blog

Thursday, September 27, 2007

There really is this child-like need in American mainstream political discourse constantly to believe that we are fault-free and that when there is hostility directed at us from other parts of the world, it is always baffling and unjustified and crazy and malicious. And the accompanying cartoon-like belief is that anyone who has hostility towards the U.S. is some demented, crazed, Hitler-like monster.

It really ought not be that difficult to understand that a country which rules the world by military force; invades, bombs and occupies other countries far more than anyone else; overthrows other countries' governments -- including their democratically elected ones -- and openly debates what other governments it should change; and issues endless lectures to the world about the evils of tyranny and nuclear weapons while constantly violating those sermons (and encouraging our allies to do so) with actions, is going to trigger rather intense and substantial hostility around the world, particularly in those regions where we are doing the invading, bombing, occupying and controlling. As George Washington explained quite clearly a couple hundred years ago, that is precisely why it is so ill-advised to engage in that behavior.

The idea that we are the source of all Good in the world and that all anti-American anger is irrational is just the opposite side of the same Manichean coin that holds that the U.S. is the principal source of evil in the world. But while the latter form of irrational moralism is relegated to the fringes (at least in American politics), the former predominates in virtually all political discussions. On an individual level, most people have little difficulty understanding that a refusal to recognize one's own faults is one of the most self-destructive attributes a person can possess. But when it comes to the U.S. collectively, recognizing America's faults -- the actions we take to trigger anti-American animus -- is virtually prohibited.

--Glenn Greenwald
Read the rest in Glenn Greenwald - Political Blogs and Opinions

Wednesday, September 26, 2007
One thing that I found particularly annoying though, is that Vista automatically assumes that all setup programs (application installers) should be run with administrator privileges. So, when you try to run such a program, you get a UAC prompt and you have only two choices: either to agree to run this application as administrator or to disallow running it at all. That means that if you downloaded some freeware Tetris game, you will have to run its installer as administrator, giving it not only full access to all your file system and registry, but also allowing e.g. to load kernel drivers! Why Tetris installer should be allowed to load kernel drivers?

--Joanna Rutkowska
Read the rest in invisiblethings' blog: Running Vista Every Day!

Monday, September 23, 2007
The media has simply become a branch of the war effort. What has entirely disappeared from television is anything remotely resembling a consistently dissenting voice. Every major channel now employs retired generals, former CIA agents, terrorism experts and known neoconservatives as "consultants" who speak a revolting jargon designed to sound authoritative but in effect supporting everything done by the US, from the UN to the sands of Arabia. Only one major daily newspaper (in Baltimore) has published anything about US eavesdropping, telephone tapping and message interception of the six small countries that are members of the Security Council and whose votes are undecided. There are no antiwar voices to read or hear in any of the major medias of this country, no Arabs or Muslims (who have been consigned en masse to the ranks of the fanatics and terrorists of this world), no critics of Israel, not on Public Broadcasting, not in The New York Times, the New Yorker, US News and World Report, CNN and the rest. When these organisations mention Iraq's flouting of 17 UN resolutions as a pretext for war, the 64 resolutions flouted by Israel (with US support) are never mentioned. Nor is the enormous human suffering of the Iraqi people during the past 12 years mentioned. Whatever the dreaded Saddam has done Israel and Sharon have also done with American support, yet no one says anything about the latter while fulminating about the former. This makes a total mockery of taunts by Bush and others that the UN should abide by its own resolutions.

--Edward Said
Read the rest in Al - Ahram Weekly | Opinion | Who is in charge?

Saturday, September 22, 2007
We have a serious problem. Whenever I try to pitch Linux to anyone under 30, the question I get is: "Will it work with my iPod?". We are not yet as a community making the painful compromises need to achieve widespread desktop market share. Until we do, we will get locked out of more hardware.

--Eric S. Raymond
Read the rest in Open source guru advocates ideological shift | The Register

Thursday, September 20, 2007
sometimes it is a good thing not to try to solve all problems at once, in particular in API design.

--Stefan Haustein on the whatwg mailing list, Tuesday, 14 Nov 2006 14:29:44

Tuesday, September 18, 2007
UAC and a few other somewhat invasive security measures are not about protecting customers; they're about protecting Microsoft from negative publicity.

--Scot Finnie
Read the rest in The Trouble with Vista

Sunday, September 16, 2007
Java is Slow and Solaris is Slow are complaints that belong to the previous century.

--Ananth Shrinivas
Read the rest in Java != Slow « Thermal Noise

Saturday, September 15, 2007
I'll probably never be able to create a correct threaded program in C++ or Java, despite years of study. It's just too hard.

--Bruce Eckel
Read the rest in Python 3K or Python 2.9?

Thursday, September 6, 2007
I like Jonathan Schwartz a lot, but I think that unless some drastic changes are made to Java, the move to JAVA as Sun's ticker symbol is going to be as relevant as changing it to COBOL. I'm using Java less and less as time goes by, not more - the heyday of the language and platform has come and gone, and IMHO, it's going to continue to fade from relevance with increasing speed.

--Russell Beattie
Read the rest in RussellBeattie.com

Wednesday, September 5, 2007
JavaFX compares very nicely to Flex and XAML when ignoring their sister technologies. Feature for feature it compares nicely. Without the rest of the package, of course, it's all pretty academic. Assuming Sun is really serious about taking on Adobe and Microsoft, they still have a lot of work ahead of them

--Bryan Young
Read the rest in Scruffles.net: JavaFX in Perspective

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

A Flash presentation isn’t that much different than a Java applet, except that:

  1. It uses a different runtime
  2. It loads a lot faster
  3. It has rich multimedia support
  4. People like it

--Chris Adamson
Read the rest in Java SE Media (Or Not) at JavaOne

Monday, September 3, 2007
An intelligent consumer knows as much as the people making the decisions. That's the last thing any business wants

--Henry Harteveldt, Vice President, Forrester Research
Read the rest in Wired News: Casting Net For Better Airfares

Saturday, September 1, 2007
PHP’s original claim to fame was that it was the quick-and-dirty way to get a Web app on the air. There’s no point trying to sweep the “dirty” bit under the carpet; a lot of those quickie PHP apps are butt-ugly. One of the reasons Rails is interesting is that it’s quick and clean.

--Tim Bray
Read the rest in ongoing · Comparing Frameworks

Friday, August 31, 2007
We may put on the hairshirt of morality in explaining why these people should die. They died because of 11 September, we may say, because of President Saddam's "weapons of mass destruction", because of human rights abuses, because of our desperate desire to "liberate" them all. Let us not confuse the issue with oil. Either way, I'll bet we are told President Saddam is ultimately responsible for their deaths. We shan't mention the pilot, of course.

--Robert Fisk
Read the rest in Argument

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Even worse than that, while I obviously like to see Linux run on 1024 CPUs and 1000 hard drives, I loathe the fact that to implement that we have to kill performance on the desktop. What's that? Kill performance? Yes, that's what I mean.

If we numerically quantify it with all the known measurable quantities, performance is better than ever. Yet all it took was to start up an audio application and wonder why on earth if you breathed on it the audio would skip. Skip! Jigabazillion bagigamaherz of CPU and we couldn't play audio?

Or click on a window and drag it across the screen and it would spit and stutter in starts and bursts. Or write one large file to disk and find that the mouse cursor would move and everything else on the desktop would be dead without refreshing for a minute.

I felt like crying.

I even recall one bug report we tried to submit about this and one developer said he couldn't reproduce the problem on his quad-CPU 4GB RAM machine with 4 striped RAID array disks... think about the sort of hardware the average user would have had four years ago. Is it any wonder the desktop sucked so much?

--Con Kolivas
Read the rest in Interview with Con Kolivas part 1: computing is boring | APC Magazine

Wednesday, August 29, 2007
If the best thing you can do for your stock is change the ticker symbol, you're in trouble.

--Dave Kellogg
Read the rest in Blogger: Mark Logic CEO Blog

Tuesday, August 28, 2007
the more entrenched a technology is, the harder it is to displace it with something better. Remember the 3.5inch floppy? It disappeared in the end, but not until there was a technology that was about 500 times better, and even then it took at least five years between obsolescence and extinction.

--Michael Kay on the xml-dev mailing list, Sunday, 10 Jun 2007 18:53:17

Monday, August 27, 2007

We hear a lot in the media these days about America’s obesity epidemic. A third of Americans, we are told, are “obese,” and two-thirds are “overweight.” Hundreds of thousands purportedly are dying each year from weighing too much, while countless others suffer from scores of “obesity related” diseases. Obesity has been blamed for everything from dragging down the economy to global warming. Most recently, we’ve heard that obesity is “contagious.”

The problem with these assertions is that they are based mostly on arbitrary definitions and fuzzy statistical conjectures. Although Americans have indeed grown heavier over the past three decades (the average American weighs about 8 to 12 pounds more than in 1980), it is not clear that this weight gain is putting them in any imminent danger. The primary reason so many Americans are “overweight” and “obese” is because these terms are defined at unjustifiably low levels of body mass. For example, under our current definitions, George Bush and Michael Jordan are overweight, while Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mel Gibson are obese. These standards were not based on any scientific evidence linking body mass to health, but were created by insurance actuaries and medical professionals with financial ties to the weight loss industry.

--J. Eric Oliver, University of Chicago
Read the rest in Freakonomics Quorum: What is the Right Way to Think About the Obesity Epidemic? - Freakonomics - Opinion

Saturday, August 25, 2007
Unfortunately, just because the USPTO is a laughing stock among programmers does not mean that its influence is not strong elsewhere. Venture capitalists still look to pupported IP when evaluating companies, and researchers are frequently rated by how many patents they get.

--Rick Jelliffe on the xml-dev mailing list, Tuesday, 7 Jun 2005 09:34:24 +1000

Friday, August 24, 2007

JAVA is a technology whose value is near infinite to the internet, and a brand that's inseparably a part of Sun (and our profitability). And so next week, we're going to embrace that reality by changing our trading symbol, from SUNW to JAVA. This is a big change for us, capitalizing on the extraordinary affinity our teams have invested to build, introducing Sun to new investors, developers and consumers. Most know Java, few know Sun - we can bring the two one step closer.

To be very clear, this isn't about changing the company name or focus - we are Sun, we are a systems company, and we will always be a derivative of the students that created us, Stanford University Network is here to stay. But we are no longer simply a workstation company, nor a company whose products can be limited by one category - and Java does a better job of capturing exactly that sentiment than any other four letter symbol. Java means limitless opportunity - for our software, systems, storage, service and microelectronics businesses. And for the open source communities we shepherd. What a perfect ticker.

--Jonathan Schwartz, CEO SUNW JAVA
Read the rest in Jonathan Schwartz's Weblog

Thursday, August 23, 2007
It is undoubtedly true that America’s failure in Vietnam led to catastrophic consequences in the region, especially in Cambodia. But there are a couple of further points that need weighing. One is that the Khmer Rouge would never have come to power in the absence of the war in Vietnam — this dark force arose out of the circumstances of the war, was in a deep sense created by the war. The same thing has happened in the Middle East today. Foreign occupation of Iraq has created far more terrorists than it has deterred.

--David C. Hendrickson, Colorado College
Read the rest in Historians Question Bush’s Reading of Lessons of Vietnam War for Iraq

Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Then there’s the Internet problem. When you’re in a Wi-Fi hot spot, going online is fast and satisfying. But otherwise, you have to use AT&T’s ancient EDGE cellular network, which is excruciatingly slow. The New York Times’s home page takes 55 seconds to appear; Amazon.com, 100 seconds; Yahoo. two minutes. You almost ache for a dial-up modem.

--David Pogue
Read the rest in The iPhone Matches Most of Its Hype

Monday, August 20, 2007
If you distribute a Java application that imports LGPL libraries, it's easy to comply with the LGPL. Your application's license needs to allow users to modify the library, and reverse engineer your code to debug these modifications. This doesn't mean you need to provide source code or any details about the internals of your application. Of course, some changes the users may make to the library may break the interface, rendering the library unable to work with your application. You don't need to worry about that -- people who modify the library are responsible for making it work.

--David Rurner, Attorney, Free Software Foundation
Read the rest in The LGPL and Java

Sunday, August 19, 2007
It would be even better if the government was required to pay fair wages to soldiers during war time — i.e., if combat pay was market-determined and soldiers could opt to leave whenever they wanted, like most jobs. If that were the case, the cost to the government would skyrocket and more accurately reflect the true costs of war, leading to a truer assessment of whether the benefits of military action outweigh the costs.

--Steven D. Levitt
Read the rest in Restore the Draft? What a Bad Idea - Freakonomics - Opinion

Saturday, August 18, 2007

pirated software is often easier to obtain and set up than making a legitimate purchase.

A friend of my father obtained a legitimate copy of Windows XP from a local guy who sells custom computers. He tried to install it but he was confused by the different serial codes, authorization keys, and verification checks to pass through. My father, who is quite good with computers, tried to help. When they finally had it all sorted out on which number went where, it turned out that the length of one of the serial codes didn't match the length of the input fields. They tried calling a customer service number, but, after working their way through 1-800 numbers and option menus, the net result was that the situation was not solvable with automated service and there were no live operators available because it was late Friday night. They tried to persist in figuring it out themselves, but were stopped cold when some maximum limit of install attempts was reached and it refused any further action. Eventually, a few days later with the help of the guy who originally provided the copy of Windows, it all got sorted out and my dad's friend can enjoy his legitimate copy of Windows.

This was an extreme case, but when you consider that he could have downloaded and installed a cracked version within hours, you start to get a sense of what I mean by "freer than free". To do it the legitimate way, say by buying online or having to trudge out to a brick-and-mortar store, he would get no more convenience than obtaining a pirated copy. At worst, getting an illegal copy would take much less time than the couple of days he actually experienced in doing things the legal way.

--Dave Gutteridge
Read the rest in Windows Is Free (A TLUG Article)

Friday, August 17, 2007
legislators should see the SCO fiasco as a warning of the risks of expanding intellectual property law without concern for the implications. The steady erosion of fair use rights and the ceaseless expansion of copyright duration pose a grave threat to innovation in the United States. In order to prevent intellectual property law from being abused to stall technological progress, the government must stop giving in to the selfish demands of the intellectual property cartels and start listening to the needs of consumers.

--Ryan Paul
Read the rest in Requiem for a legal disaster: a retrospective analysis of SCO v. Novell: Page 4

Thursday, August 16, 2007
Do not confuse Computer Science—the study of the properties of computing machines—with Software Development, the employment of humans to build computing machines. The relationship between Computer Science and Software Development parallels the relationship between Engineering, the hard science of the behaviour of constructions, and Project Management, the employment of humans to construct engineered artefacts.

--Reg Braithwaite
Read the rest in raganwald: Which theory fits the evidence?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

IL protects only against modifications of higher integrity objects. It’s perfectly ok for the Low IL process to read e.g. files, even if they are marked as Medium or High IL. In other words, if somebody exploits IE running in Protected Mode (at Low IL), she will be able to read (i.e. steal) all user’s data.

This is not an implementation bug, this is a design decision and it’s cleverly called the “read-up policy”. If we think about it for a while, it should become clear why Microsoft decided to do it that way. First, we should observe, that what Microsoft is most concerned about, is malware which permanently installs itself in the system and that could later be detected by some anti-malware programs. Microsoft doesn’t like it, because it’s the source of all the complains about how insecure Windows is and also the A/V companies can publish their statistics about how many percent of computers is compromised, etc… All in all, a very uncomfortable situation, not only for Microsoft but also for all those poor users, who now need to try all the various methods (read buy A/V programs) to remove the malware, instead just focus on their work…

On the other hand, imagine a reliable exploit (i.e. not crashing a target too often) which, after exploiting e.g. IE Protected Mode process, steals all the user’s DOC and XLS files, sends them back somewhere and afterwards disappears in an elegant fashion. Our user, busy with his every day work, does not even notice anything, so he can continue working undisturbed and focus on his real job. The A/V programs do not detect the exploit (why should they? – after all there’s no signature for it nor the shellcode uses any suspicious API) so they do not report the machine as infected – because, after all it’s not infected. So, the statistics look better and everybody is generally happier. Including the competition, who now has access to stolen data ;)

--Joanna Rutkowska
Read the rest in invisiblethings' blog: Running Vista Every Day!

Monday, August 13, 2007
high-definition is turning out to be the laser disc of the video business today. It’s taking up a very, very small percentage of the market, and I don’t know if we will see it grow. Most people are happy with their standard-def DVDs and don’t want to replace their movies.

--Bill Lustig
Read the rest in DVD Sales - Report

Saturday, August 11, 2007
perfect markets assume perfect information. The more readily available the information about a market, the better the market will function. Conversely, where reliable information is difficult to obtain or non-existent markets are more likely to function imperfectly and/or be manipulated by those with greater access to or control of the information. This is true because the operation of markets is predicated on the idea that both buyers and sellers are rational actors, but rational actors behave rationally not based on the actual facts but on the facts as they perceive them. If the facts are distorted, so will the behavior. Distort the facts enough and the behavior becomes irrational despite appearing rational to the actors themselves.

--Chris Kaminski on the WWWAC mailing list, Sat, 16 Aug 2003

Thursday, August 9, 2007
People sometimes use the fact that there are controversies in science to disparage all of science or to neglect the fact that there’s also a lot of consensus in science. Sometimes people on the margins that are critiquing the mainstream can be right. You have to have permeable walls in science. But that doesn’t mean the critics of today are going to be the mainstream of tomorrow.

--Sheldon Krimsky
Read the rest in Big People on Campus

Wednesday, August 8, 2007
It’s a given in many circles that decoding and playing compressed media in Java would be a performance nightmare that would peg the CPU at 100% and drop frames. The IBM toolkit proves that’s simply not true. Whether it’s Moore’s Law speeding up CPU’s or better JVM’s speeding up Java performance, there’s really no need to be afraid of an all-Java media engine anymore.

--Chris Adamson
Read the rest in Rebooting Java Media, Act II: Development

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Mac users love their machines; Windows users put up with their machines because they don't believe there's anything really better.

It's depressing, really, because it's like dealing with victims of abuse: "Seriously, there's a better world out there, and you deserve it! You don't have to put up with this! You can leave! Mac will treat you right!" And their response is right out of the textbooks: "Why would I trust Mac? I don't think anything can be good after this."

I wish I were joking above, but these are almost exact quotes from like a dozen conversations I've had.

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

Monday, August 6, 2007
When a programmer complains about “politics,” they mean—very precisely—any situation in which personal considerations outweigh technical considerations. Nothing is more infuriating than when a developer is told to use a certain programming language, not the best one for the task at hand, because the boss likes it. Nothing is more maddening than when people are promoted because of their ability to network rather than being promoted strictly on merit. Nothing is more aggravating to a developer than being forced to do something that is technically inferior because someone higher than them in the organization, or someone better-connected, insists on it.

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

Sunday, August 5, 2007
my friend Ira in Yokohama, Japan pays less than $30 per month for 100-megabit-per-second fiber-to-the-home Internet service. Well it turns out that in Japan such plans can cost as little as $10 per month, which is less than what our telephone companies claim it costs simply to maintain their billing infrastructure. If it costs $10 per month per subscriber for our telephone companies to stay in business without even pushing electrons over the wires, how can they charge that little for 100-mbps Internet service in Japan? What do they know that we don't know?

--Mark Stephens
Read the rest in I, Cringely . The Pulpit . Game Over | PBS

Saturday, August 4, 2007
Tooling has come of age. It takes the NetBeans and Eclipse folks months, not years, to bring us plugins for Ruby, Swing UI frameworks, etc. etc. We yawn when we see another NetBeans demo. There was a time when we all longingly looked at Microsoft's Visual Studio, but those days are gone.

--Cay Horstmann
Read the rest in Cay Horstmann's Blog

Wednesday, August 1, 2007
It’s not necessarily the case that Microsoft is smarter than anybody in the Java world. But you can get a lot more done when you don’t have to reach consensus with 20+ other vendors, and when you don’t particularly care about offering backwards compatibility. As the old joke has it, “How many Microsoft programmers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? None, they just redefine darkness as the standard.” Now that’s agility! By contrast, innovation in Java moves at a glacial pace because of the JCP and because Sun obsesses over backwards compatibility almost to a fault.

--Neil Bartlett
Read the rest in Neil’s point

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The easy problem is when the machine is down. The hard problem is when the machine is slow.

--Randy Shoup, eBay
Architecture & Design 2007, 2007-07-27

Monday, July 30, 2007

Mr. Putin's government is unique in history. This Kremlin is part oligarchy, with a small, tightly connected gang of wealthy rulers. It is partly a feudal system, broken down into semi-autonomous fiefdoms in which payments are collected from the serfs, who have no rights. Over this there is a democratic coat of paint, just thick enough to gain entry into the G-8 and keep the oligarchy's money safe in Western banks.

But if you really wish to understand the Putin regime in depth, I can recommend some reading. No Karl Marx or Adam Smith. Nothing by Montesquieu or Machiavelli, although the author you are looking for is of Italian descent. But skip Mussolini's "The Doctrine of Fascism," for now, and the entire political science section. Instead, go directly to the fiction department and take home everything you can find by Mario Puzo. If you are in a real hurry to become an expert on the Russian government, you may prefer the DVD section, where you can find Mr. Puzo's works on film. "The Godfather" trilogy is a good place to start, but do not leave out "The Last Don," "Omerta" and "The Sicilian."

--Garry Kasparov
Read the rest in OpinionJournal

Sunday, July 29, 2007
There are sections of the Bible that I think are absolutely brilliant and poetically unrivaled, and there are sections of the Bible which are the sheerest barbarism, yet profess to prescribe a divinely mandated morality—where do I start? Books like Leviticus and Deuteronomy and Exodus and First and Second Kings and Second Samuel—half of the kings and prophets of Israel would be taken to The Hague and prosecuted for crimes against humanity if these events took place in our own time.

--Sam Harris
Read the rest in God Debate: Sam Harris vs. Rick Warren - Newsweek Beliefs

Friday, July 27, 2007
At eBay.com, vertical scaling is just not in our vocabulary.

--Dan Pritchett, eBay
Architecture & Design 2007, 2007-07-27

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Imagine for a moment that the British government arrested the 23 suspects without fanfare. Imagine that the TSA and its European counterparts didn't engage in pointless airline-security measures like banning liquids. And imagine that the press didn't write about it endlessly, and that the politicians didn't use the event to remind us all how scared we should be. If we'd reacted that way, then the terrorists would have truly failed.

It's time we calm down and fight terror with antiterror. This does not mean that we simply roll over and accept terrorism. There are things our government can and should do to fight terrorism, most of them involving intelligence and investigation -- and not focusing on specific plots.

But our job is to remain steadfast in the face of terror, to refuse to be terrorized. Our job is to not panic every time two Muslims stand together checking their watches. There are approximately 1 billion Muslims in the world, a large percentage of them not Arab, and about 320 million Arabs in the Middle East, the overwhelming majority of them not terrorists. Our job is to think critically and rationally, and to ignore the cacophony of other interests trying to use terrorism to advance political careers or increase a television show's viewership.

--Bruce Schneier
Read the rest in Wired News: Refuse to be Terrorized

Monday, July 23, 2007
programmers who can communicate their ideas clearly are going to be far, far more effective than programmers who can only really communicate well with the compiler. It is crucial for documenting code, it is crucial for writing specifications and technical design documents that other people can review, and it’s crucial even for those meetings where you sit around discussing how to do something best: brilliant programmers who have trouble explaining their ideas just can’t make as much of a contribution.

--Joel Spolsky
Read the rest in Sorting Resumes

Saturday, July 21, 2007
Java is your intellectual middle-ground between static, platform dependent, crashable, dead-end C++ and unpopular, dynamically configurable, idealistic Smalltalk.

--Paul Cunningham on the java-dev mailing list, Friday, 20 Jul 2007 01:52:43

Friday, July 20, 2007
Finally admitting that EJBs have cost the world enormously, the EJB3 team took lessons from Hibernate and Spring, but not enough to really fix the problem. Most people seem to find that Hibernate and Spring are still simpler and more straightforward than EJB3, so the lack of a rush back to a technology that had such a heavy cost in the past shouldn’t be a surprise.

--Bruce Eckel
Read the rest in Hybridizing Java

Wednesday, July 18, 2007
The majority of technology mergers tend to be disappointments because of the difficulties inherent in merging disparate businesses that have evolved along different lines. You can substantially more than double the complexity of a technology business by doubling the size. Sales can be lost, pricing can be sacrificed and integration can be less than elegant.

--Jonathan H. Cohen
Read the rest in The New York Times > Business > Your Money > Gretchen Morgenson: Just Don't Say 'Synergy' to a Hewlett Investor

Tuesday, July 17, 2007
it totally allows forking, and there will be forking. Which presents the problem of how we keep the Java promise of compatibility. We'll use a business/legal approach, rather than a technical approach. Which is to say, you can take the code, you can change the code, you can compile the code, you can publish the code, you can sell the code, no permission required. But you can't call it Java or use the coffee-cup logo without going through all the same processes you have to now: pass the appropriate TCK and secure the copyright clearance. So for businesspeople who want to be sure that they're running real compatible un-forked Java, the Java brand - the name "Java" and the coffee-cup logo - is the stamp of approval to look for.

--Tim Bray
Read the rest in InfoQ: Sun open sources Java SE, ME, and Glassfish under GPLv2

Monday, July 16, 2007
When Gosling designed Java, I felt that we got the best thinking on practical language design at the time (ok, except for synchronized and labeled breaks—perfection eludes even the demigods). Scala brings back that feeling, and it makes other languages that should not be named (such as Groovy) look rather amateurish.

--Cay Horstmann
Read the rest in Cay Horstmann's Blog

Sunday, July 15, 2007
My own view is that the web is simply becoming a distributed API, browsers are run-time environments. The basic material of desktop applications is a window. A kind of virtual screen used to share the limited resources of a single physical screen. This window is empty and the modern operating systems provide an API to _draw_ content on it. A web browser is more like a structured window. It offers a single API used to structure content rendered into the window. Hence a browser is a kind of window++ and the DOM is an incarnation of the composite pattern.

--Didier PH Martin on the xml-dev mailing list, Wednesday, 10 Aug 2005 08:17:33

Saturday, July 14, 2007

If we walk in the streets of the Bronx, if we walk around New York, Washington, San Diego, in any city, San Antonio, San Francisco, and we ask individuals, the citizens of the United States, what does this country want? Does it want peace? They'll say yes.

But the government doesn't want peace. The government of the United States doesn't want peace. It wants to exploit its system of exploitation, of pillage, of hegemony through war.

It wants peace. But what's happening in Iraq? What happened in Lebanon? In Palestine? What's happening? What's happened over the last 100 years in Latin America and in the world? And now threatening Venezuela -- new threats against Venezuela, against Iran?

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

Friday, July 13, 2007
Apple is happy to support MPEG-4, which has known patent encumberance and unknown submarine patents, while Apple is not happy to support Ogg Theora/Vorbis which has no known patent encumberance. This has to be very clear to everybody.

--Silvia Pfeiffer on the whatwg mailing list, Monday, 25 Jun 2007 10:16:36

Thursday, July 12, 2007
The fact that a corporation owns and monopolizes an important piece of the process of electing a President is un-American. They are much more willing to spread Cho Seung-Hui’s message to the vast majority of the American people than the messages of our Presidential candidates. Then again NBC did get to put their peacock on every frame of Cho’s school shooter recruitment video. Very al-jazeera of them.

--Kevin Bondelli
Read the rest in KevinBondelli.com

Wednesday, July 11, 2007
the whole RFC process is obsolete. In fact, it never would have worked at all, if not for the fact that in the early days, nobody cared about the Internet. So the IETF could have their meetings and write their RFCs in a vacuum that was free of commercial interest. Once the Internet became a commercial phenomenon, you can see that the IETF's productivity basically went to zero because the vendors were all trying to pack the working groups with their people to make sure that their existing implementations got selected as the standard. That's pretty much what happened with IPSEC, for example. IETF nearly converged on an IPSEC standard several times until Cisco and other large vendors began making rumblings about "we won't support this" and "we hold patents on that" to try to keep the market divided.

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

Monday, July 9, 2007
Bin Laden - still at large and operating within the territory of Pakistan, an alleged ally which Cheney recently visited - both justified the 9/11 attack on those grounds but has a theology that doesn't require such a casus belli. But now he doesn't even need the theology. We have, alas, made more terrorists by our bungling in Iraq than Bin Laden could have dreamed of just six years ago.

--Andrew Sullivan
Read the rest in The Daily Dish: Palmetto Punditry

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Every step the Democrats in Congress have taken to force the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq has failed. Time and again, President Bush beats them into submission with charges of failing to "support the troops."

Why do the Democrats allow this to happen? Because they let the president define what "supporting the troops" means. His definition is brutally misleading. Consider what his policies are doing to the troops.

No U.S. forces have ever been compelled to stay in sustained combat conditions for as long as the Army units have in Iraq. In World War II, soldiers were considered combat-exhausted after about 180 days in the line. They were withdrawn for rest periods. Moreover, for weeks at a time, large sectors of the front were quiet, giving them time for both physical and psychological rehabilitation. During some periods of the Korean War, units had to fight steadily for fairly long periods but not for a year at a time. In Vietnam, tours were one year in length, and combat was intermittent with significant break periods.

In Iraq, combat units take over an area of operations and patrol it daily, making soldiers face the prospect of death from an IED or small arms fire or mortar fire several hours each day. Day in and day out for a full year, with only a single two-week break, they confront the prospect of death, losing limbs or eyes, or suffering other serious wounds. Although total losses in Iraq have been relatively small compared to most previous conflicts, the individual soldier is risking death or serious injury day after day for a year. The impact on the psyche accumulates, eventually producing what is now called "post-traumatic stress disorders." In other words, they are combat-exhausted to the point of losing effectiveness. The occasional willful killing of civilians in a few cases is probably indicative of such loss of effectiveness. These incidents don't seem to occur during the first half of a unit's deployment in Iraq.

After the first year, following a few months back home, these same soldiers are sent back for a second year, then a third year, and now, many are facing a fourth deployment! Little wonder more and more soldiers and veterans are psychologically disabled.

--Lieutenant General William E. Odom
Read the rest in Nieman Watchdog > Commentary > 'Supporting the troops' means withdrawing them

Friday, July 6, 2007
We won't be able to put everything out there. For example, in our commercial product, we have integration with Jazelle. Obviously, we cannot put that code into open source. So in the open source version, we will take out some of the pieces that have third party IP, that we don't have the right to open source. Whereas with the commercial product, in some cases, we already have some of those commercial relationships in place that allow us to include those pieces

--Eric Chu, Sun Microsystems
Read the rest in Sun GPLs Java, targets mobile phones

Thursday, July 5, 2007

I remember back when Matisse was first announced and the first demos came out, that many editors, myself included, were singing the praises of Matisse. It was going to revolutionize Java desktop development, with its incredible ease of use, and its simplification of doing complex form layouts and such.

However, today, as far as I can tell, that has not happened. Even I, one of the people originally singing its praises, have found that I don't actually use it. Oh sure, I will use it for quickly mocking up a UI as a "proof of concept" screenshot of what a UI on an application will look like. But when it comes down to writing the app, I don't actually use it. Instead, I use JGoodies Forms, or MiGLayout, or some other relatively easy to use layout manager that I can code by hand.

--Michael Urban
Read the rest in Has Matisse Really Changed Anything? ...

Wednesday, July 4, 2007
The people who write that kind of stuff never fight; possibly they believe that to write it is a substitute for fighting. It is the same in all wars; the soldiers do the fighting, the journalists do the shouting, and no true patriot ever gets near a front-line trench, except on the briefest of propaganda-tours.

--George Orwell
Read the rest in Glenn Greenwald

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

We started with Java applets right? What happened to those? (They're actually making a slow comeback with many of the original issues fixed.) Flash did Java applets right. In fact they did it so right, I imagine Flash adherents will be offended with just comparing the two.

The folks at Macromedia (now Adobe) saw some amazing shortcomings in other web-based execution systems and simply did it right. Java applets were fantastic with major shortcomings (huge Java runtime, poor performance, clunky and ugly interface, etc). Flash fixed all or most of those. And Flash does cross-platform so much better than Java ever did.

If it sounds like I am more or less writing off Java despite Sun's recent announcement of Java FX to directly compete with AIR and Silverlight, well I am. Adobe is far more focused than Sun on this market segment and there are just as many Flash developers as Java developers.

--Marc Stephens
Read the rest in I, Cringely . The Pulpit . An AIR of Invisibility | PBS

Monday, July 2, 2007
It’s utterly damning that the two most prominent Desktop Java applications are developer tools — NetBeans and Eclipse — as if there’s no value in Java applications beyond the audience of fellow Java developers.

--Chris Adamson
Read the rest in Rebooting Java Media, Act I: Setup

Saturday, June 30, 2007
Steve Jobs and Apple release a product crippled with proprietary software and digital restrictions: crippled, because a device that isn't under the control of its owner works against the interests of its owner. We know that Apple has built its operating system, OS X, and its web browser Safari, using GPL-covered work—it will be interesting to see to what extent the iPhone uses GPLed software.

--Peter Brown, executive director of the FSF
Read the rest in FSF

Friday, June 29, 2007

Write simple straightforward code and then, if the performance is still not "good enough", optimize. But implicit in the concept of "good enough" is that you need to have clear performance metrics. Without them, you'll never know when you're done optimizing. You'll also need a realistic, repeatable, testing program in place to determine if you're meeting your metrics. Once you can test the performance of your program under actual operating conditions, then it's OK to start tweaking, because you'll know if your tweaks are helping or not. But assuming "Oh, gee, I think if I change this, it will go faster" is usually counterproductive in Java programming.

Because Java code is dynamically compiled, realistic testing conditions are crucial. If you take a class out of context, it will be compiled differently than it will in your application, which means performance must be measured under realistic conditions. So performance metrics should be tied to indices that have business value -- transactions per second, mean service time, worst-case latency -- factors that your customers will perceive. Focusing on performance characteristics at the micro level is often misleading and difficult to test, because it's hard to make a realistic test case for some small bit of code that you've taken out of context.

--Brian Goetz
Read the rest in Writing Better Code: A Conversation With Sun Microsystems Technology Evangelist Brian Goetz

Thursday, June 28, 2007
I think they should stop trying to link every bit of the grid together. I stopped New York, Vermont and New England from linking up by threatening to sue, and they rethought it. If that had happened, New England would have gone out last night. The idea that bigger is better and that we need a national grid is just foolish.

--Howard Dean
Read the rest in Which Party Gets the Blame? They Agree: It's the Other One

Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Maven 2.0 is proof that good intentions, hard work and an open source community can still lead to all kinds of wrong.

--Assaf Arkin
Read the rest in Labnotes » Introducing Buildr, or how we cured our Maven blues

Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Five years ago, no one in the top 200 Web sites was using standards.. Today it is half of the top 200 Web pages.

--Chris Wilson, Microsoft
Read the rest in » What’s next for Internet Explorer? Microsoft opens up (a little) | All about Microsoft | ZDNet.com

Monday, June 25, 2007
Like some of his US counterparts Mr Blair raised the prospect of ecstatic cheering in the streets of Iraqi cities and described the conflict as "a war of liberation". At their joint press conference last week President Bush stated emphatically: "We will liberate you." He managed to make it seem like a threat. Evidently that is how some Iraqis perceive it as well, which is not that surprising when the uninvited agents of their liberation bomb their buildings and kill innocent civilians. It is possible that when the regime falls there will be celebrations amid the rubble, but these will be muted if it appears that in the short term Iraq will be managed by a US-based administration.

--Steve Richards
Read the rest in The seven hurdles Blair must pass to save his premiership

Friday, June 22, 2007
Apache is a massive umbrella under which much that is rubbish shelters with much that is utterly fantastic.

--Nic James Ferrier on the rest-discuss mailing list, Tuesday, 12 Jun 2007 21:40:10

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Maybe it’s just because I’m a grizzled 25-year veteran, but my feeling is that in the real world in the long term, maintainability is a really really big deal, the biggest of all.

Out there in the wild woolly “Web 2.0” world, maybe getting it built quick is all that matters, because after you’ve knocked ’em dead and been acquired, you can use the money from the Yahoo! buy-out to rebuild everything right the second time. In the enterprise though, I kind of suspect that smart developers and smart managers know that for real apps, the big development cost starts to happen after they’re delivered.

--Tim Bray
Read the rest in ongoing · Comparing Frameworks

Tuesday, June 19, 2007
If you need one rule to follow, make it this: don't introduce new behaviors for existing controls. Don't make a checkbox act like a push button or a slider act like a scroll bar. That will confuse users. If you need new behavior, make a new control.

--Scott Stevenson
Read the rest in Theocacao: The Year in Mac Development

Monday, June 18, 2007
Other people have blogged about the amazing missed opportunity represented by the Java One scheduling system. This system is a constant reminder of how bad a user interface can be. It's both an assault and an insult that says "we care so little about your experience that we are going to force you to go through this time-wasting process." Even worse, it shouts out that creating good user experiences is actually much too hard using Swing, no matter how much effort Sun has put into arguing otherwise. If Swing was easy, why would this awful scheduling system have been inflicted on tens of thousands of the language's staunchest advocates -- subliminally telling them not to use Swing -- for the past few years?

--Bruce Eckel
Read the rest in Java One, Day Four

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Imagine for a moment that the British government arrested the 23 suspects without fanfare. Imagine that the TSA and its European counterparts didn't engage in pointless airline-security measures like banning liquids. And imagine that the press didn't write about it endlessly, and that the politicians didn't use the event to remind us all how scared we should be. If we'd reacted that way, then the terrorists would have truly failed.

It's time we calm down and fight terror with antiterror. This does not mean that we simply roll over and accept terrorism. There are things our government can and should do to fight terrorism, most of them involving intelligence and investigation -- and not focusing on specific plots.

But our job is to remain steadfast in the face of terror, to refuse to be terrorized. Our job is to not panic every time two Muslims stand together checking their watches. There are approximately 1 billion Muslims in the world, a large percentage of them not Arab, and about 320 million Arabs in the Middle East, the overwhelming majority of them not terrorists. Our job is to think critically and rationally, and to ignore the cacophony of other interests trying to use terrorism to advance political careers or increase a television show's viewership.

--Bruce Schneier
Read the rest in Wired News: Refuse to be Terrorized

Friday, June 15, 2007
Multimedia support has always been a weakness in Java. JavaFX is the neon sign pointing out one of Sun's often ignored weakesses.

--Bryan Young
Read the rest in Scruffles.net: JavaFX in Perspective

Thursday, June 14, 2007

These days, Accessibility is all the rage. I wish I could say it was actually driven by §508 Requirements, W3C Standards, and an all-in-all good faith effort to allow “differently abled” people to access content. But it hasn’t. As long as we, the majority, can access content, that’s all that really matters.

Fortunately, the mobile revolution has forced us to go Accessible. Now that we need to access content with our “differently abled” smartphone gadgets, we need that content to be Accessible. Bonus for the “differently able” people, I suppose.

--Alex Papadimoulis
Read the rest in Accessibility

Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Our brave young men and women in Iraq have been abandoned there indefinitely by their cowardly leaders who move them around like pawns on a chessboard of destruction and the people of Iraq have been doomed to death and fates worse than death by people worried more about elections than people. However, in five, ten, or fifteen years, our troops will come limping home in another abject defeat and ten or twenty years from then, our children’s children will be seeing their loved ones die for no reason, because their grandparents also bought into this corrupt system. George Bush will never be impeached because if the Democrats dig too deeply, they may unearth a few skeletons in their own graves and the system will perpetuate itself in perpetuity.

--Cindy Sheehan
Read the rest in Daily Kos: "Good Riddance Attention Whore"

Tuesday, June 12, 2007
How it is that Apple remains, after all these years, so much better at user interface than anyone else in the industry, even the smart folks at Palm, is something of a mystery to me, but it seems to be the case. (Is it really all Steve's doing?)

--Henry Norr
Read the rest in Macworld Expo 2007: Reflections on the Keynote

Monday, June 11, 2007
So the JVM may not be the most innovative kid on the block any more, but it will still be the first choice for a large number of developers, simply because we can see that Microsoft is still playing the same old lock-in game they have always played. Microsoft has previous, and they cannot be trusted with something this important. Neither can Sun, of course. Sun is just another big corporation that ultimately only cares about its shareholders, and it would absolutely play the same game Microsoft does if it were in a similar position. That’s why Java really needed to be open-sourced: in the event that Sun turns evil, a fork of Java can live on under a different name. The CLR may get ever more advanced, but at least we know we can bet our businesses on the JVM.

--Neil Bartlett
Read the rest in Neil’s point

Sunday, June 10, 2007
The thing that bothers me about faith-based altruism is that it is contaminated with religious ideas that have nothing to do with the relief of human suffering. So you have a Christian minister in Africa who's doing really good work, helping those who are hungry, healing the sick. And yet, as part of his job description, he feels he needs to preach the divinity of Jesus in communities where literally millions of people have been killed because of interreligious conflict between Christians and Muslims. It seems to me that that added piece causes unnecessary suffering. I would much rather have someone over there who simply wanted to feed the hungry and heal the sick.

--Sam Harris
Read the rest in God Debate: Sam Harris vs. Rick Warren - Newsweek Beliefs

Friday, June 8, 2007

The challenge of software patents ultimately comes down to the question of what does it mean to "own" an idea? To my way of thinking, ideas cannot exist in a vacuum; the invention of the computer could not have existed in the form that it did without the invention of the vacuum tube, the Jacquard loom, alternating current, ad nauseum. Patents existed originally as a mechanism for governments (specifically the English Government) to insure that certain industries (the mechanized weaving and textiles industry) couldn't be exported to competing countries during the early 19th century, and such patents included the notion that people could be detained or even killed to protect such state secrets.

As such, patents have always been anticompetitive, though they are usually presented as exactly the opposite. This has become even more exacerbated by the ability to buy or sell patents as if they were any other asset. If a person working for a company receives a patent, they are usually obligated to sign over that patent to the company (by the argument that the employee was being paid for such work, thus reducing innovation to the level of all other forms of labor). If they leave that company, those patents will not leave with them unless they had been very canny in negotiations. Indeed, if a person is fired from a company, they may not even be compensated beyond their previously earned salary for their innovation, while the company in question is able to make millions off of that and similar patents.

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

Thursday, June 7, 2007
Flash is a more significant rival for Desktop Java than is generally understood. It is quite remarkable that the abililty to create Flash applications is so desirable that Adobe can charge hundreds of dollars a copy for its development tools, while Sun can hardly give theirs away (woo hoo, at least IBM can give theirs away). Why? Largely because it handles media so well. And this is serving to grow a generation of web-based JavaScript/ActionScript developers who see Java as “your father’s programming language”, much like C++ was for some of us who picked up Java 10 years ago.

--Chris Adamson
Read the rest in Rebooting Java Media, Act I: Setup

Wednesday, June 6, 2007
We lost sight of the developer community toward the latter part of the 1990s, and we made a very bad decision about our commitment to Solaris (running on non-Sun) hardware, which we have now completely recovered. Probably we weren't paying attention to the open-source community with Java as closely as we should have been. We weren't paying attention to the smallest companies in the world; we were paying attention to the largest companies in the world.

--Jonathan Schwartz, CEO, Sun Microsystems
Read the rest in The education of Jonathan Schwartz

Tuesday, June 5, 2007
We're not making any progress. It just seems like we drive around and wait to get shot at.

--Spc. Will Hedin
Read the rest in McClatchy Washington Bureau | 05/30/2007 | Lieberman talks to troops in Baghdad

Monday, June 4, 2007
To top programmers, the most maddening thing about recruiters is their almost morbid fascination with keywords and buzzwords. The entire industry of professional headhunters and recruiters is bizarrely fixated on the simple algorithm of matching candidates to positions by looking for candidates that have the complete list of technology acronyms that the employer happens to be looking for. It becomes especially infuriating to realize that most of these recruiters have no idea what any of these technologies are. “Oh, you don’t have MSMQ experience? Never mind.” At least when real estate agents prattle on about Subzero refrigerators and Viking stoves, they at least know what these things are (although any stainless steel refrigerator counts as “Subzero” these days). The easiest way to catch-out a technical recruiter is when they inevitably insist on 5 years of experience with Ruby on Rails, or refuse to consider someone for a “Windows API” job when they only have “Win32” on their resume.

--Joel Spolsky
Read the rest in Sorting Resumes

Sunday, June 3, 2007
One reason that unit testing is such an important contribution to application development is that you can always write a unit test, even during those times when your brain is otherwise filled with cotton candy. My first unit tests were just this kind of brain-dead makework: testing connection strings, confirming that a specific table had records, etc. There’s no embarrassment in writing silly tests. Unit testing exists outside of normal execution and is automated and fast, and tests of basic assumptions (i.e., “silly tests”) often end up quickly isolating snafus.

--Larry O'Brien
Read the rest in SD Times

Saturday, June 2, 2007
In general, people who already receive a lot of email tend to become very hostile towards anyone suffering from diarrhea of the fingers. If you can't say it in one succinct message, then create a page that goes over the argument in detail and send a link. Regardless, there is no need to respond to every message as if barbarian hordes are storming a castle and you are the only defender with a machine gun.

--Roy T. Fielding on the atom-protocol Protocol mailing list, Sunday, 17 Aug 2006 19:44:00

Friday, June 1, 2007

2.5 years since the first non-beta release means that anyone with a brain only started using Java 5 in production, say, 1.5 years ago. And by now, significant portion of existing systems are being moved over; at least ones still developed. Big corporations move slow -- sometimes for right, sometimes wrong reasons.

Just because individual developers can afford to develop on leading edge does not mean everyone can. And more fundamental a library is, slower it should (in my opinion) move. Further, benefits of Java5 generics are generally exaggerated by people; especially so for retro-fitting them in. For new projects I find it more sensible to start with Java5. For mature libraries like XOM (or Lucene etc) there's much less incentive. Java5 is just icing on the cake, fluff but not much stuff (except for concurrency packages).

--Tatu Saloranta on the xom-interest mailing list, Wednesday, 30 May 2007 21:55:12 -0700

Thursday, May 31, 2007

What the entertainment companies are finally realizing is that DRM doesn't work, and just annoys their customers. Like every other DRM system ever invented, Microsoft's won't keep the professional pirates from making copies of whatever they want. The DRM security in Vista was broken the day it was released. Sure, Microsoft will patch it, but the patched system will get broken as well. It's an arms race, and the defenders can't possibly win.

I believe that Microsoft knows this and also knows that it doesn't matter. This isn't about stopping pirates and the small percentage of people who download free movies from the Internet. This isn't even about Microsoft satisfying its Hollywood customers at the expense of those of us paying for the privilege of using Vista. This is about the overwhelming majority of honest users and who owns the distribution channels to them. And while it may have started as a partnership, in the end Microsoft is going to end up locking the movie companies into selling content in its proprietary formats.

We saw this trick before; Apple pulled it on the recording industry. First iTunes worked in partnership with the major record labels to distribute content, but soon Warner Music's CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. found that he wasn't able to dictate a pricing model to Steve Jobs. The same thing will happen here; after Vista is firmly entrenched in the marketplace, Sony's Howard Stringer won't be able to dictate pricing or terms to Bill Gates. This is a war for 21st-century movie distribution and, when the dust settles, Hollywood won't know what hit them.

--Bruce Schneier
Read the rest in Schneier on Security: DRM in Windows Vista

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Often, the way to write fast code in Java applications is to write dumb code -- code that is straightforward, clean, and follows the most obvious object-oriented principles. This has to do with the nature of dynamic compilers, which are big pattern-matching engines. Because compilers are written by humans who have schedules and time budgets, the compiler developers focus their efforts on the most common code patterns, because that's where they get the most leverage. So if you write code using straightforward object-oriented principles, you'll get better compiler optimization than if you write gnarly, hacked-up, bit-banging code that looks really clever but that the compiler can't optimize effectively.

So clean, dumb code often runs faster than really clever code, contrary to what developing in C might have taught us. In C, clever source code turns into the expected idiom at the machine-code level, but it doesn't work that way in Java applications.

--Brian Goetz
Read the rest in Writing Better Code: A Conversation With Sun Microsystems Technology Evangelist Brian Goetz

Monday, May 28, 2007
Casey did indeed die for nothing. His precious lifeblood drained out in a country far away from his family who loves him, killed by his own country which is beholden to and run by a war machine that even controls what we think. I have tried every since he died to make his sacrifice meaningful. Casey died for a country which cares more about who will be the next American Idol than how many people will be killed in the next few months while Democrats and Republicans play politics with human lives. It is so painful to me to know that I bought into this system for so many years and Casey paid the price for that allegiance. I failed my boy and that hurts the most.

--Cindy Sheehan
Read the rest in Daily Kos: "Good Riddance Attention Whore"

Sunday, May 27, 2007
The internecine battle between SWT and Swing has been a disaster for Desktop Java, dividing the community into a patently useless battle of hollow evangelism and feeble name-calling. NetBeans or Eclipse, you ask? A pox on both your houses! All this time that we could have spent writing apps that matter to real people — the apps that are instead being delivered as native double-clickables, or with Flash — we’ve spent in a ruinously expensive corporate pissing match, motivated by the wild goose chase of native widget fidelity (whose value is utterly repudiated by the popularity of the web, Ajax, and Flash, none of which resemble their host platforms in the slightest).

--Chris Adamson
Read the rest in Rebooting Java Media, Act I: Setup

Saturday, May 26, 2007
The fabled Goldwater/Reagan small-government "conservatism of doubt" which Sullivan hails -- like the purified, magnanimous form of Communism -- exists, for better or worse, only in myth.

While it is true that Bush has presided over extraordinary growth in federal spending, so did Reagan. Though Bush's deficit spending exceeds that of Reagan's, it does so only by degree, not level. The pornography-obsessed Ed Meese and the utter lawlessness of the Iran-contra scandal were merely the Reagan precursors to the Bush excesses which Sullivan finds so "anti-conservative." The Bush presidency is an extension, an outgrowth, of the roots of political conservatism in this country, not a betrayal of them.

All of the attributes which have made the Bush presidency so disastrous are not in conflict with political conservatism as it exists in reality. Those attributes -- vast expansions of federal power to implement moralistic agendas and to perpetuate political power, along with authoritarian faith in the Leader -- are not violations of "conservative principles." Those have become the defining attributes of the Conservative Movement in this country.

That is why the warnings from Sullivan and others that the Republican Party was acting in violation of "conservative principles" fell on deaf ears and even prompted such hostility -- until, that is, Bush's popularity collapsed. "Conservative principles" are marketing props used by the Conservative Movement to achieve political power, not actual beliefs. Sullivan's principal argument that the Bush presidency never adhered to conservative principles is true enough, but the same can be said of the entire American conservative political movement. That is why they bred and elevated George Bush for six years, and suddenly "realized" that he was "not a conservative" only once political expediency required it.

--Glenn Greenwald
Read the rest in Unclaimed Territory

Friday, May 25, 2007
JavaFX as an RIA *platform* reeks of "me too!" from Sun's marketing department in response to Flex and Silverlight.

--Julian Doherty
Read the rest in Raw Block: OK, JavaFX Script is pretty cool (the platform is still boring though)

Thursday, May 24, 2007
Ruby is a beautiful language and I'm sure you can have a lot of fun developing apps it in, and in fact if you want to do something non-mission-critical, I'm sure you'll have a lot of fun, but for Serious Business Stuff you really must recognize that there just isn't a lot of experience in the world building big mission critical web systems in Ruby on Rails, and I'm really not sure that you won't hit scaling problems, or problems interfacing with some old legacy thingamabob, or problems finding programmers who can understand the code, or whatnot. So while Ruby on Rails is the fun answer and yes I've heard of 37 Signals and they're making lovely Ruby on Rails apps, and making lots of money, but that's not a safe choice for at least another year or six. I for one am scared of Ruby because (1) it displays a stunning antipathy towards Unicode and (2) it's known to be slow, so if you become The Next MySpace, you'll be buying 5 times as many boxes as the .NET guy down the hall. Those things might eventually be get fixed but for now, you can risk Ruby on your two-person dormroom startup or your senior project, not for enterprisy stuff where Someone is Going to Get Fired.

--Joel Spolsky
Read the rest in Joel on Software

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

With all the shiny client-side browser toys out there, many people forget about the dark underbelly of the web. As neat as it is that you can make a web brower act like a windowing system, dynamic sites are still powered by back-end applications; which is to say, powered by evil.

Now there are different levels of evil. Ruby is normally elegant but resource intensive. PHP was designed as an example of how not to name functions. Perl has its own special circle, ancient and full of strange characters. If you want real evil, though, you have to find a web application written in C.

--Derrick Pallas
Read the rest in The Counter of And

Tuesday, May 22, 2007
A word of comment to Sun and the JavaOne organizers: JavaOne technical sessions are so much more helpful when they are presented by battle-scarred programmers and IT professionals who have been through the real-life drama of programming and solving IT issues. A lecture from a Sun or Java project team leader is simply just that: a lecture filled with theory, overhead slides, and void of real-life experience.

--Arash Barirani
Read the rest in JavaOne, Day 2: Is There Anything New To Learn About Web Performance?

Monday, May 21, 2007
now that Java is GPL'd, we'll be able to take the bloat out and make Java the reigning king of languages, capable of crushing all comers! Then, the magic unicorn of the Metaverse will come down and sprinkle us all with fairy dust and we'll be able to fly to the moon and...

--Doug Stewart on the wp-hackers mailing list, Friday, 18 May 2007 15:58:52

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The final clarifier for me was, yes, torture...

Some issues really are paramount moral ones. Two candidates opposed it clearly and honorably: McCain and Paul. All the others gleefully supported it - including Brownback. He's a born-again Christian for torture. Giuliani revealed himself as someone we already know. He would have no qualms in exercising executive power brutally, no scruples or restraints. Romney would double the size and scope of Gitmo, to ensure that none of the detainees have lawyers, regardless of their innocence or guilt. That is in itself a disqualification for the presidency of the United States. A man who has open contempt for the most basic rules of Western justice has no business being president.

--Andrew Sullivan
Read the rest in The Daily Dish: Palmetto Punditry

Friday, May 18, 2007
Going to a session felt a little like lines at Disneyland. You swipe your pass over a reader and it knows who you are. Oddly, when you stick the same pass into a public Sunray terminal, it doesn't know who you are. This would be an opportunity to be really impressive and restore your desktop to what it was the last time you were there. In fact, wasn't there a big deal about doing this a few years ago, where you could just move around and carry everything on a card just like the ones we had at the conference? Someone observed that everyone is carrying computers with them anyway, so it would have been more useful to have had at least some power strips and space for notebooks.

--Bruce Eckel
Read the rest in Java One, Day Four

Thursday, May 17, 2007

This year's set of puzzles include a slew of problems that come as a direct result of the addition of auto-boxing/-unboxing of primitives to/from their object wrapper types (int and Integer, for example). Maybe it's just me but I seem to recall a lot of us who said how bad the consequences would be of adding auto-boxing to Java and yet here they are causing exactly the worst kinds of insidiously non-obvious problems.

The moral of these puzzles isn't merely "be careful of using wrapper types with the ternary operator", but that auto-boxing is evil and should have never been added to the language in the first place.

Of course, it goes without saying that this is just one example of how new "features" added to a mature language are very dangerous. One of the big, currently brewing brouhahas is over the proposed addition of closures to Java. Perhaps folks might want to pause their rampant fervor for a bit and actually look at the history of these attempts and realize just how costly these changes really are. Especially when there are plenty of alternatives like using other languages which have their pet features which target the underlying JVM.

--John D. Mitchell
Read the rest in John D. Mitchell's Blog: JaveOne 2007, Java Puzzlers Points Out Problems with Kitchen Sink

Wednesday, May 16, 2007
I’m committed to Open Source but not generally a member of the Free Software movement. For Java, though, it’s the only thing that makes sense. It’s been given away freely for so long, and it’s worked its way into so many places, that it should belong to the community, and if anyone figures out how to make it better, they should just bloody well give that discovery back. So for my money, the GPL’s the only sane choice.

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

Monday, May 14, 2007
Everyone knows that debugging is twice as hard as writing a program in the first place. So if you’re as clever as you can be when you write it, how will you ever debug it?

--Brian Kernighan
Read the rest in Wunschdenken » Blog Archiv » From Functional to Object

Thursday, May 10, 2007
Java2D can do anything Flash does. You just have to use it.

--Chris Oliver, JavaOne 2007, Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Wednesday, May 9, 2007
Desktop Java never worked because Sun tried to build their own OS on top of the real OS, duplicating every API and feature. This led to terrible bloat, making every app as heavyweight to launch as Photoshop. Worse, the GUI portions of the Java platform are awful, because Sun is a server company with no core competency at GUIs. The APIs are too clumsy to code to, and compared to any decent Mac app, the results look like a Soviet tractor built on a Monday.

--Jens Alfke
Read the rest in Thought Palace » Blog Archive » In Which I Think About Java Again, But Only For A Moment

Tuesday, May 8, 2007
Can I start by saying how wonderful it is I didn't have to do the keynote this year?

--Jonathan Schwartz, CEO Sun Microsystems, at the JavaOne keynote, Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Monday, May 7, 2007
So, big picture, yes, if opening the most widely used Java implementation (a) releases a lot of pent up demand (there was so much that there are already open-source implementations of most of the JRE+JDK) and, (b) more importantly, leads to the embrace of Java by a lot of open-source developers who have to date carefully avoided it because of Sun's stance, then yes, the platform's presence will enlarge and Sun's related-products-and-services revenue will increase substantially. This is good for Sun, good for the open-source community and good for the free-software movement. In fact it's good for just about everyone except Microsoft.

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

Friday, May 4, 2007
Interoperability is overrated, the more you think of it the more complex it gets. As you start throwing in new factors into the equation (how will this interoperate with a java/c# application) you start to develop monsters like JSR 170 which solve a lot of problems on paper, but in reality are too unwieldy to be truly useful.

--Aaron Wormus
Read the rest in A Day In Paradise » Interoperability is Overrated

Thursday, May 3, 2007
while the JVM is not particularly cross-language, the CLR is not particularly cross-platform. Microsoft is still not committed to supporting platforms other than Windows, and probably never will be. Mono, Rotor and Silverlight are at best half-hearted gestures towards cross-platform support. Remember that IE and ActiveX were once released on Mac as well as Windows, with all the same hype that we’re seeing now… where are they now? Is anybody really going to bet their business on trusting Microsoft to continue supporting Silverlight on Mac? Actually, history shows that plenty of businesses will do exactly that, and they will quickly die when Microsoft changes strategy on a whim, again. Besides, support for just two operating systems falls a long way short of being “cross-platform”. Windows and Mac OS may cover 98% of the world’s desktops, but how many Windows or Mac machines do you see in server rooms? That world is dominated by Linux, Solaris and other UNIX variants. While Mono runs on those platforms, it has nowhere near the maturity and stability of either the JVM or the CLR.

--Neil Bartlett
Read the rest in Neil’s point

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Throughout the Bush presidency, there has been one infallible rule: If someone starts talking about World War II, watch your wallet. Ever since Bush invaded Iraq, his supporters have been desperately trying to convince the American people that Iraq is the WWII of our time. They constantly invoke the Blitz, the invasion of Poland, the Hitler-Stalin pact, the fall of France, Pearl Harbor and other momentous events from the Last Good War.

Unfortunately for the GOP, Bush's own words have rendered the Churchill comparison absurd. Churchill called for blood, toil, tears and sweat. Bush called for tax breaks for the rich and continued shopping. He didn't raise taxes, or impose a gas tax, or institute a draft, or in any way put the country on a war footing. Asked by "The NewsHour's" Jim Lehrer why he hadn't asked Americans to sacrifice anything for the war, Bush replied, "Well, you know, I think a lot of people are in this fight. I mean, they sacrifice peace of mind when they see the terrible images of violence on TV every night ... And one thing we want during this war on terror is for people to feel like their life's moving on." Yes, that certainly has the Churchillian ring to it.

--Gary Kamiya
Read the rest in Last refuge of the scoundrel | Salon.com

Tuesday, May 1, 2007
when you write in Java there are teams of people everywhere helping you. That's why you get faster development, and that's why you can spend your time thinking about better algorithms rather than debugging the plumbing. That's what object-oriented software was designed to achieve, and it works.

--Michael Kay on the xml-dev mailing list, Sunday, 1 Mar 2007 23:44:48

Friday, April 27, 2007
I remember Baghdad before the war- one could live anywhere. We didn't know what our neighbors were- we didn't care. No one asked about religion or sect. No one bothered with what was considered a trivial topic: are you Sunni or Shia? You only asked something like that if you were uncouth and backward. Our lives revolve around it now. Our existence depends on hiding it or highlighting it- depending on the group of masked men who stop you or raid your home in the middle of the night.

Read the rest in Baghdad Burning

Thursday, April 26, 2007
If you recognize that XML is increasingly becoming the mechanism used to transport data between points in the network, if you assume that we’re moving towards a final working solution with web applications somewhere between REST and the SOAP/WSDL duality, then the idea that you need a client or light server application that is conversant with XML only makes sense. Ruby has some interesting XML capabilities, admittedly, but you are still dealing with working outside of the XML abstraction with Ruby, whereas in an XQuery/XForms/XSLT solution, you are quite literally floating in an XML sea, where XML coming from a collection or external server is only a function call away.

--Kurt Cagle
Read the rest in xforms vs. ruby - a rebuttal (sort of)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Are JSPs dead? That’s supposed to be a rhetorical question, of course they’re dead. They died a long time ago when it dawned on us that they were nothing but untestable, overweight slobs that only ever existed because of ASP. Anybody who ever used JSPs has at some point, sworn by them, marveled at how great they are and felt really, really excited to write actual Java code inside pages. But it was only a matter of time until some of the lesser known facts about JSPs became more and more prevalent to the point of that templating languages were forced into creation to combat the shortcomings of Java Server Pages.

--Zarar Siddiqi
Read the rest in Zarar Siddiqi's Blog: Are JSPs dead?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007
I don't think there's any way I'd sign up for SpeakEasy service now. Best Buy has *NO* customer service... maybe it would be customer disservice. SpeakEasy's good customer service will probably whither and die under the Best Buy umbrella.

--John T. Haller on the wwwac mailing list, Tuesday, 27 Mar 2007 10:17:23

Monday, April 23, 2007
Is Flash better than Java? No, just far better executed for some important use cases. Failing to address this, and allowing Flash and other alternatives to continue to grow and improve unchecked, is going to lead to competitive disadvantages or needless conversions down the road for Java developers. Instead of participating in endless arguments about esoteric subjects like closures and native code, competition from Flash should light a fire under the Java community and force it to respond with radically better user-facing solutions.

--Ed Burnette
Read the rest in » Is Flash better than Java? | Ed Burnette’s Dev Connection | ZDNet.com

Saturday, April 21, 2007
After the first boot, I was greeted with a VESA-driven x.org and an incorrect resolution. My laptop screen supports 1680 x 1050. The Gnome Preferences | Screen Resolution applet couldn’t go higher than 1280 x 1024. I had to break my first rule and edit the x.org configuration file to add the higher resolution. Why is this still necessary? A novice user shouldn’t need to have to do this!

--Charl P. Botha
Read the rest in a critical look at ubuntu feisty beta on an hp nc8430 laptop at cpbotha.net

Thursday, April 19, 2007
Remember that we’re all concerned, as we should be, about these events at Virginia Tech today. In Iraq this is a daily event. Imagine how horrible it would be if this kind of massacre were occurring every single day. And the people of Iraq feel that either the Americans are not stopping it or they’re actually causing it.

--Juan Cole
Read the rest in Think Progress » Cole On Virginia Tech Shootings: ‘In Iraq, This Is A Daily Event’

Wednesday, April 18, 2007
HTML isn't a very good language for making Web pages. However, it has been a very good language for making the Web.

--Edd Dumbill
Read the rest in The future of HTML, Part 1: WHATWG

Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Many East Coasters think that mid-Atlantic waters are supposed to look like brown soup. They’re not. Too many nutrients wash downstream from cities and farms, feeding algae blooms, and there aren’t enough oysters around to eat the algae. When the algae die and decay, they take the oxygen with them, causing the “dead zones” becoming all too common along America’s coasts.

--Rowan Jacobsen
Read the rest in Restoration on the Half Shell

Monday, April 16, 2007
Consumers never wanted the choice between VHS and Beta, and mobile telephony in the United States was hindered by customers having to choose between competing standards. Choice soon turns to frustration when your rented video doesn't fit in the slot, or your phone doesn't connect. People want to choose products based on price and performance, not on underlying equivalent standards.

--Håkon Wium Lie
Read the rest in Microsoft's amusing standards stance | Perspectives | CNET News.com

Sunday, April 15, 2007
We've chosen this direction because we wanted a license that, especially on the SE side, is the same as Linux, so people can distribute Linux with Java in it. We also believe the license will minimize proprietary forks, because people will need to share innovation back into open source.

--Eric Chu, Sun Microsystems
Read the rest in Sun GPLs Java, targets mobile phones

Friday, April 13, 2007
At Sun, if there is any dirt to be known, "the network" finds it and disseminates it. At light speed. To all ends of the earth. Usually with 80 percent accuracy. Often on CNET, eWEEK or The Register before the the company itself has been notified.

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

Thursday, April 12, 2007
There is a short list of parties who will be unauthorized to access your frame buffer: You. There is a long list of parties who are authorized to access your frame buffer, and that list includes Microsoft, Apple, AMD, Intel, ATI, NVidia, Sony Pictures, Paramount, HBO, CBS, Macrovision, and all other content owners and enablers that want your machine to themselves whenever you’re watching, listening to, reading, or shooting monsters with their products.

--Tom Yager
Read the rest in Content in lockdown | InfoWorld | Column | 2007-03

Wednesday, April 11, 2007
While I celebrate the fact that the JCP, unlike the W3C or OASIS, has a test-centric process, I have seen how hard it is for OSS projects to even get access to the TCK to products such as JAX-WS, creating a barrier to testing and redistribution. A public TCK that could be checked out a build under Gump would let downstream implementations also build and test nightly, and it would let the implementors add more test cases to the TCK as they encountered problems or ambiguity.

--Steve Loughran on the rest-discuss mailing list, Sunday, 15 Feb 2007 11:10:08

Tuesday, April 10, 2007
I spent 18 months writing a book on J2EE Web Services and when I was done I concluded that JAX-RPC was a grossly over engineered train wreck. The book I wrote was something short of 1,000 pages (Addison-Wesley reduced the font and changed the page layout to keep it below that threshold for marketing reasons). When I finished the book in 2004 I had made use of every fiber of that 1,000-page count and I still couldn't get into detail about everything. For example, the book was almost entirely a reference with only some tutorial aspects and very little in the way of architectural design. To me, if it takes 1,000 pages to write a reference book about a Java API, its likely that (a) the API is way to complex or (b) the writer sucks. I would prefer to blame the API. If I was to update the J2EE Web Services book for JEE5, it would probably be longer than the first edition (no worries there; I have no intention of coughing up that hair-ball).

--Richard Monson-Haefel
Read the rest in I, Analyst: JAX

Monday, April 9, 2007
The biggest problem with open-source software is you have a tendency to get too much configurability. If you think it should work one way and I think another, there's always a solution and that is configurability. It results in clutter and in complex code that in the long run is harder to maintain. That's why you need a strong maintainer who can kill things. Even if something annoys you in the first place, you get used to it. Software usage patterns are very personal, and that's what makes the thing so hard.

--Matthias Ettrich
Read the rest in Of Open Source, GUI Design and X Windows, Software Development Times, April 15, 2006, p. 5

Sunday, April 8, 2007
The three big Bush stories of 2007--the decision to "surge" in Iraq, the scandalous treatment of wounded veterans at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the firing of eight U.S. Attorneys for tawdry political reasons--precisely illuminate the three qualities that make this Administration one of the worst in American history: arrogance (the surge), incompetence (Walter Reed) and cynicism (the U.S. Attorneys).

--Joe Klein
Read the rest in An Administration's Epic Collapse | TIME

Saturday, April 7, 2007
Now, there are many testimonials about miracles, every bit as amazing as the miracles of Jesus, in other literature of the world's religions. Even contemporary miracles. There are millions of people who believe that Sathya Sai Baba, the south Indian guru, was born of a virgin, has raised the dead and materializes objects. I mean, you can watch some of his miracles on YouTube. Prepare to be underwhelmed. He's a stage magician. As a Christian, you can say Sathya Sai Baba's miracle stories are not interesting, let's not pay attention to them, but if you set them within the prescientific religious milieu of the first-century Roman Empire, suddenly miracle stories become especially compelling.

--Sam Harris
Read the rest in God Debate: Sam Harris vs. Rick Warren - Newsweek Beliefs

Friday, April 6, 2007
One older myth that unfortunately persists is that object allocation is expensive. In the J2SE 1.0 and 1.1 days, object allocation was expensive. But garbage collectors have greatly improved, and the cost now of allocating an object in the Java language is less expensive than in C by a factor of four or five, according to data I've seen. The fast-path object allocation for new objects in Java software is on the order of 10 machine instructions, which requires fewer than 10 cycles on most processors. C can't come close to that. In memory management, Java technology is already significantly faster than C, and yet people incorrectly believe that it's expensive and that developers should preallocate and pool their objects.

--Brian Goetz
Read the rest in Writing Better Code: A Conversation With Sun Microsystems Technology Evangelist Brian Goetz

Thursday, April 5, 2007

THE FIRST LAW OF DEBUGGING: if you can't find the bug after two minutes, it's because you're looking in the wrong place.

CORROLLARY: if you post the problem to a forum, you will snip the very code that contains the bug.

--Michael Kay on the xsl-list mailing list, Monday, 12 Mar 2007 12:18:39

Wednesday, April 4, 2007
You may think that admitting fault is a strict no-no that can get you sued. This is nonsense. The way to avoid getting sued is not to have people who are mad at you. The best way to do this is to admit fault and fix the damn problem.

--Joel Spolsky
Read the rest in Seven steps to remarkable customer service

Tuesday, April 3, 2007
Management in America has become a political job consisting mainly of obstructing the work of other divisions and managing customers. They spend too much time in meetings and too much time on airplanes. They are very good at deducing the effect of the industry on their stock portfolios and terrible at deducing the impact on their customers. As a result, they pay an organization of product planners and technical consultants to move the items from desk to desk. This works until the failure to maintain the competence in the face of change fails, then the company begins to lose sales or customer confidence slowly or suddenly sometimes with a press-worthy failure, but usually when the RFPs simply quit coming to them, or they can’t bid them, or the customers go to the next bright and shiny faces on the block. Or the government discovers back dated stock options or falsified bidding or falsified time cards, and so on.

--Len Bullard on the xml-dev mailing list, Monday, 2 Apr 2007 09:59:11

Monday, April 2, 2007
Ten years ago people were breaking into Java now and then. But always in a way done in a spirit of co-operation. We had a number of people find chinks in the armour which we fixed pretty much immediately. There's not been a single incident of actual loss due to a security issue. There is no Java antivirus software because it's not necessary.

--James Gosling
Read the rest in Q&A: James Gosling, 'father of Java' - IT Pro

Sunday, April 1, 2007
It seems to me that the great thing about JSON is that it exists for one purpose: to put structs on the wire. With XML, on the other hand, it’s assumed that you might want to stream it in by the gigabyte, or load it into one of a many different in-memory data structures, or run a full-text indexer over the contents, or render it for human consumption, or, well, anything.

--Tim Bray
Read the rest in ongoing · JSON and XML

Friday, March 30, 2007
Decentralized, emergent development models work better than central planning for broadly applicable technologies like Flash. Why? Because the people who might come up with the next great enhancement to Flash may not be within Adobe. Flash is a foundational technology for Internet development–because of its broad use, it should have an equally broad community evolving it for the future.

--Anne Zelenka
Read the rest in tech decentral » Why Open is Good and How Open Could Be Good for Flash

Thursday, March 29, 2007
I'm actually pretty pleased. Not because I think it's perfect, but simply because I think it's certainly a lot better than I really expected from the previous drafts. Whether it's actually a better license than the GPLv2, I'm still a bit skeptical, but at least it's now "I'm skeptical" rather than "Hell no!"

--Linus Torvalds
Read the rest in Torvalds 'pretty pleased' about new GPL 3 draft | News.blog | CNET News.com

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

the American empire is doing all it can to consolidate its system of domination. And we cannot allow them to do that. We cannot allow world dictatorship to be consolidated.

The world parent's statement -- cynical, hypocritical, full of this imperial hypocrisy from the need they have to control everything.

They say they want to impose a democratic model. But that's their democratic model. It's the false democracy of elites, and, I would say, a very original democracy that's imposed by weapons and bombs and firing weapons.

What a strange democracy.

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

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

biofuel is worse for the planet than petroleum. The UN has just published a report suggesting that 98% of the natural rainforest in Indonesia will be degraded or gone by 2022. Just five years ago, the same agencies predicted that this wouldn't happen until 2032. But they reckoned without the planting of palm oil to turn into biodiesel for the European market. This is now the main cause of deforestation there and it is likely soon to become responsible for the extinction of the orang-utan in the wild.

But it gets worse. As the forests are burned, both the trees and the peat they sit on are turned into carbon dioxide. A report by the Dutch consultancy Delft Hydraulics shows that every tonne of palm oil results in 33 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, or 10 times as much as petroleum produces. I feel I need to say that again. Biodiesel from palm oil causes 10 times as much climate change as ordinary diesel.

There are similar impacts all over the world. Sugarcane producers are moving into rare scrubland habitats (the cerrado) in Brazil, and soya farmers are ripping up the Amazon rainforests. As President Bush has just signed a biofuel agreement with President Lula, it's likely to become a lot worse. Indigenous people in South America, Asia and Africa are starting to complain about incursions onto their land by fuel planters.

--George Monbiot
Read the rest in Guardian Unlimited | Comment is free | George Monbiot: If we want to save the planet, we need a five

Monday, March 26, 2007
One of the big reasons for my renewed interest in Ruby (besides the features it has that seem to make it a bit easier to create domain-specific languages) is because of Matz's decision to remove the Perlisms in Ruby. Any language (Python is the only other one I know of) that's willing to REMOVE warts (Java just seems to keep adding warts on existing warts) immediately becomes much more interesting in my perception.

--Bruce Eckel
Read the rest in Ruby and Scala

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Open Source stuff is typically referred to as a "Project" vs. closed source, which is a "Product"

Here's a clue stick, beat who you need with it:

A "project" is what you do to get something done. By definition, if it's a project, it's not done. A product is (supposed to be) DONE and FINISHED.

--Martin Focazio on the wwwac mailing list, Saturday, 17 Mar 2007 07:35:32

Sunday, March 18, 2007
these days when I look at the Java section in the bookshop, there is little I understand. There are huge numbers of add-on libraries, each of which has its justification but which have been developed on a learning curve and so haven’t got it quite right. Even the core APIs are bloated, since backwards compatibility means one cannot throw away one’s first solution to a problem once it has become an integral part of the language, even if developing and using it has led to a better solution. It seems to be inevitable that once a language becomes widely used as a general purpose language, it is pushed in directions it isn’t suited to, builds up unnecessary complexity through accretions, and the urge to throw it away and start again becomes stronger. A bit like any large software system which has served its time.

--Matthew Huntbach
Read the rest in Bitwise Magazine:: What’s Wrong With Ruby?

Saturday, March 17, 2007

there were times when the IRA would cross from the Irish Republic into northern Ireland to kill British soldiers. And they did murder and kill British soldiers. But we, the British, didn’t hold the Irish government responsible. We didn't send the Royal Air Force to bomb Dublin power stations and Galway and Cork. We didn't send our tanks across the border to shell the hill villages of Cavan or Monaghan or Louth or Donegal. Blair wouldn't dream of doing that, because he believes he's a moral man, he’s a civilized man. He wouldn't treat another nation like that.

But when the Israelis treat Lebanon like that, it's okay, and Blair doesn't want a ceasefire. You can’t have a real ceasefire. In other words, we've got to have the Lebanese on their knees to sign the dotted line, before we give them a ceasefire. And that dotted line means the disarmament of Hezbollah, which will be impossible for the Lebanese to do without restarting the civil war, because to disarm Hezbollah, you must use the army, and most of the Hezbollah are, of course, Shiite Muslims, and most of the army are Shiite Muslims. So you’re going to have brothers assaulting brothers to take their weapons away. It will not happen. However much you may wish it and however much I may wish it, it won't happen. And, again, this double morality: Blair wouldn't dream of attacking the Irish Republic because the IRA crossed the border from Ireland, but it’s quite in order for Israel to attack the Lebanese Republic because the Hezbollah crossed the border from Lebanon.

--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

Friday, March 16, 2007
Snake oil is snake oil, whether it comes from Mr. Ballmer selling us on XML or Mr. Ellison selling us on RDBMS. Don't confuse the loss of *mindhshare* by hierarchical DBMSs with "abandonment" in the real world. IMS, the meanest, ugliest of the 1960's hierarchical DBs is still used by 90% of the Fortune 500 to manage something like 15 million terabytes of the world's transactional data for 200 million users (including most of us, I suspect).

--Mike Champion on the xml-dev mailing list, Sunday, 27 Oct 2002

Thursday, March 15, 2007
One big risk, of course, is non-compete agreements. If you didn’t think these mattered, think about the case of Crossgain, which had to fire a quarter of its employees, all ex-Microsoft, when Microsoft threatened them with individual lawsuits. No programmer in their right mind should ever sign a non-compete agreement, but most of them do because they can never imagine that it would be enforced, or because they are not in the habit of reading contracts, or because they already accepted the employment offer and moved their families across the country and the first day of work is the first time they’ve seen this agreement and it’s a little bit too late to try to negotiate it. So they sign, but this is one of the slimiest practices of employers and they are often enforceable and enforced.

--Joel Spolsky
Read the rest in Finding Great Developers

Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Until you work with real time systems, it is easy to think software always behaves the same way every time.

--Claude L (Len) Bullard on the xml-dev mailing list, Tuesday, 4 Jan 2005 11:15:52 -0600

Tuesday, March 13, 2007
there are actually very few examples of pleasing user interfaces being built by using Flash. On the whole, pieces of Flash software have horrible, “hard to learn”, “hard to use” interfaces. GUI toolkits in Java Swing, .NET Forms, QT, GTK+ are all intrinsically far superior.

--Simon Brocklehurst
Read the rest in Is Bruce Eckel Right? Maybe not. at Simon’s Blog

Monday, March 12, 2007
Cranky rich people hire sharp-tongued and relatively uninformed young people all the time and put them on the mass media to badmouth the poor, spread bigotry, exalt mindless militarism, promote anti-intellectualism, and ensure that right-wing views come to predominate.

--Juan Cole
Read the rest in AlterNet: MediaCulture: Jonah Goldberg's Gambling Debt: Will Tribune Company Pay It?

Sunday, March 11, 2007
"It's just convenient" is hardly a defense for an inherently inefficient approach which goes against proper web architecture. Which doesn't mean it won't work, like I said before, it means they don't mind wasting bandwidth but I can't relate to that attitude. The goal in REST is to scale, which typically means going against the notion of "convenience" prevalent amongst those who favor MVC design patterns and spend a small fortune on server farms they don't really need. And the electricity to power them. And more electricity to cool it all down. And more datacenter space. I can't afford convenience, besides, the number-one all-time user complaint about the web is it's slow so it seems to me that focusing on proper architecture, scaling and efficiency is a no- brainer.

--Eric J. Bowman on the rest-discuss mailing list, Wednesday, 15 Nov 2006 18:58:39

Friday, March 9, 2007

Windows has nowhere to go but down; Vista is not what it should have been.

I believe that Apple's market share is going to increase tenfold in the coming years, if only because its mindshare is already through the roof. On the x86 platform, it can already dual-boot between OSes - which is what has kept most hardcore Windows and Linux fanatics from switching.

Linux, on the other hand, is still to omni-directional for its own good. It could actually learn a lesson from Microsoft, in this sense. They need to standardize on a single desktop (KDE or GNOME) and a single core. It'll never happen. My mom just doesn't want to compile drivers and debug her kernel. Linux is perfect for verticals and corporate environments right now - not for the home desktop.

--Chris Pirillo on the Opera Newsletter mailing list, Sunday, 05 Oct 2006 23:46:37

Thursday, March 8, 2007
Me, I defected long ago. I’m another of those Apple Java engineers who dropped out. I spent five years as a raving Java fanboy, but I gave up after optimizing AWT, implementing drag and drop, and trying to make 1,200 pages of crappy APIs do the right thing on the Mac. Then I took a one-week Cocoa training course, and wrote the first prototype of iChat.

--Jens Alfke
Read the rest in Thought Palace » Blog Archive » In Which I Think About Java Again, But Only For A Moment

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

What the agreement between Sun and Microsoft got us was the ability to use their proprietary specifications and take information from them, and use them to build our own stuff. They didn’t give us the right to disclose that proprietary information of Microsoft, so we can get all the information from them about all the deep, dark secrets of how file systems work, but we can’t then turn around and be members of the open source Samba project, and make Samba actually work. Because if we did, we’d have to disclose Microsoft’s secrets, and they’d come out and shoot us. Or even worse, they’d send their lawyers.

So what we can do is we can delve into patented products, but we don’t open source. Typical of what we’ve been trying to do are things which are sort of adaptors, that sort of match between the Microsoft way of doing things and the way that everybody else does things, like mail protocols—like how Exchange works versus the IMAP standard. The most active stuff we’ve been doing is around identity management, bringing a lot of the work from the Liberty work together with what Microsoft has done.

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

Monday, March 5, 2007
It is possible for Java code to be faster than C. For example, allocation in the Java language is already much faster than it is in C. Java programming enables optimizations not possible in C because C leaves so many important factors, such as allocation and thread management, to libraries. Ironically, it's the bit-level control over pointers, which most C programmers see as their most powerful weapon, that cripples the C compiler's ability to optimize effectively. By giving up that bit of control, you enable a wealth of optimizations that are not possible in C -- and the Java compiler knows more about optimization than 99.99 percent of programmers do.

--Brian Goetz
Read the rest in Writing Better Code: A Conversation With Sun Microsystems Technology Evangelist Brian Goetz

Sunday, March 4, 2007
when you write in Java there are teams of people everywhere helping you. That's why you get faster development, and that's why you can spend your time thinking about better algorithms rather than debugging the plumbing. That's what object-oriented software was designed to achieve, and it works.

--Michael Kay on the xml-dev mailing list, Sunday, 1 Mar 2007 23:44:48

Saturday, March 3, 2007

One might think that it’s a pretty secure system configuration… Well, more precisely, it could be considered as pretty secure, if UIPI was not buggy and UAC didn’t force me to run random setup programs with full administrator rights and if GPG supported Smart Cards with RSA keys > 1024 (or alternatively PGP Desktop supported Vista). But let’s not be that scrupulous and forgot about those minor problems…

Still, even though that might look like a secure configuration, this is all just an illusion of security! The whole security of the system can be compromised if attacker finds and exploits e.g. a bug in kernel driver.

It should be noted that Microsoft has also implemented several anti-exploitation techniques in Vista, the two most advertised are Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) and Data Execution Prevention (DEP). However, ASLR does not protect against local kernel exploitation, because it’s possible, even for the Low IL process, to query system about the list of loaded kernel modules together with their base addresses (using ZwQuerySystemInformation function). Also, hardware DEP, which works only on 64-bit processors, is not applied to the whole non-paged pool (as well as some other areas, but non-paged pool is the biggest one). In other words, the hardware NX bit is not set on all pages comprising the non-paged pool. BTW, there is a reason for Microsoft doing this and this is not due to compatibility issues (at least I believe so). I wonder who else can guess... ;)

It’s very good that Microsoft implemented those anti-exploitation technologies (besides ASLR and NX, there are also some others). However the point is, they could be bypassed by a clever attacker under some circumstances. Now think about how many 3rd party kernel drivers are typically present in an average Windows systems – all those graphics card drivers, audio drivers, SATA drivers, A/V drivers, etc... and try answering the question how many possible bugs could be there?

--Joanna Rutkowska
Read the rest in invisiblethings' blog: Running Vista Every Day!

Friday, March 2, 2007
Since 9/11, we've spent hundreds of billions of dollars defending ourselves from terrorist attacks. Stories about the ineffectiveness of many of these security measures are common, but less so are discussions of why they are so ineffective. In short: Much of our country's counterterrorism security spending is not designed to protect us from the terrorists, but instead to protect our public officials from criticism when another attack occurs.

--Bruce Schneier
Read the rest in Wired News: Why Smart Cops Do Dumb Things

Thursday, March 1, 2007
JEE5's failure to address complexity is a harbinger of the Java EE platforms' fall from dominance in the enterprise development platform arena. Organizations should look elsewhere when considering new enterprise development and should plan for the eventual sunset of Java EE as an enterprise solution.

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

Wednesday, February 28, 2007
The last disease we truly eradicated was smallpox. There’s no urgency to eradicating diseases anymore. Why not?

--Dr. Victoria Hale
Read the rest in A Small Charity Takes the Reins in Fighting a Neglected Disease

Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Whereas fingerprints merely identify the person who left them, DNA profiles have the potential to reveal our physical diseases and mental disorders. It becomes intrusive when the government begins to mine our most intimate matters.

--Peter Neufeld, Innocence Project
Read the rest in U.S. Set to Begin a Vast Expansion of DNA Sampling

Monday, February 26, 2007
with markup, as with coding, there’s no silver bullet. JSON (and LISP) have the important advantage that they make the most trivial cases easy to represent, but as soon as we introduce even the slightest complexity, all of the markup starts to look about equally verbose. That means that the real problems we have to solve with structured data are no longer syntactic, and anyone trying to find a syntactic solution to structured data is really missing the point: JSON, XML (and LISP) people would be best making common cause to start dealing with more important problems than whether we use braces, pointy brackets, or parentheses.

--David Megginson
Read the rest in Quoderat » All markup ends up looking like XML

Sunday, February 25, 2007
It is just patently absurd to say women are more emotional than men. Men commit 25 times the murders; it’s shocking what the numbers are. And if anyone ever sees a woman with road rage, they should write it up and send it to a medical journal.

--Dr. Ben A. Barres
Read the rest in Dismissing ‘Sexist Opinions’ About Women’s Place in Science

Saturday, February 24, 2007
Seriously, whenever anyone wants to start programming Swing someone else needs to get a stick and beat them until they write in blood the oath "I will not do data processing in the Event Dispatch Thread."

--Danno Ferrin
Read the rest in Groovy can save Swing (... And They Shall Know Me By My Speling Errors)

Friday, February 23, 2007
GPL version 3 is designed to be compatible with two important licences: the Apache licence and the Eclipse licence. It will be possible to merge code under those licences into GPL3 covered software once the GPL version 3 is really out.

--Richard M. Stallman
Read the rest in GPLv3 - Transcript of Richard Stallman from the fifth international GPLv3 conference, Tokyo, Japan; 2006-11

Thursday, February 22, 2007
As Billg likes to point out, Windows is the platform on which 90 per cent of the computing industry builds, and this naturally means that it's the platform on which 90 per cent of spyware, adware, virus, worm, and Trojan developers build. That translates into 90 per cent of botnet zombies, 90 per cent of spam relays, 90 per cent of spyware hosts, and 90 per cent of worm propagators. In a nutshell, Windows is single-handedly responsible for turning the internet into the toxic shithole of malware that it is today.

--Thomas C. Greene
Read the rest in Vista security overview: too little too late | The Register

Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Everyone has been expecting that one day Sun would open source Java technology, but no one expected just how far they'd go -- GPL. A bold move, and a great opportunity both for Sun and for free and open source software.

--Tim O'Reilly
Read the rest in Sun GPLs Java, targets mobile phones

Monday, February 19, 2007

Java Swing is currently the best GUI toolkit - by a long way - if you want to build cross-platform user interfaces. Incidently, it’s also the most popular, too.

Of course, we have to be careful not to ignore the elephant in the room here. I’m not suggesting that, for many Internet applications, Flash isn’t a better choice than Java for building “Rich Internet Applications”. It is. And that’s why people choose to use it. But it’s a better choice not because Flash applications are so great. It’s because they’re so easy to deploy reliably.

That’s it. It’s an application deployment issue. Plain and simple. Java Web Start doesn’t cut it - it asks the user too many “hard to understand” questions before running (that means it’s fine for experts, but regular people just get confused), it looks ugly at start-up, and, even more importantly, people want applications that run inside the browser.

--Simon Brocklehurst
Read the rest in Is Bruce Eckel Right? Maybe not. at Simon’s Blog

Sunday, February 18, 2007
Piracy is a business model. It exists to serve a need in the market—consumers who want TV content on demand. And piracy competes for consumers the same way we do: through quality, price, and availability.

--Anne Sweeney, president of Disney–ABC Television
Read the rest in Pirates of the Multiplex: On The Web: vanityfair.com

Saturday, February 17, 2007
. If a plane is stuck on the tarmac or at the gate for hours, a passenger should have the right to deplane. No one should be held hostage on an aircraft when clearly they can find a way to get people off safely.

--Barbara Boxer, D-CA
Read the rest in Long Delays Hurt Image of JetBlue

Friday, February 16, 2007
You need to be able to change the UI around really easily during development — after user testing, or a Steve Jobs encounter session — even after you’ve attached a lot of code to it. That means no RAD tools that write code for you, because once their code mingles with your code, it gets hard to disentangle. Instead, the UI should be described with data, like an Interface Builder “.nib” file.

--Jens Alfke
Read the rest in Thought Palace » Blog Archive » In Which I Think About Java Again, But Only For A Moment

Thursday, February 15, 2007

JAX-WS is somewhat simpler than JAX-RPC. The problem is not with the engineering its the objective. Why are they trying to create an RPC binding for web services? Hey guys, you may have taken the RPC out of the name, but you didn't take the RPC out of the technology. JAX-WS is an inherently flawed model. Rather than simplify SOAP/WSDL based web services, they made them much more complicated. What is needed is not a better RPC style web services API, what is needed is a completely different approach.

There is a better way to do this and that's by working with web services as XML messages and not remote objects or procedures. The solution, I believe, is to scrap JAX-WS 2.0 and start over with a completely different programming model.

--Richard Monson-Haefel
Read the rest in I, Analyst: Redeemed! JAX

Wednesday, February 14, 2007
The cost of transporting a call over the Internet, though, is huge. Each call in a properly designed service-oriented architecture involves significant preparation and post-call work (UIs based on AJAX are dramatic, and kludgy, exceptions). The vast majority of developers understand the issue and design coarse Web service calls. When parameters or responses are expressed in large, hierarchical, text-based chunks (in other words, as XML documents), the added benefits derived from automating the parameter types are minimal. As for the rest—security, transactions, discovery and so forth—the WS-* forces have failed to prove their case. WS-* is harder, not easier, than REST to implement. It’s less, not more, interoperable. It’s the product of vendor committees, not problem-solving developers. For more than half a decade they’ve promised, “The ease-of-use breakthrough will come real soon now.” It hasn’t. The debate should be put to REST.

--Larry O'Brien
Read the rest in SD Times

Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Windows Vista includes an array of "features" that you don't want. These features will make your computer less reliable and less secure. They'll make your computer less stable and run slower. They will cause technical support problems. They may even require you to upgrade some of your peripheral hardware and existing software. And these features won't do anything useful. In fact, they're working against you. They're digital rights management (DRM) features built into Vista at the behest of the entertainment industry.

--Bruce Schneier
Read the rest in Schneier on Security: DRM in Windows Vista

Monday, February 12, 2007
The only difference between Java and C from the LGPL's perspective is that Java is an object-oriented language, supporting inheritence. The LGPL contains no special provisions for inheritance, because none are needed. Inheritance creates derivative works in the same way as traditional linking, and the LGPL permits this type of derivative work in the same way as it permits ordinary function calls.

--David Turner, Attorney, Free Software Foundation
Read the rest in The LGPL and Java

Sunday, February 11, 2007
Java 5 was a tacit admission that Microsoft was doing some very interesting things with C#, and proposed features in Java 7 support the idea that Java is now playing catch-up with C# 3.0. Competition is good, and Java is not dead. It continues to evolve, and the appearance of new languages built on the JVM, like JRuby, Scala and Groovy, is a sign of vitality in the world of Java.

--Bruce Eckel
Read the rest in Hybridizing Java

Thursday, February 8, 2007

the manufacture and transport of that one kilogram bottle of Fiji water consumed 26.88 kilograms of water (7.1 gallons) .849 Kilograms of fossil fuel (one litre or .26 gal) and emitted 562 grams of Greenhouse Gases (1.2 pounds).

Twenty-six times as much water used to make it than you actually drink. As much fuel to make it as there is water in the bottle. Staggering is an understatement.

--Lloyd Alter
Read the rest in Pablo Calculates the True Cost of Bottled Water (TreeHugger)

Wednesday, February 7, 2007
Deep down inside every software developer, there's a budding graphic designer waiting to get out. And if you let that happen, you're in trouble. Or at least your users will be, anyway

--Jeff Atwood
Read the rest in Coding Horror: This Is What Happens When You Let Developers Create UI

Tuesday, February 6, 2007
the design of a programming language consists not just in a laundry list of features, but also in making judicious choices of what to *omit* and, more importantly, in establishing design principles that are easy to understand.

--Guy Steele
Read the rest in Re: bindings and assignments was: Re: continuations

Monday, February 5, 2007

Screw Sun, cross-platform will never work. Let's move on and steal the Java language.

That said, have we ever taken a look at how long it would take Microsoft to to build a cross-platform Java that did work? Naturally, we would never do it, but it would give us some idea of how much we have to work with in killing Sun's Java.

--Prashant Sridharan, Microsoft Visual J++ product manager, September 17, 1997
Read the rest in Microsoft Memo

Sunday, February 4, 2007
C programming rots your brain.

--Tim Bray
Read the rest in ongoing · An RX for Ruby Performance

Saturday, February 3, 2007
The mainstream left's instinctive response to international tension may usually be to urge negotiation, though that is surely a hallmark of enlightenment rather than cowardice. It will always seek to look beyond what sociologists call epiphenomena, and focus on the nuts and bolts, as in the claim that even if the high priests of violent jihadism are sui generis, the sympathy and support they currently attract is traceable to failures on which we can act. That is not, as the likes of Cohen and Hitchens would have it, a matter of "excusing" terrorism; it is an example of the kind of basic analytical thought without which politics shrivels.

--John Harris
Read the rest in Guardian Unlimited | Comment is free | This duplicitous liberal

Friday, February 2, 2007
if x is a mutable object then the following doesn’t hold in multithreaded program:


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

Thursday, February 1, 2007
It is certainly true that for any program you can write using closures, you can write a roughly equivalent program using anonymous inner classes. That's because the Java programming language is Turing-complete. But you will probably find yourself resorting to a significant and awkward refactoring of the code that has nothing to do with the purpose of the code. In fact, you can write a roughly equivalent program using assembly language if you have the stomach for such an effort. On the other hand, true closures increase the power of a language by adding to the kinds of abstractions you can express.

--Neal Gafter
Read the rest in Neal Gafter's blog: A Definition of Closures

Wednesday, January 31, 2007
the Bush presidency never had anything to do with the Goldwater/Reagan "conservative principles" which one finds in textbooks and think tanks (but never in reality). Instead, the Bush movement is a rank fundamentalist and authoritarian movement which sought to vest virtually unlimited power in George Bush as Leader (and will do the same with its next Leader), and to expand, rather than contract, federal power in order to forcibly implement its view of the Good and to perpetuate its own power. That is what "political conservatism" in this country has become.

--Glenn Greenwald
Read the rest in Unclaimed Territory

Tuesday, January 30, 2007
The Chandler team also overestimated how much help they would get from volunteers. Open source doesn’t quite work like that. It’s really good at implementing copycat features, because there’s a spec to work from: the implementation you’re copying. It’s really good at Itch Scratching features. I need a command line argument for EBCDIC, so I’ll add it and send in the code. But when you have an app that doesn’t do anything yet, nobody finds it itchy. They’re not using it. So you don’t get volunteers. Almost everyone on the Chandler dev team got paid.

--Joel Spolsky
Read the rest in The Big Picture

Monday, January 29, 2007
London now charges drivers a fee to enter the core business area, but here such initiatives are branded as anti-car, and thus anti-personal freedom: a congestion fee, critics say, is a tax on the middle-class car commuter. But as matters now stand, the pedestrian is taxed every day: by delays and emissions, by asthma rates that are (in the Bronx) as much as four times the national average. Though we think of it as a luxury, the car taxes us, and with it we tax others.

--Robert Sullivan
Read the rest in The City That Never Walks

Sunday, January 28, 2007
I dedicated myself to teaching, which I think was a mistake. I know of no other profession where your on-the-job performance counts so little.

--Stanley Feingold
Read the rest in An Influential Mentor 50 Years Ago, and Today

Friday, January 26, 2007
Most companies don't outsource things they need to win a customer, but they have no problem outsourcing things the customer needs to use the product. Technical support. Training. Customer support. Most companies keep sales in-house but then have someone with no passion for the company's products--help the customer actually use the thing.

--Kathy Sierra
Read the rest in Creating Passionate Users: How will Sun bounce back?

Thursday, January 25, 2007
Java desktop apps succeed only in niches where UI design and usability don’t matter: development tools and enterprise software. Programmers expect things to be crude and complicated: anyone who’ll voluntarily use ‘vi’ in the 21st century will put up with anything**. And the poor users of enterprise software don’t have a choice: they have to run the damn app no matter how awful it is, because it was selected by an MIS department that could care less about usability.

--Jens Alfke
Read the rest in Thought Palace » Blog Archive » In Which I Think About Java Again, But Only For A Moment

Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Java was originally designed for set-top boxes and applets. Yet today, it is probably the most widely used enterprise language, and applets are dead. Since the fundamental use-case has changed, why shouldn't the language?

--Stephen Colebourne
Read the rest in Stephen Colebourne's Weblog

Tuesday, January 23, 2007
information captured in declarative form is typically much easier to extract and repurpose than information encoded procedurally. Get me a table of stock quotes, and I can easily and probably securely import it into charting tools, database, AJAX clients, etc. Give me instead a Javascript program which, it is asserted, will produce stock quotes as output and for many purposes I'm in much worse shape. I need a runtime for Javascript, but worse, we know that there is no way to tell whether an arbitrary Javascript program will produce any output in bounded time. Running Javascript or other imperative languages tends also to raise more security concerns than parsing a declarative file.

--Noah Mendelsohn on the xml-dev mailing list, Friday, 19 Jan 2007 22:29:54

Monday, January 22, 2007
In many ways the exciting, revolutionary things tend to happen elsewhere than the desktop. The desktop market is fairly well defined. People know what they want to do with their desktop, you want to have your word processor, you want to have some eye candy and 3D graphical stuff. We know that, and Linux handles that very well; we need to continue to support it and slowly get more and more people used to Linux and that's going to take some time.

--Linus Torvalds
Read the rest in LinuxWorld | Windows Vista "over

Sunday, January 21, 2007
JSON won't replace XML for the same reason that SimpleXML never went anywhere - you reach a point where the distinction between data and document blurs, and JSON is too lightweight for the latter case.

--Kurt Cagle on the xml-dev mailing list, Saturday, 20 Jan 2007 16:28:26

Thursday, January 18, 2007
complex software results from barreling ahead without challenging the status quo. It seems like everybody I know has trouble finding documents on their computer, and yet Microsoft Word never improves the file picker, perhaps because it’s so mundane that developers overlook it. Most of the frustrations I observe among average users occur in these developer “blind spots.” Inertia is a formidable opponent.

--Blake Ross
Read the rest in Interview with Firefox Founder and Creator Blake Ross » Opera Watch

Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Security loses credibility if it stops us doing useful things, unless it can come up with a clear explanation of why. When sending stuff to some of my customers, I have to rename the .zip file as .zap to get it past security. That's security making a complete fool of itself.

--Michael Kay on the xom-interest mailing list, Tuesday, 12 Dec 2006 09:56:05

Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Java’s not worth building in. Nobody uses Java anymore. It’s this big heavyweight ball and chain.

--Steve Jobs
Read the rest in Ultimate iPhone FAQs List, Part 2 - Pogue’s Posts - Technology

Monday, January 15, 2007

Mineral water is a preposterous vanity. It is flown and shipped around the world, from France and Norway at best, from Japan and Fiji at worst. It is bottled in glass that is mostly thrown away and is stupidly heavy to freight, or in plastic which never, ever, decomposes and just goes to landfill or ends up in one of the “plastic patches” the size of Texas currently gyring in our oceans.

Food snobs and restaurant critics make a big song and dance about mineral waters they like and don’t like. New York’s Ritz-Carlton even caters to the whim of abstemious punters with a dedicated water list and sommelier.

The vanity of it! While half the world dies of thirst or puts up with water you wouldn’t piss in, or already have, we have invested years and years, and vast amounts of money, into an ingenious system which cleanses water of all the nasties that most other humans and animals have always had to put up with, and delivers it, dirt-cheap, to our homes and workplaces in pipes, which we can access at a tap.

--Giles Coren
Read the rest in The Fat Badger - Food & Drink

Sunday, January 14, 2007
The iPod, a VERY closed platform, has >75% market share in the "mp3 player" market, despite being years late to the party, and missing lots of features that other players sport (built-in radios, voice recorders, etc.). Open doesn't matter. Extensible doesn't matter. Cool matters. "Just works" matters. Usability matters.

--Joshua Smith on the Java Developers mailing list, Wednesday, 10 Jan 2007 15:50:14

Saturday, January 13, 2007
The most important discovery of modern medicine is not vaccines or antibiotics, it is the randomized double-blind test, by means of which we know what works and what doesn't.

--Robert L. Park
Read the rest in Seven Warning Signs of Bogus Science

Thursday, January 11, 2007
Apple doesn't just treat security researchers poorly, they lie to their users.

--Jacob Appelbaum
Read the rest in Wired News: Putting a Bug in Apple's Ear

Wednesday, January 10, 2007
This year’s Macworld keynote was, well, different. With rumors flying left and right and the next generation of operating systems right around the corner, this keynote had the potential to be the biggest of them all. Now that they keynote is over, I feel a little disappointed. Not one product I can run out and purchase today. Not one enhancement to Apple’s software. Not one mention of Apple’s computers or next generation operating system, Leopard.

--Ronald Heft, Jr.
Read the rest in Apple Takes the Mac Out of This Year’s Macworld Keynote · cavemonkey50.com

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

This consistency that has been a centerpiece of the Mac OS is something that, even with Vista, Microsoft still can't manage to pull off. Although there are many different UI styles available in Mac OS X, even within those different styles, there is a consistency that Windows just can't seem to hit.

Even with Microsoft applications, there's a feeling that, by and large, the only UI guidelines that Windows applications adhere to is "what we feel like." (I know Microsoft has a lot of UI guideline information, but since no one seems to follow any of it, I'm not sure what the point of it is.)

--John C. Welch
Read the rest in Review: Mac OS X Shines In Comparison With Windows Vista

Monday, January 8, 2007
Our goal was really more to create a healthy market for software into which we could sell hardware. And if you go back seven or eight years, the sort of nightmare scenario for us was one where every machine was required to run Windows NT and there was no way that, for a variety of reasons, we could really build 7 NT machines in any sort of competitively useful way. And what Java has done for Sun is really make the market for hardware and the market for software somewhat decoupled so that you can make a software decision independent of a hardware decision. We had many decision points along the road as to whether we should do things that would further direct revenue gain from selling software versus indirect revenue through making the software market healthy. And we tended to predominantly favor making the market healthy because there's the general strategic view, that having a small part of a big pie is better than having a big part of a small pie. And so we tend to do whatever we can to make the pie bigger even if we don't own the whole thing. And I think that that has actually worked well.

--James Gosling
Read the rest in Sun's Gosling On the Java Evolution - VARBusiness.com - 5/8/03 10:22:42 AM

Sunday, January 7, 2007
Very often they will call the enemy by some subhuman name -- you know, "gooks." Who cares about a gook? What's a gook? It's not a person; it's not a human being. Part of the dehumanizing, it's made a lot easier if the person looks different than us, whether it's by names or just firing up "God's on our side; this is our war; we're fighting this, and we should be fighting, and God is proud of us"; a lot of killing is done just with that as the reason. Anything you can do to make a person think this is not the kid next door; this is not the friend that I grew up with that I'm about to blow his brains out; this is some animal; it's not a real person -- simple.

--Andrew Pomerantz, Chief of mental health services for the VA in Vermont
Read the rest in frontline: the soldier's heart: experts: the impact of killing & how to prepare the soldier | PBS

Saturday, January 6, 2007
If I was on a desert island and I could only have five shows to watch for the rest of time I don't think that Star Trek would be one of them, but I do think it's very good. I think it's way better than Star Wars! I'll tell you what, when you look at it there've been five hundred and something episodes of Star Trek and ten films. Not to denigrate George Lucas because he's a great artist and God knows I'd be happy to work with him if he ever wanted me to! But the fact of the matter is that after the original three Star Wars Movies - of which the first was spectacular, the second was pretty good and the third one was OK - he had twenty years to think of the next three and they were horrible! In the meantime, we did five hundred and something episodes. It took him twenty years to come up with something lousy.

--Brent Spiner
Read the rest in Exclusive Interview with Brent Spiner - Star Trek: First Contact

Friday, January 5, 2007

Linux is still an operating system developed by geeks and hackers for geeks and hackers. The disconnect between us and the non-technical end user is still vast, and too many of us like it that way and will actually defend our isolation as a virtue.

When somebody with a degree in finance or architecture or can grab a Linux laptop and watch episodes of The Daily Show off of Comedy Central's website without a bearded Linux geek walking them through an elaborate hand-configuration process first, maybe we'll have a prayer.

It's also hard to forget that when the call went out for a big company to stand up and fight for DeCSS and open-source 3D drivers, the leading commercial Linux distributor (Red Hat) yanked MP3 playback support from its distro and slunk off into the server market.

Linux on the desktop has been a year or two away for over a decade now, and there are reasons it's not there yet. To attract nontechnical end-users, a Linux desktop must work out of the box, ideally preinstalled by the hardware vendor. Right now, Linux is usually an aftermarket upgrade on desktop and laptop systems. Default installations of Linux usually have poor multimedia support, are missing numerous codecs like QuickTime and WMV, and often lack even basic 3D acceleration. Linux can't even play DVDs without introducing the risk of lawsuits, and multimedia support files are usually hosted on non-US sites for legal reasons. Third party software support (from Quicken to World of Warcraft) is almost nonexistent.

You can't win the desktop if you don't even try. Right now, few in the Linux world are seriously trying. And time is running out.

--Eric S. Raymond
Read the rest in World Domination 201

Thursday, January 4, 2007
The Democrats’ victory in the midterm US elections may help to remind the left that Bush and Cheney are not that much different from the politicians and overlords of US foreign policy who preceded them or will follow them. There was already a bipartisan consensus about Israel and Iraq. What the 9/11 conspiracists want us to believe is that the Bush/Cheney gang represent a new breed of evil, which might be the most dangerous deception of all, for it fosters the fantasy that a new administration, a Hillary Clinton or Al Gore administration, would pursue more humane policies.

--Alexander Cockburn
Read the rest in US: the conspiracy that wasn’t, by Alexander Cockburn

Wednesday, January 3, 2007
XSD has a much richer (and admittedly more bizarre) type system than the programming languages in wide use today. People have been rather creative in mapping XSD constructs to CLR and JVM constructs, and these creative mappings don't interoperate very well.

--Michael Champion on the xml-dev mailing list, Monday, 11 Jul 2005 10:22:55

Tuesday, January 2, 2007
PHP and Rails have taught us that development speed is more important than we thought it was. On top of the obvious business value of delivering functions faster, there’s the Agile/XP view that you really don’t understand a feature till you’ve built it, so the faster you can build them the faster you understand them.

--Tim Bray
Read the rest in ongoing · Comparing Frameworks

Monday, January 1, 2007
It'll be very good that the Java trap won't exist any more. It will be a thing of the past.

--Richard M. Stallman, Free Software Foundation

Earlier quotes:

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