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Comments

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If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

anomalous cohort that depends (511 comments)

I remember attending a meet-up on this very topic within the past year. It was held at the offices of a small startup recently acquired by twitter. The presenter made the distinction between Java as the programming language and Java as the runtime environment (i.e. JVM).

In his opinion, Java the programming language was on its way out whereas Java the runtime environment was here to stay.

Why is that? The JVM reflects countless man hours of stability fixes, performance improvements, and scalability work. It's a real big investment that only mega corps with deep pockets can make.

In my experience, what I have found is that there is a certain breed of programmer who doesn't like Java the programming language. It seems to me that it is because Java is statically typed. This means you have to type out all these interface and class names with every method signature. It's a lot of typing. You add in all those getters and setters boilerplate and you find that you have a larger, some would say cumbersome, code base to maintain.

If you find that you resemble that description, then check out Clojure which is a version of lisp that compiles to Java byte code running in the JVM. It can, but doesn't have to, be pre-compiled and it is dynamically typed. You can provide type hints but you don't have to. For this reason, Clojure programs are much more dense than Java programs. Less typing in order to get the job done.

Be careful what you ask for. All that typing means that you can find and fix a lot of bugs in the compile step. With dynamically typed languages, you get to find those bugs at runtime. Maybe that is why other posters here believe that Java is for the B programmers.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Are We Still Writing Text-Based Code?

anomalous cohort Re:Graphics doesn't scale well (876 comments)

As someone who has worked http://www.dynamicalsoftware.c... on such systems in the past, I concur. Graphical programming languages are not used by serious engineers. It is easier to express a complex algorithm textually than by any manner of drag-and-drop manipulation of icons. My take on the OP's attitude is this. Programming is too hard. It should be easier. The OP is obviously not a good programmer because, if they were, then they would realize that what is hard about programming is not the mouse vs the keyboard. Rather, it is the abstract cognitive ability to analyze a problem into smaller, more manageable parts then synthesize a solution up from those parts into a system that is accurate, reliable, consistent, and performant. I first heard this programming is too hard sentiment in the 90s. Frankly, I can't help but label this as just another sense of entitlement by a generation who has not had to suffer from anything other than the existential angst of their own mediocrity. Hard words, I know, but there you have it.

about 7 months ago
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Cory Doctorow On Privacy and Oversharing

anomalous cohort building a public personna (53 comments)

I remember when facebook got big enough that I finally decided to create an account there. Not because I wanted to share private details of my life with my friends. Because the FB audience was big enough that I felt compelled to have some representation there. What my timeline displays is what I call a public profile. Think of it as the linked in for hobbies and vacation travel. Don't publish anything that wouldn't hold up in a criminal investigation. I'm not saying lie. Remember Andy Warhol's now famous "15 minutes of fame" quote? Well, famous people need a PR manager. In today's "15 minutes of fame" world, everyone needs their own DIY PR manager. Think like a PR manager before you post.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Do You Deal With Programmers Who Have Not Stayed Current?

anomalous cohort let them attend conferences (509 comments)

Where I work, they pay for every engineer to attend a conference of their own choosing. This year, I am going to the Cassandra summit in San Francisco. Last year, I went to the Lucene Revolution conference in Boston. The year before that, I attended Velocity. Zoosk is still a start up but has been around for six years. They run R&D projects about twice a year for new hires and conduct a hack days competion every year. They have one project where six engineers are working with new technology to reinvent their whole stack.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Developer Or Software Engineer? Can It Influence Your Work?

anomalous cohort Re:Terminology (333 comments)

That coincides with my observations as well. Here are some more observations. The developer spends most of her time coding whereas the engineer will be involved in all aspects/phases of the software development process including; requirements capture, analysis, design, configuration and release planning. The developer tends to favor one programming language which he treats as a "swiss army knife" in that he will create a lot of code getting that language to do everything. The engineer usually knows lots of programming languages and his approach on language selection is more like picking "the right tool for the job."

about 2 years ago
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Mind Maps: the Poor Man's Design Tool

anomalous cohort Re:UML (97 comments)

Don't get me wrong. I'm a big advocate for mind maps. See http://ploneglenn.blogspot.com/2010/10/mind-mapping-in-modern-age.html for a list of map mapping software that I have used over the years. I just don't see why you would use a mind map as a replacement for UML. Outside of them bothing being a type of diagram, I don't see much similariity or purpose. You use UML to model object oriented systems. Mind maps are a diagrammatic way to organize just about any cognitive activity. Using a mind map as a replacement for UML would be like attempting to drive to the super market with a pencil. http://stackoverflow.com/questions/423218/best-tool-to-create-architecture-diagrams-for-software/423288#423288 is what I recommend for diagramming in UML.

about 2 years ago
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Best Way To Archive Emails For Later Searching?

anomalous cohort take a look at Beagle (385 comments)

People here seem to think that you are looking for another email client. Instead, it appears to me that what you really need is a way to archive and search your local machine. In light of that, take a look at http://beagle-project.org/ Beagle can search your IMAP stuff and local file system stuff too. I run Ubuntu so the UX for installing, configuring, indexing, and searching with Beagle is pretty easy. Beagle is available in the Ubuntu Software Center. You can search from either the command line or from the firefox search bar once you have configured that.

about 4 years ago
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Scalability In the Cloud Era Isn't What You Think

anomalous cohort Re:Infinite scalability? (75 comments)

Infinite scalability isn't the only snake oil in the cloud. Other cloud computing myths include "all you need is a credit card" and "cloud is cheaper."

more than 4 years ago
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The Struggle To Keep Java Relevant

anomalous cohort the cutting edge itself has moved on (667 comments)

It's no longer language constructs, data structures, or algorithms that are cutting edge. Innovation has moved on to more fertile pastures. Yes, those who build software tools, libraries, IDEs, and compilers will continue to innovate. They have and will continue to come up with some brilliant stuff. But cutting edge developers don't pick a shop because they write in groovy or whatever the language-de-jeur is. Cutting edge developers go where they believe the next killer app is going to be born.

The best developers are multi-lingual. They don't identify with a single programming language. They're not VB developers or Java developers or even Rails developers. They can pick up any language/library/environment quickly. They don't really get off on curly braces versus colons. What feeds the best developers is the challenge of world domination through innovation.

Change the world, right?

more than 4 years ago
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Naming and Shaming "Bad" ISPs

anomalous cohort Re:litigation mitigation (79 comments)

IANAL but my guess here is if the attack is coming from the IP of the server(s) where your app is running, then you could listed as a defendant. If you are sharing a server or have a VPS account, then you are still not patching the OS of that machine so it is vulnerable to getting infected and caught up in a bot-net. Even with dedicated machines, an incorrectly patched firewall or security appliance could leave your machines vulnerable.

more than 4 years ago
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Naming and Shaming "Bad" ISPs

anomalous cohort litigation mitigation (79 comments)

Why should corporations care? Two words "litigation exposure." A bot-net living in your network takes down an e-commerce site for day. They will see you in court. Good luck with that "don't blame me, blame my ISP" defense.

I think that kind of "not my problem" thinking is what is driving the current cloud computing craze. Corporations seem to think that they can side step the accountability hassle if they outsource IT to the cloud. Good luck with that too.

more than 4 years ago
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After Learning Java Syntax, What Next?

anomalous cohort Re:Other Things... (293 comments)

Database, web, frameworks, IDE are all important if you want to get into J2EE. I recently gave a presentation at the local JUG about GWT which is Google's toolkit for writing RIA in J2EE. About half of the talk was an introduction to GWT and the other half covered GWT specific issues with regards to Eclipse, Maven, Spring, JDO, Hibernate, GAE, EC2, Acegi, Lucene, FreeMarker, etc. The point is that there are a lot of OSS Java libraries out there that rapidly accelerate your productivity in Java development and it is important to learn how to consume some of these APIs if you want to be competitive.

more than 4 years ago
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How Do You Accurately Estimate Programming Time?

anomalous cohort use statistical analysis (483 comments)

Estimating requirements is very important and software engineers should attempt to improve their estimating skills. Overly optimistic estimates is the second highest cause for runaway projects. Consider a statistical approach such as FPA whose accuracy improves over time. Having to double your estimate is just a symptom of poor change management and other process immaturities. If you get push back on FPA because of its complexity, then consider rolling your own more simplified approach.

more than 4 years ago
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IETF Turns Introspective With New Wiki

anomalous cohort The Tao of IETF (13 comments)

It doesn't surprise me that the IETF has gone introspective since they have already turned to taoism.

more than 4 years ago
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How Can I Contribute To Open Source?

anomalous cohort Re:Some ideas (332 comments)

I vote for suggest new features and options. We are proposing a redesign to an open source project called KATO (mainstreaming software agents) where we have made available a discussion area and survey for soliciting feedback and ideas on the redesign. You can make a difference there on that project in only 5 minutes.

more than 4 years ago
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Best Tool For Remembering Passwords?

anomalous cohort Re:Truecrypt (1007 comments)

Not exactly. Keepass is a windows app that will work under wine. What if I need to access my passwords from a linux box that doesn't have wine installed?

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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Which Eclipse Plug-Ins Do You Use?

anomalous cohort anomalous cohort writes  |  about 4 years ago

anomalous cohort (704239) writes "I'm sure that the /. devs already know about the Eclipse IDE which is most noted for its rich variety of plug-ins but which plug-ins are the best? The Eclipse Marketplace currently lists 887 tools. I assure you that any instance of Eclipse with all of those plug-ins installed would take a very long time to load. So, my question to those coders who use Eclipse is this. What is your short list of "must have" plug-ins?"
Link to Original Source
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Enterprise Collaboration Architecture

anomalous cohort anomalous cohort writes  |  more than 4 years ago

anomalous cohort (704239) writes "This question is for software, solutions, or enterprise architects. What are your biggest concerns about deploying an enterprise collaboration initiative? I will be giving a talk on this subject on March 11 and I want to make sure that I am addressing real-world concerns."
Link to Original Source
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Why Do You Participate in Open Source?

anomalous cohort anomalous cohort writes  |  about 5 years ago

anomalous cohort writes "We are in the early planning stages for an open source project that we believe will be of great interest and use to many people, both developers and non-developers alike. Not only is the project to be open source and that we would want developers to participate on the core but also we would like to foster a community where a large body of developers, with widely divergent skills and competence, could extend the core functionality. Think of it as a drupal or wordpress but for research purposes instead of publishing purposes.

We strongly believe that the success of this project will be very much dependent on the viability of the developer community that supports it. So, we are conducting some "market research" here. We want to do this right the first time.

What is "the good, the bad, and the ugly" when it comes to open source projects? What works for you and what doesn't? What open source projects blundered in the past and why? We're looking for tips and tricks as to how to do it right."

Link to Original Source
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Microsoft patents XML word processing documents

anomalous cohort anomalous cohort writes  |  more than 5 years ago

anomalous cohort writes "The US patent office has granted a Microsoft patent application, 7,571,169, which "... is directed at providing a word-processing document in a native XML file format that may be understood by an application that understands XML, or to enable another application or service to create a rich document in XML so that the word-processing application can open it as if it was one of its own documents." So, say goodbye to open office."
Link to Original Source
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Are open source virutual worlds ready?

anomalous cohort anomalous cohort writes  |  more than 5 years ago

anomalous cohort writes "I recently attended a conference sponsored by IBM on Second Life about virtual worlds. The second day of the conference focused on virtual worlds behind the firewall. One of the speakers was a developer for the Open Simulator Project which is an open source project for a virtual worlds server application similar to Second Life. In fact, you use the Second Life HUD to connect to it. He also talked about the Open Source Metaverse which is a grid of open source virtual world servers.

My question is this. How mature are these open source offerings? Are they ready for the enterprise? I gave open sim a test drive. It did run but not smoothly. When you enter the world, you are a topless girl in a red leotard on a really small island.

Is there some way to create content without having to use the editor in the Second Life HUD? Open Sim uses a relational database backend which can be configured to be MySql. Has anyone studied the database schema? How hard would it be to just write to the database directly to create content? Is there an API that open sim supports?"

Link to Original Source
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Have you used Portable Ubuntu?

anomalous cohort anomalous cohort writes  |  more than 5 years ago

anomalous cohort writes "I just ran across this story promoting Portable Ubuntu. Though not destined to replace my native Hardy Heron workstation, I would be interested in a thumb drive where I could easily run my favorite Linux apps on any Windows machine. They claim that any changes you make or apps you install are carried around on the thumb drive. The apps look like they are running within the host operating system and not inside some virtual box (but they really are). You are supposed to be able to read and write to any of the Windows formatted hard disks.

This sounds sweet but is it too good to be true? Has anyone else here used Portable Ubuntu? If so, then what are your impressions/findings of it?"

Link to Original Source
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What will be the fallout from IBM Acquiring Sun?

anomalous cohort anomalous cohort writes  |  more than 5 years ago

anomalous cohort writes "The NY Times recently ran a piece which reported...

Shares of Sun Microsystems, which makes the Java software that runs many Internet applications, were up 78.9 percent after reports that it was in talks to be acquired by I.B.M. Shares of Sun ended at $8.89. I.B.M. was down 1 percent, to $91.95.

According to an even more recent article at the Wall Street Journal, this acquisition is going forward with this to say...

bankers not involved in the talks believe a deal will eventually get done.

I have already pondered what the impact might be as have others but I would like to know /.'ers opinions on this.

Sun and IBM compete on a lot of levels. Will Open Office be quietly pushed aside for lotus symphony? Will NetBeans be sunsetted to make room for Eclipse? Will MySql find itself getting less attention than DB2 UDB? Will glassfish get morphed into some kind of community edition of WebSphere? What are your opinions on this?"

Link to Original Source

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Most Popular Free, Arena Style FPS?

anomalous cohort anomalous cohort writes  |  more than 5 years ago

anomalous cohort writes "I am a casual gamer. Go or Chess are my games of choice when I am up for a serious intellectual gaming challenge. Otherwise, I just want to blog off some steam in a free, arena style FPS such as Alien Arena, Nexuiz, Sauerbraten, or Tremulous at the end of a long day. Either way, it is very rare for my gaming experience to exceed 30 minutes.

The problem is that attendance for these games has dropped off over the years. Finding a game with about two humans and two robots is perfect for me and very rare these days.

My question is this. What is currently the most popular free, arena style FPS for the casual gamer that you know of?"

Link to Original Source
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Stacey's Bookstore Closing Down in SF

anomalous cohort anomalous cohort writes  |  more than 5 years ago

anomalous cohort writes "Stacy's Bookstore in San Francisco has announced that it is going out of business. This 85 year old store, located on Market St near Golden Gate University and the Embarcadero, has been a favorite of almost every developer I have met or worked with in the area. They always kept their technology section well stocked. I am sorry to see it go."
Link to Original Source
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What is Your Opinion on Federated Login?

anomalous cohort anomalous cohort writes  |  more than 5 years ago

anomalous cohort writes "Federated login, or the ability to sign in to many services using the same credentials, has been brewing for quite some time. Microsoft has had their passport. Sun Microsystems has had their Liberty Alliance compliant Sun ONE Identity server. I'm starting to see more and more sites adopt Six Apart's OpenID project. Last month, Google published their usability research on how best to employ federated login from the end user perspective.

My question is this. Has federated login's time finally come? How many here use federated login? How many here are planning to add federated login to their web sites? Is this a good thing or yet another annoying nuisance?"

Link to Original Source
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Microsoft documentation unfit for US consumption

anomalous cohort anomalous cohort writes  |  more than 5 years ago

anomalous cohort writes "Washington DC judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly announced during the ongoing Microsoft antitrust hearings that their documentation is unfit for US Consumption. This is relevant in an antitrust hearing as poor documentation on how to interoperate with Microsoft's products is seen as an unfair barrier to entry for companies who compete with Microsoft. Others see this as yet another example of their crumbling hegemony or indolence as their empire burns."
Link to Original Source
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Experimental Philosophical XBox Game Grows Popular

anomalous cohort anomalous cohort writes  |  about 6 years ago

anomalous cohort writes "National Public Radio is running a story on an XBox live game called Braid. Why is Braid newsworthy? It's not a shoot-em-up FPS. The look is retro 2D platformer. In the game, you are Tim. You move back and forth through time to find out what went wrong in your relationship and what is the meaning of life. The game is more philosophy than fun and yet it has been downloaded over 50,000 times in the first 6 days of its release."
Link to Original Source
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IBM targets Microsoft with desktop Linux

anomalous cohort anomalous cohort writes  |  more than 6 years ago

anomalous cohort writes "Just two weeks after Microsoft announced their plans to steal a lot of big blue's business, IBM has announced that they will use Linux to steal business away from Microsoft through a partnership with Red Hat, Novell, and the makers of Ubuntu, Canonical. The idea is to capitalize on the dissatisfaction of Vista to promote a Microsoft free desktop."
Link to Original Source
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Second Life to Starting Using Mono

anomalous cohort anomalous cohort writes  |  more than 6 years ago

anomalous cohort writes "Second Life is a massively multi-player online virtual world run by Lindon Labs. In Second Life, objects are animated using scripts written in a language called LSL (short for Lindon Script Language). Mono is an open source virtual machine written by Novell Corporation. Source code, written in C#, are compiled to IL (short for Intermediate Language) which is then run in the Mono virtual machine. It looks like Second Life is going to start using the Mono VM to interpret these LSL programs. They claim that this will speed up the in world experience."
Link to Original Source
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Yet Another Cringley Rant on Technology

anomalous cohort anomalous cohort writes  |  more than 6 years ago

anomalous cohort writes "Many Cringely articles foment enough controversy to make to /. lots of times but his March 21st piece War of the Worlds: The Human Side of Moore's Law seems to actually provoke thought in between the large amounts of manipulative rhetoric so characteristic of Robert Cringely.

Not that I actually agree with his main premise which is that the Internet is going to replace primary education. It's not going to replace schools anymore than it replaced any of the other institutions that pundits have predicted it would replace including newspapers, television, or dating. It has and will, however, supplement, augment, and transform all of those institutions."

Link to Original Source

Journals

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Current Activity

anomalous cohort anomalous cohort writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Here is where I am currently active on the web.

I have started my own company called Dynamical Software, Inc.

I am the project administrator for an open source project called Web 2.0 News Portal whose mission is to produce a small, easy to install, easy to operate application for the purpose of publishing categorized, story based content to the web in a way that is friendly to individuals, activist communities, or small businesses. If you are a LAMP coder or web designer and this looks interesting to you, then feel free to contact me about joining this project.

I run an online publication called Projection which provides commentary on current trends in technology and the media and what impact that these trends have on culture.

I also blog over here.

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anomalous cohort anomalous cohort writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Interesting quotes

  • Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; truth isnt. - Mark Twain
  • there can be no public or private virtue unless the foundation of action is the practice of truth. - George Jacob Holyoake
  • Truth is a slippery thing, and certainty is just an emotion. So speak confidently but doubt your own words.
  • Those who educate children well are more to be honored than parents, for these only gave life, those the art of living well. -- Aristotle
  • Fraud is the homage that force pays to reason. -- Charles Curtis, "A Commonplace Book"
  • First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Gandhi

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anomalous cohort anomalous cohort writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Here is a searchable 3D Engines Database of interest.

A recent /. article got me looking into gaming engines.

  • This link was revealed to me by a recent post on /., mindrover combines a 3D interface with something that Win can handle. It costs $25.
  • Here is a tutorial on game engine technology.
  • Here is a tutorial on creating a map with quark.
  • milkshape is an affordable modeler whose output can be imported by all of the engines.
  • Here is the latest version of the half-life editor which Crystal Space seems to favor.
  • Crystal Space is open source. You have to build from the source. I got it to build but the only demo that seems to work is flarge and the render is slow and choppy.
  • Reality Factory also appears to be open source. It doesn't work on my home machine.
  • Freya is real simple so it might be a good candidate for teaching Win.
  • Torque looks nice but costs $100. I have played with the demo and got some results. The demo doesn't allow you to do much so it's hard to say whether or not it's worth the $100. The site registration indicates that this is a one man company.
  • Here is a list of game development resources.
  • I should also look at logo which was designed for kids Win's age.
  • Hmmm, I already have serious sam and it looks like their engine is relatively easy to work with.
  • To use polygons made by milkshape, you must first export to lightwave.
  • There are definite usability issues with the serious editor. You have to position and size a new shape before you add it to the world. After you add it to the world, you cannot reposition/resize it. After you add it to the world, you have to go through every polygon so that it will be lit correctly.
  • Here's another.

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