Archive for September, 2003


Ah, these designers

Our marketing people are working with a design firm on a new web site design. The browser used in the mockups is — get this — Internet Explorer 4 for the Mac. Weird.


New attitude toward email

When I first read what Joel Spolsky had to say about how task switching was harmful (as in, there is no such thing as multitasking), I thought that what he had to say was interesting and probably right on the mark. At the same time, though, I was quite enamored with the idea of instant messaging and chat as a valuable tool for collaboration in the workplace, especially as Jabber was bursting onto the scene.

So I blithely ignored Joel’s advice. I also ignored the steady stream of writing about the tyranny of email. And you know what? I’ve begun to regret it. Email’s great, but I’ve allowed myself to be controlled by it.

Live and learn. I now check my email only a couple times a day and am on IM on only when I’m not coding and can tolerate interruptions. When not reading email, I close the application. I’m not nearly ready to go to the extreme that Sterling Hughes has, but already I’m getting a whole lot more done and feel better about my day.



A look at XCode: Apple’s Answer to Visual Studio. I’m unlikely to use it anytime soon, but it looks pretty cool. This tickled my fancy:

Distributed builds. Using Apple’s Rendezvous networking, a workstation will check for other compilation workstations on the network that can build some of the needed modules. If it finds any, it ships the code over and awaits the return files

Nifty. And even cooler: it comes “free” with the operating system.

But I don’t do development where XCode would be useful, certainly not on my mac. So I’ll most likely fire it up, play with it a bit, and never look at it again. Kinda like I did with Project Builder. Great stuff; I just have no immediate use for it.

I’m on the verge of switching to Eclipse, though, especially as it looks like I’ll soon be using Java at work. About damn time. With EPIC (Perl plugins for Eclipse) and PHPEclipse (I give you one guess what that is), I’m about set.


Macromedia’s going after the J2EE crowd.

With a project code-named Royale, Macromedia is targeting server-side Java developers. They’re really pushing the idea of rich Internet applications, especially in the enterprise. With MX, J2EE developers got Flash Remoting, and now this. Is anyone biting?

At least we can expect another highly amusing roung of “Macromedia’s trying to turn the Web into its own proprietary playground!” bitching and moaning.



BufferTabs, a jEdit plugin that lets you switch between buffers using tabs rather than the default dang-blasted pull-down menu. That pull-down menu has been my biggest complaint against jEdit. Being able to switch easily between files is a deal-breaker: it’s so important that I’ll stop using an editor if I can’t do it. Tiny frustrations add up.

Yes, I know I can use the keyboard. But when my hands aren’t on the keyboard, I really like tabs. And when I’ve got more than just a few files open, cycling through all the buffers to find the right one is annoying.


Words to live by.

Tim McGuire: “For me, if the chicken is even one step down the basement stairs, I lose interest.”

So true.

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