Pythonaro blog

30 June 2003

On a 100-based coolness scale, this makes 89

Agiledox, "a small project to collect ideas and tools for automating documentation". It generates documentation from TestCases, looking at the method names; if your methods are properly named (and they often are, given their nature), the produced output is absolutely worth. HERE you can see things moving in the software world, not in that childish Echo/RSS flamewar. PS: as you can see, I'm cutting the crap... Still missing the bloody archives, though.

posted by GiacomoL @ 1:20 PM   0 comments links to this post

My Kingdom For A Jon Udell

Go read, you techies. Yes, it's about the bloody RSS/Echo/whatever diatribe, but no, it's not another Holy War post. Udell knows what Real Users want, and how small the geekdom is for the real world. Another interesting post is this from Paul Philp, with some economics theory.

posted by GiacomoL @ 1:00 PM   0 comments links to this post

The Heartbeat Project

That is, my MSc project. The aim is to produce a "CMS-generation framework" that should be easy and flexible enough to allow easy extension via subclassing. Ideally, the user should be able of defining a simple CMS in a configuration file, and let the framework do all the work. The produced CMS should be also XML-enabled to allow semantic communication with other systems, with the final target being the framework itself to build "clouds" of systems semantically interoperating and coordinating. I'm following an XP-like workplan, building prototypes and refactoring along the way. The chosen implementation language is Java, for a number of reasons, the first being its good OOP capabilities and its popularity. The first relevant problem was to abstract the item composition, defining how an item is built from simple attributes (text or integer fields, etc) and complex relationships (one-to-many, one-to-one). This way, the framework behaviour could ignore the physical storage and, above all, the language chosen for the final application to be generated. I think I got the problem right when I stopped thinking the relationship was an extension of an item attribute, and chosen the composition way; quoting the Gang of Four's "Design Patterns", to "prefer composition over inheritance" was really helpful. As it is now, my abstract ItemRelationship class links an arbitrary item attribute to a specific item, allowing the one-to-one and one-to-many relationships relevant to the object definition. In the prototype implementation (whose target language is php), this allows to deal pretty easily with the basic stuff like Foreign Keys pointing to other items' ID, and also consider different relationship kinds (aggregation vs. composition). I wouldn't be honest if I say I'm not proud of this result. For the next step, I have many choices to do. The first is, what problem should I tackle? The main ones are to extract relevant interfaces allowing to dinamically switch between implementations (the various scripting languages) and storage facilities (RDMS and XML). i think I'll follow a Factory pattern for the first and a Strategy pattern for the second, but I still haven't made up my mind. More "pragmatic" problems are to build the ConfigurationParser and Outputter classes, basically interfacing the system to the "physical world" of text files. The parser will probably have to wait, because its implementation would have to be refactored very soon; I prefer to build test classes to mimic its behaviour until I won't have defined all the interfaces for the system to expose. The Outputter, instead, should be pretty straightforward, not so much subject of refactoring in the future, and above all, it would already produce an usable output for everyday work. Even now, a tool generating production-ready php classes would be very handy indeed. (This must be one of those moments, when the R&D department comes out with something that is not the original development target, but it's still very useful, and they release it, and then sometimes this small "pet project" becomes something like the original Gnutella client...) I'm afraid I can't release the code yet, for a number of reasons. Maybe this autumn, but not now. It's not I'm shy (I would love to share my results), it's that sometimes the "off-line world" needs prevail. PS: Kudos to Industrie Toulouse for this old post, that has been a companion for my thoughts. I should probably also thank Martin Fowler, but there's enough people already doing that ;) PPS: It seems like using a blog as "research stack", as said by that old fart warrenE about his Blogger-powered site, really works. After all, they have been created mainly for that purpose. Oh, fuck off and die

posted by GiacomoL @ 11:43 AM   0 comments links to this post

PHP 5 Beta 1

It seems like php is going to be "the poor man's Java" ;)
Check out the Zend Engine 2.0 Object Model.

posted by GiacomoL @ 10:12 AM   0 comments links to this post

28 June 2003

RSS, ECHO, and too many geeks in the kitchen

(let's hope this new blogger thing works...)

There is this new syndication format called RSS, and there is this bunch of people reinventing it. And then there is Jon Udell, that really understands what's going on and what is at stake.

posted by GiacomoL @ 11:39 AM   0 comments links to this post

24 June 2003

Back on Track

And after twenty years in Nicaragua, eventually.... HE'S HERE!!!!

Yes, I'm back. So what? Fuck You. Die Puny Humans.

Serious Things

Giulio summarises various things going on in the blogsphere. Someone is asking for a new RSS format. Fucking hell. People, make your mind up. You spent YEARS to produce a common syndication format. RSS is not about technology, design, conceptual models, or other Stuff-Big-Techie-Heads-Have-To-Produce-To-Change-Our-Lives. RSS is about POLITICS. It's about coordinated acceptance of a common standard for everyone to use. You change the standard, and it will take YEARS for this change to be effective. Look at html. It took AGES to to completely move on from version 3 to 4, and it ended up with what, Explorer 5. Do you want to do the same with RSS? Good Luck. You'll repeat exactly the same situation: years of misused "standards", horrible hacks, unaccessible resources, and so on.

RSS 2.0 works just fine, and it's being accepted more and more. Do the right thing: leave it alone! Use your spare time in other ways. Go to the moon, take a trip to Brazil.

posted by GiacomoL @ 11:10 AM   0 comments links to this post