Archive for March, 2006

JavaScript – most successful scripting language ever?

Thursday, March 9th, 2006

FOSDEM had a Web 2.0 track which I decided to sit through on the Sunday morning. By far the best talk in this track was given by Alex Russell. I didn’t have a computer with me so the only information I had before I heard the talk was that he is the project leader of the Dojo Toolkit. I was expecting his talk to be about the project but instead he gave a talk called “Functional Programming and AOP in a JavaScript Environment”. After a brief introduction to JavaScript Alex gave examples of how to implement a variety of object oriented patterns and advanced functional programming idioms such as closures and monads.

I have attended JavaScript tutorials in the past but these did not present me with a language that I would ever have wanted to use. They mainly focused on browser incompatibilities and horrible hacks to get round these. The language looked ugly. But after hearing Alex I realise that it’s not that you can’t write good code in JavaScript it’s just that lots of people choose not to or don’t know how to.

I am glad that the slides are available as not only did I not take a computer to FOSDEM but I also managed to forget to bring a notebook with me on Sunday morning.

Perl Mongers Meeting – 15th March

Tuesday, March 7th, 2006

The Belfast Perl Mongers will be meeting next Wednesday. It’s been nearly a year since the last meeting and I’m not even sure it counted as it was in Birmingham.

We still haven’t decided whether this will be a technical or social meeting. I was hoping that Marty would speak but he’s going to be too busy with the FOSS event. If I don’t manage to find a speaker we will just have to get by with eating and going out to a bar. A few of the guys from will be over – maybe I should get them to speak…

Free Software Event in Belfast

Monday, March 6th, 2006

If you are interested in Free Software and are going to be in Belfast on the 16th I would recommend that you attend the FOSS Means Business event. I haven’t heard all the speakers but I did get the opportunity to hear Richard Stallman speaking at FOSDEM at the end of February. This was the first time I’d heard Stallman and he wasn’t quite what I expected. A lot of people, when discussing Stallman, focus on the eccentricities of his personality. But he is a very articulate speaker and the passion he has for his subject is well presented without him sounding like a raving fanatic.

The only thing I didn’t enjoy was the way that he handles questions. He had no problems giving answers but he isn’t always pleasant to the people asking them. So if you do go along and decide to take part in the Q&A session I would recommend that you use the phrase Free Software and not Open Source.

New Blog Software

Monday, March 6th, 2006

I haven’t written much in my blog this year. I’m going to blame this on the fact that I was ill for most of January and February. Now that I feel like blogging again I am going to have to learn to use new blogging software. I have been using Moveable Type for nearly four years but whilst I was ill Marty and Tony decided to move all our blogs to WordPress. I had asked Marty not to move my blog as I don’t really like change but he ignored me.

WordPress must be fairly easy to use as the only problem I’ve had so far has been getting the password out of Marty. Well I did manage to mess up. It seems that I published a blank entry by mistake. I’ll need to work out how to get rid of that and see if I can publish this instead!