Here’s a quick post to rant about something that’s been affecting me for the last couple of days.
Recently I find myself toying around with libgdx to work on a game that I’ve been meaning to develop for a while. The problem with this library is that apparently, all Vector2 functions affect the actual vector on which they are invoked. This goes against the Java standard of immutability for non-primitive types and is incredibly annoying, especially because these functions will also return the vector for chaining.
Why is this annoying? Well, when you’re used to the Java standard, you don’t expect any functions to affect the actual object. Think for example about Java’s String.split. This will never affect the String itself, especially because the String is immutable. Affecting the String would mean creating a new instance of that string with the change applied to it.
Frankly, I’m not sure what happens in the backstage but this stinks.
As soon as I picked up on Turmeric SOA as the engine that powers my research, one of my supervisors warned me: be careful, or you’ll be caught in technology hell. As much as I hate to admit it, this has inevitably happened. The point is… I’m using Turmeric SOA which is open-source and open-source is great for research. Everything is so open that I can afford to publish literally everything I do. This means that all the claims I make with my research can be easily verified independently by other researchers.
I love this transparency.
The problem comes when the transparency is the result of emptiness. More specifically, Turmeric SOA is open but its documentation lacks vastly. In the inception of its open-sourcing by Intalio, Inc. their software engineers were working night and day to adapt the wiki pages (which apparently are the only public form of documentation) from mentioning “EBAY” to mentioning “TURMERIC”. However, as the dust began to settle and eBay decided to go in-house with the open-sourcing, the work done on Turmeric SOA has greatly diminished and what once was a promising open project is now a graveyard. eBay’s software engineers keep a low key and aren’t exactly supportive of other people using Turmeric SOA which is very disappointing. It seems common sense that if a project is open-sourced, the main goal should be for it to get a large user-base. The more people contributing and using a piece of software, the more ideas and bugs will be found and thus, the more refined the project will become.
This has not happened. As an outsider, eBay’s stance on open-source seems that of a beach-goer who’s too afraid to go for a dive and instead just keeps probing the water with their toes. This is bad. It’s bad for eBay because it will inevitably taint their reputation with open-source, it’s bad for the community who now get a half-baked services platform and it’s bad more specifically for me. Now I have to deal with a promising but ultimately difficult to use platform. Most everything I do with Turmeric SOA requires copious amounts of manual debugging in order to figure out what’s happening and ultimately, these debugging sessions reveal that what was advertised as a feature, really isn’t one.
In sum, the lesson learned is: be wary of large open-source projects. Unless there is a strong community around it, you’re gonna have a real tough time.
We all know the folks at Adobe are some really nice people and that Steve Jobs was just being a bastard by not allowing Flash on the iPhone. But as it turns out, whilst Apple is too restrictive as to what it allows on their AppStore and their iDevices, Adobe on the other hand is too permissive and they might have just crossed a line. Continue Reading
If you need a way to store your files in a manner that they are always accessible everywhere, then Dropbox is for you. In case you haven’t yet heard about this service, then know that Dropbox offers you 2Gb for free to store whichever files you like. The guys at Dropbox also have a software that integrates nicely with Windows and Mac OS and you can even access the files from your iPhone or Android powered phone.
You might think that 2Gb are rather meager and you are right, that’s nothing these days. This is why Dropbox has an awesome referral program that will allow you to go up to 10Gb just by referring friends! That’s right, 10Gb for free just by referring Dropbox to a few friends.
Read on to find out more!
Anyone who owns an iPhone or who has a friend who owns an iPhone will probably know about Angry Birds. Angry Birds is this awesome game where you hurl all kinds of different birds with different abilities at some nasty pigs. The goal of each level is kill all of the pigs and keep progressing through the different levels, with different obstacles and new birds.
Sounds like a game you’d like to play on your Android phone? Well read on then!
True to the proverbial “feather in the cap”, I have been promoted to committer with the project I have been participating on during the last few months, Apache Derby. There’s not much to say except that it feels really good to have your hard work recognized
Apache Derby is a great project with a really nice community of helpful people and it was through Derby that I have participated and successfully completed the Google Summer of Code challenge for two years in a row! It’s always a great challenge even to the sharpest mind and most advanced skills because this is an extensive project that has already been around for more than a decade. Over this period different developers have participated on it which adds to the challenge of reengineering and simple engineering of new features when the need arises. I can’t say this is a disadvantage though as it is an excellent way of being exposed to actual production code from an IT giant (Apache Derby once was IBM Cloudscape). It’s also exciting because the changes that you make will actually have an impact on the thousands of people that use Apache Derby and for this reason all changes have to be done with most care to keep Derby’s performance up to the challenge as well as to ensure that all standards are kept.
With this said, I’ll just leave here the link to the “historical” vote in the ASF list
Yeah, it is serious I have 10 Google Wave invites to distribute to the first ten visitors to leave me a comment on this post. This is NOT a contest, I will be giving the invites to the ten first lucky people who leave a comment on this post requesting an invite. Please be sure to leave the comment with a working e-mail address, or the invite won’t go through and you will lose your chance.
[UPDATE]: 8 invites left!
Well, for some weird reason, Apple refuses to give in and have Adobe port Flash over to the iPhone. It would be a massive advantage if we could see an iPhone with a full blown version of Flash, as opposed to Flash Lite. But… Apple won’t bend. So what does Apple do? The best it can do right now: get people angry at Apple.
Below is the image that people will see when they try to download Flash on their iPhones (courtesy of Engadget):
Well, truth to be told this had to happen at some point. According to the good folks at Engadget, T-Mobile has most probably lost the data of their customers’ Sidekick phones. The T-Mobile Sidekick is a device that relies heavily on cloud-computing and simple things such as looking up contacts or reading old text messages are done through servers in the cloud (that is to say, in the Internet). So if these servers fail for some reason, or more extremely (like it happened) lose all the data they contain, then the end user is pretty much screwed.
I hope for the sake of the costumers that the data isn’t just lost; I would have also hoped that T-Mobile had off-site, offline backups of all this stuff but that clearly does not seem to be the case. It is also up to our imagination whom to blame for this. Of course that for all the people affected by this problem, T-Mobile will be the one to blame, but whose fault was it in the end? Is it a bug in the servers? Will it happen again? Has it been patched?
Doesn’t really matter now but here’s the morale of the story: ALWAYS keep backups of your data.