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User Journal

Journal: Best troll evah! 2

Journal by Zarf

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1655148&cid=32242734

So easy to manipulate. *LOL*

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).

User Journal

Journal: QRCode Linkulator speaking Gaelyk

Journal by Zarf

I've written here about my experience this weekend writing a google app engine application for people with iPhones or Android phones. The demo video for the site is here.

I'm still fighting some scaling problems. So I'm not ready to publicize the app.

User Journal

Journal: Is it just me or is Slashdot really really hard to use now? 2

Journal by Zarf

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.

User Journal

Journal: Cellphones... just do it. 8

Journal by Zarf

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 like the German term "Handi"

Slashback

Journal: Why aren't Journals just like blogs? 3

Journal by Zarf

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?

PC Games (Games)

Journal: Things I miss from Linux while on my MacBook Pro...

Journal by Zarf
Fortunately, Fink and MacPorts have brought back tools like Gimp, wget, nmap, and kismet to my arsenal... but still I miss:
  1. 3D cube. "Spaces" just ain't it.
  2. Flaming window effect... (oh man that was so cool)
  3. the vast application selection in aptget
  4. ability to use VIM/gvim/kvim ubiquitously
  5. telinit
  6. simple script based init system was easier to manage
  7. ability to change file to program associations from a text editor
  8. virtual terminals
  9. hackable keyboard macros/keys (although the mac defaults are pretty damn good)
  10. custom keystroke to lock screen

What do you (or would you) miss most about your Linux desktop?

User Journal

Journal: This is not a Troll 2

Journal by Zarf

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.

Software

Journal: Learning Objective-C for iPhone

Journal by Zarf

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?

Java

Journal: Java where to start? 1

Journal by Zarf

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.

User Journal

Journal: Moving from Perl to Java for real... 10

Journal by Zarf

... 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.

Slashback

Journal: Slashdot Idea: Hyper-dimensional karma 1

Journal by Zarf

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.

HOLY MACRO!

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