Web vs. App Confusion

Google held a event yesterday focused on their various Chrome-related initiatives: Chrome, Chrome OS, and Chrome Web Store. TechCrunch was there, reporting the announcements as they were made.

Habits die hard with me, especially when a certain amount of nostalgia is involved, so I’m still using Firefox as my primary browser. However, I’m deeply impressed with Chrome, both as a user and as a developer, and have been meaning to make the switch for a while.

I’m feeling the a sense of urgency to do so now, if only to wrap my mind around what is occuring with Chrome OS and Chrome Web Store. Both of these projects raise a lot of questions, and cause a lot of confusion, because they represent some fundamental shifts in how we experience the web.

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Think Different

Cult of Mac recently sat down with John Sculley for an interview, in which he describes Steve Jobs and the methodology he uses to build products. Jobs is undisputably the premier modern “captain of industry,” and the observations and insights in the interview are fascinating.

The pair shared power at Apple until Jobs was forced to resign after losing a power struggle. Apple’s struggles after that time brought it to the brink of its existence, until Jobs returned in 1997 and revitalized the company he founded. Regarding the timing, Scully remarks:

I’m actually convinced that if Steve hadn’t come back when he did — if they had waited another six months — Apple would have been history. It would have been gone, absolutely gone.

What did he do? He turned it right back to where it was — as though he never left. He went all the way back.

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What If… Questions for Reinventing Management

A tweet by Tim O’Reilly came through my stream the other day, which I followed to Managment Innovation eXchange, in order to read the leading questions. As expected, they are intriguing.

Many businesses tout themselves as radical and disruptive. This is especially true in places like the Bay Area, where small startups with fast-paced, development-driven cultures are trying to develop the next innovative technology.

Building a startup into a successful company requires growth in many areas, including employees and customers. This growth brings with it significant challenges, which often require a difficult transition in how the company operates. As leadership and management functions evolve in an organization, it’s important to retain the same culture of innovation.

The questions asked by MIX are intended to be thought-provoking, as they aim to reinvent management for the 21st century. Indeed, I found them interesting enough that I decided to collect them here.

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Stack Level Too Deep with RSpec 2 and Webrat

I’m currently following along with the Ruby on Rails Tutorial, hoping to pick up some tips and improve my understanding of Rails 3. I recommend the tutorial, especially to people just learning Rails. For those with more experience, you’ll find certain aspects to be a bit elementary. However, I’m personally appreciating the focus on testing throughout the development process.

The Rails community is still catching up to the recently released Rails 3. RSpec, which the tutorial recommends for testing, is no exception. RSpec 2 is the latest version, and the first to bring compatibility with Rails 3. However, I’m finding that there are still a few kinks that need to be worked out.

Most of the issues I’ve encountered have been easy to solve. However, I encountered a particularly frustrating problem dealing with the interrelation between rspec-rails and webrat, which is described in this issue. It is a known problem that has been variously fixed and re-broken by commits to the two libraries in question.

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Skype Announces A Future Announcement

As I was going through my morning routine, scanning news feeds and sipping coffee, my attention was grabbed by the TechCrunch headline “Skype Opens Up SkypeKit SDK To All Devices And Desktop Apps.” Being a developer and wanting deeper technical details, I eagerly click on over to SkypeKit. Rather than the detail I’m expecting, I’m greeted with marketing fluff concluded with this final sentence:

Developers can register for an invitation to the SkypeKit Beta Program beginning on July 23.

So, let me get this straight. You’re announcing that I can sign up for a future announcement. Gee, thanks!

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