happy mouse


I've just realised I'd rather post things to buzz than to lj. Mainly because buzz's editing system isn't stuck in mid '04.

So, uhm, I guess this is it then, yeah?
happy mouse

Got to be thankful for backups...

I backup my macs to an apple time machine. I haven't much used it, but it has always been a "just in case" item.

And today, I am restoring from back-up files given to me by an ex. I've released the anger, swallowed the guilt, and come to peace with myself about the areas where I wasn't enough for her. So now I'm going to finally go have a bo-peek at The Wire, and see what she was raving about.

So yeah, back up your files. Save your future you from your current stupidity. =)
happy mouse

Yeah, i'm going slightly mad.

I now have two google events that I cat herd for. I am still running the Google Wave user group (http://gwsug.eventbrite.com/ for those so inclined) and now I am also running the sydney Google Tech User Group. Somehow we managed to get Unix legend Rob Pike to speak about his new baby, the concurrency oriented Go programming language, along with Daniel Nadasi of the Maps team to talk about Closure. Last I looked we are running at about 85 rsvp's on the gtug event, which means we should have about 50 odd on the night.

In short, my brain is a little frazzled. Running after all the peeps and stuff is kinda tiring. On the upside, I may well have a job. I think. I hope so, anyways. I like earning money. Makes buying food easier. =)
happy mouse

(no subject)

Discovery News: This Car Runs on Code

An estimate that premium-class automobile's contain close to 100 million lines of software code, running on up to 100 embedded controllers. And they guesstimate that this will grow to 300 million LOC.

This is insane.
happy mouse

Web applications are frauds

As a member of the secretive web application builder society, I am about to break ranks and point out a long held secret of our little group that many have known, but refused to admit.

Web Applications lose data. By design.

Have you ever been hammering on a web application with a team of people, say a bug tracking system, and had a recurring issue of small changes going missing? If you have, then you have met our demon face to face. Undoubtably, you questioned your perception, how could this software be breaking? We tested it, and it worked flawlessly!

Web software that handles edits of data only work when there are no clashing edits. If there is a clashing edit, then in the best case the second person to commit will lose his edit, and be informed of the conflict. In the worst case, the first person's edits will be silently over written. It is the silent data overwrite case that is the default in most web applications in service, because it is the easiest to code.

You can test this yourself easily enough. Open up a LiveJournal post or comment in two different web browser windows, and edit it in both. Commit one, then the other. Notice that your edits from the first submission are now missing?

How could this be? We had a long history of building applications that dealt with data properly! Well, one of the things we did, sleight of hand style, when we were creating web applications is that we dropped the data integrity maintaining locking strategy for database records on the floor. We had no choice, we never knew if someone was going to post back the form they were filling in. HTTP is stateless, ya see...

About the only web application that deals with clashing edits correctly is Wave.
happy mouse

Have you ever danced?

An old prospector shuffled into town leading an old tired mule. The old man headed straight for the only saloon in town to clear his parched throat. He walked up to the front of the saloon and tied his old mule to the hitch rail. As he stood there brushing some of the dust from his face and clothes, a young gunslinger stepped out of the saloon with a gun in one hand and a bottle of whiskey in the other.

The young gunslinger looked at the old man and laughed, saying, "Hey old man, have you ever danced?" The old man looked up at the gunslinger and said, "No, I never did dance...and just never wanted to."

A crowd had gathered quickly and the gunslinger grinned and said, "Well, you old fool, you're gonna dance now," and started shooting at the old man's feet. The old prospector in order to not get a toe blown off or his boots perforated was soon hopping around like a flea on a hot skillet and everybody was laughing fit to be tied.

When the last bullet had been fired from his six gun the young gunslinger, still laughing, holstered his empty gun and turned around to go back into the saloon. The old man turned to his pack mule, pulled out a double barreled 10 gauge shotgun, and cocked both hammers back. The loud double clicks carried clearly through the desert air.

The crowd stopped laughing immediately. The young gunslinger heard the sounds, too, and he turned around very slowly. The quiet was almost deafening. The crowd watched as the young gunman stared at the old timer and the large gaping holes of those twin barrels. He found it hard to swallow. The barrels of the shotgun never wavered in the old man's hands.

The old man said, "Son, did you ever kiss a mule's ass?" The young bully swallowed hard and said, "No, but I've always wanted to."

There are two lessons for us all here:
1. Don't waste ammunition.
2. Don't mess with old people.

I just love a story with a happy ending.

And that, my friends, is why I love my dad. He sends me these wonderfully inspirational stories. =)
happy mouse

Apple iPad.

Yes, the lines of maxiPad jokes now have wings. Now that we have that out of the way...

First off, to all of my tech focused friends who are sitting here scratching their heads about the Apple iPad, and it's total lack of any new technology, i'd just like to remind everyone of the initial iPod review by /. chief CmdrTaco: No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.

Yes, there is no ground breaking technology in the Apple iPad. That's by design. The magic of all Apple releases is that they aren't about the technology. I didn't have to scrape fifteen stickers off my laptop telling me about the graphics card, the sound card, and the motherboard chipset. Again, design.

The core market for Apple's technology isn't geeks. Microsoft, Google, et al, are all selling to geeks. That's why these companies are driven by engineers and marketing. Apple is controlled by a designer. And it freaking shows. Form follows function. Compare and contrast the iPad and the HP version of the same kit released just a couple of weeks beforehand. It's night and day. HP's is designed for geeks. It is covered in buttons, it multi-tasks, it's got sharp plasticy corners, and looks like it was put together by a ten year old.

Apple doesn't build for geeks. Never has, and it never will. If you are looking at the iPad and wondering "Why?" then you aren't Apple's target market. I will be purchasing an iPad as soon as it's available, because I'm developing for it. These bloody things are going to be everywhere.
happy mouse

All out war on Adobe?

There is an interesting thing happening in the browser space at the moment under the rubric of HTML5 video. Both Apple and Google are pushing H.264, which is causing some friction. Firstly, here is John Gruber, aka Daring Fireball, talking about how flash video sucks on OSX and why he thinks Apple's iTablet will ship sans flash. And here's Christopher Blizzard talking about why FireFox won't support the H.264 encoding for patent reasons.

Reading between the lines, it looks to me like Google and Apple have both decided it's time to evict flash from the web. Once YouTube switches over to by-default html5 video flash loses the network effect that has kept it on everyone's desktop and laptop. Heck, even just having iPhones sans flash was enough of a network effect loss to have some of my previous employers to switch their previously flash/flex webapps to pure html/ajax sites. Add in YouTube not forcing flash updates, and flash disappears from the market in a haze of version skew.

One of the things I am toying with at the moment is the potential for building a replacement for flash application authoring based on SVG. These thoughts have been inspired by Gordon: An open source Flash™ runtime written in pure JavaScript.

Interesting times.