While I alternate between loving it and hating it, the web framework I use the most is Django. By default, when your deployed Django application encounters a 500 error (and, optionally, an internal 404 error), it sends an email to everyone in the ADMINS sections of your settings.py. Since I don’t like using my email client as my bug tracker, and I take advantage of FogBugz Student and Startup Edition to get a free and awesome bug tracker, I had long ago told Django to take advantage of FogBugz’...
Your Language Features Are My Libraries
At lunch today, we had a lengthy discussion about the merits of various .NET technologies, including LINQ. I complained that, although I like LINQ, and I like C#, I cannot help but be annoyed that many of these “cool” language features in C# are nothing more than libraries in Smalltalk. Joel responded that the comparison wasn’t fair; C# allows you to invent more syntax than those languages permit, and afford greater flexibility. Without disagreeing, let’s visit some specific examples. The code...
Google Calendar: Now With Stardates
To make it easier to follow the goings-on of Star Trek, Google Calendar now helpfully lets you know which Stardate things occur on: I eagerly look forward to not using this feature as soon as possible.
When to Use Seaside Components
Although, for the past couple of years, I’ve largely stopped doing development in Squeak, I’ve still kept an eye on the Smalltalk community, including looking for Smalltalk questions on StackOverflow. It’s a good way to learn, keep up-to-date, and occasionally earn some easy reputation. Today, I saw that Julian Fitzell, one of the original authors of the Seaside web framework, had posted an outstanding answer explaining when and how to use components in Seaside. If you’re just learning Seaside,...
FogBugz 7 Goes Beta
I’m thrilled to say that, after two years of heavy development, my colleagues have released FogBugz 7 Beta. If you’re interested in joining, head on over to the signup page to request to have your license or FogBugz On Demand account upgraded. The existing beta already adds a heavily revamped interface and tons of new features, but I have a hunch that there may be even bigger surprises in store. Keep an eye on the FogBugz team in the weeks to come.
Entitlement Culture and Learning to Fail
The New York Times today has a column explaining how college students feel they deserve high marks just for putting in effort. To these students, I say: grow up. Real life does not reward raw effort. I will not pay you for building my house merely because you showed up every day and tried very hard. Customers will not buy your software simply because you launch Emacs from 9 to 5 and do your best to write good programs, and G-d forbid that my doctor got his M.D. because, dammit, he really worked...
Bill Gates on Reforming Education
Because the main thing I’m hearing about Bill Gates’ TED talk is, “Bill unleashed mosquitos!”, I want to encourage everyone to watch his entire speech. Bill Gates gave an outstanding explanation of the problems with the American education system, including a solid overview of how we can start to fix this problem. Teachers in general are diametrically opposed to being held accountable for their work. With some luck, Gates and others can help get the situation changed, enabling us to fix our...
The Palm Pre’s IP
When I first saw Palm demo the Palm Pre, I was very excited: for the first time, I saw a phone that looked as if it would be a genuine competitor to the Apple iPhone. Palm has clearly put lot of thought put into its design: the interface is intuitive and fluid, basically invents a reasonable way to do multitasking on a portable device, and still seems to adhere closely to Palm’s historical emphasis on simple, clean UIs—something that my nine-year-old Handspring still does better than my...
Outsourcing is Dangerous
Not outsourcing to India; outsourcing to third parties. The Wall Street Journal details how Sony’s R&D budget paid for the CPU in Microsoft’s Xbox360, and how that ended up being part of the reason for the 360’s success against the PS3. Joel’s defense of NIH syndrome for core functionality in your product makes more and more sense the longer I spend in the industry.
Adam Savage on Obsession
I normally avoid reposting news I find on other news aggregators, but sometimes I come across an item sufficiently singular and unique that I feel I have no choice. In this case, Adam Savage of MythBusters recounts his attempt to sculpt a perfect recreation of the Maltese Falcon as a way to explore the nature of obsession. The talk is at once highly entertaining and deeply moving. In a way I never fully grokked when watching MythBusters, Adam is a true geek.