Archive for August, 2010

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

Eulogy for SearchMonkey

This is indeed a sad day for all of us, for on October 1, a great app will be gone. Though we hardly had enough time during his short life to get to know him, like the grass that withers and fades, this monkey will finish his earthly course.

Updated SearchMonkey logo

Photo by Micah

I know he left many things undone, for example only enhancing 60% of the delivered result pages. He never got a chance to finish his life’s ambition of promoting RDFa and microformats to the masses or to be the killer app of the (lower-case) semantic web. You could say he will live on as “some of this structured data processing will be supported natively by the Microsoft platform”. Part of the monkey we loved will live on as enhanced results continue to flow forth from the Yahoo/Bing alliance.

The SearchMonkey Alumni group on LinkedIn is filled with wonderful mourners. Micah Alpern wrote there

I miss the team, the songs, and the aspiration to solve a hard problem. Everything else is just code.

Isaac Asimov was reported to have said “If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster.” Today we can identify with that sentiment. Keep typing.

-m

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

Geek Thoughts: hard to find

Found this article interesting. Not too many hundreds of years ago, cutting-edge scientific research involved watching balls roll down ramps. Making fundamental discoveries seems to be slowing down, or at least getting harder. As a consequence, we should expect more big discoveries from the sciences where the relevant technology follows a Moore’s-Law-like exponential growth trajectory. There may be some hope yet for fundamental, game-changing discoveries in computer science.

Best of all, perhaps, is the word “scientometrics”.

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Balisageurs: XML and JSON

At David Lee’s nocturne about XML and JSON round-trippimg, several folks were talking about a site that listed several “off-the-shelf” conversion methods, but nobody could remember the site.

Late that night, with 15 minutes of battery remaining, I found it. The operative search term is XSLTJSON. -m

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Heard, overheard, and misheard at Balisage

The opening day of the conference was not Balisage proper, but a separate symosium on “XML for the long haul”.

Some interesting tidbits overheard, in no particular order…

“it is not necessarily clear that this approach would capture the difference between the ridiculous and the merely implausible.”

Complexity — what is the relationship betwen complexity and long-term data storage?

“Narratives with fancy words in them”

How do you store, say, a video in a format that will be readable in 100 years?

Order of magnitude scale changes produce discontinuities

“The Da Vinci Schema”

Dandelion DNA (Free license)

“Indispensible” — “I don’t think that means what you think it does”

“Keeping electrons alive is really difficult”

“I wondered…with my Topic Map brain damage…”

-m

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