Friday, 5 December 2008

Hello Grails

Well now, this Grails development framework seems to have a lot of promise. After 15 years, and several steps backwards towards hackland, its nice to see a framework that leverages the power of Java while providing a layer that heads towards a RAD / agile development model. This product is not the ultimate though, but might be a key part of the mix. I still want to see an IDE that includes something like,

  • a smart screen painter, that is productive in ways similar to 4GL desktop IDEs of the 1990's, such as Oracle Forms, Powerbuilder or Delphi, and / or
  • a GUI and logic generator, with equivalent power to Oracle Generator for Forms and for Reports
Oh and of course they should be open-source and free.

I am about to plug Grails into Eclipse. Let's see how much more this will give. I might need to try a few IDEs yet. It also seems that there might be a few good plugins that will provide GUI painters, as web pages and screens for mobile devices. Then next I want to export or recreate a data model that I had in Oracle Designer2000 into Grails as a domain model. So much to do ... so little time.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Twitter, Flickr, Facebook Make Blogs Look So 2004 - part 2

Time to re-read all of  this opinion, and get my thoughts in order.

"The blogosphere, once a freshwater oasis of folksy self-expression and clever thought, has been flooded by a tsunami of paid bilge. Cut-rate journalists and underground marketing campaigns now drown out the authentic voices of amateur wordsmiths."
This is probably right. But does that matter? It depends on why you are blogging in the first place. its a personal thing...

"It's almost impossible to get noticed, except by hecklers."
Um, Ok so you are blogging to get noticed. I understand that many artists and authors do what they do because they feel happy, driven, compelled to do so, and many have not the remotest thoughts about nor wish to to noticed. They produce because they can, and want to, irrespective of who might or might not notice. Personally, I might not consider myself to be an artist, but I am happy to write stuff from time to time, ie get thoughts on paper so to speak. So I do. Hecklers; yup, you get them. I problem with the internet, and especially if you produce anything to do with software or internet technology etc, is that you are likely to attract young juvenile nerdy guys who have low social skills and no interest in relating positively to others. So you will get rude, arrogant (often very badly written, and misspelt) responses. My advice about this: accept it, and ignore it.

"And why bother?"
See above.

"The time it takes to craft sharp, witty blog prose is better spent expressing yourself on Flickr, Facebook, or Twitter."
Twitter is designed for 160 character max thoughts. In this day and age of sound-bytes I can see its appeal for many. I am on Twitter, and see its use. However a blog is a different animal. Its a vehicle for writing anything from an opinion piece to an essay to an opus magnus. You don't usually go hooning round the beach in an offshore yacht, nor do you usually sail a sailboard offshore (well not very far anyway). Its all about horses for courses.

(This is partly an opinion piece, and partly done to test writing a quick post via linking on an email hyperlink/email client (See "How do I post via email?")

Home ‎(David Tangye, Gold Coast, Australia‎)

Home ‎(David Tangye, Gold Coast, Australia‎): "Welcome! to my base website featuring the following areas of expertise and interest ..."

Amazing! Web 2.0 at its best!

This blog shows how utterly cool it is to post articles to the internet, and blog and share them. This post is a great guinea pig. What I have done is:

  1. Set up the "Blog This!" link in my browser's links toolbar (see this Blogger help page). Now I can simply select any text on any web page and click that "Blog This!" link to initate a popup whereby I flesh out a quick blog. The popup editor to do this is a little basic but is adequate. For instance I had to switch it to html-mode to add code to make this list. Also I am not sure about how or whether I could add an image in. I think I would need to do that from the main editor at the blogsite. It would not be hard to add one later,eg a snapshot of me creating this now. However the editor has a standard button to add a link, eg to the "BlogThis!" help page, and also handles text Bolding, Italics, color, quoting via buttons. So this will be posted to whichever of my Blogger blogs I select.
  2. My Blogger blogs appear in my Google Reader, and from there, I normally Share the post, so it also appears in my "Google Shared Stuff"...
  3. which itself has a link on my Base Website ...
  4. which itself is the subject of this post.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Twitter, Flickr, Facebook Make Blogs Look So 2004

Oh dear, just when I felt good about starting to write the odd blog, an expert tells me how old hat I am, and that it is time to give it all away.

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Kiwi has a Skyline that runs on water

Another item on Youtube. I get the impression that there are a lot of people out there that have actually created serious alternatives to petro-carbon fuelled vehicles. In addition, my own neighbour here built an electric car about 20 years ago and ran it for a few years in Victoria, before he moved up here to the Gold Coast. It seems pretty obvious to me that petro-carbon fuelled vehicles will not exist within about 15 years. For existing vehicles, I guess there will be a massive industry in conversion of existing engines to run on the type of water-petrol source that is shown in this video.


Thursday, 14 August 2008

Where is Linux and LinuxWorld going?

Channel web reports that -

The LinuxWorld/Next Generation Data Center Show in San Francisco was expected to attract some 10,000 attendees. But some exhibiting vendors complained that attendance seemed far below that. Has Linux become so mainstream that a Linux-specific show no longer makes sense? ...Toward the end of the final day the announcer making a pitch at the Fusion IO booth called out: "And what do we call today? Vendor day! Where half the audience is vendors waiting to go home."

...booth for Canonical and its Ubuntu distribution of Linux also seemed popular with show-goers. Other major Linux distributors, including Novell and Red Hat, did not exhibit at the show.

Canonical had already cancelled their show that was planned for slightly earlier, presumably for lack of interest. So why are Linux shows failing to attract attendees? Here are my thoughts.

Re: 'Linux has become so mainstream that a Linux-specific show no longer makes sense?' Name anything that is mainstream, homeshows, boatshows, camping shows, pet shows and it always has plenty of attendees. However are Linux shows attended by a specialist interest group, not the general (computer using) public. If so, perhaps as soon as those specialists see all the trappings of mainstream dominating the show they opt out. I recently lead an exercise to gauge whether our local Linux users should incorporate to address and engage the business and the wider world more. There was almost no interest. So I see a pattern here? Are Linux users mainly developer types and software techoes who have little interest in the business world and the way it works. Are they composed of more than those who are just focussed on the technical side of creating stuff? Do they have any interest in anything beyond that? Or is the lack on attendance more that the wider business world has (still?) little interest in Linux? Or is it that they are running out of money in the USA to spend attending trade shows?

I also wonder how long it will actually take for Linux to become mainstream. I think the answer to that is in what we think of as 'mainstream'. As it stands, with what I take to be the general attitude of Linux people to the rest of the world, it seems to me that:

  • Linux will continue to slip quietly into corporate mainstream in various areas as if by stealth, but actually as much by chance and circumstance as anything. Linux as a community will continue to exist at level 0 of the CMM model, so individual successes in the business world will be by a combination of the achievements of individuals multiplied by the mass of the entire community, not by any formal systematic approach. Perhaps it will be be a 'natural systematic approach': as inevitable as the planet revolving round the sun, and the ultimate decay of the universe into atrophy.
  • Linux will not take on traditional proprietary technologies eg Microsoft windows and many business applications in head to head contests, simply because there will not be the infrastructure around it to compete, eg in contested contracts to supply.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

5 Most Popular Linux-hackable Gadgets

Linux is a powerful and versatile operating system that can be utilized to hack just about any electronic hardware device. To prove it, I have here a list of popular gadgets that are already known to run Linux.

read more | digg story

Lady on bike

Class act

Thursday, 5 June 2008

I mark Kevin Rudd's performance

Our new leader declared that he would be repeatedly marking himself and his government's performance. Nice sentiment Kevin. I think its the least we can do to help him out and do the same.

This guy has generally impressed me here and there, in a token sort of way mind you:

  1. He ratified Kyoto. At least that was some sort of leadership step forward, even if somewhat token, and qualified by declaring that Australia's main policy would wait until a certain boffin's report was released. However when the said boffins report was released he said he would file it for inclusions with other files and reports. Sweet sidestep there Kev.
  2. He had the strength to say 'Sorry' a few months ago, when arguably there was no political necessity nor gain to make of it.
  3. Now he is taking a leadership role in pushing Australia towards new types of vehicle engine technology, as per his announcement in parliament. I just hope this announcement will amount to more than that commission and subsequent filing of another boffin's report. Personally I want to see a Holden uranium powered ute come out of this initiative, or I am going to feel quite let down.
Anyway kudos for Kevin for at least trying to show some sort of leadership on a couple of issues. Can you imagine that wasted space PM that we had before ( what's his name again, either Robert Menzies II or was it George Bush III?) taking those sort of initiatives.

Friday, 23 May 2008

How to merge two national losses into a win.

According to ABC reports today:

  1. Losing space race: Aust lags in space race: Andy Thomas It seems apparent by the comments on this article, that your average Australian is totally confused about this issue: confusing the space-race and its possible spinoffs with science in general. The need to engage in the science, and in a space-race seem to be inextricably merged into the same argument. The space-race is at the heart of science, right? The best way to further science is via the space-race, right? That's the trouble with democracy: total idiots get the same vote.
  2. The Australian Greens leader Bob Brown has lost a last ditch attempt to stop the logging of Tasmania's Wielangta State Forest.
How to turn two loses into a win? I await the opinion to appear, that the fix for this problem will be to push harder for Australia's re-involvement in the space-race on the grounds that it will be instrumental in us finding a good place to live after we have logged planet Earth dry.

Will only the rich and powerful get to ride the dreamship to our new home in the next galaxy. If so, cant we get them into a rocket now, and launch them all soon, before they do any more damage. All the leaders in the logging industry will be in there, plus those from the mines, and Silicon Valley. After they are gone, perhaps everyone else will get to turn the logging machines off, and the fill back in the holes in the ground. We will have to make do with less silicon, so computers and artificially magnified breasts will all be lost in the dreamtime of your average nerd, logger and stripper.

Then again, will the rich and powerful round up the rest of us and send us off instead, while they stay here? Afterwards, will they and their robots fix the place up here for themselves. I wonder how they are going to pull that scam off. Let's see...
  • They covered up the Kennedy killing well so far, and
  • got away with complicity in the drug trade to fund the anti-Soviet forces in Afghanistan in the 80's even though the product was heading to their own GIs in Vietnam, and
  • got away with the WMD spin for long enough for their needs, after which only a few bush idiot's get the blame anyway, and
  • have covered up the 9/11 issues like 2 totally vapourised aircraft, and how the towers fell, and who really was pulling the strings there.
But conning an entire global population minus 5% to step off the planet, now that will take some doing. Is religion the answer? It worked in the past. It has kept man killing man in the name of God for centuries, at least until recently. The trouble lately though is that religion does not have the pull it used to. Even by Hitler's time they needed to move onto a ethnic/cultural issues, and exterminating Jews was not really the main thrust of Hitler's show. Political dogma like Communism vs Capitalism ran for less than one century. Since then, religious ferver has become more visible again, thanks in part to global telecommunications. On one side we have the religiously led nut-case God-fearing loonies in the USA, and on the other the entire Muslim world, if you want to believe the Yanks. However while American policy and spin goes round the world in a millisecond, the negative effects of Islam fervour only directly affect a few hundred at a time, as the odd religious loony has been convinced to step up, out and off, and take a few near them along. If it weren't for global telecommunications we would hardly know of it happening. (Q: How many died in Africa yesterday? No news = 0 died, right. Yet everyone gets to know that 3 died on the West Bank or 30 in Iraq.) Terrorist bombings has been a very fragmented effort so far, and I do not envisage your average Muslim taking it up as their new sport. To get 95% of the population to depart Earth one way or another, as shrapnel-fodder or in a rocket, is just not going to happen.

So the rich and powerful won't leave because they are too smart to commit suicide in a rocket, no matter how big it is, and the great unwashed will not leave because there is unlikely to be a single sufficiently powerful religion for them to follow into that abyss.So where does that leave us?

Right back here on Earth.
All of us.
Fighting to get to the top of the pile, that sits on an ever more barren and toxic dump.

Nice going religious loonies.
Nice going space-race nerds, and rat-race leaders.
Nice work.

Anyway, back to the topic:

Q: What is going to happen next in the Wielangta State Forest?
Its going to be logged in an 'environmentally responsible and sustainable' fashion.

Q:What are the long-term prospects for the Wielangta State Forest?
A:What Wielangta State Forest?

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

How to improve Australia

Taken from discussion posts at the ABC website following the release of the Australian Federal Budget tonight.

steve:13 May 2008 7:50:31pm

All Labour really needs to do is to reduce the level of government in this country. A good start would be get rid State Government across the nation and move services between Federal and the councils. In this all list of unnecessary tax's would be abolished and that would really help working family's.

One can only dream

alex: 13 May 2008 8:42:31pm
What do you suggest the thousands of state government workers do?
Rechoboam: 13 May 2008 9:14:28pm
Something productive, such as not working for the government.
Don: 13 May 2008 9:31:10pm
Many create work for themselves; or fight amongst themselves and need mediation. The "test" is/must be do I/does my job or output or input really add value to the nation as a whole?
If not, it is a government job that should go viz. police, traffic police, teachers, medicos sitting in offices faxing paper from Canberra to Sydney, Sydney to Darwin, George St to Albert St and back. Is that really work or is it simply "work" for the sake of "work". How does it add value to the nation as a whole?
craig: 13 May 2008 9:38:03pm
I agree the public service should be trimmed - many people who cannot find a job in the real world end up and public servants. I would however object to cutting nurse, doctor or teacher numbers - although I would agree there needs to eb more emphasis on removing dead wood, especially from teaching.
Nice sentiments Don and Craig. In an ideal world/country, I am sure that this is how it would work. I just wonder how do we get Australians to head towards this sort of ideal?

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Linux and Microsoft Windows; and computer viruses and karma

Viruses: Many people probably disbelieve my assertions that its virtually impossible to get viruses in Linux. The article 'Spyware/Viruses in Linux' by David Stone is worth reading.

"Creating a Linux virus is trivial but getting it out in the wild and infecting large amounts of systems is very difficult."
"Anti-virus software will never be needed in Linux..."
And to echo my more general feelings, that I have held for many years:
"The sooner Microsoft goes the route that IBM did the better for them, their stockholders, and everyone else. They need to find the niches they're best at, concentrate on those, learn to play well with others, and stop trying to compete against everyone else in the technology industry."
("zeebo on 05/11/2008 at this Digg article".)

If you read the book "Hard Drive", the story of Bill Gates and Microsoft, and follow the antics of the Monkey Man, you will not be holding your breath for this to happen though. Then again, perhaps its a case of 'one down, and only one to go". The problem even then is that institutions breed their own kind. How many more monkey men are there in there?

I remember that Gates was quoted as stating that 'open source' is 'anti-American'. I agree, you are correct Bill. and THAT is the trouble with America. The Great American dream involves freedom to succeed ... by "laissez-faire" capitalism? by trampling all over the rest of the world with your MacDonalds and your B2s and your Raptors? what exactly?

On a related note, I have always liked the way Oracle has viewed the software world, its place in it, and its take on such problems as Microsoft. (and that is not because I worked for them at one time.) For instance in the article "The State of Oracle Linux", Edward Screven, Oracle’s Chief Corporate Architect said:
“Microsoft and Microsoft Windows,” are the real enemy. “You know, we, as a company, we have a few large primary competitors. One of them is Microsoft. So Microsoft wants customers to deploy Windows as a vehicle for locking them into Microsoft’s monopoly. Linux is an important counterbalance to Microsoft’s strategy. We view Linux as a much better open choice for enterprise customers running x86 computers. So we really want Linux to succeed in that space. You know, of course we fight with Red Hat over customers, we fight with SuSE over customers. We’re competing with each other in this Linux space. But the real opposition here is Microsoft.”

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

And now for something completely different

Just this once, I shall mindlessly clone a web item from somewhere else, mainly because I think it is interesting.

Um actually, this is the second item in a row that I have mindlessly cloned from elsewhere.... oh well.

I will use the "Shared Items" facility within Google Reader to do this sort of thing in future. In fact I will place this item into there too, so that should set up an infinite loop between here and there :-)

Monday, 5 May 2008

Global ... or US meltdown

"There's going to be more pain." (WARREN BUFFETT: the world's richest person, warning that global financial markets still face further losses from the credit crisis)

OK, so the planet will be affected, but isn't this in fact mostly only a concern for the USA? It would be kinda nice to hear a few yanks say something like "I think the chooks are coming home to roost in our all American 100 trillion dollar deficit." instead of implying that whatever is their problem (in this case bankruptcy), is by implication a global problem. It might be a problem to varying degree to other economies that are closely linked to the USA, but surely there are a lot of countries that are not in marching towards the cliff in terminal lockstep with Uncle Sam.

OH, OK, so Warren is not predicting anything so dire. Fair enough, he has to keep a brave face doesn't he. After all he has quite a few pesos riding on not panicking the horses, doesn't he.

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Yet another home

I have now set up a hosted website that will probably be the permanent home for my professional stuff.
My personal cyberhome with links to whatever is current, and a description of their status remain at Google Groups.