Archive for May 28, 2003

Wednesday, May 28, 2003 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Memory Models

Chris Brumme:

The trade-off between developer productivity and computer performance is really an economic one.  If there’s sufficient incentive to write code to a weak memory model so it can execute efficiently on future computers, then developers will do so.  At that point, we will allow them to mark their assemblies (or individual methods) to indicate that they are “weak model clean”.  This will permit the native code generator to emit normal stores rather than store.release instructions.  You’ll be able to achieve high performance on weak machines, but this will always be “opt in”.  And we won’t build this capability until there’s a real demand for it.

Lisp Machine

John Wiseman has posted a video of a Lisp machine. I also found these pictures of the keyboard.

FrameMaker Capitalization

I always forget FrameMaker’s keyboard commands for changing capitalization. They’re not in the menus or in the online help index. You have to remember which help page to look on. So here they are, for my reference:

Automatic Switching

Pierre Igot:

Right now, I’m seeing a pattern in Mac OS X and in Apple’s applications that I really don’t like: something akin to systematic UI intrusiveness when background processes fail.…Apple wants us to adopt Mac OS X because it’s an advanced, multithreading, multitasking system. Fine. But then please design Mac OS X so that it handles multiple tasks more gracefully! I am definitely a multitasker and I hate having to wait for a process to finish before I can switch to something else. Mac OS X lets me switch. It shouldn’t force me to switch back whenever there is an error or failure!

Journalism

Tim Bray:

I had an intense dialogue with Jon Udell about how journalism in general and tech journalism in particular feel increasingly broken, and whether something else comes next, and if so what. Herewith a look at the problem and where it comes from.

Blacklists

Hiawatha Bray:

Blocklists are a powerful alternative to more costly and unreliable “content filtering” software, which scans each incoming message and tries to determine whether it’s spam.

Of course I’m biased, but I think blacklists are less reliable than content filters and fail less gracefully. Most content filters I’ve seen are free or cheap, so I don’t know why he says they’re costly.

iTunes 4.0.1

Boing Boing:

Apple has “enhanced” iTunes so that it can’t be used to play music from one computer on another if they’re on different subnets (i.e., if you have a computer at home that you stream to from work).

This is an unfortunate consequence of the integration between the music store and the music player. Looks like an opportunity for a third-party developer without Apple’s conflicting interests.