Information Systems

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  • : Function split() is deprecated in /hsphere/local/home/guruj/guruj.net/modules/filter/filter.module on line 1200.

Lifecycle of successful blogs

Blogs were started as a form of personal, online journal. I still think that most blogs of worth start from this point and run through a fairly defined lifecycle:

A. Blog owner starts by writing short journal posts as personal reflection or as an augmentation to individual memory. The audience at this point is zero, or just friends/family.

B. Readers stumble across the site through a search or reference from another website. If the quality appears of interest, they bookmark it and return to check for new articles periodically. As the blog owner becomes aware of the growing audience, the tone and nature of posts becomes more self-aware and probably more formal.

Ways to stuff up a Request for Proposal (tender)

From the always worth-a-read CMSWatch:

[H]elp your enterprise by removing conveniently ambiguous buzz-words ...

[eg.] Integrate. This word allows you and the vendor to conspire in postponing discussion of the hard work coming your way. Instead, articulate specific needs for read- or write-access to repositories, as well as event-triggers across systems. Extra credit: lose seamless too. Seams are part of the fabric of all software.

There's three other meaningless buzzwords listed, but this one resonated particularly strongly with me. "Conspiring to postpone discussion of hard work" ... all too true, sadly. See also: wishful thinking.

Set up local Yum Repository

Creating your Repository

(NB: These instructions assume a Fedora Core 6 installation, but should work with minor modifications for most RPM-based distros.)

  1. Create a directory to hold the repository eg. /media/Fedora/.
  2. Copy the RPMS directory from the Fedora source DVD into this directory.
  3. Run createrepo on this directory:
    [console]
      # cd /meda/Fedora/RPMS
      # createrepo . 
    

Using your Repository

  1. Add an entry into /etc/yum.repos.d:

    [console]
      # vi /etc/yum.repos.d/local.repos  

The problems with RDF

The first problem with RDF is that most people's reaction to the term is WTF is RDF?

RDF stands for Resource Descriptor Framework, and is a cornerstone of the Semantic Web as envisioned by Tim Berners-Lee. The basic idea of RDF is very simple: it describes a series of linked objects of the form Subject -- Predicate --> Object. For example, John -- owns --> a Cat.

For the last nine years, Tim has been championing XML and RDF as the solution to the Semantic Web problem.

Yet despite the Web becoming so pervasive that it is almost impossible to imagine living without, the Semantic Web remains a distant dream, and RDF a niche technology known about only by a hardcore few. So what has gone wrong?

The problem with lockdowns

In response to Mr. Grimes' zero-tolerance policy on installing software:

My problem with desktop lockdowns is that these are often accompanied with an "IT knows best" mentality. You know, the motto that "we'd have a great IT system if it wasn't for all these pesky users".

Yes, users install lots of crap on their workstations, but there are valid business needs there as well.

If IT forgets that it is there to serve users, then it is a hindrance, not a help. Desktop lockdowns can serve a valid purpose, but if users can't create their own solutions, you better make damn sure that IT is prepared to help find solutions for them.

Kludge Index

I've been chatting with Bob Lewis about the nature of kludges, and he suggests a kludge index. I began thinking about how you might score such an index...

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