domingo, 23 de octubre de 2011

Introduction to (modern) Perl (course)

Barcelona Perl Mongers are organizing a 8 hours course on Perl intended for programmers that have no or little experience in Perl. It's not an introductory course to programming.

The course will be on November 5th, at UPC (Barcelona). 25 Euros for the course, and an exclusive T-Shirt.

I'll be there, maybe just listening, or helping answering questions.

viernes, 14 de octubre de 2011

I still think Perl

The other day, a friend asked how to split a string by commas, but only if they aren't inside a tag, say enclosed by '<' and '>'. I tried python, but somehow regexes are so hardwired in my head, that I can't work with languages that do not have regexen so hardwired in their heart.

Here it is. Tiny, but gets the job done. And that's what perl is for. a regex with lookbehind stuffed into split. No problem sir!

lunes, 10 de octubre de 2011

steve, the web, and innovation.

It's been less than a week a genius left us yada yada yada.....

Since last October 5, I've been thinking a lot about Alan Kay and I was waiting to see some references from sites talking about MrJobs to Mr.Kay.

Well, today I've seen it, and this post will be just a kudos to people knowing the real story, that Steve had great qualities, and was visionary in a very bright way, but he didn't invent the future. You know...

But the internetz has gone crazy on this, so I wanted to point out a couple of curiosities I've seen since then.

- First, a HN screenshot I did the 'day of the facts'.
- Then a post talking about Alan Kay, linked from a 'outstanding articles' widget, pairing with Steve.
- Now a great and long post about great things that happened at XEROX PARC, and things Jobs saw there, and how he implemented then in Apple. He didn't invent the mouse, but simplified it (in fact, Xerox didn't invent it either), he didn't invent GUI, but adopted it, and he didn't invent the iPad, but 'implemented' it, in the exact moment there was market for it.


Btw, if you wanna know more about Kay and friends, here is another post on this blog with amazing videos, or just check the internetz, or just download pharo/squeak.

Ready, set, Dart!

Today there's been the first official press info and release of Dart language. A class-based language developed by google.

Features: OOP, class-based, optionally typed, and thought for the web. It seems it'll have a client side debugger. (Hello amber! :p )

Lars Bak has been strongly involved in Dart, and given his smalltalk past life, it's sensible to say that we'll see some familiar things in there.

Today is the first day of AI classes in the standford open course. For the moment, browsing the notes of the first class...

See the flash bar in the top? :)

domingo, 9 de octubre de 2011

Emacs 24 is frozen

Emacs 24 entered the feature freeze state a couple of weeks ago, so it's the moment to install it and start fiddling with its new features (I want to try the editable occur buffer, and some asynchronous goodies for gnus).

There have been a couple of posts in planet emacsen that explain how easy is to install it in debian or ubuntu (natty).

The thing is that I use an older ubuntu version and I had to compile it myself. Not very problematic, but here's the couple of libs that I had to install before being able to compile it. Obviously, you'll need the usual binutils and dev tools. also you'll need these packages.

apt-get install autoconf texinfo libxpm-dev libgif-dev libgtk2.0-dev xserver-xorg-dev xorg-dev libfontconfig-dev libfreetype-dev libxft-dev # probably, not everything is needed, but once you warm up, apt-get is too easy.

Then, just get the code from the repo, and configure install in proper directory:

git clone 
cd emacs
./configure --prefix=~/emacs-24
make install

Now you have your emacs in ~/emacs-24/bin/emacs, and hopefully, everything will work from the beginning. I had to disable a couple of lines in my .emacs file, but just minor things.

Now it's time to try emacs-starter-kit 2.

martes, 4 de octubre de 2011

Is it really that bad? Seems so

In the last couple of days there's been quite a lot of ranting about overly complex software we have to manage daily. It applies to software we use (super-complex UI and over-featured apps) and software we develop Does it really make sense to deal with so many layers of added complexity to deal with mostly simple (conceptually) problems.

In those texts, they talk about 'old friends' like boost, SDL, Xcode, Objective-C, never-ending-toolchains, and supercomplex interfaces to third party software (APIs, security layers, etc.).

In my opinion, and without having spent as many years as those guys (or commenters at HN) on computers, it's true that the starting barrier to any new environment seems overly complex for the functionality we get. Most of the times, external tools solve deficiences of languages. Being a tool geek myself (probably, I have spent more hours than you trying and configuring window managers and editors), I have the feeling that entering most of new environments is more complex than it should be.

Want to do a rails app? no problem, you just have to handle a few technologies/tools:
ruby, rails, cucumber, rspec, rack, passenger, bundler, rvm, gems, html, js, ajax, css. Then, keeping compatibility with Chrome, firefox, safari, opera and, God forbid, IE.

Not bad, eh?

Well, if you want to write the views in a more confortable way, you can use haml, sass, compass, coffescript, that will compile to their ancestors, and will make you a happier person.

You see? (I hope you get the sarcasm)

Every now and then I think about Dan Ingalls quote:

"An operating system is a collection of things that don't fit into a language. There shouldn't be one"

And drool when thinking about smalltalk.