Monthly Archives: July 2005

Business is starting to like OS X

Jupiter Research reports that 17% of medium businesses (250+ employees) and 21% of large businesses (10,000+ employees) use Mac OS X on the desktop, while 9% of medium and 14% of large businesses use it as a server. It seems to be mainly taking away marketshare from UNIX (and Linux I guess) and somewhat from Windows.

[via Macworld]

I expect this trend will accelerate with the release of OS X 10.5 Leopard and Intel-based Macs, especially if Linux / Windows can be run on those, as a sort of compatibility layer for “legacy” apps.

Quick tip: How to call parent outer class methods from an inner class

A friend of mine asked me about this and googled: “java inner class parent methods”. Hopefully this will help other Java programmers who run into this same problem.

[By the way, I neither condone nor promote these naming conventions. :) ]

Say you have an interface Foo, with a method bar().

Also say that you have a FooImpl class that implements Foo with a method bar(), and inside of it you have a NodeImpl inner class that also implements Foo, which means that it too has a method bar(). Say that NodeImpl also has another method doSomething(), which needs to call bar(), but specifically the bar() of the parent, FooImpl.

Problem: If you just call bar() from inside the inner class NodeImpl, you will get the inner class’s bar(). This is because of scoping. So how do you solve this?

Answer: Call FooImpl.this.bar() or in general, call ParentClass.this.method() from your inner class.

Getting more plugged in locally

Once upon a time, there was this new technology called Delphi, which was meant to be a Visual Basic killer. When it was released, a young man started using it and was enamored with it and wanted to get together with others who shared this passion. So, he started up the D.C. Delphi Users Group or DCDUG for short (perhaps I played too much Dig Dug when I was younger.) That young man was me in 1995.

It was short lived, for I soon got into Smalltalk and Java, but I discovered how great it was to meet up face-to-face with other people who share your passion. Its why I love to go to conferences. There’s just something you can’t quite get through a bulletin board, email, IM, or Skype.

Fast forward 10 years and I find myself at the Washington Apple Pi (or WAP as it is known) meeting which I attended yesterday morning at 9AM. WAP is the largest Apple user group in the DC area and was founded all the way back in 1978. As many people know, I’m very into Macs, especially programming on them and for them, with Eclipse, Cocoa, and Rails. Pat, the VP of WAP, gave a good presentation on her trip to MacWorld Boston and also on upgrading to Tiger. I joined up and am hoping to meet many more fellow Mac users in the coming years.

Also, I signed myself up for the NOVARUG – the Northern Virginia Ruby Users Group. I don’t know exactly when they’ll meet again, but I added myself to the wiki page so I can get notified.

Of course, I’m a member of the NOVAJUG (Northern Virginia Java Users Group) and I’ve previously been a founding member of the DC Design Patterns Group.

Any good online book forums out there?

So I’m reading Freakonomics, which is an addictive read and exposes the real world as to how it actually works, with actual data, not just theories. But I’d like to discuss it with others and there doesn’t seem to be any good places to have an discussion about a random book online. I’m looking for something like the IMDB message boards, but even easier.

Anyone know a place I can go to discuss books online?

Eclipse Mac: over 500 programmers served

The Eclipse Mac user group is humming along. Just a few months ago, we were at 200 members and now we’re at 523! This is great. And I didn’t even promote it at the Eclipse session at WWDC (although I probably should have.)

Also we’ve got some exclusive content from programmers like Dan who got Eclipse 3.1 running on one of the Intel-based Macs (he calls it an IntelliMac; I prefer MacIntel.)

We’ve also got some folks who are using Eclipse to do C / C++ Development on Mac using the CDT.

Plus: How to run Eclipse 3.1 on Java 5 on Mac.

So if you see any of your friends who are doing Eclipse on Mac or you’re starting to do yourself, check out the group.

Rails Beta Book is now at 1.0

Just got the word that the Rails book is now finished. I guess we should stop calling it the “Beta Book” and just call it “THE Rails Book.”

Expect the paper book to be out in stores the second week of August. But for us early adopters, its time to get a new copy of the PDF. If you haven’t gotten it yet and are at all interested in Rails, I highly suggest it. It will save you a ton of time trying to piece together scattered bits of documentation from around the web. It also has a nice tutorial for those who are new to Rails to illustrate how a Rails app is built.

They say that every good technology needs a good book and thus a good author to go along with it and make it successful. C has Kernighan and Ritchie, Eclipse has the Jumpstart Team, Cocoa has Aaron Hillegass, and now Rails has Dave Thomas.

Officer, I just saved a bunch of money by switching to… wait… where’d I put my insurance card?

I got this in an email today from my insurance company:

Effective July 16, 2005, District of Columbia police officers will begin issuing $300.00 fines for drivers who cannot provide proof of insurance when stopped. An individual pulled over by District police officers must be able to provide license, registration and a current insurance card or a citation will be issued.

DC also provides fines for eating ($100) or talking on your cell phone ($100) while driving. Meanwhile, in Virginia, where I live, we’ve just recently turned off our red light cameras ($50). Such a strange contrast especially since I only live 10 miles from DC.

Now if only we they would fine everyone who rubbernecks at accidents (shall we start the bidding at $500?). Then the revenue would really roll in! LOL

We need tool builders

“We need to get (students) to the level of creating original works with their skills,” Stephenson said. “We want to see a generation of tool builders, not just tool users, because tool builders have the economic power in the world.”

- Chris Stephenson, executive director of the Computer Science Teachers Association
[via AP].

I wholeheartedly agree. We need more programmers as I like to call them or software engineers as they’re more commonly known. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, while acknowledging that the growth in jobs won’t be as good as in the roaring 90s, states that Software Engineers are projected to be one of the fastest growing occupations over the next several years.