Feb 16

Bruce Eckel doesn’t get IDEs?

Tech 8 Comments »

Bruce used the IDE argument in the wrong direction with: Python IDEs:

I often get questions, mostly from Java programmers, about IDEs for Python. In Java there’s so much finger-typing that the language wouldn’t be feasible without an auto-completion IDE, so it makes sense that a Java programmer would want one when using Python. And they exist, but I don’t know many who use them.

I didn’t think that IDEs were there to just save a few keystrokes :)

Even Obie Fernandez the ThoughtWorker who loves Rails (well, one of them :) admits that IntelliJ IDEA is a different level to Textmate.

I use Textmate for my Ruby work and it is nice, but it isn’t close to IDEA wrt refactoring and such.

If you just look at the code editor side:

When I code in IntelliJ I can code in a different way. Type a couple of letters, hit one of the ctrl-space combinations, couple of letters, …. and when I am done I know its going to compile just fine. If I get a squigly I take care of it right there with an Alt-Enter. And then there are live templates (a feature that Textmate and company can pull off).

That is enough for me. And then you add on refactoring support etc, and it gets better and better.

A lot of people cringe at the term “IDE” as they think it is all about Wizards and generating code for you.

When I hear this kind of stuff from people of Bruce’s caliber, I wonder how much code they write anymore.

Feb 15

Campfire Soft Launched

Tech 2 Comments »

It looks like Campfire has soft launched:

campfire launched

Some have asked who will buy this with GMail Talk, Meebo and the other slew of web based chats out there.

Their movie shows that they thought that too:

campfire movie

I think the key is integration. As a user of their other products (Basecamp etc), I would love Campfire to integrate, and have a holistic experience.

Congrats on the launch to the 37S folk. Nice and clean as always. You can tell it is a 37Signals application :)


I decided to use it for a couple of days. I do like the notion of a chat room living all the time (I am an IRC user old school guy after all. I was even an IRC operator back in the day ;).

Without that in IM, my company just knows to join channel “NAME_WE_USE” in the morning, so isn’t a huge deal, apart from the history piece.

One of the problems with the web interface though is that I can’t tell when people join, say something, leave the room. As a company we often sit on the chat room for a long time and then someone will “ping: hey have a question for you”. This use case doesn’t work great yet, so if Campfire allowed you to have visual/audio cue’s it would be there on that front.

Feb 15

Scaling Websites (RE: Large sites powered by Java web frameworks and Tiles + WebWork)

Caching, Tech, Web Frameworks 4 Comments »

Matt Raible is look for large sites powered by Java web frameworks.

Maybe I am in a cranky mood, but I wouldn’t worry about scaling out the web tier.

You can scale JSF just fine (although I may not like JSF at all ;)

Slashdot does just fine with Perl + memcached.

Your scalability concerns are going to come in with your architecture, and caching.

If the bottleneck is in taking the HTTP info in, parsing it into objects, and the on the back-end doing the opposite, then you have done an amazing job scaling the database and the network layers.

Of course we need to test our architectures etc, but I have just seen a PHP application that handles a massive load, with an average architecture :)

It handled everything just fine because of the caching they use.

This is why TheServerSide.com running on EJB etc was/is such a hilarious thing. Tapestry isn’t the bottleneck ;)

And with 64 processors each with 64-cores, CPU bound scalability probably won’t be the case often too!

Use the tech that gets out of your way and feels right to you. This is why Rails is doing so well.

Feb 14

Apple ships faster than expected MacBook Pro

Tech 2 Comments »

Thanks Steve.

Better still, prior to shipment we’ve improved the entire MacBook Pro family
with configurations starting at 1.83Ghz up to 2.16GHz. We have upgraded your
MacBook Pro from a 1.83GHz processor to a 2.0GHz processor at no additional
cost! We anticipate shipping your upgraded order by February 28, 2006.

Maybe the extra speed is just a stalling tactic? Instead of having it shipped tomorrow, we have to wait until Feb 28th? :(

Feb 12

Safari Submit Button Weirdness

Tech 38 Comments »

I have a hard time making sure that Safari bloody works. Don’t get me wrong, I like the browser, but it is frustrating to fight it.

Although it bugs me, I kinda understand where they are coming from, when it comes to buttons and form elements and styling.

Sure, I would like to be able to control the buttons on my site, but Steve Jobs is a smarter man than I, so he wants the Mac buttons to all be aqua…. go for it.

Where it does get on my nerves is when there are strange bugs such as a recent one.

I have a form, yet if you click on the submit button nothing happens.

The form is something like this:

<form method=”post” action=”…” id=”emailform”>
<input name=”email” id=”emailformemail” type=”text” size=”15″ maxlength=”255″ value=”Your email address” /><input type=”submit” id=”emailformsubmit” value=”GO” />

Pretty simple. I wonder why it isn’t firing?

I attach handlers to the form onsubmit to see if it is ever getting called… and it isn’t. If I type something into the email text box and hit return? it clicks the button, and nothing is called.

I can’t make this thing do anything, until I put something into the onclick handler (and in onclick=”" versus via DOM):

<form method=”post” action=”…” id=”emailform”>
<input name=”email” id=”emailformemail” type=”text” size=”15″ maxlength=”255″ value=”Your email address” /><input type=”submit” id=”emailformsubmit” value=”GO” onclick=”document.getElementById(’emailform’).submit()” />

So, if I force it… it works. I can’t even find anything on this on Google, (or Quirksmode, or the Webkit bug database) as there probably is something dumb that I haven’t seen (please tell me!).

I have ran across this kind of thing in the past where I had to jump to use <button> and put weird text in between else the styling didn’t work, etc etc.

I hate this hack :(

Feb 12

Gmail the client…. close but no cigar

Tech 20 Comments »

Bob posted on Not At the Mercy of Gmail in which he talks about Gmail being an email client.

I have been thinking about using Gmail for just that, as I am not really happy with any desktop client at the moment.

It is a shame, as I really do want a killer desktop client that does everything I want, and I have no need for email to be web based. Just because I run ajaxian.com doesn’t mean I want everything Ajax ;)

There is a middle ground too of course. I can route my email to gmail, and then have my client get the email via POP, so I can choose my view (and at least have access to email when on a plane / offline!).

The one reason why GMail isn’t there for me is that if Bob emails me from his domain it shows up as:

Bob Lee [[email protected]] on behalf of Bob Lee [[email protected]]

Far from transparent :)

I wouldn’t want “[email protected] on behalf of …” if I am using Apple Mail as a client.

That is one reason why I still use Yahoo! Mail for my online needs. They let me setup my From so it is transparent.

As seen here:


Feb 10

Oracle to maybe buy JBoss, Zend, Sleepycat

Tech 2 Comments »

Wow. Interesting.

  • IBM: “PHP is a great way to do web dev”
  • Oracle: “Hmm, let’s buy it”
  • IBM: “Do we fight for it? Or backtrack and say that Ruby on Rails is the way?”

It will be interesting to see if all of these purchases go through. VC’s want to make money back from their investments… so as long as Oracle is ready to pay, it probably will happen, no?

I am kicking myself, as I had the chance to join one of these guys recently ;)

Feb 08

Getting out of the UI stoneage

Tech No Comments »

We have been promised voice recognition, and various other inputs to work with our computer friends.

However, in 2006, we are still in the stoneage. We are the prehistoric group that can just point in motions to tell the computer to do something.

Oh, and type ;)

Multi-Touch Interaction Research shows how we are getting out of the stone age.

Combine that with spacial work, and maybe Minority Report isn’t that crazy?

And voice recog will get there.

I can’t wait (I am sure it will only be a matter of decades). With all of the news on Apples patents in this area, maybe they will be bold enough to make a big change.

Feb 08

What’s up? Global news

Tech 5 Comments »

We (Ajaxians) recently got asked how hard it would be to port a Flash app to Ajax.

The application in question is What’s up? a very cool view on news streaming out all over the world.


Feb 07

Free Beer Tomorrow

Personal No Comments »

I was driving home the other day when I saw a pub with a sign out front:

Free Beer Tomorrow

Very generous don’t you think?

Of course, then you have a ‘duh’ moment. This may take as long as a day, when you drive past the same pub and see the same sign. Day, after day.

This made me wonder if I could get a lawyer and make them give me some free beer, as that is what they advertise!

And does “free beer” mean one? a thimble? as much as you can drink? :)