Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Seattle jazz players urge Microsoft to rebrand F# as Gb

CtJ Newswire
Parody City, CA

Jan 22, 2009

In a press conference held near Seattle, a group of jazz musicians urged Microsoft to rebrand its nascent language, F# (pronounced F-Sharp), as Gb (G-Flat).

Said a spokesperson for the group: "It is abundantly clear that Microsoft employees are primarily guitarists or pianists. When horn players look at both F# and C#, we see the vibe: there is no love coming our way here. All those sharps: we just don't think that way."

Another protester recognized the technical details: "Look, we understand that there is a language called D, and that Db might have implied some kind of inferiority. So we stayed silent on C#. But there is no language called G, and so F# is a slap in the face. What's more, if the top-brass at Microsoft want to trumpet support for a functional programming language with monad-like structures, lambda expressions, and strong static typing, then all we ask is that they use an appropriate key for we horn blowers."

At this time, there is no word if Microsoft will comply with the musicians' plea.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Your company's first bug of 2009

I bet I can guess a bug at your company. You may not even know it. Nor your customers, or your marketing department.

It's probably in your code. It might be on your website. It is probably completely innocuous until you need it most, and then, well, your legal staff will tell you all about it.

If you haven't guessed yet, it's your copyright text. Most likely, it says something like:

ABC Company copyright 2002-2008. All rights reserved.

or even possibly "... (c) 2002-2004" if it is in code.

What does this mean? Does it really matter?

Good question. The facile answer is that if it was important enough to merit a copyright notice from 2002 to 2004, then it is probably important enough to update now. A more sophisticated question is if there is any legal standing for the years after a copyright notice. To be honest, I don't know.

All I know is that one team lead (who I respect) once speculated that omitting a copyright notice on new code was grounds for dismissal. I thought that was crazy then, and I do now: but it underscores the importance of this legal business. (As an aside, it just looks plain bad when the year is off on a website.)

I invite clarifications on the ramifications of letting copyrights 'expire' (if that is the correct term), but for now the takeaway is: update the darn year, and give your lawyers some backup support.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Executive Summary: the Origin of MicroBenchmarks

Inspired by a recent post about JavaFX being 25x faster than some other languages. (No link provided because it doesn't merit more attention.)