iPod 8Ball

Link: http://lilleyvision.blogspot.com/2006/03/moderately-diverting-way-to-spend-five.html

1. What do you think of me, iPod?
Planetarium -- Delia Derbyshire
Quietly electronic, doomed to die in obscurity but revered after death as a prophet.

2. Will I have a happy life?
Soulus -- loop guru
I remember dancing in a tent or two to this, and all the Japanese soup warriors. I'm happy dancing in tents.

3. What do my friends really think of me?
Oh Green World -- Gorillaz
"Don't desert me now | I'm made of you and you of me | But where are we?"

4. Do people secretly lust after me?
39 -- The Cure
"the fire is almost out and there’s nothing left to burn"

5. What should I do with my life?
Get Behind The Mule -- Tom Waits.
"You've gotta get behind the mule in the morning and plow"
Sound advice from Mr Waits.

6. Why must life be so full of pain?
Good Riddance -- Green Day
"It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right. I hope you had the time of your life."
I nearly cried - sad man that I am - GD lyrics do do that to me sometimes.

7. How can I maximize my pleasure during sex?
La Main Verte - Les Negresses Vertes
I don't have good enough French to understand this song, but the babelfish translation seems to be about having green fingers for growing pot. Not really my thing - I'm paranoid enough already.
Not that stops me loving LNV for the funk and the feeling of it.

8. Will I ever have children?
Whatever you say -- Over the Rhine
Well, I guess you can't get all the answers off an iPod, and it's nice to have the option.

9. Will I die happy?
Calliope -- Tom Waits.
An instrumental piece sounding like a bizarre wheezing fairground organ with a laugh at the end.
I'll take that as a yes then.

10. Can you give me some advice?
Reverence [Tamsin's Remix] -- Faithless.
"Slow, slow, it's gotta be slow", but with a driving bass and a fast beat, slow riding on top of fast 'cos "I make no apology | for linking my thinking with computer technology. | 'cos this is like a modern day hymn | for the new church"

11. What do you think happiness is?
Outro -- India.Arie
A beautiful sentimental little song where she names a few relatives who were inspiration for her music. iPod 8Ball believes in family. So do I.

12. What's my favorite fetish?
It's Alright for You -- The Police
High energy low life

13. Am I a complete freak?
Ali's Waltz -- Beth Orton
I'm sure the versions of the lyrics for this on the web are wrong. Honest.

Somehow I'm not surprised that my iPod is channelling Tom Waits, electronica and nu-wave punk.




Art, state of, one year on from last year (the).

Previous frustrations with XMLHttpRequest, and more recently finding DeltaV didn't appear to be supported even in Firefox at work may be changed if a bit of sensible flexibility gets the W3C spec to conform to the HTTP rfc's extension-method = token rather than a vendor specific white-list.

I'd still really like a browser based, version controlled, graph drawing tool for modelling and knowledge capture, but with the WhatWG's canvas and support for SVG in Firefox stable enough that I'm writing production code based on it, and the real possibility of single page applications such as this wiki using Amazon Simple Storage Solution, I'm thinking of retiring the Java based, serverside image code of my LapisBlue, which I never got round to connecting to a versioned store anyway.

So I'm thinking of retiring LapisBlue, since I'm paying monthly for a full featured server solution that's not getting any use, whereas I can pay for a tiny amount of data storage and get the clients to do the rendering work now. Though proper version control would be nice, saving deltas or labelled versions to S3 should also be possible, more fun that configuring a tomcat installation that pulls in a thousand or so libraries, and not reliant on extension methods as subversion's DeltaV implementation is. What you lose is a queryable database, but I'm thinking of using it for a pattern wiki rather than anything else.

In other news, I got rather exited over the weekend thinking about using SSE for a faster 'byte' code interpreter, and resurrecting kin - my toy language for graph matching based code generators to generate simulation models defined generically on traits, which I'd partly implemented on the JVM - as a scripting language plugin for the gecko platform. If you can SIMD the graph matching, and maybe also either SIMD the bytecode scripting, or (since kin uses pure visitor functions a lot) use SIMD optimised blocks with scripting, you may get close to Java performance without having to track Sun's generics cruft.

It's still easier for me to write Java than C++, especially when you need to use libraries - each library having its own code conventions and memory management model - or Lisp for that matter (since I've done far more Java than Lisp in anger), but for many things JavaScript's good enough. The only things I've found this year that I've written in Java have been something to test an algorithm for work, which could have been written in anything really, and an annealing based graph layout, which ran too slow in JS to be useable. But annealing graphs is exactly what kin would be suited to, and be designed to parallelise it, so it may be that the Java world gets even smaller for me.

I'm not sure how useful web-based simulation tools would be, and suspect a good enough interpreter + a really, really good code generator would be a better match to a lot of the problems I like thinking about than trying to do anything like Sun's Hotspot, brilliant though it is.

Third point of this summary - I'm also excited about building distributed clusters of collaborating applications and services on top of xmpp. It's something I've been pushing at work, and I've got enough of the infrastructure there that the rest of my team are starting to play with it, building models and connecting them to XUL UI's with xmpp pub-sub. I've got till mid June to build it out to a full distributed system with service discovery, which means a mix of quite easy xml binding and doing some fairly hard concurrency work to get the simulators' execution model and the pubsub code working well without excessive threads or critical sections.

Oh, and I'm going to XTech2006 next month. It's nice to be working for somewhere that's not too stingy to send it's people away again.


Labels: , , , , ,


How twoey are youey?

Link: http://blogs.sun.com/roller/page/jimgris?entry=sun_the_web_1_0

Today I wrote a long post to my colleagues about SOA. It would have made a good blog post, but it's a comment on a work internal document so it can't be. It got forwarded up by my boss, so I hope the board are clerks fans.

We should be in the business of providing applications on a stupid network, not buying in smart middleware. Let ontologies emerge from what works, rather than being a more-meta-than-thou big design up-front.

I surfed straight from forum.java.sun to Jim Grisanzio's blog on Sun vs Web 2.0, and laughed out loud at the Much of Sun is very Web 2.0 and has been for decades, which reminded me way too much of I'm Brian and so is my wife. Since blogs.sun.com barfed when I tried to comment, I'll say here what I couldn't there - although my experience of opensolaris has been positive, as far as Sun's support for the Java the community forums are managed as though we were an annoyance who happen to buy the product, rather than being the value in the product.

In terms of selling Java (I've used the stuff for ten years, and sold RESTful Java based web apps + workflow as business service bus to my previous employers), it's been the community that's behind it that puts it ahead of .net as a platform. If Apache Tomcat, commons, Eclipse, Jackrabbit et al were based on a different technology, then Java wouldn't stand up. The chances are that someone's done something already to solve your problem in Java, but Sun's own forums suck very badly. Java.net does more community outreach, though its forums tend to be more project focussed, and it's more recent, at least from a has been for decades perspective. It's the java.sun.com forums which people first turn to, and are the first impression of Sun as a web2.0 company or not.

So I don't think that Sun's Java business particularly twoey, either from a community perspective or a technological one.

But then I'm an ex-Java programmer these days, so they might not care anyway.