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Sean Corfield
569 followers -
Veteran Software Architect, owned by several Bengal cats!
Veteran Software Architect, owned by several Bengal cats!

569 followers
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And folks wonder why the USA is laughed at by foreigners...
Evolution by Country and US State
Yep, that's not mistake. Many conservative "red" states deny evolution science almost as much as Turkey.

This is what chronic denial of reality by extreme ideologues pushing a strict dogma will get you: educational results on par with Turkey! 

#Science   #Evolution   #Creationism   #Education   #RedStates  
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Great post about the learning experience that is ClojureBridge (free Clojure workshops for women)!
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Inspired by cat cafes in Japan, this wonderful place offers a calm, friendly, spacious environment in which to meet adoptable kitties taken from Oakland city shelter. The owners, Adam and Anna, have done a great job getting this place together and past all the red tape that US health inspectors insist on when mixing cats and people. Please support them!
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Having spent some time on Ello, I agree. It is not a safe, inclusive place for women, for POC, for any minorities. Everything is public, anyone can follow you. It's more Twitter than Facebook so it's certainly not a "social network" in any real sense.
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Jail breaking your iPhone: pros and cons from my G+ followers? I'd really like Google Chrome to be my default browser for everything on the iPhone and it seems the only way to do this is to jailbreak it and install Open In Chrome or something similar. I don't know many folks who've done this. What benefits are there? What problems can it cause?
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Great keynote from +Katie Miller on diversity in IT, explaining the barriers we create (even inadvertently) and what we can all do about improving the situation.
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ClojureBridge has had four workshops so far with five more in the planning stages, but we're also working on the curriculum to incorporate feedback. Read more at http://seancorfield.github.io/blog/2014/06/21/clojurebridge/
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Taco Bell's much vaunted Waffle Taco (sausage) is visually unappealing, greasy, and rather tasteless. Adding their "syrup" improves the "taste" but that is a sad state of affairs too.
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After hoping that Google+ might prove a suitable platform for "blogging" or at least longer form philosophizing, I finally decided to move to static blogging via Github pages. Whilst I'll keep my old blog up on http://corfield.org/blog/index.cfm because of all the linkage to it, all new blogging will be at http://seancorfield.github.io (using Octopress / Jekyll). I've also created a site for the FW/1 family at http://framework-one.github.io

I still don't know what to make of Google+. It's still sort of Facebook for geeks. More of my cat friends are on here now, and some of my friends are using it for photo sharing, but it's neither Twitter (for short form tech and activism chatter), nor Facebook (for social interaction with real life friends).

I'll probably announce blog posts here and maybe more ephemeral tech stuff such as conference thoughts (but I skipped Clojure/West already). I still hope someone will enlighten me...
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Why Java 8 might win me back...

I first started doing Java development in 1997. I was pretty invested in this "new" technology after being initially skeptical with my strong C++ background. I even wrote an editorial in a C++ journal about "the new kid on the block", casting aspersions as to whether it had what it would take to become popular. Over time, Java became the juggernaut of corporate development and I actually found it quite refreshing after C++'s somewhat obtuse syntax and complexities: Java was a simple language by comparison, with a well-structured, modular library.

At least, it started out that way.

Java and I parted ways around Java 5. I felt the changes were making it more complex without appropriate benefits. I thought generics and metadata were a disaster. I thought autoboxing would lead to sloppy code instead of forcing developers to think carefully about crossing the primitive/object boundary. I was ambivalent about varargs. I felt the for loop and type-safe enums were OK. Java 6 and Java 7 left me cold (sure, the collection stuff was a step in the right direction, but most of the rest just piled complexity on complexity).

As far as I was concerned, Java had lost its way and become a bloated, verbose language that acted as a nursemaid to mediocre enterprise developers. I vowed I'd never write Java again and took every opportunity to tell recruiters that whenever they contacted me with great opportunities for Java architect roles.

I went off to Groovy, then Scala, then Clojure. And there I've stayed for the last three or four years.

When Java 8 was first getting press, I was very skeptical: how could they bring the elegance and ease of functional programming to a language so buried in boilerplate and a verbose, simplistic type system? I liked the simplicity of Groovy (and its dynamic approach to typing), I liked the elegance of Scala (even tho' I found its type system and slow compilation to be huge drawbacks), and I really liked Clojure's combination of elegance, simplicity, and dynamic typing.

But we run our dating platform on the JVM and so an upgrade to Java 8 was inevitable to take advantage of the improvements in heap management and garbage collection. Since I was testing everything on the new JVM, I figured I might as well take a look at Java's new language features...

And I was pleasantly surprised! Streams providing lazy/efficient map, filter, and reduce. Optional providing a way out of the null-checking tar pit of typical Java code. Lambda expressions providing a huge improvement in expressiveness and conciseness - compared to the ugly anonymous classes and single-method interfaces we'd had to put up with before. All those new functional interfaces. Method references. A lot of improvements in the type system and type inference.

In many ways, Java 8 is a whole new language. It's still fairly verbose but its support for functional programming is actually not bad at all. There are still no immutable collections - maybe Java 9 will address that - but streams, lambdas, etc make a huge difference in what you can do with relative ease.

I think I can safely say that I would no longer rather fall on a sword than program in Java - as long as it's Java 8!

p.s. No, I'm not switching from Clojure, but now I view Java as "palatable" rather than "hideous".
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