“Programming is not a craft” and other links…

Dan North: “So what does this have to do with software? Well it seems to me the most [successful] programmers I’ve encountered don’t craft software; they write software in order to move information around, in order to get something done. Information is the real deal—the software just defines the space that it moves around in. For those programmers, success is about getting information from point A where it’s currently languishing to point B where it’s going to actually be useful, as quickly and effectively as they can. Success in a UI is about rendering or capturing exactly the information that will be useful —no less and certainly no more—in a succinct, obvious way. The software is incidental, a detail, hidden away in the wings, and it is ultimately entirely disposable.”

“More on Microsoft ‘Jupiter’ and what it means for Windows 8”

Mary Jo Foley: “One of my contacts described Jupiter this way: ‘It has to do with XAML + Native Code on slate/iPad-like devices. I think this is Microsoft’s approach for putting Windows on the smaller device without the bloat.’”

“Navigate the Perilous World of Online Communities… With a Map?”

Terry Walsh: “Charting such perilous, changing seas requires constant vigilance, and as reported by TechCrunch, the XKCD cartographers have been busy updating their maps, releasing an all new view of the globe as it appears here in 2010. Dominated by the lands of Facebook, Twitter and yes, Farmville(!) the world is a very different place three years on, and is even more dangerous.”

“Introducing Moncai”

“Our plan is to release the service in stages, by first having a private beta, where we can control the initial load and work out the issues. From there, we will do a public beta, although this stage will not be very long. Our hope is to do the majority of the work during the private beta. Then, once the public beta is complete, we will release. We will be offering incentives during the beta periods by giving out credits to be applied to your accounts or by sending out swag, like stickers and t-shirts, based on the level feedback and involvement.”

“C++ Fake Interview”

Not Bjarne Stroustrup: “Well, one day, when I was sitting in my office, I thought of this little scheme, which would redress the balance a little. I thought ‘I wonder what would happen, if there were a language so complicated, so difficult to learn, that nobody would ever be able to swamp the market with programmers?’”

“Back to (Parallel) Basics: Don’t Block Your Threads, Make Async I/O Work For You”

Scott Hanselman via Chris Alcock: “I’m no expert in parallelism (I’ve read a great whitepaper...) but I asked Stephen Toub if this was the best and recommended way to solve this problem. Stephen responded from a plane using (his words) ‘email compiled and tested’ examples. With his permission, I’ve included a derivation of his response here in this blog post for my own, and possibly your, edification.”

“The rsync algorithm”

Andrew Tridgell and Paul Mackerras: “The algorithm identifies parts of the source file which are identical to some part of the destination file, and only sends those parts which cannot be matched in this way. Effectively, the algorithm computes a set of differences without having both files on the same machine. The algorithm works best when the files are similar, but will also function correctly and reasonably efficiently when the files are quite different.” Why doesn’t Microsoft implement this algorithm in Windows?


John Sheehan: “I was recently a guest on the Herding Code podcast to talk about RestSharp. The episode also covers my new job at Twilio, the .NET OSS landscape and me mentioning Bing two too many times. The episode was a lot of fun to record. Thanks to Jon Galloway, Kevin Dente, K. Scott Allen and Scott Koon for having me on!” Moment: Paul Feyerabend

“Starting from the argument that a historical universal scientific method does not exist, Feyerabend argues that science does not deserve its privileged status in western society. Since scientific points of view do not arise from using a universal method which guarantees high quality conclusions, he thought that there is no justification for valuing scientific claims over claims by other ideologies like religions. Feyerabend also argued that scientific accomplishments such as the moon landings are no compelling reason to give science a special status. In his opinion, it is not fair to use scientific assumptions about which problems are worth solving in order to judge the merit of other ideologies. Additionally, success by scientists has traditionally involved non-scientific elements, such as inspiration from mythical or religious sources.”