David Pollak's blog... and such.Lots of DPP's thoughts here...
July 22, 2014
I've started working on a series of open source library code for Clojure called Dragonmark that roughly falls into three categories: utilities, a distributed CSP library, and a sample web app that demonstrates distributed CSP.
Mostly, I think that the semantics for interprocess communication should be the same as the semantics for local communication. Clojure's core.async library provides a really nice set of APIs to communicate asynchronously, have backpressure, and in general "do the right thing."
July 14, 2014
Not my cup of tea
I went to Yes & over the weekend and it was disappointing. I was drawn in by:
The theory was, if you get a group of smart, engaged individuals together in the right place that great things would happen.
Sadly, the conference was not that.
I was expecting more of a Strange Loop experience. Something is a far away place where each interaction leaves me thinking, pondering, and expanded.
Instead, Yes & is a big, fun partay.
If you'd like to hang out in the pool, get drunk, share new strains of medical marijuana, and go to a fun prom with all the hipsters from the Mission, Brooklyn, LA, and Portlandia, Yes & is the place to be.
May 14, 2014
When we use Java
There is a lot of confusion about my We all Infringe post. So, I'm going to walk everybody (especially the lawyers) through the mechanics.
Until last week, all developers and most lawyers operated under a simple rule. APIs are not subject to copyright, but code implementating APIs is subject to copyright. It was a simple dichotomy and allowed developers to operate under a brightline set of rules.
On May 9, 2014, the Circuit Court of Appeals changed the law to include copyright coverage to include APIs. Specifically (page 5):
... we conclude that the declaring code and the structure, sequence, and organization of the API packages are entitled to copyright protection...
May 12, 2014
Okay, everybody who touches Java bytecode
The Oracle v. Google holds that copying the Structure, Sequence, and Organization of the Java APIs is a copyright violation. And a copyright violation is not just the act of copying, but also applies to all the intermediate parties that have a copy of the work.
That's anybody who writes/compiles any JVM language and anyone who has a JAR file on any device they posses... including a Java ME applet on your old Motorola flip phone. In fact, the JVM in all its incarnations is so pervasive, it's likely that every adult in every industrialized nation has some JVM running someplace.
May 11, 2014
I have been developing software professionally since 1978. I went to law school (BU Law '91). I think that computer programming technology and the law are really, really similar.
At the end of the day, both law and computing is about wrapping abstractions around very complex interactions such that the rules are comprehensible and the outcomes are predictable.
May 11, 2014
He's not So Fine
Sometimes, copyright law can have really bad side effect. It's supposed to help content creators make money from their content and that's awesome. But in the George Harrison case, he lost a copyright suit because he "subconsciously copied" another song. If this is the standard that the court is going to apply to all API design, the computer industry is screwed... luckily starting with Oracle.
We build on the shoulders of giants
May 10, 2014
Are APIs Copyrightable?
Oracle v. Google resulted in a really bad opinion for everybody in software, including Oracle. The Federal Court of Appeals applying 9th Circuit law held that the structure, sequence, and organization of APIs are copyrightable. This is a radical change in the law as to date, everybody and everybody's lawyers have taken the position that APIs are not copyrightable, but the implementation of the APIs is.
First the mitigation.
Are long as the APIs are reverse engineered, it's okay to clone them
April 26, 2014
Yeah, it's not Open
I have a greenfield project where the choice of database is open. I have been very interested in Datomic for a couple of years now and figured that I'd try Datomic out for the project. Then I tried to actually download and install it and decided against it... mostly because the value of Datomic does not clearly outweigh the cost of using proprietary software. I am writing this post to communicate my perception.
People who write software should be reasonable compensated for their work. I write software... some open and some proprietary... and I like to be compensated for my work.
April 6, 2014
But I am really dismayed by the way the tech industry is handling both the inclusion of under-represented folks as well as the way the industry gets into mob mode when someone is "outed" for funding a non-mainstream view.
What the Underlying Issue is About
March 12, 2014
The Lure of Private Schools
I read this post when I woke up this morning. I am a huge fan, supporter, and believer in public schools and specifically public schools in San Francisco. I am just totally dismayed at people in my cohort putting their kids in private school.
I get the mindset of a people who have money and normally use money to buy solutions to problems. There are some problems for which money is a very reasonable solution approach. Want a quiet car that doesn't have technical problems and when it does, they get solved with little time/effort on your part, you can buy that. Want flawless, high quality construction on your house, you can buy that.
February 4, 2014
A Different IT Consultancy
@handmethepanda @benwalding @michaelneale build it for and by technical people. Talk to @dpp about @BrickAlloy
Which prompted me to write a little about Brick Alloy.
Lawyers and Accountants
Lawyers and accountants have varying sized practices from solo practitioners to thousand lawyer firms.
January 27, 2014
What are They Thinking?
I live at the corner of Balboa and Great Highway in San Francisco. Over the last year, there's been a ton of construction on Great Highway and on Balboa. Sadly, the folks doing the construction didn't do good planning or design. This is frustrating.
The first and most stupid issue is the divider at Balboa and Great Highway:
If it looks like it was hit by a truck... it was.
The end cap of the divider is there for a good reason. It keeps pedestrians safe when they are standing in the middle of the road.
But, the end cap itself is in the blind spot of the A-pillar of many cars and trucks. This means that once or twice a day, somebody hits it.
January 21, 2014
Reviewing an "Accelerator" Class
I got invited to participate in a pre-demo-day review of an Accelerator class.
It seems that these days in the Church of Silicon Valley (the one true way to innovate) the hot stuff are hackathons and accelerators.
Hackathons are multi-day gatherings of entrepreneur wanna-bes and some folks that judge the results of a couple of days of hacking and ideas.
January 20, 2014
Inviting Women and People of Color
I'm giving a $200 per person subsidy for four people to attend Clojure/West. I am giving the subsidy to women and people of color.
@aartiparikh because there are too many straight white dudes at confs, and if we shift that balance a little it won't feel as isolating.
And my reasons.
Do you qualify?
If you feel like you'd be out of place because there aren't enough people like you to hang out with at a tech conference, then, yes.
How does it work?
January 17, 2014
A few weeks ago, I starting using a Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition as my laptop development machine. I have some thoughts on the machine.
The XPS 13 is as solid as and as well designed as Apple MacBook Pros. The keyboard, trackpad, display, etc. are all very nice. The machine is light and mostly balanced nicely.
Excellent Battery Life
The XPS 13 running Linux has excellent battery life. I routinely get 5-6 hours of work done without recharging. Particularly nice for a Linux box and Linux has historically had worse power management than Windows or OS X.
Runs Linux Perfectly