Monday, September 04, 2006

Future of Programming Languages

I'm glad that I decided to combine the 3-day weekend post into one post because not a whole lot really happened yesterday. As for this weekend itself, I feel that I probably could've done just as well to go back to Houston rather than stay in town because things will start getting really crazy for me this week. Anyway, a rather well-educated blogger posted his thoughts on what the future of programming should be, and he believes that it boils down to whatever makes programming easier, makes it more intuitive, and exploits the evolved concepts we've developed in the past couple of decades. It's a real interesting thing to think about, but how much can we really correct the ills of current languages before we create new problems? Can we really make it much easier without taking too much power away from the programmer when it comes to things like performance and disambiguation (compilers will never be perfect, in my opinion). We have languages like Python and Java already, and yet people still go back to the heavyweights like C and C++. The question is whether this is out of necessity or personal desire? Even if it's out of necessity though, it likely means that the simpler languages just aren't giving companies all the functionality they desire. I agree, however, that we do need an overhaul, to a certain extent, but I think that usability should be balanced with performance and other concerns rather than being the only thing focused on. I don't think it's right to dumb down a programmer's job and rely on a machine to do his dirty work in all cases, and it isn't the right way to get people the understand the importance of usability. I've droned on about this long enough, I hope that the article has gotten my tech-savvy audience to think about this topic further though.

We're just a week away from Apple's supposed special event, and the rumors keep coming in. Apparently, we're going to see a Nano with more capacity in more colors as well as new regular iPods for the same price but with more capacity, though they won't be the also-rumored touchscreen iPods. The safe rumor though is that Jobs will unveil his movie store plans, even if he doesn't completely open the store yet. Some also claim that we'll see a new iMac and a video-streaming device (akin to the AirPort Express), and the iMac may even have a 23-inch screen! That would, admittedly, be pretty sweet, especially if it's actually powered by a Core 2 Duo (Merom). Meanwhile, Google is looking to listen in on your environment via your microphone and use that data to give you better advertisements. Let's imagine, for a second, that people actually agree to turn on their mics to let them do this: how would consumers actually benefit and why wouldn't this be a rampant violation of privacy? Even if they claim to not store the audio, it would definitely scare me. I've mentioned before that I'm enamored with my new phone's name recognition feature for calling people without having to look them up, and Spring is looking to take that one step further with technology that allows you to dictate text messages. It's an interesting idea, but I don't see people as sending very many text messages in environments where they could freely speak to the person they're trying to talk to. If you're too used to Windows to switch to Linux, you should look into ReactOS, which is almost a total clone of Windows usability-wise except that it claims to work better and add more features, and plus it gives the community the ability to improve upon it rather than waiting on Microsoft. It's a neat idea, but despite their best efforts I totally smell a lawsuit. Lastly, if you don't like the limited selection at bar/pool hall jukeboxes, you may be interested in PartyStrands, which would let you take your playlists with you via SMS. It's not a bad idea, but I just don't see people paying to use it.

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That's one of a few shots we now have from the set of Death Proof, and it makes me wonder more now what the significance of this car is. It definitely looks pretty cool. Anyway, we had a big shocker this weekend in the box office where Invincible mysteriously rose to the #1 spot, while Crank followed closely behind. I'll admit that it wasn't a very strong labor day weekend as far as quality of opening movies, but Crank was really more deserving of the top spot. Oh well, at least we have The Protector to look forward to next weekend. If only Idiocracy had opened in wide release, and Quint at AICN serves up his thoughts on how ridiculous it is for Fox to shorthand this really enjoyable Mike Judge comedy/societal satire. I'm still tempted to run out to one of theaters in Austin that are showing it and check it out because I think I like more Mike Judge stuff than I dislike. Lastly, the trailer for Killshot, which is produced by Tarantino and directed by John Madden (of Shakespeare in Love fame), is now online, and it looks good ut I don't know how compelled I am to see it. Having Rosario Dawson, Mickey Rourke, and Diane Lane definitely boosts my interest though.

Now for some Monday Madness:

1. Which holidays (if any) do you consider more as a day off from work, than anything else?
Definitely today, Labor Day. What other point to it is there really?

2. Which 3 holidays are most celebrated in your family?
I'd have to say Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. I think all three are pretty significant and help bring family together.

3. Do you have an organized filing system at home?
My dad has a filing cabinet where he keeps all our important documents, but I don't really have anything of my own.

4. Do you clip coupons for groceries? If so, do you remember to use them? If not, why?
Nope, mainly because I don't subscribe to the Austin-American Statesman. I probably would though because I take after my mother as far as saving money at the groceries are concerned (if milk is $1 for a half-gallon, I'll pick up like four of them).

5. How many magazines do you subscribe to?
Rolling Stone, Popular Science, and IGN (online). I probably won't renew my print subscriptions though because I tend to not have time to read them. Plus, they go to my parents' place so I always get them rather late.

6. Do you play any computer games on a regular basis? If so, which is your favorite, and why?
Not anymore. I just don't have the time anymore! I guess that's a good thing though.

7. Have you watched any movies worth recommending, lately?
I liked Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, so I guess I'd recommend that (though it should've been much better).

1 comment:

LizzieDaisy said...

I promised my hub I'd spend half of my earnings every month paying off the credit card, but I'm thinking I'll save the other half for a new iMac.

My hub doesn't like Pop Sci as much as Pop Mech. Don't really know the difference but I'd put money that the first has more computer stuff in it. :)