Archive for July, 2008

Randy Pausch

Friday, July 25th, 2008

Today, the world has lost a great teacher and programmer. I can’t help but admire him for the things he decided to do given only 6 months left to live. Instead of succumbing to pre-mortem type activities such self-pity, he decides to keep doing what he loves to do, educating young minds. It’s amazing how he displayed so much energy and life during his lectures, despite having terminal cancer. Instead of dealing with his morbid situation is a sad and depressing way, he decides to make light of it. The things he did were amazing and his words were jewels of wisdom. The world of programming, if not the world, is going to miss him.

My views on how to properly use objects in a MVC Framework

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

If you are familiar with a MVC framework you can skip this paragraph. There are two components to this term “MVC framework”. First, a framework is a code-base that strongly suggests that you code using certain methodologies. Obviously, generally frameworks are designed to help the developers code faster, more object oriented, reduce code redundancy (encourage code reuse); a bunch of good stuff. There are obvious negatives to frameworks as well, which is why finding a good framework is important. Certain frameworks might be too rigid and cause very simply things to become extremely complicated. Other frameworks might be too lax such that it no longer serves a purpose of a framework. Next, MVC is an acronym for model-view-controller. It’s coding approach that separates business logic, template, and the logic which combines them into three different components. The business logic is generally in charge of generating the data the MVC application is going to employ. The view uses the data the controller passes it to generate the things you’re supposed to display on a screen. And finally, a controller is pretty much a component that mediates between the two, basically, tying in the business logic to the template in order to generate the final page. Because the code is broken down into smaller more reusable parts, and then they’re generally reused, which saves the next developer from coding the same thing from scratch.

In an MVC framework, I believe if an instance of a model is created and then passed to the view, the instance should pass from the controller to the view unmodified. One of the reasons you’d want an object passed is because objects are supposed to have a predictable behavior. I can rely on string to be accessible like an array of characters. It gets weird when I’m supposed to access a controller modified version of the string to use something that might or might not be there depending on the logic employed by the controller. So in conclusion, if you find yourself modifying an instance of the model during run-time, you’re better off not altering the instance of the model. You can simply pass the parameters directly from the controller, or define it in the view.

Facebook vs. Myspace Microsoft vs. Apple

Sunday, July 6th, 2008

People wonder if Facebook will overtake Myspace. The answer is I doubt it. Facebook’s strength lies in its simplicity, whereas Myspace’s strength lies in its ability to be “personalized”. As long as the two sites maintain their course, I doubt one will overtake the other.

I originally would have made the same argument about Microsoft, Apple, and Linux, but because Microsoft is starting to lose sight of what made it Microsoft, it’s starting to lose ground to Apple and Linux. They bragged about how they had advance graphics, the problem is, Macs and Linux OSes can do the same thing with a fraction of the system requirements. Vista is overly bloated and annoying to use. I personally think that if Microsoft maintains the course they did with Vista, more and more users will contemplate switching to Macs or Linux boxes.