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Patrick Dubroy
Worked at Google Germany
Lived in Ottawa
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Patrick Dubroy

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Android's WebView is now powered by Chrome

The latest release of Android (KitKat) now uses a Chromium based WebView for embedded web content across the system.  The new Chromium based WebView lets you take advantage of many of the latest features inside Chrome for your applications and content, including first class support for Chrome DevTools.

Check out our docs about the latest changes to WebView https://developers.google.com/chrome/mobile/docs/webview/overview 
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Patrick Dubroy

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Guy Steele and Gerald Sussman on abstraction, from The Art of the Interpreter (http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/6094):

Packages of common patterns are not necessarily merely abbreviations to save typing.  While a simple abbreviation has little abstraction power because a user must know what the abbreviation expands into, a good package encapsulates a higher level concept which has meaning independent of its implementation.  Once a package is constructed the programmer can use it directly, without regard for the details it contains, precisely because it corresponds to a single notion he uses in dealing with the programming problem.
We examine the effects of various language design decisions on theprogramming styles available to a user of the language, with particular emphasis on the ability to incrementally construct modular systems. At each step we exhibit an interactive meta-circular interpreter for the language under ...
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Jonathan Edwards:

To rationalize the insanity of programs that could read and write arbitrary data to any memory address, languages evolved the now ubiquitous notion of automatic memory management. We suggest that to rationalize the insanity of programs that can read and write globally at any time that languages should impose automatic time management.

Interesting stuff.
The following is an abstract of a position statement for the Live programming workshop at ICSE. Time is of the Essence Today we only know how to do live programming in special cases, such as pure f......
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This is great -- The Little Manual of API Design, by Qt developer Jasmin Blanchette.

What is a good API? [...]
• Easy to learn and memorize
• Leads to readable code
• Hard to misuse
• Easy to extend
• Complete

via +Lukas Mathis
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Inspired by some aspects of #dartlang, I wrote a new blog post about the importance of separating meta-level facilities from the base functionality of a programming language.
I'm sorry that I long ago coined the term “objects” for this topic because it gets many people to focus on the lesser idea. The big idea is “messaging”. […] The Japanese have a small word - ma - for “...
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If you enjoyed Bret Victor's "Inventing on Principle" talk, you should read about Michael Eisenberg's SchemePaint, a programmable graphics application.

Pure graphical interfaces are almost invariably severely limited in expressive power; the semantics of clicking/dragging/selection are simply too impoverished to accomodate the imagination of serious, long-term users.

ftp://publications.ai.mit.edu/ai-publications/pdf/AIM-1325.pdf
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Go watch Bret Victor's talk from CUSEC: http://vimeo.com/36579366. It will change how you think about programming tools.

It's worth watching the whole thing, but if you absolutely refuse to, jump to 3:33, 12:15, and 18:10.

Our current conception of what a computer program is -- a list of textual definitions that you hand to a compiler -- that's derived straight from Fortran & Algol in the late 50s. [...] There was no such thing interactivity back then, and that assumption is baked in to our current notions of what programming is.
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Patrick Dubroy

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The argument that regular people won't benefit from learning to program just seems incredibly short-sighted to me. Like Marc Andreessen said, "software is eating the world." More and more of our lives and the things around us are being driven by software. I think it's incredibly valuable to understand the basics of how software works, and what it is capable of.

I don't think learning to program is about mastering the quirks of JavaScript. I see programming as a more general concept: "providing a computer or other machine with instructions for the automatic performance of a particular task" (http://goo.gl/3MmNXt). I don't think it's a stretch to imagine that providing instructions for automation will become increasingly important. Even today, being able to use Excel effectively is almost a prerequisite for many professions and fields of research. There are millions of people that write code on a daily basis who don't consider themselves programmers.

So, I do think it's valuable for almost anyone to learn the basics of programming. And I think that in 20 or 30 years, some amount of programming will be required in school. However, I really hope that what we call "programming" then is vastly simpler and easier than it is today – God help us if we're still writing Java.
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Aside from all the very valid arguments to be made for programming being important, since when has school ever really been about teaching you skills that are applicable to your daily life?

School is primarily about giving a foundation for key subjects that you may wish to further study in post secondary education.  Given how key programming is to nearly everything in a world, we're doing ourselves a disservice if we don't introduce it to everyone to see if it appeals to them to study further.

I'm not sure a majority of people have any idea what it means to program.  And I guess that's the point of this.  They should at least have some idea that you put a bunch of instructions in order and get a result.

Edit:  After reading the link, I see he said something along the same lines!
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Nice follow-up on "Why mobile web apps are slow": http://www.excelsior-usa.com/blog/java/5plus-garbage-collectors/
Garbage collection for mobile apps: friend or foe? (RE:
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Great story from Donald Norman on emotional design:

Here is a product so bad that she was practically in tears as she struggled with it. [...] Still, this woman's love/hate relationship with the clock was particularly puzzling. She kept looking at it: "The price is fine if you really like it. It looks like a quality clock. But I can't figure out how to use it. I can't even tell what time it is. I don't know what the first thing to do with it."

http://www.jnd.org/dn.mss/emotional_desig.html
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Pretty interesting. 
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Well-chosen typography makes it more text easier to understand and more pleasant to read. The size, typeface, weight, and color are effective ways to communicate meaning and guide the reader.

Why is code different? Why is code always set in a monospace font in a fixed size? Why do we use dazzling colour schemes rather than something more subtle?

Here's a little experiment of what Python's urlparse module might look like if it was typeset in a more modern way: http://dubroy.com/projects/code-typography/.

Does it work? I'm not 100% sure. I think it's interesting to think about.
RFC 3986 is considered the current standard and any future changes to urlparse module should conform with it. The urlparse module is currently not entirely compliant with this RFC due to defacto scena...
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I guess you've been influenced by +Rob Pike :-)

I mostly agree with you, though I think it's reasonable to have some amount of typographic variation. I think that reading code is more like reading a textbook than a novel -- it's usually not read in long uninterrupted section.

I noticed that the documentation on golang.org uses different colours and sizes in order to give the text structure. If it makes sense there, why not in code?
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Vint Cerf: "I believe our ability to understand and predict software behavior may rest in the invention of better high-level programming languages that allow details to be suppressed and models to emerge."
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Work
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Software Engineer
Employment
  • Google Germany
    2011 - 2014
  • Google, Inc.
    2010 - 2011
  • BumpTop
    2009 - 2010
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Programmer and interaction guy. I work at Google on the Chrome team.
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Programmer and interaction guy, maker of mind-bicycles. I work at Google on the Chrome team.
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Ottawa - Toronto - San Francisco - Munich
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