Michael Weber: Random Bits and Pieces


2005-09-18 :: /programming
via Bernard Notarianni:

The important part is not the code: it is the upper part with classes, protocols and methods. Programming with Smalltalk is actually creating meaningful class's names, meaningful methods names and organize them into self explicatory protocols. Jeez, those guys understood every thing 30 years ago!!
Squeak Smalltalk code browser

Erlang IDEs could benefit from a Smalltalk-like browser for messages, I believe.

However, some considerations would have to be made. First, Erlang supports not only synchronous messages (RPC) between objects (processes), but also asynchronous messages (default in Erlang), which have no equivalent in Smalltalk. Also, neither messages nor protocols need to be declared explicitly in Erlang.

Alas, not all is lost. It might make sense to consider OTP applications first, because it is easier to extract message declarations from them. Additionally, ErlAna from Mario Joussen extracts the communication structure of distributed Erlang programs. This method could as well be used to provide browsing facilities.

I wonder whether Distel could be extended with such a protocol/message browser.

via LtU:

I seem to have missed the previously discussed PLT Redex tool, A Visual Environment for Developing Context-Sensitive Term Rewriting Systems.

Thesis Avoidance

2005-09-12 :: /science

How to do Research At the MIT AI Lab contains some well-meant advice:

There is a well-understood phenomenon known as thesis avoidance, whereby you suddenly find fixing obscure bugs in an obsolete operating system to be utterly fascinating and of paramount importance. This is invariably a semiconscious way of getting out of working on one's thesis. Be aware that's what you are doing. (This document is itself an example of thesis avoidance on the part of its authors.)

Threads Cannot be Implemented as a Library

I read Hans Boehm's paper earlier this year, but good to be reminded of it.


2005-09-07 :: /events
via Netzstaub:

Dang! Apparently I managed to miss all events at Pirateria-Halle in Cologne. Sounds like it would have been fun...

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