oh shit. did i miss something here? i’m still using ff1.5 and i’m quite happy with it.. did ie improve? not really, right?

gee.. sometimes i wonder what i do spend my time with.. all day long..



IntelliJ IDEA: 6.0.1

just a quick update. i’m still using 4.5 to work on my j2se/j2me projects when using my old dell inspiron 8600. but 6.0.1 feels like a real improvement over 6.0. so i upgraded my 5.x installation. i’ll test drive it for the eval month. over all it’s still the best java ide. so i guess i have to upgrade the license sooner or later..

it’s just that there is a real difference in the performance between 4.5 and 6. and it really hurts some times.. damn..


Working From Home

Working From Home on Joel’s forum.

Some quote’s on which I’d like to comment:

Am I the only one that is struggeling to work from home? Here are my symptoms:
* A complete lack of structure of the day
* F*c**d up sleeping pattern… Getting up way to late, staying up way to late.
* Don’t know when work begins and don’t know when it ends.
* Lack of motivation…
* Extremely hard to build discipline
* Loneliness
* Can’t concentrate during the day… alot better at night…
* Feelings of frustration because you can’t get to it…

Structure: Why is it bad to have a ‘freeform’ structure? I enjoy it.
Sleeping pattern: Why not sleep as your body tells you to? What is wrong with that? I find it much more discomforting to be bound by office times. I prefer adjusting my sleep to the day/night cycles. Longer days in the summer. Shorter in winter. In winter I usualy work a lot more at night because I hate the grey colors of the days.
Begin/end of work: I think this is related to structure. If you feel like working, work. If not, don’t.
Motivation: This – imho – is the central point. If you’re not motivated, then you’re not doing something you like. I try to select my work based on this. If I have to, I add a second – motivating – project ‘just for fun’. (In my case this often is a small retro style arcade game for a platform like J2ME for example.)
Discipline: Hard to build? Sounds strange to me. Discipline is something you have, or not. If not, work in an office.. :) Or make yourself change. If that’s what you mean with build, I’d say this: Related to motivation. If I do something I like, motivation and discipline are there.
Loneliness: How is that related? Just spend your days and nights in cafes and bars. Take your notebook with you. Work if noone interesting is around. Put it aside if you see someone nice to talk to.
Concentration: All related stuff to what has been said before. Maybe you prefer working at night. What is the problem? I prefer the night, too. Everything is quite outside. A nearly zen-like state.. :)
Frustration: Probably the only real problem is that you usually work alone. And not having someone else around can really be frustrating. For this I’d really prefer to some guys around somewhere. But this could also be some kind of user group. But I admin: Working alone and then being stuck somewhere is a real problem.

I don’t think there’s any magic to it… you need to condition your brain to Go To Work and then to Go Home at repetitive times, and to make that work place somewhere other than next to the kitchen, or the living room, or even the laundry room. The isolation thing is something else, but for me I keep it at bay with my Mental Health Hour.

I don’t think so. This is only true if you’re a person like this guy. But not everyone ‘works’ the same.

One thing you could try is finding a new place to work. For instance, youe local library, or a coffee shop. If you have any state colleges nearby, you may be able to get library access based on your state residency, and hang out on campus.

This is something I do, too. I have a cafe and a pasta place where I sometimes sit for hours and work. I also don’t mind going down to the river – during summertime – and sit at the water with my notebook. Just make yourself comfortable. And make sure you work on something interrsting. (Or something that pays really good.. could probably be motivating, too.. :)

I am starting to see signs of hope. I have been able to make the gym twice a week (shooting for 3-4 per week) and in the last couple days I have forced myself to go to sleep at a “normal” time (~11pm) even though, like the above poster I am more of a night coder.

Here’s what I did: Instead of wasting between 50 and 100 EURO each month for the gym I invested about 350 EURO into a set of weights and bars and a bench. I have this next to my computer. When thinking about problems I lift. When playing Counter-Strike and I get killed early, I lift. During summer I take one of my bikes and hit the road. Sometimes I take the notebook with me and spend an hour or so at some nice place working. If I get stuck, I get back on the bike. I love it. (To be honest: I have also spent about 2000 EURO on my bikes.. :)

Hmm, I suffer from most of the symptoms and I work in an office.

This is right at the heart of what I’m trying to say here. It’s not really about being at home or in the office. Other things are making you feel bad.

“I go through spells where I get up, surf the net, then see it’s close to lunch time, so I got out to the kitchen a little early and flip on the TV. Get sucked into the afternoon movie, putter around the house a little, try to get some work done but then it’s time for my favorite primetime shows, then try to do some more work, then it’s bed time. As I’m falling asleep, I’m thinking “Crap, another wasted day. Tomorrow I’m gonna get right to work and get some stuff done!” But it doesn’t happen…”

Two remarks here: 1) I don’t have a TV at all. I download TV shows I like (which is one right now, Boston Legal) and watch them whenever I like. Not being bound by the stupid schedules of stupid TV stations.. :) 2) I don’t think there’s anything bad with wasting a day or two each week. Just make sure you stay on schedule.

I go in waves of intensity.

Sometimes I’m so burnt out I get in George Jetson mode (“I had to puch 5 buttons today!”). Even trivial tasks seem to be a monumental burden. DVD binges are a must. My recent favorite recommendation is “Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang”. Another option is to draw the blinds, unplug the phone, forget about shaving, and watch every season of 24, Lost, and The Wire in your underwear. Make sure to give the pizza guy a good tip.

Very understandable. And not a problem at all.

I really like that I don’t have to commute. Thats seems like such a waste of time and money.

And the environment.. And.. And.. People are so stupid.

You need structure in order to be able to sustain your productivity at home. Get up at the same time, go to work at the same time, go to bed at the same time. Your body needs a schedule in order to function efficiently.

That is just BS. So 1990s.. :) But hey, it looks like in the state evolution is being wiped out anyway. So why should ppl evolve? LOL to that.

To me being able to get up when I like and wear what I like is one of the attractions of working at home. so I am surprised to hear people say that they set their alarm clock and dress as if working 9-5. Different strokes for different folks I guess.

Looks like it. Yes.

never ask for a raise

This can be a problem. It is a problem for me.. :)

As a software developer, the lack of human interaction is the biggest problem. The second one would be the constant temptation to see what new stories have been posted to Digg or Reddit, leading to a big decrease in productivity (in fact, I found this off Reddit, and I should be working!). Personal hygiene gets interesting too.

Not sure about what software and human interaction have to do with each other.. No, really. Not having some other developers around can be the probably biggest problem. But having social interaction is a totally different matter. Sick if you get your social interaction from an office..

Digg and Reddit? I use bloglines to collect the stories then spend about an hour or two each day to read the stuff. I adapt the time to what I need/can/want.

And taking a shower from time to time is not a problem for me.. :) Let me ask this: Is a daily shower really necessary? What about the water use? What about the stuff you put on your skin ‘for cleaning’?

I love working from home! My success however centers around the following:
2) I am an active guy and live in a beach destination location. People come here for vacation, I live here!
All in all, I have been teleworking for over 5 years, and much of that time has been full time. It would be hard for me to go back to working full time in a regular office!

This is some lucky guy! I’m actually thinking about this, too. Find a place at the beach. With nice weather all year long so that you can workout or ride the bike whenever you want. I envy these ppl who where somehow ‘born’ into these places. For me it’s a lot of trouble to make this transition from where I am right now (Berlin, Germany). And money is only one part of the problem.

I, too, would have real trouble going back to an office. I’m sure of that by now.

Exercise, exercise, exercise. Go to the gym at least three times a week (in the morning helps) and take at least one walk around the neighborhood every day.

This is really important. But I would argue this is true when working in the office, too. Don’t you think? I’m still not doing enough. Damn! How I wish there was no winter!

Try to avoid working from home if at all possible. Or you might find management starting to think along the lines… if the job can be done remotely from home, the job can just as easily be done by someone in Bangalore for US$5000 a year….

Funny. Some ppl are really funny. A friend of mine, working from home, too, is tasked with insourcing a project. Outsourcing is a stupid idea. And anyone who knows a bit about software development knows this. You can outsource all the simple stuff. Yes, maybe. But this wouldn’t be motivating work for a real developer anyway.

In fact: Outsourcing and working from home are not really related at all. The tasks and topics are different.

I’m another person with similar experiences. In my case, I bought a laptop with a big battery and now go and sit in one of the local chain-store cafes to work. Just getting out of the house improves my spirits, and somehow there are less distractions at the cafe (or at least, the distractions that do exist – like talking to cute girls at the table next to me – don’t feel like “wasted” time compared to the distractions at home).

Amen to that. Now: Anyone wants to tell me that working in an office is better than that? :)

I’ve been working from home for about four years now. Maybe six, if you count living in an office, too. But that’s another story. To be told on another day.


Developer vs Programmer

i followed a link in another article leading me to this: Developers are from Mars, Programmers are from Venus. a lot of related articles are out there already. and i ignored this one at first for this reason. but waiting for some work-related stuff i found the time to read it.

let me add this: i think it’s not a bad thing if you sometimes go back to being a programmer. there are negative aspects of being a developer with the number one item being: it’s a different kind of game you’re playing and programming can be a lot more fun. of course you need to always be disclipined and come back to being a developer. to clean up the stuff you did while acting as the programmer. but boy, isn’t it fun to just hack away all night long trying out stuff and implementing ideas and adding new features wheter they are needed or not? i like that..

and yes, sure, as a developer it can be a lot of fun making things work, and pleasing your environment (organization or whatever). but it definitly is something else than what a programmer experiences if he just follows his path through the night..

anyway.. probably not really that important.. in the end i guess it comes down to work versus not work..


The End Of Ruby? Part 2 :)

The Ruby GUI situation

Amen to that!


The End Of Ruby?

i wonder: on one side they want to break old code when going to 2.0 to help cleaning up the language. on the other side they won’t add continuations and green threads to avoid breaking extensions. this has been discussed to death already. i don’t want to join in. in fact it’s still being discussed and it’s interesting to see it’s influence on JRuby. well, here we go. i just joined it.

anyway, looking at java, i stronly believe that a language should evolve as much as possible – as long as it has obvious shortcommings. this, of course, is again, subject to many discussions. but look at ‘closures for java’, look at all the ‘aop’ and all the ‘scripting for java’ stuff. these changes are comming. and it is good they are comming. what is not good, is that the language designers seem to be bound by their history too much. trying to avoid breaking code as much as possible. trying to avoid changing the VM. god forbid the new VM can’t execute old byte code anymore!

imho, this is 100% wrong. if ppl want to stick with the old java, that’s fine. if they are ‘agile’ enough to go with the evolution, then they will also benefit from a – hopefully – better language. i wouldn’t even mind if the call it Kava. or javant. or whatever. and if the new vm can’t execute old byte code? and the new javac can’t compile old source? well, then we’ll have to update the source! maybe an automated conversion does 90% of the job. maybe not. i really don’t see a problem there. i want and improved foundation for my work. that’s what i care about.

of course, things are a bit twisted. one argument that i always find very interesting is: if you evolve a language long enough. where do you end up? lisp? well.. probably not. sometimes it really is ok to have a java-like language. or haskell. or ruby. or …. the tool should fit the problem etc.. but using this argumentation to say java should stay as it is today? i think that’s wrong..

enough said. amen. back to CSS..


please note: i don’t really know what i’m talking about. i’m playing much too much CSS recently to be really uptodate on the state of ruby, and programming languages in general. it’s just that sometimes i have to get these rants out of my system. so i can concentrate on playing CSS again.. :)

IntelliJ IDEA: Two Steps Back

after being very happy with going back to v4.5 on my notebook i recently downgraded idea to v4.5 on my workstation, too. it’s just so much faster to work with. and as i said before, i just don’t need all the j2ee/j2me crap features. i just need a slick editor.


Symbian and C++

just a quick note.. even though i stopped working with symbian more than two years ago, i still receive quite a few emails each month asking me for support on symbian issues. i always tell those ppl the same thing: forget symbian c++ and look python. use python to do the main heavy work of your application and only write small extensions for missing base functionality in c++.

anyway, symbian c++ and the sdk are a really horrible combination. seriously: make it your priority to find ways for avoid coding in symbian c++.

quick update: there are alternative tool chains. afaik they are linux-based. but they seem to offer a much nicer way to use make to build your applications. avoiding most of the horrible perl-based symbian sdk.


Old School – Another IDEA rant

after testing the 6.0 version of intellij idea for a few days i had to go back to version 5. on my 1.6 ghz centrino notebook the new version is slow enough to make you angry. if you are reasonably fast with the keyboard, you can watch idea catch up with your typing on quite a few occasions.

anyway, after i went back to version 5 i thought ‘just for fun i should try 4.5’. it’s a difference like day and night. the old 4.5 version starts in less than 5 seconds. version 6 takes about 30 seconds to load. the 4.5 editor is a lot faster. you notice it right away when opening files. lucky me. i don’t need all the new features. i miss a few for sure. but as a cool java source code editor, 4.5 is perfect for me.

the probably best part is that i don’t need to upgrade my license again.. :)

now all i have to do is downgrade my simple syntax highlighter plugin to make it work with 4.5. then i can use idea as a nice ruby editor, too. (btw: i failed updating the plugin for idea 6. i changed a few lines to make it compile again. and the highlighting works fine in the preview box in the color settings. but the associated file types are not hghiilighted at all. bummer. i guess some ‘hidden logic’ must have changed in the open api..)

amen to all of that..



let me put it this way.. it’s not faster than the previous versions.. :)

i like the cleaned up module configuration.. and lots of the other little things.. but i just dont need all the ‘enterprise’ (wtf?) features.. i even remove the j2me plugin because i prefer doing this through ant and my own tools.. (j2me is my primary target right now..)

i guess it’s really time to move on.. idea was (and i guess still is, in a way) a great tool for coding java.. but what i need now is something that looks like idea, with the same wonderful editor, but with out all the enterprise features.. an IDEA Light thing would so frikkin pawn the rest.. well..

if anyone has an idea :) what an alternative could be, please let me know.. but no, jedit is not an option.. editpadpro neither.. forget eclipse right away.. ok.. any more options? :)