Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Apple Chose...Poorly

So after a long wait, Apple finally released Java 6 for OS X. It's for Leopard only. And Leopard is apparently going to be the only Java-supporting OS without a 32-bit Java 6.

I can accept that it only runs in Leopard. They're moving forward, and with Java shipped as part of the OS it's a lot more hassle to backport it to Tiger. Plus, I've got Leopard so I'd be fine.

But the 32-bit thing really burns me.

It's not like there's only 64-bit Javas out there and Apple would have to do all the heavy lifting to support them on 32-bit machines. The vast majority of installed Java distributions are the 32-bit versions, and Sun ships 32 and 64-bit JDKs for both Linux and Windows. Hell, Landon Fuller even got the FreeBSD patchset JDK 6 to successfully build on Mac. It's missing the "last mile" of OS X integration like a Cocoa UI (X11 only right now) and sound support, but hell, it's there and it runs. So it's not even the JVM bits standing in their way.

Could it possibly be the OS integration? I don't buy that. Unless there's some serious problem with their libraries on 32 versus 64-bit systems, it oughta be a recompile. Even if it's a little more work than that, there's a lot of 32-bit Intel Macs out there.

Of course the fanboys are just going to tell me "welcome to the club." Yes, I know Apple regularly holds back features to encourage people to upgrade OS or hardware. And this is probably one of those cases, since there certainly doesn't seem to be a good technical reason for it. But seriously...this one just seems dumb, since they could have put the same bits in Landon's port and essentially had it working.

Maybe I'm too naive. Is this just standard operating procedure at Apple? Anything we can do to convince them?

The Rubyists are Wrong

There's something that's been bugging me for a long time that I need to get off my chest. Some of you may hate me for it, but perhaps there are others out there with the same complaint, silently in agony, wishing for death to take the pain away. It's time to set the record straight, and prove once and for all that the Rubyists are wrong.

Rubies are almost NEVER cut like this:

The cut shown here is what's called a "brilliant" cut (though it's not faceted enough...artistic license), or more specifically a "round brilliant". Brilliant is typically a diamond cut, and something like 75% of the world's diamonds are cut this way. The shape and angles of the facets are all mathematically designed to refract as much light as possible out the top of the diamond, resulting in the "brilliant" sparkling you see. This is possible because the most popular diamonds are CLEAR. Get it? It's clear so light passes through it. It's not RED. So it's cut in a way that takes advantage of it being CLEAR.

Rubies, on the other hand, are generally cut into ovals or "cushions" but also into some other cuts like "emeralds" (the most common cut for emeralds, in case it wasn't obvious), rectangles, or hearts (ugh). If they show an asterism (a "star" of four or six points due to the ruby's crystal structure) they're usually cut into cabochons, which are shaped but not faceted. Rubies are NOT typically cut into "brilliant" shapes.

See that one in the JRuby logo? That was a public-domain SVG graphic of a diamond that Tom Enebo colored red. A DIAMOND. Oh yeah, and we're wrong too. BTW, here's the Wikipedia article on ruby (the gemstone). Search for "brilliant". Yeah, I didn't think so.

Even the Ruby Association (of whose board Matz himself is chairman) has made the mistake of choosing this brilliant-shaped logo.

We can't really tell how the ruby in the RubyForge logo is cut, since it seems to just be a red hexagon. But I bet it's a hexagonal BRILLIANT cut again.

I don't even know what that is. It's like a brilliant cut with a dome on top of it. Maybe it was designed that way so you could fit "Ruby Inside" inside it. But it's definitely not something you're going to see in a jewelry store.

And there are lots more examples. Check your favorite Ruby project. If they have a ruby in the logo, it's probably a "brilliant" cut. And I think that proves once and for all that we Rubyists aren't as brilliant as we think.

Update: It turns out the Pythonistas are wrong too. Is there no sanity left in the world?