Archive for the ‘memes’ Category

The Un*x operating system version numbers

Monday, December 26th, 2005

The small box titled Can’t tell the players without a program in the Web page discusses the ordering of the version numbers of the Un*x operating system. Those version numbers are ordered in a logical sequence. I have told you this three times. What I tell you three times is, by definition, True.

Yes! We have no bananas!

Tuesday, December 13th, 2005

Yes! We have no bananas! Also, you can have both tea and no tea. However, you will be requested to leave your common sense to the loving care of your spouse.

Recently, there was a discussion in the Israeli Python mailing list about teaching the concept of a null string to schoolchildren in a Python course. The surprising thing is that in the world of Python and other programming languages, you can have both a string with characters and a string with no characters (”null string”), as long as they are assigned to different variables.

Few years ago, there was a Linux installation party in an obscure Israeli city. The compulsory trashcan got the label “/dev/null” (it was my own proud hand which wrote those fateful letters), and when it was emptied, someone took a shot of its location and labelled it as “/dev/null unmounted”.

What the bleep do we know!?

Wednesday, December 7th, 2005

I was in Dizengoff Center because I went to see the Marlee Matlin starred movie. The movie was a cumpulsory movie for me, because was different from the usual mainstream movie. However I did not fully enjoy my experience viewing it. Compared, for example, to “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, the Hitchhiker’s wins in a big way.

I did not like the philosophizations which filled the movie. Philosophy and story line did not integrate well, in my opinion. Any philosophical discussion which confuses the exterior and the interior of humans is incomplete if it does not consider also:

  • Korzybski’s General Semantics
  • Love

About the subject of love, I noticed that Amanda, the movie’s protagonist, was essentially alone. While she interacted with other people, and some of her relationships were not exactly superficial, they were not deep either. Missing was treatment of the deep relationship which goes into love, in which both parties create a new joint world and bear children into it. Then the children grow out of the world created for them by their parents and build their own worlds, and then they merge their own worlds with their own lovers’ worlds and so the cycle goes on.

In the movie itself, love was not deeper than relationship with a cheating husband, some flirtatious dances, or eroticism from the point of view of cognitive psychologists.

NEW BUZZWORD - PREFACTORING !!!

Monday, December 5th, 2005

THERE IS A NEW BUZZWORD - Prefactoring - IN THE CITY!
THERE IS ALREADY A BOOK ABOUT THE NEW BUZZWORD. JUST WAIT FOR THE COURSES, SEMINARS, ARMY OF CONSULTANTS WITH HASTILY-UPDATED RESUMES AND CLAIMS FOR 3-YEAR EXPERIENCE WITH THE NEW BUZZWORD!

THE DREAM OF PHBs AND OF 2nd RATE PROGRAMMERS HAS BEEN FULFILLED. PREFACTORING IS PANACEA, SILVER BULLET, BLESSING AND CURE FOR ALL ILLS AND BUGS AND AMBIGUITIES AFFLICTING SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS!

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? DO NOT BE LEFT BEHIND! JUMP ON THE BANDWAGON!!!

Network Traffic Ticket - a sample

Wednesday, November 30th, 2005

A small reminder from the era of the “digital superhighway” hype:
Network Traffic Ticket - a formhttp://cisx1.uma.maine.edu/ticket.gif

Source: http://www.digg.com/.

Are you a time traveller? If yes, the following is must read for you!

Friday, October 14th, 2005

Best Practices for Time Travelers

I was quoted in Ha'aretz

Monday, October 3rd, 2005

Thanks to my attendance every day in the “100% art” festival and to my being one of the crazy minority who attended screenings of short movies and video clips, I was quoted.

Jack W. Reeves' opinion that Code Is Design - an exercise in outdated concepts

Thursday, March 3rd, 2005

In http://www.developerdotstar.com/mag/articles/reeves_design_main.html there are links to three essays by Jack W. Reeves, in which he claims that source code is software design, and that the software design process contains both high level design, coding, debugging and testing.
According to his point of view, software testing is the equivalent in software engineering of testing airplane models in wind tunnels in aeronautical engineering.

Now, the question is why haven’t people thought of this at the beginning of computer era?

One possibility is that the languages available for building the software for the first computers were very very very low level. Assemblers were nonexistent or very primitive. Compilers were not there yet, either.

Therefore, people had to do the equivalent of modern software building by hand. They had to manually translate their ideas into machine language (or low level assembly language), adjust addresses and offsets by hand, link code pieces by hand. In short, they had to manufacture software (in Reeves’ sense of the word) by hand. The process was relatively labor intensive. Therefore, at the early years of the computer era, design was really separate from coding, more or less.

However, the sixty years, which elapsed since those days, brought us better assemblers, good compilers and high-level programming languages. There were also changes in software development processes. However, our concepts about software design and manufacturing did not change to fit the new reality - until Reeves pointed out the discrepancy.

The brave new business buzzwords

Monday, November 29th, 2004

Eric Sink (blog at http://software.ericsink.com/) wrote about Micro-ISVs - one-man companies which develop software. His articles are: Exploring Micro-ISVs and First Report from My Micro-ISV.

Some enterprising souls started a special Web site for Micro-ISVs at http://www.microisv.com/.

I wonder how many months will elapse before we are swamped by Web sites, courses, seminars, How-to-do books and other merchandise about Micro-ISVs and Micro-business in general.

Risk management is often not culturally acceptable

Monday, October 25th, 2004

Yesterday I at last received the book “Waltzing with Bears” by Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister. The book is about managing risk on software projects. The book was ordered few weeks ago (together with few other books) from Com.Books. Due to difficulties in obtaining this out-of-print book, it arrived few weeks after the other books.

As I read the book, and as I recall an argument I had yesterday with someone, I notice the fact that several people, even apparently rational ones, employ magic based thinking. They say that if you mention a risk, the very fact that you mention, or even think about, a risk dramatically increases the probability it will materialize. They say it when I want to practice risk management together with me.

I would like to suggest the following magic antidote: while it may be magicallytrue that if you think about a risk, you may cause it to materialize. However, if you think about a risk with the mindset of managing it, and then you do something to mitigate the risk, and you have a plan how to deal with the risk, should it materialize - then the very fact you are thinking about all those things magically reduces the probability of materialization of the risk. Furthermore, even if risk does materialize, then it would do so in a tempered way, without incurring annoyance, anger. Sometimes even with a feeling of excitement about the unexpected adventure, which brings some interest to one’s life.