Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ruby Interfaces


I've been using jRuby for these past three months, and I like it. It's concise, readable, structured well, and Rails is awesome. There's a few things that I keep beating my head against, like what they named the functional collection methods (zip?  really?), but overall I think it's a really neat way to write code.

The one thing that really annoys me is the lack of interfaces though. I've looked all over the net, and although there are a few ruby gems that provide interfaces, they're not commonly used and most people complain that they're not needed. Which from a certain perspective is true.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I've noticed that many programmers seem to be overly annoyed by airport security. I've seen airport security complaints all across the net, but especially by the people I follow on twitter (techies mostly) and tech sites like The Register, where they refer to it as security theatre. (british spelling, innit) And of course my own feelings on the subject, which follow pretty closely the security theatre line.

I wasn't sure exactly why I felt that way, but as I was stuck in the scanner line today, I had quite a bit of time to think about it. I think as programmers we draw natural analogies between computer systems and well, every other type of system. Airports being such a system, and therefore TSA being the security of the system.

Ineffective security being one of those things that programmers hate most, it seems natural that we'd be annoyed as we examine the obvious flaws in the TSA systems. I won't go into those flaws right now, as I would like to get on the plane and not be arrested, but it does seem to me that the TSA could use some improvements.

It's difficult to examine such a large and complex system for flaws, but I think a similar analysis could be done with airport security that is done with computer security - break it down to the basic components and examine each of those individually. For example, authentication seems to be something that is done fairly well, considering the large attack surface that the airport naturally has.

Not that I think that the US government would ever be able to competently perform such an analysis.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


I could get used to this blogger thingy.  In 20 minutes I have my blog set up with a pretty layout and everything. Somewhat easier than the two weeks it took me to write my own blogging software, if not quite as educational.  I probably would have just kept my old blog, but I can't find the source code for it, and GAE's complaining about the data store I'm using being deprecated. It seems likely that I accidentally destroyed my svn repo - bummer.

I'd have wanted to rewrite it in RoR anyway, and I really don't have the time right now. Better to not reinvent the wheel when google provides me with a perfectly good solution.

Google - enabling laziness since 1998.

First post

That joke is about a dozen years stale.

This is my blog.  I am using it to replace my custom blog on GAE, which I'm tired of maintaining.