Wednesday, June 22, 2005


Yesterday the producer of Battlefield2 answered some questions in a chat. I particularly took notice of the following.

*Importfan85* how many different game types will there be?

[EA]ScottyRotten: Battlefield 2 is conquest only. We've been asked before why that is and the question is basically user interest. We measured the number of people playing the other game modes (Deathmatch, etc.) in BF1942 and the numbers were quite small. Therefore we decided on focusing on other parts of the game like the teamplay features.

Ok. So they looked at Battlefield 1942 and BFV, found that almost nobody played Deathmatch given a choice between Conquest and Deathmatch ( there really aren't more gamemodes ).

I can fairly understand that they scraped Deathmatch for this. But how they made the connection that Conquest would be the only thing gamers ever wanted to play is a miracle to me.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Shit infestation

Warning, if you think ATL and MFC are enjoyable API expiriences, you should not read this.

I'm working in a project making a product that needs to cross-compile against both Solars and Windows. For this you obviously need unified interfaces for containers.

Trough some history I'm glad not to have been involved, the choice fell on the Microsoft flavor of containers and API's, coming from ATL and MFC.

Obviously I'm not a fan of these APIs. I'm hardly a fan of the STL, but I hink its interface is as close as you get to coherent and nice as is possible in a language like C++.
Of course I think coherent and nice are important properties in code, if you disagree there's again no point in reading along, go troll some Blogs about how great Windows XP is.

The choice to take proprietary containers from M$ not only led to the lamentable situation that these actually had to be implemented on unix by this project. It also lead to a complete mess whenever you start using std:: containers. For this reason std:: containers are shunned, and everything that works on them.
If you don't know ATL, rest assured, iterators are not supported.
No! You can't go and iterate like for( contType::iterator i=x.beg(); i!=x.end(); i++ ) (of course this is a far cry from "for x in y" of python) but hey, as good as it gets aye?

Well the point of this post? I'm annoyed. Even though I'm not on windows, and even though what we programm right now is never going to work on windows, I still have to cope with their moronic excuse of containers.

That's what the natives from where I come call a shit infestation.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Battlefield 2 Modding

I'm toying with modding Battlefield 2, and for that purpose I'm putting up a reference page of it.

It's a lot of work specially documenting the stuff that isn't there as source. I also noticed that there's rather an abundance of API's the engine exposes, that aren't used at ally by any python.
I also came by some classes that seem to be created dynamically by C++ code, or be plugged together by other means. Thinking about it now, I've the suspicion more then what is visibile already in the Demo is scripted in python. I'll try to explore that later on.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Battlefield 2

This post is going to be about three things: Battlefield 2, my new hardware to play it and the python embedding they do.

Battlefield 2
This is simply an awesome game. A demo has just come out, and it is in many many aspects so much more and better then the previous battlefield. There are some issues I have, which would namely be the ingame browser and a bit of the loading slowness spread everywhere. But apart from that it's absolutely superb.

Battlefield 2 hardware
I was merrily happy before with a geforce 5900ultra on a nforce2 board. So this time I went for an nforce4 board. I was buying the geforce 6800ultra. At the time I decided cutting back for the processor is pointless, and bought a Clawhammer fx-55. Beeing trough that decision I thought it's silly to cut back at all, and bought the second 6800ultra for the SLI setup.
Bear with me, I know that for some things the SLI setup is a bit slower then the fastest ATI cards, but there's many considerations for me why I buy only geforces. I won't bore you however with them. I needn't be told either that the price/performance comparision for this setup is quite shitty.
Well, a friend of mine summarized it pretty good. "Dude you've just spend 400$ on a graphics card, and you've a surplus of fourty times that money, run for it or let it be!"
I'm still amazed about my own buying decisions not based on any practical considerations :D

Battlefield 2 and python
I was amazed to see that to some extend battlefield 2 uses python. I'm still figuring out the details, and digging my way trough the classes and interfaces. I have quite high hopes that this will make for some very interesting modding.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Full text indexer

It took me 15 minutes today to write a simple full-text indexer for source code, using shlex and zodb. It accesses a 20Mb database below a notable delay. It will save me endless hours of using find/grep on the ~3600 header files I find myself searching pretty often.

Implementation time: 15 minutes. Retriever 15 lines of code. Indexer 37 lines of code. Time not spend using find/grep, priceless.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Negative reinforcement works!

Yet again I work in a C++ project. The deadline looms closer. We've no working system, a lack of specification, people working on their modules in autism mode and general confusion about what we're doing anyway.
Personally I've been struggling with an impossibly retarded build-system for the past three weeks, I tried to get the "big picture" to compile so I can work against something that runs. I too will resort to implement an interfaces that understand the protocol instead of trying to integrate.
Ahead of us lays undoudbtedly a big-crunch integration-havoc and possibly worse things.

Blame can be laid partly to a development/source control system that easely breaks, and is very slow to operate due to sheer size and bad setup. ( honorable mention of sniff+, Sun Workshop and Synergy CMS )

Part of the blame firmly rests at the fact that 5 weeks before the deadline nobody who worked on the previous prototype is present, the chief developer has just taken off on a 3 weeks vacation and 20% of the team are noobs to this project.

We ( meaning the noobs, including me ) still struggle to grasp the system, while our deadline is 2 1/2 weeks ahead of us.

Regardless of expirience in this project, we all have no clue what's supposed to happen and how we get there.

Oh, and I should mention that I've two deadlines, one for my implementation task, and one for the completion of something completely different ( packaging stuff we should assume responsibility for after customer decided that this should be our task ).
Lo and behold, both deadlines accidentally fall to the same day. Of course for the packaging stuff I'm equally clueless as anybody, and the guy who did this before will embark on a three-week vacation a week before the deadline.

Sometimes I figure I got the short-straw in the game, whatever it is. Ah that reminds me of the fact that I still have 5 weeks of vacation to kill this year. I wonder if this would be a good time...

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Darwin Award

My todays nominees would be the people who try to fly in the wheel well of an airplane.
Obviously there's multiple dangers awaiting the eager well-traveler there.

-You can get crushed by the wheels
-You can get crushed by the doors closing/opening
-You can freeze do death
-Die of oxygen deprivation in airy hights
-You can fall do death
-Slide to death ( in case you fell out at a couple of hundreds of miles per second while the airplane is still on ground )

Surprisingly as it sounds, there seem to be records of hundreds such incidents, few of which survived.

I don't know what's mor baffling, how people actually find themselves doing such an incredibly stupid thing, or that some of em actually manage to survive.

Monday, May 30, 2005


I've said this before, and I still think it holds true. ElementTree is very nice.

There was a recent discussion about it on comp.text.xml, which got the attention of Fredrik Lundth

I do much apreciate ElementTree. Of course using a non-DOM API to process xml conviniently is heresy, and will call the gods crushing down on us.

I find the proponents to a strict and true die hard one Document Model API hillarious in their self imposed blindness towards pragmatism.

But then, it's not my time I'm wasting on cumbersome and broken API's, or is it? Of course the Net-dammage in the form of popular implementations of DOM can't be taken into account lightly...

Monday, May 23, 2005

PyPy 0.6 out

Alright, now this one gets me quite excited. Just 5 minutes ago I argued with a friend of mine, that PyPy is in fact going forward, and he argued that they'll not have a release anytime < 10 years.

However, there is a release 0.6 now. From the tutorials and explanations, there's plenty a mention that this is higly experimental. I can spot type inference there, as well as translation to machine code ( or at least something very very close ).

This is exiting because once PyPy, executed on the CPython can translate to machine code, it could compile itself to a running programm. One which in turn can again compile future versions of itself and so forth.

Not only does it mean that python gets very flexible with this, it also means that integration with native code, runtime speed and a ton of other things get very fancy now.

Onwards to world Domination with PyPy ;),
Kudos and good Karma for the group around PyPy, you do an awesome job!

RPC and protocol bloat.

While implementing rpc stuff, I noticed that the protocol bloats. Here's an example.

remote.text( 's' ) becomes ('text', 0, ('s',)) which becomes some 40 or so bytes once marshalled. A byte id and a single byte for the letter would be 2 bytes in contrast.
The problem about ('text', 0, ('s',)) is that it has more information. It carries the method to be invoked remotely, what type of command it is ( i.e. a call and not an error message ), and the argument-list for the remote method in an easely digestible form.

I realize I could optimize somewhat with a fancy marshaller, that negotiates formats with foreign marshallers, like templates or identifier lookup lists.

But then let's say each tiny message translates to abou 50 byte. a user can only type around 2 baud, so the generated netflow would be around 100baud/user. you can support at least 128 users on a 24kB modem line then ( assuming they do not do worse things then typing and pasting short text ).

Is optimizing at this point really worth it?

I guess I should just encapsulate properly, and later if I really want I can still try to optimize ('text', 0, ('s',)) structures to a few bytes.

Friday, May 20, 2005

RPC, Nodes'n stuff

I've been hacking away at an rpc mechanism. Fully knowing that I ignored proper asynchronous dispatching, just a very thin layer over messaging. However, during the process I noticed that it would be rather intersting to leave the client/server pattern, and instead provide a generic object that is a node which can both accept and build connections. I'm not really sure how a node will find out in a nice way where to connect to, but I think it's interesting none the less.

Thursday, May 19, 2005


I've been on it again. I don't know why precisely I torture myself with network programming. There's a pleathora of toolkits for precisely that readily avaiable.
Generally I do scratch-writes of existing libraries only 1/4 until I grasp the concept fully and convert to an existing library.

The things I've had direct exposure to where asyncore, medusa, twisted, xmlrpc, tcpserver and of course socket. I think there's far more, but these are the ones that notably stick around my internal memory so they might deserve the mention, honorary at least.

I can' really reason that any of those above would be insufficient or somehow lacking, they just do not really apeal to me.

So, I'm on the fourth ( or was it the fifth ) rewrite of my network library. Somewhere at the second rewrite I decided asynchronous can't be done properly, and sacrified it for threads. Meanwhile having aquired more network-karma, I actually reversed my opinion, and think asynchronous can in fact be done properly, and it will be a big merrit in the end.

Of course I reinvent all sorts of wheels in the process, including but not limited to rpc mechanisms, message transport protocols and asynchronous messaging.

I still don't know really why I do it. But there's only two possible explanations. Either all existing stuff sucks beyond comic relief, or I've still not grasped the fundamentals of network programming, even after years of exposure.

I fear the latter is far more likely, but duh... can that really be?

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


It was monday afternoon. A friend of mine aproached me with a seemingly simple problem. The problem is as follows:

-There's a number of tasks, that have to be repetetly called each second. The amount of each task's repetition is fixed, and has to be met.
-Some tasks have a dependency, and thus execution order for those matters.
-One task may be used as a fill-up, when there's time left, or to drop if there is to little time.
-All tasks should be evenly distributed, in order to make the system apear as fluent as possible.

( note, these requirements are already a bogged-down version, that tries to eliminate a ton of complexities, or so we thought )

As the day progressed, and we talked for hours and wrote code and tested, it turned out this isn't a simple problem, but a hard one. In fact, we ended up with something that performed bad, and on top of that couldn't fill-up properly.

I told my friend up-front that I think that this is not one of the simple problems, vaguely remembering some school lessons about operating systems, and process scheduling. However, we tried to adjust requirements to a form that made it all implementable, seemingly, just that we ended up having still difficulties getting it right.

It was kinda Bummer, I feel I need to ponder this problem longer, and understand more of the theory to get it precisely right. I hope I can come up with something vastly better when I get to the third or fourth rewrite.

Friday, May 13, 2005


Once in a while a pc-game hits the market that needs patching badly from the get go. In the best of cases the patches come fast, eventually they come before the game is released. The producers of such games tend to fall short in favor of critical customers, while the press joins the chorus. I'm not sure if this is the right kind of bad publicity that's as good as good one.

On any account, I'm baffled by the producers of said pc-games, because they could easely avoid the trouble. Instead of having customers find, download and install a patch ( by which time even the very simple minded start to get clues ), they could just incorporate automatic-patching.

Without going in to technobabble, just give the user a cute little box, offering him to update/restart the game when an update is avaiable ( if you feel brave you could also try live-patching, warning though, not for the faint of heart ).

Chances are your user will just klick yes without reading, that's about 70% people less that are even noticing you're patching the game short after you released it. And the remaining 30% will be much less enraged because the actual efford they had to spend to get the patch migitates their feel to have been screwed by you. I even think that automatic-patching is percieved as quite normal, whereas hand downloadable patches are precieved as literally patchwork philosophy ( altough technically it's both the same ).

Make Wrong Code Not Compile/Inteprete

I like Joels latest article about making Wrong code look wrong. The whole shebang about making relationships as visible as possible and stuff.

I still do not like Hungarian notation and I do not agree with his assertion of the best solution.

The first reason is that it is dependent on a reader to tell an error. Everbody likes errors, and I like them best when they do not interprete/compile.

Which leads me to my second reason. The hungarian notations solves problems that can be adressed by other means as well. For instance type-subclassing. However this hasn’t deserved a mention in Joels post, which I find somewhat dissapointing.

Normally code is litered with dependencies, intricate semantics and stuff that makes it harder then to write blog entries. I’m pretty glad the less there is to worry about and the more is automatically checked. Hungarian notation introduces another layer of semantics on top of the existing complexities, I find it distracting.

The next reason I dislike Hungarian notation is that it forces you either to use acronyms in names, or waste rediculus amounts of name-estate.

I dislike acronyms in names because it is an additional inderection, with which I’m forced to deal in order not to make errors. Indirection because extensive use of acronyms ( as in hungarian notation ) leads to the code beeing litered with acronyms, and each of it means something that’s supposed to tell you something, that you have to remember in order to find out what it means, instead of telling this to you up front.

Obviously screen estate is limited, and so is name-estate. I like to spend name-estate on reasonably describtive multi-word names ( dislike commenting the obvious really, if I can avoid it with good naming ).
Hungarian notation can’t do that for me. But it can harm my ability to form good names, by introducing more bytes stacked on top of my names, and thus taking away valuable name-estate from me.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Firewall admins, Corporate Logic

Dear reader ( if any ) I am forced to post this comment in IExploder, and do the rest of my surfing using this godawfull insecure browser. Why you might ask? The oh-so-wise(tm) firewall admins at our company obviously decided that two critical security holes in Firefox are enough to filter out any traffic going on using the UserAgent: Mozilla*.

Ahyes, this makes sense(tm) to me too, whatever happend to the dozens of unpatched critical security holes in IExploder, and it is preinstalled on our machines, traffic using UserAgent: IExploder/Malware Magnet is still alowed...

I think it's time to sigh in dispair(tm)

MetaGer - Does software move forwards?

This is an interesting article

Pupil found paper of head of a research facility, about the next generation search engine. At the time of the writing it was not feasible mainly due to network bandwith constraints. Pupil cleverly implemented the idea salvaging his existing broadband account, and now everybody's abuzz.

What struck me about this is that said pupil not only implemented the whole thing from scratch, he also found a way to cleverly implement the new features in a way that is feasible today. And all he needed was a describtion of the idea.

Amazing feat! It will not surprise you much that the pupil used python for this. In face of this, I suspect that under the right conditions python's not only more productive, but by orders of magnitude so.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Texture Packing

I toyed a round a bit with texture-packing. The idea is to pack multiple arbitary sized textures on a bigger one. In the context of a sprite engine, this makes sense. Today when you write games, whatever you do, you use the exisitng 3d hardware, even for 2d stuff. The thing you want to avoid when rendering with super-fast hardware is shuffling data around between card and ram. Thus it's a sensible aproach to load all textures needed for a batch of work once, and then have primitives use them.

Anyway, here's a pretty pic :D

( p.s. of course this is all written in python, source follow later )

Thursday, April 28, 2005

dictionary speed

This entry got me thinking.

Here's my 5 cents. In all cases the construct

if key in dictionary:
value = dictionary[key]
value = default

performed best.

update: I increased the amount of data to reduce the amount of white-noise in the test results, though things haven't changed. An explanation to the output. The programm compares nine data-sets against four test functions. The nine data sets are the combinations of size-distribution between search/dictionary and size-distribution between search and matching keysets ( thereof the small/even/big combinations ).

update2: Why, the version of python is 2.4 of course :)

Here's the output of the programm.

big dict, small search, big intersect
test_has_key 0.9690
test_get 1.0000
test_try 1.2190
test_in 0.5930
big dict, small search, small intersect
test_has_key 0.8750
test_get 1.0320
test_try 6.6250
test_in 0.5150
big dict, small search, half intersect
test_has_key 0.9220
test_get 1.0310
test_try 3.9530
test_in 0.5470
even, big intersect
test_has_key 1.4370
test_get 1.4840
test_try 1.7030
test_in 1.0780
even, small intersect
test_has_key 1.4530
test_get 1.6090
test_try 7.3120
test_in 1.0780
even, half intersect
test_has_key 1.4690
test_get 1.5620
test_try 4.5630
test_in 1.0780
small dict, big search, big intersect
test_has_key 0.1090
test_get 0.1250
test_try 0.7970
test_in 0.0630
small dict, big search, small intersect
test_has_key 1.0790
test_get 1.2180
test_try 7.0160
test_in 0.7340
small dict, big search, half intersect
test_has_key 0.5790
test_get 0.6560
test_try 3.8440
test_in 0.3910

and that's the programm

import sys, time

def random_key( keylen = 10 ):
import random
return ''.join(chr(random.randint(ord('a'),ord('z'))) for _ in range( keylen ))

def new_key( existing_keys ):
key = random_key()
while key in existing_keys:
key = random_key()
return key

def unique_keys( amount=1000, existing_keys=set() ):
keys = set( existing_keys )
for _ in xrange( amount ):
key = new_key( keys )
keys.add( key )
return keys-existing_keys

def data( dictionary_size=1000, search_size=3000, intersection=0.5 ):
dict_keys = unique_keys( dictionary_size )
intersection_amount = int(search_size*intersection)
unique_search_keys = unique_keys( search_size-intersection_amount, dict_keys )
intersection_search_keys = set(list(dict_keys)[0:intersection_amount])
return dict((key,None) for key in dict_keys), unique_search_keys | intersection_search_keys

def core_test( out_prefix, dictionary, searched, test_functions ):
print out_prefix
for function in test_functions:
start = time.time()
for _ in range( 20*(len(dictionary)/len(searched) or 1) ):
function( dictionary, searched, None )
end = time.time()
print '\t%-20s %2.4f'%(function.__name__, end-start)

def inner_test( out_prefix, dictionary_size, search_size, test_functions ):
#big intersection
dictionary, search = data( dictionary_size, search_size, 0.9 )
core_test( '%s, big intersect'%out_prefix, dictionary, search, test_functions )
#small intersection
dictionary, search = data( dictionary_size, search_size, 0.1 )
core_test( '%s, small intersect'%out_prefix, dictionary, search, test_functions )
#half intersection
dictionary, search = data( dictionary_size, search_size, 0.5 )
core_test( '%s, half intersect'%out_prefix, dictionary, search, test_functions )

#test functions
def test_has_key( dictionary, searched, default ):
for key in searched:
if dictionary.has_key( key ):
value = dictionary[key]
value = default

def test_get( dictionary, searched, default ):
for key in searched:
value = dictionary.get(key, default)

def test_try( dictionary, searched, default ):
for key in searched:
value = dictionary[key]
except KeyError:
value = default

def test_in( dictionary, searched, default ):
for key in searched:
if key in dictionary:
value = dictionary[key]
value = default

def test():
factor = 100
test_functions = [test_has_key, test_get, test_try, test_in]
#big dict, small search, small
inner_test( 'big dict, small search', 1000*factor, 1*factor, test_functions )

#even dict/search
inner_test( 'even', 1000*factor, 1000*factor, test_functions )

#small dict, big search
inner_test( 'small dict, big search', 1*factor, 1000*factor, test_functions )

if __name__ == '__main__':

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Live communications Server

The task was simple, "install a live-communications server". Me beeing a Microsoft-avoider I found out most things the hard way.

To install live communications server, you gotta have a windows 2004 and up server. Had to install one.

Do not try out live-communications server 2003, as it either fails, or lacks much of the configuration ease that 2005 offers.

If you want live communications server, you need a domain-controller that manages the active directory ( required to manage rights and users, for what it's worth ).

Here's where the trouble starts. In a demo-environment you'll never get rights to the produktive domain ( if any ). Since some of the stuff required for communications server requires you to make changes to what the Microsoft guys call schema, which is inter-domain stuff ( nono, no subdomain either ).

You gotta have a standalone domain, or any other domain admin of a produktive domain's very likely to kill you.

However, that means that you can't enjoy the benefit of having user of the other domain automatically beeing authenticated in yours, because trusts between domains include resources, not however the live-communications stuff.

Having that learned, I tried out connecting to the live-communications server with windows-messenger. That was easy enough, and you actually do not have to be part of the domain the live-communications server sits in in order for this to work ( as long as you can adress the machine somehow, that's enough )

Next up: Installing Sharepoint portal. That'll get a little difficult, as on our cached select site we've only got a very old sharepoint portal ( 2001 ), and this won't even install on a windows 2003 server. So I gotta have to have a Sharepoint 2005 sp1, just don't know from where.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Video Capture, weee!

vidcap + PIL + pygame =
import pygame, vidcap, Image

screen = pygame.display.set_mode( (320,240) )
dev = vidcap.new_Dev( 0, False )

while not pygame.event.get( pygame.QUIT ):
buf, width, height = dev.getbuffer()
img_buf = Image.frombuffer( 'RGB', (width,height), buf )
vid_surface = pygame.image.fromstring( img_buf.tostring( 'raw', 'BGR' ), (width,height), 'RGB' )
screen.blit( vid_surface, (0,0) )


vidcap + PIL + pygame + twisted + pymedia = ?

Now let me get that OS stream-compression and twisted, and let's cook our own video-streaming-game-fun thingy.
( I bet I've violated a dozen or so patents by now )

Update: Somebody pointed me to pymedia

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Bad movies

Today I had a lenghty talk about bad movies on IRC. I think this sequence of comments is worth remembering as the bottom of the pit of cynism we managed to find ourselfes in.

__doc__: I fear lucas will post-morten torture me with gruelsome badly done starwars licensed crap when I'm well in my fourties.
linkmastersab: The original star wars nerds will be dead by the time 9 comes out
linkmastersab: Good for them

Friday, April 08, 2005


This means leaving one project and beeing on the bench for the next.

Yesterday was my roll-off in a project in Vienna. I wrote some scripts and small applications there in python, for the purpose of reporting. Usually at the end of a project you'll get a feedback. Then there are some good points and some bad ones.

Some of the good points for me where

Florian has excelent analysis skills and basically created the detailed designs independently. As he was later implementing the tools as well, it was not necessary to create detailed technical documents. Florian used an agile development approach. He is able to quickly understand complex requirements and shows areas for better designs.
Quite high praise. As you might guess, all I did was listening, hacking some python quickly and adapting and improoving it without hesitation. No magic at all.
But of course everything is measured in relation. The golden standard in this project in regards to data analysis has been cobol, excel, access, perl or java. An easy environment to be good with python :)

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Lotus Notes aka ( /dev/null )

Today morning. Clicking on the update records field in a Lotus Notes database. I got the error message popup "B-Tree structure Invalid". That's that, as a user am I Supposed to cheer now for the helpful error message?

Image to this later this week.

Pyalot out

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Vienna flak tower

I'm quite impressed. Standing in a former flak-tower ( scroll down a bit ), that has been converted to a big vivarium/aquarium. I can blog from here, it has a free internet access. I could watch one of my favorite animals, pythons of various kinds. And they closely bring together humans and a ton of birds and small apes. Quite interesting, I recommend "Haus des Meeres" in the old flak tower in Vienna.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

The Holy Grail

The holy Grail, or so I guess. If you look at the list of developers, it's quite prominent.

Guido van Rossum
Barry Warsaw
Fred Drake
Jeremy Hylton
Roger Masse
Ken Manheimer
Ted Strollo

Grail, what a great and promising name. Quite some time seems to have been put into it. I admire the bold endeavour, and I would so wish it to be succesful. I tried running it on 2.4, and was pleased that much of it works with only minor and easy code changes.

However, the projects is for all practical intent dead and burried. Or perhaps just sleeping until it gets picked up by somebody else. It sure is an intriguing perspective to have an all python browser.

Perhaps such a thing today would get started differently. I think it is unlikely any of the original authors will pick it up ever again, prominent or not.

Dead projects have a sort of magical aura have they not? ;)

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Nice things are better then ugly and long ones

Yesterday I was at a very delightful task. I rewrote a Java program to python. I'm rather pleased with the outcome. I replaced 977 lines of Java with 116 of Python. The Python version is more Robust and it runs about twenty times as fast.

On a sidenote, I wrote the python programm faster then the guys at software-installation-department could install a JDK on my machine.

Trough the new programm, I noticed a few data errors, that went by unnoticed before because of inherent flaws of the previous implementation.

Monday, March 07, 2005

.Net, Grimes and VB.

There was a host of interesting posts today about the topic. Mr. Grimes is ranting about .Net and VB. Usually I enjoy M$ bashing, specially if it comes with some weight.
I read through it, and I also read the reaction and another reaction.

About the whole quarreling I have nothing to say really, save one thing. I'm sadened by the fact that people bang their heads over things so broken from the start I do not even consider them worth investigating further. So broken I would not advise anybody of concerning himself with them any more then to learn they're broken.

I am glad that Mr. Grimes could realize the brokness. Faithfully I believe he will not have to dwelve into a topic for years of his lifetime in the future, before realizing the a thing he's touching is broken beyond repair.

It's all about choices really.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Java sucks because...

I base the resoning on the observation that in a Corporate world you mostly work on foobared windoze machines. Based on that I Observe the following.

The download size:
Why does it matter? Simply because sometimes you have to work on machines that are locked down, and only connected to extremely slow proxies to the internet.
Python d/l: ~10mb
J2SE ( not the fancy J2EE stuff ): ~50mb

Installation without Admin rights:
Why does it matter? In some places you have to work on machines for which you can't get an admin account ( even as developer ).
Python: Not a problem
J2SE: Impossible to install

Compiling Sources "out of the box":
Why does it matter? Sometimes you get preinstallations for software, java would be such a case. In face that you can't do admin installs, you still could write programms if it only was capable of compiling stuff.
Python ( batteries included ): interpreter/compiler/runtime.
JRE ( tough on most machines preinstalled ): runtime only ( can't develop )

Tuesday, January 25, 2005


The very promising project I was in just failed today. It kicked off two months ago, and it hurts a little because I poured some heartblood into it and it grew a little to my heart.

It failed because it was doomed to fail from the start. Head honcho for our project on the client side had orders to make project with us, when in fact he'd have prefered making project with a competitor. Turns out in the two months the hole sideshow ran political-powers shifted, and suddenly the head honcho was able to screw us. So he did.

But then, I will probably never get the hang of politics...

Gee it sucks.