Web Design Internship available (Praktikum)

October 11th, 2007

Quevita Logo

We are developing a web 2.0 “Health Style Community” Platform for quevita. And we are hiring! Starting from November 1, we are offering an internship with a small team of Ruby on Rails developers.

Responsibilities: Prototyping a user interface using HTML and CSS using Adobe Web Developer tools. Workplace is Zurich or Bad Ragaz.

We offer an opportunity to work together in the development team using advanced tools and technologies. Please send your questions or CV to christian@quevita.ch.

Wir entwickeln eine web 2.0 Health Style Community Plattform für quevita. Und wir suchen Mitarbeiter! Ab 1. November bieten wir für 6 Monate eine Praktikumsstelle in einem kleinen Team von Ruby on Rails Entwicklern an.

Aufgaben: Protototyping Userinterface mit HTML und CSS mit Adobe Web Developer Tools. Arbeitsort ist tageweise Zürich oder Bad Ragaz.

Wir bieten eine Gelegenheit zusammen mit dem Entwicklungsteam mit modernen Werkzeugen und Techologien zu arbeiten. Über Anfragen und Bewerbungen freut sich christian@quevita.ch.

Rails, PHP, Erlang and other in-fights

October 5th, 2007

Suddenly, posts like this show up on the web:

7 reasons I switched back to PHP after 2 years on Rails - O’Reilly Ruby

/dev/spout - Rails, the 15 minutes is Almost Up. Meet Erlang.

Ethical Software by Alex Bunardzic » Why I switched back from Rails to Assembler (guess this one is ironic)

In there, some programmers claim that expectations on Rails were inflated, reality was hitting now, and we are all going to throw away Rails again because there will be something new which solves more problems.

Guys, just hold on for a minute. All those years we were locked into difficult coding practices. 1980 - spaghetti code, assembler-mix-ins. 1990 - c++ and almost intraceable memory leaks. 2000 - PHP, ASP, Servlets - the model/view/controller soup. And shortly after, in a desparate move to give ourselves some structure, EJBs.

Just look around what EJB has done to us - many banks invested millions into those technologies (Corba is another one). It is so amazingly complicated that specification becomes so important before coding that the waterfall management systems have been reintroduced into IT (ab/using the ‘Rational unified process’). Because it got so complicated, people outsourced the coding to India and spent the rest of their days writing specification which is a higher art anyway.

What is so different with Rails? We have acheived a ton of stuff which couldn’t have been done before. Spring gave Java a new push because it made things simple(r) again. But Rails incorporates everything we were fighting for as coders: Separation of concerns, Unit Testing, Stability on change (no Shotgun Surgery problems), Inversion of Control and the DRY principle. There are problems to be solved, of course. Big iron installations are still done with Java for a reason. But let’s hang on and celebrate the fact that we have a simplified way of writing logical, beautiful applications quicker than ever before.

We have acheived a big milestone. Coding has a decent reputation again.

Let’s get to work.

SUISA fees

August 30th, 2007

Just came off the phone to SUISA, the RIAA / copyright guys of Switzerland. Switzerland introduces a new tax on mp3-players as follows (1$ is about Fr 1.20). The tax seems to be only published in german - translated:

a) for flash-memory: (i.e. mp3-Player, iPod mini etc.)
- with less than 512 megabyte (MB) of memory: Fr. 0.0253 per MB
- with less than 1 gigabyte of memory: Fr. 0.0178 per MB
- with 1 but less than 2 gigabyte of memory: Fr. 0.0145 per MB
- with 2 but less than 4 gigabyte of memory: Fr. 0.0078 per MB
- with 4 and more gigabyte of memory: Fr. 0.00467 per MB

b) for hard disks in audio recording devices (for example in mp3-jukeboxes, iPods)
per 1 gigabyte of memory: Fr. 0.469

c) for hard disks in audio-visual recording devices: per 1 gigabyte of memory: (for example Set-Top-Boxes, PVR, DVD-Player with hard drive: Fr. 0.346

Just translate that to a normal 8 GB flash card for Fr. 60.00 - tax would be 37.40. That’s 60%.

And look at a 250 GB drive for Fr. 150.00. This costs you 117.25 in tax. That’s 78%!

I asked them how they decide when to charge. They said they go after advertising and use. So if you sell something called media-something, your in for the tax. iPods are in. This is to cover the fact that you’re allowed to copy music you already own. This is allegedly not connected to any illegal activities happening on the Internet.

This will only get worse when memory gets cheaper - that law took years to materialize and now it’s there, starting tomorrow. Maybe they will think about the rates again in a few years. Not good for Switzerland. Not good for the artists - many people will feel less bad now about copying.

As in any country, most music played is international and belongs to Sony, EMI and Warner - so that is where much of the money will go.

It’s an outrage.

By the way, at the same time it stays illegal to download music from peer-to-peer sites.

Related link: http://blog.suisafrei.ch/ 

FT.com / Companies / Telecoms - Apple secures Europe iPhone revenue deals

August 22nd, 2007

Apple really cherrypicks iPhone service providers in Europe. Thinking about the fact that those phones don’t allow changing the SIM card and looking at the current roaming rates, this makes the iPhone lose some of its appeal. A real pity, that is.

Not to mention the fact that they don’t roll it out in Switzerland yet.

FT.com / Companies / Telecoms - Apple secures Europe iPhone revenue deals
Apple has previously said that it wants to limit iPhone’s European launch this autumn to the UK, France and Germany. It will continue the roll-out elsewhere in Europe next year, when it will also launch in Asia.

But, bit more seriously: It is a fact that roaming charges are too expensive. The ability to change SIM cards is not a customer requirement -  The fact that we get cheaper service by switching SIM cards whenever abroad is the real problem. So, where’s the pan-european phone deal? Or is that only available for business class travellers who don’t mind 3000$ phone bills too much? Please guys, make it simpler!

Ruby on Rails Switzerland User Group - 15.08.2007

August 13th, 2007

There is another meeting for people coding in or interested in Ruby on Rails. It’s in the creative corner of Zurich and happens next Wednesday. The setting is quite informal and we’re going to talk techie stuff over a glass of (probably) beer.

Ruby on Rails Switzerland User Group - 15.08.2007

Here is our new web page

August 8th, 2007

Hello everyone! Finally, the page which only contained one email link is gone. We’re proud of our little new simple web presence. It is not much bigger yet, so bear with us.

We will use this page to publish news about our company, our work and everything which is near and dear to us. This is a blog, so to get news from this corner, subscribe!