Monday, February 05, 2007

Xach has shamed me into posting a blog entry

Life has been decidedly non-lispy lately, so I haven't had much to update in that area. I did a very quick reflector for a new addition to the service, but that was a very small bit of lisp coding that really took advantage of networking code I already had in place for Archon.

We rolled out some new features for including: Google searches right in the interface, hotfix lookups from microsoft's knowledge base, as well as license key reports.

Otherwise, it has really been a mix of decidedly non-programming activities that have been frittering away my time, including making a bunch of sales calls last month.

I have also been working on getting ready for our first ever trade show appearance. We are going to be in Las Vegas February 18th-21st at the Venetian for the 11th Annual International IT Service Management Conference & Exhibition. We decided rather last-minute to attend, so we have been pulling stuff together as quickly as possible. We don't want to blow too much money to attend, but we don't want our booth to look like a Jr. High science fair project either. We have also been getting schooled in the fine art of monopoly power. If working with the people that put on trade shows isn't actually working with the mob, it has to be a fair simulacrum. You get to answer questions like: Do you want to pay double to keep us from turning off the power in your booth outside of show hours? Do you want the $450 4 day, single computer wireless access, or the $2000 capped ethernet connection? Oh, how about the $62 dollars per day to empty your trash can (said trashcan having been rented from them, mind you). Just read the Grapes of Wrath, it is a much cheaper experience. I must blog more on this fun when we get back.

Oh, I've also been getting back into a little Cocoa programming. Leopard is going to have the new Objective-C 2.0. Improvements include new foreach syntax (even though I thought the NSEnumerator pattern not really painful), class properties, some other minor additions, and the biggie: a generational garbage collector (queue fanfare). What isn't getting into obj-c 2.0? Closures.

I am still of the opinion that Objective-C and Cocoa are the best gui development environment I have ever used. On the other hand, it is one thing to come to Cocoa from C++ or Java, and another to come back to it from Lisp. I have been looking into the Cocoa bridges for Lisp, but there isn't one available yet for my Lisp of choice. I've been doing a little digging to see how hard creating a bridge would be, but programming in Cocoa is just as much about the tools like Interface Builder as it is the available widgets. I don't even know enough at this point to carry on a conversation about it, but I am looking. The first step may in fact be an XCode lisp plugin.