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Showing posts from January, 2007

The Yin and Yang of Actions and Events

Today, in our telcon we invented something. It is not often that we can claim that; but today we did.

There are, it sometimes seems, people who think that everything is an event. There are others (including a lot of philosophers) who think everything is an action. (Well, everything that people are involved with anyway.)

Well, they are wrong.

In human communication, the only way of getting someone to understand something you want them to is by saying something to them: by performing one or more speech actions. In the SOA we interpret this by committing to a view that participants in a service interaction denote the actions to be performed by exchanging messages. I.e., an appropriately formatted message that is effectively communicated between participants counts as an effort to perform an action.

But, not all messages encode actions. Some encode events. For us, an event can be defined as something that happened that someone has an interest in. We can encode a description of an event as a …

Cookie cutters and IT fashion

I have had reason to look at the job boards recently. I am struck by something: nearly all the jobs in the IT industry have a sameness to them: there is some list of acronyms that you are supposed to have had x years of experience with (sometimes x is longer than the technology has been available) and apply those acronyms to the job at hand.

There is very little room, it seems to me, for someone who has a deeper experience but who does not fit into the cookie mould.

There are several unfortunate consequences of this (apart from the obvious one): any business that seeks to differentiate themselves from the competition cannot do so effectively if they slavishly follow the deeply rutted road trod by those before them; and some of the hardest problems in the Industry have nothing to do with applying the latest technology to yesterday's problems.

One thing that I have learned in life (here he puts on his tri-cornered hat) is that there is always someone who will be faster than you, and th…