Hello, World

I mean, g’day Planet.

Hi. I’m Nigel Tao. You might know me from such GNOMEly things as:

I would like to echo Prashanth Mohan’s recommendation of Rob Pike’s Newsqueak talk (and the elegance of the Sieve of Eratosthenes program). Also, there are many more Google Tech Talks, where all sorts of interesting (and not so interesting) technical people drop by Google HQ and, uh, talk. For example, Aza Raskin of Humanized gave one recently titled Away with Applications: The Death of the Desktop demonstrating Enso (which I’ve previously mentioned).

Warning: this paragraph of interest to programming language buffs only :-). In Newsqueak, variable declaration looks like i: int (compared to C’s int i), and assignment is the bog-standard (although mathematically lax) i = i + 1. One cute little syntactical feature is that you can combine declaration and assignment to write i := 42 to (loosely speaking) be a short-hand equivalent to i: typeof(42); i = 42, sort of like how i += 1 is short-hand for i = i + 1. It looks like Pascal’s old-school assignment operator, but it is in fact two separate operators, and you can even put whitespace in between to get i: =42.

Finally (in the small print section), these posts are entirely my own personal opinions and do not necessarily represent the views of my employer, blah blah blah, yadda yadda yadda.

3 comments ↓

#1 mike on 05.20.07 at 7:44 pm

SuperSwitcher is really cool.

A nice replacement to the task bar!

Any chance of getting this into GNOME?
Or is it too much functionality for GNOME?

#2 Nigel Tao on 05.20.07 at 10:32 pm

Well, I’d like to see it used more widely. I feel clumsy when I’m using a vanilla GNOME desktop without SuperSwitcher, but obviously, if I didn’t have the itch to start with, I’d never have written the program to scratch it. :-)

You can think of it as in the same family as DevilsPie and Brightside – something extra for those who want more than Cheerios [1] for their window manager. Every so often we re-raise the idea of a GNOME “Power Tools” Suite – programs that are definitely GNOMEy but don’t necessarily follow the regular six-month release cycle (and the associated quality that comes from e.g. bug-fix only code freezes). I’d be happy to see SuperSwitcher in something like that.

But really, that’s just a name. Deep down, it’s all open source software. If you like it, tell your friends. I’ll give you a 20% commission on the sale price. :-) Or, even better, package it for your favorite distro.

[1] http://perkypants.org/blog/2006/03/23/rocket-powered-cheerios/

#3 Sigi on 05.22.07 at 11:12 am

You legend, Nige. :)