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Journal: My Ideal Scripting Language

Journal by joeysmith

I think if I want it, I'm going to have to write it myself. The most time I've spent thinking about it so far is to decide what I do (and don't) want, based on current languages:

From Python, I'd like to keep the clean OOP. I think Guido, et al, have done a really good job on this. But, even after using python a little more in my own projects, I just can't seem to adjust to the whitespace thing (more on that later). Additionally, I don't understand why dictionaries are declared with {}, but keys are looked for with []. It seems to me they should have either gone with {} on dictionary keys always, or [].

From Perl, I'd like to keep is the large module base. In fact, if I ever actually write my language, I'll probably try to "launch" it by reimplementing much of CPAN in my language. Or, maybe I'll be able to easily transform from Perl to YASLWIC. I'd like to lose a lot of the syntax and replace things like $|, $`, etc. with something like a pragma. In fact, I also would like to make the Python whitespace behaviour OPTIONALLY available with a pragma-like construct, but more flexible (and I want {} back as block delimiters). PCRE is obviously a keeper. mod_perl is powerful, but (along with mod_python) a pain for admins to setup correctly IMO.

From PHP, I'd like to keep the manual, the C-ish-ness of the syntax, and the ease of integration with webservers. I'd like to get rid of "userland code as a 2nd class citizen", and pretty much toss the memory model.

I should probably look more into ruby, and I'd like to have a way for my lanuage to be able to switch between OOP, imperative, and functional programming models relatively transparently to the user.

I've even got the domain! Who wants to help? :))

User Journal

Journal: Small Pieces Loosely Joined

Journal by joeysmith

We recently installed a copy of Windows XP at the office. The guy doomed to use XP pined for a decent implementation of multiple desktops (Microsoft and NVidia both have one, but they're really resource intensive), which reminded me that I have a license to goScreen.

This is a great example of a small piece of software that is really well written, frequently updated with new features without requiring hardware upgrades to run the new version, and I only had to buy it once...after that, I was a lifetime owner.

Poikosoft's Easy CD-DA used to be in this same category, but now I have to pay AGAIN for every major version change...and yet, the number of features that would compel me to pay for an upgrade are suprisingly missing. Between versions 4.0 and 6.0, their software made leaps and bounds in improvements. At 6.0, they stopped giving former purchases access to new versions (which seems to be a violation of the agreement we had when I originally purchased the software, but what can you do?). About that same time, the quality of the software stopped improving and pretty much stood still.I would be interested to know more about the business end of these two packages...how much money they make, how many people actually constantly pay to upgrade, and so on.

Stardock seems to have found a way to make the "Small but Written Well" model work, as has the guy behind goScreen. I had thought that we were going to try and go that same route, but instead we're facing the same problem my last trip through the startup merry-go-round faced: We're trying to be a monolithic "everything in one package" solution for every potential customer.

I just don't think that's the way to win.

User Journal

Journal: A few sidenotes about Mozilla

Journal by joeysmith

Did you realize that you can add support for new protocols by means of a simple piece of javascript? Take a look at how the guys at CNRI added support for the "hdl" protocol to mozilla. It probably won't work out of the box for you (the installer code is quite old), but pull down the zip file and take a look at the components it installs. I'm duly impressed.

On the other hand, I can't think of anything I dislike so much as the steaming pile of excrement that firefox has become as of 0.9. Menus are changed around again (Edit -> Preferences?! Didn't we all just go over what a BAD BAD place that was for this stuff? Why has it gone back to such an obscure location?). The Qute theme may not be everyone's favorite, but I abhor the idea of making everything look like OS X. And why has the default size of the toolbar gone up by something like 50%? It's now not only an eyesore, but an eyesore that takes up a good 1/4 of the available real estate on these K-Mart special LCD screens we have here.

Where have all the extensions gone? I had a bunch here, just a moment ago...a bunch that moved with me from 0.7 -> 0.8 just fine...now they're gone. Why do I still have to install an extension to get a close box on each tab? Will the Firefox team ever actually look at what people are doing with the browser, or will they continue to produce releases from their Romero-like caves?

Ugh...and most annoying of all? I can't middle-click to "paste+navigate to" URLs anymore. That was one of the single best features firefox had...the only thing I'd rate higher is tabbed browsing.

Here's to being able to both admire and despise the same group of guys, and to being able to fix what I don't like.

User Journal

Journal: My wife is HOT, but life still (generally) sucks

Journal by joeysmith

So, we went to the SUU Shakespearean Festival on Saturday. It was OK. I thought they generally did a much better job last year, but the tickets were free this year, so I can't complain TOO loudly. (BTW, thanks to Katie for the free tickets!)

Anyways, to get to the point of this journal, it was great to spend a day with my wife where I didn't have to do anything but admire how truely amazing she is. As I told Radar, I think my eyeballs got 2nd degree burns looking at her on Saturday, she's just that HOT. Good to know that looks and talent aren't mutually exclusive. Now if I could just get HER to realize how beautifule she is.

Reading dragoncortez's journal makes me realize how low my public geek index probably is these days, as I have NFC what this "Slashdot's Most Eligible" thing is all about.

I feel like I'm slowly losing the battle to remain light-hearted in the face of my complete and utter loss of faith in my fellow human beings, which is good...I mean, at least it's "slowly losing" now instead of "long ago lost", as it has been before in the past. However, I fear that this time will be much longer lasting than the previous runs. I guess we'll see.

User Journal

Journal: The candle has more than two ends 1

Journal by joeysmith

I recently came across a reference to an idea called "eletronarcosis", which is (as I understand it) sending an electrical current through your body while sleeping in order to accelerate whatever processes your brain performs while you are sleeping. The few tidbits I could find referred to reducing the average person's need for 8 hours of sleep for every 16 hours awake down to as little as 2 hours per every 22.

For as long as I can remember, I've rarely needed to get more than 4 hours of sleep a night. If I try to sleep more than 6 hours on a night where I'm not exhausted, I'll wake up around the 6th hour and be unable to return to sleep, no matter what I try.

I've always hated sleep. It's boring, and a waste of valuable time. There's not enough hours in a day to learn everything I want to learn, and even sleeping only 4 hours a day I often find myself having to pass up the chance to study some exciting new field because there just isn't time to give it justice.

I've tried Ubermann's, but I'm just not disciplined enough to stick to such a rigorous schedule. So I'm sure you can imagine how much an idea like electronarcosis appeals to me. Given my natural sleeping pattern and something like this, it's possible that I might be able to go 36 hours without sleep, without feeling any adverse effects!

Of course, this is very fringe "science". It's even hard to find much information about it. But I'm curious...how many people have sleeping patterns similar to mine? How rare is it to actually HATE sleep? I've never met anyone else who claims to do so. In fact, most people seem to enjoy their sleep.

What do you think?

Google

Journal: Gmail invites 1

Journal by joeysmith

Not that anyone but dragoncortez reads this, but on the off-chance...

I have two Gmail invites, and no one to share them with. Anyone who'd like them, let me know. You can either comment here, or you can email me directly at joeysmith@gmail.com

Programming

Journal: Beware the guy in a room 1

Journal by joeysmith

I found it really interesting to read Microsoft's 21 points of shipping great software the other day. Most interesting to me was the warning mentioned in the subject.

I find it interesting because I'm a guy in a room. That is my modus operandi. I have no problem giving status updates, or working as part of a team, but when a deadline looms, and people start to realize that some deadline or another just can't be hit at our current level of production, I've always been one of those guys who takes on the responsibility of finishing someone else's work.

And it's worked just fine. Admittedly, none of the software companies I've worked for have yet to be a shining example of success, but then, I've known Microsoft to miss a release date here and there as well.

So I'm enabling comments on this journal to hear what others think. Is "a guy in a room" always a bad thing, or is this an over-generalize principle?

User Journal

Journal: It's Friday 1

Journal by joeysmith

It's been a long day this week, so I'm taking Friday off.

I've spent a lot of time working in the HORDE code. There are some parts of that code that are really, really elegant, and then other parts are so slip-shod that it's almost as if there were two entirely different methodologies at work there. Still, after all is said and done, it's a useful framework. Saved me months of coding. :)

I think I've finally decided to get on the the Gameboy Advance bandwagon. dragoncortez directed me to one of his friends that gave me some pointers on what I'd need to do to make a GBA into an eBook reader. I think I might go ahead and buy the flash cartridge and download one of the GBA readers and ask dragoncortez if I can try it out on his GBA to see how it looks. If I don't like it, I can probably still get most of the money back on eBay. I just can't see myself playing a ton of video games, but a combination ebook reader and game console...now THAT'S a good idea. :)

"Who cares if it doesn't do anything? It was made with our new Triple-Iso-Bifurcated-Krypton-Gate-MOS process ..."

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