Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Is Java the #1 developer language?

According to a index created by a company called TIOBE, Java is the #1 developer language.

TIOBE Programmign Community Index

December 2006 results:
Dec 2006
Dec 2005
Delta in PositionProgramming LanguageRatings
Dec 2006
Dec 2005
1 1 Java 19.907% -2.36% A
2 2 C 16.616% -1.75% A
3 3 C++ 10.409% -0.39% A
4 5 (Visual) Basic 8.912% +1.33% A
5 4 PHP 8.537% -2.24% A
6 6 Perl 6.396% -0.74% A
7 8 Python 3.762% +1.00% A
8 7 C# 3.171% -0.11% A
9 10 Delphi 2.569% +1.11% A
10 9 JavaScript 2.562% +0.68% A
11 20 9 * Ruby 2.334% +1.90% A
12 11 SAS 2.232% +1.06% A
13 12 PL/SQL 1.345% +0.28% A
14 27 13 * D 0.971% +0.67% A--
15 17 ABAP 0.903% +0.35% A--
16 15 Ada 0.661% +0.07% B
17 13 Lisp/Scheme 0.645% -0.12% B
18 14 COBOL 0.601% -0.13% B
19 16 Pascal 0.566% -0.01% B
20 37 17 * Transact-SQL 0.472% +0.31% B

They also describe how the index is created...the TPCI. In a nutshell, the index is based on automated search counts for key phrases related to programming languages at the major Internet search sites. So if you believe in the TPCI - these rankings represent the programming languages that people are talking about them most. This would explain how Ruby is able to rank#11 ahead of many other programming languages that have been active for decades longer.

A Video Game that Generates $1 Billion Per Year?

For Christmas this year -- my wife bought me Company of Heroes...

I'm a big Warhammer fan - and loved Dawn of War -- Company of Heroes is a step-up from the same team that built Dawn of War. I can't wait to play it...

But no matter how good Company of Heroes much money can it make? I began to wonder how much money World of Warcraft would generate in 2006. After a quick search, I came across this article from the New York Times:

Online Game, Made in U.S., Seizes the Globe

In summary, Blizzard is going to make a boatload of cash. "...Less than two years after its introduction, World of Warcraft, made by Blizzard Entertainment, based in Irvine, Calif., is on pace to generate more than $1 billion in revenue this year with almost seven million paying subscribers..."

Friday, December 22, 2006

Trutech 7" Digital Photo Frame Tips

I finally decided what I wanted to by my parents for Christmas -- a Trutech Digital Photo Frame. But now I realize how hard it is to find those things (not nearly as hard as a Nintendo Wii or PS3 though).

Through a random occurrance, a bunch of TruTech Digital Photo Frames were just put on the floor at a random Target I was shopping at. So I picked one up without doing any research. It turns out - that a lot of people are not happy with this particular frame due to its poor resolution and image quality. But it's the best (and only one) I could find.

So I opened to inspect the frame - uploaded some photos -- and sure enough -- the image quality was pretty bad. But after a lot of experimenting - I collected some tips that should turn that lump-of-coal into a really nice digital photo frame.

Resolution: The manual says its 480x234 (a 2.05:1 ratio). I tried inserting a card with images set to 480x234 - and they left a border on all 4 sides (and this occurred with either the 4:3 or 16:9 settings). Eventually - I found a resolution that filled the screen nicely: 640 x 360 (a user on the dpreview forum also found that 480 by 270 works well). You will want to crop/resize your images ahead of time in your favorite photo editor for 2 reason: maximize quality of the photo frame, without distortions and borders. And to shrink your files-sizes, a 640x360 photo is much smaller than a 5 megapixel JPG image. So you can move between photos very fast.

Aspect Ratio: Pick a ratio and stick to it. 16:9 is perfect for 640x360 images

Image Quality: Image quality using default factory settings is awful. Colors are over-blown, faces are washed-out, and highlights are cropped. People on the internet compained that there is no brightness control -- there is..but its hidden in a menu. Press the Setup button on the remote and move to the "System" settings. I've found these settings produce a fairly correct balance of color, detail, and brightness:

* Brightness=5
* Contrast=1
* Saturation=2

I'm very picky about image quality -- and these tips changed my opinion from take-it-back-now, to that-thing-looks-pretty-good.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Google Search API has been Retired...

Apparently, Google is no longer giving out new search keys to their Google Search API.

My first thought was that they are retiring the SOAP API and substituting a simpler REST approach. My cohorts and I regularly have battles over the merits of REST vs. SOAP. But instead of providing a SOAP API like Yahoo Search, they're steering people towards an Ajax Search API. The Ajax mplementation is more visual/web/widget based.

Do you know JavaScript? That's what you need to use the Ajax Search API. The only other way to tap into the Google Search API now is to get a contract with them.

Now its easier to build google searches into a web-pages, but they've taken away a clean way to perform server-side Google API-supported searches for the masses. That's not a very nice Web 2.0 move on Google's part. Lots of people have relied on Google's SOAP API to learn the art of Web Services. So it seems - the bean-counters have won and the developers have lost in this battle. Obviously -- Google wants some of the real estate on your web-page so they can splash a Google logo, an Ad or two, and monetize it all!

If money is the root of all evil, and this move was strictly to make money...This could be seen as a violation of the Google Code of Conduct: Don't be evil

Is this the future of Web APIs? Will Web 3.0 be an exercise in ad-generating widgets?