Saturday, June 30, 2007

Hitting the Big-D Tomorrow

I'm going to hit the Big D tomorrow.


I managed to completely fry myself out this past week.

We made some pretty key progress so it may have been worth it, but as of 4 PM yesterday I have been trying to just kick it.

Yay just kicking it.

I downloaded some music for the ride to the river including:

Brad Paisley, Rocky Votolato (incredible), Plain White T's (iTunes made me), Tift Merritt, The Magnetic Fileds, The Frames.

Hopefuly I will hook into some beautiful redsides.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Out at the plate

Hey that was cool.

I watched the Oregon State baseball game on TV last night.

They repeated.

Best play was when they threw the guy out at the plate - that is the coolest play to watch in baseball. Really cool. It goes like this:

  1. Hitting team hits a screamer to the outfield and base-runner on first or second tries to score
  2. Fielding team outfielder runs and gets ball
  3. Outfielder chucks ball to relay guy
  4. Relay guy chucks ball to home plate
  5. Hitter either tries to get around, out run, or bumb rush catcher
I don't watch much sports anymore, but that was cool.

Yay Oregon State baseball team.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Open Source Software - Sales Guy Bell Weather?

You can say a lot about enterprise software sales guys (I happen to like them), but one thing is for sure - they know where the money is at.

This is by no means a statistically significant sample, but I know a lot of these guys (mostly from college) and many of them either just got out or are trying to get out of this business. At least the traditional commercial proprietary business.

They all want to get into either SaaS companies or commercial open source companies.

I think this is pretty significant.

I am on the software buying side these days. I know how hard the commercial proprietary business was, is, and how much harder it is going to become in the coming years.

If the guys who know where the money are at understand this and are shifting to companies outside of commercial proprietary what does that say?

2 Year Old Gets Out of Crib

My 2 year old has overcome the shackles of her crib.

She wanted to get out so she climbed out.

She then proceeded to reenact how she did it for me and her mommy.

Quite a milestone.

Here is to her overcoming future obstacles in life.

OR - ActiveRecord

Via Bill de hOra I saw this: this on ActiveRecord at Twitter.

Couple 2-3 quotes:

One major downside of having an object-relational mapper is that you don't always control what goes on behind the scenes.

This pretty quickly brought us to an obscure corner of the ActiveRecord source (three cheers for source code!), where it became apparent that Rails was doing these gigantic loads from the database every time we saved even a single field in a related object. There are a bunch of mitigating circumstances that mean that this bug doesn't get triggered all the time, but it's still really really bad.

You mean insane SQL isn't just a problem with Java based OR tools?

I think Ruby is great. I think that ActiveRecord is great and do think that it has it's place.

My problem is that every time I have been associated with an OR tool (Toplink, EJB CMP, Hibernate) the exact panic described above has ensued. In my experience OR tools have been like very bad debt. They are shiny objects that make initial development a bit simpler & then make you pay pay pay down the road.

Now I don't have much information on Twitter, but I'd think that it would be the type of system that you would want to write SQL by hand for. You can either get some syntactic simplicity from OR tools and defer how the SQL gets generated (and wait for panic to ensue) to an OR tool or you can write SQL (a really simple language) and be in control.

Control isn't always required - and I am a big fan of Ruby on Rails - just sayn' choose wisely - there is more to life than concise model to database interaction.

As for the Three cheers for source code line, +1MM. Never ever use an OR tool that is not OSS. That is just asking for it.

I am going to get a breakfast burrito now.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Good Hearted Man

My wife thinks I am a good hearted man most of the time.

I just caught Tift Merritt on Austin City Limits after finishing a particularly long week.

She rocks/countrys out pretty good.

And her song "Good Hearted Man" is pretty solid.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Who is going to OSCON?

So hey - OSCON is coming up. Happily for me it is 2 blocks from our office here in Portland.

I just registered.

So did Patrick and the other people we work with (2 other guys and girl).

I would love to rip a beer and talk about stuff with anybody who wants to.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Blogging & Wiki Syntax

I really hate that when I type a post I have to type out the HTML. I spend hours a day inside of a wiki using wiki syntax that makes typing things like links, bulleted lists, and tables trivial. All of this takes way too much effort in creating a blog post. I use blogger - blogger you need a tab for wiki some wiki syntax - preferably the wiki syntax that I use at work. There must be something out there like this? Some client or some such?

Anybody know?

RIA Religion

Also via Stefan Tilkov on RIA Religion:

I would have to say that I am a into Pragmatic Neo-Desktopism.

It is new age and makes me feel like a better person. I yell at my cat for pawing incessantly at the door of his litter box at 4AM much less ever since I adopted this religion.

As I explore this new religion I have noted that all of my REST blog friends have a different view. This makes me nervous.

Anyhoo, I have said this before, but I like evolution and revolution. There is nothing like competition to push things forward. I think the following:

  • "RIA" is a stupid acronym/name. It is a great example of why I refuse to play the acronym game in naming projects. Give me a proper name and a cool obscure code name any day.
  • RIAs will meld back into the browser at some point because the browser will respond to the new fangled RIA bits (sorry Ajax is a hack is a hack is a hack)
And when this is done, we will rince and repeat and everyone will get excited and mad all over again, but along the way things will get a little cooler and a little better.

Hallelujah great Neo-Desktop-deity!!!

REST dirty hands

Via Stefan Tilkov who quotes Sanjiva Weerawarana:

IMO the real underlying problem is that as long as programmers expect to write a class and flip a switch to get a service or one or more RESTful resources then we have nothing really but RPC masquerading as something else. Both resource and service advocates would be well-off in trying to move the developer community to get past the “class is all I need” stage. If REST is successful in getting developers to get their hands dirty more power to it.

I say this all the time. I wish more people would listen to me!

People get caught up in automation and false simplicity. And then they are trapped, but it is too late. And then they go off searching for the next "simple" thing that will damn them. Odd really.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Nice REST post

Joe Gregorio: RESTify DayTrader.

Why build a RESTful web service for DayTrader? Because I frequently hear that REST can't be applied to complex situations. I also want to use the example as motivation for talking about some of the idioms that are available to handle more extensive requirements.

Monday, June 11, 2007


I was in Indianapolis, IN and and Loveland, OH last week for work.

This happily coincided with my reunion at the University of Dayton.

It is nice to take a step back from your life once in a while and go back in time. Life goes by so fast.

I can't say enough about the education I received there. And I met some lifelong friends. I was very impressed with all the improvements that they have made there since I have been gone.

I managed to stay out until 4AM Friday and 3AM Saturday. And I consumed some Milwakee's Best (aka "The Beast"). It was nice to see just how far my beer taste has come :)

Anyway, after a lot of driving yesterday and a long flight home it is great to be back in Portland with my beautiful wife & daughter.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

WADL - Or Maybe Not

I have changed my mind on thinking that WADL Gateway Drug.

Dare Obasanjo has a great post on it. It pushed me over the edge.

If it was the only way to convince someone to not go the WS-* route, I'd go for it. But too much madness can result from it and it is just much simpler to avoid this for now anyway.

Here was the clincher for me from Dare's post:

Another word that is often abused in the SOAP/WS-* world is contract. When I think of a contract, I think of some lengthy document drafted by a lawyer that spells out in excruciating detail how two parties interact and what their responsibilities are. When a SOAP/WS-* developer uses the word contract and WSDL interchangeably, this seems incorrect because a WSDL is simply the XML version of OMG IDL. And an IDL is simply a list of API signatures. It doesn't describe expected message exchange patterns, required authentication methods, message traffic limits, quality of service guarantees, or even pre and post conditions for the various method calls. You usually find this information in the documentation and/or in the actual business contract one signed with the Web service provider. A WADL document for the REST Web service will not change this fact.

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Myths of Innovation

I am reading The Myths of Innovation. I felt somewhat obligated because the name of our team is "Premium Innovation". I would hardly compare us to Xerox PARC, but we generally roll as Scott Berkun describes (although we have a long way to go).

If I feel frisky when I am done, I will do a proper review, but I like this quote from a section called "Ideas and Filters".

. . . Instead of binary switches – open vs. closed, creative vs. routine-- we want a sliding scale of openness that we can control. If you want new ideas, you have to slide toward openness, turning some filters off, exploring thoughts you'd ordinarily reject off-hand. Do this until some interesting ideas are found; then, gradually turn more filters on until you're left with a handful that are both good and practical for the problem at hand. Choosing which filters to apply when has much to do with successful innovation; it's not just having an open mind, it's also knowing when to postpone certain judgments, and then when to bring them back in. If a mind is always open, it never finishes anything; if a mind is never open, it never starts.

It reminds me a lot of Lean thinking. Specifically, set based design.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Why I have a blog

I haven't started using Twitter yet. But I saw this post from James Governor. It describes (at least in part) why I maintain this blog and why I read blogs.

James says: I can afford to drop a few percentage points of my own IQ because of the quality of insights the network brings me. It is like parallel processing. My chip can be lower power, fewer MHz, because this is a clustered, virtualised architecture. I am less intelligent but better connnected. Its a trade off I am more than willing to make.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Is REST Winning?

Stefan Tilkov brings a more rounded view than I have been bringing in simply declaring victory. Really rather silly of me.