Screenshot of GNOME 3 desktop.

After all these years, I can still find no better development environment than GNOME 3, Emacs and Rhythmbox.

A 100% functional desktop environment, that’s way more flexible than macOS or Windows, more secure, more resource-efficient, faster, cleaner, less obtrusive, quicker to navigate, more economic keyboard shortcuts to navigate, and (IMHO) better on the eye too.

Which all matters when you spend whole days looking at code.

PHP logo

PHP.  It’s been a little while since I had to deal with you but, seriously, is this really a thing?

[php]$value = 10;
$temp = 0;
 
for($ctr = 0; $ctr < $value; $ctr++) {

echo "value + ctr: " . $value + $ctr . "<br>";
// this doesn’t work?!

$temp = $value + $ctr;
echo "value + ctr: " . $temp . "<br>";
// … but this does work?

}[/php]

Perhaps (hopefully) things have changed in PHP7?

This problem has been reported for other systems – Jayway covers 64-bit Ubuntu, which is where I derived most of the info I needed (thanks guys!).

If you are developing Android apps using Eclipse, especially on 64-bit Fedora 16, then you too may have come across the error message:

Failed to get the adb version: Cannot run program "/home/[user]/[path]/android/[sdk]/tools/adb": java.io.IOException: error=2, No such file or directory

I did.

To fix it, you need to install 32-bit compatibility libraries.  On Ubuntu (and probably Debian) you can use the getlibs tools.  For Fedora users, it requires installing a few bits and pieces.  Easily accomplished with this:

su -
yum install libstdc++.i686 ncurses-libs.i686
 compat-libstdc++-33.i686

Yum will pull in the necessary dependencies.

Restart Eclipse and the error should disappear.

I recently ‘dented’ (tweeted on identi.ca) a question to a group of software developers: what music do they listen to that is conducive to coding?I received a variety of answers, with just as wide-ranging tastes as you could expect, really. Clearly, I hadn’t conducted a very economic experiment. Perhaps I was asking the wrong question.

The question I should have asked is this: which music do you listen to that evokes a calm, creative and logical state of mind? In other words, I needed to key-word the question to (a) elicit greater impact on the reader and (b) give the question more scope, more context.

The premise of the question is the science behind brainwaves. Apparently, alpha waves in the brain (those which occur at between 8-13Hz [cycles per second]) are the most conducive to creative AND logical thinking. It is commonly associated with a meditative state of mind, deeply relaxed, daydreaming, fantasizing and creatively visualising various scenarios.

This dispels some notion that left brain/right brain dominance exists. I can’t remember which is which, but it is said that the right hemisphere is more creative and the left, more logical/analytical. Or vice versa.

But this alpha wave state could, in fact, also support such dominance, if it allowed for the idea of submission of the dominant region during periods of relaxation. In other words, we will have one personality profile when active, busy, even stressed, and another profile when relaxed, calm, clear.

It follows, then, the people seeking to produce creative works – whether it be software code, writing, visual art or music, should always seek the best environment to create alpha brain waves. Music is just one component; meditation, light scents, lighting, physical comfort and staying hydrated also contribute, as does the avoidance of caffiene and alcohol.

But for me, most of all, it’s music.  And quite often, that’s trance. 😉