Zarf (5735) writes "Yesterday Google announced that GAE (Google App Engine) now supports Java development but fast on the heels of the Java announcement is this announcement for Groovy support! Groovy is a dynamic programming language for the JVM that is a near super-set of Java. Much Java syntax is valid Groovy syntax, however, Groovy adds powerful meta-programming features and Groovy on GAE will bring these meta-programming features to App Engine development. Groovy got special attention from the SpringSourceGroovy team and the Google App Engine Java team and it was this collaboration that helped create the changes that were the big secret in the recent Groovy release of 1.6.1. The Groovy Developer community is very excited to see this level of collaboration between the Groovy team and Google!" Link to Original Source top
Zarf (5735) writes "The real Paul Jones (of iBiblio fame) tweets: "Facing shrinking budget RIAA abandons suing listeners — instead turns ISPs into their thugs." The Wall Street Journalarticle reports: "the Recording Industry Association of America said it plans to try an approach that relies on the cooperation of Internet-service providers." Is this finally some good news from the economic melt down?" top
Zarf (5735) writes "Google praises the FCC vote to allow the use of White Space spectrum for wifi. White Space spectrum for those who don't know is the intentionally unused spectrum between TV stations. The NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) argues that using the previously untouched white space regions of the spectrum will degrade TV signals. The use of this additional spectrum will allow for more wifi services. Larry Page calls the white space broadband technology "Wi-Fi on steroids!" I personally welcome our super-buffed white-space spectrum overlords." top
Zarf (5735) writes "I'd like to file a bug report on the US educational system.
The New York Times reports on a recent study that shows the US fails to encourage academic talent as a culture.
"There is something about the culture in American society today which doesn't really seem to encourage men or women in mathematics," said Michael Sipser, the head of M.I.T.'s math department. "Sports achievement gets lots of coverage in the media. Academic achievement gets almost none."
While we've suspected that the US might be falling behind academically, this study shows that it is actually due to cultural factors that are devaluing the success of our students. I suspect there's a flaw in the US cultural system that prevents achievement on the academic front as valuable. Could anyone suggest a patch for this bug or is this cause for a rewrite?" Link to Original Source
Zarf (5735) writes "What is the point of the software we write? Why do we bother? I have had the misfortune of working on projects that lose sight of this and I have to ask: Why do we do it? Why do we write software or create new software products? It clearly isn't to make the programmer's life easier is it? The programmer should be trying to make their user's life easier. After all isn't that why a programmer even has a job?" Link to Original Source top
Not Old yet Perl Guy (5735) writes "So I'm a guy who has been hacking code non-stop Perl since 1996. I never got around to making any CPAN contributions. I used to know C and other nifty things like that but all those skills have aged out in light of do-or-die year after year Perl hacking. I'm wondering how employable I am? What new skill should I add to my tool box if I want to keep employed for the next 10 years? What skills other than Perl do slashdotters find that they need? What hot new projects are rolling out in Perl. (Pretend I've been under a rock for five years.) And, where have all the Perl jobs gone?" top
Zarf (5735) writes "Back in June the TriLug had a guest speaker Sapna Kumar from Duke university. The meeting covered GPL version 3, the Novel and Microsoft deal, the SCO law suit, and the Peer to Patent project that lets you inform patent officers about prior art. Interesting and vital new developments in law space that might affect kernel space, join your local LUG and get involved! BTW: Video quotes slashdot articles." top
Zarf writes "A Johnston County, North Carolina resident found tax payers' personal information by entering his own address into a Google search: story here. The county had posted tax payer data to its site, but, removed the file within an hour of being notified. County officials contacted google which responded that it would take five days to remove the information from their cache. The county had the information posted on their website for six weeks. The company Bi-Tek is named as the contractor that accidentally released the personal information. I've written about the article here in more depth but the story seems to be generally DOA in local media. How would people in a more tech savvy area react to this? What if the city of Boston had made the same mistake? And, what should happen to help people deal with the potential identity theft? Should anything happen to a software company that mistakenly posts tax payer personal data to the internet?" top
Only half troll. It is conceivable that someday it won't really matter what system you have on your desk or in your hand. Only that it is a "web compliant" device of some kind. This is idealistic though. There will always be some inconsistency. It is *possible* that someday "average" people won't use "computers" but "phones"... in that world neither term is all that well defined.
I think Apple already acts like the web is the only standard that matters. I think Google wants the web to be the only standard (but doesn't believe it is yet). I think Microsoft wants to pretend its iron grip on the market is natural and inevitable (and thus ignore web standards).
I'm trying to submit a news story about Microsoft charging for Linux and a company actually paying for it... with links... carefully crafted... and I can't submit it because the server says I must wait to submit it.
This is the first story I've submitted in years.
Why do I have to wait?
I haven't commented here in *hours*
If all this is to get people to use slashdot less then I'd say it's working.
I'm looking to start working with Android. I found this tutorial. Basically my thought is this: cellphones are going to go boom. The last time I saw this kind of hype storm and positioning it was around this silly thing called "the internet" and if my pattern matching software is working right we're getting ready for a new boom in the next decade or so... this time fueled by whatever the cellphone is about to become.
I stopped writing in my journal regularly because over the last few years I've moved to using my blog more. The blog has even lead to me contributing to several articles to an industry magazine. Now, maybe my writing is better... or maybe that would never happen in a journal.
Why? Why aren't journals more like blogs? Why doesn't journal publication naturally lead to the kinds of connections that blog entries do? Is slashdot just like facebook in that respect? Is/. a walled garden?
The fact that this post I made is marked troll has opened my eyes to something. It genuinely wasn't a troll. I remember doing work with Perl and Python in XML and it really didn't work that well. I remember working with django, rails, and several Perl frameworks... and being wholly unimpressed.
The fact of the matter is. If I want to get taken seriously I need to learn Python and Django and I need to learn to like it.
It really wasn't a troll. I just didn't think Python, Ruby, or associated technologies were all that great. Obviously, this is a problem with me. No. Really. I can't see it yet. I need to spend some more time learning so I can get over my misconceptions. I've obviously missed something.
I have decided never to code Perl again. I am currently doing my day job in a mix of Java and Groovy with Spring, Grails, and straight J2EE. I have already authored and opensourced a few platform extensions to Spring and Grails. I've also authored a new Single Sign On system. I hope to spend the next three to five years in this day job. I like it a lot and I get to do lots of cutting edge work. Even if it doesn't pay well. I have a plan to fix that.
At night I am learning to write software for the iPhone in Objective-C. I hope to bring back my skills from C/C++ and OpenGL to write 3D graphics games for the iPhone and sell them on the AppStore. I figure the AppStore sales should bring me just enough additional income to not mind the lower salary. The work really is quite fun.
Let's see if I can pull this off. Anyone want to come with me? Anyone have tips?
As someone who's just moved to Java myself... I suggest starting here: http://grails.org the Grails framework will get you started in Java based web development and you can learn more diving deeper into Java as you get more and more proficient. Grails is built on Spring which is a Java Enterprise platform but Grails saves you from having to learn all those "enterprisey" bits. Instead Grails picks defaults that are the most sensible for web development.
As you get better you can graduate to adding your own features to the framework or even beginning to use the more advanced Java frameworks outside Grails tying everything back together using Spring's IoC and Java JNDI. Or you can keep things light weight and web2.0 by using various remoting technologies inside Grails. It's a quick way to learn that doesn't put training wheels on you.
Get going in an afternoon... scale out using Java as your project grows.
... looks like I'll be packing up my bags and leaving the Perl kingdom for the lands of Java. Forever this time. Not entirely from choice but from pragmatic concern over my career. All the cool vibe has rubbed off the Perl kingdom. Most of it dribbled onto the Rails zealots. I'm beginning to think the Django fans may have gotten some of it too. But, I'll be making money by day doing huge scale Java applications for medical, clinical, and biotech applications from now on.
My only hope is that the lands of Java will be invaded by the "cool vibe" again... somehow... I don't think there will be a Perl rebirth anymore. It seems more likely that there will be a turbulent season of integration efforts between a new incarnation of Java born from open source, some language redesign, and a smattering of Linux distributions. There is a very good shot at Groovy, JRuby, or Jython becoming the "new Java" on the Java platform. I also sense the inkling of a Red Hat, JBoss, Java, Jython integration story happening at Red Hat over the next few years.
For reasons that are just becoming apparent Groovy/Grails is not as popular in my region. There is no technical reason in fact if you are running in a Java environment you'd be myopic to not pickup Groovy... and you would be well served to at least build a demo app in Grails. This region however is a Python/Jython stronghold. I didn't know why, but, I just learned that a major Jython contributor is a member of my Jug. That explains a lot. I know RedHat is primarily a Python shop so Java to Jython in the region surrounding the Red Hat campus makes perfect sense. I suspect that Java running Jython code would be the main way Red Hatters will use Java going forward. They are big on Python. And so too are some parts of Google apparently...
I'm beginning to learn that political forces more than technical merit can shape the technological landscape. It's a sad thing to learn because we techies want to believe we're more like mathematicians and only proof and merit rule our decisions. It's not true. For example, Slashdot is among the last strongholds of the Perl kingdom. Outside these hallowed walls the PerlBe are under constant threat.
Each of the major technologies have their own little world they live in and very few technologists actually have a realistic view of the whole technical landscape. I've found that http://www.indeed.com/ is an invaluable tool for looking into the reality of what the tech landscape was. The fact is companies hire for the technologies that they were using three to five years ago. Most do not hire for what they will use or what they are going to use. The hiring managers simply don't know where tech is going tomorrow. If the job is on a job board it's probably a legacy application that's being supported and that means it's a few years old.
You start to bundle these technologies into sets. Perl and C go together better than Perl and Java for example. Python, Perl, C and C++ all roll together for example. So to me it looks like if you were after sheer job security you should learn C really well. In fact from this data C is the unassailable emperor of computing languages. And even though I'm packing my bags for Java land that's the truth of the tech landscape... Java land is firmly in second place. It's shocking that the whole of the kingdoms of Pythonistas, Rubyists, and the PerlBe are all half of what the C++ers get.
Truth hurts. I'm going to have to go and play with some open source C again at some point. I figure if I can cross between Java and C I'll be a sight better off than someone trapped on either island. Both of these are pretty big islands now though.
Each kind of karma point would be aligned along it's own axis in N-Dimensional space. The resulting total karma score would be expressible as an N-dimensional manifold. You could then filter the resultant N-ary manifolds using your own total karma manifold. The results would be utterly transparent to you... instead as you accumulate karma points it informs the shape of your own manifold that is being projected onto the comment moderation system results.
In short you would experience the Slashdot that best fits your perceptions of reality.
The problem with always writing new software is that you never learn to maintain old software. Old software maintenance is harder, takes longer, and is far less glamorous... paying far less. Yet there's a species of "new software" guys out there that run around building new systems all the time leaving horrid messes. I wonder if the success of some companies isn't that "new software guy" invented something or that "old software guy" came and fixed things silently in the night.
... at least to look at indeed.com things aren't so bad in the technology sector. I'm not looking for work but one of the things I do every six months is see how many jobs are open out there and how many of them I'm over qualified for. It looks like there are about 1,600 positions within 100 miles of me that I'm over qualified for.
I check for jobs I'm over qualified for because I figure that means I can easily land those jobs in a big hurry if I have to. Since the US dot-com bust I've always been paranoid of getting laid-off with no notice and for no cause.
In other news a young fella I drink beer with decided to take a job in Syria. Syria... I know... but he's excited about it and can't be dissuaded. So I guess he's got his big adventure... his quest if you will. I honestly think every young man needs his dragon to slay, his quest, his adventure. With out it they become bitter old men who swill beer in tacky sports-bars (aka pubs). Once a fella has lived his quest he becomes an old man who swills beer in tacky sports-bars that tells stories that make young men go on quests.
I wish him luck. I can't wait to hear his stories when he gets back from his contract... in two years.
Now I've always wanted to work and live in Australia. I won't do that until my kid is done with high school and college but I figure maybe old men need to go on quests too. And on the topic of questing...
I think my son will be one of those environmentalist nut-jobs I hate... just like my father. Well, at least he'll have a cause he believes is just and all that. I deeply respect that. So I've tried to get him to meet with and spend time with some environmentalists that are doing work with marine animals (an interest of his) we'll see how all this works out.