Sunday, September 24, 2006

Toomas Hendrik Ilves is the new President of Estonia

Toomas Hendrik Ilves has been elected the next President of Estonia. This is great for Estonia, as Arnold Rüütel was a bumbling fool.

Political games were used in a failed attempt by two parties to keep him in place, even though public opinion and more importantly, the majority of the parliament was against him.

As Rüütel's term will end in October 2006. On 7 June 2006, he ended speculation about his possible candidature, saying that he would be a candidate for re-election. [2] Rüütel's candidature has raised some concerns, as he turned 78 in May 2006, and has performed some 'slips' (attributed to his age), such as congratulating people on 'Victory Day' while the event was the Independence Day (February 24, 2005) (Estonians have their Victory Day in June). His declarations and speeches are also regarded as hard to comprehend by the public, and Rüütel's appearances are often later 'deciphered' by his adviser Eero Raun.

In late August, the parliament failed to elect a president. The election of Toomas Hendrik Ilves by the parliament was blocked by Rüütel's supporters, who boycotted the vote (Rüütel said that he would only stand for election if the vote was decided by the electoral college, which occurs only if the parliament fails to elect a president) and thus prevented him from obtaining the necessary two-thirds of votes in parliament. Rüütel was supported by People's Union and Centre Party. Throughout the presidential election campaign, Rüütel was been criticised for not having participated in the Riigikogu round and not taking part in debates.[3] The electoral college met to choose a president on September 23.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Railsconf Europe

Some of the interesting talks.

HAML - Interesting DSL for XHTML instead of RHTML. Best features would be clean output and almost no redundant text in the template. Would definately highlight any uesful markup, and they have good feedback from designers. The presenter swearing like a trooper and starting a second beer while presenting, was impressive.

JRuby - Obviously very important to those stuck in Java land. But seriously, IMHO its going to eventually be the premier runtime for Ruby, and I hope that sun really gets behind it. Spring Remoted services being used in your Rails controllers looks so much more attractive than a big JSF setup.

UJS - Unobtrusive Javascript Plugin. Definately something most sites should be aiming for. Pages that work without javascript, but then add in javascript for improved usabiity.

Kathy Sierra Keynote - Really interesting talk about creating passionate users.

DHH's talk on vendoritis, and the general theme of "I don't owe you shit!", and "F$%^ You!". Got a lot of claps.

There was some dodgy talks but overall the standard was great.

Google's LTAC

Two weeks ago was Google's London Test Automation Conference.

I have to say it was the highest standard for any conference I have been to. There was only one room, i.e. no selecting from multiple streams. But Allen Hutchison and his team selected some interesting talks. Probably one of the benefits of having the organisers selecting things they are really interested in, rather than competing goals with paid vendor talks and differing talks with little common theme at most conferences.

The questions from the audience were very lively and interesting. One of the consistent things that popped up was the varying ways of achieving the same goals. The presenters of many of the talks had interesting solutions to the problems they faced, while audience members had different solutions to similar problems. One of the best examples was a talk on literate functional testing of Web Applications. The demonstrated solution was a jmock based fluent API Literate, the domain language was clicks and html option lists etc. While others used business domain languages and FIT style testing for similar purposes.

Fun in the backyard

Fun in the backyard
Originally uploaded by Yuri Schimke.

Great present for Daria's 1st birthday from the family back home. Thanks for sending it, Alide.

The kids are enjoying the last few warm days before winter :) Oh such a long, long winter.....