Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Behavior turds

Pat Helland coins[1] a useful phrase : "Behavior turds". Imperatives masquerading as declaratives.

The distinction between nouns and verbs is very fuzzy at the boundaries where I spend a lot of time. A key skill in Enterprise Architecture (a really *key* skill) is an awareness about the subtleties of human language. (Example: You have never, ever sent an e-mail. The bits you composed in your machine get copied - not sent - to the destination machine.)

A lot of the REST versus WS-* babbelogue revolves around folk being divided by a common (human) language. If the phrase "System A sends X to system B" by far the most tricky and subtle word is the word "sends". I wrote about this some time ago : I'll push and you pull. The mashup approach to application integration and it will be the subject of my talk at Barcamp Galway

I would suggest that an important part of any EAI architects training should be some quality time spent learning about Speech Acts, about Frege & Russell on is and the referential theory of proper names etc.

[1] A self-referential giggle : The word 'coin'. An example in English of a noun used to coin a corresponding verb = the word 'coin' :-)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Climbing The Cognitive Wall: Human barriers to progress in IT

    "Using the most prevalent models for dealing with parallelism, massive CPU power corresponds to rampant, mind-bending non-determinism in the software that runs on top. Humans, by and large, have difficulty reasoning in the face of rampant non-determinism. It seems to me that this new "skill" is like asking people to rid their brains of susceptibility to phenomena like Wason Selection" -- Climbing The Cognitive Wall: Human barriers to progress in IT