Phillip Pearson - web + electronics notes

tech notes and web hackery from a new zealander who was vaguely useful on the web back in 2002 (see: python community server, the blogging ecosystem, the new zealand coffee review, the internet topic exchange).


Sébastien Paquet

A link for the people reading this blog for news about communities and networks (one in particular :) -- Sébastien Paquet, in Montreal (Canada). He pointed me to his paper ("Towards Solving the Interdisciplinary Language Barrier Problem") after noticing something I started working on a while back: "The X of Y - Software Analogies".

My plan was to implement the book Jon Udell describes in his Thinking by Analogy article in electronic form. Robert Barksdale and I started putting stuff in there, but didn't get so far :)

The main points of Jon's article are:

- it's much easier to learn something when you have a convenient analogy in something you already know.

- when learning something new, the biggest problem is often that you don't know where to start, because you don't know enough of the 'local' terminology to be able to find the answers to your questions in the help files.

- as such, if you have an index which relates new ideas to old ones, you'll be able to find your way around a new system much more easily.

Seb has been working on the problem of transferring knowledge around in the academic world -- so people can use ideas from other disciplines to solve their own problems (see his paper) -- and has put together a prototype of the ideas in the paper, as well as the Know-How Wiki, a live system for the same purpose.

See who is using the comment monitor

The new comment monitor (the one that lets you see your comments in a news aggregator has been figuring rather prominently in my web stats recently. Wondering who these people were, I put together a script that runs through my logs and makes a page listing all the people who have used the service since the last log rotation.

Some good new blogs in there, and some I've been reading for a while.

BTW I think we can consider the comment monitor to be stable now, so if you've been holding off because of its beta-ness, go ahead and use it. It's still on the dodgy server (hanging off a DSL line) but it's coping fine. If 1000 people suddenly use it, I'll move the monitor in a hurry, but it can cope with much more than it's taking at the moment ;-)
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