What happened to Dojo in 2008? This question was asked on StackOverflow. This is my personal take on the matter: on Dojo, jQuery, history, mistakes, marketing, social vs. technical, and communities.
Steve Yegge is one of the bloggers I read almost religiously. His posts are full of insights on the software development topics and in general, and he is always ready with an amusing anecdote from his rich life. His last post Have you ever legalized marijuana? didn’t disappoint either. The author explains “Shit’s Easy Syndrome” (a difficult topic even for seasoned bloggers) in a gay romp that takes a reader from a light-hearted review of a book on “bugs in our mental software” to hapless VPs to many technical difficulties of legalizing a psychoactive drug extracted from the plant Cannabis sativa.
F/OSS is a phenomenon of the modern life. But what makes it successful? Ben Laurie is convinced that Open Source Is Just Economics. I beg to differ. Yes, it does make sense for several companies to gang together and develop something jointly. And they did it for years without the open source. Not always successfully, but they did it. For example, IBM has cooperated with Microsoft on OS/2 back in the days, and there are more examples.
How long does it take to do a project? Software developers are asked this very question on regular basis. This is how every project begins. Why is it important? Because “time is money” and many software projects are priced mostly by time spent on the project. “We will take your project estimate in hours, multiply them by your rate in $/h, and we have our price.” Ask any consultant or IT staffer about that.
Let me give you one more definition of what computer programmers do: they design, build, and maintain complex systems. In many cases computer programs are more complex than “Hello, world!” examples. Way more complex. I am talking about the systems that have more branching possibilities than atoms in the universe. that cannot be verified using any formal methods in any practical timeframe. that cannot be tested with 100% code coverage in our lifetime.
Let’s take a look at Snakes & Rubies stats published on Google Video. But before that take a look at previous stats published on 1/27/2006. New stats include 5 more days covering 18 days of January 2006. Title Page views DownloadsSnakes and Rubies (Adrian’s Django presentation)1907Snakes and Rubies (David’s Rails presentation)16919Snakes and Rubies (Q&A session)892Snakes and Rubies (full)14912Totals59740 Lessons: More people read Django Community RSS feed than the news group, which was used for previous announcement.
Finally full Snakes & Rubies video went live on Google Video! And it took only 18 days to verify it (19 days, if you count when I started to upload it). Apparently the whole process of verification depends on file size nonlinearly. It cannot depend on content because it is a combination of smaller files: Adrian’s Django presentation, David’s Rails presentation, and Q&A session. Oh, well. And now is time for some stats (1/9/2006–1/27/2006):
Some time ago Jacob Kaplan-Moss released his documentary about Snakes & Rubies event. It is a must see video for all serious programmers working in different fields because it gives you a rare chance to understand the motives of two successful software projects. Pretty soon it became obvious that sending links to hefty files or torrents is not the best way to spread the word — people are lazy and distractible.
Brad Neuberg wrote a good article, which compares two different approaches to AJAX: thick client (e.g., Dojo style) and thin client (e.g., Prototype style). While it does a good job contrasting two approaches, I want to underscore that the underlying problem is a clash of two cultures between "local application" developers, and "web site" developers. There is no doubt that local applications create the most satisfying end-user experience. Their typical weakness is in restriction of underlying data to local installation, which makes any collaboration impossible.
Nowadays this question is asked frequently. A lot of guys in their 30s realize that they are the oldest guys in their groups. 20+ guys don’t see wise sages around. What is going on? It was debated on /. without any productive outcome (as usual). Let’s take a look at the problem using available statistics. One nice source of data is the National Center for Educational Statistics. I made a chart using Table 280.
Many programmers have DIY attitude. It is understandable: they want to do new exciting stuff themselves. In some cases it is perfectly reasonable: exotic functionality, special requirements, performance enhancements, and so on. Sometimes incorporating 3rd-party library makes overall API inconsistent, which is bad especially for programming tools, or big projects. There is a fine line between DIY and NIH, when DIY part is used without rational explanations. Of course, in some cases NIH is reasonable too, e.
Recently I looked at the stats of my web site. DreamHost provides Analog 6.0. I supplemented it with awstats. Plus there are some other means to analyze the traffic. Let’s put it this way: I know my average reader. I thought I did. Anyway I found a few surprises. The country list includes 77 countries. Out of 193. Not bad for a personal blog. Practically all Eurasian countries, and countries of both Americas are in the list.
Today I learned that this blog is ranked 775,745 by Technorati! It means that only 775,744 blogs are better than mine. Eat my dust you two nameless losers! I pledge to continue my standards of excellence and to grow my rank to at least 1,000,000. As a matter of fact I did almost everything I could for that. Now I have to find 224,255 people to join Technorati with their blogs… Damn this Technorati pyramid scheme!