The Other Side of Digital Preservation
We often grumble that digital preservation is risky, and that
modern storage technologies and file formats quickly become outdated
destroying the record of our past.
What we don't appear to appreciate is how much more data we are
able to preserve, thanks to digital technologies.
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Slashdot Story: The Future of Windows Software Distribution
Earlier today I posted on Slashdot
describing Microsoft's new third-party software distribution approach.
Continue reading "Slashdot Story: The Future of Windows Software Distribution"
The inclined panel is indeed a computer screen,
and, of course, it is not working.
Another, more reliable, technology has prevailed.
Continue reading "Information Kiosk"
Preparing for the Exams
The (retake) exam period has started.
At the metro the passenger sitting opposite me is obviously a student
frantically sorting the cards containing a 6%-reduced photocopy of her forensic
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Version Control Talk Demystified
One indication of the importance an
endeavor has in our lives is the vocabulary associated with it. If developers employ a tool or a method,
inevitably they will come up with words to describe their corresponding work in
an accurate and concise way. I recently
heard a colleague describe version control systems (also formally known as
configuration management tools) as boring. I hope that this dictionary
will dispel this myth by documenting a rich technical and social
vocabulary. If you donít work with a
VCS I believe this list will give you plenty of reasons to look at what these
systems can do for you and your projects. On the other hand, if you already use a VCS I hope you will find ideas
on how to use it more productively and how to improve your configuration management
process. And, no matter to which group
you belong to, I am sure youíll find here some new words worth knowing.
Continue reading "Version Control Talk Demystified"
Version Control Systems
A source code control system [is] a giant UNDO key—a project wide time machine.
— A. Hunt and D. Thomas
Sane programmers don't write production code without the help of an editor and an interpreter or a compiler, yet I've seen many software projects limping along without using a version control system. We can explain this contrast if we think in terms of the increased startup costs and the delayed gratification associated with the adoption of a VCS. We humans typically discount the future, and therefore implementing version control in a project appears to be a fight against the human nature. It is true that you can't beat the productivity boost that compilers and editors have provided us, but four decades after punched card programming in assembly language has gone out of fashion we must look elsewhere to reap our next gains in efficiency. And if you or your project is not using a VCS, adopting one may well be the single most important improvement you can undertake.
Continue reading "Version Control Systems"