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Showing posts from 2011

High Level Review of FOSSIL VCS

I'm really enjoying playing with Fossil, a relatively new entrant to the distributed version control system space.  I really like a couple of features:

Single file repository - makes it easy to copy and back upIntegrated distributed Tracker - bug tracking and issue tracking is cinchIntegrated web serverIntegrated RDBMS ( wikiSingle executable file (fossil.exe) so it's easy to use and has no dependencies (no DLL hell!)Multiplatform, C source code. Knows about Windows line endings (CR-LF).Simple configuration files.Easy to self-host
This simplicity makes it a real joy to use. Just fire it up, and connect a web browser to it.

It seems a lot like Veracity, another DVCS with a built-in web server.  ( Mercurial also has a built-in web server -- maybe this is a trend?)

Downsides include:

no Eclipse integration   (Since I'm predominantly a Java programmer these days, this is a big one)some difficulty restarting a repository if you decide you just want to blow ev…

Choosing a programming language for fun and profit

I started programming in the early 1980's. Your choices were: BASIC, Assembler, and Pascal. C came later and that was ok. Then, we saw C++ followed by Java. An explosion of dynamic languages such as Perl, Python, PHP, and Ruby all showed up. JavaScript came to dominate the web browser, which has by now become the universal client program.

As an professional programmer, you will need to learn all of these languages (and any new ones that come about.) However, you will only have time to learn *one* thoroughly. That's because languages do not travel alone. They come with a huge pile of add-on libraries. The use of these libraries constitutes a language in itself. Knowing how and when to use these libraries will occupy a large amount of your thought processes.

When I say thoroughly, I mean to the degree that you are an expert.  That's when you will have memorized a ridiculously large amount of the language and its libraries.

So, if you don't want to turn into a language …

Restarting the blog

This is my new blog, now being hosted on

I used to host my own blogs because I was concerned about losing control of my older blogs. When I had my previous blog ( it was being hosted on one of Dave Winer's properties ( I was happy with the interface but I never counted on it going away.

Blogger has been around a long time and is owned by Google. I don't think we will see blogger go away anytime soon. This is a fair exchange for my time, since keeping WordProcess up and running with the latest versions was easy enough but I was never on top of it as much as I'd like, particularly from a security and spam-management point of view. This gives me the freedom to blog without the hassle of owning the infrastructure. Cloud at its finest.