Monday, June 27, 2011

I want a NYC app that...

Great initiative from New York City with NYCBigApps!

New York City is challenging the public to share what apps they want for residents, businesses, and visitors. After 8 days running the challenge there's already more than 300 app ideas! It's amazing to see all the app ideas that people come up with.

Imagine if creating these apps was as easy as blogging about them :)

Well, it shouldn't be too hard actually, with all the nice Web APIs that are available out there now for search, maps, location, photos, shopping etc.

Let's look at the very first app idea submitted to NYCBigApps:
I want a NYC app that shows me all music instrument stores in NYC.

That one is actually pretty easy:
  1. Get your location, say NYC.
  2. Do a Google map search for music stores around that location.
  3. Size the map to 320 pixels to fit nicely on your smartphone screen.

After about 5 mins fiddling with this, here we go! Looks like a simple app, just a map with markers, not very fancy, but does the job.


View Larger Map

Wouldn't it be great if we could make it so easy to create mini apps that the public could finally unleash their creativity, take control and make their own apps in minutes as ideas come up?

With HTML5 becoming easier to use and more mobile friendly, we're getting closer to that dream every day!


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Meritocracy in Action: The Apache Membership Process

The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) will be holding its annual Members' meeting this July. Among the Foundation's business that takes place during this meeting is the election of new ASF Members.

ASF committers who demonstrate merit in the Foundation’s growth, evolution, and progress are nominated for ASF Membership by existing members and elected bi-annually.

The ASF just published the list of new Members elected at the January 2011 Members' meeting on its blog. That was 6 months ago but it's never too late to blog about it :).

I just discovered that blog today as people started to send me emails when they saw my name there...

It is a great honor for me to be in that list as a new -- well... 6 month old :) -- elected ASF Member!

For more info, see the complete list of ASF members, committers and how the ASF works.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Comparing the performance of C++, Java, Scala and Go

An interesting paper from Google comparing the performance of C++, Java, Scala and Go was presented at the 2011 Scala days.

Conclusion from the paper: "We find that in regards to performance, C++ wins out by a large margin. However, it also required the most extensive tuning efforts, many of which were done at a level of sophistication that would not be available to the average programmer."

And my 2c: If you care about performance, for example if you run in the cloud and memory footprint and CPU directly translate to dollars on your cloud monthly bill, if you like programming and are not afraid of spending energy to design and program efficient algorithms, then C++ is still your best bet.

Sure that requires a bit more thinking and perhaps more sophisticated programmers, but you get what you pay for.

And to all the folks who criticize C++ for being complicated, well... in my opinion it's as complicated as you want it to be. It's really up to you as a programmer to think and keep your code simple and, by the way, there's a lot of complicated Java and Scala code out there too :)


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