Friday, December 12, 2003

Musings on technology

I came across a great article (from 2000) about what a Blog is and why they are so great. It is written by Kevin Kelly, a technology visionary - co-founder of Wired magazine, editor of the Whole Earth Review and currently, publisher of a neat website called Cool Tools (which I read about in Monday's NY Times).
So, why has blogging become so popular. Self publishing is appealing - and blogging let's you have your say and share it with anyone is the world for free. The web is wide and deep, and blogging is a way to share this diversity with others. The links you add in your blog take your readers deep into the web and show them your web neigborhood.
I am really enjoying being a blogger. Besides sharing my thoughts on various topics, it will be my personal archive of all the interesting stuff I come across on the web. My favorites folder does not have space for all these random sites I come across. Blogging allows me to put them in context with what I was thinking/doing at that point in time when I came across the site.
Today, I returned to a site I found a few weeks ago - Joel on Software, to see what new things were on there. I was thinking about software development and some of the issues that I face as a project manager on development projects. Joel had a great recommendation for a book - Facts and Fallacies of Software Engineering. A true gem of a book. You just have to read the table of contents (see link) to get a sense for some of the pitfalls of any development project. Like: The most imprortant factor in software work is the quality of the programmers. I totally agree. Developing software is hard. And a majority of people are not made to do it. Sure, you can dabble in it. My first semester at KU, I was a computer science major. My first class in programming was disaterous. Thank goodness. If it was good, I would have plodded away at it. But I was doing so badly, that I decided to change my major. I love technology and I would like to always work in the technology sector. But I am not a programmer. I don't think like one. And when you come across a talented programmer, you realize why your efforts are mere dabbling.
Here is an interesting approach to redesiging a website - (great magazine). I came across this article while I was on the XPlane Xblog - a good site for information design and architecture. The Semantic web - hmmm - I need to read this article a few times, but my first impression is that Paul Ford has found a powerful way of relating and linking content on a site. Here is a fictional piece by him about how the semantic web could turn out.