Infrequently Noted

Alex Russell on browsers, standards, and the process of progress.

blog as post-it-note

For my own reference: matplotlib, a better GD than GD, and for Python.

Web 2.0(00)

I spent much of Wed night and all of Thursday at Web2.0. I'll let others more capable than myself give you the rundown of who did and said what, when, and where. I've got snarkyness to dispense with!

To the credit of O'Rielly, the conference seemed to include a lot of heavyweights, tons of people who have done great things, but the audience and the speakers alike seemed to me to be a strange mix between the next version of what we're all building and the last version of whatever it was that survived the bubble's burst. RSS was the buzzword that just wouldn't die, despite the age of the technology and its relative lack of interest (which I think officially makes me a curmudgeon). Likewise, DHTML is getting attention I didn't think would ever be possible a year ago. It was the best conference the year 2000 never had.

I think at first that sounds harsh, but I say it not because I'm trying to diss the con, but because the feeling in the air reminded me of the excitement that permeated Wired or the Industry Standard back in the heyday: interesting people doing some cool things and people willing to make the ride happen for their particular pound of flesh.

Which I guess is what it's all about. The ride, the game, the biz. Whatever you want to call it, this is a truly crazy place to live when you're in this business, but there are a ton of people who come here just to get a Good Job (TM) and make money. And then there is "us". The people that are here to do interesting things because something inside of us compels us to work on problems that catch our eye. To make people's lives better. To be geeks in the service of the world at large.

Lots of people don't really get that, and I can't say that it makes much sense to me either, but I can tell you that I love being a part of it. I feel blessed by all the people I've met over the past year, and I get the feeling that I always want to be a part of what is happening here. To be "in the game", if only because I can't imagine not being in it.


So I was gonna blog about our incredible weekend (Leonard was in town), but now I have to go catch a train.

Happy 21st Zack!

new! improved! spiffy!

Signals and Slots 2.2 for JavaScript.

This release includes support for mutators and default arguments to any connection, keyword connection, and a ton of optimizations and little bug fixes. Oh, and did I mention that it works in command line environments like an ANT script?

If you haven't played with sigslot in JS, now's the time to give it a shot.

"you cannont declare war on a tactic"

Jennifer and I just got back from Berkley where we went to see Richard Clark speak. Well, discus. Or something.

Anyway, it was engaging for a lot of the reasons that I expected it could be. One of the things that first struck me was that he kept bringing abstract questions about potential threats back to the demonstrated threat model in play today. It's something that I don't really expect from someone in public service. Despite my considerable reservations about his work in the "cybersecurity" world, I couldn't help but come away impressed. He clearly articulated who the enemy was/is, what kinds of things help and what kinds of things hurt US interests in that context.

With so much security theater in the world, it is always an unexpected and pleasant surprise to hear someone talk about risks and threats in a way that doesn't play to hype and focuses on real risks (and not just those that will sell at the voting booth).

Favorite line of the evening: "you cannot declare war on a tactic".

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