Friday, September 16, 2005

Covers can sell books

The Twisted Framework has been steadily taking a certain portion of the population by storm for some time now.

No surprises then that an O'Reilly book is cooking. The cover alone will sell some books!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Language, Thought, Zachmann

Dave Megginson writes about the Zachmann Framework and points to an interesting critique by Graeme Simsion which raises the hind legs of an old hobby horse of mine. Namely, the extent to which language can influence thought.

Although 'linguistic determinism', as it is called, can be pushed too far very easily, it is a force to be reckoned with. Compared to others it is a week force, but non-zero. To my mind, its effects are too often ignored. (I'm reminded of a story told about a Richard Feynman lecture. Feynman says "gravity is a weak force". At the back of the auditorium, something heavy crashes to the floor with a bang. "weak, but not zero" continued Feynman.).

I wrote about the impact of language on thought from an XML perspective in How to model a bishop and from a programming language perspective in In praise of IT multilingualism.

50% of what you know, you don't.

Most scientific papers are probably wrong. Lets say that paper itself has a 50/50 chance of being wrong...Thats still a lot of wrong stuff out there.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The sound of silence

Silent running rues the lack of noise emanating from office computing machines these days.

Monday, September 12, 2005

XML, processing models, data liberation

Mike Champion says that XML liberates data from the applications that created it.

In simple applications - especially data oriented - this is true. In more complex applications, it rarely is.

Take web browsers for example. Pages for display to a human. The "meaning" is in the presentation - how the content looks. Now, lets say the content is in an XML format and everyone has access to the schema. Does it follow that all browsers will display the data the same way?

No. In any non-trivial presentation-oriented application, there is a processing model which must be adhered to if the semantics of the data are to be faithfully preserved.