Cuz it matters

Anchor for this item  posted Friday, February 23, 2007 at 4:06 pm MST

Journal: "Nuts & Bolts": Anyone recall KlipFolio?

This is a sweet little destop net app ... and I've always thought the design was just wrong-headed. [NB: I just exchanged mail will Allan at about how I have really really really changed my mind about that. "NetVibes on your desktop" is how I think of it without caveat, now.]

I'm a big NetVibes fan. Not only is it Best of Breed for Web2.0 (Am I alone in thinking that?) but it actually delivers the goods ... it isn't just sizzle.

Now I bet if a person drew up serious System Requirement Specifications for both NetVibes and KlipFolio there would be an astonishingly long list of similarities, real overlap in functionality, if not in implementation. One went standalone, the other went WebApp. My money's on the latter.

Here's what keeps me coming back to things like this: I'm fascinated by "granularity" ... taxonomy, ontology ... techne and praxis. Should our project be standalone? or Saas? That's at a different level than, say, deciding on PHP rather than Python.

The centrality of the "granularity" matter is, I submit, core to IT. There's data and then there's information. Anybody who spends lots of time with data is gonna have a hard time justifying their salary.

I just posted a comment to rmurill's "Mea Culpa on Google Apps" relating to the matter of "issue granularity":
* use Drupal rather than XYZ
* use DreamHost rather than SomeOtherHost
* use OffSite hosting rather than InHouse

See how that 3rd item jumps out? It's as though in a different category ... and that's what I'd like to ask you.

Here [in his post] you've presented a cogent argument against offsite, with a number of very plausible premises.

Here I'm talking about the "granuIarity" of issues. (I once had to create a MIL-SPEC family tree for the components in an
aircraft landing system ... I think it affected my mind!) I've always felt there was a difference between "factoids" (data the
support a premise) and "issues".

We spend so much time talking about "stuff", but really, it comes down to issues (large and small) the way you have here. Have you ever seen a site that deals with things that way?

What comes to mind is the contract bid that just fell through on me: a lovely backend, a lovely portal concept, and an information UI that was clever but dysfunctional. What I proposed was that I would "re-skin" the site using best Web1.0 practices (Dan Bricklin recently made reference to his old "Good Document" website he published ... circa 1998) and a tasty set of Web2.0 and AJAX functions. The potential client, an accomplished game programmer, started getting very clever (Our work reflect our personality?) and began speaking rainbow-coloured smoke about his UI plans. I relaxed when I realized that, actually, my methodology and conceptualization (read: marketing potential) was superior and, come to think of it, his datamodel seemed primitive. Soooo ...

Why does this matter? How about discussion concerning our friends and family who are on the front lines, in harms way. How about the number of people who've been wrongly convicted. And then there's climate change. And globalization / out-sourcing. And immigration.

see: UNEP's Information Center; UNEP/GRID-Arendal; GlobeIO | UNECE "Arhus ClearingHouse" | The Aarhus Convention on information and participation

It bothers me that some folk are spending high 6 figures for classic cars while others are tying to get musical instruments for their schools. Call me biased.

Anyhow ... knowledge deployment is key. And good craft *waves at Martin* is pleasant to look at and fun to use.

BTW: I just posted links to some nice Flash demos of SAP's BI on ITtoolbox SAP NetWeaver Wiki Project.


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Project Phobos and work to be done

Anchor for this item  posted Tuesday, February 20, 2007 at 9:00 pm MST

How ironic is this: at the moment I was reading a friend's blog about how legal aid is "always under fire" CPAC carried Bill Gates announcing how he was coming into the scene, riding to the rescue with funding for AIDS/HIV research. Ain't that just ducky.

And moments before? I banged my head against a beam, realizing that I have to have a bigger machine and better than Win98SE for the Java NetBeans SDK I need to help with this:

"Build some type of "pick and choose" functionality to help reduce the technical skills required for report creation. Need to define exactly what this means and how it should look, but basically enable the ability to build a report from smaller, individual widgets and have these widgets pre-defined in the system so that the user doesn't need SQL skills to build a report. For example, have a widget that generates data for "% of women clients" predefined in the system-- so an MFI can add or remove that widget to/from existing reports. More research and clarification needed."
Geeeeeeesch, should I drag out my C=64?! *sigh*

Grameen Bank's "MicroFinance OpenSource" (MiFos) project ... it's a Java.Net collaboration, and I /know/ that "Phobos" is the tool that'll do the trick.

Hey, the stuff I'm trying to do with "my "Participatory Deliberation" project? That could easily be used to help folk like Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted.

Lemme get political for just a moment: the bourgeoisie is 5th column ... the high-falutin' talk is stuff they aspire too, nothing more ... the government is the executive committee of the bourgeoisie, whether conservative or liberal. The liberals just fly brighter banners. Economic warfare, is all. Now I'm old, and broke, so I'm marshalling my last resources with fervor. You have different reasons, but should take care to do the same. I suggest you google and purchase "The Portable Dragon" ... I Ching with passages from literature in the judgments.

Also of interest:

I have fond memories of the dragNdrop Java IDE that IBM AlphaWorks came out with ?what? 1998 or environment. Soooo, did anyone anticipate things "Web2.0" back then?

This edit session in Yahoo!Pipes shows what can be done. And early this morning I came across at SourceForge ... isn't that tasty?!

Also worthy of note are these gems: the BlueJ Java teaching IDE and the "Revolution" deployment environment.


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