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Archives for December, 2006

ruby notes 4a: overloading constructors

An addendum to my note from earlier today: the constructor problem is more annoying than I’d thought, because (as I just discovered!) the static constructor method is harder to carry out than I’d realized. After all, the static constructor method still has to create an object of the type in question, which means that it […]

ruby notes 4: overloading

I miss function overloading. I can see why they left it out of Ruby: overloading based on static types is, of course, right out, which only leaves us overloading based on the number of arguments. And even that has a bit of a staticish feel to it, and, what with Ruby’s nice varargs handling (nothing […]

ruby notes 3

[I suspect I’ll be writing a fair amount about Ruby, and am too lazy to come up with clever names. And I don’t want to rename old posts, so I’m retroactively declaring this to be Ruby notes 1 and this to be Ruby notes 2.] I just learned about creating arrays of strings using %w{}. […]


I was going to write about Ruby and SQL, but I’m having fun doing other Ruby-related stuff this afternoon, so I’ll write about that instead. I was writing this unit test, for a class DeveloperWriter. And I got tired of typing DeveloperWriter.new(“arg”) all the time. (Actually, I got tired of typing new DeveloperWriter(“arg”) and then […]

tv news

I spent much of the Christmas break in a house where news was frequently being watched / listened to on TV. (CNN mostly.) Not a pleasant experience; why I’m supposed to care about teachers having sex with students, or people who apparently falsely confessed months ago to murdering glamorous children, is beyond me. And people […]

first ruby experiments

I wrote my first Ruby code yesterday. It was a port of a date wrapper that I wrote in Java for dbcdb: its only job is to convert to/from written representations, and to have some special dates representing “I read this once, but I don’t remember exactly when” and “I’m in the middle of reading […]

podcast queue management

Sorry for the lack of posts. I might have a post stuck in me, or I might just be getting lazy, or might not be thinking enough; hard to say. Maybe I’ll get unstuck over the holidays. Anyways, I present another banal application of lean to everyday life: Using my mad queue-management skillz, I’ve finally […]

fellow diners

We had dinner at the excellent Sushi Tomi tonight. Two of the tatami tables were taken over by a birthday party, hosted by a young caucasian girl, with a Bob the Builder theme. Multiculturalism at its best.

ipod, incremental (un)improvements

I lost my iPod nano a couple of months ago; oops. Which gave me a chance to see some of how the iPod has evolved: I had to use my old iPod for a little while so I got reminded what the previous generation was like, and then I got to experience the newer model […]

the child garden

Why hadn’t I heard of The Child Garden, by Geoff Ryman, until now? Not that it’s transcendantly wonderful (I thought that it was quite good indeed, though), but it was published in 1990, and seems like the sort of book I should have heard of over the last 16 years. I guess I need better […]

a week of wii

Random Wii thoughts one week later: I would have expected to feel stupid saying “Wii” all the time, but I actually don’t mind. I guess Nintendo wasn’t completely insane when they decided on that name. Zelda is very good so far, except for the early fishing sequence. (I’m seven hours in, I think I’m a […]

exploratory testing

The Poppendiecks’ latest book gives an interesting analysis of types of testing. (Taken originally from Brian Marick’s blog.) They propose that you divide testing up in two different ways: on the one hand, you can classify tests as either intended to support programming or to critique the product. On the other hand, you can classify […]