Monthly Archives: May 2006


A quest for good food and even a Python reference.

When I was in Crested Butte for Bruce Eckel’s Programming the New Web conference (and therein lies the only hook that this will have to a technical topic), I picked up some Larabars at the local grocery store, for a quick snack. And since then, I have been on a quest.

Larabars taste great and they meet my “rules”. I’m one of those pretty wacky people who reads food labels before buying anything. And larabars totally meet my criteria … no added sugar (and no CORN SYRUP), no partially hydrogenated oils, no preservatives. So what DO they contain? Fruit and nuts. That’s it. They’re NOT cooked; they’re NOT processed. Naturally occurring Omega 3’s! Omega 6’s! Oleic acid! This is good stuff!

And with decadent names that will make you feel GUILTY! Cherry Pie, Cashew Cookie, Chocolate Coconut! And for the programmers among us, try CherryPy (sic, sneaking in another technical reference!).

Luckily for me, our local grocery store carries them. Otherwise, we would have had to move to Colorado. My favorite larabar flavor that my local store doesn’t sell: Ginger Snap. My husband would go NUTS for Ginger Snap (but I ate the only one I brought home from CO so he’s gonna have to wait to try it).

(My other food hangup: Styrofoam cups. They freak me out. In Crested Butte, Camp4Coffee has paper cups. Ah! Heaven!)

Back to programming … snack time is over.

Larabars website
All the yummy details
Larabars in the news
An article about larabars
Styrofoam cups
Or why I love paper cups

A Plethora of Web Development Tools

TurboGears, Ruby on Rails, Atlas, Google Web Toolkit: Embarking on a journey with Web Application Development Tools

I’ve got to get my mind around all of these tools. What are their strengths and weaknesses? Who competes with whom? Where’s the overlap? What are the differences?

TurboGears and Ruby on Rails seem to meet the needs of the same audience. They both provide the means for Rapid Web Application development. Atlas lets .NET programmers use the language and environment that they are comfortable with to develop web applications, while the Google Web Toolkit enables Java programmers to continue to use Java to develop web applications.

But … the big question is … do we NEED all of these things? Can we do what we need to do with TurboGears and/or Ruby on Rails? It’s fairly well accepted that TurboGears and Ruby offer us productivity advantages, but do Atlas and the GWT offer us something functionally that TurboGears and Ruby do not?

So, I embark on my journey to play with software. I like this part!

Professors Banning Laptops in Classes

Interesting. Students were taking notes with laptops and a professor thought that this was getting in the way of active debate in class, so she banned them.

I totally agree. When I was at Bruce Eckel’s Open Spaces conference a month or so ago, we all left our laptops in our bags. I think that this was a HUGE factor in our interesting, interactive discussions. Face it. Computer laptop screens provide a barrier between people (we used to just have our sneakers to state at; now we have laptops). And they are INTERESTING barriers too. With the proliferation of Wi-Fi, you can often surf the web under the guise of “taking notes”. But even with that aside, the simple task of notetaking on the computer DOES get in the way, in my opinion. Somehow, paper and pencil doesn’t form that barrier between you and other people in the room, whereas the laptop screen does. Hmm. Interesting.