Ming the Mechanic
The NewsLog of Flemming Funch

Friday, February 6, 2004day link 

 Collaboration Collaboratory
In looking for ways of collecting patterns for collaboration, Julian suggests Collaboration Collaboratory, hosted by Blue Oxen Associates which seems like an excellent place for doing so, as it is already happening. And in a way I think I'm in synch with, at least. And it is a wiki, so one can basically just move in and contribute. There's a Pattern Repository with some patterns that have been identified so far.

This is the suggested template:
  • Name
  • Context
  • Problem
  • Forces
  • Solution
  • Resulting Context
A pattern is a structured conceptual model of a solution to a recurring problem. It is usually deliberately vague on a lot of the details concerning the circumstances, but as precise as possible when it comes to the actual pattern. There's a certain context which is defined, and certain problems described that tend to come up in that context, and some forces that are at work. For example, we could talk about what happens if you put 30 people together in a room and they need to come up with some common plan. That would be a context. We wouldn't have to know who exactly they are or what the subject matter is. Without knowing that we can still guess that there are problems involved in agreeing on something within a certain time contraint, and the likelyhood that these people don't already agree, and the difficulty in getting them all to communicate well with each other at the same time. The forces involved might be the time, internal and external expectations, consequences of finding a solution or not, and the layout of the meeting space. There might be many possible patterns that might help such a group get somewhere. Not just one answer. But a pattern would be one solution that arranges things so that certain kinds of things are more likely to happen. And thus a somewhat new context is created.

So, the point is that there's value in writing such things down in a semi formal way, so that patterns can be passed on, and so one can install them more consciously, without having to re-invent them all the time.

[ | 2004-02-06 16:44 | 1 comment | PermaLink ]  More >

 The Pink Tank
picture Via The Green Man. If you're in London and you get off the tube at Elephant and Castle station you might like to make a small detour to Old Kent Road to see a more creative approach to tank camouflage. The project is the brainchild of Aleksandra Mir who, with some assistance, has recently completed the paint job. See the work in progress here.
[ | 2004-02-06 17:00 | 1 comment | PermaLink ]  More >

 RSS incompatibilities
Mark Pilgrim has an enlightening article about the myth of RSS compatibility. I suddenly feel better about the little difficulties my self-made aggregator is having. Meaning, it is generally a mess to try to match a whole bunch of incompatible standards at the same time. Not to mention that people who write the feeds don't necessarily adhere to the standards. I was otherwise a bit dissatisfied that I couldn't find any suitable package that bothered to discern all the details of the different standards precisely, and I didn't get around to figuring it all out myself. Most packages seem to concentrate on what most of them have in common and ignore the differences and the details. Mark Pilgrim seems to have make an RSS parser that both juggles all the differences and is permissive about accepting and fixing the ways feeds might be screwed up. Looks great. I need to try it out.
[ | 2004-02-06 18:28 | 0 comments | PermaLink ]

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