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

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Saturday, April 30, 2005

Who I Should Vote For

Who Should You Vote For?

Who should I vote for in Wales?

Your expected outcome:


Your actual outcome:

Labour 5
Conservative -19
Liberal Democrat 49
Green 75
Plaid Cymru 45

You should vote: Green

The Green Party, which is of course strong on environmental issues, takes a strong position on welfare issues, but was firmly against the war in Iraq. Other key concerns are cannabis, where the party takes a liberal line, and foxhunting, which unsurprisingly the Greens are firmly against. The Greens are also anti-Europe.

Take the test at Who Should You Vote For

Friday, April 29, 2005

Moore's Law

Rich Karlgaard writes in Forbes...

Don Valentine founded Sequoia Capital in 1972 and presided over early investments in Apple, Electronic Arts, Cisco, Yahoo and Google. He once told me the secret to his success: "That's easy. I just follow Moore's Law and make a few guesses about its consequences."
(via Phil Windley)

Too Many "Services"?

Phil Windley wonders...

I'm just not clear on why a simple URL isn't good enough.

Thom Hartmann

Thom Hartmann is now on the air locally in Portland, 6-9am, KPOJ 620 AM, in addition to his national show. Both shows have Internet streams and archives.

XPDX Sprint

I have been out of my office for all but a few days the last four weeks. Somewhere in the middle of that was the XPDX Sprint here in Portland. I was able to attend the first day. Sunday I had to cart a couple of young non-driving men to a couple of malls around town so they could conduct high school psychology experiments.

Catching up on the sprint... I missed the subsequent Tuesday night meeting where a retrospective was conducted. The notes are not making too much sense to me yet.

Here're my recollections from the Saturday... I was in California the week before and back in Oregon about 12 hours, mostly sleeping, before heading downtown to the sprint.

My initial pair was a nice, short, sweet task... we found the source of a core Python bug on Windows that had to do with marshalling and unmarshalling a foating point NaN, in this case an INF. The problem was in the C code though and we had no convenient way to build for windows. Neither did we know what behavior the Python community would want. My partner brought the problem to the sprint so he is going to follow up with the Python email list.

Another group had already split off to work the rest of the day, and the better part of Sunday as far as I know, on Line of Sight Chess. This is now a sourceforge project. LOSC was run as a mini-XP team with planning, iterations, multiple pairs, etc. It looked like fun when I dropped in on them.

Back in the other room we kind of moved around different ideas that never completely gel'd as projects. Several of us spent time getting MoinMoin installed on Windows (and Cygwin for me). Then we set about exploring how MoinMoin actions, macros, etc. work. We noticed funkiness about MM picking up changes vs. going to its cache, so a couple other folks split off and made a good start at fixing that problem when in development mode. The fix broke some other things, and one big problem was just not having the expertise around to keep us moving quickly. Our afternoon was more of a exploratory spike than a planned iteration.

Along the way several of us spent a half hour or so playing with Seaside and had fun conversations about Wiki's, AJAX, continuations, Smalltalk, Scheme, CL, and dynamic languages in general.

I thought the idea of the sprint was sound and the day was fun. For an XP focus I would want to participate more in a session like the LOSC team. Other than my initial pair the rest of the day had little to do with XP.

Oh, we were located right across the street from Good Dog, Bad Dog so lunch was tasty as we gathered outside at Pioneer Courthouse Square.

World-Wide Semi-Structured Data

Some thoughts on Bill's post:

1. It's funny that AI is disparaged in the world of the fuzzy. I am not so familiar with description logic. What little AI I did was with frame-based languages (Carnegie Representation Language, KnowledgeCraft). The data/objects/rules rather than logic-orientation may have been more naturally supportive of open-world attitudes.

2. My understanding of RDF is that it is a concept with many specific representations. Is there an assumed canonical format for gathering the results of a distributed world-wide query?

3. I assume most data query applications do not need to consider the entire web as does a completely free-text application like Google. Subsets of Google apply just to images, just to news, etc. Presumably "just to calendars" is coming. Whether you centralize or decentralize the query, another interesting question will be the conventions for finding the appropriate data.

4. I keep going back to Tom Malone's Information Lens, Object Lens, OVAL series of projects. This was on a much smaller scale than the world, but he did some interesting work on partially-shared views of distributed semi-structured data. (Via the ACM and elsewhere) We need convenient ways to create and evolve partially-shared world-wide data.

5. The more that subsets of semi-structured world data comes into focus for specific applications, the more "queries" will want to include (fuzzy) calculations. Jim Gray's April 2005 ACM Queue article is another interesting tangent on this theme.

No shortage of interesting problems.

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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.