Monday, February 28, 2005

Metal Gods Return

Tomorrow is the day for the new Judas Priest album, "Angel of Retribution". No matter how old I get. I still get excited over new releases from my favorite bands. Judas Priest has a special place in my heart because they are the ones that really got me into music. I can still remember running out and buying "Defenders of the Faith" with quarters! Anyway, Rob Halford is back in the band and this is their reunion disc. It's even going to come in a special package with DVD! TOO COOL! So, I'll be banging my head tomorrow. DEFEND THE METAL FAITH!

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Plain and pure simple programming fun

Ruby has a programming quiz page. How boring right? Well, you would be WRONG! This is a fun little site. Not many problems and I don't know if the mailing list is still active, but I thought I would check it out anyway. It sounds like too much fun to a get new puzzle every friday. Something to massage the brain over the weekend! They do have a number of puzzles (with solutions and some without) and I thought it would be fun to try to program some of them.

It seems the page is based on the Perl Quiz Of The Week. I don't know why they call it "quiz", it's just puzzles. I think a puzzle during a user's group meeting would be a great idea. Maybe invite developers from other languages and let them show off their elegant solutions in their languages. I think we could win a lot of folks over to the Smalltalk side that way!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Suits?

I was reading through various blogs that I haven't seen before and ran across this article. It talks about the Syndey Smalltalk and Ruby Users Groups getting together for a joint presentation and mutual love fest of dynamic languages. Sounds great to me. But, I found the differences between Smalltalkers and Rubyists to be hilarious. Here's the blurp:
    Other differences between the groups were notable: the Smalltalkers typically wore suits, and worked professionally in Smalltalk, typically for banks. The Rubyists looked like refugees in comparison, and I don’t believe any of us use Ruby professionally for more than skunkworks projects. The Smalltalkers left at a reasonably sensible hour, leaving the Rubyists huddling over their pints. Smalltalk has 30 or so years of history, but clearly no staying power. (Or it could be that they were just smarter than us, as it was past last drinks at the time…)

I never fashioned myself as a suit and tie type of guy. I don't work at a bank either. I've never heard Smalltalkers being suits. Interesting to say the least...=) I love both languages and communities. Both have different types of energies. Anyway, there's no point to the post except that I found being called "suits" to be amusing to say the least!

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Great Quote And Other Thoughts

"To attain knowledge, add things everyday;
to obtain wisdom, remove things everyday."
--Lao Tzu

A great quote for life and software design. It says what I tried to yesterday much more elegantly. It's amazing how often the theme of removal to gain is brought up. Perhaps we should learn how to reduce systems as well as build them! It was refreshing reading in the "Thinking Forth" book on how to reduce programs. It was amazing that the advice transcended language for the most part (removing conditionals and special cases, etc). Every language should have a "thinking" book. Lisp has one in Paul Graham's Advanced Lisp. Is there any more I need? Kent Becks Smalltalk Best Practices and the Smalltalk Design Patterns book come close for Smalltalk. I wonder if there is one for Prolog. They are fun reading and I always walking away with a different perspective to programming.
Holy New Squeak Leadership, Batman!

    Göran Krampe announced this on the Squeak mailing list:
    The last six days there has been some off list activity in forming a new
    leadership for Squeak. Yes, you read it right - the Guides are now
    *officially retired*. From this point and forward there is a new
    *temporary* group consisting of five castawa... eh people, that now
    leads Squeak:

    - Göran Krampe
    - Doug Way
    - Cees de Groot
    - Marcus Denker
    - Michael Rueger

Wow! It seems they got the blessing from current guides and it seems to be a healthy growth for the community! I'm so excited. I love Squeak and I spend the majority of spare time programming with it. This is a shock and a great surprise. They also mentioned that the formation of the Squeak Foundation is continuing. But, I do like taking the bull by the horns so to speak!

SQUEAK ON BROTHERS OF SMALLTALK!

Monday, February 14, 2005

My New Mantra

"Code removed is code earned."

Removing code means you are simplifying the code and the result is a net gain. So, next time, you're refactoring and deleting code. Don't think of it as deleting, but as gaining code via simplicity.

AMEN!

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Smalltalk User's Group Meeting 02/08/2005 Cancelled

Sorry to say, but the meeting has been cancelled due to weather! GRRRRRRR! We'll try again in March..

Sorry! Everyone stay SAFE and WARM!

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Infocom's Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy

Does anyone remember this game from their childhood? Well, I do and I wasted a lot of time playing it and Zork. Infocom ruled. Well, guess what? You can play it again! Check it out here. Feel the love again. Remember the magic of getting eaten by the dog because you forgot to feed it peanut butter in the beginning? Cursed endlessly, but spewed much Coke on the monitor in laughter. Yes, it's all here and more. What are you waiting for? GO NOW!
New Smalltalk Blogger

It is my pleasure to welcome a new Smalltaker to the Blogosphere, Steve Wessels. I've known Steve for most of my professional career and he was one of the people that showed me the way when I was a mere Smalltalk pup. Steve is an avid Squeaker (like myself) and he has a lot of cool projects. Check it out! Here's the link: http://squeak.preeminent.org/blog/index.html.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Omaha Smalltalk User's Group Meeting

It's getting near that time of the month again! So, instead of staying at home, why don't you come on down and see what all of the fuss is about? Come see the inspiration for countless languages, Smalltalk. Alan Wostenberg will be giving an updated and in-depth presentation on running FIT in VisualWorks at 8pm. We will have an open forum from 7pm-8pm. Here's all of the details:
When: Feb 8, 2005, 7pm - 9pm
Where: Offices of Northern Natural Gas
1111 S 103rd Street
Omaha Nebraska 68154
Office is at 103rd & Pacific. Guests can park in the Northern visitors parking area back of building, or across the street at the mall. Enter in front door, we'll greet you at the door at 7:00pm. If you arrive a bit later, just tell the guard at the reception desk you're here for the Smalltalk user meeting in the 1st floor training room.
Java vs. C++

From Phil Whitney's Blog:
    Java is preferable to C++ in exactly the same way that driving a 1994 Chevy Impala is preferable to driving a 1978 Ford LTD.

OK, I think it was a little nice. But, why drive a poorly designed and engineered car when you can have something so much better? Wouldn't you like to have a smooth ride, repairs done while driving, can add new engine components without stopping, faster to the destination, and above a pleasure to sit in? I can't think of a good car analogy for Smalltalk or Lisp because I can't think of a car that would fit that bill...But, man, I would buy one in a minute!

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Too cute

Beware the Schememonster! It's out to get you...

For one, I love the whole concept of this website. It's cute, the projects are all great, and best of all it's fun. This is what an advocacy site should be. It's just plain fun. Hats off to the creators of this site. Maybe we need a Smalltalkster site? Of course, nothing but fun projects...=)

I thought the Smurf project was brilliant. Maybe we could do a balloon simulation that has to avoid the hordes of static followers on the ground. OK, it sounds lame and not as good as the Smurfs, but damn, I'll keep thinking about it!

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