31 May 2005

Agile Software Development

Over the past few months I've been listening to a lot of Podcasts (audio content distributed as MP3 audio files) some of these are interviews, some telephone interviews, some are recordings of conference presentations. I thought I'd start a new topic to lodge my reviews of the best ones, mainly for reference for others in the TSSG.

The TSSG is currently hosting a week-long course on agile methods to help upskill our commercial and applied teams (we're planning a pervasive agile methodology for capturing as much of our software output on various projects into a coherent software testbed).

One of the gurus of agile development is Alistair Cockburn. In this interview with Doug Kaye of IT Conversations he discusses the differences between agile and extreme programming and others things: Agile Software Development

Kent Beck is the founder of eXtreme Programming (XP) and in this interview his discusses its philosophy: Developer Testing

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18 May 2005


I'm in Nice this week for IM 2005, a conference on Integrated Management that addresses the challenges in telecommunications network and service management, and looks forward to the challenges of converged management. The conference draws together a mixed academic and industrial audience, under the auspices of the IEEE Communications Society. The conference is co-located with the larger TeleManagement World sponsored by the TeleManagement Forum:
"The TeleManagement Forum was founded in 1988 as the OSI/Network Management Forum with the goal of accelerating the availability of interoperable network management products. Founding members included AT&T and BT on the service provider side, and suppliers such as Northern Telecom and Hewlett-Packard on the equipment side. By early 1989 it had approved its first OSI/NM Forum Protocol Specification and by 1990 it had 85 members from 13 countries.
The Forum has continued to adapt as the technological and business landscape has developed. Today, the TeleManagement Forum has more than 400 members, runs the industry痴 leading OSS/BSs Conference and Exposition, and its standards are being adopted by the UN body, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).".
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12 May 2005

The Geospatial Web

O'Reilly Network: The Geospatial Web: A Call to Action I get really excited by the possibilities of linking location to web-based services, particularly mobile services. This is a great outline of key issues from a web development perspective.

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Geographically mapping a conference

O'Reilly Radar > ETech 2005: Where Did They All Come From? discusses the issues around (semi-)automatically processing conference atendees to map where they come from and analyse, for example, the mean distance travelled.

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3 May 2005

Great Book Cover Site

Inspired by by recent posting on Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter of Mars science fiction novels, I came across Jim Barker's site of old book and magazine covers scanned in manually! A treasure trove of pulp and other things.

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Who invented the Internet?

In this article Future of the Internet Ian Peter discusses the way that Internet history has been simplified into the triumph of Arpanet. He presents a more complex origin in which Arpanet does play a part.

1. There are a number of valid claims to origins of the Internet.
2. Although an original date and place might be obtainable for the first networked transmission that could be called an Internet, the result would need by definition to include more than one party or network, and is unlikely to be a satisfactory or useful conclusion.
3. Not only US projects were involved in the beginnings of the Internet.
4. Not only government funded US research programs were involved in the beginnings of the Internet.
5. Not only telcos and the commercial sector were involved in the beginnings of the Internet.
6. Neither Arpanet nor TCP/IP is present in all valid theories.

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Udell Argues that WS-* may be a combination of smart networks and smart nodes

Jon Udell: Are smart networks always a dumb idea? In this short posting Udell challenges the traditional Internet-centric idea that Internet services imply smart machines and a dumb network (in contrast to traditional telecommunications networks with dumb terminals - phones - and an intelligent network).

If Udell's hunch is right, this could mean that there is more going on in convergence than people thought. Don't forget that the telecommunications world was service-centric long before the Internet world. Maybe we still do have more to learn from each other.

Udell was focused on the WS-* technologies. Moving the argument slightly, into another sphere where Udell is an elegant spokesperson for emerging technologies, I still like the metaphor that HTTP and SIP are both protocols with a very small set of primatives that potentially enable a huge diversity of useful interoperability.... I hope that SIP can do the same for computer-telephony as HTTP has done for distributed computing: revolutionise by lowering the barrier to entry for innovative new services. Personally I'm not so hung up on where the intelligence lies as long as we all enabled to do more interesting stuff more easily....

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