Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Desert

Power Line Sunset
Originally uploaded by Averain
I love the desert. I didn't used to, but now I love long stretches of nothing and dry air; dirt roads that stretch to the horizon.

Stroustrup, C++ and Java

In the June issue of SD Times there is an entire article on how "spec-laden" and "bloated" the Java language has become. When I read it I was immediately reminded of Bjarne Stroustrup (the inventor of C++) and what he said in response to the question, "Is Java the language you would have designed if you didn't have to be compatible with C?" Keep in mind that he wrote this when Java was considered superior to C++ for its simplicity and he was being mocked in the press for creating such a "bloated" language. This is from his FAQ:

Much of the relative simplicity of Java is - like for most new languages - partly an illusion and partly a function of its incompleteness. As time passes, Java will grow significantly in size and complexity. It will double or triple in size and grow implementation-dependent extensions or libraries. That is the way every commercially successful language has developed. Just look at any language you consider successful on a large scale. I know of no exceptions, and there are good reasons for this phenomenon.

When he wrote this (back in the 90's) people pooh-pooh'ed this statement and said he had sour grapes but of course you shouldn't second-guess somebody of Stroustrup's caliber because, of course, he was right, Java is "spec-laden" and "bloated" now but also, "there are good reasons for this."

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Originally uploaded by Averain
We went to the annual Kern River Valley Hummingbird Celebration today which is one of my favorite things to do since it isn't every day that you can have Hummingbirds by the dozen dive bombing you. But this year I was especially excited since I had a new camera and no bird is as cool to catch in flight as a Hummingbird.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Taylor Creek Fish

Taylor Creek Fish
Originally uploaded by Averain
If you are ever at Lake Tahoe you should take the time to go and visit the Taylor Creek Stream Profile Chamber. First you get to take this great little nature walk through the woods and then you descend under the water level of the nearby stream into this little room which has windows on the side facing the stream so the stream actually flows right by the window. It is a neat idea and well executed.

The Taylor Creek Stream Profile Chamber is a short walk on the Rainbow Trail (a paved trail which is not at all strenuous) that leaves from the Visitor Center. You can park at the Taylor Creek Visitor Center which is located off of Highway 89 a few miles to the north of Camp Richardson which is just outside of South Lake.