Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tim Bray on dynamic typing, Android, Java

See, this is why I respect Tim Bray's opinions so much; because he is a tireless member of my post-SGML/functional programming tribe. For instance, see this post on static vs. dynamic typing, and why it's not such a big deal with mobile Java for Android. I particularly like this comment, though:

"From: Tim Converse (Dec 29 2011, at 10:32)

"The Java language in particular suffers from excessive ceremony and boilerplate. Also it lacks important constructs such as closures, first-class functions, and functional-programming support."

This is a very concise version of the case for Scala over Java."

ongoing by Tim Bray · Type-System Criteria
Starting some time around 2005, under the influence of Perl, Python, Erlang, and Ruby, I became convinced that application programs should be written in dynamically-typed languages. You get it built f...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


EmbassytownEmbassytown by China Miéville
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"Embassytown is a fully achieved work of art." High praise from Ursula LeGuin (in her Guardian review), one of the writers who have really driven the potential for Science Fiction as artform. Best book I have read so far this year, for what that's worth, Embassytown is a maverick read, setting out a subtle but profound agenda, and then carrying it through to a stunning conclusion, much like Suzette Haden-Elgin's Native Tongue or Anthony Burgess's Clockwork Orange. If you have read it already, read the first few chapters again - it's amazing the detail employed to carefully inch the story forward, play it backward, then when all the pieces are in place, unleash it.

Miéville is known for his disapproval of the high fantasy genre, and this is the complete opposite of that, dealing with language not as a way of identifying class and race, but undermining this notion, as in the works of Burgess, Burroughs or Lessing, demonstrating how language creates class, language creates race, language creates culture, and then, going on to demonstrate, quite graphically, how language is also, to quote Burroughs, "a virus sent from space" - a destructive addiction.

China Miéville has always been a deep and deeply intelligent writer. Embassytown shows that he is, simply, a great writer who should not be ignored.

View all my reviews

Embassytown by China Miéville – review

Monday, January 09, 2012

XML Prague 2012 conference sessions

XML Prague 2012 conference sessions:

  • Opening Keynote - Jeni Tennison 
  • The eX Markup Language? - Eric Van der Vlist
  • XML and HTML Cross-Pollination: A Bridge Too Far? Robin Berjon and Norman Walsh
  • What XML can learn from HTML; also known as XML5 - Anne Van Kesteren
  • Panel discussion on HTML/XML convergence - Norman Walsh
  • XProc: Beyond application/xml - Vojtch Toman
  • Understanding NVDL - the Anatomy of an Open SourceXProc/XSLT implementation of NVDL - George Bina
  • JSONiq: XQuery for JSON, JSON for XQuery - Jonathan Robie, Matthias Brantner, Daniela Florescu, Ghislain Fourny and Til Westmann
  • Corona: Managing and querying XML and JSON via REST Jason Hunter
  • Treating JSON as a subset of XML: Using XForms toread and submit JSON - Steven Pemberton
  • RESTful XQuery - Standardised XQuery 3.0 Annotations for REST - Adam Retter
  • Compiling XQuery code into Javascript instructionsusing XSLT - Alain Couthures
  • Implementing an XQuery/XSLT hybrid - Evan Lenz
  • Transform.XQ: A Transformation Library for XQuery 3.0 - John Snelson
  • Building Bridges from Java to XQuery- CharlesFoster
  • My first XSLT editor - Tony Graham
  • A Wiki-based System for Schema and Data Evolution - Lorenzo Bossi and Alberto Trombetta
  • Standards update XPath/XSLT/XQuery 3.0 - Michael Kay and Jonathan Robie
  • Closing keynote - Michael Sperberg-McQueen