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.