Getting noticed

In The new way to get your product noticed?, Scoble asserts that “it takes 10 bloggers to talk about you now to get noticed. In a year it might be 20 or even 50”.

So does this mean that when Jorge writes something about gnome or ubuntu, that I should echo it? Would that help gnome, ubuntu, hula, or whatever Jorge thinks is so cool? I would have no problem doing this, I almost always agree with Jorge on what new things are cool and great. Would this really help more people take notice?

I don’t think it would. For one, the only place which I am syndicated, Jorge is also syndicated. Jorge is also syndicated elsewhere. I have a wife and a handful of friends that read a blog occasionally. That is it.

If 8 other just like me echoed the sentiments of Jorge regarding new gnome programs, new ubuntu releases, or whatever, would anyone really notice? I don’t think so.

You cannot create buzz, no matter how hard you try. True buzz comes from a product being really great. Firefox is used as the browser of choice on Windows and Linux. Windows, KDE and Gnome have their own browser offering, but Firefox seems to be what people use.

Incidentally, I made a switch to Opera when 8.0 came out. It now supports XMLHTTPRequest well enough to use gmail, google suggest, google maps, and other AJAX apps. Opera is faster than Firefox, and I’ve really run across very few compatibility problems. NTLM Authentication for use at work is my biggest gripe.

Scoble points out blogline links and technorati links. This is irrelavent because if everyone using a product blogged about it, no one would read blogs, because the noise of “hey I like this” would drown out any good signal. (like my opera tangent) having 166 links on bloglines is irrelavent because I’ve never seen it (opera chokes), my wife hasn’t seen it, my Dad hasn’t said “hey, have you seen this!”, and I don’t expect them to anytime soon.

Microsoft and its fans seem to be forgetting the rule of 10 times. Google was 10 times better than alternative search engines when it hit the internet. It has also gotten progressively better. MSN and others who compete with google have been so busy chasing google, that they are forgetting that the target should be 10 times better than google.

10 times better than google is so unimaginable that short of a nural implant to find what information I didn’t know I wanted yet and have it waiting for me when I do want it, I do not think 10 times google is possible.

Ok, so 10 times may be a bit much, but 2 times would be good. Apple’s iPod and iLife are at least 2 times as good as Microsoft’s offerings. Windows folks may point out Google’s Picasa, but I’ll counter that it isn’t there because of the integrated nature of iLife’s suite. iPhoto isn’t just iPhoto, but it gets audio from iTunes, and can be use from iMovie.

The one thing I do think Microsoft is doing better than anyone else is making developer tools. Visual Studio and the .NET platform are the best in their field. Yes, probably twice as good as the competition. When will Windows Media player be twice as good as iTunes? I cannot even imagine that.

EMCA-334 proper type usage

From the C# Language Specification
section 8.2.1

Each of the predefined types is shorthand for a system-provided type. For example, the keyword int refers
to the struct
System.Int32. As a matter of style, use of the keyword is favored over use of the complete
system type name.

I shall utilize this new found knowlege immediately.

Is Pimping Easy? You aren’t going to cry are you?

My wife just changed channels from Dave Chapelle to Pizza My Heart. Excuse the Title.

I have a running argument with my good friend Matt that Innocent Blood is the best vampire movie of all time. Thanks to IMDB I have my proof. Director of Innocent Blood is also the director of the best music video of all time. John Landis directed Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

EAT IT MATT! Innocent Blood is the best vampire movie ever. If the director doesn’t prove it, then Robert Loggia does! Have you seen his orange juice commercials? What has Robert Loggia ever done that didn’t kick ass? NOTHING! Thus Innocent Blood kicks ass! I might just buy you the DVD for Christmas.

Short weekend. Working Saturdays sucks. But I don’t keep it real, because Dave has shown me what happens when keeping it real goes wrong. Bottle of wine on Sunday night is good.

Meta Scoble: Windows has it, Mac does not.

Scoble’s first three points here are not only extremely valid, but reasons I’m not a 100% mac whore.

There are things that not only Mac needs to catch up on, but Linux desktop systems as well. Linux has MythTV, so I would say that there is a Media Center equivalent. Maybe it doesn’t integrate into gnome or kde as well as it could, but it does exist, NOW! TODAY! (go linux!)

Tablet is one of those technologies that I think you must experience to understand its impact. I think that is why it has taken off slowly. Recent similar technology is google earth. I knew what it was. I had heard its praises, but google earth is HUGE. You just read that sentance, but you cannot understand it unless you go download and use google earth. If you cannot use google earth due to your platform, then steal someones win32 system and try it out.

Thanks for the TODO list Robert. I don’t know of Apple is listening, but the Linux community is somewhat listening.

As for XBox, Intel, and MSN Direct Watches… stop trolling.

Finally, I can be productive. I can inovate like OMG Rory wants.

I got an additional gigabyte of memory in my work laptop. My employer is serious about keeping its employees productive. 512 MB of RAM was not at all enough for Window XP in a developer environment. Honestly, 512 MB is not enough for Windows XP and a serious internet user. Between Media Player, iTunes, RSS Bandit, iPodder, Outlook, Opera, Gaim, Skype, Word, Excel, and a couple MSTSC clients, well over 512MB of RAM is used. Start openning development tools on top of this and the laptop quickly slows to a crawl. It also kills the battery when its doing all that swapping.

My boss had actually ordered two 1GB modules, but this T42 only has 1 slot. It is apparently 512MB onboard, and 1 slot, so they just put in the 1GB module, and I now have 1.5GB of RAM. I was so excited that when I got the email message from my boss, saying that it has been delivered, that I stopped reading email, and I went to IT Support and said “when can i get my ram”. It was 5:10pm. I was amazed that the office door was open, the light was on, and someone was there. He said, “Sure, bring it over.” I went back to my desk, shutdown applications for 5 minutes (brand new ThinkPads are slow), and noticed that he had emailed me before I visited him saying “what time is good for you on Monday.” Well, I was so happy to get it, I could wait till Monday.

I can’t wait to install the latest CTP .NET 2.0 applications in a VMWare session. I can test if I can use ASP.NET2.0 controls in Sharepoint 2003 WebParts. Anyone know if I can? mmm… generic development. Yes, I should probably be trying it all in Mono too. XSP2.0 is my target App Server for all my good homebrew stuff, but on the job it is IIS6 and .NET1.1. I’d like to get work to 2.0 as soon as it is released, and that means developing our stuff with it now. We shall see if I can justify it.

Ubiquitous Regular Expressions, Missing Context Free Grammars

Post about Ubiquitous Language in the Service Context is interesting.

Ok, but is it really a CFL? If it is, what Grammar describes it? Why has grammar not had a larger roll in modern programming as language has? (proportionally) Why aren’t we using CFG everywhere? If XML is a weak ESS, do we need a weak BNF or LALR parse language?

The relation between Language and Grammar is a foundation of Computer Science. Regular Languages are easily expressed with a Regular Expression. Non-regular languages require “more” (programmatically, a stack) to be parsed. BNF and LALR languages allow this expression, but they aren’t easy, and they certainly aren’t as widespread as Regular Expressions. Most importantly they aren’t as accessible to the programmer. Antlr is an excellent tool, but there aren’t MSDN articles on it. There aren’t former VB6 programmers, now .NET programmers discovering and embracing it like they are Regular Expressions.

Yet XML is so popular. I cannot imagine the ugly BNF which would describe XML. It would have to be coupled with an even more ugly XSD to describe the DOCTYPE of whatever XML is being parsed. Yet programmers everywhere are apparently having no problem parsing XML on a day to day basis. I’m dumbfounded. WHY???

All programmers would “benefit from having additional linguistic and semantic expertise.” I know programmers who happily use the System.XML libraries all day long, think nothing of the complexity, write XSD, parse, generate, and do whatever is necessary. These same programmers are still doing string matching and manipulation with IndexOf, Substr, and Replace members of System. String. I always thought those functions were there for a sort of backwards compatibility. Why aren’t these programmers using Regular Expressions? I heard one say that Regular Expressions require much mathematical thinking.

What a name can do? (Windows Vista)

Microsoft officially named the next version of its operating system which was code named longhorn. The name Windows Vista currently shows some interesting results on google. There are various Windows products that have the name vista. There is a stats package, some thing else so specialized I couldn’t figure it out, and there is a company that actually installs glass windows for your home called Vista Windows.

I find it interesting how much these google results are bound to change in the next few days as blogs everywhere mention this, in the next few weeks as the conventional media catches up, and in the next few months as Microsoft and its huge bohemoth community start putting out marketing material, documentation and programmer resources.

Doesn’t the entire Longhorn release process remind you of the Cairo release process? When Windows NT 4.0 was being developed there was press on it years before its release, just like Longhorn. No one knew that Cairo would eventually be named NT 4.0. No one knew that its release would really just be perceived as 95 without the game ability, but more stable so you can run office without the system crashing. Cairo was even supposed to have a new filesystem that was the greatest thing since the internet. Except many of the Cairo articles were written in 1994 and early 1995, months before the internet really made a huge splash in the media. Everyone was still asking, “What is the internet?”

Does this sound familiar? It does to me. The parallels are astounding. Longhorns WinFS, IE7, new drawing methods. There are so many parallels to the time of windows 95 and NT4.0. The largest difference is the time between releases. Windows XP came out in spring or summer of 2001. We can expect Vista sometime within a year, or maybe two. That is 5-6 years between releases. Windows 95 was summer of 95. NT4 was spring or summer of 96. Why the difference?

Microsoft learned from its mistakes. At the time, 95 was still somewhat based on an underlying DOS. Microsoft was maintaining two distinct operating systems and making them compatible. NT4 was for “servers and workstations” and 95 was for “homes and desktops”? It wasn’t clear for what each was. But ultimately, consumers wanted it all. Windows 95 was unacceptable in terms of stability. Windows NT4 was unacceptable for gaming and audio applications (there wasn’t much desktop video at the time). Microsoft converged their two offerings and here we are. 6 years is an awefully long time between releases. The Ubuntu Linux distribution puts out 12 releases in that amount of time. Of course they have only been around for about two years, so time will tell where they are in 2012 when Microsoft releases its successor to Windows Vista.

My only question is will this version of Windows slice my home baked bread?

Searching bloglines for Vista or Windows Vista shows nothing MS related in the first page of results.

Searching BlogPulse yeilds a funny story.

Slashdot has a story.

Amazingly the next thing I ran across came from my RSS Bandit feeds. I subscribe to the blogs.msdn… and the blogrolls. Paschal covered the same thing that I did regarding Google results for Windows Vista. He included the google results.

Technocrati yeilds many results of people saying just “Microsoft did this…” with no real comments, but this ugly page did make me chuckle. Also from Technocrati is someone who has something positive to say about the name.

Is this a pretty big news story, or is it just something that blogger (ugh myself included) like to latch onto?