I am a big fan of the long discontinued MS Office Shortcut Bar. You can still install it from the original Office 2000 CD, and recently I installed it on Vista so that I could continue to have quick access to the huge number of tools I use. Interestingly, I noticed today that starting Netbeans 6.0 from the Shortcut Bar caused the IDE to enter XP compatibility mode. The Aero style was gone, including the transparent title bars. I don’t mind that. I don’t even mind the warnings that Vista gives to say that it has adjusted the colour scheme because of a problem (with Java, it claims, because it can’t see beyond the JVM). What I do [click title to read more…]
I’ve been using the scripting language, Perl, for many years. From about 1989, in fact, when version 3 adopted the GNU license. Prior to that I would resort to various Unix shell tools to do the dirty work. When version 5 appeared in 1996, I picked up my first copy of the Camel book and it has been with me ever since. I picked up Vromans’ pocket book in 1998 and that’s often the only book that travels with me in my laptop bag. Years have passed since version 5 was released, and it has gone through several incremental updates since, during which time there has been much talk of version 6. (Still no sign of [click title to read more…]
I’m at a meeting of the OpenAjax Alliance, hosted by Microsoft in Mountain View, CA. A presentation from Fidelity raised an interesting point regarding the use of XML and JSON to convey large data sets from the server to an Ajax client. In the demonstration, a moderately large set (of 2000 data items) took 17 seconds to transfer in XML, while it only took 3 seconds using JSON. It is known that the JSON approach has some security problems, but the difference in performance is compelling. I raised the possibility of using Efficient XML. They haven’t looked at this, and it is still early days for E-XML, so it’s likely that they will put their effort into getting the community [click title to read more…]
Thought 1: There was a time when the man they called the “knife sharpener” would go from house to house with his cart, ringing his bell, collecting knives to be sharpened on his grinding wheel. It was an occupation that people valued, and were willing to pay for the service. It was actually quite a skilled craft, but the introduction of personal sharpening appliances, disposable and “ever sharp” tools has seen an end to this particular craft. Few people today (in the developed world) would even believe that such a craft existed.
Thought 2: There was a time when the person they called a “programmer” would work long and hard hours with a team of colleagues, and sometimes in solitude, [click title to read more…]