Andrew Channels Dexter Pinion

Wherein I write some stuff that you may like to read. Or not, its up to you really.

June 16, 2005

One to Watch

The nice people at the Agile Modelling mailing list have come to the conclusion that UML is great, but it needs some work. The primary concern is that whilst it's great for modelling objects it has too narrow a focus. What about modelling networks? Or data? Legacy systems that (horror of horrors) use procedural programming languages?

To address these issues the member of the list have decided that an open source approach to extending the de-facto modelling representation is required. Step one is this process is working out what needs to be added and the form that it should take. The primary medium for this explanation is going to be a wiki, which is located here.

If you are at all interested in modelling (and we all do it, even if we don't want to admit it [1]) go and take a look. Better yet, register for an account and add or modify some content.

[1] Anyone drawing anything on a white board is modelling, especially if there is a great big cloud in the middle or any lines with arrow heads on them.

Posted by Andy Todd at 11:43 AM | Comments (1)

June 12, 2005


Better late than never. Richard Jones asked me these questions over a week ago but I've been rather delinquent catching up with my email. If you want to join in, the deal is this;

  1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
  2. I will respond by asking you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
  3. You will update your weblog with the answers to the questions.
  4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
  5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

1. Why is Dexter Pinion so cool?

Primarily his modesty. A simple perusal of his final piece on Backberner shows this. On a slightly more serious note I'm a fan because in this caricature we can see all that disconcerts me about "government" spokespeople the world over, primarily the view that "we're in power so we must be right".

That, and because he said "tree-huggers" a lot.

2. Sydney or London?

Oooh, tough one. Sydney for the weather, London for the pubs. Sydney for the lifestyle, London for the shopping. Sydney for the Manly Ferry, London for the Tube. London for the night life, Sydney for the sailing. London because I was born there, Sydney because I live here.

3. How would you describe Python's current relationship with RDBMSes?

Healthy, but they aren't getting married any time soon. It is possible to get data out of, and into, the vast majority of available relational databases from your Python program. Which is a good thing.

What isn't so great is that the way you do this can vary quite considerably from database to database. Whilst we do have a database standard it's not quite standard enough for my taste. This means that you need to have different code in your application if you want to talk to different databases through their respective database modules.

The reason that is usually cited on the mailing list is that the API is designed for database module developers rather than the people who have to use the results of their labours.

I've discussed this here before but must admit to a mea culpa as I haven't personally done anything to address this issue other than moan about it on my blog.

4. Are you coming to OSDC this year?

Finances and a small baby permitting (our second is due at the end of July) I'd love to be there. Having said that a slight revamp of the conference site acknowledging that there will be a conference this year would probably be a good idea.

5. What excites you about programming?

Flippant answer: that I get to do some occasionally.
Serious answer: solving problems. Ever since I wrote my first program in basic on a ZX81 I've loved the fact that I can type in some instructions and the computer will do what I've told it to do. Of course this means that I've spent the last twenty five years trying to figure out what I want it to do.

Posted by Andy Todd at 05:02 PM | Comments (2)