After dismissing REBOL as an amusing diversion, I have over the last few days started looking at it again, after seeing a reference to it in a post by why the lucky stiff. And if someone with why’s standing in the community says it’s cool, it must be, right?
It’s been months now. I’ve lost count. I can’t remember when I made the switch. But it’s final. Windows is a thing of the past (well, not 100%). I’ve been having a great time on Ubuntu (or U, as I’ve started calling it).
There is a side to computing in which developers of software try to appeal to so-called average users. The idea is to make software friendly and easy to work with. Most people who are confronted with computers very quickly have an emotional experience when something doesn’t go as was hoped for. They can quickly lose heart when confronted with some message indicating that things didn’t quite work out, that there was some slight mishap or a hiccup.
Lately I have been musing (contemplating, meditating on) the term “IDE” or “Integrated Development Environment”. What is it that makes it integrated? Well, you have of course an editor, a compiler and a debugger (or any other combination of tools) integrated into one program. However, the program itself is still pretty much standalone. It is usually not integrated into anything else. So much for “integrated”. Tsk, tsk.
How will this decade be referred to in twenty years’ time? It’s fine to talk about anything from the 20s to the 90s, but the first two decades of a century are problematic. We look at something today and say: “Man, that’s so 80s!” or “I like the music of the 70s”. But what will the children and teens refer to in years to come when talking about this decade and the next? “I’m a child of the units” or “That dress is so 10s!”. It just doesn’t have the same effect.
I wonder, was this problem prevalent in the 1900s and centuries before that as well or did we only start referring to decades in this way recently?
If there was one change I could make to the English language, it would be to have two words for “we”; one meaning “us including you” and one meaning “us excluding you”. Think of all the confusion that would avoid. For starters, that persona non grata (some would say spare wheel) would quickly get the message when you say: “We (excluding you) are going to the pub now”.
Of significance too, but of lesser importance perhaps, would be singular and plural versions of “you”.
Of course, if you combine the two, you would have four variants of the phrases covering the different cases of “we” stated above.
The decade of the 90s was the heyday of ERP systems. Of course, the history goes back much further. Look at SAP, for example, who started in the early 70s by producing “one size fits all” solutions. This was of course a radical departure from the norm up to then, in that most companies wrote their own systems from scratch. SAP recognized a need in the market for such solutions, as the same solutions were being written over and over again. While I imagine that this worked quite well for accounting software like SAP’s first product, R/1, covering other aspects of business is and has been a different story.
Abraham (who you may have seen commenting on this blog) and myself were having a discussion last week around the state of contracting and placement. Being both independent contractors in the SAP arena, we feel there are some aspects to placement that could do with some regulation, to protect both contractors and clients.
If it were up to me, I would require all documentation on a project to be done in a wiki. I mean everything. For example: documenting business processes, problems and their solutions, people’s contact details, system details, project issues, project processes, ideas, proposed ways of doing things, FAQs, etc. What stops you from putting meeting minutes into a wiki? I guess nothing, provided you can implement some form of access control, which fortunately, good wikis provide.
Some time ago I was contemplating the concept of a platform. It is a term that is bandied around quite a bit, but I’m not sure if a formal definition exists (other than something flat on which you can build or place something). I am speaking of course of platforms in the software world; perhaps the right term to use would be “application platform”.