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jordan (120)

jordan
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http://jordanhenderson.blogspot.com/

Journal of jordan (120)

Friday June 18, 2004
11:39 AM

Technocrat.net

There's an interesting new Slashsite out there. Technocrat is back on-line after a several year hiatus. I don't believe it used Slash before.

Technocrat is Bruce Perens' new tech news site. He announced it in his User Journal over on Slashdot the other day.

Here's Bruce's stated motivation for a new site:

It's intended to be a more mature, and hopefully more relevant, forum than Slashdot. No ACs, a special focus on technology policy and high technology outside of the conventional corporate model, but conventional tech news as well.

Sounds like a nice place to visit. I hope it works out well.

Monday February 02, 2004
05:40 PM

I couldn't be more off-topic, but...

Looks like we'll be using Java for a serious project at work. I've dabbled in Java in the past, but I was always kind of scared away by the huge intellectual footprint. It just seems like so much infrastructure for so little advantage.

Be that as it may, it's probably time now to swallow these objections and get into it in a serious way.

The resources and advice out on the web there are daunting and confusing. Here, there are people that I trust, at least none of you will try and sell me a Java book or course. Some of you have done significant Java, I would imagine.

What do you folks recommend would be a good course to really get into Java? What are the good books? What about the books available on Safari?

Monday September 15, 2003
09:42 AM

Wiki recommendations, anyone?

We've been using elog at work for a knowledgebase. It's not really working out very well.

I think it's too much like a ticketing system. People are intimidated by it and don't want to enter information until they have it in a good format for an ENTRY. It's the wrong psychology, but it's hard to overcome. Even I feel that way.

I'm thinking a Wiki might be a better format. I'm exploring options. I want something pretty powerful as there will be a lot of people using it at two geographically disparate locations. I'd like lots of flexibility and features to cover all the kinds of data we might want to put out there.

I'm attracted to TWiki. Does anyone want to scare me away? Is the setup and maintenance here a big deal? Should I instead focus on something simpler and move up to TWiki when I hit limitations?

Comments enabled! Please, comment, comment!

Saturday September 28, 2002
10:59 AM

Favorite Alex Chiu quote

In other words, any prophecy from God is guaranteed to be accurate, and any prophecy which is not from God but given in his name shall guarantee the death of the prophet. I am risking my life to tell you this.

I have the slashbox (useperlbox?) active for Random Alex Chiu quotes and it's coming up with the above right now.

This one is incredible! So, is he telling a prophecy which is not from God above or what? Is this one of those circular paradoxes? If this is a prophecy from God, then it's the truth and Alex has nothing to fear, even though he says he does, or it's not a prophecy from God, in which case he fears for his life, but wait, then the statement he's making is not trustworthy. But wait, if he tells a prophecy not from God, his death is certain, so fearing for your life would seem silly. Is Alex hinting at some secret society that doesn't want this truth about prophecies to get out?

And besides, why would Alex Chiu ever fear for his life? He has the Patented Eternal Life Device and, just to be sure, believes in the inevitabililty of resurrection.

Thursday August 22, 2002
09:39 PM

My 11 year old wants to learn to program

I'm thinking Scheme. You can get into it really simply, using it as just an imperitive language for graphics, or perhaps even generating HTML.

Oh, did I mention she also wants to get into HTML in a big way? She wants to maintain a Guild at Neopets.

I thought simple programs to generate the pages like:

(html-meta 'Title (style 1))
(html-heading 1 "Schedule for Today")
(html-table (html-table-head "Time" "Activity")
            (map html-table-row (Activity-times)
                                (Activities)))
(html-footer)

You get the idea. I think I can demonstrate simple data types, how to execute simple functions and define them, introduce concepts like conditionals and map. All in the context of outputting simple HTML pages.

Maybe introduce loops and do something like:

(setq pages '(intro activities fun ... ))
(do ([page (car pages)]
     [pages (cdr pages)])
    ((not null? pages))
     (html-meta (title page) (style page))
     (html-page page)
     (html-footer page)
)

And push down the individual page detail down into specific routines, while automating the common elements for look-and-feel.

I think stuff like the above is a lot more understandable and maintainable than straight HTML. Especially since I have a choice of good easy-to-use editors for Scheme code. I'm looking at the PLT Scheme environment.

I'm thinking that straight functional will be easier to grasp than languages that depend on infix algebra.

I've looked at Logo and I'm turned off by it. It's just a toy. What's learned there will necessarily need to be thrown away in a few years. A good Scheme environment could be made to work for arbitrary programming tasks for years to come. The MzScheme system at the heart of the PLT Tools is easily extended in C, so any API could be introduced. I played with interfacing it to C a few years ago and it's easy.

What do people think? Any suggestions about how to go about this? Am I crazy thinking a lisp-like language will be good to ease into slowly?

I know, maybe I should take this to a place where they discuss Scheme. I don't particularly feel comfortable there, though. I do somewhat feel comfortable here.

Wednesday August 07, 2002
08:44 AM

All things in Moderation

Slash moderation is a funny thing. If you want to Karma Whore, it's really pretty easy. Just jump in with something funny early into a discussion. Few people downmod something they don't think is funny, and you are likely to find a few moderators that like it.

I dunno, but I don't feel that this is that funny, really. This post is at least as funny, if not better. Admittedly, the second post is inspired by the first, so perhaps there's something to be said for the moderation.

I really like the move on Slashdot to keep the actual Karma number a secret and report levels only. I know I was overly conscious of my number. It's a sickness, no doubt. Someone told me once that I was a troll for discussing moderation in my Journal over on Slashdot. Maybe they were right. Entries like this are an indication of a problem.

Heh, join KA! Karmawhorics Anonymous.

Hi, I'm Jordan and I'm a Karma Whore. <unison>Hi, Jordan</unison>