REST Pessimists

Sunday, December 3rd, 2006

Several people have started to push back on the REST vs. WS-* and RELAX vs. W3C XSD and Rails vs. JEE fronts with a self-defeating argument. Well, of course, you’re right they say; but it doesn’t matter. The big vendors are selling these big, expensive complex solutions; and that’s all the CIO hears; so that’s all that matters. Sure, you can get the job done better/faster/cheaper with Rails/REST/RELAX, but you won’t. Well, to these pessimists I have a one-word response:


Right-wingers Don’t Understand Software

Saturday, December 2nd, 2006

Well, at least one right-winger doesn’t. Here’s a howler from Taylor Dinerman at Pajamas Media explaining why we shouldn’t bother to test weapons systems before buying and deploying them:

Certainly testing sounds reasonable. Why not make sure the stuff works before blowing billions on it? But the testing fixation ignores that, like software, most successful weapons systems are best debugged after being deployed. And some weapons systems were never tested at all before deployment.


Red-breasted Nuthatches are Late

Saturday, December 2nd, 2006

After you’ve been birding for a few years, you begin to notice certain patterns in when birds arrive where. For instance, the Ruddy Ducks and American Coots pretty reliably show up on Prospect Lake every fall, and leave in the Spring. Some species are irruptive: some years they show up everywhere. Some years you’re lucky to see one.

One such species is the Red-breasted Nuthatch. It’s been pretty common in New York in winter for the last few years, but almost totally absent this season. Peter Dorosh just found our first one since May in Prospect Park yesterday at one of the feeders. They’re probably staying north due to a good cone crop this year.

Banded Geese Identified

Friday, December 1st, 2006

The four banded Canada Geese I first spotted back on October 30, and that have continued in Prospect Park ever since, have been identified. Turns out they’re locals. They were banded at the Pennsylvania Ave. Landfill in Queens on June 26, this year. NA07, NA23, and NA 27 are adult males, NA26 is an adult female.

NA07 NA23 plus child

IDE needed to Hack on PHP (not with PHP)

Friday, December 1st, 2006

A piece I’m writing for IBM developerWorks has turned into the article that ate Pittsburgh. Trying to understand and document a certain class keeps leading me deeper into PHP internals, and is revealing some bugs in a certain PHP extension bundled with PHP 5.1 and later. Naturally I want to fix these.

However it’s all C code, and I haven’t done any serious C work in 15 years. (I did write some C++ about eight years ago, but this is straight C, not C++.)

What IDE are folks using on the Mac (or alternately Linux) to hack PHP itself? Xcode? Eclipse with the C development tools installed? Something else? This is just a short quick open source patch project (I hope) so I’d prefer not to pay multiple hundreds of dollars; just use the simplest, quickest thing that will get the job done.