Archive for April, 2007

Java Closures

April 25, 2007

Last week I went to a really cool talk given by Dr. Neal Gafter about closures in Java. I wasn’t really excited about going, but I was between classes so I stopped by to hear what he had to say. I was pleasantly surprised. The subject was much more interesting than I had anticipated and it turns out that closures are very powerful.

Dr. Neal Gafter was a very enthusiastic speaker. You can see from his profile that he has been involved in some really interesting activities such as the development of C++ and Java. He has his own blog where he has written much more about Java closures for anyone who is interested. I think a good post to check out is “A Definition of Closures”, which describes the history of closures.

Dr. Cay Horstmann, a Computer Science professor at SJSU, has also written about closures on his blog as well as more details about the talk. Actually it turns out Dr. Horstmann is the one who setup the talk as he was teaching the topic in one of his graduate courses. His post “Dr. Gafter comes to SJSU” was easy to follow and goes over the main points of the talk.

Thanks to Dr. Gafter and to Dr. Horstmann for making this talk happen. The talk was very informative and exciting.

There is another talk that may be interesting coming up this Thursday, April 26, at 4 pm in BBC 202. The talk is being given by Bob Sutor, IBM’s Vice President for Open Source. Check out the flyer here.

UPDATE: I went to the IBM talk and I thought it was interesting. Steve Sloan wrote about it in this post.



Tagging STEM

April 12, 2007

Yesterday the Students of SJSU Technology and Emerging Media Club (STEM) met and Andrew Venegas gave an interesting talk about tagging. Listening to his talk reminded me of my own experiences with tagging on my blog.

During the first STEM meeting, earlier this semester, we all decided that we should tag any posts about the club to allow readers to quickly get a list of posts related to the club happenings. On WordPress, there is built in tagging called categories that works nicely, but I didn’t want to add a new category for every specific thing that I wanted to tag. I wanted the categories to be more of a general table of contents and to have separate tags for more specific topics.

I read this post, Tags and Tagging in WordPress, on the Lorelle on WordPress blog. The article gave me a clearer idea of what tags are and how they can be used. I ended up using site search tags as suggested in the article. If you click one of my tags at the bottom of my post it has the same effect as doing a search in the search box for that term. You will be directed to a list of posts from my blog that mention the term in the tag. All of the posts that have that same tag will be listed as will any article that mentions the term anywhere in the article. This is different than the tags that Andrew mentioned in his talk that direct the reader to Technorati. Those tags would list blog posts from any blog that Technorati somehow deemed relevant to that tag. My tags only list my blog posts, which I think is more useful.

As a user of tags, if I am reading an article that I find interesting, I might click on of the tags listed with that article to find more relevant information. Often times, those tags will lead to nothing, which is frustrating to me and is useless from my point of view. So I try to have only a few tags that will lead to lots of related material. To help with this I keep a list of the tags I have used in the past and try to reuse those if they are relevant.


CFA Strike

April 5, 2007

I’m disappointed with The Spartan Daily coverage of the possible CFA strike. I’ve been told by several professors, as early as Monday, that negotiations with the CSU have been successful and that the strike is definitely not going to happen. But looking at The Spartan Daily on Tuesday, I see this article about how serious the strike might be.

I’m not sure exactly what is going with the strike, but I know The Spartan Daily is failing to report well on this issue. I don’t like how they left students worrying about the safety of the campus when there is good reason to believe that there won’t be a strike at all.

UPDATE: Today’s Spartan Daily has an article clarifying the issue.