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

As a note to self, I used code like this in a Scala + JavaFX application to add a ContextMenu to a TableView:

LinkedIn’s engineering blog post has this article about how they use the Play Framework and Akka show online “presence indicators.”

I keep running into Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs lately, so I thought I’d share that Wikipedia link, and this image, which was created wikimedia.org user FireflySixtySeven.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

I updated my Scala Flat File Database project so it now handles newline (\n) characters. The solution isn’t perfect, but it’s a start, and makes the approach much more usable. (I didn’t need this functionality until today, so I didn’t know it was a problem.) I also updated it to work with Scala 2.12.

From The Verge, “General Motors plans to mass-produce self-driving cars that lack traditional controls like steering wheels and pedals by 2019.”

My phone says I have 18 songs by the Cranberries and Dolores O’Riordan. Some of the favorites are Zombie, Linger, Dreams, Electric Blue, and War Child. RIP, Ms. O’Riordan.

I just heard about the book Live to Forgive this morning. The introduction on Amazon says it all: “In Live to Forgive, former ESPN producer Jason Romano walks readers through his personal journey of forgiving his alcoholic father. Through sharing his own story, Romano invites readers to enter into their own messy journeys of forgiveness-to fully feel their pain, evaluate their pain, transform their pain, and ultimately forgive those who caused their pain. The only route to freedom and peace is forgiveness.”

Live to Forgive (book)

“In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn’t read all the time — none, zero. You’d be amazed at how much Warren reads — and at how much I read. My children laugh at me. They think I’m a book with a couple of legs sticking out.”

~ Charlie Munger, talking about Warren Buffett and himself

The Denver Post has an article about how the Broncos are (finally) hiring more coaches, hopefully to teach “technique” to their players. They’ve been horrible at developing players under the Elway regime, and hopefully this is a positive sign.

When I owned my software company I learned how important training was. At first we hired people who were generally experts at what they did, but as we tried to expand we realized that not everyone was an expert, or, if they were an expert at web development using Framework A, they weren’t an expert at Java Swing development, or vice-versa. I’m not saying we always did a good job at training (in large part because some of the initial hires didn’t think it was necessary), but over time we learned and tried.

“Stay away from negative people. They have a problem for every solution.”

~ Albert Einstein

Because functional programming is like algebra, there are no null values or exceptions. But of course you can still have exceptions when you try to access servers that are down or files that are missing, so what can you do? This lesson demonstrates the techniques of functional error handling in Scala.

Microsoft has a nice interview with FP researcher and Haskell co-creator Simon Peyton Jones.

Simon Peyton Jones interview

I was just talking to a woman I’ve known for a few years, and she said, “I didn’t know your last name was Alexander. I love that name.” I didn’t have the heart to tell her that my family got it from a government employee at Ellis Island.

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

~ Howard Thurman

Meditation: If you’re not putting 100% of your being into it, you’re wasting your time.

~ a note to self

I just added lessons on SBT, ScalaTest, and a brief introduction to FP to the “Hello, Scala” website.

I had trouble getting to sleep last night, so instead of counting sheep I decided to count how many times doctors have performed invasive procedures on me. I counted 22 invasive procedures, including six operations. I’ve also had at least four MRIs and nine CT scans. I was thinking of this because I have at least two more procedures coming up in the first quarter of 2018.

“Human beings don’t want to be controlled by machines. And we are increasingly being controlled by machines ... This is likely to be the narrative of the next thirty years.”

This quote from Fred Wilson’s What happened in 2017 article makes me think of Apple’s recent dumb software design decisions as much as it makes me think of algorithms that control my news feeds. As just one example, Apple’s decision to make the “turn off bluetooth” button mean “turn off bluetooth ... well, just until tomorrow” makes me want to switch to Samsung. So, yeah, if I don’t want to be controlled by Apple’s poor design decisions, I sure don’t want to be controlled by robots.

Ben Evans has an interesting article on The Amazon machine. In an unrelated note (except that it came in the same email), here’s an NPR article about What to do if you come across a frozen iguana.