Martín Salías - Software Architect

<< September 2007 >>
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
02 03 04 05 06 07 08
09 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29

RSS Feed

Subscribe with Bloglines

Martín Salías Home
Universal Thread
Level Extreme .NET Magazine
Microsoft User Group Argentina



Contact Me

If you want to be updated on this weblog Enter your email here:

rss feed

Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Is "smart TV" a contradiction in terms?

You may have read about Joost, the beta service that the original founders of Kazaa and Skype are now rolling out. It is basically a free, full-screen, real-time, on-demand TV service.

I wrote about in my April editorial for Level Extreme .NET Magazine.

I don't watch TV except for an ocassional movie on saturday nights when I'm out of the city and offline.  Shades  But I guess my main gripe with TV is that most of the time, when I know about some program which could interest me, it is scheduled on an impossible time. Or maybe it is on a suitable time later that day, so I just forgot.

I know devices like TIVO solve this, but been no fan of TV to begin with, I don't feel the need for this.

But now, Joost can be a good alternative for that. It is already available on the device I use the most (my notebook) and also in the one which is ubiquous at home (we have 5 PCs for a family of four -not counting handhelds). But the great thing is having access to programming on-demand, even searchable!

Right now Joost is offering just a few programs, but it is just in Beta, so it is no surprise. In any case, the promise is big. Also, video quality is not always so good, but it is magnificent compared with YouTube (and I'm comparing full-screen experience). Again, this is also due to the beta status, but not so much for the network capabilities, but for the network size. One great thing about Joost architecture is that as the service usage grows, the network improves, dure to its distributed, peer-to-peer strategy. So instead of "more users=worst service", here you should have "more users=better service". Of course this is theoretical, but so far they have proved the concept with Skype.

Actually, this is the first time I feel interested in Television since I stopped watching Pink Panther 30 years ago.

Posted at 11:58 am by msalias
Comments (1)

Friday, February 02, 2007
No Ruby in .NET yet, but Ruby in Visual Studio

Yes, Ruby fans around the .NET world, now you can use Visual Studio to code on Ruby with nice intellisense, syntax coloring and debugging.

Thanks to the people at SapphireSteel we now have Ruby in Steel. They have a free personal edition if you want to try it. I've been using it to play a bit and it is very nice.

Now that John Lam started working at Microsoft, I guess if RubyCLR can go beyond a mere bridge and we can expect a full .NET implementation...


Posted at 02:12 pm by msalias
Comments (1)

Monday, January 22, 2007
Guilty as charged

I am nerdier than 93% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Posted at 10:52 pm by msalias
Make a comment

Thursday, January 11, 2007
I've Been Tagged! 5 Things You Didn't Know About Me...

Duhh... I knew it would hapen sooner or later. Claudio tagged me, so now I have to confess to the world five personal secrets that I have been hidden all these years.

Well, here I go:

1. I'm a book freak. Yeah, many people know about my technical bookshelf, which I even have partially listed to share in my website. But I'm also a deep into literature. I like to read a lot, and my house is full of books everywhere.

I love literature since a kid, and I can read in Spanish, English, Italian and some French. Although I mostly used to read science fiction when I was younger, I derived aftewards into other stuff and then moved from literature into the edges of philosopy and sociology.

2. I write fiction, too.

I even published a fantastic literature fanzine called Gurbo when I was about 17, for about 13 issues, and hen I contributed with many more. Over time, I published a few short stories and I keep several longer works (a couple would-be novels) in the works.

I also wrote poetry and still do it from time to time, and I published some also but I'm never happy with my production as a poet. Sure enough, writing fiction is something that I'd like to do if I had more time.

3. It is true: I have a geeky family.

We have about half a dozen computers at home, including one in the kitchen that my wife uses for her cooking recipes and to organize he family schedules and so on. We four (my two girls, 5 and 10, my wife and me) have all our smartphones, pocket PCs, handycam and camera, several portable players and games, etc.

Happily enough, we have one single (if big) TV screen in the house. We are so geeky that we watch most our movies on the computers. Actually, I have even read a few complete novels in my phone...

4. I'm shy! Really!

Even while I spent a great deal of my time talking, teaching, pressenting, etc, and I seem quite self-confident, I don't hang too well with people outside of my professional life. This is maybe what drove me to read and write so much, and eventually exposed myself to the public. I can talk for hours, literally until my voice get broke as many people know, but always around specific (mostly technical) topics, but it is not so easy for me to start talking to people I hardly know in a party, for example.

5. Fun revelation: I quit driving

I have always been a loosy driver. I'm always thinking in something else, so many times I can't really concentrate on the road, the signs, and so on. Finally, instead of getting mad with my wife because she was always gving me directions, I quit.

Now she drives most of the time. I can drive from time to time, the same way I smoke a cigarrette from time to time even if I'm not a smoker, but I stopped driving and during the last year when I was working in a company more than half and hour from home, I discovered that I had an additional hour of reading... <s>

Well, I have not than many secrets after all. Now's my time to tag five other people, so I will pick:

The Teacher: Angel "Java" López

Ken Levy

Craig Berntson

Andrés Aguiar

Eugenio Serrano (and maybe we fork this meme into Spanish)

Now's your turn!


Posted at 12:27 pm by msalias
Make a comment

Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Another MVP Year

The people at Microsoft didn't figured it out and awarded me again as a Microsoft MVP.

Now, we have to consider if this is a sign of decadence, or just a bureaucratic mistake.

In any case, thanks to the guys at the MVP Program!

Posted at 11:15 am by msalias
Make a comment

Friday, December 29, 2006
The browser-based operating system arrived

At least for me, this is the first incarnation of a "regular" Operating System hosted into the browser.

It has a desktop, several applications, including a notepad, IM, its own browser and even an IDE to develop your own programs (using Javascript over their framework component model).

You can check it at:

Actually, although it looks like a very cool experiment, playing with it I found that the desktop metapor doesn't apply inside the browser. The browser is a window within the host OS itself, so having other windows inside just don't work.

My take is that the browser itself should become the desktop, and the applications will be there. For all the speculation about a Google OS, my take is that they won't do anything like that, because the web+the browser already ARE the OS and thay just need to produce more applications.

Now, what I'm really waiting for is truly good IDE to write code inside the browser, with all the cool stuff like refactoring tools, project management, version control, etc. Of course, it should support server and client deployment, so most probably it should be based on a platform like java/javascript, although having something like that in .NET would be super!


Posted at 06:51 pm by msalias
Make a comment

Tuesday, October 03, 2006
The Turing Digital Archive

Thanks to Rudy Rucker, I came across with the Turing Digital archive, kept by the University of Southampton.
I'm a big fan of Turing's work, and it as great to be able to read his handwriting and even his type-writing, in several letters, lectures and various papers. They also have photos and other personal stuff.
A nice homage to a man whose work was ket in strict secret and who was abused and prosecuted during his life, but who is one of the fathers of today's computing science and digital logic, among other things.

Posted at 02:55 pm by msalias
Make a comment

Friday, September 29, 2006
More from Google

They made it again. No other company understand so well the concept of the Web 2.0 (Ajax applications with ample sharing capabilites).
First came GMail, then the Calendar, the Spreadsheets and Writely. In the meantime, a first version of the Google Reader (an RSS reader) appeared, although there were quite a few details to polish.
The new GReader is fantastic:
I know I didn't mention Maps, the Notebook and all the other apps. Nowadays making a full list of all the Google apps will take too much for a single blog entry.

Posted at 06:38 pm by msalias
Make a comment

Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Bill Gibson, we are coming...

It is finally happening. Cyberspace is arriving, although a bit later than expected (future is not what it used to be).
If you give Second Life a try, you may find a mix between Gibson's Neuromancer and Neil Stephenson's Snow Crash scenario (closer to the latter, maybe).
With less gear on the head and more typing than we tought in the eighties, virtual worlds are becoming a virtuality (not a reality, of course). Not multiplayer games anymore. Second Life and its competitor There are truly consensual allucinations.
These worlds have no specific goals or rules; you just log-in and live your second life there (no pun intended).
They have a real economy going on. Some people is actually making a real living off their virtual commercial activity, and there are some companies with cyber headquarters starting to sprawl around, like The Electric Sheep (nice dickian name).
So here we are:  Avatars off the world, unite !

Posted at 12:08 am by msalias
Make a comment

Wednesday, April 20, 2005
To Except or Not To Except, that is the question

We had a nice debate lately on the Software Engineeering list of the Microsoft User Group of Argentina(MUG), about the use of exceptions.

As usual, the voice of Angel "Java" Lopez brought very interesting points. The main discussion was about wether some specific methods should return boolean values to indicate failura or not, and to what extent the use of exceptions could be valid.

After thinking about for quite some time, evaluating many of the arguments, I have to concur with Angel about a couple main exceptions "disadvantages" that are not so.

The first one is the idea of Exceptions being a resource overload. Today Exceptions in Java or .NET are pretty lightwheigt, and no one is thinking about using exceptions to return regular values or to pass normal data around.

The second one is about Exceptions being able to break or complicate program flow. This is an overeaction, too. Handling an Exception shouldn't be more complex than handling a returned failure indicator. Indeed, it could be a lot more expressive. Of course, code can be simpler without any kind of Exception handling, but it will be butter-based instead. {g}

Thinking about some kind of rule, I would first insist in that an Exception should honor its name and be raised in cases when something happened that it's not what's supossed to happen in a normal situation.

Another clue should be that an Exception should be used instead on any other kind of error flag or number. This is always more self-expressing than returning -1 or 42.

Finally, any properly built framework should have to have in place standard ways to propagate Exceptions from inner to outer code, having the chance to add additional information at each level if needed, and providing navigational behavior to be able to analyze the problem in full-scope, and that includes a standard way to serialize and deserialize Exceptions that have to be passed across out-of-process layers.

I guess there should be some additional rules to that, or maybe some warnings about the ones I stated. I'd be glad to hear comments about this topic.

Posted at 11:33 pm by msalias
Make a comment

Previous Page Next Page