The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Iron Sky

Sure, you can barbeque various critters and watch the fireworks to celebrate the Fourth of July, and yes, Bunny and I did all that. But we also watched the film “Iron Sky.”

What's the film about? Two words: Space Nazis!

Yup, that's right. Nazis from space!

The backstory is that the Nazis escaped from Earth in 1945 and are hiding out on the dark side of the moon. And due to a chance encounter with an American astronaut, they decide it's time to head on back to conquer the Earth.

It's one of those films where you just have to turn off your brain and roll with it. Sure, there are plot holes, but frankly, the entire premise is a plot hole (“How did the Nazis get into space? How do they generate their atmosphere? Where's their industrial base to build all the flying saucers? How can they get to the Earth in less than a day?”) but that's okay, because this is a fun film (Space Nazis! Space dirigibles! Albino African-Americans! Mad scientists! Beautiful daughters of said mad scientists! Flying saucers vs. fighter jets! Fighting the in war room! What's not to love?)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Don't think of it as “slow,” think of it as providing you time to experience that Zen moment …

In English: the philosophy of JavaScript (to the extent that it has any philosophy) is that you should not be able to observe what is going on in system memory, full stop. This is so unbelievably out of touch with how real people write mobile applications, I can't even find the words to express it to you. I mean, in iOS world, we don't believe in garbage collectors, and we think the Android guys are nuts. I suspect that the Android guys think the iOS guys are nuts for manual memory management. But you know what the two, cutthroat opposition camps can agree about? The JavaScript folks are really nuts.

Via Hacker News, Why mobile web apps are slow | Sealed Abstract

It's a long article, but well worth the read (it has extensive references to back up its claims) if you do any type of development on smartphones (like we do here at The Corporation). It's mostly about how bad garbage collection is on embedded systems yet how everybody is trying to use a garbage collected langauge on embedded systems (said embedded systems being smart phones).

And the comments at Hacker News are not bad, but this comment has a few sharp observations that some people I know would greatly enjoy:

Some of the platforms are themselves economically untractable for smaller teams. Android is a prime example of that; even if we skip over the overengineering of the native API, the documentation is simply useless. The odds of having a hundred monkeys produce something on the same level of coherence and legibility as the Android API documentation by typing random letters on a hundred keyboards are so high, Google should consider hiring their local zoo for tech writing consultance.


(Although from some of the comments heard at The Ft. Lauderdale Office of The Corporation, the term “overengineering” in reference to Android is an oxymoron.)

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