Much has been made over Paul Graham’s famous posting about how Lisp gave his startup Viaweb an advantage over the competition. Graham’s thesis is that there are features in the Lisp language that could be leveraged to make his programming team more productive and better able to respond to customer needs. The idea that a programming language will […]
Catching up on some reading
Never seen this done before.
Ruby rescue learnings
Learned that rescue in Ruby does not rescue LoadErrors. You need to explicitly rescue anything that is not a subclass of StandardError
More details at http://whynotwiki.com/Ruby_/_Exception_handling
Trying out Cappuccino
Built out a demo Cappuccino application. Don’t like the Objective-J syntax much, but very cool GUI tools that may be very helpful for my current project.
Renoir and Arthritis
Went to the Late Renoir exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art today. Was amazed at how arthritis crippled his hands and yet he was still able to persevere and still make beautiful things. Very motivating.
Rails / MySQL / Concurrency
Learned a lot about Rails, MySQL and concurrency. Yehuda wrote a great post on threads that was very helpful interesting. Wound up prototyping with MySqlPlus and MySQL2. I now understand why Merb was created and wished my application was based on it rather than Rails. I am not looking forward to the work that it will take to migrate to Rails 3.
if statements do not introduce scope in Ruby.
I had no idea.
The Missing Rule of Productivity
In my browsing travels today, I stumbled upon the Rules of Productivity. Really interesting presentation and many good rules of thumb. But one thing I believe they missed.
One of the key conclusions of the presentation is that working > 40 hrs per week will result in a short performance boost followed by a productivity drag. So you should always try to have your teams work 40 hour weeks, right.
Well one thing that is not considered in the presentation is that not all days can be considered equal. There are periods where pushing the team harder in the short-term can result in huge wins, even if you have to pay for it during a refractory period after the exertion. Some examples of this:
- Your company has an opportunity to present at once-a-year conference/trade show coming up. A burst of productivity ahead of this may be worth sacrificing productivity from the team after
- There is a scheduled vacation coming up. Should we ramp up the week before Thanksgiving or Christmas knowing that the next week is going to result in sub-optimal performance anyhow?
The Great Derangement and what I learned about Congressional earmarks.
Last night/this morning read The Great Derangement by Matt Taibbi. Taibbi is one of my favorite writers, especially when he is revealing the relationship between corporate influence buyers and politicians. What I would recommend reading in the book are his interludes on how laws actually get made (hint, not like this, which of course inspired this fantastic Simpsons clip). Learning about how earmarks actually get put into a bill, about how the Rules Committee works, was fantastic and why you want to read a book like this.
As for the overall book, very disappointed. The parts on evangelical Christians were predictable, the parts about the Truthers just sad. Reminds me much more of Malcolm Gladwell’s stuff; Taibbi has taken what would have been a fascinating 10 page magazine articles and stretched it out into a book.
Ike and the Interstate Highway System
Dwight D. Eisenhower's experience as a member of the first 1919 Transcontinental Convoy on the Lincoln Highway and his appreciation for the German Autobahn system he gained during World War II led him to his initiate support for the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 and the establishment of the Interstate Highway System.
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