Saturday, March 22, 2008

Get your types straight

There is an excellent article about trends in programming languages in the 01/2008 issue of OBJEKTspectrum .

One thing I finally got straight are the different terms concerning type-systems. I tried to capture my insights in a sketch:


Casting is a mechanism of statically typed languages to defer type checking to runtime and basically behave like a dynamically typed language.

Type Inference is a mechanism of statically typed languages that lets the compiler decide automatically about types. This must not be confused with weak typing.

Duck-Typing is a mechanism where the structure of the actual object matters, and not its declared type. Usually this is used in combination with dynamically typing, but surprisingly it is also used in statically typed languages.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Here Comes Another Bubble

I could't resist to put this on my blog... fully knowing to be complying with the cliché.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Don't lure us into temptation...


Thou shalt not follow the NULL pointer, for chaos and madness await thee at its end.

-- The Ten Commandments
for C Programmers

Monday, March 10, 2008

OS X: Terminal Tips

Here some tips which should improve your experiences with the Terminal in OS X:

  • Install Open Terminal Here.
  • open opens a Finder Window from the command line.
  • Terminal supports tabs in Leopard: Just press Command-T.
  • Jump to the beginning/end of your command line with Shift-Home/Shift-End (fn-Shift-Left/ fn-Shift-Right on MacBooks)
  • Sunday, March 9, 2008

    What color has your box?


    In reality everything is a gray box!

    -- Dave Thomas,

    Episode 86 of Software Engineering Radio is an interesting and thought provoking interview with Dave Thomas.

    Here some quotes:
  • Object technology is creating a legacy that is probably as bad or worse than previous technologies.
  • I think frameworks are a really bad idea.
  • Frameworks are a DSL encoded in an object structure.
  • Frameworks are kind of half finished work, but intentionally so.
  • Normal people should not have to live inside a framework, they should be able to just use it like a component or service.
  • [Components failed because] we shipped frameworks and not components.
  • Does SOA have an architectural style?
  • Java became a weed-language that killed off all other languages.
  • In the end KLOCs kill!
  • The ideal language from my perspective would take the best from smalltalk, scheme and APL.
  • I am not a confident haskell programmer: I am a stateful sinner!
  • Industrial relevance has actually hurt research.
  • Find somebody who is really good and try to work with them ... work with the best, or you will actually start believing that you are the best.
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