Archive for October 2006

To upgrade or not to upgrade ?

2006/10/28

It’s official. The Browser version 2 final is out. I mean Firefox, of course – it should be quite obvious what is “the browser” these days. Yes, I know – IE still holds majority of the browser share and yes, Safari is really really nice, fast and good looking application – but let’s face it: browser is not just another application – it is a *platform* these days. Platform means extensibility and extensibility means being a good foundation for add-ons, extensions and plugins. And from the platform perspective, the Firefox is the king.

The negative side of being a platform is that you *really* need to think twice before you upgrade. It is not only the browser itself – the real value of Firefox is in its extensibility and in huge selection of available plugins. These plugins tends to check the browser version on initialization and chances are, some of them will stop working after the upgrade. Exactly this happened to me after I upgraded from one-something to one-five of Firefox while ago. It took about 3-4 months before I had all my “plugins-I-cannot-live-without” back working again. For the list – see the next blog entry.

Even without the “will my plugins work” issue, upgrade is a big deal. The more we do rely on the Web 2 apps, the bigger impact can a broken (or changed) feature in browser have. It is not any more “you cannot visit some WWW page” issue – more like “you cannot run this application” problem. I do not know about you, but I would certainly miss Google Docs (former Writely and Google Spreadsheet), Remember The Milk, Delicious, Gmail and few others.

Internet Explorer got major new release as well. After long long wait, the IE 6 was replaced by IE 7. It brings new amazing and newer-heard of innovations such as – tab browsing ! But seriously – it is good that IE got an upgrade and  that the gap between Firefox and IE go smaller. Some features are very promising – like the RSS – and now IE is much easier extensible with add-ons. The selection of add-ons is no match to Firefox Extensions, but at least it is possible now.

You should be careful before you get you new blue e – not because many plugins would stop working – but because the switching back from IE7 to IE6 can be very hard – some people say it is close to impossible.

To keep on the safe side – try the installation in the virtual machine first. There are many these days: Virtual Server, VMWare. My personal favorite is Parallels – not (only) because it works on all OS-es I really care about – Windows, Mac and Linux and it just feels right. It is neither free (as beer) like Virtual Server 2005 or some products from VMWare nor free (as speech) like Xen – but it has one very important Mac-ish feature: it just works 🙂

Advertisements

Back again

2006/10/13

I have been back since Monday October 2nd late night, but until today, the backlog of things in both projects did not leave enough time to do any blogging. Not even any project-unrelated thinking – which is a prerequisite. Thanks to long weekend, I almost caught up with my backlog in both projects, so I can get back to the fun part of business such as Internet and blogs …

To answer the question how was the trip: Great!. Bratislava is really nice tourist destination (obviously, lots of British and Italian tourists must have found out too …). Especially if your main area of interest is meeting people in pleasant environment of pubs, restaurants and caffee’s, which are available in huge quantities in the historical downtown. This certainly was my main activity as I tried to meet many people from my “previous life”. I did meet most of the people I wanted to meet (as well as few I did not expect to ;-)). Weather was fabulous, food was good (maybe even too rich), beer was (as expected) excellent and really affordable ( < $2 a piece).

The only real problem is smoking. It is mostly allowed everywhere – pubs, restaurants, caffee’s, airports – you name it. In many places the idea of “non-smoker’s area” is virtual line drawn in the middle of the restaurant, with no air flow limitation whatsoever … It is not specific to Slovakia – Austria and Germany are pretty much the same.

Secret hint: if you go to Bratislava, take your notebook with you. In the heart of the pedestrian zone, right in front of the City Hall there is a free WiFi, courtesy of the city council. Too bad I noticed it only 5 days before leaving. Enjoy !

While I was travelling, few interesting things happened. The biggest (in both market impact as well as dollars transferred) was YouTube’s purchase by Google. I guess many lawyers in USA must be very happy and very busy now … as it is much more fun to sue somebody that actually does have money for copyright infringement, rather than cash-strapped startup. I dare to predict looots of such lawsuits. The lawyers will not have it easy – they may be challenging something really big. Not only financially. According to the Church of Google, Google is actually a real deity. And they claim to have a proof for it:

  • Google is all-knowing (Omniscient).
  • Google is everywhere at once (Omnipresent).
  • Google answers prayers.
  • Google is immortal.
  • Google is infinite. (a mathematician in me has serious issues with this statement ;-))
  • Google remembers all (now this is scary !!)
  • Google can “do no evil” (Omnibenevolent).

See the Full proof and their very own 10 commandments .

I can imagine this idea will create lots of emotional reactions. Depending on your personal standpoint in matters of religion and spirituality, you may find it all somewhere on the scale from “terrible inexcusable blasphemy – how dare you …” up to “excellent hilarious funny idea”.
Make your own choice. But regardless where you stand, consider this (now I am *not* promoting or advocating here anything, so no flame wars plz):

The Church of Google believes we should be tolerant of everyone’s beliefs, provided said beliefs hurt no one …

and

Googlism has not started any religious wars, forced its opinions onto others, discouraged critical thought, objected to harmless lifestyle choices and most importantly, we have never attempted to scare people into believing they will suffer if they reject our religion.

Can you say the same for your religion?

If you reject Google as your God, nothing negative (aside from your search results being crappy) will happen to you.

Enough of this – quick look at other noteworthy nuggets from the Web:

  • Roughly Drafted is very interesting read, especially if you have been around for a while, or if you care about history of computing. See the Rise and Fall of Platforms series. Recommended.
  • Ian Landsman’s thoughts on business of programming are also worth reading .
  • Thanks to these guys I found out that I am 50% average person (whatever that means). Here is why: they published “20 Things the average person doesn’t know about XP”. After reading them, I found out I did not know about 10 of them. Now I only wonder is 50% of average better than average or worse ?? <grin/>…
  • Web developers and Firefox users, note the 20 useful Firefox extensions for developers. Are there any web developers out the who would NOT use Firefox ? Just wondering …
  • If you use SQL Server, look at the T-SQL code snippets of this Narayana Vyas Kondreddi
  • Ever wondered whether Yahoo Maps are better or worse than Google Maps ? See side-by-side comparison
  • Another comparison – of anti-virus products can be found here

To finish in a good mood – here is how to shoot yourself in the foot in various programming languages