December 21, 2001
Cabezal is closed until 2nd
Cabezal is closed until 2nd January.
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
December 20, 2001
Mark Pilgrim writes good stuff
Mark Pilgrim writes good stuff about the Model-View-Controller architecture, but misses one of the main reasons to use it: asynchrony. An MVC application is inherently capable of running asynchronously, with very weak coupling between the model, view and controller. If you're building an Internet-scale application, latency is horrible and unpredictable, and RPC-driven patterns make the latency problems visible.
This reminds me of the second time I visited Groove (almost two years ago now, the snow around Beverly was a foot deep, and we stayed in the nicest B&B ever). I was talking with Ray and saying something vague about a epiphany I'd found at LambdaMOO: that you can build sophisticated asynchronous groupware atop a realtime platform (MOO activity is mostly chat, but everything's persistent, and beside the realtime interaction in rooms there are lots of really powerful applications there ranging from mailing lists through to a byzantine political system), but not vice versa (Lotus Notes will never deal with simultaneous document manipulation in a seamless way, because the platform exposes nothing at all about presence or sessions or real-time users interacting). So I was well pleased that Groove's infrastructure is built on realtime awareness and a "live" distributed object model. I called this "synchronous" and Ray corrected me quickly: "No, it's all asynchronous". That took a long while to sink in, but it's absolutely true and really critical. All the network operations in Groove - their entire MVC-based model - are completely asynchronous: fire a message, and it'll be delivered, but please don't wait for a response before carrying on with your own local operations. This is the most asynchronous system I've ever seen, and it works because of message queues.
The groovey mindmap is back
The groovey mindmap is back up and running - just. Several new and nasty bugs have appeared. The biggest is that Groove doesn't shut down properly after running anything with the Adobe SVG viewer embedded. I'm not sure who to call on this one: it's most likely an Adobe problem, but anyway I submitted a bug report to both Groove and Adobe in the hope that they'll sort it out. SVG is good, flexible, and standard, so I hope we can get SVG-driven Groove tools in wider use.
Talking about Groove reminds me
The Blendobox is doing very
Yes, Mac OS X looks
Doc coins a nice phrase:
Doc coins a nice phrase: "Hotel California Lists, or HCLs, are my new label for email lists you can check out of, but never leave". I'm on one of those, from PCDJ.
December 18, 2001
Did you know that the
The SourceForge Most Active throws
The SourceForge Most Active throws up some good stuff. CrystalSpace caught my eye - having been playing with 3D environments quite a lot recently. It looks good (check the screenshots); plenty of features, and seemingly very well designed.
December 17, 2001
Maybe I'm getting paranoid. Bear
Maybe I'm getting paranoid. Bear with me for a minute or two.
December 13, 2001
The PinBoard just got a
The PinBoard just got a whole lot groovier. If you're running Groove, do install the latest build (here) and try dragging things in the preview pane. Try, too, with "navigate together" selected and several people in the space. It's really incredible - add a little smooth awareness, and suddenly many more possibilities open up. I'm so pleased with this tool. (Other people are too, which helps!)
So, the Ghost of Usenet
So, the Ghost of Usenet Postings Past is now a reality. Egosurfing, I'm first there in 1993. Not that I really wanted to be reminded...
December 12, 2001
Seen the Segway? Meet the
Seen the Segway? Meet the Megway - human-scale transportation from 0sil8 Heavy Industries.
December 11, 2001
Google now has 20 years
Google now has 20 years of Usenet, online, searchable. Incredible. (Meanwhile: their predecessor and erstwhile competitor, the once-great Altavista, is reduced to silly, annoying, intrusive moving cartoon advertising on the front page. Did anyone tell them it doesn't work? And the grandaddy of them all, Lycos, seems to be some anonymous portal or other. With a dog.)
December 06, 2001
Reflections - a challenging little
December 04, 2001
On the subject of software
On the subject of software design versus evolution, here's a superb treatment of the "Big Ball Of Mud" anti-pattern. This is the sort of thing I wanted to find at the Portland Pattern Repository (but for some reason I kept getting lost in a maze of twisty little wiki-spaghetti...)
KPMG not only have a
Then I spotted a link
I was writing about Differential
December 03, 2001
(via decentralization) the uServ project
One paragraph from their paper: guess the protocol they're talking about...
(via diveintomark): Compare two very
(via diveintomark): Compare two very different software development strategies: NASA (expensive, precise, almost "perfect", with functional specifications weighing in at around 50% the size of the code) and Linux (ad-hoc, evolution over design). I've always been on the side of evolution, for the simple reason that it's easy to spend enormous amount of time building exactly the wrong functionality. With incremental development - starting with the sketchiest ideas of the required functions, building something to play with, asking the customer where they'd like to take it next - the formal specification phase doesn't turn a committee's guesswork into tablets of stone. Lots of Notes/Domino systems are built incrementally because it's possible to build them this way: evolvable data structures, very quick deployment, and little separation between the user environment and the development environment.
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