Well that's an anachronism, and no mistake

I'm installing the beta of Office 2010 (solves my problem of not being able to get a decent, gratis office suite, at least until November of next year). Check out the icon for the installer though - anachronistic in so many ways ... 16 bit colour, CRT monitor, boxed software, floppy disks (I mean, c'mon, FLOPPY DISKS?). I know its a standard, long running installer icon, but you'd think they could have found a more modern one. Just saying.

Little annoyances in Java

I have a couple proposals for some syntactic sugar in Java, that fix a bunch of minor annoyances.

  1. Make Map iterable.
    That is, Map<K,V> should extend Iterable<Map.Entry<K,V>>, such that Map.iterator() behaves exactly like Map.entrySet().iterator() - it would save the extra ".entrySet()" in all those for-each loops, as well as making it easier to switch data structures from a List or Set to a Map.

  2. Speaking of for-each loops, they should check for null in their iterable part. It lets you replace this code:
    Iterable<E> collection = methodThatMayReturnNull();
    if (collection != null) {
    for (E element : collection) {
    //do stuff ...
    with this, which seems to be sensible and much cleaner:
    for (E element : methodThatMayReturnNull()) {
    //do stuff ...


Because that makes everything better ...

A snippet from an article on browser market share:

Microsoft’s [share of the browser market] has continued to decline, to 66 percent from 72, though it argues that most of that loss has been on computers that don’t readily support Internet Explorer, like those from Apple

So a 6% market loss for IE isn't that bad, because most of that comes from computers that don't run IE (or, put another way, computers that don't run Microsoft Windows). I'm sure they're thrilled with that excuse.


Google Chrome "OS"

Well, Google is coming out with another operating system. I don't think Microsoft should be worried quite yet though. Basically, as I read it, their new OS is basically just Chrome dropped on top of a minimal Linux kernel, optimized for quick boot times. All the "programs" will run off the web. Its actually not a terrible idea, but it will be fairly limited in terms of functionality - effectively a thin client for webapps. I can see it taking off on netbooks, but not much else. If you're someone with multiple computers, it might work for you - Google's services for email, feed reading, etc. may not have as many features as desktop clients, but the ability to have them automatically set up, synchronized, and available from any computer with a web connection is a major win. There are plenty of games online, and a few decent web clients for instant messaging. About the only type of program I can't see this really replacing is a media jukebox. There's always YouTube, and plenty of music streaming sites (even legit ones), but, to as best as I can understand Chrome OS from the limited information available, won't likely be able to take advantage of anything (like music) stored on a local hard drive - in fact, Chrome OS systems likely won't have a local hard drive beyond a small, fast SSD for the system files and browser temporary files - I think we'll see some thin, light netbooks, with ridiculously long battery life, but the trade off will be that all their applications will depend on a web connection - they'll be "thin clients", in multiple senses of the phrase (I think I'll call them "webbooks" - lets see if it catches on). Very interesting.



I've noticed something - the prefix "neo-" (meaning "new") is often added to political/sociological views with a pejorative connotation ("neo-conservative" would be the canonical example of this phenomenon, but I'm sure you could think of others). Whatever happened to the Matrix, where Neo was wicked cool? I'm declaring myself a neo-neoist ("one dedicated to putting a positive connotation on the prefix 'neo-'"). I've done a Google search, and there's some guy with a blog called "neoneoism", but I don't think the name is otherwise taken. Due to this, I've declared myself Grand Oracle of neo-neoism, and am accepting applications for lackeys.

Ok folks, show's over - that's my random wackiness for tonight. Peace.


A new model for browser extensions

I'll open with my standard disclaimer: I haven't investigated this in any detail, nor do I have any experience developing browser extensions. That said, this is a blog - rampant, uneducated speculation is my speciality.

Mozilla is releasing a new extensions framework named "Jetpack". The main feature of this API is that installing an extension would not require a browser restart. Now, its still in early beta, and the security framework hasn't been completed yet, but, if I may speculate, this may be a useful model for browser extensions. The main thing that catches my attention is that this appears to be an API of some sort - if I understand the current extensions model correctly, they basically work as patches to the browser, re-writing chunks of its code. (The last sentence implies that Jetpack will deprecate the current extensions model - as well as I can tell, that is not the case.) Now, back to this being an API - instant install/uninstall (I assume) is nice - a good security model is a must have - but, beyond that, I could see other browsers implementing Jetpack. Firefox is great, and I love its customization options, fair desktop integration, and good rendering - but it is a bit heavyweight - some of the webkit browsers coming up show promise, but the customization is a bit lacking - this could be a useful common ground. Just saying.


I am not a beta tester

Operating system stats: Windows 7: 0.41% market share, Linux: 1% market share. Win 7 isn't even gold master yet. (Windows 2000 has 1.2% - its coming up on a decade old ...) This is not the year of the Linux desktop. Nor is that year in the foreseeable future. Sorry, Linux fans, y'all come back now.


Opinion: yes. Knowledge: no. Ahh, the blogosphere!

So, as the title suggests, I know nothing about royal protocol, or naming horses. Still, reading this article that talked about the Queen being given a horse renamed George (after her grandfather), it occured to me that I would likely be slightly insulted if someone gave me an animal named after a member of my family. Just saying.