My Thoughts Exactly

Laszlorific

Build cool web apps. Fast. Free. Easy.

That’s a the marketing phrase for the new OpenLaszlo release out today. Hey, that’s not a bad tag line, marketing-wise. And let me claim by Dilbertian moment in the sun by boasting that I came up with it!

Really truly, if you care about where web technology is going, you should check out the OpenLaszlo 3.0 release. This is going to be big.

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Inventing the Future

components status

I had hoped to have a usable version of the components framework by now. Instead, I have a reasonably self-consistent set of scaffolding that illustrates a lot of the concepts. It isn’t at a critical mass of functionality, and it has a lot of bugs and mis-steps. I was sure that copy semantics, multiple views, and event handling were going to be hard, as would getting enough corners tacked down so that I could start to cut the cloth. But they turned out to be much harder than I imagined. Nonetheless, I’ve now got a stake in the ground as the starting point. Maybe now there’s enough ‘it’ there that I can next report, “made ‘it’ do such-and-such”, or “added X to ‘it’.”

Below the fold is a diary/log of how I got to this point. (I originally called this a “bootstrapping” architecture, because components allow people to build their Croquet models from within Croquet itself.)

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My Thoughts Exactly

Mindful of Philosophy

Monday last week I had dinner with Douglas Hofstadter and Daniel Dennett and had a swell time. We went to The Elephant Walk, which was quite deluxe even though the waiter was a tad stretched thin, and consequently the promptitude of service was sometimes lacking. I had some kind of spicy tofu thing. Also a really rich and handsome chocolate tartish desert.

I actually felt smart for most of the evening, although somewhat self-conscious about the hole in my mouth where a crown had fallen out a few days before.

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Tales of the Sausage Factory

Off for Passover

Tales of the Sausage Factory will be on hiatus (if that term means anything for my schedule) for the next two weeks. I will be off celebrating Passover with my family at a rural retreat in Vermont.

Stay tuned . . .

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Tales of the Sausage Factory

Voinovich, Ratzinger, and Principle

What does it mean to be keeper to a conservative tradition? On the same day, worlds apart, we find two examples. I may disagree, but I can respect people who stand for principle in the face of political pressure to the contrary.

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My Thoughts Exactly

in re: Mars Rover — John channels Gary

This article about the discovery, debugging, and patch of a timing glitch on the Mars Pathfinder caught my fancy.

Its system architecture reminded me of the three-bus architecture of Masscomp “real time unix(TM)” machines, which I came to know intimately “back in the day” (84-86) as a side effect of writing the damn ‘theory of operations’ manuals for it. And anyway, as any of y’all as have read the first page of my Acts of the Apostles knows, I think the discovery-and-debugging of timing glitches is inherently interesting.

Outer space and spacecraft and actual hardware are Gary’s beat around Wetmachine, so here’s my respects, gov’nuh.

By the way, Google came up with an article on the Masscomp architecture but you need an ACM membership to read it so I’m not bothering with it, as my account has expired. If anybody has a Masscomp architecture diagram lying about, kindly post a link.

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My Thoughts Exactly

Rosa Barks and Samba M'Bodj

Dear Wife tells me that our veternarian finally came out and told her she was offended by the name of our dog, whom she’s had as a patient for ten years. Our dog’s name is Rosa Barks. She’s a black lab, and her name is obviously an allusion to Rosa Parks the great American patriot and legendary prime mover in the Civil Rights movement. We named our little puppy Rosa Barks twelve years ago, saying, “she’s a very dignified black lady, and she can sit wherever she wants.”

Obviously we knew this name was a little provocative when we chose it. Some people find it offensive. Our vet is sure that Ms. Parks herself would be offended, and perhaps she would be, given her recent lawsuit against the musical group Outkast over their use of her name in a song title.

Rosa Parks is a great hero of me and my wife; in fact, a copy of the very photo of her that adorns the Wikipedia page has also adorned our living room wall for years. But that does not mean I think she’s a god whose name cannot be taken in vain. And I think “Rosa Barks” is a great name for our pet.

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Inventing the Future

intregration with document-oriented applications

How do we integrate Croquet with the Web? How do we integrate with legacy applications in general?

We interact with computers now in a document model developed by Alan Kay’s Xerox PARC team a long time ago. (Xerox: The Document Company.) It is as is if we have our head bent over our desktop, looking at a piece of paper. We slide other pieces of paper in and out below the face of our bowed head. In Croquet, Kay’s team today lets us lift our head up off the desk and look up at the world around us, including our coworkers. But just as the 3D world has paper within it, shouldn’t the Croquet world have document-based software within it? Yes!

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My Thoughts Exactly

Laszlo is Hiring

The company I work for, Laszlo Systems, has an opening for a software engineer to work on our Rich Internet Application (open source) platform.

I’ve been at Laszlo for two years and I like it a lot. Not only that, and call me a crack-head dreamer if you want to (go ahead! call me that!), but I really think Laszlo is going to transform the web. If you’re a hot-shot programmer you might want to check this out.

My boss has the details on the job.

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Tales of the Sausage Factory

FCC, Hartford and Tribune

For them what follow media ownership at the local level, the recent doings in Hartford offer an interesting opportunity for some tea-leaf reading about how the FCC will address these issues. I’ll preface by saying I haven’t actually talked to anyone at the FCC about the case, so all this is just my educated guesses. But what’s life without speculation in an ignorance of actual facts . . .

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