A New PickAxe

A New PickAxe:


Ruby 1.9 is just around the corner, so it looks like a good time to create a new edition of Programming Ruby. So, I’m pleased to announce that the Third Edition of the PickAxe has just entered beta.

The book’s home page is at http://pragprog.com/titles/ruby3.

Although 1.9 is largely compatible with 1.8, there are definite differences. And it’s been an interesting ride getting the examples in the book to compile and run with the current 1.9 interpreter. The book pushes the envelope in many different areas, and includes example code designed to illustrate edge cases. When I find these, I’m flagging them in the text and (if they look like bugs) adding them to the tracking system. But, so far, 1.9 is looking like a big win for Ruby.

[The original guide, which so many used to get started with Ruby. Looking forward to 1.9, and now reviewing this edition.]
Source: PragDave

‘But I Think It’s Got Something to Do With Loneliness’

‘But I Think It’s Got Something to Do With Loneliness’: Great find by Kottke: a transcript of Michael Silverblatt’s terrific 1996 interview with David Foster Wallace on the publication of Infinite Jest.

DFW: I guess I, when I was in my twenties, like deep down underneath all the bullshit what I really believed was that the point of fiction was to show that the writer was really smart. And that sounds terrible to say, but I think, looking back, that’s what was going on. And I don’t think I really understood what loneliness was when I was a young man. And now I’ve got a much less clear idea of what the point of art is, but I think it’s got something to do with loneliness and something to do with setting up a conversation between human beings.

[And now you know what social networks are all about.]
Source: Daring Fireball

Bebo Embraces Facebook Apps With Its “Open Applications Platform”

Bebo Embraces Facebook Apps With Its “Open Applications Platform”: Today, Bebo is announcing the availability of a new platform called the “Open Application Platform”, but it’s not really a new platform. Rather, it’s like a clone of Facebook’s proprietary platform. The idea is to create a platform that matches the functionality and structure of Facebook’s platform so closely that it’s easy to deploy applications built for Facebook on Bebo, with little or no changes to the code.

Bebo’s new platform accepts something called SNQL and SNML (as in, social networking query language and social networking markup language), each of which mirrors Facebook’s FQL and FBML, albeit with subtle differences. CEO Michael Birch says that it has been developing these parallel languages for about five months and in communication with Facebook itself, which has been assisting Bebo in its efforts to essentially adopt its platform. [Brilliant.]
Source: TechCrunch

Amazon launches new database service

“Many developers simply want to store, process, and query their data without worrying about managing schemas, maintaining indexes, tuning performance or scaling access to their data,” the documentation explains. “Amazon SimpleDB removes the need to maintain a schema, while your attributes are automatically indexed to provide fast real-time lookup and querying capabilities.”

SimpleDB costs 14 cents per machine hour, with no minimum fee. This is normalized to the hourly capacity of a 2007 1.7 GHz Xeon processor. There’s also a data transfer charge of 10 cents per Gbyte transferred in. For data transferred out, the rate starts at 18 cents per Gbyte for first 10 Tbytes per month, then drops to 16 cents for the next 40 Tbytes per month, and finally drops to 13 cents per Gbyte for 50 Tbytes and beyond per month. These fees apply to data transferred in and out of Amazon SimpleDB. Data transferred between SimpleDB and other Amazon Web services is moved without additional cost. There’s also a $1.50 fee per Gbyte per month for the storage of structured data.

There’s one significant cost that SimpleDB users can avoid: keeping a database administrator on the payroll.

[We live in interesting times…]

Google Knol – Google’s Play To Aggregate Knowledge Pages

Google Knol – Google’s Play To Aggregate Knowledge Pages (Danny Sullivan/Search Engine Land): Google Knol – Google’s Play To Aggregate Knowledge Pages  —  Move over Wikipedia, Yahoo Answers, Mahalo, and Squidoo.  Maybe.  That’s because Google’s testing its own service to let people build a repository of knowledge.  In fact, knowledge forms the core of the service’s name: Google Knol. [Hmmm. If nothing else, congrats to Seth for having the Squidoo idea validated. Not that that’s helping at the moment…]
Source: tech.memeorandum