Marc, himself, his blogs, and you reading them.

June 30, 2003
Scott must be watching us

Who said Dilbert only applies for big companies?

Read: "I curse the casual brilliance of your Life Strategy"

Check the reality at a given small company.

And weep.

# Posted by mpo at 01:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 25, 2003
Time to polish your glasses...

The herdFunny thing I heard on the radio while driving up to work this morning...

I couldn't help thinking about 'viewpoints' when they made this statement about Galileo Galilei:"While the man stands somewhat as the icon of revolutionary thinking, (the idea of the earth not being the centre of the universe ended up being hard to sell) he basically just had a better telescope then the other people of his time. It lead him to see and be unable to ignore."

Mmmm. Bumpy lives for those that see, but fail to make others see... (and other interesting read on Copernicus)

Well, the mentioned radio-program generally does a better job at explain complex things in layman's wording then at being ultimately scientifically correct. In the process however they succeed at being thought-provocative. Hoping you can see it as just another viewpoint.

Ouch, worked too late this night, hard to even open my eyes this morning :-)

*UPDATE* Bruno triggers me with the obvious question: "But, how can we judge who is seeing more then the other?"

'fraid the question is as natural for humans to ask (always thinking cause-consequence) as it is utterly irrelevant. It is very much like Kurt stating: "there surely is uncertainty". And Alan adding onto it: "there is not even a (mechanical == cause/consequence driven) technique to recognise uncertainty"

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June 20, 2003
The cultural theory
The herd

Jacek pointed me to this analysis of the Sun-JBoss conflict.

My resolution to this would surely be to go into the direction of 'third-party testing/certification'.

Only, my mind fails to see how this third party could be anything else then a consortium of *J2EE users* rather then the more likely thing in this industry: a consortium of (large) J2EE vendors.

Sigh, the cultural difference remains the issue I'm afraid. The real user-in-control way to do it would just be to develop the CTK's in open source. I've read about this idea before, together with the argument that it would add the advantage of competition helping out to solidify their interpretations of the spec: a BEA engineer would be able to have a specific test added to the set that makes the IBM Websphere implementation fail, causing a larger discussion on how the spec must of been interpreted...

Oh well, me guess the sheep called J2EE customers are nowhere near organizing themselves for this kind of action. These Users all rather like to believe they negotiated better license and support rates, or have a better performing support-pipe with VendorX then the competitor. We fail to see that as users we are in there together and the competition edge is not made on negotiating fees on commodity.

I remember sitting (by accident) next to Bruce Perens some 9 months ago when he proclaimed: "There is something really odd about how software-vendors in general (backed by the Big Analysts) keep on dictating what is on the industry's agenda. After all 90% of software build in this world is *NEVER TO BE SOLD*, but rather just build by internal IT to actually make some difference (which is not done by all of us buying the same boxes in the software-shop)"

So the analyst will ask: 'where does the 90% figure come from?' - Bruce just made the extrapolation of the number of workers on both sides: see, only 10% of software engineers out there work actually for these software vendors!

I wonder.How many dogs per sheep it takes on average to control the herd?How often are dogs just ran over by a stampeding herd?Is it countably safer in the middle of the pack? Or is that just a myth kept alive by a carefully placed bite now and then?How often are the dogs really there to protect the sheep from the wolves? And who gets accounted for the occasional mishap and loss anyway?

Might be pure altruism too: these sheep conspired to just start walking around in herds just so the shepherds and dogs of this world would have something to do with their lives.

# Posted by mpo at 08:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 18, 2003
Waking up

A picture named kindjes.jpgDuring my silence - Johan Peeters got published (indeed 'The network is Not Transparent') - noted really interesting blogs I have no time to read - failing to catch up on the maillists - Hardly time to breath... - So I spent a long weekend on a mysterious island of time in the Ardennes with a bunch of friends (and their kids) - and left the Orixo launch-support from our side to Steven - but biggest reason for me almost forgetting the existance of this blog is that I'm really enjoying a great new project for a great new customer (Apache Cocoon based) - happy hacking away now...

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June 06, 2003
Viewpoints

Sigh. Possibly the most disputable 'talent' I have is the ability to see, understand (fast) the different viewpoints in a discussion, and even appreciate most of the conflicting arguments. Combined with my eagerness to make sure all people in this world would just get along it often makes me play different opposite roles just to make sure that all arguments get their place and all concerned at least make the effort of taking a picture from the other viewpoint... Calvin in perspective

That might sound as political correct and 'nice' however it often leads to the discussion being left by anyone and I end up arguing with myself playing all the different roles :-)

At the end, this only shows the uselessness of arguing about arbitrary things. (Just as in OSS:) The one that does it gets to decide how it is done.[period] However I'm the kind of man that enjoys discussions for the sake of the bare neuron networking...

So when Steven likes this, I only saw somebody say: "I replaced the robustness checks from my compiler with the functional checks of my own unit tests?" Where is the difference or the advantage? Lets call it 'duce' since Belgium seems to be a tennis-country nowadays :-)

Me too had to think about the presentation by Michael Kay this week. (Yep, the complete company was present :-)) He must be as grey-thinker as I am since his point on the very topic about strong-loose typing was that it all depends on how you look at 'robustness'.

  • Is it never failing and continuing in a best effort to 'assume' the most likely and thus possibly yielding the wrong result?
  • Or is it demanding explicit wording on everything you want to have happened, and fail as soon (design time preference) as a detail is missing or a mismatch is found?
Mike even added (sidenothing the usefullness of the discussion I guess):"In the complete discussion of schemas and their alternatives we seem to forget that no human is in fact interested in the types: only in the values" (he was correctly quoting someone else, though I forgot his original source)

I'ld like to go a step into sociologics: maybe it is about how we relate to these 'computers'.

  • Are they the stupid systems you have to tell anyting you want to be done, at best just helping people to communicate to each other
  • or are they becoming more and more perceived as smart things with a mind and communication abalities of their own?

Don't expect an answer from me, I know that a 'smart' computer will only be as smart as that piece of mind its developer has put into that system. If that turns out to be a lot smarter then I am, then I have hardly any means to be the differentiating judge. (As Alan told us a long time ago)

At best I can propose some order into this grey chaos:

  • the closer up to humans your app is playing a role the more it will have to deal with the implicit typing humans assign to pure values...
  • the more it is hidden into the system itself and wants to efficiently exchange info between these explicit typing peers that computers are, the more you will see explicit typing applied, no?
The fun for the developers among us, is that we get to choose somewhat at which level we want to step in when talking to our system when building new apps...

Yeah, well, with all these viewpoints, it is damn hard to keep perspective... (More pearls of whisdom in this book, my all time favourite)

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June 03, 2003
1984

This is how Winston and Julia are sent to the Ministry of Love.

The complete story is online. Or was it?

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