Why I Loved Living In Europe

I have friends who are baffled as to why I love Europe so much.  I can understand that; there’s a lot about Europe that is easy to dislike.  Germans do tend to be blunt, French (Parisians, in particular) can be politically incorrect, and the postal service – like a lot of business – in Italy can be positively glacial. And to be fair, Americans have their own (mostly justifiable) stereotypes in Europe.

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The power of ad-hoc interfaces

That’s not a technical term; it doesn’t mean anything by itself.  But since Go doesn’t have a term (or I’m not aware of it) for the particular flavor of type interfaces it supports, I’m calling Go’s interfaces “ad-hoc interfaces.” I keep being tickled by Go’s submarine features.  These are things which aren’t touted with any fanfare, but which I find more useful as I gain experience with the language.  In this case, the feature I’m growing increasingly fond of is the fact that types are not tightly coupled to interfaces; this is in contrast to Java objects, which are tightly coupled to interfaces.

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Now *this* is interesting

I needed to compare some images for something at work and have been trying a few different approaches.  Since I wrote the application that’s using it in Go, and since this was going to be called tens of thousands of times, I was looking for a Go library rather than something I’d have to fork off a bunch.  I ended up implementing a couple of libraries, and one of these was a near-line-for-line clone of the pdiff application.

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Programming satisfaction

The satisfaction quotient is very high with Go.  This post isn’t so much about Go, per se, except that I’ve been getting a high amount of satisfaction with my Go programs. I moved into management last year, and I don’t have much time for coding any more.  I work more managing than I did programming; most of my week is spent in meetings, which means that to get any of my tasks done, I have to put in more hours than the standard 40.

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Go and Java

I recently had to write something in Java again, and was struck by the fact that – with Java – absence does not make the heart grow fonder. The little test application just read in an HTML file and broke it out into pieces – a prefix, containing everything up to and including the tag, the inner body HTML, and a suffix including the close body tag and everything after it.  It was just a sanity test for some regexp in Java.

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Go revelations

Hoo boy.  There are some things which need to percolate in my subconscious for a while before I figure them out; when my brain accomplishes this feat, it’s a thoroughly enjoyable revelation.  When I was 20, it would happen in hours, or overnight; now it seems to take a bit longer (a couple of days), but I still enjoy it just as much. Go has a sort of multiple inheritance based on a rule called shallowest-first.

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Ruby vs. Go... FIGHT!

Only sorta-kinda.  I’ve been trying to use Go for some tasks for which I’d normally reach to Ruby; most recently was grabbing some date elements from a large-ish XML file.  I know, I know… Ruby has the best XML library ever built into it, but I’m more aware than anybody of the performance issues it has, so I tend to use it for only very small files.  So when I needed to extract some information out of this fat XML, I thought I’d try Go.

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Mozilla's Rust Language

Mozilla released version 0.1 of it’s programming language offering called Rust.  There are a number of things about Rust which are nice; it uses LLVM, which means it gets tail-call-optimization, which Go doesn’t have; it has isolated, lightweight tasks, and channels much like Go; I’ve come across discussions about Erlang-style supervisors, which is encouraging; it has a Ruby-like syntax for closures; it has some limited type inferrence (very similar in scope to what Go can do); and it has pattern matching a-la OCaml, which Go doesn’t.

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Droid Incredible 2

I have a new company phone; I got it yesterday, and have been spending the usual amount of time getting it set up and playing with it.  I’m pleasantly surprised by the battery life, actually; at the time of this writing, the phone has been on for 31 hours and has about 40% battery left; 39% has been used by the display.  I don’t know how much time I’ve spent in calls, but I’ve made or received 12 of them in that 31 hours.  Not too shabby.

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The cult of technology personality

Recently, I’ve come to the conclusion that products are irrelevant; popularity is all in branding and marketing. Us developers (of hardware and software) like to kid ourselves into thinking that we’re the ones who do the “real work,” but really, it’s the sales and marketing people who are the backbone. Apple didn’t “invent” the smartphone, any more than they invented the MP3 player (they were three years late on that), or the laptop, or the slate PC (again, late by several years), or any of the other stuff they’ve been successful with in the past ten years..

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