[Klug-general] Talk at the next meet

J D Freeman klug at quixotic.org.uk
Sun Nov 16 14:59:17 UTC 2008

Hash: SHA1

On Sun, Nov 16, 2008 at 12:12:36PM +0000, Karl Lattimer wrote:
> I've trimmed everything that JD's ignorance prevented her from
> understanding and therefore she wanted to argue about "just because". I
> will only counter the points which are relevant rather than just those
> which are intended to be argumentative. 

"I am right, and you are wrong.  I will henceforth assume that you
agree with me on that point and proceed with only the issues that I
suspect you will be less likely to be able to disprove with hard
counter evidence."

Incidentally, my name is Julia, not JD. Kindly use my name correctly.

> Yep it is a UI issue... One which is easily solvable...

So easy that it hasnt been solved in the 47 years that we have had

> That is utter bull! Never heard of Noam Chomsky? The maths involved in
> language semantics is simple. 

Yes, the maths is simple, so shockingly simple that naturaly language
interfaces are the prevalant norm.

Problem that exibits the english language does, the flexbility that it
has. Make computation diffucult of language. etc...

This isn't Deutsch, this isn't Latin, english doesn't have the the
clearly defined grammar of some languages.

Not to mention, my inbox contains emails in Nederlands, Deutsch,
Francais, and English. This makes it even harder for a computer to deal
with, as it has to differentiate and interpret each one, Not to mention
that some languages, like Nederlands, borrow so extensively from other
languages that even for humans we get confused.

> Actually the VCS (Version Control System) problem may have been solved
> 25 years ago... However RCS, CVS and SVN all have one major failing.
> They are incapable of providing an effective collaboration environment.
> I don't want to continue to argue this point as it has already been
> highlighted by people a great deal smarter than you JD... Linus wrote
> Git in 3 days because a proprietary piece of software he'd been using
> for 15 years to manage the revision threads in the kernel revoked the
> license. The reason he was using something proprietary was that it
> offered something no other VCS does. Distributed Version Control... DVCS
> now in the form of Git or Bazaar is king in software development,
> however it still fails to meet the model of the file system. This is
> what we've been trying to solve with wizbit. We've actually done almost
> a years worth of research onto this project and we're using DVCS
> principles to allow us to have collaboration, synchronisation and
> version control built into the file system... You obviously didn't read
> the website. If you had read Mark Shuttleworths recent blog post
> regarding the GNOME summit you'd see that Wizbit is probably one of a
> group of the most important desktop technologies ever in development.

Get your facts right, BitKeeper was only used by the Linux Kernel
development from 2002. That makes it 6 years, not 15. Yes, Linus, a
truelly exceptional mind, reproduced BitKeeper functionality as a free
product in just 3 days. However, that was simply reimplementing an
existing product, not anything fantastically new. 

Ok, so we have GIT as well as the three I mentioned. Still, you are
agreeing that we already have the tools there for people to work
collaboratively. Open source itself is here because of this. Without the
ability to work collaboratively the Linux Kernel would never have got
off the ground. So your argument is slightly flawed here. 

As for Shuttleworths blog article. It fails to fill me with inspiration.
It is saying "hey people can't use the system we have cos they don't
understand the metaphor, or the technology" followed by "this abstract
concept that someone has come up with is going to really rock and
revolutionise it all".

I find myself wanting to ask, "how exactly?" mainly as I expect the
answer will be "it will", repeat.

I notice yet again tho, that this is relying on the the current desktop
computer metaphor. "that it be done in a way that every desktop
environment can embrace.". One of my pet hates is the desktop computer
metaphor. It suffers from the mantra of one. It suffers from the fact
that it doesn't work, hasn't really worked for a while, and really
shouldn't have worked. Sun make a very good point, the network is the

It is worth noting that wizbits idea of (if I understnad it correctly)
replacing the hierarchical directory structure with an integral search
index and providing implicit version control. Rather likee VMS did, only
hopefully abit smarter. Yes, VMS, that brand new revolutionary idea.

Also, wizbit is still a concept that people are trying to work out how
to impliment. It is no more a revolution for computing, than the
interface to the computer of Star Trek is. Yes, people have come up with
the idea, but we are still waiting on the implementation.

And yeah, I will grudingly put wizbit in the group of important new
desktop developments. Along with the other 50000+ projects. 

Incidentaly while I am writing this someone has pointed out:

"Wizbit: Architecture (last edited 2008-10-22 12:46:14 by KarlLattimer)

A document which can be paraphrased as:

"we want to do something along the lines of using git as the file
system, using storage distributed over multiple stores.  TODO: 1)
figuring out how to sync data over two stores.  2) think about some
kind of index or hierarchy to make the data findable."

> Organise framework is a framework for creating semantic associations
> between blobs. It is being applied to the file system as the fastest way
> to refine the tech, we'll be applying it to every form of blob (not just
> files) that make sense for it...

Define "Blob"? Or are we going to have a game of World Of Goo?

> You can't see the bigger picture I won't even try to show it to you.

Then you fail. You talk of these knowledge systems, and you talk of how
important all this information is to be archived. So humour the person
you obviously think is a moron, and explain it. Don't just sit on a high
house being condesending. Remember, this is a mailing list. Others are
reading this too, let them be educated too. Come on, share this
intellect of yours.

> Which buzz word? "Knowledge system" ah, yeah, never thought you'd be one
> for bioinformatics. We're talking about a system of knowledge rather
> than storage of data here. There is a difference between a file and an
> engramme don't you know.

Engram - a hypothetical means by which memory traces are stored as
biophysical or biochemical change in the brain in response to external

Yeah, that's a bloody long way from a file. Is this what you meant?

Or do you mean Engramme in relation to scientology? -

For those not so good at the Deutsch (paraphrased):
"Engramme" - The basis of the Scientology business"
"In 1950, Hubbard coopted the term Engramme, and provided it with
his own meaning."
"Scientology likes to compare "Engramme" with the subconscious.  In
reality, it is a product of fantasy."

Or, perhaps: http://www.scientology.ie/p_jpg/wis/wiseng/gloss.htm#e can

> Actually not at all, I work with pvanhoof on a bits of these projects.
> He's working on server side technology I'm working on desktop user
> experience and user testing... Among many other things. We're
> collaboratively solving these problems the way that they should be
> solved. 

Can be solved, you are merely doing it one way, there are many different
ways, it is utter arrogance to assume that your way is the one and only
true way.

> Let me just point out, dyslexia isn't an excuse to spell the correct
> word badly. Also, every mis-spelled word in the email I responded to
> with this comment had the top hit in the spelling checker as the correct
> word. Therefore you loose.

And how many are innocent typos? You may find that people take your
communication more seriously if you were more polite about it. 

> I really can't be bothered with you JD... You need to actually
> understand that not everyone is like you. You need to learn about
> empathy, and theory of mind. 

You need to actually understand that not everyone is like you. You need
to learn about empathy, and theory of mind. 

I am entirely aware that I am unique, I am aware that for the most part
the way I use a computer is largely unlike the way anyone else does. I
also understand that the way everyone wants to use a computer is
different, and that for some people it works, and for some it doesn't. I
can feel for those who struggle with the modern computer, I do not
however believe that everyone should use one, or that they should be
easy to use. A computer is a powerful tool, one that can when used
correctly acheive amazing things. 

I also beleive that in the life of the computer we haven't had that much
in the way of amazing innovation. CPU's still talk in terms of "Store"
and "Mill" terms coined by Babbage, some 200 plus years ago. Even those
developments that people hail as amazing and new (IBM's Cell) are infact
just iterations of older concepts (Transputer). You are talking about
new ways of managing the information behind an interface. Working upon
the premise that "Email sucks". However all you have said is not
actually the fault of email, of the protocols, of the concepts. You are
talking something new, something that isn't really about email.

To put it another way: ROYAL MAIL SUCKS! They dump all my post on the
door matt and expect me to read it all and sort it. This is horrible,
they should sort it and process it in such a way as to make it really
simple for me to deal with and understand. 

No, that isn't a fault of Royal Mail, it's you wanting the moon on a
stick (or a PA).

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