· Naughties
· · 2005
· · · December
· · · · 30 (3 entries)

Enplaned · That’s the name of a blog subtitled “Airlines and commercial aerospace”, an insider’s take on the airline business. They recently had a piece in which they were kind of complaining about how few comments they got; my suspicion is that these guys know their stuff so well that there’s little left to add to their pieces. I’m not in the business at all, but as a heavy customer, I find an almost sick fascination in their pieces about Boeing/Airbus competition (summary: Boeing is winning just now), old vs. new airline models (summary: new is winning), and airlines vs. the “GDS” ticket-selling systems (summary: too close to call). Here’s today’s example, Delta’s Unsecured Creditors, which dives deep on the negotiations between bankrupt airlines (quite a few of those these days) and the people who finance the planes they fly; this is a big-bucks high-stakes game and one that you’d never hear about, normally. Great stuff.
FSS: Lichens · Friday Slide Scan #17 is from August 1971, featuring lichens from Mount Lebanon ...
Recursive Spolsky · There’s much ado about Joel Spolsky’s The Perils of JavaSchools. I think that Joel’s largely right, in that I don’t think that you can really appreciate why Java is a good language unless you’re proficient in C, and programmers who don’t really appreciate Java won’t get the most out of it. But Joel is half wrong in claiming that Java bypasses pointers and recursion; I use recursion all the time in Java! If you learn programming via Java but remain ignorant of recursion, you’ve been poorly taught. Also, Bill de hÓra has a point when he says that the other really hard thing that good programmers need to have thought about is concurrency. My guess is that Java is actually a good language for teaching concurrency, because the parts of the problem it sweeps under the rug are not essential to deep understanding and anyhow aren’t the really hard bits. Having said all that, if I were developing a difficult, mission-critical piece of infrastructure, I might develop in Java but I’d be leery of hiring anyone who hadn’t been to the mat with C. My experience differs from Joel’s in another respect: Recursion is mildly hard. Closures and continuations are hard. Concurrency is very hard. I never found pointers hard at all.
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