• Subject: Re: it's not just the box dummy - it's just a house of cards.
  • From: "Rob Dixon" <rob.dixon@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 18 Jul 1998 14:31:53 +0100

Yes, conversations about concepts are all too rare.  

You raised another interesting point - that most people are either
concerned with either "content" or "presentation", but rarely both.  I am
biased towards the first camp, but I do not ignore the second. If the
content is poor, no amount of GUI, etc., can improve it.  Of course, poor
presentation can make good content unreadable, but we have to get the
content right first.  I have been to so many PC application demos,
particularly a few years ago,  where the first part of the demo was to show
how easy it was to change the colour of the tool bar or something else of
no importance.  It always made me assume that there was little behind the
"pretty face".  There are plenty of people who feel that, if a system has a
GUI, then it is good, and if it does not, it is of no use.  Since I am a
(reluctant) W95 user so I can get access to my AS/400, I am well used to a
GUI interface.  But pointing and clicking is a very slow process compared
with the 5250 evnironment and, if I am not wanting to retrieve images from
my AS/400 and am not in front of a GUI prejudiced audience, then I will
always use Client Access.  People do not always understand that being busy
is not the same thing as being productive.


The approach I am proposing for application development is object-oriented,
but with the advantage that developers do not need to know about multiple
inheritance, encapsulation, etc. because the Neural Database is
intrinsically OO and therefore so are the applications it creates.  It also
allows models to be shared and automatically integrated.  I sympathise with
your view that you were wasting you time in pushing your ideas forward. 
That is how I often feel.  But if you are correct, and I believe that you
are, then you must keep at it!

Can I encourage you to create new threads about concepts?  We do need to
worry every bit as much (and perhaps more) about the greater picture as we
do about the minutiae.

Rob Dixon
Erros plc
----------
> From: Tim McCarthy <twmac@mindspring.com>
> To: MIDRANGE-L@midrange.com
> Subject: Re: it's not just the box dummy - it's just a house of cards.
> Date: 16 July 1998 22:15
> 
> Wow, how rare, conversations about concepts.
> 
> About five years ago I was kicking around some ideas in a development
think
> tank that was trying to create a blueprint for large scale inter-company
> workflow - what we're starting to call Electronic Commerce now. We had
> people from different backgrounds - EDI, E-mail, Forms, Security and
> Applications. Without exception everyone was either focused on the data
or
> the presentation (GUI). The GUI people couldn't grasp the concept of
> transactions and the others couldn't see beyond the data. The EDI people
> thought this was all irrelevant anyway 'cause "we're already doing this".
I
> was proposing an encapsulated data model - a more "object oriented"
> approach where each data component in a business model would be thought
of
> as an object with methods that related that object to other data
> components. If we used these objects as building blocks and shared them
> with the business community at large (a la Java), we could manufacture
> sophisticated and naturally integrated business applications that
> automatically lend themselves to all sorts of things, including document
> exchange. But of course I was wasting my time. The EDI people couldn't
see
> a world beyond "mapping", the e-mailers had no concept of a business
> document and the forms generation people expected every document to be
> processed by an end-user.
> 
> It's good to see the idea of business components being resurrected (the
San
> Francisco et al) even if it is really only part of a Java case tool. It
> will be a long time before we see any sea change in the way we handle and
> store our data, but it's nice to know there are some out there thinking
> about it.
> 
> 
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