Archive for December 2004

Hau’oli Makahiki Hou!

First, the more serious resolutions inspired by the tsunami tragedy:

  • treasure loved ones and the short time we get in this life;
  • give more;
  • be more humble about the affairs of Man

Second, the fun ones:

  • do a 3 minute free-dive (my personal best is a 2:51 dive in September, but I haven’t come close to duplicating it);
  • get barreled;
  • grow, harvest, mill, and roast my own coffee;
  • consistently throw a golf disc 120 yards;
  • memorize the field marks, common, scientific, and Hawaiian names of the 50 most common reef fish in every developmental phase;
  • write a distributed genetic algorithm;
  • write a game for the Tablet PC

Third, the professional ones:

  • “Get Things Done” between 6AM and 2PM;
  • release at least two significant Web-based training resources;
  • make at least the same amount of money I did this year;
  • maintain professional competence in in C++ (/CLI!), C#, and Java;
  • become professionally competent in Python
  • evolve Pynk to the point where it’s a reasonable way to program with a pen;
  • release Pynk as OSS;
  • evolve my shape-recognition library;
  • implement a domain-specific language for mediating between OTA requests, business rules, and at least 2 major Global Distribution Systems (Sabre and To Be Named)

Ink-Based Wiki: Should I Go Smart Client?

I am working on “Weka Wiki”: an ink-based Wiki (”Weka” being the Hawaiian word for “squid ink”). All pages will be rendered on any machine (as bitmaps on mundane machines), but the only way to edit ink-based pages will be with a Tablet PC. My question for the inkernet: when it comes to editing, is it important to stay within the browser, or is a smart client acceptable? Essentially, there’s a lot more flexibility in terms of interface and editing in a smart client. Thoughts?

P.S. No one’s even mentioned the initial release of Pynk, the ink-based Python IDE? Given the interest in Python in the community, I thought it would cause a little bit of a stir…

AdSense revenues to disaster relief — a no brainer

Windows Journal Reader Supplemental Component

Journal Reader Component for Tablet PC SDK 1.7  via [Microsoft Download Center]

Note that the documentation contains samples that read ” Dim jntReader As New Microsoft.Ink.JournalReader()” and similar. In fact, you can’t construct a JournalReader object, you’ll use the static (shared in VB.NET) method ReadFromStream() to generate the stream. The results are pretty cool, as shown in this screen clipping: the text box contents are in RTF, and you get both the recognition string and alternates on the ink.

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COmega and Concurrency: The Next Important Thing

Because CPU speeds have topped off recently even though I/O speeds continue to increase, Herb Sutter posits that the Moore’s Law free performance lunch is over via [Marquee de Sells: Chris's insight outlet]

Concurrency is at the stage that memory management was about a decade ago – popularly believed to be intractable at a pragmatic level, but in fact, something where relatively simple language extensions can provide a great deal of relief. COmega’s chords may be a taste of what is to come.

Rather Than Post-Christmas Sales, Make A Donation

I’ve not yet found any links specific to the disaster that’s struck around the Indian Ocean, but here is the link to the Red Cross’ individual donation page: http://www.icrc.org/Web/Forms/webforms.nsf/F_DON?OpenForm&ParentUNID=BA9B14845AF1638FC1256E2B00394093&action=Operations%20most%20in%20need

Pynk: Programming the Tablet PC With Python article online

My first article on Pynk, my experimental Python IDE, is up on DevX http://www.devx.com/TabletPC/Article/26666.  The preliminary version of Pynk is available for download and can be used to work interactively with IronPython on the Tablet PC.

Cleaning a Tablet

What do you clean your Tablet screen with? I have been going with a water-dampened microfiber cloth but as part of my end-of-the-year cleaning spree, I was thinking of going a little stronger. There are no computer stores on the Big Island, so anything I buy gets about a $10 shipping charge tacked on, so if I’m going to buy, I might as well buy the top-of-the-line product. On the other hand, I have rubbing alcohol, vinegar, and water available, so if anyone has a recipe, that’d be better. Oh, by the way, Mele Kalikimaka!

A Judge Isn’t Sure Spam Is Deceptive

“At issue, the judge said, is whether the actions rose to the level required by a new anti-spam law, which states that spam must be not only annoying but deceptive.” Via [Alice and Bill.com]

You can never be sure that a news report isn’t about some legal “crossing the ts and dotting the is” but the idea that anyone could question the deceptive character of bulk email is amazing. While the online community is busy playa-hating the RIAA and MPAA, they give a free pass to the direct-marketing lobby and credit-card companies that enable this life-clogging plague.

Guido Contemplates Adding Optional Static Typing to Python

 Optional static typing has long been requested as a Python feature. It’s been studied in depth before (e.g. on the type-sig) but has proven too hard for even a PEP to appear. In this post I’m putting together my latest thoughts on some issues, without necessarily hoping to solve all problems. via [Artima Weblogs]

Even though I’m a big explicit typing proponent, I don’t like the idea of optional explicit typing. Visual Basic has this and I don’t think it’s a great success. People don’t code implicitly until their projects hit 1,000 lines and then say “Well, it’s getting a little obscure, let’s turn on explicit.” They either go with implicit until the project is so incomprehensible that even the original coder has a hard-time making things explicit, or they go explicit from scratch. I think one’s attitude towards implicit/explicit typing is part of what you bring to language choice – I’ll turn to Python when I want implicit, I’ll turn to C-derived languages when I want explicit.

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