In bawd we thrust.

The title is totally irrelevant to the point of this post, unless of course you came here. Full stop. (Think about it.)

I’ve been a happy chappy this week, for those who’ve read my earlier post about my love of turbulent weather. I’ve been rewarded with a week of drizzle, rain, showers, thunder, and lightening, and as a result my muse has been hard at play. (And no I don’t live in England or Vancouver.) So yesterday the cause and solution were found to what should be the last in a series of related software issues in my product that has been plaguing me like a debt come due.

So this mornings heavy showers with a touch of thunder felt like I was given tickets to a symphony as reward for work well done.

The message is more important, not the messenger.

This morning I read this interesting article 13 reasons why Ruby, Python, and the gang will push Java to die… of old age. Some of the initial points are relevant, while many of the latter ones are irrelevant.

For example Reason 13 “lack of tools” I disagree with. My design tool of choice is a good text editor like TextPad or nvi. I never use an IDE as I find they get in the way of “how I think” about a problem and often hide the language preventing a programmer from learning a language properly. Outside of an editor, compiler, interpreter, and debugger all the additional tools that serve as programming aids can often be a crutch that impede a developer from actually thinking about design and logic; sure they can help, but I don’t see this as the reason behind a language not being adopted. Continue reading

C programmer’s lament

I’ve been programming in C since I was 14 years old (1980) and I still love to code in this language. However, as much as I love C, there are certain classes of bugs that are very difficult to find, but typically have easy solutions once you do find them:

  • memory corruption
  • memory leak
  • double-free
  • thread race conditions
  • mutex dead-locks

Lots of younger programmers often say why don’t you write in another language with built-in garbage collection? This would resolve the first three types of bugs by making it the language’s problem to solve. My usual response is speed, portability, and “how I think“. That last one is important. Continue reading

The Lost Tempest

Most people think I’m warped in interesting way. Ever since I was a child I have more fond memories of snow falls, thunder storms, and turbulent weather, than I do a sunny day. For some reason a hot and sunny day in summer I find boring, nothing on TV, can’t sit still roasting in the sun by a pool or a beach, friends often away on vacation, little to do, or to hot to do anything. However I’ve always managed to find an interesting activity on days most others would prefer to be otherwise: skiing, snow fights, squash, rugby, running, walking, TV, books, movies, dining, games, Lego, code, …

Something about a sunny day zaps my energy and will (though a violently windy sunny day works me, go figure). Never really understood why. Always figured it was simply because of fond experiences, but also the other sensations that go along with them: the dim sombre light outside, the dark approach of a storm, the smell of wood smoke, pine, and moist vegetation, a warm fire inside, soft gentle lights and smells spilling from the kitchen, the comfort and warmth of home.

The Storm by Blackmore’s Night from their Fires at Midnight album expresses much of these feelings I have so well and ever since first hearing it, I often play it on overcast days, a form of rain dance or offering to Baal, Perun, and Thor to bring it on.