folds in scala / 2008-01-07

Happy new year!

There's been several threads on the Scala list about syntax, and in particular a lot of hating on the /: and :\ methods as shorthands for foldLeft and foldRight. I understand the concerns about overuse of meaningless glyphs, but:

  • I think this concern is mostly misplaced in Scala, since operators translate straightforwardly into methods, so it's always obvious where to look for the definition;
  • and in any case I still like /: and :\ for folds.

Two things / 2007-12-14

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Well, related to my last post, there's always Dawkins. It's pretty nice, and this is very generous of him:

For better or worse, ours is historically a Christian culture, and children who grow up ignorant of biblical literature are diminished, unable to take literary allusions, actually impoverished. I am no lover of Christianity, and I loathe the annual orgy of waste and reckless reciprocal spending, but I must say I'd rather wish you "Happy Christmas" than "Happy Holiday Season".

On the other hand, I doubt I'll be wishing anyone a good Newtonmas this year...

The bird is the word / 2007-12-13

Thou my lazy heart hast stirred,
Thou, the Father's eternal Word,
Greater than aught
that ear has heard,
Thou tiny bird
Of love, thou Son of Mary.

Little man, and God indeed,
Little and poor, thou
art all we need;
We will follow where thou dost lead,
And we will heed
Our brother, born of Mary.

huh? / 2007-12-12


What? Shouldn't that have been the word of the year in, like, 2001??

Burial / 2007-12-11


This Burial interview is really great. He seems really unsophisticated, at times even naive, which is in a way really refreshing. I think this (coupled with some degree of anonymity) maybe allows him to talk about a lot of aspects of music and society that people might not often really talk about in this kind of interview. It's really touching at times, and I think he manages to evoke in words some of that same feeling that people love in the old UK rave music.

Subtext, etc. / 2007-11-20


I don't propose any resolution to the tension between names and links here, because I suspect the ultimate requirement is going to be to have characteristics of both.

That's from an interesting blog post from Roly Perera, in response to Jonathan Edwards's recent OOPSLA talk/paper. And here's Jonathan's response.

More Scala + Hibernate / 2007-11-16

In a prior post on livejournal, I described a problem and partial solution to using Hibernate with Scala. When I left things, I said:

The only real downside to this is that it doesn't enforce that entities are used only in the context in which they were created. I'd love to find a way to solve this. I think it might be possible to recover this by parameterizing the entity types, binding the type parameter with a single unsafe-but-safe cast as they come out of the database, and then enforcing that the implicit Context parameter matches the type parameter. I'll have to experiment with this, although truth be told, I'm not sure this level of safety is worth the hassle.

So I've done this experiment.

Android / 2007-11-14

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So everybody's talking about Android. I was watching this launch video, and was not particularly surprised to see my old friend Brian Swetland at about 1:25:

Go Brian! As soon as they mentioned Danger, I wondered whether he was involved... Anyway, it looks like a nice platform. I spent a few minutes playing with it yesterday, trying to get a Scala program running on the emulator. It didn't work, but it turns out this exposed a bug in the Scala compiler, and now it works. Neat! I doubt I'll suddenly get involved in mobile software, but still this is cool, and if I had an easy way to do it, I'd probably write a few things for my phone.

First! / 2007-11-14

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For a bunch of reasons, I'm tired of livejournal, so I've decided to move my blog back here. I'm sure my output will remain low as always, but then, with RSS I'm able to keep up with any number of low-output blogs, so that's no great loss.

Probably you don't remember, but I had a hand-scripted blog here on this site from the end of 2001 until early 2003, so in a sense this is full circle.

In time, I may migrate some of the livejournal content back here, but then again, I may not. Hell, maybe I'll recover and revive some of the 2001-2003 "early writings," who knows? For now, it's a clean slate.