Archive for July, 2009|Monthly archive page

Legos vs. Blocks

It must be a Danish thing: recognizing the importance of interfaces to construct large assemblies from small components.
Ole Kirk Christiansen started it all with his invention of Legos in 1934.

In 1979 Bjarne Stroustrup began extending this way of thinking into software with C++.

In 2000 Anders Helsberg brought the Legos aesthetic to Microsoft, when he came to lead C# development.

Except when I step on them barefoot, I prefer Legos over wooden blocks as a construction medium. Javascript reminds me a lot of wooden blocks.
While it is faster to stack blocks than snap Legos, the resulting Lego structure seems much more stable.

hot glue gun
“Neglect” by Carlyle Micklus.

To make javascript sturdier, Duck typing and custom properties are every bit as useful as a hot glue gun. It’s not that javascript is necessarily bad – like legos, there is a certain flow about working with it – but I always wonder which browser might spring leaks.

Knowing: Ban this Movie!

Not Even OGC Compliant!

The movie Knowing should be banned. In 1959 a rather geeky-looking girl stares at the sun too long and scribbles down a page full of numbers. The list is put in a time capsule and opened 50 years later. Turns out the numbers are Date/Latitude/Longitude keys associated with death and destruction. Knowing these numbers doesn’t help though, the protagonist (an astrophysicist) and his son are fatalistically doomed to wander aimlessly for the remaining hour of the movie.

This movie is dangerous – it discourages kids from learning the math and science they need to solve the problems facing the planet.

If you’re into astrophysics and feel like opening a time capsule, check out the Feynman lecture videos.

Also, check out the new Physics Helper for Silverlight 3.

Map Data for Life Critical System to be Crowdsourced

I Want You to Volunteer Geographic Information Today!

Soon the Capital Area Council of Governments (CAPCOG) will be rolling out a life critical system that will rely on crowdsourcing for data maintenance.
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