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Don’t Distract New Programmers with OOP

Thomas Gumz sent me a link to a blog entry entitled “Don’t Distract New Programmers with OOP“. Having just wrapped up one year of teaching “Intro to Programming and Problem Solving” to students at Clark College, I could not agree more. One of the core outcomes of my class is centered around functional decomposition – how to break down a problem into smaller, simpler parts.

When I get asked “What’s a good first programming language to teach my [son / daughter / other-person-with-no-programming-experience]?” my answer has been the same for the last 5+ years: Python.

I get this same question almost on a daily basis from so many people. Admittedly, before I started teaching the class I questioned the use of Python for new programmers. Well, guess what? It’s the perfect language and I have the results to prove it.

Did we cover object oriented programming in the class – yes, but not to the level that most would expect. We did just enough for students to wrap their heads around the concept. In fact, one student tried to use OOP for their final project and had a heck of a time. In fact this student was pushing for more OOP content and after the class concluded they admitted that OOP was much harder then they expected it to be.

The shift from procedural to OO brings with it a shift from thinking about problems and solutions to thinking about architecture. That’s easy to see just by comparing a procedural Python program with an object-oriented one. The latter is almost always longer, full of extra interface and indentation and annotations. The temptation is to start moving trivial bits of code into classes and adding all these little methods and anticipating methods that aren’t needed yet but might be someday.

Be sure and read the blog entry as I think that you will agree with avoiding OOP in an introductory programming class. If you are interested in learning more about pursuing a programming career drop me an email as I would love to help.

You can read what others are saying about this article on Yacker News.

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Adaptive Backgrounds: The jQuery Plugin

Adaptive Backgrounds – a jQuery plugin to extract dominant colors from <img> tags and apply them to their parent.

Adaptive Backgrounds ScreenshotHat tip to Thomas Gumz for this.

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Part 1: What has Bruce been up to?

The last year has been a total absolute blur. Between teaching at Clark Collge, working on projects at Elguji, volunteer work and more has consumed every available minute of my time. I have also been quiet on a few fronts on purpose. Let me first start with Elguji.

Elguji Software

Elguji has been very fortunate to have a loyal (and still growing) Notes and Domino customer base. While sales of our flagship IdeaJam for Domino have slowed down a bit, we are still serving dozens of customers around the globe. In fact, we are hard at work (and have been for some time) on IdeaJam 2.0. IdeaJam 2.0 is not simply an upgrade to IdeaJam 1.9.2 but, a complete re-write of the core application made to be “mobile first”. Yes, it will still be a great web application that will blow your mind and we are very excited at the progress we have made. For now just know that we have done our best to include the feedback we have received from our customers. Stay tuned for more on IdeaJam 2.0.

Where Elguji has really transformed and rolled with the times is with our “event-based” IdeaJam cloud platform. We are now providing customers around the globe with what we call “event-based” jams. These jams can be provisioned in 60 seconds or less. Jams run anywhere from 1 day to 3 months. It’s whatever the customer needs. Some of you may have seen that we are running jams for IBM Rational, IBM Websphere and IBM developerWorks. In fact, we just completed a project directed by IBM CEO Ginni Rometty. Our customer work also includes colleges and universities, branches of the US Government and many other global institutions. We couldn’t have done with without the professionals at The London Developer Co-Op.

You might ask “who is driving all of this business to Elguji?”. Let me tell you that there are two primary product evangelists for Elguji 1) IBM and 2) Existing customers. IBM is constantly referring customers to us, primarily for our event-based jams. One of the worlds largest financial institutions who will go unnamed has also sent us plenty of new customers. We are very fortunate to have such great relationships with IBM and our customers.

Elguji is also cooking up a brand new product that frankly, I’m super psyched about. It’s 1,000 times bigger than IdeaJam and I am lucky to be working with some of the brightest people in the world on it.

OpenNTF

In October I departed the world of OpenNTF and not longer after that the community which I was part of for over a dozen years gave me the most wonderful send-off I have ever seen. Dozens of blog posts, tweets and more – all with the #thanksbruce hash tag. I wanted to thank everybody sooner but as usual, life got in the way. Thank you to all my friends and colleagues for their heartfelt love on Wednesday, November  2, 2013. I owe much of my success in this world to many of you.

I am now wrapping up the development of a new website for OpenNTF with Niklas Heidloff, Per Henrik Lausten and Martin Rolph (Oval Systems). A new website was long overdue for OpenNTF and I felt compelled to see the project through it’s fruition. It will be a few more weeks before you see the new site. We are now in the user acceptance testing phase.

Once the website launches, I will remain an Honorary Board Member and continue to help support the efforts of the open source community. I do however wish that the IBM Connections team would embrace OpenNTF more than they have. It’s important for the overall IBM Collaboration Solutions app dev community more than ever. </getting off my soap box>

Part 2 coming on Monday.

From the OpenNTF Way Back Machine

While cleaning up my Mac today I found this oldie but goodie from 2002:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

OpenNTF.org Releases OpenNTF Mail V1.0 for Lotus Notes 6

 Vancouver, WA – October 15, 2002 – OpenNTF.org has announced OpenNTF Mail Version 1.0 for Lotus Notes 6.  OpenNTF Mail is based on the standard Lotus Notes 6 mail template and adds many additional enhancements.  These enhancements include:

  • Quick Mail – A feature that allows the user to quickly compose a new memo to predefined recipients
  • Quick Forward – A feature that allows the user to predefine recipients, and using drag and drop, quickly forward a message
  • Reply and Forward indicators added to views
  • Follow-Up – Ability to flag messages for Follow-Up and, using drag and drop, place them in a
    Follow-Up folder
  • User Interface – Modified the Mail and To Do user interfaces to more closely resemble the Calendar color scheme
  • Productivity Actions
    • Added a Send/Receive action to the Mail outline
    • Added a Find Memo action to the Mail outline
    • Added the Outbox action to the Mail Outline
    • Added a Resend Memo action to the Sent view

Other features include an Advanced tab in the Tools | Show Delivery Information dialog to show additional message header information; a feature that lets the user stop the sending of a Return Receipt on a message; added a Message Size indicator within a Memo; modified views and folders to contain date and time; modified the size column to show kilobytes instead of bytes; and added a key icon indicator to the Inbox to let you know that a message is encrypted.

After meeting on the OpenNTF.org web site, a small group of OpenNTF.org developers or “cooks”, from Norway, The Netherlands, Australia, The United States, France, Chile and Canada, came together to collectively add features to the Notes 6 mail template.  The group used the OpenNTF Project Management Template (developed earlier this year) to manage feature requests, task management, bug tracking, documentation, discussions, news and other application development tasks.   Bruce Elgort, an “Iron Chef” for the OpenNTF Mail template, says “Working with a team of developers whom had never even met, many living in different time zones, is simply amazing!  We went from specification to a deliverable in two weeks.  Using email, Notes replication, Sametime Instant Messaging and Web Conferencing we had all the tools we needed to work as a global team.  Can you say collaborate?”   Vince Shuurman (Oirschot, The Netherlands) who is also an “Iron Chef” on the project says “We were able to work separately and replicate the portions of the template we were responsible for.  We simply refreshed our local mail templates and were then working with the latest build.  We also used the new Domino Designer 6 “design-element-locking” feature to control edits to design elements.”

The OpenNTF Mail Template V1.0 will be available on the organization’s web site at http://www.OpenNTF.org within 7-10 days.

About OpeNTF.org

OpenNTF.org was formed in December 2001 by Bruce Elgort and Nathan Freeman.  The mission of OpenNTF.org is to provide applications for Lotus Notes and Lotus Domino as open source which may be freely distributed, in order to increase the awareness of the power of Lotus Notes and Domino.

Contact:

Bruce Elgort
Co-Founder, OpenNTF.org
Bruce.Elgort@OpenNTF.org

Nathan Freeman
Co-Founder, OpenNTF.org
Nathan.T.Freeman@OpenNTF.org

Do you remember this?

Please join me in welcoming three new OpenNTF Directors

OpenNTF announced earlier this week that there were three new Directors elected to the OpenNTF Board. They are:

  • Paul Withers
  • Nathan Freeman
  • Mark Leusink

I have the privilege of knowing and working with Paul, Nathan and Mark on many occasions. I’m confident that their knowledge, experience, creativity and vision will continue to infuse momentum into OpenNTF. Please join me in welcoming them to OpenNTF.

Please also be sure and thank Ulrich Krause and Julian Woodward for their time serving as Directors on the Board. Both Julian and Ulrich are both amazing individuals who I personally admire immensely.

As I announced in July I will not be returning to OpenNTF as a Director/Chairman of OpenNTF.  I will however remain as an Honorary Director and help OpenNTF in anyway I possibly can.

 

Replays of some app dev webinars you may have missed

Back in May OpenNTF launched it’s very own webinar series:

OpenNTF hosts one webinar per month on various IBM Collaboration Solutions app dev topics. This includes sessions about OpenNTF projects, but also other educational, not open source related topics. We’ve planned to cover the wider range of ICS technologies, especially XPages and IBM Connections.

The IBM Collaboration Solutions App Dev Community

 

Getting Started with XPages

 

OpenNTF Domino API


Replays of all the videos are available on the OpenNTF YouTube channel. You can also see a list of upcoming webinars on the “webinars” page of OpenNTF.

More changes on the horizon

Back in April I notified the OpenNTF Board that come this October I will be stepping down as Chairman of OpenNTF – The Open Source Community for IBM Collaboration Solutions. October is when my term as Chairman would normally end. You might have seen on the OpenNTF blog that nominations for eight board seats are now accepting nominations. Once the new board is elected a new Chairman will be elected. I will be working with the new Chairman to ensure a smooth transition.

I highly encourage all partners to get involved with OpenNTF in some way or another as it continues to be one of the pillars that supports the IBM Collaboration Solutions ecosystem.

OpenNTF has been a passion of mine since 2001 and after 12 years, it’s time for me to pursue some other things that I have wanted to do, but haven’t had the time.

Podcast: Ethical Hacking with Paul Mooney

Today we had Paul Mooney Blog (@pmooneynet) from Bluewave Technology on the show to talk about the “Ethical Hacking Workshop” he ran in London. We covered:

The show runs 41:13.

Listen now >

Announcing Apache OpenOffice 3.4

“With the donation of OpenOffice.org to the ASF, the Foundation, and especially the podling project, was given a daunting task: re-energize a community and transform OpenOffice from a codebase of unknown Intellectual Property heritage, to a vetted and Apache Licensed software suite,” said Jim Jagielski, ASF President and an Apache OpenOffice project mentor. “The release of Apache OpenOffice 3.4 shows just how successful the project has been: pulling in developers from over 21 corporate affiliations, while avoiding undue influence which is the death-knell of true open source communities; building a solid and stable codebase, with significant improvement and enhancements over other variants; and, of course, creating a healthy, vibrant and diverse user and developer community.”

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