Scott Guthrie and the Zend Framework

Scott Guthrie (who will cut you) is for the brand-new ASP.NET MVC Framework. Owing to the digitized, oral tradition of Internet-based evangelism, I have seen it in action via Jeffrey Palermo and Scott Hanselman and am very impressed. What is most important for me is that the design does not force you to use ASP.NET pages to render views. And, eventually, what is natural for me is to look for parity in the “open” world—the world of PHP. Man, did I find parity!

I am convinced that the Zend Framework is the spec’—the technical blueprint—for Microsoft’s ASP.NET MVC Framework. After watching these introductory videos by Mitchell Hashimoto, I am flippantly certain that Scott Guthrie hung out with the folks at Zend as PHP support improves in IIS.

Here are my highlights showing my support for the Zend Framework:

  • To use the marketing language of the Zend people, “We designed Zend Framework with simplicity in mind.” This is true for me. I am too mature of a developer to impress myself with meaningless complexity.
  • I prefer this framework over, say, symfony because it is an elegant, minimalist descendant of Microsoft/IBM OOP patterns and practices (instead of being influenced by Ruby on Rails patterns). The Zend Framework, by the way, is younger than the Rails-based PHP frameworks like symfony and had the advantage of responding to these elders before its release in June 2007.
  • This framework does not force you to render views exclusively in PHP. By using viewRenderer->setNoRender(true), getResponse()->setHeader() and getResponse()->setBody(), the controller can return JSON or XML—or something else (like PDF). I took a screenshot of the Bradford Cottel, Stas Malyshev webinar, “Building Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) with PHP and Zend Framework,” to show this. Scott Guthrie’s ASP.NET MVC Framework does a similar thing, which is a huge change for me as .NET Web developers are no longer ‘coerced’ or ‘tricked’ into building massive, proprietary surface area into their network resources.
  • IBM supports and promotes the Zend Framework. This should make IT managers—especially ones over huge Java-based shops using IBM application servers—sit up and take notice. Read “Understanding the Zend Framework, Part 1: The basics” at ibm.com.

The promise here is that Zend Framework and ASP.NET MVC Framework will allow me to build in PHP and ASP.NET using overlapping concepts. Even though PHP and ASP.NET are “very different,” to me they will ‘feel’ more ‘the same’ under the MVC conceptual umbrella. This should go a long way toward reducing the IT information overload continually threatening my sanity and appealing to my corpulent American greed.

2008’s Ten Worst Places to Be Black and Other Media Links

Buy this book at Amazon.com! “2008’s Ten Worst Places to be Black”

blackagendareport.com: “Evidently, the highest relative percentages of African Americans, if not the highest absolute numbers of black incarcerated are to be found in and near large concentrations of northern Blacks, or in states where African Americans make up a relatively small percentage of the population.”

“Sexual Consequences of Female Initiation Rites In Africa”

This John Tierney report remixed by kathmanduk2 and many others like it fail to explore the degradation in quality of any so-called African “rite” due to colonial pollution. It is just wrong to assume that modern Africans can function on par with their pre-Columbian ancestors. It should be no surprise that any modern African activities that require collective coordination, discipline, precision and meditative reverence are going to often end up totally botched, screwed up. There are very many excellent and poised African individuals in today’s world but very few effective and potent African groups—the powers of Indo-European origin need to keep it this way in order to maintain control over the colored majority masses on this planet. This is done not solely out of hatred but for the preservation of barbarian concepts of business and property as we captive people know it.

Cute Black History Articles on HowStuffWorks.com

I was shocked to find articles like “Why is Mesopotamia called the cradle of civilization?” or “Did the ancient Greeks get their ideas from the Africans?” on a site like HowStuffWorks.com. My assumption is that this is a “general education” Web site designed to attract a “universal” audience for the incredible seductive power of the promise of advertising dollars. So, once these articles appeared before my eye, the subsequent assumption was that the “level headed” voice of HowStuffWorks.com would quickly dismiss any African significance in the intellectual lineage of Greek “thought.” My assumption was not exactly correct. However, there is a danger of “finally” letting the truth out with a title like “Did the ancient Greeks get their ideas from the Africans?”. There are many, many Greek “ideas” for which Africans should not take responsibility!

Tom Hodgkinson on the politics of the people behind Facebook

In “With friends like these…,” Tom Hodgkinson exposes the real face behind Facebook, Peter Thiel: “But Thiel is more than just a clever and avaricious capitalist. He is a futurist philosopher and neocon activist. A philosophy graduate from Stanford, in 1998 he co-wrote a book called The Diversity Myth, which is a detailed attack on liberalism and the multiculturalist ideology that dominated Stanford. He claimed that the ‘multiculture’ led to a lessening of individual freedoms. While a student at Stanford, Thiel founded a rightwing journal, still up and running, called The Stanford Review— motto: Fiat Lux (‘Let there be light’). Thiel is a member of TheVanguard.Org, an internet-based neoconservative pressure group that was set up to attack MoveOn.org, a liberal pressure group that works on the web. Thiel calls himself ‘way libertarian’.”

Paul PrescodI welcome this Tom Hodgkinson article because it helps to explain (in small, large, small part) why I am not (right now) a net-net several hundred thousandaire (having made millions). There are devout white supremacists in the American IT industry that would rather have their business fail than let a Black man flex his raw intellectual power with clear and present supremacy on his private property.

A Michael Jordan on the basketball court is one thing. A Michael Jordan in the IT shop embarrassing some incompetent, co-workers with strained, racial overtones is quite another. Oh sure I can make mistakes and I am not perfect but the white IT business suffers colored fools lightly—and somehow I am still working quite well in this field for over a decade—with a pathetic lack of strategic obsequiousness. As a child I understood that any “logical” business leader was led solely by the bottom line and the inherent meritocracy of technology would lead me to great heights. Hah! Even though an IT giant like Paul Prescod may in sincere sympathy disagree with me (and Dare Obasanjo definitely, ironically would), the next time you hear Ed Dunn explode about “tech industry bigots” think of Peter Thiel.

Mono Uninstalled (for the moment)

In recognition that my old-ass version of VMware Workstation forces me to run an old-ass version of Ubuntu, I finally uninstalled Mono—mostly because MonoDevelop will not run on my old-ass platform (which a weak excuse for command-line pros). A new Ubuntu VM is (slowly) under development (with the latest version of VMware at the W2 gig) so Mono will be back relatively shortly.

My Linux Desktop-based development efforts are very ambitious and threaten (yet again) to make me a jack of all trades but master of none. Here is the intended coverage (in order of decreasing current activity):

  • Adobe Flex under Eclipse Europa with flex2ant.
  • PHP under Eclipse Europa (WTP).
  • Yahoo! Astra with Adobe Flex under Eclipse Europa.
  • Java with Apache tomcat under Eclipse Europa.
  • Java with Glassfish under an aging copy of NetBeans.

This is just too much for a self-described .NET developer to screw around with! So here are a few casualties of triage:

  • I dropped Google’s flexlib in favor of Yahoo! Astra. The opinion here is that Yahoo! (for the moment) has a better “developer community” culture than Google. This is just another way of me saying that I like Yahoo! documentation—and Douglas Crockford (even though he despises XML).
  • My Java Server Faces push is seriously stalled. My current employer’s sudden lack of interest in this technology (after a key evangelist of the technology quit) did not help matters.

Mono still has the promise of allowing me to move the bulk of my development chores to the Linux environment. I am confident that my server-related .NET solutions can make the transition (even while still connecting to a Microsoft SQL Server). In fact, my heavy Adobe Flex push in recent weeks is actually more dependent on a proprietary platform until I am more comfortable with playing, say, audio on Linux with a virtual machine.

Today’s Media Links

Buy this book at Amazon.com!Mary Seacole

Where are the serious, studious, African American (or African European) filmmakers making a touching, quiet, historical drama about Mary Seacole? Perhaps films like The Great Debaters will further encourage Black people with money and serious relations in the entertainment business (and education—like Dr. Bill Cosby) to make these small, educational films instead of making shit in an often unsuccessful attempt to “keep it real” and make money.

Steady B

Steady B straight up attempted a bank robbery back in the day. He comes out of the O.G. “gangsta rap” school, led by Schoolly D (who is on the Aqua Teen Hunger Force team by the way). Since I am no “hardcore” expert on thugnificence, my assumption is that there are few roughneck songs about robbing banks.

Steve Stoute

Record executive Steve Stoute should have interesting stuff to say about marketing and promotion in the new millenium. The sparse, bare, single-page website, http://www.translationmarketing.com/, reveals nothing about this dude’s secrets.

Buy this CD at Amazon.com!Juan Atkins

I saw Juan Atkins in High Tech Soul: The Creation of Techno Music. He has a real, cool vibe on the screen. This is in contrast to the loquacious rubbing of Derrick May who is casually (and affectionately) referred to as an “asshole.” You can see them both right now on YouTube.com in “Universal Techno Pt.1—Juan Atkins & Derrick May.”

Robin Wilson

I was introduced to Robin Wilson on the Nightly Business Report. It is interesting that her relatively successful business, Robin Wilson Home, sees serious limitations without a partnership with, say, a major hotel chain. What is more interesting is the content management system behind the Web site robinwilsonhome.com from asoundstrategy.com. It ‘feels’ like it’s a robust, slightly-aged-but-still-effective, homegrown, “small business” solution—something I would have dreamed building seven years ago.

Lisa Price

The two-minute interview of Lisa Price on YouTube.com is one introduction to the Carol’s Daughter brand. Anything that helps make my sisters naturally fragrant and radiant is worth a mention!

Dwayne McDuffie

I am disappointed to not be able to find the thick “graphic novel” compilations of Dwayne McDuffie’s work. dwaynemcduffie.com shows no signs of such reprints. My guess is that Static and Hardware would be interesting.

Canvas over UIComponent

Buy this book at Amazon.com!It turns out that UIComponent is too ‘low level’ for acting as a parent container of child objects. This becomes apparent when the UIComponent (acting as a parent) becomes itself a child of another container. The alternative is to use Canvas.

So my earlier journal entry heaping praise on UIComponent failed to see the situation when hierarchies of visual components are in the design. This learning experience might find me telling the truth when I say that Canvas is ‘optimized’ for an absolute positioned layout (and stacking objects) while Box is designed for the “flow” layout made popular by HTML.

My new declaration is that there is one (of many) relationship among UIComponent, Graphics, Canvas and any subclass of Container. Draw vectors with Graphics property of one or more UIComponent objects. Composite (swap the z-order) of these UIComponent objects on an instance of Canvas. When the paint dries, slide the Canvas into a subclass of Container.