Battered Notebooks

December 5th, 2004

One of my rituals when moving is to go through my accumulated papers and notebooks. I do a lot of writing down of random scribbled thoughts which I think I’ll loop back to someday. Read over them is an interesting act of self archeology. One of the best parts about keeping a blog is for the first time in my life I actually do, on rare occasion, make it back, and so there is a whole stack of journals whose best ideas have already been extracted and digitized and now be summarily discarded. People who don’t move frequently can’t really begin to imagine how exciting this is.

The More Things Change

I found my notebook from Spring-Summer 2004. Struggling with a lot of the same issues I still struggle with, collaboration tools, calendaring, community media spaces, best practice of web development. Also all my notes from the job search. In reflection its been a good 18 months.


Found a note from Summer 2003 to check out these “Rockridge folks”, a new Tides Center project.

Web Development and Patterns

Found a note talking about wepapp theory, and how Java’s real strength was the community of Java developers had developed a design consensus for building web applications that none of the scripting languages really had, with distinguish characteristics like a Front Controller + Views, a rich data model, an ORM, ACLs. In PHP at the time there was zero consensus, with a lot of poorly thought out attempts to copy Java, Python’s web development innovation was being suppressed by the 800lb Zope, and I got interrupted before I got to Perl.

A year plus later the Java consensus seems to have splintered a bit, for the best as there is certainly more innovation going on, including a bit more folks jumping ship for more agile shores, Python is still dominated by Zope (though Plone is really coming into its own as RAD layer on top of Zope), PHP is still struggling a bit but the advent of PHP5 is giving rise to new hope, and frameworks like Maypole, and Rails (and I think the framework we’re using at work) are capturing much of what is good about the Java consensus and translating it into idiom that make sense for scripting languages. (rather then slavish copies)


Found notes to myself on a talk by Joseph Stiglitz to go back and read his work on transparency and information exchange (sounds relevant to large scale anarchist organizing)

Interesting quote:

On my last day [with President Clinton] I announced that, ‘Now with the domestic economy so well under control I could embark on the modest dream of a world without poverty’. Amazing optimism but almost forgivable at the time. 3 years into the Bush presidency such hope is a mockery, as reckless tax cuts, and military spending have fatally undermined generations of work on poverty reduction and justice.
Not supported by a lot of theory coming out these days that say Bush is the symptom of the collapse of America’s economic strength and its subsequent disinterest in participating in the rule of multi-lateral elitism which had characterized globalization through the colonial and early post colonial periods.

Weather and RSS

Notes on a web service for weather (which unsurprisingly looks nothing like the NWS weather service which Jamais over at WC has pushed back into the limelight), and a couple of calculations on whether it would be possible to make a business selling PIM over RSS like features. (maybe for someone, but not for me)

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