Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Copyrights... and wrongs

I just read the ZDNet post entitled "​Google pushes to take Oracle Java copyright case to Supreme Court". Very interesting. While my initial thought was who cares, I now must confess to agree with the author, Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols... to a point.

Before I proceed, I do feel that I should say that, as a guy who started programming in Java in 1997, I really like that Google chose Java to power Android devices. It is significantly lowering my learning curve.

While I do agree that software APIs should not qualify for copyright protection, I have a very difficult time accepting that what was protected when authored should cease to be protected just because we now use it everywhere. The successful adoption of technology must not render it public domain. How long do you think that an attempt to remove the copyright from Microsoft Windows would last? Those protected rights are part of what Oracle bought when they purchased Sun.

I, for one, would love to write some code that becomes so ubiquitous that I regret the following statement. Law makers in all jurisdictions should now have the courage to pass laws that will prevent such shackling of innovation in the future.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

My Aversion to Multiple Versions

Well, after spending the past couple of days futzing around with my system, I am starting to get into the code. That's not too bad, but the one thing that I had forgotten is how version dependant everything is.

I've had Maven 3 installed on my system for a while. My first attempt at building some sample Spring code failed... no, I didn't save the error. But when I investigated it, I got the message that this particular error resulted from a bug in Maven itself, and I should report it. Well, not wanting to waste anyone's time, I figured I should at least make sure I had the latest version of Maven. Well, sure enough Maven is now up to 3.2.5 and I only had version 3.0.5. No big deal right? Just run apt-get update and then upgrade. Well, wouldn't you know it, I've got the latest version from the Ubuntu repository. After goofing around a bit with adding another repository, I decided to just download the latest and install it beside the one that apt-get installed and change the symbolic link to mvn. Sweet, now, lets try again. Not so fast... the sample code I was trying to build doesn't work with the latest Maven.


OK, get the right Maven installed, and try again. Now I get messages that the lsbstdc++ package is missing dependencies! AAAARGHH! Back to apt-get build-dep.

OK, looking at this post it doesn't look all that bad, but there was a bunch of other stuff in there as well that had me almost ready to blow away my Windows partition and do a complete re-install with just Linux.

Now, what shall we build?

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Long time no "C"

... or C++... or Java. ;^P

Well, here I am again... at another crossroads in my life. After a four year hiatus from programming, I am now looking back and wondering if I made the right choice. I won't get into the motivations for my absence, it all seemed like the right thing to do at the time, but as I fire up my IDE for the first time in a while there is definitely some apprehension.

But now, it occurs to me that I am probably not alone. There are probably lots of people like me who, upon hitting their heads on a glass ceiling, decide to test out other opportunities. So I'm going to start blogging again, but now from the position of a prodigal son.

I'm going to be discussing the things that get forgotten when one is no longer immersed in a profession. What are the gotchas that I've long since forgotten about? Is it like riding a bike? I used to always say that the syntax is secondary, it's the analytical skills that matter. Now's the time to put my money where my mouth was. If that's true, I should be able to get back up and running in fairly short order.

So, without further delay... here we go.