Today is the 48th day of the year
Frank Zappa once said:
I think that if a person doesn't feel cynical then they're out of phase with the 20th century. Being cynical is the only way to deal with modern civilization, you can't just swallow it whole.
I think I might have very nearly been a software engineer.
Why was I doing a PhD in web engineering in the first place? Well, before going into HE, I had been a commercial web developer and always found it mystifying how haphazard the process of development sometimes was. There was plenty of work around concerning user interface and front-end performance, courtesy of people like Jakob Neilsen, but it seemed that very little attention was being paid to the process from the web designer and developer's point of view. In the mid-part of the last decade this started to change a little, but I still think that there is a place for research in my area, and of course some are still doing it.
How can you build a web system that is like good software; component based, modular and scalable. And how do you do all that and make it work on as wide a cross section of platforms as possible?
That's where I came in (or tried to). I explored the differences and similarities between software and document systems. I decided that, while different, they were similar enough to use the some of the same metrics to measure them. The question was, which ones?
I do still have a general interest in Web Engineering and development generally and also in the applicability of XML applications, content management and delivery mechanisms for heterogeneous environments.
So, I started writing things.
Samples of these early, legacy documents are placed here. for historical reasons, As such many of them are rather
rough and ready, so please excuse Type I Postscript rendering where it occurs. I did some of the later
work on major documents using
pdflatex so later dcuments do start to look a little better.
"No piece (of art) is ever finished, merely abandoned."
[PowerPoint Presentation (2002-12-4) - approx 1.5Mb]
At this point, I had just returned from Candada, having delivered the paper I wrote for WSE 2002. It had been reasonably well-received, so I was encouraged that I might actually be on to something as a research topic.
[Working UML design (2004-01-07) - approx 2Mb [SVG]]