Welcome to my blog

by Vladimir Piskarev

This should have probably been my opening post. A personal weblog often contains an introductory entry about what inspired its creation; its intended focus; its author and his interests; etc. However, in the first post, it has been more important to me to talk about the Eclipse Handly proposal, which I find very exciting and which actually inspired me to start blogging for the first time in my life. The Handly project and open source in general will remain the primary focus of this site, but this is a personal blog after all and I reserve the right to publish occasional reflections of me under an appropriate category in a lame attempt to amuse the reader.

I was thinking of the question — should I introduce my humble self in the hope of facilitating socialization and if I should, then how? My current status is presented on the About page. I might add that I’m a big fan of Beethoven, though I enjoy Trout Mask Replica too. Still, I wanted to convey something that not only could characterize my personality in some respects, but also was more fitting to the intended focus of this blog.

Finally, I thought that a better way to introduce myself might be to reflect on my personal heroes in computer science and their powerful ideas that have informed my interests and, in large part, my thinking. I already mentioned Alan Kay when I was musing on scalability. Now is the turn of another hero, also of Xerox PARC fame. His name is Gregor Kiczales.

Gregor is, of course, widely known for aspect-oriented programming and AspectJ (actually, he coined the term “crosscutting”), but it’s his fantastic, though perhaps slightly less known work on the metaobject protocol approach and its unsurpassed manifestation in Common Lisp Object System (CLOS) that, to me, is even more important. I can only repeat the Alan Kay’s recommendation for the profound book “The Art of the Metaobject Protocol” by Gregor Kiczales, Jim des Rivières and Daniel G. Bobrow. That book must have been one of the most significant revelations in my life. It thoroughly introduces the concepts of metaobject protocol design, but to me, the most remarkable has been the very idea of “opening languages up” for achieving that exquisite blend of elegance and efficiency, beauty and practicality. If you read it, you will never be the same again.