Even FoRK bits

Ron Resnick (resnick@interlog.com)
Fri, 20 Jun 1997 02:14:49 +0300

Well, it should have been "Odd FoRK bits", of course, but I had an
even number of them....

Adam wrote:
> According to the June 2 DataQuest QuickTakes, two Israeli companies,

See, here we go again with the Israelis. These people are productive
TWENTY FOUR HOURS A DAY. I need to take a sabbatical there or
something. Can tenured grad students get sabbaticals?

'Nuff with the Zrailies already. I *wish* 24 hours a day. Ya know
all those 24 hour drugstores, supermarkets, donut shops, gas stations,
copy shops, etc. that any normal, reasonable well-adjusted nation-state
can't live without?? Go find one of those here :(. Ok, so there's one
24 hour supermarket waaay on the other side of town. Everybody
else closes at 6PM, noon on Fridays, all day Saturday.

And, tenured grad students can get sabbaticals after they've spent
at least one semester on a thesis topic without switching. Do you
qualify yet Adam?

Adam also wrote:
Yes, integrating Beans with CORBA/IIOP
would be nice, but man oh man is it a pipe dream to think that anyone
but maybe the upper half of a percent (what's 3% of 3%?) of developers
would have enough skill to actually use it...

Integrating Beans with IIOP would NOT be nice. Putting IIOP out
of our misery might be nice. I'm in the middle of writing a long
diatribe email to Dave Curtis (formerly Expersoft, now big honcho
at OMG) about what's wrong with CORBA. With his permission,
I'll post it to dist-obj. Just to show I don't play favorites: I take on
OMG just as well as I do Jim Waldo :). Also, I'm hopping mad about
that Gang of Four position paper on Beans/IIOP that JoeK pointed
us to. It's almost a direct steal from the paper I wrote last year -
a proposed service for by-value object migration in CORBA based
on serialization, the need to do it fast and integrate it with the
component model de jour - OpenDoc last year, Beans this year. Gee,
where have I heard this stuff before? It takes senior technologists
from 4 companies an extra year to come up with stuff one guy
in his basement did last May? Too late, by a mile. Time's up - we've
all jumped ship. You can keep your IIOP - don't want it no more.
Besides, I want to get a hold of one or more of the authors of this
thing, and can you believe that nowhere on OMG, IBM or Netscape
do they have any contact email addresses? Oh sure, everybody
carries the press release. They've got such a great idea they
don't *need* feedback, I guess. The OMG website always did suck -
haven't been there in months and months, and it still sucks.

Duck wrote:
Well now this hurts. I know as much about computers as Janet Reno knows
about dental care. Should i consider myself a lucky 97%er to be graced
with your presence, or a spy for the 3%ers?

Oh duckie boy, you *are* a 3%er doncha know! The rule has nothing
to do with computers - I should know, of course, being an authority
on the 97% rule. Adam has all the details written up, and I only discovered
it after joining FoRK myself, but hey, in the grand FoRK tradition of
outright thievery I'll *make* myself the expert.

The whole thing with this 3% is realizing that it applies to pretty much every
field of human inquiry. When it comes to truly grokking Alternative
Music, say, put me waaaay in the back of the 97%. Ditto for whatever
this "techno" stuff is. Now take that Jack London quote you've used
in your .sig of late - if that's not a 3%'er kind of a sig to quote,
I don't know what is. And, then there's what FoRK likes
to call "the interconnectedness of things", or what, in some other
parallel universe to FoRK named dist-obj,
is called "gebbishness and strange-loops" - no field of knowledge
is irrelevant - everything plays a role.
Then the fact that you're a 3%er in whatever the hell it is you excel at,
and every other FoRKer is in theirs, puts the whole collection of
the bits at the service of all of us, and makes us all candidate 3%ers
across the whole space of knowledge. Of course, we do need the odd
pure 97%er just to remind us of what we're supposed to be avoiding -
that's why we keep Adam around :). Ultimately, a tightly interconnected
web of dynamically binding smart-things (I hestitate to say 'objects'
around here :-) has the potential to be the first conscious Renaissance
Man (or Renaissance web, I guess) since the last human one -
da Vinci probably.

The FoRK FAQ http://www.cs.caltech.edu/~adam/LOCAL/faq-fork.html
which, as Adam notes, seems to be updated daily. What's neat
is the way in which fresh-off-the presses bits make their way into
the FAQ. I see even HaGaon Yossi B. is now enshrined for all
to see there, as is our first code fragment from John Boyer. Man, that
was fast! It's becoming a challenge-puzzle to see what little
catchphrases one can write that mysteriously are grabbed by Adam
and suddenly appear on the FAQ. _Gee,_ I _wonder_ if _these _very_
words_ here_won't_ ricochet_ around_?

First, we note the incredible explosion of FoRK membership in
recent days....
Second, the re-org of who's a "FoRK middle class" and who's
a "FoRK over-poster". Apparently Adam has decided that
the way to resolve the JoeB/JoeK issue, which symmetry
demands are kept together, yet pure posting volume and celebrity status
undoubtedly demands JoeB in the overposter category, is to
put them *both* into the over category. Fair to JoeB, but
I think JoeK better start mindlessly spewing bits if he wants
to really earn his new status ;-).

But the one that really caught me off guard was - can it be? ME?!
An over-poster? You mean I'm out of little league, and into the majors?
You gotta be kidding. Aw, shucks, really, I owe it all to Mom and Dad,
Coach Brewster, and faith in the almighty.
Look at this - I'm even sandwiched between Rohit & Tim - this can't be.
Suggestion #1. *Nobody* gets in front of RK on the over-poster list, with
the obvious exception of , well you know you. Tim #1, RK #2 - always
was, always will be.
Suggestion #2. We need a special category for, well you know who,
that goes beyond mere 'over-poster'. We're talking serious
overexposure territory here. Tim is to overposting as Niagara Falls
is to everyday firehoses. A Timbit a day and the anti-cluons stay away. Or
something like that. Incidentally, there's a very popular donut chain
in Canada called Tim Hortons, and they call their little round donut
holes 'Timbits'. Hmm. 20 for $1 (that's about 72 cents US) last I
was there.

Now let's look at some of Adam's friends:

5.Fawn404@aol.com - met Adam while riding in Cobraboy's Cobra
Now *this* is a story that simply must be told on FoRK. Anyone
with a name like Fawn already is gonna have the inevitable Beavis
& Butthead types around here panting. Toss in ref's to the Cobra,
and we all want the voyeur story told here.

17.joebar@evil-empire.com - got Adam invited to a Microsoft research
briefing in Redmond
Now this is cool! The first tangible evidence I've yet seen that
a purely FoRK relationship pays off with outside-world dividends. Who
payed the LA/Seattle airfare? MS or Caltech (or personal pocket?)

20.resnick@interlog.com - shares a religion with Adam
Well, thank goodness it's just that, and not our bits we've shacked up :-)

48.Who are the boyz in the FoRK 'hood?
Johnboy - JohnB
Cobraboy - Tim
Corbaboy - could be Ron, MarkB, or JoeK
Bitboy - Adam, Rohit's intrepid sidekick
Travelman - Rohit, of course

Corbaboy? ME? Gawd no. See above rant. Beanboy maybe, Corbaboy
uh-uh. That was *last* year's flavour of the week. I doubt
Mark or JoeK would subscribe to Corbaboy labels either.
Sideline: way back centuries ago as a FoRK newbie, the first time
I started getting mail from Cobraboy, I didn't read closely enough
and thought it *was*
Corbaboy. I was sure I was in the presence of a true distributed
object god, who was going to teach me all about the ins and outs
of the COS services, and how we could build multicast into IIOP.
Boy, was I wrong :-)!


That overposter status just made my night! How can I possibly
waste any time writing geek rants to Dave Curtis, or working
on my paper with Mark, when I need
my valuable typing-time to send crap to FoRK?