воскресенье, 25 декабря 2011 г.

Breaking a Habit

Sometimes one wants to change his or her own life in a dramatic way. The obvious fact here is that a sole desire to introduce significant changes is not enough. Moreover intelligence and wisdom are not enough too - when one want's to break a habit one needs to be strong.

You may suggest that you need the strength only to start changing your life and all the rest things will come easily, but such a thought proves to be a fallacy. After having successfully changed the things you wanted to change, when all the bridges seem burnt and the walls of smoke hide the unpleasant elements of your past - those same elements that you wanted to escape and forget - when you're relaxed and start enjoying the new life - when everything seems right and done, there comes a moment when you face a lack of confidence - a very simple question subtly rises from the distant depths of your mind. The question may sound like this:
"Have I done the right thing?"
However everything is still okay, because you quickly find an answer and feel happy and confident again. The only problem here is that from this particular moment a strange feeling accompanies you wherever you go. You can barely explain what does it mean or where does it come from, but a little later it conquers you and then you can see that the feeling is fear.

It's the fear of leaving the lands you know perfectly and entering the lands you've never seen before. It turns you blind, pulls you back, prompts immediate, unconscious actions. That's why you need a lot of strength to change your life - you need to be strong mainly to fight the fear of leaving a well-known road and such a fight is much harder than just making a first step off the track. 

Your own strength should keep you aware and prepared for the fight. This same strength should keep your eyes wide-open and mind clear - it is the only thing that can stop you from turning back when the fear fills you. Breaking a habit is not an easy task and accomplishment of such a task is a sign of a major inner strength.

However one should remember that the habits and the fears are means serving to protect a human being from harmful changes, but I am sure that one should better use his or her experience and clear mind for this purpose.

среда, 21 декабря 2011 г.

A Remedy

If you are a runner it means that you do always have a way to make things a little bit easier and simpler. That is whenever you feel stuck and lost you can put your sneakers on and go for a run.

You know it won't be an insane thing to do even if you run in the middle of a night or if it's raining or snowing outside - if there is a road behind your door, you can run in spite of anything. 

Moreover you may be sure the thing will help - anyway it's much more difficult and exhausting to lie in your own bed trying to fall asleep for hours than to run several miles.

суббота, 26 ноября 2011 г.

Handwriting

This night after coming home about 4:30 AM and lacking the wish to sleep I've spent some time looking for one paper in me room. The thing is that, if one stores papers like I do - without any order and in lots of different places, then looking for a particular paper one will come across a bunch of different papers and some of them may appear surprising. Actually this night I've come across several papers of my own which surprised me, but I would like to mention only one of them here. 

The paper dates back to the year 2009 or 2008, although it was easy for me to remeber all the reasons which made me write it. That time saw a spike of my interest in writing and blogging, that is I used to write fairly frequently and didn't focus on any particular topic. The paper I am talking about for instance is devoted to my experience in Ultima Online MMORPG and the game itself. By the time of writing the note I have already stopped playing this magnificent game, although the memories of it prompted me to remember all the pleasure I've got when I was playing. Another reason behind writing this particular paper was my desire to analyse and understand why was the game so amazing for me, although in the case of this particular paper this reason was less important. However it was not the subject of the paper that surprised me. Moreover the style, haven't surprised me much too. That was my own handwriting that impressed me fairly strong.

The paper was written about the time when I turned to using a fountain pen instead of usual one. I know that shortly after getting the fountain pen I've changed my handwriting significantly. Partially it was caused by the fact that writing with a fountain pen differs from writing with a ballpoint, but mainly it was the result of my conscious efforts to make my writing look better, so the changes were evident. Nevertheless now the fact that I've changed my handwriting that significantly and the satisfaction of the result impresses me a lot. Additionally I suppose that if I came across some older paper - dating back to my school years for example - then the effect  would not be that strong, so actually the fact that 3 years ago my handwriting was completely different surprised me that much. 

Finally it is evident that it surprised me in this good and strong way because it is a sort of little confirmation of the suggestion that I've changed a lot over the past three years.


воскресенье, 9 октября 2011 г.

Still creating objects ending with 'er'

A couple of weeks ago I came across a blog entry giving an interesting advice for programmers. The advice is as follows:  

Don't make objects that end with 'er'. 

The thing was really surprising for me due to a pair of simple reasons: firstly, I do pay reasonable attention to proper naming while creating programs and do aknowledge the importance of names - moreover due to lack of experience I am interested in exploring different naming practices and conventions, and secondly, I've made plenty of objects that end with 'er'. The blend of these two reasons made me stumble over the article and remember it.

Each time I was writing design papers or code subsequently I remembered the advice. I really tried avoiding the "improper" names, however the result didn't satisfy my. The matter is that avoiding 'er' objects brought me to names describing processes or actions and, although I think that's the authors point, kind of thing he wants me to do (I'm not really sure about his opinion - that's the way I get it), I don't like it actually. For me there is substantial difference between objects and processes or actions. Although this idea seems simple and obvious, it wasn't that easy for me to explain the difference. I suppose an example from some distant field may help.

Consider manufactoring some product - shining Audi A8 car for example. Each Audi A8 is definitely a result of huge efforts made by lots of people and machinery: such a thing usually starts from creating concept, which is followed by developing design, building prototypes, testing, buying materials and outsourced parts, deploying machinery, building up transport network and so on. Each of these activities as well as the whole thing may be considered a process. Our programms usually do the same: they test something, build things, throw it from here to there, assemble them into greater things etc. - so we do deal with processes while programming and it would be strange to disagree with that.

Nevertheless getting back to our manufacturing example we'll see that it's not about processes only - every executive from Ingolstadt will actually mention people as an important thing involved into manufacturing process. Moreover if you speak to some Audi's department chief you'll hear words like machinery, resources, supplies, whatever. Every manufacturing process is linked to these things and highly depends on them. For me it's more usual to consider this kind of things objects, so, from my point of view, object is not the process itself - it is the whole bunch of things that makes the process go, assembles somehow independant actions into the process. In the case of manufacturing Audi cars objects are plants and workers, engineers and design papers, department chiefs and departments themselves, parts and machinery, while the processes are designing, testing, welding, dying, assembling, managing and so on.

Moreover we can see that after dying one Audi a german painter may dye another one, so he is definitely not a process - he implements actions which taken together form a process of painting a car. So an object is something that gets some other things (which may be objects too) and then, usually step by step, performs some actions with them resulting in new things produced. Some of these steps taken together may be considered a process and thus may be granted corresponding name like PaintCar, although the man who performed this actions sequence is still named Painter.

For me the described distinction is enough important to continue creating 'er' objects, because their names will ensure me that the object with such a name is really an object - not a process, so it can either be used in some process or perform some process itself. I feel more comfortable dealing with Painters or Drivers which can Paint or Drive than dealing with mere Paint or Drive - such an approach seems to emphasize distinction between processes and objects at least.

One more idea to mention: consider the famous GoF book filled with Object Oriented Design Patterns. The book definitely deals with objects - in fact all the patterns are objects and there are some ending with 'er'. I am pretty sure that the names chosen by GoF well describe the essence of the corresponding patterns.

In the end the issue may be just matter of taste, although my taste says that objects' names should mostly consist of nouns and adjectives - not verbs. Actually, saying who are you (e.g. programmer), you say what you do (e.g. create programs) accordingly, thus 'er' names do describe both objects and their activities well meanwhile emphasizing that you're dealing with object - not a mere actions sequence. Somehow it describes my understanding of Object Oriented programming paradigm.

понедельник, 29 августа 2011 г.

Rough Me

Today I received confirmation of a good friend's of mine breakup with his girlfriend that had occured several weeks ago. I say "confirmation" because I was almost sure about that event due to more or less subtle signs, but wasn't told of it until today.

The story behind this breakup is rather long and unusual for me, though it's not the story or simple fact that bothers me. I faced somehow similar problem several years ago myself and remember the situation and my behavior well. Now I see that my friend has intentionally or not chosen the same attitude I had. So having some experience I'm pretty sure that the attitude is foolish and ineffective. I remember shaking myself and jumping out of that attitude after several weeks and it's obvious that my friend will also leave it, but I'm also confident that such an attitude isn't necessery or inevitable at all so I would like to see him leaving it right now. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to happen that soon.

I acknowledge that the situation is really difficult and sad for my friend and I'd better encourage him, provide some support and maybe pay a little extra attention, but I'm not that good about all these things. Moreover I'm sure that this crash is fortunate for him due to lots of different circumstances.
Thus I've just written down these simple thougths of mine and shared some extract with my friend.

воскресенье, 28 августа 2011 г.

Defending memories

Our mind usually holds memories of different people from our past, of school friends, of past beloved. They are very important because some of them made us be those who we are. Moreover they use to be important because of the power they provide to us - say power of dreams or power of hope - the dream or hope based on memories of a person(s) may be enough powerfull to protect us from most misfortunes which we face during some period of our life. Nobody can deny importance of remebering - particularly importance of remembering people.

So the state when you are filled with memories of some person whom you still admire or love, although you've lost contact with him or her long ago may be very good as those memories me lead you to great deeds, supply you with power enough to reach very valuable milestones. Though especially today this state may also be hazardous to itself and to your good memories. There are two key reasons standing behind that hazard.

First is the volatility of people's mind and it is most strong in case of young people. People sometimes change and sometimes they do change dramatically. They also develop themselves and usually you can't say where such a development would bring someone in several years. This reason is objective, thus you can hardly do anything about it.

Public access to lots of information nowadays is the second reason. I mean social networks, blogs, twitter etc - the means to easily share every event of your life, every thought and every image as well as the means to easily access. That's one side of this reason - the second one is your eagerness to search for every bit of information on the person you remember, to somehow bring that person from the past closer to the present.

Combining both mentioned reasons one can easily acknowledge the hazard I've mentioned: looking for a person you admired or loved you may come across someone strange - looking for a lost princess you may face a wicked witch. Moreover the truth is that most likely the outcome of an attempt to fetch someone from the past, to feed the memories will be disappointment. That may hurt hardly. That may steal the so important power.

In most cases we'd better dominate our eagerness to ressurect someone who belongs to our past - not the present. Generally we'd better keep our memories in their domain and that domain is memory - the only place for heroes, dreams and hopes, the only place where we can defend ourselves easily untill we are insane. We'd better keep our memories in the past.