Ruby ruby ruby…
November 25, 2013
Loving it… learned it years ago when it came out but then not used in in at least five years. Recently had cause to go back and develop an API server using Rack and all the other great stuff.
If only the PHP world was like the Ruby world…
Bye Bye iMac….
October 15, 2013
I am sorry Apple, but you mucked up beyond all recognition when some design genius decided to place a piece of glass in front of the display so that I can always see everything in in except the pixels trying to poke their way out to my retina. Sorry, but after trying and trying and trying I have had enough of fiddling with colour schemes, pulling the curtains, whatever.
Rumour has it the next ones will have an anti-glare coating.
I won’t be buying one.
In fact, I think I have decided to quit altogether and stick with *nix boxes I build myself from now on.
As much as I love the design, and being a software developer, as much as I love the BSD under the hood and all the security it brings… I give up trying to fit my ways of working to Aqua and all its dumb-ass keyboard short-cuts that constantly conflict with trying to use anything from macports.
Welcome back nice chunky dependable xmonad on mint….
Ruby Ruby Ruby!
October 15, 2013
I like it!
I first used Ruby when it came out many years ago, and at a time when I was heavily “into” Squeak Smalltalk. I stayed with Ruby for a few months and then moved on, dismissing it then as “just scripted Smalltalk”, which is in fact quite a big compliment because all these years later I still have an intense liking for Smalltalk and especially the (still) incredibly efficient IDE that comes with it.
In the last three weeks I have had to get back “into” Ruby; racks, grapes, gems, the full works and to be honest it feels far more efficient and better at earth-moving gestures from short bursts of code than PHP ever did.
In my last job, using PHP pretty much all of the time eventually sapped my will to live. Despite being Zend certified, it still feels like way too much physical typing. Maybe it is a library issue, maybe it was just me getting mentally tired and needing a change who knows.
In defense of PHP though, I had recently discovered and started using composer which does go some way to making library usage a little less painful.
Time will tell…
Prolog and headaches…
September 15, 2013
For reasons entirely inexplicable to myself I chose to rewrite FELT using GNU Prolog and despite declarative programmings’ best efforts to make me give up and go away I have stuck with it and in the last forty-eight hours things are looking cosy again.
I have been using Haskell on and off for a couple of years and I really thought that Parsec would be the way to go but somewhere in the back of my mind I always wanted to really really learn Prolog. I opted for GNU Prolog because it is still relatively small and simple to use but at the same time pretty fricking awesome in its capabilites. I can only say again a massive thanks to Daniel Diaz and his guys for making it so lovely to use.
I initially started using SWI Prolog but at the time of learning, it just seemed a bit too large and in your face with so many libraries that my head regularly went of swimming with the fishes. I looked around and found gprolog and I am glad I did. For starters, it feels like it did to be into the computing scene twenty five years ago; cutting edge, exciting, interesting and the sense that this is the golden hammer with which everything and anything is possible.
GNU Prolog has once of the nicest and easist FFI (foreign function interfaces) I have ever seen. It was only a matter of a few hours hacking before I had done things like dynamically loading any library (stopped there for technical reasons and Daniel says they are working on a module system too) and also I now have some GNU Prolog code that can use GFLW(b) although that’s another story!
Given that my head aches at times, and that I find the WAM/declarative way of thinking harder than Haskell was at times, I have perservered (failure is not an option) and I have now got a working lexer that translates the source into a list of terms, then the parser which makes sure that the s-expressions are well formed and I am finalising the post-lexer checking now; no sense wasting time if there are simple checks that can be done up front like making sure that all brackets are matched etc. I have my reasons for doing it that way, scalability and paralellism. I had a vision over twenty years ago of how I saw programming and it has taken that amount of time to get around it as life quite often gets in the way, not least in part because it is more important and more interesting.
Watch this space…
Coolio, a new job looms…
September 2, 2013
After two-and-a-half years at txtNation I decided I needed a change and no quicker than the blink of an eye the hand of fate intervened and I shall soon be starting a new job at vualto.
It’s always a good buzz to start a new job but always mixed with a small tinge of something or other as you leave a place where you got to know people. Still, I spent fourteen years as an I.T. contractor and if nothing else, you get used to settling in and then leaving on a regular basis.
VUALTO specialise in media and video delivery, something which I discovered I was also good at when I was at GOD.TV a long time ago so it will be nice to revisit some old skills. They use Ruby as the inter-box glue language but they are by no means limited to it which is great because I have over thirty languages on my C.V. as the last count and I am always up for learning another one.
I first played with Ruby when it first came out but I was heavily into Squeak Smalltalk at the time and I considered Ruby then to be “scripted Smalltalk” pretty much. It has blossomed since and I have had some good fun re-learning it.
I am really looking forward to starting at VUALTO that’s for sure!