Monday, November 17, 2008

Malcolm Gladwell's articles

Someone gave me the links to interesting articles by Malcolm Gladwell.

All of them were very interesting.
But I list them in the order of the one that made me feel like putting on this blog the most to the one the least.

Million-Dollar Murray (Why problems like homelessness may be easier to solve than to manage.)

What we can learn from spaghetti sauce

The Uses of Adversity

The reason why I wanted to put the first one in this blog was the last section about air pollution. That gave me a new perspective and made me realize that by retrospective, in the past, I have observed a similar phenomenon.

The part of the second article, actually a talk, "people don't know what they want" is related to how we develop software in Agile way. It is based on a notion that the users don't know what they want. So we build software incrementally, showing it to the users as we go and deciding what to do next based on their reactions. That's all I wanted to say in this blog. The main theme of the talk is much beyond that, however, and that will heavily influence the way I view things from now on.

The third one gave me a new important perspective as well. I'm glad that I read it. But most probably it would have stayed as a bookmark instead of putting it in this blog if I didn't get its link with the other two.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Reflection on my life, of the result of the presidential election in United States

I felt the enthusiasm of the people while I was following the presidential election in United States last night.

I view Barack Obama as a human and his being a black person doesn't come to my mind. And following the election yesterday and listening to his speech after he became the next president of the United States, I felt that the people chose a person with a positive choice, not a compromise of choosing a person less evil than the other.

Despite of these facts, while I was in the bed afterward, I was reminded of my high school English class.

It was in a small city in a rather rural area of Japan and the majority of the people there spend their entire lives never seeing any foreigner and only speaking their dialect even only speaking the standard Japanese only occasionally. While I was a student very aware of human rights and social issues, those issues rarely came to people's mind.

One day, in one of the English classes, the teacher played a tape of Martin Luther Kings Jr.'s speech, "I have a dream". And he had a sincere conscience.

I am very graceful that he played the speech.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Quick note about Workling

I have found that when using Starling, setting "Workling::Remote.dispatcher =" in environment.rb is not necessary because Workling checks the existence of Starling before any other gems or plugins such as Spawn.

I've found this by looking at the code vendor/plugins/workling/lib/workling.rb, self.default_runner, which was a point of failure at one execution.

self.default_runner takes care of setting it automatically.

The problem was that when it is set in environment.rb or even only in environments/development.rb, "rake spec" fails reading the setting for development environment in config/starling.yml. (Even when I explicitly set ENV["RAILS_ENV"] = "test".)

If another background process gem or plugin is used such as Spawn while Starling gem is still installed, Starling is still picked up. I think we can specify Spawn in environment.rb.

Or it would be ideal if only one background process gem/plugin installed out of Starling, Spawn, and Backgroundjob.