A DUBLIN woman has unveiled her poignant plans to share her last few remaining days with her husband of ten years, before he slips into a PlayStation coma when the long-awaited videogame Fallout 4 is finally released.
So, there I am, waiting on my program to compile for the 752nd time today, on my company-provided Dell monstrosity of an over-heating, fan-fluctuating, 2-inch thick, 12-pound “luggable,” and I was absentmindedly fiddling with a catch on the bottom. I actually slid it all the way over, and what do you know? There’s no lock for the removable battery, and it settled on the floor couple feet below. Now I have to wait 5 minutes while this thing boots back up to get back to work, because it needs to run a bunch of scripts at startup to make sure I’m not doing something with it they don’t want me to do (like, my job, oftentimes), a backup program, and an abysmal anti-virus program, and then I have to connect to the VPN, and watch it negotiate “security stances,” as if that actually meant something.
And I stop and think, if Dell would just make a laptop that could run for 8 hours on a charge, they wouldn’t have to fiddle with removable batteries at all, and people wouldn’t have to lug extra ones around, or carry their adapters everywhere. Gee, maybe Apple was on to something when someone high up in their food chain said, very Edna Mode-like, “No removable batteries!”
I note, for the record, as I type this on my MPB, that this machine has better specs than the Dell, costs half as much, and runs twice as long.
“I almost died of not-surprise.” – Yago, from Aladdin.
So, today, Microsoft had their big developers conference, during which they announced a new, cross-platform programmer’s text editor: Code. It’s a new editor based on Electron, which is based on Atom, which is built on Python, none of which particularly excites me. Of course, lots of other people are excited about it, but it seems to be just another Sublime Text-like editor, but with Microsoft’s “Intellisense.” This is supposed to help you code, by doing syntax-based word completion. People rave about it. Probably the same ones who would be excited by this announcement.
Unfortunately, my experience on Visual Studio Pro over the past year is that it guesses wrong about 80% of the time. This has the effect of rendering the completion suggestions more hassle than help, as I’m constantly having to dismiss the on-screen pop-ups because they’re covering code I want to see. And they pop up all over the editor’s various windows. Even if I do use the feature to complete a suggestion, I’ve had to type out 90% of the symbol I want so that it will automatically complete the right one, because the one I want never seems to be at the top of the list. So much for the “intelli” part of “Intellisense™”. Otherwise, I have to use arrow keys or the mouse to select the one I want, and that’s slower than just typing it.
I won’t lie, and say that it doesn’t help in the case of skimming an object’s methods if I don’t know what I’m looking for. Over the last year, I’ve used it a lot for this. This use case is bolstered by the fact that I’ve built my app on top of DevExpress, which is a whole new widget library, with similar-but-different method calls versus the standard widgets. However, this use case only saves swapping out to a web browser to look at the API documentation… sometimes. Since, even if I think a method looks like it will work, I still usually need to actually read how to use it.
So I don’t get what all the fuss is about regarding Intellisense. In fact, while I’m writing this, because I’m thinking about it, I’ve just turned it off.
Futhermore, just this morning, I was grousing about how there are two critical use cases that are impossible to bug in Visual Studio, which makes it an inarguably worse editing environment compared to Ruby on Rails. You can’t inspect what’s going on with an in-memory query. LINQ queries and anonymous functional blocks are impossible to debug in the editor. You can’t inspect the current iterator, nor can you execute ad-hoc closures in the debugger.
I’d rather be doing arbitrary library method exploration in irb, or doing live debugging in a web browser with pry, where I can do anything I want with an ad-hoc experimentation. I can only assume that people who think development with Visual Studio is the pinnacle of coding productivity are people who’ve not done much with any other languages. Maybe Ruby stands alone with respect to ad-hoc inspection, and I’m just lucky to have gotten to use it so much, professionally.
So, wake me up when Code is somehow better than Sublime Text.
And, for pure power, there will always be the grand-daddy: Vim, which I used for nearly 20 years before switching, and which is permanently ingrained in my muscle memory.
Hmm… I’ve just installed it, and I actually love it’s particular brand of integration with git. And it’s snappy. And it looks good. Uh oh. I think they may be on to something here. If people start making plugins for this thing — and you know they will — this could be a real contender to the $70 Sublime Text. Maybe rumors of this thing is what got ST3 development restarted recently… I’m going to make this my go-to text editor on Windows for awhile, and see what happens.
Nuts. I’m still bitter at Microsoft for the 90’s and the SCO trial. I don’t want to see them transition to success in the new, open, cloud-based computing world, but every indication is that they’re doing just that.
Well, it was basically an all-day exercise, but I migrated my first production app to Heroku.
“I’m making a note here; huge success.” – GLADoS.
Well, we’ll see when I switch the domain name to point to it…
Do you open your home or car window, and randomly shout nonsense at strangers? Now there’s a better way! Introducing Twitter! For all your spleen-venting needs!
I’ve deleted my Twitter account for the umpteenth time, but I’m not even going to rant about why this time around. Instead, I had a better idea. I had the “cloud to butt” browser extension installed for awhile, and it was mildly amusing. In that vein, I’ve forked that code, and created a “tweet to spew” extension. It was surprisingly easy to do, and the first version works pretty well.
- Really make it personal, including a non-vulgar license which says the same thing
- Grep and replace more phrases
- Block the Twitter buttons and widgets as well
- Make a Safari version, since that’s the browser I use most
Less flippantly, the trouble with my version is that “tweet” is both a noun and a verb, and, although spew has a noun form in spue (technically), spew really needs to be “spewage” in places where a noun is used, and I don’t know that I care enough to make the extension clever enough to handle the distinction.
Every scroll through Twitter puts at least one person’s bad day, sh***y experience, or moment of snark in front of me. These are good happy people – I know many of them in real life – but for whatever reason, Twitter is the place they let their s**t loose. And while it’s easy to do, it’s not comfortable to be around. I don’t enjoy it.
This is why, for something-like-the-fifth, and final, time, I’ve quit Twitter. I’m fairly certain that my own negativity on the service got me passed over in one interview process. I got feedback that I was “too negative.” Too negative?! I started thinking about it, and then reviewed my Twitter stream. Sure enough, whether this was the negativity they were referring to or not, it was, like, 80% ranting and raving about one annoyance after another, mostly computer-related. And, sure enough, when I started really looking at the accounts I followed, I started noticing a lot of the same. The problem is that Twitter’s 140-character limit makes it only useful for the briefest of thoughts, and complaints, frustrations, and annoyances — and advertisements — usually fit quite easily. For a very long time, I had determined I was only keeping the account to follow 2 people I cared about, but that’s not enough any more. I’m done. And, like Jason F., I feel better.
So I caught this link on Slashdot, and there’s a lot of good information and trends revealed in it:
My favorite part was the breakdown of desktop Linux choice. Ubuntu is far and away the leader here. If you expand the Linux subset to 100%, Ubuntu would have 60% of the market, and the next category would be “other,” with 20%.
Another interesting result of the survey was that developers were almost evenly split on the question of using tabs versus spaces for indenting code. And, of course, the discussion on Slashdot about the survey quickly devolved into a massive, pedantic circlejerk on this one, particular issue.
This was literally my favorite game, ever, until Descent 2. And then came Unreal Tournament and Quake 2, and it all gets fuzzy from there. I voted for this game, and Good Old Games brought it back! Now I won’t have to fool with trying to install it from the CD’s, and searching the internet for the patches and add-on levels. I intend to harass my boys with a LAN party over the weekend.
I’m going to take a tangent from the old site, and start writing about tech that I find interesting.