Sunday, May 27, 2007

Software stuff

Spent the afternoon installing ubuntu on my laptop (kept windows xp purely so I can run photoshop and illustrator). Well, what else is there to do on a wet Sunday afternoon in a dismal outer suburb of Cov? The basics of the install are dead easy though I don't have apache, php or java running yet. I think the real difficulties with it are 'cultural'- you have to get used to the ubuntu way of doing things, which is a bit different to other linux distros I've used in the past. I think the big difference compared to indows though is it has the feel of solidity about it, I don't feel I'm on the edge of a crash or infection from a nasty lurling on the interweb.

For the last month or so I've been working on version 2 of simplyallstuff's 'backend', the order processing system. It's the 1st thing I've written in Java SE1.5 and I'm very impressed with generics. They increase java's typesafe aspect, which considering the other language I use mostly is PHP (totally non-typesafe) I really appreciate. It means for one thing that if a chunk of code compiles there's a far greater chance of it working correctly 1st time. I suppose the holy grail of programming languages would be one in which coding was so unambiguous and so restricted to the rules of formal logic that if it was valid it would also be logically valid too. We're still decades away from it, at least, but generics are a welcome step along the way.


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