Highlights of the Lang.NET Symposium, Day Three (from memory)

My Mac froze when I tried to hook it up to the projector in the afternoon to do a 15-minute chat on Scala, thus losing the running blog entry in its entirety. Crap. This is my attempt to piece this overview together from memory--accordingly, details may suffer. Check the videos for verification when they come out. Of course, details were never my long suit anyway, so you probably want to do that for all of these posts, come to think of it...

What about Context?

Andrew Wild emails me: I vaguely remember one of your blog posts in which you went into a bit of an exposition of 'context'. Did you ever come up with anything solid or did you wind up talking yourself in self-referential circles? Because that post was actually a part of the old weblog hosted at neward.net, I decided to repost it and the followup discussion to this blog in order to make it available again, although the WayBack Machine also has it and its followup tucked away.

Highlights of the Lang.NET Symposium Day Two

No snow last night, which means we avoid a repeat of the Redmond-wide shutdown of all facilities due to a half-inch of snow, and thus we avoid once again the scorn of cities all across the US for our wimpiness in the face of fluffy cold white stuff. Erik Meijer: It's obvious why Erik is doing his talk at 9AM, because the man has far more energy than any human being has a right to have at this hour of the morning.

The "Count your keystrokes" concept; or, blogs or email?

Jon Udell has a great post about the multiplier effect of blogs against private email. For those of you who didn't share my liberal arts background, the "multiplier effect" is a concept in economics that says if I put $10 in your pocket, you'll maybe save $1 and spend the other $9, thus putting $9 in somebody else's pocket, who will save $1 and spend $8, and so on. Thus, putting $10 into the hands of somebody inside the economy has the effect of putting $10 + $9 + $8 + ...

Highlights of the Lang.NET Symposium, Day One

Thought I'd offer a highly-biased interpretation of the goings-on here at the Lang.NET Symposium. Quite an interesting crowd gathered here; I don't have a full attendee roster, but it includes Erik Meijer, Brian Goetz, Anders Hjelsberg, Jim Hugunin, John Lam, Miguel de Icaza, Charlie Nutter, John Rose, Gilad Braha, Paul Vick, Karl Prosser, Wayne Kelly, Jim Hogg, among a crowd in total of about 40. Great opportunities to do those wonderful hallway chats that seem to be the far more interesting part of conferences.

By the way, if anybody wants to argue about languages next week...

... or if you're a-hankering to kick my *ss over my sacreligious statements about Perl, I'll be at Building 20 on the Microsoft campus in Redmond, at the Language.NET Symposium with a few other guys who know something about language and VM implementation: Jim Hugunin, Gilad Bracha, Wayne Kelly, Charlie Nutter, John Rose, John Lam, Erik Meijer, Anders Hejlsberg.... I wish there were more "other VMs" representation showing up (some of the Parrot or Strongtalk or Squeak folks would offer up some great discussion points), but in the event they don't, it'll still be an interesting discussion.

So I Don't Like Perl. Sue Me.

A number of folks commented on the last post about my "ignorant and apparently unsupported swipes against Parrot and Perl". Responses: I took exactly one swipe at Perl, and there was a smiley at the end of it. Apparently, based on the heavily-slanted pro-Perl/anti-Perl-bigotry comments I've received, Perl programmers don't understand smileys. So I will translate: "It means I am smiling as I say this, which is intended as a way of conveying light-heartedness or humor."

Can Dynamic Languages Scale?

The recent "failure" of the Chandler PIM project generated the question, "Can Dynamic Languages Scale?" on TheServerSide, and, as is all too typical these days, it turned into a "You suck"/"No you suck" flamefest between a couple of posters to the site. I now make the perhaps vain attempt to address the question meaningfully. What do you mean by "scale"? There's an implicit problem with using the word "scale" here, in that we can think of a language scaling in one of two very orthogonal directions: Size of project, as in lines-of-code (LOC) Capacity handling, as in "it needs to scale to 100,000 requests per second" Part of the problem I think that appears on the TSS thread is that the posters never really clearly delineate the differences between these two.

You're Without A Point, Mr. Zachmann

In the latest Redmond Developer News, William Zachmann writes "Game programming is fundamental to understanding where software development is headed in the years ahead", which is a position I happen to believe quite strongly myself. And then... ... then he says absolutely nothing at all. Oh, there's a couple of book recommendations, two paragraphs about how the techniques of game programming mirror the development of the GUI in the 80s and 90s, and since GUIs obviously became important in time, so will game programming.

My Open Wireless Network

People visiting my house have commented from time to time on the fact that at my house, there's no WEP key or WPA password to get on the network; in fact, if you were to park your car in my driveway and open up your notebook, you can jump onto the network and start browsing away. For years, I've always shrugged and said, "If I can't spot you sitting in my driveway, you deserve the opportunity to attack my network."