Archive for July, 2006


I’m back home now. I already miss Toronto — I had an excellent time there. Andrew Overholt, Ben Konrath, and Tom Fitzsimmons showed me around town, thanks guys.

If you’re ever in Toronto, be sure to try Fressen, a great vegetarian restaurant. As far as I know there’s nothing like this in the Denver metro area. We also went to another great vegetarian place near U of T, but I forgot its name.

Ben and a couple of his friends took me out to Toronto’s island park on Saturday. Anthony had told me about the island a long time ago, but I had never been. Most of it is a big park but there is a funky residential area on one end… looks like a great place to live for a summer. Maybe someday.

I spent most of my time there talking. I’m surprised I didn’t lose my voice; I talked more last week than I do most months.


I’m in Toronto this week, visiting the office and talking with co-workers. It is as great here as always; I love the occasional visit to a big city, riding the subway, etc — doing the kinds of things you can’t do in Boulder. Seeing folks face-to-face occasionally is also very helpful for my morale; brainstorming and discussing what we’re doing is energizing.
Someone posted a link to the bumptop video on Mugshot today. I’m always entranced by these gee-whiz desktop ideas. This one is no different, I loved watching the video and then I made Andrew Overholt watch it too. Unfortunately he pointed out that if you watch it you may notice what you don’t see: any actual use of an application. And, it is pretty hard to see how this would improve my productivity at all. For one thing I barely even use Nautilus, so improvements to abstract document manipulation are not likely to do much for me.

I also read The Six Dumbest Ideas in Computer Security recently. This is interesting and easy to read. I often think that the most important frontier in programming is reliability, which is similar to his points about designing in security. Unfortunately this area isn’t sexy enough, so language and platform designers tend to focus on productivity and ease of hacking, rather than ease of getting things right. Java, IMO, started off with a nice reliability boost over C, but these days it is also headed down a bad road, what with AOP (which I really dislike) and the forthcoming XML-in-the-language thing.

kernel config

I ran across the Eclipse kernel configuration plugin today. I haven’t tried it — and I assume, forgive me, that it isn’t actually useful yet — but nevertheless I think this is a cool idea. First of all, any connection to the kernel is like magic dirt to rub on programs (in this case Eclipse) to make them more interesting. Second, the whole point of an IDE is to integrate the various development tools with an eye toward lessening the pointless drudgery that seems to typify programming. This seems like a natural fit.