Before your standup, sit down

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I’m running a Scrum project, and doing things a little differently than the classic method. I’ve done this at two different companies now, and it seems to work out well. Before a traditional standup meeting with The Three Questions, I schedule 15 minutes of intentional downtime. Since this happens at the start of the day,…

Fitness

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I can’t blog about secret projects I’m working on, so how about something completely different? I’ve improved my fitness level substantially over the last five years. (On index cards, I have my daily weight and body fat percentage, according to the bathroom scale, back to November 2009). Here’s some things I’ve learned: Moving counts. A…

Skunklink a decade later

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Alex Milowski asks on Twitter about my thoughts on Skunklink, now a decade old. Linking has long been thought one of the cornerstones of the web, and thereby a key part of XML and related syntaxes. It’s also been frustratingly difficult to get right. XLink in particular once showed great promise, but when it came…

ASLbot

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If you’ve come here because of something you noticed in your HTTP access logs, read on. Who is doing this? This is a personal project of Micah Dubinko. It is completely separate from anything related to any employer. What is ASLbot? In the immediate future, ASLbot is no more than a personal research project. It…

XForms in 2013

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This year’s Balisage conference was preceded by the international symposium on Native XML User Interfaces, which naturally enough centered around XForms. As someone who’s written multiple articles surveying XForms implementations, I have to say that it’s fantastic to finally see one break out of the pack. Nearly every demo I saw in Montreal used XSLTForms if…

Five years at MarkLogic

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This past weekend marked my five-year anniversary at MarkLogic. It’s been a fun ride, and I’m proud of how much I’ve accomplished. It was the technology that originally caught my interest: I saw the MarkMail demo at an XML conference, and one thing led to another. The company was looking to expand the product beyond…

Semantics!

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This week marked the MarkLogic World conference and with it some exciting news. Without formally “announcing” a new release, the company showed off a great deal of semantic technology in-progress. Part of that came from me, on stage during the Wednesday technical keynote. I’ve been at MarkLogic five years next month, and the first piece…

WFH

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The valley is buzzing about Marissa’s edict putting the kibosh on Yahoos working from home. I don’t have any first-hand information, but apparently this applies somewhat even to one-day-a-week telecommuters. Some are saying Marissa’s making a mistake, but I don’t think so. She’s too smart for that. There’s no better way to get extra hours…

Nerve-wracking

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So I did it. I stood up on a platform in front of a room of native signers, and delivered a (pre-prepared) five minute presentation without making a sound. In front of cameras, with my ugly face beamed out to multiple large screens. That was stressful, though less so then many different public speaking engagements…

Fluency

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My journey into ASL continues. I’ve been reading Oliver Sacks _Seeing Voices_ and Harlan Lane, Robert Hoffmeister, and Ben Bahan’s _A Journey into the DEAF-WORLD_. In short, learning a language in your thirties is a whole different ballgame than learning as a toddler. There are a few different brain plasticity cliffs you drop off especially…

Mistakes

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I’ve been learning a new language lately: American Sign Language aka ASL. Along with the language, I’ve picked up lots of new friends as part of a thriving culture. A big part of learning is through mistakes, and a big part of said culture is helpful bluntness. The combination of these can be a little…

Hedgehogs and Foxes

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In Nate Sliver’s new book, he mentions a classification system for experts, originally from Berkeley professor Philip Tetlock, along a spectrum of Fox <—> Hedgehog. (The nomenclature comes from an essay about Tolstoy.) Hedgehogs are type A personalities who believe in Big Ideas. The are ideologues and go “all-in” on whatever they’re espousing. A great…

MarkLogic 6 is here

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MarkLogic 6 launched today, and it’s full of new and updated goodies. I spent some time designing the new Application Builder including the new Visualization Widgets. If you’ve used Application Builder in the past, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the changes. It’s leaner and faster under the hood. I’d love to hear what people think…

MarkLogic World 2012

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I’m getting ready to leave for MarkLogic World, May 1-3 in Washington, DC, and it’s shaping up to be one fabulous conference. I’ve always enjoyed the vibe at these events–it has a, well, cool-in-a-data-geeky-way thing going on (like the XML conference in the early 2000’s where I got to have lunch with James Clark, but that’s…

Actually using big data

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I’ve been thinking a lot about big data, and two recent items nicely capture a slice of the discussion. 1) Alex Milowski recounting working with Big Weather Data. He concludes that ‘naive’ (as-is) data loading is a “doomed” approach. Even small amounts of friction add up at scale, so you should plan on doing som…

Call a Spade a Spade

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A cautionary tale of language from Ted Nelson: We might call a common or garden spade– A personalized earth-moving equipment module A mineralogical mini-transport A personalized strategic tellurian command and control module An air-to-ground interface contour adjustment probe A leveraged tactile-feedback geomass delivery system A man-machine energy-to-structure converter A one-to-one individualized geophysical restructurizer A portable…

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