Paradigm X

Vision quests of a soulhacker

  • Clojure Toolchain Reloaded

    Clojure keeps growning up, and my 2.5-years old guide for setting up Clojure environment on Mac OS X had been out-of-date for quite a while. The toolchains based on Leiningen 2 and nREPL rise from underground, become really powerful and easy (even joyful for most of us) to use, and de facto standard. Nearly all main stream developing environments provide solutions for serious Clojure developers: Eclipse + Counter Clockwise, IntelliJ IDEA + La Clojure, Sublime Text 2 + SublimeREPL, Vim with fireplace.vim, etc.1, and the favorite I finally found several months ago, Emacs Live.

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  • iOS 7

    In my opinion, the major tasks for Apple this year are all about software, especially in the iOS eco-system.

    iOS has very solid Unix foundation and decent application framework. For a long time iOS had incontrovertible advantages over its rivals: performance, security, smooth user interaction, etc., most of which are still advantages today. But we all know that some incapabilities in iOS, especially compared to Android, are becoming more and more important aspects that Apple cannot ignore. Consider the following facts: Android may not be rendering the UI animation as smoothly as iOS always does, but it’s been getting better and better since Android 4.0, while iOS still doesn’t allow third-party apps customize the lock screen or put widgets on any part of the main UI. See the difference? Android’s problems are ’not as good as iOS’ and iOS has some incapabilities. If Apple want more people to choose iOS it should persuade the swing people (not the fans) that iOS is better in all aspects. It’s a prerequisite to eliminate those incapabilities ASAP.

    Ars Technica posted their staff wish list for iOS 7 last week. Most features in their list are good ones but not the critical ones. Base on the above eliminating incapabilities theory I’ll list mine below, divided to developer and user categories.

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  • A Brief Guide of (RESTful) SOA, Part III

    Part I | Part II

    In the final part of this article we will discuss several common topics of RESTful web service implementation. I will not dig deep here because all these topics are all quite complicated.

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  • A Brief Guide of (RESTful) SOA, Part II

    In the first part of this series we have discussed the core concepts of RESTful architectural style and gives some guideline in how to define the system and prepare for defining the APIs specs, which will be covered in this part.

    Level III: Define and Tune the API

    Defining API specs is the most important part of all and it’s a continuous progress in the whole lifecycle, mostly documentation oriented. A simple and neat document collaboration platform is very useful. I suggest facilitating tools such as MediaWiki or Markdown + GitHub etc. Then you can follow these sections below.

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  • Europe Summer 2012 and 500px

    I spent my summer vacation with my family in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. It’s the first time I visit Europe. Had bunch of photos, most of which are taken by my Fujifilm Finepix X100 with its wide conversion lens WCL-X100. After one and half months I finally picked up ~150 photos and uploaded them to 500px.

    X100 is a really amazing camera. Its top-of-the-line APS-C sized CMOS sensor provides great resolution and SNR. Its prime lens (with field of view equivalent to 35mm and 28mm lens on full frame) are especially suitable for landscape and cultural photography. iPhone 4S is a great backup, provide fairly good photos even in some typically difficult scenarios for compact DCs. Remember all these are very lightweight. Farewell my big DSLRs. The best cameras are the ones you always take with you.

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  • WANTED: Image Website Tool Not Suck

    Per my 13-years old daughter’s request I’m searching for some tools to build her own image website, so she can publish and manage all her drawings and photos. To my surprise after all these years there are still very few such tools that not sucks.

    Gallery, Piwigo, Zenphoto, E2 Photo Gallery, etc. They are old, powerful and actively developed. But all of them are so last-century. They are ancient content manage systems and just not work for modern creative artists, like my daughter of cause. Here is my requirements:

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  • A Brief Guide of (RESTful) SOA, Part I

    Many say that XML SOAP WS-\* suck and SOA is over or becoming profit tool for big consultant companies. But I would say: SOA is not evil, IBM is. Look at these principles of SOA:

    • reuse, granularity, modularity, composability, componentization and interoperability.
    • standards-compliance (both common and industry-specific).
    • services identification and categorization, provisioning and delivery, and monitoring and tracking.

    Wikipedia Service-oriented architecture

    All these are perfect software architectural styles(well, except those words your spell checker complains), our best dream. These can’t be wrong. The problem is in the implementations. Fortunately the rises of RESTful services on the open web prove that the spirit of SOA can really matters. Maybe one day similar architecture and implementation will eventually change enterprise computing in return.

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  • Soul Link

    Apple AppStore’s biggest news this week is that, FiftyThree’s Paper became the iPad App of the Week in just 2 days. I think that it’s far from coincidence.

    I tried Paper for several hours. It offers no unique features. It’s much less powerful than AutoDesk’s SketchBook Pro, a full-featured paint tool especially designed for the new iPad’s Retina Display which was showed off on Apple’s event. But I can predict that Paper will be much more popular. So why is it so special?

    Watch their official trailer and you can get some clues. The trailer spreads several important ideas: 1. Paper can be used anytime anywhere whenever people want to use pen and paper. 2. The User, the iPad, Paper and the stylus work together as a whole. 3. All these are all about the user’s lifestyle, becoming part to it.

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  • Go for Android

    Go is the language from Google and Android is the mobile OS from Google. The bond between them are just born with. So there should be no surprise that we can use Go to write Android programs, though some important restricts for now:

    • There is no Android SDK for Go, so no system API nor GUI for Go program on Android.
    • Go doesn’t support JNI for now. So Go programs have to be compiled as separate executables, wrapped as assets in apk and called within Java based apps.
    • Maybe cross-compiling is really hard. We cannot build Android applications which use Cgo(C bridge for Go) on our desktop computer for now, as shown below.

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  • Introducing RestKit

    RestKit is an amazing Objective-C framework for iOS that aims to make interacting with RESTful web services simple, fast and fun. As said on its homepage:

    It combines a clean, simple HTTP request/response API with a powerful object mapping system that reduces the amount of code you need to write to get stuff done.

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