Archive for November, 2002

Valuable Creative Ideas

Friday, November 29th, 2002

Every valuable creative idea (concepts and perceptions, not artistic expression) must always be logical in hindsight. If it was not, we could never recognize the value of that idea. It could only seem a ‘crazy idea’. We might catch up with it in twenty years time – or never, for it might truly be a crazy idea.

– Edward de Bono, I Am Right – You Are Wrong


Thursday, November 28th, 2002

Tony Bowden introduces a brilliantly simple way to interface to a relational database using Perl classes and the Class::DBI module

Getting ‘E’ on the Agenda

Tuesday, November 26th, 2002

I’ve just come back from BT’s eBusiness Seminar and my head is buzzing. To pass time I didn’t play buzz-word bingo. Instead I made notes of the number of different things they could put an ‘e’ in front of.

  • e-business
  • e-commerce
  • e-tailer
  • e-aware
  • e-space
  • e-book
  • e-initiative
  • e-strategy
  • e-focus
  • e-clinic
  • e-Kingfisher
  • e-nabled

Audio Tooth Implant

Monday, November 25th, 2002

Two British researchers have developed a prototype “phone tooth” that can be embedded in a molar and receive cell-phone calls.

– Time, Coolest Inventions 2002, November 25, 2002

Do Patterns and Frameworks Reduce Discovery Costs?

Saturday, November 23rd, 2002

Asking whether patterns and frameworks reduce discovery costs is like asking whether someone who knows something about billing is going to have an easier time making a billing system than someone who doesn’t. Of course! The problem is whether we have the right patterns and frameworks to reduce discovery costs. If not, how can we get them?

– Ralph Johnson

Too many projects look for the “home run” in reusable platforms and frameworks. Frameworks work well only if they can predict well: to predict what will change, and what will not. This is a difficult enough problem for individual objects or modules, let alone for extensible application skeletons. Small frameworks like MVC work, but few large frameworks enjoy success.

– Jim Coplien

Proceedings of the 1997 ACM SIGPLAN conference on Object-oriented programming systems, languages and applications, Beyond the hype (panel): do patterns and frameworks reduce discovery costs?

Speaking at UUJ

Friday, November 22nd, 2002

I gave a lecture this afternoon to a group of students who are getting ready to go on their placement year. It had never occurred to me that the state of the I.T. industry would be affecting students. Last year they had students on the Software Engineering course who didn’t manage to find placements. They also had students who were made redundant.

Speaking a Foreign Language

Wednesday, November 20th, 2002

Software engineer’s concern:

We have run into some unexpected problems integrating (or designing, or implementing, or testing) the software.

Translation into management terms:

Our estimate of the time and budget required to complete the software is no longer valid. Futhermore, because we didn’t see these problems coming, we aren’t sure what other problems might be imminent. We’ll give you a revised estimate as soon as we have enough information to do so. In the meantime, please begin changing the customers’ expectations so they won’t expect so much so soon.

Dorothy McKinney, Six Translations between Software-speak and Management-Speak, IEEE Software, November/December 2002, (Vol. 19, No. 6)

Accessible Calendars

Tuesday, November 19th, 2002

I have not found any insurmountable barriers building an accessible site in Movable Type. And every time I discover a new accessibility-enhancing technique, I find that I can easily implement it. And yes, the calendar output is completely configurable using Movable Type

Dark November Days

Tuesday, November 19th, 2002

Not yesterday I learned to know
The love of bare November days
Before the coming of the snow,
But it were vain to tell her so,
And they are better for her praise.

– Robert Frost

It was dark when I got to work yesterday and dark when I left.

Going To The Cinema

Saturday, November 16th, 2002

I went to a UGC cinema tonight. It was horrible. The foyer was covered in litter and popcorn crumbs. The counter were I bought my sweets was covered in a sticky substance. The staff were unfriendly. My shoes stuck to the floor of the theatre. The sound cut out during the adverts and the lights came back on. Unfortunately, this happened during the film as well so we had to leave ten minutes after it started.