What Should I Do With My Life?

What Should I Do With My LifeMaybe its just the beer after having just given blood, but I found Po Bronson’s article, What Should I Do With My Life moving and inspiring, if not a little depressing. To quote:

Asking “What Should I Do With My Life?” is the modern, secular version of the great timeless questions about our identity. Asking The Question aspires to end the conflict between who you are and what you do. Answering The Question is the way to protect yourself from being lathed into someone you’re not. What is freedom for if not the chance to define for yourself who you are?

The article is based on a book by the same title, which, after reading the article, I feel deserves a place on my wishlist.

Hedgehog

Never underestimate the power of a small tactical Lisp interpreter.Hedgehog is a bytecoded Lisp designed for use in small embedded applications:

Hedgehog is a very concise implementation of a Lisp-like language for low-end and embedded devices. It consists of a compiler and a byte code interpreter. The byte code interpreter is written in standard conforming C, is efficient and easily portable, and can be compiled to a very small executable of only some 20 kilobytes in the smallest configuration for the Intel x86 architecture.

The Hedgehog Lisp dialect has proper support for local and lambda functions, lexical scoping, variable argument functions, garbage collection, exceptions, macros, and over a hundred predefined functions or special forms. The built-in types are lists, symbols, strings, 32-bit integers, AVL-trees, and tuples up to 16 elements wide. Proper 32-bit wide integers are necessary for various bit-level operations in embedded systems.

As a Lisp enthusiast who spends his days developing programming tools for extremely resource-constrained DSP systems, I’ve occasionally wondered if it would be possible to run a Lisp on AMIS’s processors. At 20 kilobytes, the Hedgehog folks are getting surprisingly close. Neat stuff!

More notes from EclipseCon

More notes:

  • Google fellow, Urs H√∂lzle, gave an talk about how Google search works, telling how they cluster their machines in two matricies (one for indexing and another for content). He talked a little about the Google File System (GFS), and MapReduce. More details from Urs’ talk here. Fun stuff.
  • Ed Warnicke is trying to generate and organize interest in dynamically-typed languages — such as Perl, Python, Ruby, and especially TCL — in Eclipse. Though I have my doubts whether there is much demand for scripting language IDEs, I am curious and hopeful that something comes out of it.
  • Randy Hudson gave an talk on obstacle avoidance in GEF that I found interesting.
  • Mark and I took a short stroll along the waterfront between sessions yesterday. I can see why this is such a popular place to live: flowers bloom in February!
  • After hundreds of years of eating at tables, why hasn’t anybody developed a place setting that unambiguously identifies a diner’s water glass?

Some Observations from EclipseCon

Some brief observations from EclipseCon 2005: