Archive for September, 2004

Breaking A Frontier: Frontier, which is basically the kernel of Manila, is going ‘open source’. Manila, of course, is what powers this site.

What will the new Frontier mean for me? Well, I haven’t had much time to think about it. Besides, I will first have to look up my “old” Frontier 4 code at work – I think it hasn’t been used for many years ;-)

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As Always, Under Pressure. Rationality and science are not a given thing; indeed, some people think that “democracy” means that religion and beliefs should receive the same status and attention in education. Take the “great American debate” on Darwins Theory of Evolution: even today, the Crusade Against evolution (Wired) goes on: “Hey, these people sound reasonable. They argue, ‘People have different opinions, we should present those opinions in school.’ That is nonsense. Some people have opinions that the Holocaust never happened, but we don’t teach that in history”“. Let’s not forget that some right-wing diehards would like to rewrite history as well – even or especially when talking about the Holocaust. We’ll just have to keep up the fight against bogus criticism of science, whether that science is history or biology or any other.

And Besides, Here’s Another Proof That God Does Not ExistAlmighty Wind (snopes.com).


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More Than A Show. Today marks the public kick-off of the Photokina. I visited the exhibition once, in 1980 or 1981 if memory serves me well. Of course, the imaging world has changed dramatically in the mean time – and I wish I had the time to spend two days gazing at all the new digital cameras of 2004.

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For Geeks…, yet simple: “Virtual Hosting on Mac OS X“. I’ll be using this script while testing a few experiments the coming weeks and/or months.

Got A Bloggable Wiki? Developers are notouriously bad at writing documentation, even when they just have to put it in the source code. Since I’m in no position to add some kind of blogging device to Macromedia’s source code editor in Dreamweaver (nor Eclipse’s, for that matter), that means I have to find another way to remove the writer’s block of my collegues. We already use a Wiki engine (it’s JSPWiki as I’m sure I mentioned before), but I’ld love to get a real sense of history about a component or a piece of code by keeping a sort of diary next to it. So here’s what I would like to do: use a Wiki for the general concept of the documentation site, and add blog-like functionality for those pages where I need to see the appearence of time lines. I’ll really have to check out the weblog features of JSPWiki before looking at other tools, of course.


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Just A Thought: “Open Source” is the ultimate form of “listening to your customer”, or Extreme Customer Involvement. By the way, should I copyright that term, or something like “Development by Extreme Customer Involvement” (DECI)?

Speak Louder, PleasePeople want — and arguably need — to try out the new toys that IT can’t control. Maybe IT should institutionalize a sandbox in which to do that.. Maybe my boss will hear it too…


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It’s OK To Be Proud. Today, I succeeded in writing a complete (and admittedly small) intranet application with the Coldfusion Mach-II framework in less than 4 hours, including a bit of documentation. Not an earth-shattering exploit, and I’m sure it could have been written faster, without Mach-II, in any number of languages, by any one of all those developers who can crank out code faster than I can type this text. But the next one will be done faster – I still learn from my mistakes. In the meantime, I’ll start thinking about the evolution of Mach-II, like many others – I’m happy to see a bit of action in the Mach-II world, because I started to fear that Mach-II would end up like so many Open Source projects: usable up to a (high) degree, but devoid of a beating heart and thus life.

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Jawohl. Two Macintosh-related links, in German:

  • metamac is a news site (have patience, the homepage is a bit slow)
  • Mac-Galerie shows a collection of “historical Mac’s”


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