Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Enterra CTO on Ruleset Automation

"Building Rich Internet Applications for Workflow and Process Monitoring," by Doug Todd, SOA Best Practices: The BPEL Cookbook, http://www.oracle.com/technology/pub/articles/bpel_cookbook/index.html.

Lady of tdaxp found this Chinese-language translation of an article by Enterra Solutions Chief Technical Officer Doug Todd. While the page, hosted on Oracle's servers, includes all sorts of oriental characters that are incomprehensible to this monolingual, a quick Google search discovered the original article which explained screenshots such as:


Approving a Ruleset


The article, which also discusses Javascript Web Services ("") and related technologies, is primarily focused on how Oracle technology allows business to automate rulesets, or business processes:

More and more organizations are automating their key business processes to increase operational effectiveness. However, even automated processes require manual interaction for two important reasons: to advance a process to the next step (workflow), and to provide real-time process visibility for end-users (process monitoring).

Consider a business process for opening a new bank account. First the customer provides necessary details (name, address, SSN, initial deposit) to open the account. Once the process kicks-off, the customer will want to track the status of the request and respond to any additional queries from the bank. This process requires workflow to enable customer participation, and process monitoring so that the customer can track request status.

Oracle BPEL Process Manager facilitates basic workflow capabilities and process activity monitoring. But just as important, by extending its exhaustive API interfaces for interacting with processes, instances, and workflow, it is possible to build a single, rich internet application (RIA) that enables advanced workflow and process activity monitoring. This advanced workflow capability could enable zero-latency communications between user and process, whereas advanced process activity monitoring could transmit real-time process status information to the workflow so that appropriate actions could be taken.

...


Oracle BPEL Console provides a Web-based interface for deploying, managing, administering, and debugging BPEL processes. It’s an administrative tool designed using JSP pages and servlets that call the BPEL Process Manager API. Consequently, you can easily develop your own RIA console using the API to provide a business-level, process-monitoring interface.


Enterra CEO Steve DeAngelis linked to a more conceptual overview by CTO Todd earlier this summer:


Resilient Workflow with Oracle and Enterra

15:05 Posted in Software | Permalink | Comments (7) | Tags: enterra, rulesets

Saturday, August 05, 2006

AJAX is Javascript Web Services

"So how do you code an AJAX Web page?," by Edmond Woychowsky, ComputerWorld, 3 August 2006, http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=printArticleBasic&articleId=9002170 (from Digg.

A short break from my recent posts on Lebanon and Travel, to bring out the annoyed geek. I previously taught a 400-level class in PHP that focused on building and consuming web services. The technology is good and useful, but constant re-brandings can leave many out in the cold. Take, for example, the absurdly meaning-destroying acronym AJAX, for Asynchronous Javascript and XML. Sure it gets the fact it's written, on the client side, in Javascript OK, but what about the other two words. "Asynchronous" in what sense? As Javascript Web Services (*cough* AJAX *cough*) gets data as its requested, it is more synchronous than standard web applications. And sure web services are enclosed in XML -- but so is XHTML, the language of many common web sites.

Giving a stable technology a mystifying acronym may help on the marketing angle

An old idea dates back to the dawn of human civilization that to know someone's or something's true name is to have power over that person or thing. It is one of the basic concepts of what is commonly referred to as magic, and although magic isn't real, the idea that names can hold power isn't very far from the truth. Consider, if you will, a résumé. If ever a document held names of power, a résumé is it. Not very long ago, résumés invoking words such as JavaScript, DHTML and XML were looked upon with envy, perhaps even awe. After all, for a little while, it seemed as though Web developers were rock stars that, thankfully, were never asked to sing. Unfortunately, those names are now considered passé or even a little old-fashioned.

In his essay describing this Web development technique, Garrett did one final thing; he gave it a name, AJAX, and thus gave us power over it. The acronym refers to Asynchronous JavaScript and XML, and whether you love or hate the name, the technology now has a name. At the very least, this naming means that we can describe what we've been doing at work. AJAX is a lot easier to say than, "I've been using client-side JavaScript, SOAP and XML to obtain data directly from the server using XMLHTTP instead of the standard unload/reload cycle."


But it's inherently deceptive. And dishonest. The last line of the above paragraph isn't much better, either. (I see Barnett has a similar peeve on the rebranding of 'crime' as 'global guerrillas'...)

Anyway, an introduction to what Javascript Web Services / "AJAX" actually are:

This article introduces you to that practice, the practice of updating Web pages with information from the server. Beyond the XMLHTTP Request object, which has been around for several years as a solution looking for a problem, there is nothing weird needed . Basically, it is how the individual pieces are put together. When they're put together in one way, it is nothing more than a pile of parts; however, when put together in another way, the monster essentially rises from its slab.

A few years ago, I demonstrated an application that did what I just described. The demo ran for more than 2 hours with the same questions repeated over and over.

"It's a mockup, right?"

"No, it is the actual application."


Read the whole thing

23:50 Posted in Software | Permalink | Comments (5) | Tags: ajax, javascript, web services

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

A.8 Mapper in Use

Note: This is an excerpt from a draft of my thesis, A Computer Model of National Behavior. The introduction and table of contents are also available

A.8 Mapper in Use

The following is a screenshot showing in use from May 26, 2004. The image shows the page output from Mapper in the Firefox web browser. The screenshot was taken and cropped with the GIMP. The map (green and red lines) was generated by MapMaker, a helper application for this thesis. The algorithm for determining the shape of the places is courtesy David Norman

.

Computer Science Thesis Index

Thursday, July 20, 2006

More Videogames, Less Violence

Adam of The Metropolis Times is a longtime blogfriend of tdaxp. Recently he has taken to vidcasting, and one such vidcast (on video games and crime) has been taken up by the popular videogames-and-politics site Game Politics.

Watch the video


Don't Tread On Videogames


and join the discussion.

The link between electronic entertainment and a peaceful society has been discussed on tdaxp before



And remember: watch the video.

Monday, July 17, 2006

India Against Freedom, and the Congress Against Connectivity

"Chickens, Eggs, & Connectivity," by Stephen DeAngelis, Enterprise Resilience Management Blog, 14 July 2006, http://enterpriseresilienceblog.typepad.com/enterprise_resilience_man/2006/07/chickens_eggs_c.html.

"Report: Indian gov blocks Blogspot, Typepad, Geocities blogs," by Xeni Jardin, Boing Boing, 17 July 2006, http://www.boingboing.net/2006/07/17/report_indian_gov_bl.html (from Digg).

In a prescient article last Frday, Enterra cofounder Stephen F. DeAngelis criticized the proposed law Global Online Freedom Act of 2006 that is currently in the House of Representatives. The bill would begin firewalling the Old Core, particularly the United States, away from the New Core, especially China. It would make disconnection in one area (technological freedom) as an excuse to roll-back connectivity in other market arenas. It's a bad idea all around -- it will isolate America from her allies in this Global War against Terrorism, it isolates American businesses from their partners abroad, and by imposing regulations on technology companies it will lesson our nation's advantages over competitors.

Steve's post is worth reading, especially this bit where he emphasizes the need for economic growth. Economic development enables freedom, or as he says

Not only is such a bill likely to make the U.S. even less well liked abroad, it is unlikely to achieve the goals it desires. While some may see it as a chicken-and-egg discussion (which comes first freedom or capitalism?), historically economics have had a greater impact on the politics than vice versa. Whatever Tienanmen Square represents symbollically, Shanghai is the real face of change in China and it is driven by economics. For all intents and purposes, Shanghai is developed, capitalistic, world-class city despite the controls the central government has tried to impose on Internet content.


Don't believe it? Then compare China to India -- both are developing states, but China is a party dictatorship and India is a multiparty democracy. A perfect test case is blogs, and thus it is no surprise that India is attacking free speech on blogs:

India's Department of Telecommunications (DoT) passed an order to ISPs Friday to block several websites. The list is confidential. Indian ISPs have been slowly coming into compliance. SpectraNet, MTNL, Reliance, and as of Monday afternoon, Airtel. State-backed BSNL and VSNL have not started yet but likely will soon. The known list of blocked domains is *.blogspot.com, *.typepad.com and geocities.com/*.


Imperial-India-Blue-Ensign_md
The Indian Empire: Freer Under the Crown?


Anyone who believes that a bill that restricts trade with countries that censor information will only hit dictatorships is misguided. Underdeveloped countries generally begin turning on themselves, from China to India to France. Slapping de facto sanctions on those states only hurts their economies -- and their citizens' freedoms -- more.

Support freedom. Support economics. Oppose the Global Online Freedom Act of 2006.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Google Talk Lost Messages

The good news is that no data was lost, because Google Chat stores everything you write in a special folder of your Gmail account. The bad news is that you might not know this. Lady of tdaxp and I were instant messaging each other from the same house (yes, I'm a geek) and I was puzzled by a very long response to a simple question. When I looked on her computer, I saw that she had sent a reply -- she was wondering why I hadn't replied to her!

Checking your Gchat logs, I saw that all messages were correctly stored there.

Still, this is an important lesson in not always trusting chat software to get the message through.

20:28 Posted in Software | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Dashboard Confessional

"Digital dashboard," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 3 June 2006, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Digital_dashboard&oldid=56635922.

"Why Regulatory Compliance Remains Important," by Stephen DeAngelis, Enterprise Resilience Management Blog, 13 June 2006, http://enterpriseresilienceblog.typepad.com/enterprise_resilience_man/2006/06/why_regulatory_.html.

"Globalization and Resilient Enterprises," by Stephen DeAngelis, Enterprise Resilience Management Blog, 14 June 2006, http://enterpriseresilienceblog.typepad.com/enterprise_resilience_man/2006/06/globalization_a.html.

A post from Stephen F. DeAngelis yesterday brought back something from my days at USD:

Rasmussen is going to lead a teleconference discussion on "Monitoring Risk with Enterprise Risk Dashboards." While I agree that dashboards are a great idea, Rasmussen doesn't go far enough in fostering their use. Resilient Enterprises are going to have to monitor all critical business processes using dashboards, not just compliance. That's why I'm such a great proponent of service-oriented architectures and business process layers that can be used to embed rule sets that drive business processes right in a company's corporate DNA. In fact, that's a subject I'm addressing today at the DC Area Service-Oriented Architecture Users Group.


As someone who has written a dashboard

french_gauge_1960_md

I have some comments on this...

Read more ...

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Perl Code for Posting Images of China

From the Forbidden City to the ER, the beautiful Fragrant Hills to the mucous Pacific Ocean, I photoblogged the Chinese People's Republic in series whose most popular posts was on breakfast cereals (*sigh*).

The most time-consuming and tedious part of the posts was actually creating the web page. By then I had already selected, cropped, and resized the images to display on tdaxp, and the prospect of creating all the img and href tags was tiring. So I worked smarter, not harder, and wrote a perl script to do the work for me.

The process reminded me of similar work at Animation Factory, whose online UI I wrote.

The code for the script, which uses the Image::Size module, is below. (Code for my other recent series, Redefining the Gap, is also available).

Read more ...

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Redefining the Gap 13, Appendix: Computer Code

Note: This is a selection from Redefining the Gap, part of tdaxp's SummerBlog '06

tdaxps_new_map_md


Below is the perl code I used for data smoothing.

Read more ...

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Unix, Complexity, Patriarchy, Matriarchy, and Eunuchs

"User Friendly?," edited by Simson Garfinkel, Daniel Weise, and Steven Strassmann, The UNIX-Haters Handbook, 1994, http://www.simson.net/ref/ugh.pdf (from Daniel Weise's Microsoft Research page).

"Basics of the Unix Philosophy," by Eric Raymond, The Art of Unix Programming, 2003, http://www.faqs.org/docs/artu/ch01s06.html (from ZenPundit).

"Jesusism-Paulism, Part III: Every Man a Panzer, Every Woman a Soldat," by Dan, tdaxp, 14 July 2005, http://tdaxp.blogspirit.com/archive/2005/07/14/every-man-a-panzer-every-woman-a-soldat.html.

"On Modularity," by Mark Safranski, ZenPundit, 7 April 2006, http://zenpundit.blogspot.com/2006/04/on-modularity-other-day-i-was.html.

"Fists of the Patriarchy," by Razib, Gene Expression, 7 April 2006, http://www.gnxp.com/blog/2006/04/fists-of-patriarchy.php (from ZenPundit).

Razib from Gene Expression wonder why in all his

years of searching through the literature I haven't stumbled upon a matriarchy. I emphasize the "archy" because there are many cultures that are matrilineal, matrifocal, or, where women have a prominent role in the decision making process within a society. Among the Iroquois older women had veto powers over the decisions of the male war leaders. But note that their powers were of veto, men still ultimately presented and constrained the range of choices. My overall point is that there are many cultures where men and women are rather equal in their power in comparison to the stratified societies of the Eurasian civilizations. But, the distribution is skewed, there is no inversion to the operational chattel treatment of respectable females that was characteristic in ancient Athens or modern Saudi Arabia. The alternative to patriarchy is not matriarchy, it is non-patriarchy.


The answer is The Unix Philosophy.

unix_md

Read more ...

18:20 Posted in Software, Women | Permalink | Comments (7)