Still Valid

bohemian rants

Martin Fowler on QCon 2007 conference. Crop fr...
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A great piece by Martin Fowler on the challenges of code branching and how it is being affected by advent of dsitributed version controls like Git and Mercurial as well as how it impacts Continuous Integration:

And now that the God has spoken, let us all go figure out what it implies ­čÖé !!

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Visualizations ARE Insights

Couple of years back I blogged about why big data is all about how you see it.


Obviously it is a little lop-sided view focused on the final outcome rather than the complete process. A nice articulation on big data and process of getting it from extraction, interpretation and visualization is available here in infodeck form ( a unique web based presentation format and not rendering style) by Martin Fowler.

Recently I am more intrigued by embeddable forms of visualizations that can work as part of enterprise web applications and applied in mainstream applications without investing significantly in BI tools like Qlikview. The following two Javascript based tools possibly fit the need.

  1. D3
  2. Sparklines

Let me know of more such tools / libraries which you find useful in regular web applications.

Kindle TAG

One of the benefits of using Kindle as your primary book reader is that it introduces you to the works of new / indie authors at very reasonable prices. These are books you would not actively look for and amazon makes stumbling upon such gems very convenient.

TAG by Simon Royle *Kindle edition only

This weekend I stumbled on novel called ‘TAG‘ by Simon Royle. Set in 22nd century, its a futuristic thriller with the usual save the world plot-line. But what really works for the book is its take on how our current technology and trends will transition into the 2110 – hundred years from now. So hundred years from now we will live in globally unified and single political system and will be able to move across geographic areas (not countries) without restrictions. Our habit of shortening every word will become formalized with enterprises becoming ents, money / credit becoming creds etc. Its an easy read with a future you can relate to given how internet is significantly is altering our way of communicating and living.

Highly recommended!! I only hope Simon’s next adds more twists and thrill to the plot now that his first book has successfully established the future world he wanted to present.

It is also very exhilarating to see to how amazon and the internet have lowered the entry barriers in content creation significantly to allow writers like Simon Royle self-publish and still find the right and significant consumers.

MMXI – key trends

A new year 2011 has arrived and the first decade of this century just became history. This post is not a rant on the year or decade gone by but instead musings on the key themes / trends that we will see in 2011 and beyond, beginnings of which we have already seen in the past year and decade.

Theme 1: Big Data @ Enterprise: We have seen data gain prominence over the cloud / internet last year. In fact, it became so huge that we saw a whole elephant family (Mahout, Hive, Pig, Zookeeper) get established around Hadoop. But so far we have seen these implementations apply to high volume web environments and in 2011, we will see this trend go mainstream and into enterprise environments. We will see firms architecting and building solutions for delivering Data As a Service to its internal consumers.

Theme 2: tabpadbook: 2010 was the year of smartphones with a glimpse of the tablet but 2011 will be the year of the tablet, pad, book whatever you want to call it. We hopefully will see a lot more 7-10 inch touch screen based devices in the market beyond the usual suspects from Apple, Blackberry, Samsung – Google. Watch for details as they emerge post CES over this weekend. Pixel Qi screens will go mainstream with these devices. I am hoping Notion Ink’s Adam delivers and stands the competition from the giants.

Theme 3: mo-vi calls: We have seen the possibility with Facetime but will see the mobile video calls get more mainstream and cross device this year with all smartphones and tablets investing in a front camera and applications like tango.

Theme 4: momemes: this year we saw how viral an app like angry birds can get and this phenomenon is likely to get industrialized in 2011 with marketing and branding experts exploring such mobile memes. Infact now with app stores moving beyond mobiles, the memes are likely to spread on desktops and netbooks too.

I hope to expand on each theme in the future posts with my thoughts and research on each so keep watching the space ……

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The Social Network in real 3D

A social network diagram
Image via Wikipedia

2010 seemed to be the year of the facebook – what with a movie ‘The social network‘ on it and Mr. Zuckerberg being recognized as ‘Person of the Year’ by Time. At this time, towards the end of 2010, facebook and its likes will have all of us believe that the friend list we build on their networks are true reflection of our real life friend circle or at least the way we would like it to be given no physical boundaries and spaces.

This post is not about the movie or facebook at all but on how in my belief that all networking sites have got it wrong and need to evolve further to reflect the real life social networks of people, instead of treating the whole network as equal.

In real life, the friendships are made around life events like school, college, job or passions / hobbies like bungee jumping, food and typically such networks are mutually exclusive with totally different types of conversations. In fact we even meet such groups independently and try not to mix them as the connects are at totally different planes and use different reference points (memories) to share. In fact the chances are that the school friend circle may not be comfortable with say the circle of friends you have for bungee jumping.

Sites like facebook, linked-in force us to treat all friends same and share with all the exact same thoughts and conversations which I believe leads us to only share the Lowest Common Denominator which may apply to all our friends. Thus such sites are turning more into the public face of the individual which we consciously cultivate instead of allowing natural conversations to take place. The charm of such sites thus wear-off soon after the initial excitement of finding long lost friends.

The industry understands the issue and is trying to come up with solutions like social browser (RockMelt) or aspect specific social network (Diaspora) but there’s a long way to go before such become mainstream. Needless to say the social web is evolving though is still in its infancy and we should see a lot more changes coming in 2011.

Happy new year to all !!


Image representing Tumblr as depicted in Crunc...
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I have started using tumblr ( for posting links, photos, random thoughts, quotes, web clippings for which a traditional blogging site like wordpress seems to be an overhead and a micro-blogging site like twitter a little under-powered and overwhelming.

In the world of micro-blogs, mini-blogs and blogs it is getting tougher to identify the best suited space for not so regular bloggers like me. Lets see how this goes .. keeping my fingers x-ed !!

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