Monday, June 20, 2005

what should a personal website be like ...

Here is an interesting form I found ... - ak's personal web site
What are the different forms that a personal website can and should take is a question that probably every person who has a personal website has faced at one point of time or the other. (Of course, not everyone would choose to think about it too much). The other questions that this raises is, why is it that one should have a personal website. For me, I want to have a publicly visible representation of my thoughts, ideas, and activities to enable collaboration and participation in mutually beneficial transactions with and affecting as large a subset of the human population as possible.

Something to think about during this week .... how to structure ... how to create a structure like a wiki that would ensure that the site stays in sync with atomspace. hmmm ...

Thursday, June 16, 2005

tools - what's your notepad ... misc tips

Tip #305 - Best of VIM Tips (VIM's best Features) : vim online
If you aren't a Vim power user yet ... :)
I've moved back and forth between Emacs and Vim since 1995 and I've grown to like both of them

Check this out as well - a vim configuration to make vim into an even powerful editor that looks lesser like vi ...

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Want to make your pages as responsive as Gmail?

The answer, if you haven't already read about it, is AJAX, or Asynchronous JavaScript XMLHttpRequests .... A Simpler Ajax Path

Go google out some more ... if time permits, will post a tute on this.
Am thinking of ways of incorporating this into my site design.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

A man wanting to read a book is not just a man - but a soul reaching out to seek the infinite.

Why should a person read
Simply put - to transcend the immediate limitations of human senses and perception in order to experience this world in as rich, diverse and interesting a manner as possible.

I have had various discussions and arguments with some of my friends who maintain that it is better to just live life as one sees it around oneself instead of qualifying that experience by perceptions one acquires from reading books. My answer to that has been -- books give me a glimpse of a much larger subset of the world that I may then -choose- to experience, they help me transcend the boundaries of my immediate surroundings and circumstances - for example, give me a controllable environment where I can choose to talk with J.Krishnamurthi and Mahatma Gandhi instead of being in a group of people living around where I live, where the subjects of discussion are usually limited to local politics and gossip. (And it is more difficult for me to control my atomspace location than my mindspace or bitspace location.)

(peronal opinion)
And I believe that not using the power of the written word to control how one 'programs' oneself is being an ultra-luddite. :)

(impersonal opinion! :-)) An answer to 'should one read' can be found by trying to understand what the purpose of one's life is. There are phases in a lifetime, when it is -very- relevant to have access to written literature and a person should read. As to 'should one read a lot', that should be decided by what is 'necessary'. How to decide what is 'necessary' requires an inquiry into what is 'good' and 'bad'. However, if one aims to see further, standing on the shoulders of many giants helps. How much one can read depends on the efficiency and effectiveness of the persons 'comprehension apparatus'.

On invention and being a generalist+specialist ...

I discovered a book on invention (quite by accident) on a site called, which I have access to, by letting IBM Software Labs fund me right now. It is about an inventive method of problem solving called TRIZ.

Some of the conclusions drawn in the book align with my world view. One such conclusion:
You have a better chance of creating technically valuable inventions, if you have combed deeply through the problem and solution spaces of many, diverse fields.

'TRIZ', classifies problems into 5 categories on the basis of their technical invention value
as decided by their problem domain and the required solution domain -
  • a.) a problem of a specific field in an industry solved by knowledge from that field itself.
-for example, requiring knowledge of compiler design to solve a problem in compiler construction
  • b.) a problem of a specific field in an industry solved by applying knowledge of another field in the same industry -
-for example, requiring knowledge of compiler optimization to solve a problem in Operating System design.
  • c.) a problem of a field solved by knowledge from another field
-for example, requiring knowledge of mechanical gear design to solve a problem of compiler construction
  • d.) a problem of a field solved by advancement of science in a related field.
-for example, a problem of compiler construction, requiring an advancement of the state of the art of mathematical theory.
  • e.) a problem of a field requiring advancement of science in an unrelated field
-for example, an improvement in the interface of an Instant Messaging system that requires an advancement in economic theory.

Friday, June 10, 2005

now studying ...

What am I doing right now?
I am currently a student of financial analysis, ethics, aesthetics, French and photography.
Currently reading about - the use of CSS in web design.
Beginning exploration of human computer interaction, social networks and social network analysis.

Why am I doing these things?
  • Financial Analysis - for an understanding of the 'economic behavior' of people, societies and organizations.
  • French - (and other languages, and etymology) to satisfy curiosity about how languages used by humans to program others are - and have evolved.
  • Photography - for an understanding of how a visual medium may 'program' a human being.
  • Aesthetics - for a deeper understanding of the theory of a visual programming language like photography, painting or architecture.
  • Ethics - for an exploration of how have various people tried to answer the question of 'what is good and what is bad' - interest derived from all the above.
  • CSS - for this is something that I have missed out by being away from web programming for 5 years.
  • HCI - for this is the face of technology visible to the world at large. If, and wherever, I can improve it, I must.
  • Social Networking - to try applying ideas obtained from all the above fields and things studied earlier to a field of active research.

Each of these give me specific and general insights related to what I do everyday.
I hope to share as many of these as I can.