John Sequeira

Amped::Technology

Friday, November 18, 2005
people in my neighborhood

I met Hayes Raffle at my daughter's playground the other day. When I asked him what he did, he said he was a grad student working on toy design.

Cool!

His current project aims to teach kids 'about dynamic systems similar to how blocks teach them about static systems.' In Cambridge, MA this translates to "I am at the MIT Media Lab.", and of course he is.

Anyway, check out the video interview put together by a Canadian TV show which has the Topobo project in action. It is really remarkable -- I think any techie parent would put this at the top of their shopping list. It really beats the heck out of my big track.
10:55:46 AM      comment []  trackback []

Lars's OpenACS2Rails Conversion

Lars has a great post documenting his transformation into a born-again-Rails developer. I found it much more interesting than the bulk of the Why-I-(Heart)-Rails posts because it's coming from someone with such a deep background in dynamic languages. He is well positioned to compare it to other dynamic alternatives, and not write up a reaction against the morass that is Java webdev.

OpenACS is still unmatched in a lot of ways, mostly because of it's best practices data model and reliance on the db for things db's are good for.

C.R. Oldham writes:

You didn’t talk in your article, however, about the OpenACS datamodel—that was really what drew me to the toolkit originally. Especially the groups/relations/permissioning system. It was so powerful, and we really did use it extensively in our applications.

That is something I will definitely miss, and each time I consider starting over with something else I keep thinking “gosh, I really don’t want to rebuild that, they did such a good job…”.

Neither of these issues matter for vertical applications, and so OpenACS is doing quite well serving the LMS market as a Blackboard alternative, plus a few other vertical applications + web sites (hello ZipCar. Hi gigadial).

To me, that makes it officially dead, like BSD is dead (which I don't consider a slight.)
10:36:03 AM      comment []  trackback []


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