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Alexander Johannesen

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Tue, 31 August 2004 13:00:00 GMT

Notice! This blog is no longer updated as such, and the new spot to point your feedreaders and blurry eyes are https://shelter.nu/blog/

This also means no more comments here, and especially not you spammers, you filthy floatsam of the internet!

An annotated and whimsical reading list

I've read quite a number of interesting things over the course of the last few ... um, months I think, and I'd like to share with you what I think is the most important ones. (And please add more suggestions in the comments, as I plan to make this a permanent page)

About data and information modelling : Emancipating Instances from the Tyranny of Classes in Information Modelling is - despite the funny name - a must-read for anyone in the business of data modelling, be it RDBMS or semantic models or whatever. I suspect the authors read the book I read and had a similar reaction to it. It hits right on the "classes are constructs" nail. Then go on to read the TMDM (Topic Maps Data Model), and it will all fall into place, especially if you also flip thorugh the TMAPI. Oh, and also read anything by James Franklin, which I have enjoyed immensly. If only one thing, try The Renaissance myth which was the article that started me on the path of his writing to begin with. All of these entries will make it to the "Topic Maps must-read list".

About social engineering : Collaborative knowledge gardening is - in short - about how we need to think anew how we model ideas and things. Social patterns are hence more important to certain business requirements than before thought. I've pondered about this (in libraries, but it applies to most any organisation) before. Also, on the same note, The human information filter continues the thread.

About writing : Ten Mistakes Writers Don't See But Can Easily Fix When They Do, a set of good advice for the aspiring writer on any sort of material. Once upon a twice I wanted to be a writer, but I was lured from writing love poems in the park into the obscure and lucrative world of software engineering instead. I hope to combine the two in some version of the future.

About software development : A tale of two programmers is a most interesting piece that may or may not hold some good information. In my ramble about being sick of the objectivist language of modern days, I briefly touch upon the issue in "A tale of two programmers" where a process and quite often methodology gets in the way of the real issues at hand. As a former senior consultant I know how to "talk the talk, and walk the walk", and maybe because of that I claim it to be mostly bullshit and more in the way of progress than solving anything real, apart from stimulating petimeters and suck-ups in organisations everywhere.

About programming : Jenny is a cute RDBMS to Java classes generator. Then it strikes me; why on earth must we create such tools as this? Yes, it is cool and cute, but shouldn't the fundamentals of what we're trying to achieve be a part of the languages we use? Apparently, nobody has yet thought of it that way. Hmm. It reminds me of an extension the the XHTML standard that my friend Murray Altheim was fiddling with before he left Sun, called Augmented Metadata in XHTML; it is brilliant, would make all our metadata dreams come true, but ignored by people who had different agendas and probably didn't understand the problem it solves to begin with. The world is hence a bit more stupid because of this ignorance.

About learning : So, speaking of learning, for someone like me who missed one fatally important lesson back in primary school, sites such as Visual mathematics and documents like On the parallel between mathematics and morals [PDF] is of great help. Others cannot be taught anything new, such as a warmonger explains war to a peacenik, and yet others tries to teach us about new ways to think about business. We'll see how it all turns out.

Hmm, I get the feeling I've missed something out, but please subscribe to my alternative feed where I dump and comment on all things of interest found elsewhere on the net.

Permalink (Tue, 31 August 2004 13:00:00 GMT)| Comments (1) | General
( Thu, Sep 9 2004 )
Have you read Slack by Tom DeMarco. It's a good story about software development.