"I have a mind like a steel... uh... thingy." Patrick Logan's weblog.

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Saturday, September 11, 2004

Wandering About in the Past

I miss the Greater Boston Chapter of the ACM, in particular their in-depth workshops like the one coming up on Parrot.

About twenty years ago, Adele Goldberg was president of the ACM. She gave a talk to the GBC-ACM, and a Saturday before or after someone held one of those all-day Saturday workshops on Smalltalk. That was my first exposure to Smalltalk and circuitously led to the Mainsail programming language being ported to the Data General 32-bit Eclipse CPU.

The Alto was based on the DG Nova, and Data General was one of the first licensees of Smalltalk, but I never saw Smalltalk running on any DG hardware. Mainsail (a "managed runtime" in today's dry terminology) almost became the primary application development language for DG's workstations. Unfortunately C and Unix had captured a lot of imagination in the early 1980s and DG followed that road, ultimately to destruction, as HP did to Apollo.

Hmm... Synchronization

Steve Gillmor wites:

Hmmm…synchronization. That rings a bell. Oh yes, the Alchemy stuff that Adam Bosworth was working on at BEA before he left to join Google. The Alchemy framework establishes an intelligent cache layer between the server and the browser client, allowing robust support for transactions and off-line support within standards-based browsers, just what Google needs to extend Gmail and other services to enterprise customers to G-Spot.

And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself

I recently saw "And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself" on DVD. The movie is good, I'd like to read more about Pancho Villa now.

The main disappointment was the DVD's extras. I would have wanted more historical background on Pancho Villa. Larry Gelbart's running commentary is interesting.

Services and Data

A pretty good exposition of services and data within and across service bouindaries from Microsoft. Something is lacking though...

SQL makes a great tool for representing data on the inside of services. These strengths are inextricably linked to the bounded nature in both space and time of SQL, which make it fantastic for representing data on the "inside". Unlike XML, SQL has strong querying capabilities. SQL's makes comparisons between almost anything within the bounds of the database. Because of SQL's bounded nature, however, it is incapable of the strengths of XML in the "outside". SQL does not offer independent definition of schema as it depends heavily on a centralized and tightly coupled DDL.
What's wrong with this? It's out of focus.

At some point though developers will have to address data models as opposed to data notations. What are good models within and across service boundaries, whatever the notations used to representation and query? I have some ideas, but I'd like to see these ideas addressed more broadly and deeply.

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About Me

Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.