Thu Aug 31
A recent email to a friend set me thinking. And here’s what I thought:
My wife’s sticky toffee pudding had a large bearing on my decision to “pop the question” and I realise more and more every day what a sensible decision that was.
Perhaps more of the worlds big decisions should be made based on the culinary aspects of the consequences. That may stop our governmental leaders from invading countries with particularly excellent recipes.
Food for thought, if you pardon the expression.
Wed Aug 30
As I mentioned the other day, I read a great interview recently. Here’s a bit that really jumped out the page at me.
The two hungers in the world today are for spiritual growth and for social justice. The connection between the two is the one the world is waiting for.
Spirituality without justice in an affluent society can turn easily into consumerism and narcissism. It’s one more book to read. One more tape, just to posess the spirituality so I can have it, have it, have it! But the fight for justice without spirituality can lead to despair, bitterness, anger and burn-out. Really, there’s a rhythm there: they need each other.
So says Jim Wallis, a christian activist who started the Sojourners magazine. And I have a strange feeling in my stomach that he’s right. Justice and spirituality do so together, like two sides of the same coin.
The christians who opposed slavery in the 19th century knew that well, and their spirituality led them to action for justice. It’s a hard thing to do, and to be honest I doubt I have the conviction or guts to really make a stand for either justice or spirituality, but I recognise those are two of the main hungers in me. The next step? Who knows…
Mon Aug 28
I was going to write about a really interesting article I read in Tear Times, tha magazine of Tearfund. The article discusses the human need for justice and spiritual growth. But I’ll leave that for another time, so instead I’ll just point you to this wonderful example of classical guitar musicianship. You’ll like it. Hattip.
Thu Aug 24
Anyone who’s used a Microsoft Access database in anything approaching a serious application knows that Bill Gates made a serious mistake expecting people to use that “database”. I use the term in it’s loosest sense. Hey, maybe I’m biased as I’ve had some horrific experiences with the dreaded .mdb files.
But one of the bains of my working life may have just got a little easier with the discovery of this little Access query analyser tool by Jeff Key who seems like a knowledgable guy. Well done Jeff for making this cool little utility, even if it did only take you 45 minutes (including 15 minutes for the icon!).
However it brings me onto something which has been bothering me for a little while. That whole .net thing. It’s not that I think it’s bad, after all I use the incomparably wonderful SharpDevelop to write little Windows apps using .net and I love that. Suddenly I feel like I’m (almost) a proper programmer.
It’s the attitude of several of the large web houses I’ve investigated that seem to think the only worthy technology on the web is .net, specifically asp.net, that bothers me. Why? What’s wrong with PHP? Or Ruby on Rails? Or Python (good enough for Google)? Heck, I still spend large parts of my day using classic ASP which works absolutely fine for 95 percent of what I need it to do.
So why the constant hankering after the latest bandwagon? Well, partly it’s because some companies are afraid of falling behind, so they try to keep ahead of the curve all the time. That’s OK, but sometimes you need to stick with what you know and become an expert, rather than jump on the latest thing and make a hash of it.
Some companies don’t understand the technology that well, and so pick the newest thing on the shelf. Using asp.net for a simple 6 page brochure site? That smells dodgy to me. Use the simplest technology possible that gets the job done well, I say.
And, I have to admit, sometimes asp.net is just the right thing to use. It’s easier than Java and Perl, admittedly (even though I Just Don’t Get It). And it’s been used to create some very good web applications, even if it is still too easy to let the IDE do it for you and end up with a dogs dinner of code.
Horses for courses, maybe. I’m sticking with PHP for now, and if I move to developing much in anything else anytime soon it will be RoR or Python (or both). Bill G can keep his over-complex framework in my view, at least for web development.
Thu Aug 24
Just seen this on t'internet: duct tape is like the Force; it has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the universe together. :0)