Alvin Alexander | Java, Scala, Unix, Perl, Mac OS X

Walt: “Cheyenne man who lives in the area. Cheyenne call him a ‘Contrary Warrior.’ He does the opposite of what you expect.”

Deputy Moretti: “Why?”

Walt: “The whole idea is to force people out of their comfort zones, make them examine their beliefs.”

Deputy: “That’s annoying.”

There seems to be a lot of OOP-bashing lately, which I’m not a fan of, but this article titled Goodbye, OOP makes decent points about the problems with inheritance, encapsulation, and polymorphism. IMHO, OOP still makes sense in certain areas, including GUIs like Java Swing and JavaFX, so I’m not ready to throw it out completely or bash it.

Some problems with OOP

These are a few notes on Apple’s Swift open source development project, taken from this mailing list post by Apple’s Chris Lattner:

- Open source is pretty great. It has been incredible to see such a vibrant community working so well together, and to see you come together practically overnight.

- Open source also brings challenges.  I think it is fair to say that “open design” is slower and less predictable than “closed design”. However, the end result is significantly better, and therefore the tradeoff is worth it.

- Software scheduling (particularly with open source) continues to be difficult-to-impossible to predict.

- It is *good* to have high goals, but we need to do a better job of communicating that “goals” are not “promises” so that people don’t feel misled.

I can now officially add “hernia” to my list of medical accomplishments this year. Thank you, thank you very much.

Ended up cleaning the kitchen floor with tequila at 3:30 this morning. The perfect end to a crazy day.

My doctor refused to prescribe sedatives for me to give other people when they’re stressing me out.

When I was young — ages 0 to 8 — my family lived in Chicago. One day I was walking down a sidewalk, and some older boys were walking the other way.

I was a little kid and pretty much just going “La la la la ...” down the sidewalk when the boys stopped me. One of them asked, “Are you M’s brother?”, where “M” refers to one of my sisters. I said something like, “Sure, yes, how you doing?”, when he hauled off and punched me in the stomach. “That’s for your sister,” he said.

(As the saying goes, Hurt people hurt people.)

If you like geeky gifts, ThinkGeek is having a summer clearance sale from now until August 2, 2016.

ThinkGeek summer clearance sale

I’ve been working on a cover for my upcoming “Functional Programming in Scala” book, and I just saw this book (Everything You Need to Ace Math in One Big Fat Notebook) on the Facebook page of a bookstore in Alaska that I used to live next to. I’m trying to make functional programming as simple as possible, so I have thought about covers that look a little like this, but I don’t want to go quite that far with the design.

Everything You Need to Ace Math

“Knock, knock.”

“Who’s there?”


“Could you maybe just shoot me a text?”

Wherever it goes from here, Aroldis Chapman made his debut for the Chicago Cubs last night against the White Sox, and the fans stood up for the entire inning.

Aroldis Chapman Cubs debut

When working from home, my preferred writing environment is to use a huge fixed-width font on a large monitor with a matte finish, and nothing else on the screen. I write my text using either Markdown or LaTeX, depending on what the output format is going to be. (Yoda and Meditating Guy make me feel a little less crazy when I’m talking to myself.)

My preferred writing environment

“Denali gives me the opportunity to be my best self.”

That’s a thing that I like about Alaska: If you have doubts about who you are, you can go live in remote areas of Alaska and find out what you’re made of.

Denali gives me the opportunity to be my best self

“If I were to pick a language to use today other than Java, it would be Scala.”

~ James Gosling, the creator of the Java programming language

(Quote from the back cover of Programming in Scala, Updated for Scala 2.12.)

(A bit of background before this story: Most Facebook-friends don’t seem to use Facebook on Wednesdays, so I like to slip stories like this out there. This is today’s post.)

Since nobody uses Facebook on Wednesday, I’ll just slip this one out here while no one is looking ...

Last night I was base-jumping spacetime with some other astral entities, and a being in the group kept not-doing something she was supposed to do. Since we were interdimensionally (similar to “internationally”) working together as a group, this just wouldn’t do.

After the Nth time this happened, I stopped the group mid-flight, and with spacetime flowing around us, I telepathically (and compassionately) asked, “Why aren’t you doing what you’re supposed to do?” Her answer, loosely translated in human terms, came down to, “I’m afraid.”

The moral of this little interdimensional story is that wherever, whenever, and whatever you are, conquer your fears or they’ll conquer you.

I learned today that Bactrim conflicts with another medicine I’m taking. I’m also allergic to Cipro. Which makes it hard to treat an infection.

Facebook status from six years ago: “In the throes of existential angst. In other words, nothing new.”

Back In The High Life Again by Steve Winwood is a great song for those moments when you think, “Phew, that didn’t kill me, let’s celebrate.”

A great Harley-Davidson motorycle ad: What would you do?

I think my Radio Pi project has a ton of potential, and if I had more time and money I’d be working on it full-time. But until that ever happens, this Grace Digital Wi-Fi Music Player looks like the best thing available.

Grace Digital internet radio