Boutique Chic: Five Great Analysts Who Are Under the Radar

Boutique Chic: Five Great Analysts Who Are Under the Radar

There’s a reason that IDC, Forrester, and Gartner are so big. They offer scale and coverage that small firms can’t match, and they attract industry heavyweights who can make or break emerging technologies. But there’s a downside to scale. Unless you’re a corporate whale, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle, and getting that superstar on the…

OpenStack Leader: Open Source Needs to Rethink Its Priorities

OpenStack Leader: Open Source Needs to Rethink Its Priorities

Philosophically, the open source concept borrows some selected elements from socialism. It upholds a notion of the “common good,” it eschews the appearance of authority or hierarchy, and it often frowns upon capitalizing on one’s own work, insofar as being exclusive. In practice, however, open source projects may look less like Big Brother from…

Some Thoughts on the Passing of Dan McCracken (1930 – 2011)

Some Thoughts on the Passing of Dan McCracken (1930 – 2011)

There is a missing characteristic to most of what is published today on the subject of computing. At some point in time, as a matter of course, we stopped treating the subject with respect and reverence, and we started adorning it with buzzwords, marketing promises and metaphors borrowed from the self-help department.

What Daniel D. McCracken…

Teaching Creative Writing with Programming

Teaching Creative Writing with Programming

One of my favorite sessions at OSCon this week was Teaching Creative Writing with Python. Adam Parrish talked about his course Reading and Writing Electronic Text, which he teaches at New York University as part of the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP). Although the title emphasizes teaching creative writing through programming, the…

The History of Programming Languages [Infographic]

The History of Programming Languages [Infographic]

Rackspace recently published a nice infographic on the evolution of programming languages. It starts with FORTRAN and COBOL and runs through Ruby on Rails (which, yes, is a framework and not a language).

Unfortunately, it omits such influential languages as Lisp, ALGOL 60 and Smalltalk. But including every important language ever would make for…

JavaScript Creator Says the Language Wasn’t Just Dumb Luck

JavaScript Creator Says the Language Wasn’t Just Dumb Luck

JavaScript creator Brendan Eich has spoken out against the perception that JavaScript was an arbitrary or random success. In a comment at Hacker News Eich explains the historical context from which JavaScript emerged and how it was unlikely to have happened any other way.

In comment at Lambda the Ultimate, Eich wrote: “History has reason and…

A Look Back at the BeOS File System

A Look Back at the BeOS File System

Neal Stephenson once wrote that BeOS was the Batmobile of operating systems (Windows was a station wagon, MacOS was a European sports car and Linux was a free army tank). It was created in 1991. In 1997 its legendary file system, BFS was created. Be Inc sold to Palm in 2001, and BeOS was to become the foundation of PalmOS 6, which was never used…

Secrets of BackType’s Data Engineers

Secrets of BackType’s Data Engineers

How do three guys with only seed funding process a hundred million messages a day? I sat down with the BackType team to discover how they built a service relied upon by companies like bit.ly, Hunch and The New York Times.

BackType captures online conversations, everything from tweets to blog comments to checkins and Facebook interactions. Its…