Here's the second issue of Friday Random Quickies. Let's see how it goes this week.
Seems that Tim did read my blog :) Now he took my offer, and transferred his blogsite to the ever popular FOCUSer.net. Wanna track down what Tim has been up to, especially in preparation of his Turkey trip, here is his new weblog.
I also discovered that blo.gs can send instant message to notify you whenever a blog has been updated! This is nearly instantaneous as blo.gs is pinged by many blogging software when a new entry has been added, and then blo.gs will send you the faithful reader with either an AIM, ICQ or Yahoo message. Not sure whether it really works though as so far I have not receive any message...
Not artistic enough to make a unique blogsite? Don't know about all these HTML/XML/CSS? I found this website, Book of Styles, very useful as it provides quite a lot of pre-made styles and templates for MovableType. Very very nice.
Jedi's Blog from Taiwan is now translating Star Wars: Galactic Phrase Book & Travel Guide into Chinese! So far he has already translated Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 - interesting read if you know how to read Chinese.
Lots of conferences to go to through out the year, but which one should I go, and which one I should skip? Beside the obvious ones like the Mid Year Conference that everyone is compulsory to go to, there is also an email conference in Nigeria with the theme "Write better emails. Make more moneys.". It is only $995 per person, and teach you how to be the best amongst the best Nigerian email spammers. :)
My favourite programming language at the moment, Python, has just released a bug-fix version - 2.2.3. It mainly fixed up some glitches and some updates to modules, but nothing dramatic. Still waiting for 2.3 to be released, as I eager to dump from __future__ import generator from all my code (and I love generators).
Talking about Python, I have also been writing some new web-based applications using Quixote lately, which has released 0.6.0 in late April. Quixote is a platform written in Python to publish objects onto the web. If you think Zope is too complicated for you, but still want to use your favourite language, then Quixote is for you. I am trying to move away from using PHP as my web language, and developing in Quixote is certainly fun :)
And PHP - people either love it or hate it. PHP 4.3.2 was released last week on 29th of May, but at home I am still using an older version of 4.2.2. Basically I have lost track of the changes of the language and its modules. PHP 5 was destined to be released summer this year, but it seems the gold master will not be made for quite a while. At least it will be released before Perl 6. But I guess most things will be released before Perl 6 anyway :)
Anyway, with the up-coming PHP 5, here are some of the new language features...
- C++ like nested namespaces.
- Exceptions (try/catch/throw).
- Objects are automatically passed by reference.
- Classes have unified constructors and destructors.
- Access control in objects via private protect and public.
- Static/class variables.
- Java-like final variables and constants (what's the diff?)
- Autoloading hook to include other source files when needed.
- Object overloading and attribute access using getter and putter functions.
- Abstract classes and interfaces.
Most of them are responding to current PHP's crippled object model, so finally PHP can catch up with the others big boys out there! But if you look carefully, some designs really look like a hack to me. Just not as clean as something like Python or Ruby...
Back to Python again, I've found something that I will be interested to have fun with - PyObjC. It is a Python to Object-C bridge, designed especially for Cocoa application in Mac OS X. It allows you write a standalone pure Python graphical application, all inside Project Builder! Yum...
I don't usually post sports-related links, but hey, this one is really funny (or scary). Like all Chinese I do play table tennis a bit. Not good, but at least I can bunch a few balls back. But here's is a video clip from that Big White Guy in Hong Kong that shows some ungodly ping pong.