Tomorrow Twitter is turning off Basic Auth, and going with OAuth only. For the life of me, I haven't been able to get OAuth to work with Twitter; every time I make a request for a token, I get a 401. As best as I can tell, I'm setting things up right, but clearly I'm doing something wrong. In the meantime, the auto-tweets will be coming to an end.
The schedule for ESUG 2010 is online in a non-PDF form - as per usual, it looks like they have a nice selection of topics. Cincom is pretty well represented this year - I won't be there, but there will be a bunch of Cincomers on hand to chat up about product direction and so on. There's a summary of the Cincom talks here - which I've listed out below:
- WolfPack Programming: Jason Ayers
- Bonding with Pango
- Cincom Smalltalk Product Update: Arden Thomas
- Xtreams: Martin Kobetic
- Continuous Integration and WolfPack Programming: Julian Fitzell
- Open Source License Tips: Julian Fitzell
- Stampy: Martin Kobetic
- Current Developments in Store: Alan Knight
TechCrunch thinks that the disintermediation of cable TV is about to hit the masses - because so many companies are now nibbling at the edges of that space, and looking to make a break: Google, Apple, Microsoft, NetFlix, Hulu - all hold a piece of the puzzle, and if they start to put those pieces together, the days of $100 + cable bills could go the way of record stores:
For most people, buying each television show you want to watch doesn’t make a lot of sense. But renting them for a cheaper price does. As a person who only is interested in a handful of shows, I expect such a solution to be a fraction of a fraction of the cost of my cable bill. I can’t wait.
That certainly describes me, and I think the current teenage/young adult cohort as well. The big things missing:
- Channel Surfing - admit it, lots of us spend a lot of time aimlessly looking for "something" to watch, before settling on something from the 500 channel plate
- Live sports
A large enough selection of items for quick and easy rental might deal with the former, but the latter will be a tougher nut to crack. Take college football and the NFL, for instance - huge followings, but the viewing is all live. Time shifting just isn't an option when it comes to sports. If and when internet based TV starts getting access to sports events, we'll know that cable tv has reached the downhill side of the mountain.
Technorati Tags: iptv
The NYC Smalltalk User's Group has their next meeting set for September 22 - follow the link for time and location details:
Sean DeNigris is the President and Lead Scientist of Clipper Adams, a NYC-based consulting firm. His mission is to support people in fulfilling on what matters to them. Therefore, most of his current work is on realizing Doug Engelbart’s vision of making a difference in the world by using computers to enhance human intellect. For ten years, he has gotten into the minds of users and created the business software they would have created (if they knew how to program). He is also a regular contributor to Squeak and Pharo, and participates in the Smalltalk community and its conferences world-wide.
There have been some pretty major changes to the way memory is handled in VisualWorks in the 7.7.1 release - and that means that there have been changes for ObjectStudio 8.2.1 as well, since it's built on top of VisualWorks. You should really have a look at the release notes for 7.7.1, and the class comments for AbstractMemoryPolicy. This visual of the new hierarchy makes it clear what's changed:
Class MemoryPolicy is mostly a "legacy" class now, and is not the default one in use. The default is LargeGrainMemoryPolicy, as internal testing in Cincom engineering indicated that it performed best in the widest variety of situations.
Your mileage may vary, of course - so again, have a look at the docs.
Today's Smalltalk Daily looks at how to add cookies to a WebVelocity 1.1 web component. Since WebVelocity 1.1 is built on Seaside 3.0, this is a whole lot easier than it used to be. If you're using WebVelocity 1.0 (or Seaside 2.8 outside of WebVelocity), then have a look at this screencast in order to see how it used to work. You can go directly to YouTube if you can't see the embedded video below. The code to add a cookie is really simple - here's the trivial example from the screencast:
renderContentOn: html | response cookie | response := self requestContext response. cookie := self requestContext newCookie. cookie key: 'helloCookie'. cookie value: '2'. cookie comment: 'Example Only'. response addCookie: cookie. html text: 'Hello There'.
To watch now, click on the viewer below:
You can follow the Smalltalk channel on YouTube for all the "Smalltalk Daily" videos. You can also check out the videos on Vimeo, where the quality is higher, or over on Facebook, if you are a member.
There have been some big changes at Instantiations recently - Google bought their Java business, and now the company is focused only on Smalltalk. With that in mind, we have John O'Keefe - long time Smalltalker and the principal Smalltalk architect at Instantiations - coming on "Industry Misinterpretations" this Tuesday at 1 PM EDT. You can wait for the podcast to be released next Sunday, or listen live at justin.tv.
There's a new Ubuntui AMI (Amazon ec2 instance) set up with a Pharo based Seaside image installed. There's also an Amazon instance out there for the Cincom Smalltalk WebVelocity eval - the image id for the latter is ami-871ef5ee
Update: Jan van de Sandt has a post up explaining how to get started with the instance
Looks like Build tools for Smalltalk are finally starting to catch up. The Squeak/Pharo world has Gofer, the engineering team at Cincom has just released a project tool as part of the summer release (with more work in that direction to come), and Ernest Micklei pushed out a build tool for VA Smalltalk earlier this summer:
Melissa is a simple tool that can help in building development and runtime images in a continous integration environment. It is being used extensively to create daily builds for Smalltalk images. This post describes the steps to use Melissa for VA Smalltalk 8+
A lot of people yawn at these kinds of tools, but they are essential in order to reliably build applications. It's good to see activity here.
Technorati Tags: build tools
This week's podcast is from ESUG 2009: Dirk Verleysen talking about the past, present, and future of ObjectStudio. With the recent release of ObjectStudio 8.2.1 (along with VW 7.7.1 and WV 1.1), this talk about what was coming up in the product is timely.
To listen now, you can either download the mp3 edition, or the AAC edition. The AAC edition comes with chapter markers. You can subscribe to either edition of the podcast directly in iTunes; just search for Smalltalk and look in the Podcast results. You can subscribe to the mp3 edition directly using this feed, or the AAC edition using this feed using any podcatching software. You can also download the podcast in ogg format.
To listen immediately, use the player below:
If you have feedback, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org - or visit us on Facebook or Ning - you can vote for the Podcast Alley, and subscribe on iTunes. If you enjoy the podcast, pass the word - we would love to have more people hear about Smalltalk!
Looks like we'll need some 'splosions' in 2012:
Astronomers are predicting that a massive solar storm, much bigger in potential than the one that caused spectacular light shows on Earth earlier this month, is to strike our planet in 2012 with a force of 100 million hydrogen bombs
Now all we need is a few people with "The End is Nigh" signs :)
The Comparison tool - used to compare versions of code in Cincom Smalltalk - is new in VisualWorks 7.7.1, and there's been a bunch of talk about it on the mailing lists lately. I thought it might be useful to take a look at one of the common use paths you might take through it. To start, I connected to the public store repository, and selected part of my Silt blog server package:
What I was doing above was selecting the package I wanted (Blog), and then, using the menu, comparing it with another version. That prompted a selection dialog - so I could select which version to compare to:
After selecting the package, the following window comes up - and this is where you start to see the new UI:
On the left side is the version I selected to compare against - on the right is what's loaded in the image. Notice the expansion symbol in the lower part of the UI; you click that to expand out and see the differences:
Notice how the green line runs from the left to the right, showing the changed/added/removed (in this case, added) text? That's how you can spot the changes quickly. When there are multiple changes, you can expand/collapse them individually. Now, if you do what I do, and patch a running system with diffs, you'll want the next option - right click at the top to summon an action menu:
And there's a menu on the left hand side at the top as well:
That wraps up the brief tour of the new Comparison tool - I'll be doing a screencast on it soon.
Oracle's suit against Google has had one huge side effect: Google is pulling out of Java One:
Citing concerns about Oracle's lawsuit against it, Google said Friday it cannot participate in the upcoming JavaOne conference. The Oracle-sponsored JavaOne conference, formerly a Sun Microsystems event, is being held in San Francisco the week of September 19.
This whole think could lead to exactly the sort of fragmentation in Java that Oracle claims it doesn't want to see. It should be interesting to watch from the outside.
I noticed that Smalltalk fell out of the top 50 in the Tiobe rankings; I think it's not just the niche status of Smalltalk at work here, but also the nature of Smalltalk code. What do I mean by that?
Well, consider what happens when you search for the more mainstream (file based) languages - you get code listings. When you search for Smalltalk, on the other hand, you'll get links to things like the "One Click Image" for Seaside. The image based nature of Smalltalk, and the fact that Smalltalk developers don't work in flat text files, impacts your ability to find Smalltalk code references.
Before the rise of search engines this was not terribly relevant, but now - it makes the community look much, much smaller than it really is. I don't have an answer to this problem - the Smalltalk image is unlikely to disappear (and personally, I'm a fan of it). It's just something we have to factor into these kinds of discussions.
Looks like Paul Allen has gone to the dark side - he's decided to sue companies that - unlike the ones he was involved with - actually brought useful technology to market. And no, I don't mean Microsoft - I give Gates most of the credit for that.
Billionaire Paul Allen has made major forays into cable television and sports teams since leaving Microsoft Corp. more than two decades ago. Now he's adding another pursuit: patent litigation.
Patent litigation is the last refuge of the incompetent, IMHO. Along with copyright, I think patents have become more of a hindrance than a help.
The main reasons that I don't think that Diaspora will impact Facebook much?
- Outside the technorati, privacy issues just don't seem to get much traction
- The sheer inertial weight of Facebook - the fact that "everyone" is there already - is a huge barrier to entry
The way music execs blame everything on file sharing, you would think that they had never heard of legal streaming services like Pandora. I think sites like that explain the chart (follow the link) that shows a huge decline in album sales much, much better than file sharing:
Music industry execs blame the dropping sales numbers on illegal downloads. Exactly what percent of music downloads are illegal is difficult to calculate, but estimates range as high as 20 illegal downloads for every legal download. As for the total cost of illegal downloads, it depends on who you ask.
I was driving from Orlando to my parent's house yesterday, and I had Pandora on the whole time. Not iTunes; not FM radio; not talk radio. That's what's killing sales. You can create a playlist that keys off a song (or band, or genre...) you like, and then just have the music play. No need to save anything, or buy anything, or worry about anything.
As I've said before on this blog - No one is entitled to a business model....
Technorati Tags: riaa
I hit the links with my dad this morning - drove the ball pretty well, and had a decent enough outing. Lousy putting, but some nice drives and chip shots. Beautiful day though:
It's not official, but rumor that Blockbuster is preparing to file for bankruptcy in September is certainly believable. Expected even. According to several sources speaking to the Los Angeles Times, Blockbuster chief executive Jim Keyes along with representation from Blockbuster's senior debt holders met last week with the six major movie studios to announce the company's intention to enter a mid-September bankruptcy.
Blockbuster should have pursued its own streaming deals with the studios years ago - instead, they got clobbered vy Netflix, iTunes, Hulu (et. al.). There's a lesson there for any business that is dependent on an older business model, and is being challenged by upstarts....
The H.264 codec that makes a good deal of digital video possible has actually been free to use (under certain conditions) for many years, but following recent controversies over the future of web video, rightholders have agreed to extend that freedom in perpetuity. Whereas originally standards organization MPEG-LA had said it wouldn't collect royalties from those freely distributing AVC/H.264 video until 2016, the limitless new timeframe may mean that content providers banking on WebM and HTML5 video won't have an expensive surprise in the years to come.
That's great news - it means that anyone (like me!) who uploads H.264 video that they (or the company they work for) owns, there's no problem. There's a huge monkey off the back of HTML5.
Looks like BioWare is ready to wrap up the story line from DAO, and start getting ready for DAO 2 - September 7 will bring us Witch Hunt, a reunion with Morrigan:
Dubbed Witch Hunt, the content takes place nearly a year since the fall of Archdemon. Players will finally confront the sorceress Morrigan and find out her true motives. You can import your character from Origins and Awakening or create a whole new one if you so please.
I guess we'll find out what kind of entity the "ritual" with Morrigan created - assuming your character took her loophole, that is :)
Okay as for what's so interesting to me about Seaside... it's 50% the framework and 50% the Pharo environment. Seaside itself represents a step forward in web development similar to how Rails did. Rails takes care of a lot of the plumbing for you - you don't have to parse query params, set up response headers, manage the session (unless you want to of course). Seaside does all that of course but also manages application state for you. So you don't have to worry about putting stuff into a database, then pulling it back out and operating on it. I can't do it justice in a few sentences, but that's why I'll be showing lots of examples at the conference! :) At any rate, that same feeling you get when you code Rails for the first time and see how much easier things are, you get that same feeling with Seaside.
The other thing to keep in mind is that Seaside works across all the Smalltalk dialects - so you can move your application to another Smalltalk if you want/need to - for instance, you might want to consider Cincom Smalltalk if you want full commercial support :)
There's been (or still is) a bubble in everything else - housing, education, US treasuries - why not game development costs? Over the last few years, there's been something akin to an arms race between vendors in order to create the most impressive graphics for games. Now EA thinks things are cooling off:
"I think budgets for games have actually peaked and are starting to move in the reverse direction again," said David DeMartini in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz [registration required]. He's VP and group general manager of EA Partners, the publisher's third-party distribution arm.
Personally, I'm not so sure. Movie costs have never really dropped, and the closest parallel in entertainment I can think of to games is movies. I guess we'll see over the next year or two.
Technorati Tags: games
The draconian DMCA and absurdly long copyright periods aren't enough - the RIAA wants more:
"The DMCA isn't working for content people at all," he said at the Technology Policy Institute's Aspen Forum here. "You cannot monitor all the infringements on the Internet. It's simply not possible. We don't have the ability to search all the places infringing content appears, such as cyberlockers like [file-hosting firm] RapidShare."
What they want to see is safe harbor removed - which would make the birth of anything akin to YouTube impossible. The RIAA needs to die, yesterday.
How did I miss the new trailer for Dragon Age 2? March 8th can't come soon enough :)
I've been in nasty traffic jams, but nothing like one near Beijing:
As the jam on the highway, also known as National Highway 110, passed the 10-day mark Tuesday, local authorities dispatched hundreds of police to keep order and to reroute cars and trucks carrying essential supplies, such as food or flammables, around the main bottleneck. There, vehicles were inching along little more than a third of a mile a day. Zhang Minghai, director of Zhangjiakou city's Traffic Management Bureau general office, said in a telephone interview he didn't expect the situation to return to normal until around Sept. 17 when road construction is scheduled to be finished and traffic lanes will open up.
I guess China doesn't do anything small...
Keeping track of time in software sounds simle until you actually start looking into it - to take a trivial example, does a Timestamp include a TimeZone? Then there are the harder issues:
Sparking a fresh round of debate over an ongoing issue in time-keeping circles, the International Telecommunications Union is considering eliminating leap seconds from the time scale used by most computer systems, Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Since their introduction in 1971, leap seconds have proved problematic for at least a few software programs. The leap second added on to the end of 2008, for instance, caused Oracle cluster software to reboot unexpectedly in some cases.
This doesn't surprise me: no Steam for Linux, despite rumors:
Question: Final question, and one I’m sure you’re not super-keen to answer, but I promised one of our tech guys I’d ask it. What truth is there to rumours that you’re also working on a Linux version of Steam?
Doug Lombardi: There’s no Linux version that we’re working on right now.
In terms of client gaming, Windows is the 800 pound gorilla, and I think the only reason that the Mac got Steam is the dominance of Mac notebooks at the high end of the market. Desktop Linux is just a much, much smaller market, full of people who are far less likely to buy a gaming subscription.
The next Smalltalk User Group in Frankfurt, Germany takes place on September 21, with Alan Knight and Arden Thomas:
We are happy to invite you to our next meeting on Tuesday September 21st.
Alan Knight, Engineering Manager Cincom Smalltalk and lead developer of GLORP, will talk about the internals and optimization of GLORP. GLORP (Generic Lightweight Object-Relational Persistence) is an open-source cross-dialect OO-R mapping framework available for VisualWorks, ObjectStudio, VASmalltalk, Dolphin Smalltalk, Smalltalk/X, Pharo and Squeak.
Arden Thomas, Cincom Smalltalk Product Manager, will be attending too. He will certainly be open to answer your questions and listen to your suggestions about the further development of Cincom Smalltalk.
We welcome you at 18:30 on Tuesday September 21st in the offices of ITS-People GmbH, Frankfurt/Main, Lyoner Str. 44-48.
There's some research into how Germany advanced so quickly - especially compared to the rest of Europe - in the 19th century. One possibility: lack of strong copyright law:
In Germany during the same period, publishers had plagiarizers -- who could reprint each new publication and sell it cheaply without fear of punishment -- breathing down their necks. Successful publishers were the ones who took a sophisticated approach in reaction to these copycats and devised a form of publication still common today, issuing fancy editions for their wealthy customers and low-priced paperbacks for the masses.
I'm pretty well convinced that copyrights, as we apply them in the US at least, are a net negative. They tie material up for ridiculous amounts of time, and they benefit big businesses (Disney comes to mind) far more than they benefit individual authors. I think it's well past time for a change.
Ever since I started reading on my iPad, I've been tearing through books like a knife through warm butter - and I've fallen way, way behind on the reviews I normally post here. Sometime in the next week or two, I intend to catch up, but here's a list of what I've been reading:
- The Great Gamble: The Soviet War in Afghanistan
- Republic: A Novel of America's Future
- American Apocalypse II - Refuge
- Amsterdam 2012
- The Five-Year Party: How Colleges Have Given Up on Educating Your Child and What You Can Do About It
I guess I've been in the mood for "things stink, and they will get worse" lately :)
This is pretty ridiculous, although with the budget issues that so many cities and counties are facing, I guess it's the sort of desperation play one should expect:
She’s not alone. After dutifully reporting even the smallest profits on their tax filings this year, a number — though no one knows exactly what that number is — of Philadelphia bloggers were dispatched letters informing them that they owe $300 for a privilege license, plus taxes on any profits they made.
So, what the heck is a "privilege license", and why the heck would a blogger making pennies from AdSense need one?