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Ruby Remainders

Posted 2005 Apr 01

Once again, O’Reilly has some good Rails coverage: this time about the impending Rails/Ajax convergence.

Also on the topic of Rails: can you smell the fear? The Java community certainly seems to be on the defensive. Though, I guess to be fair, Rolling with Ruby on Rails threw down the initial gauntlet.

Lastly, if you are using Ruby or are just interested: you should really be reading Why’s Poignant Guide. If only because it’s hilarious. Doubt we’ll be seeing a Java rebuttal for this!

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Tiger goes Gold Master!

Posted 2005 Apr 01

According to Apple Insider, Tiger has gone Gold Master! Have you pre-ordered yours? Oh, you know that I have.

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Package Tracking on Bloglines

Posted 2005 Mar 30

Cute. Bloglines has added Package Tracking shortly on the heels of an O’Reilly article on the same topic. One more reason Bloglines is my primary web app.

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Decemberists' 16 Military Wives

Posted 2005 Mar 19

I love it.

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British Sea Power

Posted 2005 Mar 17

A review - the first, perhaps - of British Sea Power’s new album Open Season is up at TMN.

I just pre-ordered my copy!

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Nice Portage

Posted 2005 Mar 17
I love it when I find a little gem in Gentoo. PORTAGE_NICENESS lets you nice the emerge process so that you can continue to use your workstation whilst updating your system.
localhost root # PORTAGE_NICENESS=15 emerge -uDv world
More details at the wiki.
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Growl Notifications for Firefox

Posted 2005 Mar 16

Against my better judgement, I’m releasing my Growl plugin for Firefox. This software is nothing more than a Hack. Be forewarned that it requires a Firefox nightly build (here) and Growl 0.6. Unfortunately, there is no way to set the minimum version requirement to 1.0+, so if you try running this under Firefox 1.0 you will just get an ugly error. With all that being said, enjoy:

Download: [growl.xpi]Requires Firefox Nightly Build

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Forecasts Coming Soon!

Posted 2005 Mar 14

Forecasts should be coming soon to the Quicksilver Weather Plugin.

What I really wanted to do was use XSLT to reformat the weather data, but there just wasn’t a feasible implementation. libxslt support exists, but dynamically loading it from a Framework proved extremely difficult (if not impossible). I’d completely given up - hoping that Tiger will have better XML support - until I read that Sherlock has a built-in XQuery engine!

Unfortunately, the data it returns is not toll-free bridged to native Cocoa types, but my requirements aren’t too complex. In fact, I’m really just returning a block of text wrapped in place-holder tags. The biggest hurdle has been learning XQuery! It’s not particularly difficult and studying it (and XSLT) has certainly opened my eyes to better ways of dealing with XML.

All that being said, I’ve got XQuery working and the data formatted, I just need to start integrating it into my plugin. Hopefully, I’ll have something to test soon!

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37 Signals on Project Management

Posted 2005 Mar 11

O’Reilly has a terrific interview with 37 Signals’ Jason Fried. I want Jason to come to my office and repeat the following paragraph to all of the Project Managers (some of whom are PMI-certified and all of whom are infatuated with CMMI) and IT decision-makers:

The way I look at it is this: I want developers to be comfortable with their development environment. I’m a designer and a business guy, not a developer. I’m not going to push PHP or Java or whatever just because I’ve heard of it. I’m going to defer to David on this. And if David chooses Ruby, then Ruby it is. It’s all a matter of trust. If you don’t trust your developer to choose the right environment, then how can you trust him to build the best application? Trust is critical here. And, further, why would you dare impact your developer’s morale by throwing him or her into a language where he can’t be as productive or as satisfied? You only get good work from people who enjoy doing the work. I’ll take a happy average programmer over a disgruntled, frustrated master programmer any day.

I think that sums up my feelings quite perfectly.

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Migrating from Weblogic to JBoss

Posted 2005 Mar 10

I’ve done this countless times and saved my company tens-of-thousands of dollars in licensing and (worthless) support costs.

I started doing this when it became clear that WebLogic 6.1 did not work as advertised and I’ve never looked back. The only argument I ever hear in favor of BEA is that they provide support (again, at a cost in the tens-of-thousands of dollars). To which I respond: one, I’ve used BEA’s support (including their on-site Professional Services) and found it wholly lacking and, two, JBoss provides support services in addition to offering a better product!

Update: Coincidentally, my first day taking over a new project: the first production release had to be called off because app deployment is bringing the server down—though it worked perfectly and is configured identically in development. Guess which app server is being used… WebLogic.

It’d be funny if it weren’t so sad.

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