Friday’s Miscellaneous Items

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Today’s installment of the Miscellaneous Friday Items is going to be even briefer than usual, because I’m more or less totally cooked. Not only did I not get a ton of sleep last night because I got carried away with some technical stuff, I’ve been on the phone for better than six hours today. My ear hurts from the receiver because I’ve been on so long. Oh, and I’m running off of half a bag of Quakes (Kettle Corn flavor), because I had nothing in the house for lunch and didn’t have time to venture out. Not an unusual circumstance around here, I’m afraid.

In other words, don’t expect anything substantial despite the fact that there are a number of things I should be talking about. Anyhow, some items for your consideration:

  1. Travel:
    As mentioned previously, I’ll be in California for most of next week. Tuesday and Wednesday, I’ll be at the Zend Conference in San Jose, and Thursday and Friday I’ll be up the road in Mountain View for Startup Camp. I am *really* not a huge fan of travel, but I’m looking forward to both of these. If you’ll be at the Zend Conference, feel free to stop by the panel session I’m moderating, “How Do The Stacks Stack Up?” where we get to hear from some of the platform (iSeries, Linux, Solaris, and Windows) about what differentiates them, or the talk I’m giving on the Do’s and Don’t’s of corporate PHP usage.

  2. GooTube:
    As the regulars in #redmonk can attest, I was as amazed as anyone that Google shelled out almost $2B for a property that was both smoking through cash and an obvious target for litigation. But I think I finally get it. Google’s mission is to make available the world’s information, and for the text based internet search is how that’s accomplished. Not only is text (relatively) easily indexed and searched, it’s easy for virtually everyone to create, publish and host – be they a corporation or an individual. Neither of those seems true for video; it’s opaque at best to search, and while creating video is not terribly difficult with digital video cameras and the like, publishing and hosting it is both problematic and expensive. The economies of scale as they apply to hosting, therefore, are far more true for video than they are for text. Thus, video is for the time being anyway, a centralized play. YouTube is clearly the center of gravity in that world, and is fast becoming the place I search for video content. Just as I generally turn to Google to find textual content, so too am I beginning to turn by default to YouTube for video. Hell, I spent killed 10 minutes last night waiting for some Eclipse plugins to download watching an episode of Thundarr the Barbarian – a cartoon from my childhood – on YouTube. Or when I heard that Arizona Cardinals coach had freaked out in a post-game interview in epic fashion following a devastating loss to the Bears, YouTube was the first place I turned to. Not ESPN, not the Sporting News. YouTube.

    Whether it’s worth two billion or note is a matter for finer minds than mine, but I do know that changing my default search behavior would be very hard for a competitor – and maybe it would be in the video world as well.

  3. Sites I’m Visiting Now that I Have a Working Flash:
    1. Boston Globe Sports (the recent interview with Theo was brutal – what the interviewer’s problem was I’ll never know)
    2. Cartoon Network’s AdultSwim (where adult = Family Guy, rather than adult = porn)
    3. BSG (Flash 9 appears to have issues here, because all it will show me are ads – never the feature)
  4. An IMDB for Every Industry, or is that Wikipedia?:
    I’ve long thought it was strange that more industries didn’t have an IMDB; a structured database of who did what and when. And not just for people; for projects or even corporations. I’d love to have, for example, a list of the projects that BerkeleyDB is known to be incorporated in. And then the ability to click and read a bit of informal, user submitted history, and so on. Maybe it’s just me.

    I’m also, however, noticing that I’m beginning to head to Wikipedia for the things I used to hit IMDB for, say for more information about “The Departed.”

  5. Speaking of The Departed:
    I generally don’t do movie reviews here – not least because my taste in movies is generally awful (I’ve seen Tremors at least a hundred times). But The Departed is a very good movie. The acting is excellent, but for anyone who’s lived in Boston – and more specifically, Southie – as I did, it’s really pretty eerie. I kept seeing the places I knew, hearing the accents I was used to, and saw the history I was vaguely familiar with (the movie borrows heavily from the case of Southie mobster Whitey Bulger) play out. The bad guy made his home down on L Street, just blocks from where I used to be on E St. Even the bar scenes are familiar; I used to walk to work down West 2nd right by one of the Teamster bars, where “contractors” were rolling in at 7:30 in the morning for eye openers on the way to jobs. My only complaints were that the accents were good, but not perfect, and that if they were setting the movie in Southie they should have shot it there, not in Charlestown. But those are minor complaints; it’s really solid, if you’re looking for something to do this weekend.

  6. Question for the Netbeans Folks:
    Two queries for you:

    [email protected]:~$ sudo apt-cache search eclipse
    ecj-bootstrap – bootstrap version of the Eclipse Java compiler
    ecj-bootstrap-gcj – bootstrap version of the Eclipse Java compiler (native version)
    openoffice.org-dev – OpenOffice.org SDK — development files
    eclipse – Extensible Tool Platform and Java IDE
    eclipse-cdt – C/C++ Development Tools for Eclipse
    eclipse-common-nls – localized message catalog for Eclipse
    eclipse-ecj – Eclipse Java compiler and Ant plug-in
    eclipse-ecj-gcj – Native version of the Eclipse Java compiler
    eclipse-efj – Eclipse Java code formatter
    eclipse-gcj – Native Eclipse run with GCJ
    eclipse-jdt – Java Development Tools plug-ins for Eclipse
    eclipse-jdt-common – Java Development Tools plug-ins for Eclipse (common files)
    eclipse-jdt-gcj – Java Development Tools plug-ins for Eclipse (GCJ version)
    eclipse-jdt-nls – localized message catalog for Eclipse
    eclipse-nls – localized message catalog for Eclipse
    eclipse-pde – Plug-in Development Environment to develop Eclipse plug-ins
    eclipse-pde-common – Plug-in Development Environment to develop Eclipse plug-ins (common files)
    eclipse-pde-gcj – Plug-in Development Environment to develop Eclipse plug-ins (GCJ version)
    eclipse-pde-nls – localized message catalog for Eclipse
    eclipse-platform – Eclipse platform without plug-ins to develop any language
    eclipse-platform-common – Eclipse platform without plug-ins to develop any language (common files)
    eclipse-platform-gcj – Eclipse platform without plug-ins to develop any language (GCJ version)
    eclipse-platform-nls – localized message catalog for Eclipse
    eclipse-pydev – Python development plug-in for Eclipse
    eclipse-pydev-gcj – Python development plug-in for Eclipse (GCJ version)
    eclipse-rcp – Eclipse rich client platform
    eclipse-rcp-common – Eclipse rich client platform (common files)
    eclipse-rcp-gcj – Eclipse rich client platform (GCJ version)
    eclipse-rcp-nls – localized message catalog for Eclipse
    eclipse-sdk – Extensible Tool Platform and Java IDE
    eclipse-sdk-nls – localized message catalog for Eclipse
    eclipse-source – Eclipse source code plug-ins
    libgcj7-src – libgcj java sources for use in eclipse
    libswt-motif3-java – Standard Widget Toolkit for Motif JAR library
    libswt-motif3-jni – Standard Widget Toolkit for Motif JNI library
    libswt3.1-gtk-gcj – Fast and rich GUI toolkit for Java, gtk2 (GCJ version)
    libswt3.1-gtk-java – Fast and rich GUI toolkit for Java, gtk2 version
    libswt3.2-gtk-gcj – Fast and rich GUI toolkit for Java, gtk2 (GCJ version)
    libswt3.2-gtk-java – Fast and rich GUI toolkit for Java, gtk2 version
    lsr – The Linux Screen Reader for GNOME
    pdebuild – Eclipse PDE Build extension for Common Debian Build System
    simh – Emulators for 32 different computers
    stellarium – real-time photo-realistic sky generator
    libswt-pocketpc3-java – Standard Widget Toolkit for PocketPC JAR library
    libswt-pocketpc3-jni – Standard Widget Toolkit for PocketPC JNI library


    [email protected]:~$ sudo apt-cache search netbeans
    [email protected]:~$

    Why is that?

  7. Not That Eclipse Doesn’t Have Problems:
    In preparation for our WordPress migration, I’m starting to think about how to hack the redirection. As a quick and dirty approach, I’m considering writing some PHP that a.) opens my MT database, b.) extracts the numeric ID, date, and base_entry/slug for each entry, and c.) writes those out to a file in a format fit for inclusion within a .htaccess file. Shouldn’t be terribly difficult, and I’m planning on borrowing some code from a couple of Alex’s previous efforts to do it (I was always the laziest programmer ever).

    Rather than do it in GEdit, however, which does do some syntax highlighting I decided to use Eclipse and the Zend PHP IDE built on top of Eclipse for testing purposes. Unfortunately, Eclipse’s inline plugin manager does very little in the way of dependency management. It will tell you that the IDE needs org.eclipse.wst, but not what that is or where you might get it. Fortunately I was able to build in the dependencies (wst, emf, and gek) from the Callisto builds, but it took far longer than it should have. Apt or Portage would have solved those problems for me.

    After getting it installed, however, and trying to begin my typical cut and paste coding effort, what happened? Well, I installed PyDev and since then my PHP IDE doesn’t work any longer, and Eclipse kicks out errors on start. Not ideal.

  8. Firefox 2.0:
    And as long as I’m complaining about technologies, let me say that David is not the only one having some issues with the latest build of my favorite browser. I’d hoped that it was just that the Ubuntu repositories were behind, but I still haven’t seen a newer build come through so I’m left to believe that it’s not a beta problem, it’s a generally stability problem. Firefox is locking up on me probably half a dozen times a day. The good news is that not only does it restore my sessions, it restores content inserted during those sessions (half written blog entries, etc). I’d much prefer to not need it so much, however.

Anyway, that’s about all I’ve got for now. I may try to head up to Keystone for some snowshoeing to take advantage of the recent weather that the Colorado Software Summit folks have been talking about, but have quite a bit of work to do as well so we’ll see. Meantime, enjoy your respective weekends.


  1. The apt-get thing is easy – there’s no NetBeans package because it uses Swing and there’s no compatible JDK in Main. Fixing both of those.

  2. should have figured. at least now i know – thx, Simon.

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