Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Web 2.0 SOA and other jargons

The latest one is Servable Web - another term with red wavy underline. I am trying to figure out how this is different or related to other jargons of yesteryears namely web service and Service Oriented architecture. I hope I'll understand the need for such new terminology before I retire.

I would like a web service for de-bulling articles on all these jargons.

Friday, October 13, 2006

A farce called "Local Body Elections" in Tamil Nadu

The election started peacefully. All rich people of my locality decided to stay in-doors. I fished out the identity cards from a pile of junk in my book-shelf. Armed with the power of identity cards, my wife and I went to the polling booth. No video coverage for our visit to the booth as we are not celebrities yet and we had no intention of creating news there.

There were some 10 people in front of us, none of them seem to be from our area. They obviously are impersonating someone in our area. The agents of the candidates were sitting in a corner of the room, obviously aware of the impersonations happening on each party's behalf. The staff manning booth didn't ask for identity cards for any of the impersonators. My wife and I questioned the officers on why they allowed those with no identity cards. We didn't get a reply. They probably were too scared to ask for them.

When coming out of the polling station, a lady from our area was complaining about the presence of unruly elements in the area. Another helpless responsible citizen, I thought. The two policemen outside the station were mere watchers. One of them had a very big mustache to hide his fear. He might be more scared of the roaming rowdies than of the complaining citizens like us.

Long live our democracy.

No Silver Bullet:

No Silver Bullet:

It is obvious for someone like me who spent a good part of his career on programming.

We can take just one aspect of programming - type safety.

We start with C, get worried about the lack of type safety. C++ didn't help much in that part, but allowed for encapsulation for modeling objects. Java went over-board on the type checking and became a pain for simpler operations. For some thing as simple as a Http post, there may be a need to create a few objects and their inner objects and so on. My conclusion is, choose a language that will allow you to do what you want to do. This means, the decision maker has to have good knowledge on the strengths and weaknesses of the languages and platforms.

I still come across non-technical managers who want a design that can accommodate everything. For example, my boss wants a DB design that will allow for storing detailed information of products and also have a general solution. He suggested something like a place-holder for everything - in case of a mobile phone the place holder will hold the technology information (CDMA / GSM), for digital camera it might hold information like physical dimension. Fortunately I could explain the complexity in searching, comparing products with a design like that and stop at that. I am suggesting a mix of generalization and specification. If you want to focus on search and comparison, go for the details. If you want to just dump the data for display purposes go for a general place-holder.

To sum up - yes - there is no silver bullet.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Google Docs & Spreadsheets

Google Docs & Spreadsheets

Hmmmm - What else is remaining?
Presentation? Not really as it is not that commonly used application.
Online Image Editors - It is probably in the pipeline. With Ajax it should be cool to develop such applications.

My personal wish would be an online accounting package for home and small business owners.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Southern Railway - online reservation

Southern Railway - online reservation

The railway ministry must be really craving for money - look at the number of ads in this page. Without Firefox adblock, this page looks quite a mess.

The chance of getting a quality click from a person trying to reserve the tickets from this already slow web-site is close to remote. But advertisers must be paying a fortune to Google and to Railways to get their ads on this popular page.

Monday, October 09, 2006

The disconnect between reality and marketing...

We had another round of discussion on sending newsletters aka spam. This will be followed by a few rounds of discussion on why some newsletters get into the Spam / Bulk mail folder and some don't.

I ran out of energy to explain the marketing, sales and other non-technical people on why these mails land in the Bulk folder. Little do they realize that there are people smarter than them writing good programs to read the intention of the mailer. While email is a cheap and effective mode of spreading news about product information, promotions etc., depending upon emails to change the sales pattern is plain stupidity.

Having a web site with good navigation, tools to easily search for products, a good fulfillment process are the keys to the a successful e-commerce site. Spam mails are not.

I get newsletters from eBay and I always hit the delete button. I wonder if any of our sales guys think on how they deal with the newsletter mails they get.