Posted by: Chas Emerick | February 4, 2010

Strictly Professional #005: “If it was hard to write, it should be hard to read!”

Recorded on January 28th, 2010, this episode features Doug Martin, Gerard Gualberto, Brian Johnson, Joe Brandt, and Chas Emerick.  We offer our reactions to the iPad announcement in the beginning, and then move on to lots of other topics: the upshot of the Sun/Oracle merger, what happened to postgres, some FSF-bashing, whether encrypting content is ethical/reasonable, and tons of other random topics.

Do you have a question, comment, or rant you’d like us to mention on a future episode?  Post a comment below!


  • The iPad was announced, and we offer our reactions.  It sounds like a mixed bag.
  • Given the iPad’s lack of flash support, we talk about the status of Flash, and the alternatives:
    • Joe and Gerard think HTML5 youtube player is not (yet?) up to snuff compared to the flash version.
    • “Applets” (whether Flash, Java, Silverlight, whatever) are never going to go away
    • A lot of the great stuff in HTML5 et al. simply isn’t going to be available for most designers / web developers for a long time.
  • Chas has no sympathy for offline constraints on software functionality / development, especially as broadband becomes essentially universal regardless of context.
  • Some brief Sun/Oracle merger talk, including the announced possibility that the Hotspot and JRockit VMs may be merged or otherwise cross-pollinated.
  • The Sun/Oracle merger touched off a bunch of discussion about databases, starting with the near future status of mysql, and then going into:
    • Where’s postgres these days?  Maybe IBM should buy it to have an “entry level” offering to match up with Oracle’s mysql.
    • Doug’s still holding a grudge against postgres from 1997 😉
    • Good database tools are hard to find.  We mention Toad, the archaic SQLPlus, and Golden32 (Chas’ favorite Oracle query tool, back when he had to deal with Oracle, that is).
  • We went on about the FSF, DRM, and adjacent topics for a bit:
    • “With all the stuff going on the world, you choose to protest the iPad?” (particularly cringe-inducing photo here, IMO)
    • “What do you expect content producers to do, send their stuff over the wire in the clear so anyone can slurp it up?” (referring to Adobe’s encrypted DRM’ed streaming tech, RTMPE)
    • Brian took the counterpoint a little, wishing he could usefully subscribe to
  • With that, where’s our obligatory podcast sponsorship?
  • Seems that everyone’s servers get a constant flood of ssh rainbow table attacks from China.
  • “Understanding Unicode” seems like a worthwhile choice for a “language” for 2010
  • “You’ve got a bug, and it’s in Mantis.  Now you’ve got two problems.”  (and the crowd groans….)
  • It is simply impossible to describe what we do to “civilians”
  • Gerard reminisces about BeOS
  • Doug takes us out with a story about how he came across a munitions test system circa 1990, owned by Olin and controlled by a TRS-80 and some uncommented assembly he was supposed to work on.


or, download the mp3 directly.


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