Monday, July 31, 2006

Wisdom of Crowds, etc.

Group of independently thinking invididuals is smarter than the smartest person in the group.

The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

I just want to write them here quickly because I have wanted to write about it for quite a long time but haven't had a chance to do so.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

What I like about Ruby - one of many

I like that Ruby has a convention that is enforced about instance variables (member fields) and class variables (static member fields) i.e. @ and @@.

I introduced a similar convention recommended by somebody I met at one of the Java Users Groups when using Java in several occasions before. At one company, it was embraced. But at another company, it just sparked unnecessary discussion. It seems that experienced developers use a similar convention, one way or another. And it seems that less experienced developers oppose it for a peculiar reason.

So I like this Ruby's feature so that we can focus on writing a code that brings a value to the customer or user, instead of spending time arguing about the convention.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Lean Software Development and my current software development

I'm reading a sample chapter of "Lean Software Development."

The elevator designer's example says that unstructured approach cycling between high-level design and detailed solution was necessary.

Somehow my experience that is not necessarily related came back in my head. When I tried to put off working on a derived idea in order to finish up the task at hand, I am not necessarily productive. When I wandered around to try out a derived idea, actually overall productivity was higher. So it is a development or research activity instead of production activity.

I just wanted to write this down before continuing to read the chapter.
So this blog is still in draft.
I think I'm going to edit this quite a few times.
Let's see how it goes.

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Future of Human-Computer Interaction

I read an article on ACM Queue magazine (Vol.4,No.6) about Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) - "The Future of Human-Computer Interaction", John Canny, University of California, Berkeley.

It was eye-opening.

The current user interface is optimized for the office environment. For the devices that are getting increasingly popular, such as a smartphone, the user interface should be optimized for a completely different environment. Instead of changing what is displayed based on the user's input such as button click, it should be changed based on the context, such as the user's current location, because those devices are not good for accepting user's input graphically. And those devices are designed to be used by speech, the interaction should be based on perception such as speech-based interfaces.

Makes sense.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth

I watched Al Gore's documentary film, "An Inconvenient Truth" yesterday.
It was a very good movie. I was motivated to do something to contribute to solve this problem.

At one point in the movie, Al Gore talked about the balance between environment and economy. In addition to what he said, I think that it's important to point out that if you can purchase the same product with less money, you don't have to earn more money by destroying the environment. So we can make the way we produce the goods/services more efficient, demending less natural resources and using renewable energy source. That makes the relative living standard go up with the same income we earn. Then we don't necessarily need a better economy in order to survive.