No, John, software really *does* evolve

John Haren, of CodeSnipers.com, recently blogged about something I feel pretty strongly about: There’s a common trope in CS education that goes something like this: “All software evolves, so be prepared for it.” Far be it from me to imply that one shouldn’t be able to respond to change; that’s not my intention. But the idea expressed above contains a flaw: software does not evolve. Duh, John… everyone knows that software changes.

JavaZone 2005 Presentations

I gave two talks at the JavaZone 2005 conference, which I’ve made available here, “Concrete Services” and a few items from “Effective Enterprise Java”, because I didn’t get the slides into the organizers in time for them to include on their site. Enjoy. :-)

Book Review: Rootkits, by Hoglund/Butler

The title is a bit scary, but "Rootkits", by Hoglund and Butler, really is anything but. Oh, I'll admit, their talk of how rootkits--programs that hackers install onto your system that patch into kernel space and thus are undetectable by any user-mode program--is scary, but then they walk you through the process of developing your own rootkit, thereby giving you some awareness of what a rootkit looks like, acts like, and therefore can be discovered and killed.

JavaZone 2005... or, an excuse to write about Oslo

I'm in Oslo, Norway, for the next four days, ostensibly to speak at the JavaZone 2005 conference, but the truth is, I don't really care why I'm here. Truth is, I've discovered that Oslo is quite possibly the closest place on the planet to claim being a real-life Norman Rockwell scene. The drive from the Oslo airport to downtown Oslo (to the Radisson SAS hotel) is quite possibly one of the most beautiful drives I've ever had the pleasure of making--it really is like driving through a Norman Rockwell painting, with the farm fields off to both sides, thick lush forests rising on the hills, and the buildings just barely visible, nestled in amongst the trees and rising slopes.

C-omega's Revenge: Project LINQ

For anybody who's not been paying attention to the technical news front, this week is Microsoft's PDC in LA, and one of the things they've announced for the next release of Visual Studio is Project LINQ, short for Language INtegrated Query. In essence, C# 3 and VB 9 are going to integrate (through a variety of language extensions, such as lambda expressions) query capabilities directly into the language, making much of the need for an automatted O/R mapping layer (such as Hibernate or JDO) a thing of the past (at least, in theory).

Ben learns the difference between "characters" and "bytes" the hard way

Ben Galbraith discovers a little snippet about XML encoding that is both subtle and evil: A while back, I was working on a system feature that read in some XML from the filesystem, XSLT’d it into HTML, and served it up to a browser. The XML had a bunch of characters from the higher Unicode ranges (i.e., >255), and wouldn’t you know, when viewed in a browser, these characters showed up as garbled data.

Installing Vista B1

So I’ve finally unpacked my office enough to find my game machine… er, workstation, that is… which has as its main benefit a removable drive tray that contains the drive I boot from. Advantage being, when I want to try out new stuff (such as Windows Vista) on a raw hardware machine, I don’t have to screw with partitions, nor do I have to be worried about trying to make it work inside a VMWare or VPC image.

Of blogging, reviewing, endorsing, opportunity cost, and ethics

Scott Hanselman recently announced that he was doing to do a review of a product on his weblog, which isn't unusual; what is, for him, was that he was being paid to do the review, and a couple of readers of his weblog took issue with the fact that Scott was violating his own ethical blogging policies to do so. To wit: Er.. that's not a review, that's dangerously close to payola.

It's time to do away with this "Web" service thing... long live XML services!

Stefan Tilkov blogs about my rebuttal to ERH’s rather limited comment about “nobody’s doing Web services over anything over HTTP anyway” (which generated some additional postings, most notably from Steve Vinoski), but says something pretty fundamental: I think its just a matter of perspective: for Web scenarios, nobody uses anything but HTTP anyway, and for the vast majority of company-internal use-cases, Id consider HTTP to be a much better solution than some vendors proprietary messaging middleware.

C#: Is the Party Over? Not to anybody with 20/20 eyesight...

After a circuitous route through Davis before it got here to Seattle, my copy of Java Developer’s Journal finally showed up at my doorstep over the weekend, and from the top of the magazine’s cover blared Calvin Austin’s editorial entitled “C#: Is the Party Over?” Huh? As I read through the editorial, I began to realize that not only were the points ill-conceived, but that Mr. Austin doesn’t even offer up credible or factual basis for his perspective–in other words, this is FUD at its best, the very same tactics that Sun accuses Microsoft of using when the facts don’t suit.