Kommandeering Developers Everywhere

Friday, June 30, 2006

One step forward and one step back

There once was an intrepid young man
who developed a quixotic plan:
"Score points updating important docs late at night,
lose them comparing goatse and the Tour website,
and work hard just to stay where I began."

Ade, you're killing me. There are plenty of things I'm trying to erase from my memory: Ace of Base, my awkward teenage years (ages 11-27), the Care Bears, any video by David Hasselhoff, and certain unlinkable, unmentionable websites.

Like the Yeti and the Loch Ness monster, what most people are asking: Where did the mysterious third hand come from?

Monday, June 26, 2006

Quick hits

* Good to see this happening. Our government will probably tackle such issues once we're done arguing about abortion and gay marriage.
* Not to be outdone, others try to make pragmatic decisions as well. Our government will definitely follow suit once we achieve Middle East peace and take down the Pirate Bay.
* As a shining example of being a renaissance man of many talents, our own Dirk wins a prestigious athletic event.
* Thiago gets bonus points for working in a cool Beatles reference in a cool event announcement.
* Microsoft continues to figure what to copy in Open Source. Unfortunately, they copied the way people talked to new users in message forums in 1998.

Friday, June 23, 2006

It's a simple 19-step process

Years ago, in a fairly large software development effort, my group had some internally modified 'make' system for code that worked just fine and was pretty efficient.

Of course, that meant someone had to tamper with it. In a quest for elegance and a couple of features that no one in their right mind would ever use, someone on our vaunted architecture team introduced a new series of steps to check out, check in, and build our code. I immediately dubbed this nefarious turn of events by its rightful name: "The Simple 19-Step Process." Why check out and check in when you can execute 19 steps manually instead?

Why am I telling this story? Because of this link.

Are the steps correct? Can they be improved upon? Should people be thankful that such a page exists? Can you read every step and shrug in its simplicity? Should complex steps involving complex software be forcefully made simple, sometimes too simple? Can and will those steps be improved or automated?

None of these questions are the questions you should be asking. Most people would have a better chance of solving a Rubik's Cube with their feet than even copy/pasting those instructions to their command line.

Sometimes, you have to have faith in your abilities and keep your self-esteem in check. If you can admit to manscaping, you can admit that "Next->Next->Finish" isn't always evil.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


I've been dealing with their software
since I was seventeen.
When they say they're well connected,
I finally know just what they mean.
Their maintenance of monopoly
hasn't turned out like they'd planned.
And adhering to published standards
is something they'll never understand.

My apologies to Steely Dan, but I was listening to these lyrics when I read this article.

Just as stalking someone was a heck of a lot easier before the advent of Caller ID, lying to people was a heck of a lot easier before mass communication on the interweb. My goodness, seven billion just doesn't buy insight like it used to.

It's getting to the point that making fun of MS is not like shooting fish in a barrel. It's now like looking at fish in a barrel. Or simply knowing that there are fish in a barrel. They maintain dominance through only inertia and lock-in. They can publish any specification but publish none.

If they're truly interested in interoperability and communication, they can begin with my amazingly simple S(simple)T(ransfer)F(ile)U(pload) protocol. Is it approved? Heck, even the Pope loved it.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Did they get the party invitation?

As discussed recently on Ars Technica, let's cross our collective fingers that both Writely and Google Spreadsheets get rolling with everyone's favorite standard, OpenDocument. Are these services aimed at us? Not really. Will Wade ever use these services? Doubtful. Will they ever gain mass adoption of any sort? Who knows - I can't even prognosticate what I'm eating for dinner. Does Wade always welcome document sharing and portability? Of course.

Welcome to the party!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

*IG / *WG

It definitely puts a bounce in my step to see strides being made in understanding how to improve and update the KDE HIG.

Further, we have great progress on icons and hopefully in turn our CIG. Planning and preparation gave focus to the Oxygen team, and this last week we saw the first results in SVN as reported in Danny Allen's great commit digest.

I'm crossing my fingers, but the timing might just turn out well that as developers port their apps to Qt4 and prepare for KDE 4, we might have some HIG/CIG guidelines thanks to the HCI WG, direction and guidance from the Technical WG and awareness by the Marketing WG. Hopefully a lot of app maintainers will find it second nature to do some HIG/CIG work as they revise things.

Remember, we're participative in nature, so you only have to ask!

Side note: Referencing seele's blog, I just saw the the Crystal Method on 6/3 in Minneapolis. They did not suck.