Another podcast with me goes live...

The guys over at Software Engineering Radio asked me to do a podcast a few months back, and it's now live on their website. They were particularly interested in language and new language development, so we spent a fair amount of time talking about Scala, F#, LINQ, and other interesting language developments in the world of the JVM and CLR. Have a listen, if you like...

More on "Monad vs Ruby"... which really wasn't supposed to be a "vs" at all...

A while back, I blogged how MonadWindows PowerShell can be used to do a lot of the things the Ruby advocates are saying is one of Ruby's biggest strengths, that of "scripting" and driving things from the REPL environment. Glenn Vanderburg jumped all over me, believing I was suggesting that this was some kind of contest by which Ruby was supposed to come out in the Negative Points Zone. Had that been my intent, I would heartily agree with his critique; unfortunately, that wasn't the point.

TheServerSide releases a TechTalk with yours truly

Best link to it is from their TechTalk page; the link to the actual stream itself redirects several times.... Some of you've been asking, where the heck have I been lately? Short story--I've been insanely busy. Long story--I've been insanely busy with a bunch of conferences and on-the-road consulting, not to mention the various writing projects I have afloat. Fear not, the blogging will resume shortly....

Nice to know I'm missed

My son misses me terribly... or, apparently, at least he misses certain parts of me more than others, according to Charlotte's blog... (Warning, only for people who want personal life details. ;-) )

Need Ruby? Nah--get Monad instead

I happened across this blog entry while doing some research on Monad, Microsoft's new command shell (meaning, think "bash" or "csh", not "Explorer"), and found it so similar in many ways to what guys in the Ruby space have been hyping for a year or two now, that I just had to pass it on. Reproducing directly from the site: One of the scripts I like the most in my toolbox is the one that gives me answers to questions from the command line.

Why programmers shouldn't fear offshoring

Recently, while engaging in my other passion (international relations), I was reading the latest issue of Foreign Affairs, and ran across an interesting essay regarding the increasing outsourcing--or, the term they introduce which I prefer in this case, "offshoring"--of technical work, and I found some interesting analysis there that I think solidifies why I think programmers shouldn't fear offshoring, but instead embrace it and ride the wave to a better life for both us and consumers.

Take a non-technical moment and support the fight against diabetes

Scott Hanselman has diabetes. So does a good friend of mine, who discovered it during our third year of college. Take a moment and spare US$20 to support Scott in his fight against it. Do it because you probably know somebody who has it, or will before long. If nothing else, do it because it's a cheap way to support somebody who's indirectly responsible for this blog (Scott maintains dasBlog, which is the blogging engine I use now).

Another annoying nit in Java, fixed

CLASSPATH now supports wildcards to pick up multiple .jar files. Finally. But given that the AppClassLoader is a derivative of the standard UrlClassLoader, I still don't see why I can't put full URLs on the CLASSPATH and expect them to be resolved correctly.... Oh, and while we're at it, you shouldn't be using CLASSPATH-the-environment variable anymore, anyway. There's far too many ways to manage .jar file resolution to be falling back to that old hack.

At last, a minor but annoying nit in Java, fixed

Mustang, the latest JDK (to be called Java6 on its release), fixes a minor but very annoying nit that's bugged Java developers for years: "if a JDBC driver is packaged as a service, you can simply (leave out the call to Class.forName() to bootstrap the driver class into the JVM). ... The DriverManager code will look for implementations of java.sql.Driver in classpath and do Class.forName() implicitly." It's never been a huge deal in Java, to have to explicitly bootstrap the JDBC driver into the JVM before being able to obtain a Connection from it, but it's always been annoying, and inexplicable, given the Service Provider mechanism that's been there for a couple of releases now.