RIP Steve Jobs

I’m a recent Apple convert. I decided about a year ago, after spending the better part of 10 years hacking my own computers together, that I no longer wanted to waste my time building the hardware. Everyone has different criteria for their hardware. For me what I really value is silence. My mac is the quietest computer I have ever owned. For that alone, I’m prepared to pay a premium. I know you can jump through hoops and make other computers near silent, but it just isn’t worth it to me. My time is worth more. And, I just don’t enjoy the endless faffing about with hardware – does this RAM fit in that motherboard. Is this hard drive compatible with this BIOS…..No thanks. Steve Jobs clearly cared a lot about the products Apple produced. And they are fantastic.

Cancer is a shitty way to go.

Rest In Peace.

The application is the framework

I find it interesting that some web applications have matured to the point that they basically become frameworks in and of themselves. Take WordPress as an example. Originally written as a blogging tool, it has evolved into a framework of its own through its various hooks and actions that, if you were feeling adventurous, allow you to do pretty much whatever you want, from creating new tables to creating entirely new functionality.

Playing with a system that’s evolved into a framework is very different to playing with a system that was written as a framework first and foremost. I’ve been developing a plugin for vanillaforums to allow classified listings on a forum site, and it’s interesting to look at the architecture. On some levels, vanillaforums feels over-complicated for just a forum. But then you look a bit deeper and find a whole MVC framework coded up, with the forum module essentially just an application written on top of the framework. I do wonder sometimes why someone would go to the trouble of re-inventing their own framework when there are so many available ones out there. But I can, at the same time appreciate the desire to create a framework that follows your own opinions rather than falling in line with someone else’s.

I wonder at what point we could consider an application to be a framework? Because any well designed system is or should be easy to extend. I think what makes an application into a framework is documentation. Good documentation that allows moderately skilled developers to jump in and be productive immediately turns a simple app into a framework in it’s own right. That and a .org domain name 🙂

Principles not techniques

I like to think of coding in terms of principles vs techniques. I’ve met tons of good coders with lots of technique. Good technique. Rote technique. I’ve met very few coders who have good principles. A principle will let you look at anything code related…..and understand it….and if need be troubleshoot it.
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