Saturday, March 24, 2007

NeXT videos & WebObjects

I found these two videos, the first one showing Steve Jobs demo NeXTstep 2.0, the NeXTCube 040 + Dimension, the slab, DBKit, in 1990.. it's always surprising to see how far ahead NeXT was, or reversely, how slowly did we progress on the software side, while the hardware we have now is insanely more powerful...

The second one shows again Steve Jobs, five years later. NeXT stations didn't sell, their state-of-the-art factory closed, they stopped producing hardware, and reconverted as a software only company. The tone of the talk seems to reflect those disappointment, with Steve trying to be excited about Distributed OLE and Portable Distributed Object (PDO), but you can feel it's not really anymore about changing the world... and yet, when analysing the state of the WWW and its future, Steve is absolutely dead on, and he then goes on to demo a beta version of WebObjects, which in the end will save the company (until it took over Apple). WebObjects was an absolutely amazing tech, and still is. The move to a J2EE implementation instead of the ObjC implementation, the availability of other solutions, and its curious downplay by Apple (while they use it for their store, they aren't exactly pushing it on the market, although they dramatically cut the price from hundred thousands of dollars to $500, to finally make it free). WebObjects had a huge impact on current "web application servers", many of them openly inspired by it. My preferred one is Seaside, a fantastic Smalltalk framework... for a great example of what you can do with Seaside, try dabbledb :-)

Note that there's two free software implementations of WebObjects in Objective-C, GNUstepWeb and NGObjWeb (part of SOPE, the web application framework used by

Friday, March 16, 2007

GNUstep participates in Google Summer of Code 2007

The GNUstep project just announced that it was accepted in the Google Summer of Code 2007 :

GNUstep provides a cross-platform solution for Objective-C/OpenStep/Cocoa developers. This year, it offers various projects for SoC, such as adding new classes from Mac OSX 10.4, enhancing text system, porting WebKit to GNUstep, improve GNUstep on MS Windows platform, etc. It is a great chance for students to learn programming in many aspects.

read more | digg story

It's an excellent news ! we tried to be accepted first two years ago if I remember, and last year we were in but under the GNU umbrella... and no projects were accepted. Beeing accepted as a separate organisation should help us, hopefully !

Beside, any progresses on GNUstep will be immediately useful for Étoilé :-)

If you are a student, it's definitely worth a look -- GNUstep is one of the best OO api available here, and a fun place to hack.

update: Squeak is also in ! :-) great news too...

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Pink Floyd

Today I was in london for a job interview, and had a few hours to kill after it before going back to wales.. so I walked around a bit, and ended up reaching the Thames (duh! not surprising in london, is it ?). But I just ended up in front of the Battersea Power Station :

Of course, this power station is world famous because of Animals, the 1977 Pink Floyd album... ;-)

Sadly, I didn't have my camera with me, so the shots are from my mobile... here's some more:

ps: in the "cool for a geek dpt", I'm actually posting that from my laptop.. but through my 3G mobile cnx. With a cheap unlimited data plan, you basically get internet access everywhere -- as like here, in the train :D