· Naughties
· · 2005
· · · May
· · · · 08 (2 entries)

Bubble Tea · Any­one liv­ing in a city with any Chi­nese fla­vor at all will have no­ticed the ar­rival in re­cent years of Bub­ble Tea sell­er­s, which are of­ten al­so In­ter­net cafés and lat­te joints. If you fol­low that link you’ll dis­cov­er that Bub­ble Tea is a new thing in the world, bare­ly twen­ty years old. To­day we went on a fam­i­ly bike ride; at the ran­dom café where we stopped we were the on­ly round-eyes and bub­ble tea was on the menu. I or­dered one in green-apple fla­vor, and let me tell you, this is some se­ri­ous­ly weird stuff. You drink it with an extra-wide straw for a rea­son, and the sen­sa­tion is unique. I en­joyed giv­ing Lau­ren and the kid a taste and watch­ing their faces when they took that first pul­l. I don’t think I’m go­ing to be­come a bubble-tea reg­u­lar. But ev­ery­one re­al­ly ought to try it on­ce.
Project Harmony · Every­body has now heard about Har­mo­ny (if you haven’t, here are the pro­pos­al, FAQ, and friend­ly nois­es from Sun). Sup­pose they pull it of­f, and that there’s an OSS J2SE that any­one can down­load, build, and change. Why is this a good thing? If you’re a mem­ber of the Free Soft­ware move­men­t, the project is its own re­ward for rea­sons of pure ide­ol­o­gy hav­ing noth­ing to do with tech­nol­o­gy, en­gi­neer­ing, or busi­ness. I’m not among the faith­ful, but I’ve noth­ing against ’em. How about for the rest of us; are there any ac­tu­al­ly any prac­ti­cal real-world ad­van­tages? I’d think the most ob­vi­ous win would be around patch­ing and bug-fixing. In my ex­pe­ri­ence, OSS soft­ware gets bug­fixed quick­er and bet­ter. On the oth­er hand, the Har­mo­ni­ans plan to achieve com­pat­i­bil­i­ty by pass­ing the TCK test suit­e, which ev­ery­one says is tough and time-consuming; quite like­ly, more time-consuming than most in­di­vid­u­al pieces of bug-fixing. So that might get in the way of the kind of patch­ing re­spon­sive­ness we’ve got­ten used to in OSS-land. [By the way, is it pub­licly known how long the J2SE TCK ac­tu­al­ly takes to run? I’ve nev­er seen that pub­lished.] I guess you could ap­ply patch­es with­out do­ing a “release” and run an un-TCK’ed J2SE on an in­ter­im ba­sis. That might make some peo­ple ner­vous; it would make me ner­vous. In fact I think the rules say you can’t call it Ja­va un­less it’s TCK’d, so I guess we need a new name; I pro­pose “JINJ”. What­ev­er; whether or not you re­al­ly think Har­mo­ny is worth do­ing, you have to like peo­ple who are hurl­ing them­selves at big tough prob­lem­s, and not in the in­ter­ests of get­ting rich. Plus, they’re do­ing it at Apache, my own fa­vorite OSS nexus. My hat’s off to them.
author · Dad · software · colophon · rights
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