“Best practice” is less of a scam than claimed
Feb 5, 2021, 3:21 AM
Another day, another developer explaining that they don’t follow some popular practice. And their reason? Nothing more than because other people do the thing. “Best practices don’t exist,” they airily intone. “They’re really mediocre...
[objc retain] stream
Feb 3, 2021, 4:15 PM
Starting next week: [objc retain]; in which Steven Baker and I live-code Objective-C on a modern free software platform. Wednesday, February 10th, 1900UTC. More info at objc-retain.com.
“Reasoning about code” is a scam
Jan 28, 2021, 12:48 PM
Another day, another post telling me to do something, or not do something, or adopt some technology, or not adopt some technology, or whatever it is that they want me to do, because it makes it easier to “reason about the...
Jan 25, 2021, 8:10 AM
I, along with many others, have written about the influence of Xerox PARC on Apple. The NeXT workstation was a great example of getting an approximation to the Smalltalk concept out using off-the-shelf parts, and Jobs often presaged iCloud...
GNUstep development on LIVEstep
Jan 20, 2021, 2:26 PM
LIVEstep is a GNUstep desktop on a FreeBSD live CD, and it comes with the GNUstep developer tools including ProjectCenter. This video is a “Hello, World” walkthrough using ProjectCenter on LIVEstep. PC is much more influenced...
Data curation during a pandemic
Jan 14, 2021, 1:34 PM
Here’s what I’ve been working on (with others, of course) since February.
Novel bean incoming
Jan 2, 2021, 8:44 AM
You may remember in July I updated the open source Bean word processor to work with then-latest Xcode and macOS. Over the last couple of days I’ve added iCloud Drive support (obviously only if the app is associated with an App Store...
The Silent Network
Nov 17, 2020, 2:59 AM
People say that the internet, or maybe specifically the web, holds the world’s information and makes it accessible. Maybe there was a time when that was true. But currently it’s not: probably not because the information is missing, but...
Apple Silicon, Xeon Phi, and Amigas
Nov 13, 2020, 4:35 AM
The new M1 chip in the new Macs has 8-16GB of DRAM on the package, just like many mobile phones or single-board computers. But unlike many desktop, laptop or workstation computers (there are exceptions). In the first tranche of Macs using...
Recovering from deleting your login shell on a Mac
Nov 3, 2020, 4:03 PM
In case you ever need it. If you’re searching for something like “deleted login shell Mac can’t open terminal”, this is the post for you. I just deleted my login shell (because it was installed with homebrew, and I...
Lambda: the ultimate polymath
Nov 2, 2020, 1:11 PM
Thinking back over the last couple of years, I’ve had to know quite a bit about a few different topics to be able to write good software. Those topics: Epidemiology Architecture Plant Sciences Histology Education Not much knowledge...
Discipline doesn’t scale
Oct 19, 2020, 3:14 PM
If programmers were just more disciplined, more professional, they’d write better software. All they need is a code of conduct telling them how to work like those of us who’ve worked it out. The above statement is true, which...
Reflections on an iBook G4
Oct 13, 2020, 3:54 AM
I had an item in OmniFocus to “write on why I wish I was still using my 2006 iBook”, and then Tim Sneath’s tweet on unboxing a G4 iMac sealed the deal. I wish I was still using my 2006 iBook. I had been using NeXTSTEP for...
Running Linux GUI apps under MacOS using Docker
Oct 12, 2020, 12:09 PM
I had need to test an application built for Linux, and didn’t want to run a whole desktop in a window using Virtualbox. I found the bits I needed online in various forums, but nowhere was it all in one place. It is now!...
Sep 15, 2020, 3:06 AM
In The Manifesto for Anarchic Software Development I noted that one of the agile manifesto principles is for self-organising teams, and that those tend not to exist in software development. What would a self-organising software team look...
On saying words clearly
Sep 14, 2020, 10:20 AM
Someone has been trolling Apple’s Siri team hard on how they think numbers are pronounced. Today is the second day where I’ve missed a turn due to it. The first time because I didn’t understand the direction, the second because the...
The manifesto for anarchic software development
Sep 12, 2020, 2:42 PM
Go on, read the manifesto again. You’ll see that it’s a manifesto for anarchism, for people coming together and contributing equally toward solving problems. From each according to their ability, to each according to their need. The best...
Sep 9, 2020, 4:19 PM
Tomorrow evening (for me; 1800UTC on 10th Sept) Steven R. Baker and I will twitch-stream our journey learning how to write Amiga software. Check out dosamigans.tv!
Free as in Water
Sep 4, 2020, 5:46 AM
The whole “Free as in beer versus free as in freedom” thing confuses people. Or maybe it doesn’t, and it allows detractors to sow fear, uncertainty and doubt over free software by feigning confusion. Either way, people express confusion....
Aug 18, 2020, 4:03 AM
Apple has, in my opinion, some of the best general-purpose computing technology on the market right now, and has had some of the best for all of this millennium. However, their business practices are increasingly punitive, designed to...
Nvidia and ARM
Aug 9, 2020, 9:35 AM
Nvidia’s ambitions are scarcely hidden. Once it owns Arm it will withdraw its licensing agreements from its competitors, notably Intel and Huawei, and after July next year take the rump of Arm to Silicon Valley This tech giant up for sale...
Aug 8, 2020, 4:11 PM
There are two different questions of fairness when it comes to the App Store rules. Apple always spin it to mean “these rules are applied fairly”, which is certainly not true. Putting aside questions of why Netflix get to do things Hey...
Aug 7, 2020, 4:26 PM
Lots of Amiga documentation was in the AmigaGuide format. These are simple ASCII documents with some rudimentary markup to turn them into hypertext, working something like TeXInfo manuals. Think more like a markdown-enabled Gopher than the...
Aug 7, 2020, 12:15 PM
Discussions about free software or open source software can always seem a bit abstract. Who cares if I’ve got the source code, if I’m never going to read it or change it? Why would I want “free” versions of my apps...
The Object is the Advantage
Aug 3, 2020, 3:13 PM
NeXT marketed their workstations by letting Sun convince people they wanted a workstation, then trying to convince customers (who were already impressed by Sun) that their workstation was better. As part of this, they showed how much...
Getting started on my Vampire V4
Aug 2, 2020, 6:55 PM
Apollo accelerators make the Vampire, the fastest Motorola 680×0-compatible accelerators for Amiga around. Actually, they claim that with the Sheepsaver emulator to trap ROM calls, it’s the fastest m68k-compatible Mac around...
Aug 1, 2020, 11:06 AM
On the topic of the Apple II, remember that MOS was owned by Commodore Business Machines, a competitor of Apple’s, throughout the lifetime of the computer. Something to bear in mind while waiting to see where ARM Holdings lands.
Aug 1, 2020, 7:28 AM
An eight-year-old model of iPad is now considered vintage and obsolete. For comparison, the Apple ][ was made from 1977-1993 (16 years) and the January 1983 Apple //e would’ve had exactly the same software support as the final model sold...
Jul 31, 2020, 6:43 PM
The problem with musicians these days is they don’t work hard enough to make Daniel Ek, Tim Cook, Sundar Pichai and Jeff Bezos rich.
The closed-open principle
Jul 31, 2020, 5:18 AM
Some programming languages have a final keyword, making types closed for extension and open for modification.