After a lot of thought, I have regretfully decided to resign as a contributing editor with Doctor Dobb’s Journal. The magazine is still great reading, and Jon Erickson and his crew have been a rare pleasure to work with, but I simply don’t have the time to keep up any longer. It’s been a lot of fun — I’ll miss it.
Via several people: Phil Gyford has drawn the relationships between the various web applications that own his life. If a class diagram or a call diagram looked like this, most of us would say “ew”, but somehow, when the pieces are distributed so that they’re not under any one developer’s control, we think it’s OK.
Via Paul Lu (who is coaching the University of Alberta‘s team), a nice writeup on the teams competing in this year’s Cluster Challenge:
…teams are made of…six of undergraduate students, a supervising professor and a partnering HPC vendor. The students will architect a machine with the support of their respective vendor organization…constrain[ed] to a single rack powered by two 120-volt, 20-amp circuits… The teams are required to run a series of standard applications and benchmarks [and are] judged on based on workload accomplishment, benchmark performance and the overall system architecture.
It’s a pretty cool project, and it says a lot about the pace of change in our business that what was once a publication-worthy venture is now something that undergrads can do for fun. I wish all the teams the best of luck.
And speaking of the University of Alberta, I’ll be speaking there on Monday, November 24 — look forward to seeing some old students and friends.
Via Science in the Open, a call for expressions of interest in running a research project on how Web 2.0 tools are changing scientific practice. Given the timelines (EoI’s on November 3, project to start in December) it’ll be hard to get a proposal in, but it’ll be interesting to see what comes out the other end.
Via Cameron Neylon, a workshop in London in November on finding and re-using open scientific resources. Wish I could go…
Mike Gunderloy has yet another great post, this time on how to contribute to Rails.
Over at O’Reilly, Brady Forrest has a roundup of 10 Ignite events from around the world. We’ve been talking about changes to the DemoCamp format; maybe we should just open it up to either ignites or demos, and let the crowd decide?
Diomidis Spinellis posted last week about Tokeneer, a National Security Agency case study carried out by UK software firm Praxis of “…how to develop zero-defect code in a cost-effective manner”. Problem is, Diomidis found something that looked a lot like a bug, and his suspicions have now been confirmed.
One of my new grad students just mailed this around:
In the interest of fostering a better, more closely connected learning community with a vested interest in the academic well-being of all participants, I have installed a new device in my cubicle. This device shall be known as the Thesis Hat. The thesis hat, like most other magical hats, has the property that one can reach into it and pull out a thesis idea. However, one of its distinguishing features is that someone must first put the ideas into the hat. I have submitted one, so the trick will work the first couple of times, but I put it you the community (that’s you) to keep adding ideas of your own volition. Once a week, it has been proposed, we will pull an idea and discuss in an ad-hoc, in-your-face fashion (probably Mondays after 1:00pm).
I’m going to put a few things in, but if you have ideas you’d like someone to investigate for you, I’d be happy to submit ‘em for you
In amongst a bunch of programming books, I also found time this summer to read a few for fun, like the latest in the Temeraire series. The two I enjoyed most were Felix Gilman’s debut novel Thunderer, and Michael Chabon’s Gentlemen of the Road. The former is a match for K. J. Bishop’s The Etched City (think China Mieville, but less self-consciously anxious to impress); the latter, like The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, is proof that Chabon has finally learned that too much is not a good thing. I wouldn’t call either book deep, but they’re both nice and chewy.