//Comment This Out

Friday, December 26, 2003

Air Farce a Farce

Lately, I have become more and more disappointed with the Royal Canadian Air Farce. As each year progresses, they seem to be less funny. Also, some of their sketches have a strident anti Iraq war tone. I wouldn't mind it if it was funny (I do realize its comedy and not meant to be taken seriously) but its not. Also, Rogert Abbott's impersonation of Bush is one of the worst I have seen. I think part of their problem is that all the "good" politicians have dropped out of the political scene. "Good" in this context means politicians that are ripe for poking fun at. Joe Clark is gone ('yes, indeed'), Preston Manning's been gone for a while ('I love that word, Refooooorm!'), and now, Chretien's gone ('okayes for sures on dat'). Hopefully, the Farce will improve. Maybe they can haul John Morgan out of retirement and get rid of Jessica "I've impersonated Liza way too many times" Holmes. Otherwise, they may find their 'poopularity' on the wane.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

They've got him!

Well, they finally captured Saddam. I was a little surprised. Despite the US saying that he was at large, I felt that maybe he really was killed by one of the initial bombings in Iraq. He surrendered calmly to the US forces who raided his little fox hole (they are calling it a spider hole). Already there is talk about holding a trial. Will he call in Johnny Cochrane? ("If the beard doesn't fit, you must aquit.")

Languages, Tools, and the Market

The following thread on the Joel on Software's discussion forum got me thinking. Like one of the posters, I have a friend who used to do a lot of development in Smalltalk. He loved programming in the language and like the poster in the thread, praised the development tools. My question is, what makes a language "good" (good being a subjective term at times)? It seems to me that one of the main reasons that my friend and the poster liked developing in the language was not necessarily because of the language itself, but of the tools that were used to develop with. (Then again, I am not familiar with Smalltalk or any weakly typed languages so I cannot comment on that aspect directly.) But I view tools as a separate entity from the language. Any language could have tools made for it that will greatly enhance the development process. So, does one choose a language because of the language itself or does one choose it because of the tools it has? Or is it a combination of both of those factors? I also think there is a third factor which was also discussed in the thread. Does one go to where the market is? It seems to me that much development follows trends. Whatever language (or language plus tools) is currently "hot" that is where the developers go. I may love Java and wish to continue programming in Java but if ten years down the road another language is in vogue, chances are I may be programming in that language. When I was in university, one of the courses used Eiffel to teach the course. When I went out into the "real world", I told my former boss who said, "oh there's a marketable skill." And my friend? Well, he's now doing development in VB (which is ruining his programming style, he says) and intends on doing future development in either Java or C#.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Geneva in New York

Read an interesting article about a recent Geneva "love-fest" held in New York. Features commentary about the Geneva "understandings" and a first hand account of New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman getting physical. Will Beilin and company have their way? Only time will tell.

Tuesday, December 9, 2003

Jackie, Hershel, and Mr. T

I saw The Simpsons last Sunday night which featured the return of Jackie Mason as Krusty The Clown's (formerly Hershel Krustovski) rabbi father. It was pretty funny, though Mr. T was woefully out of place (I pity the fool writer who thought that was funny!). Best line (when Krusty laments at finding out he's not Jewish): "I thought I was a self hating Jew, now I find out I'm just a regular anti semite."