Vintage CLOS

I’ve been playing with CLOS again these days (after finding it specially apt for one of my pet projects (more on that later)) and just stumbled upon this fun video by Daniel Bobrow, the chair of the committee that standardized CLOS in the late eighties and, to this day, research fellow in the mythic Xerox PARC.
Daniel gives a good introduction to the Common Lisp Object System, its design trade-offs, the main ideas behind it (generic functions, classes, reflection), and talks a bit about the standard body’s work (fun to see how, back in the day, using mailing lists for discussion was considered innovative).
Besides its vintage charm (don’t miss the Q&A session at the end), the talk works as a good little introduction to CLOS (despite occasional inexactitudes), which can be supplemented by this nice article by Bobrow, Gabriel and White.

The less traveled road

Let me start this new programming musings epoch with a personal (and, fear not, short) note: since last Friday, i no longer work at Google. The reasons are basically the same as other people’s and can be summarised with one of my favourite quotations:

Always have a vision. Why spend your life making other people’s dreams?
-Orson Welles (1915-1985)

As it happens, Google’s vision is not my vision and i don’t share their dreams. I guess cults make me feel uneasy too. Starting on August, i’ll share a nice office in Barcelona with hacker extraordinaire Andy Wingo in an exciting new adventure. Stakes are high, plans are to change the world (only plans likely to fail are worth trying; travels to Ithaca, you know the drill).

I’ll miss the city and some of the people (too old for caring about perks), but the decision was not that hard. I just hope that, many years from now, i’ll open a new blog post citing Robert Frost:

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

I just got this nifty domain and redirected it to this blog… as you may have guessed, plans are to restart my musings about programming real soon now (i just bought some free time at a bargain price). Stay tunned! :)