Saturday, October 28, 2006

Back home...

After a long week at OOW.  The conference was pretty good I thought - even though there were lots of people there, I didn't see any huge masses of people getting stuck in crowds.  Since they spread it all over - at the Hilton, Marriott, all of Moscone, the Argent hotel and maybe even some others - there was plenty of space.  It was tiring though.

Anyway, picked up a couple of links over the week and thought I'd point them out now.  The first is from Dave Taylor who writes "When did conference attendees become so rude?"  I gave three talks at OOW - to fairly large audiences, and I have to say I found what he says there to be true.  In each and every one - at least one cell phone went off.  It is very distracting.  I've been in the audience when people let their phone ring audibly and then they sit there and actually take the call.  Just turn them off please.

Next was "Just say not to XML"! Hear hear.  I've never even considered thinking that XML is a programming language - it is a markup thing.  Using it as a programming language just seems bizarre.  I liked the list of things the author feels developers need to have mastered:

This list includes a deep understanding of data structures and key algorithms, a little math (set theory, logic, a little statistics), mastery of analysis-and-design techniques, both process (e.g., RUP or XP) and structure (e.g., design patterns), and database structure and use (e.g., SQL). You also need to know how the hardware works.

Comes down to understanding lots of things.  I liked the reference to "a little math" and "database structures".  Many people would skip those as pre-requisites. 

And lastly - 36 Humorous Methods of Proof.  I liked them all but these stood out as "brilliant"

  • Proof by Obviousness: the proof is so clear that it need not be mentioned
  • Proof by Imagination: Well, we'll pretend it is true...
  • Proof by Convenience: It would be very nice if it were true, so...

Oh, never mind, I'll end up just copying the entire list :)  Ok, one more:

  • Proof by Tautology: it's true because it's true
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25 Comments:

Blogger Alberto Dell'Era said....

Proof by installation:

"it worked on my PC"

Sat Oct 28, 01:26:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Teko said....

When did conference attendees become so rude?

Since ALL on CELL PHONES has been granted to PUBLIC. :-)

Sat Oct 28, 02:36:00 PM EDT  

Blogger David Aldridge said....

Similar to proofs 16 & 17, No. 37 is "Proof by Google": "There are plenty of examples on the internet".

Sat Oct 28, 05:09:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Joel Garry said....

I didn't do so well in Jr. High geometry because no one proved to me what a proof was.

I still don't get it. So many proofs I see just seem to have lots of shaky a priori assumptions that should be explicit. Everyone else seems to think they are good, so I guess that proves it's just me. Then I see stuff like expositions of new ways to design databases, and I'm glad it's just me.

I agree with the XML link.

But... building a compiler every time you have to parse input? Even as ridiculously abused as I've seen some XML, that's a bit much. Seems like the unix ideal of reusing optimal small tools has been lost forever.

Sat Oct 28, 06:28:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

> I gave three talks at OOW - to
> fairly large audiences, and I have
> to say I found what he says there to
> be true. In each and every one -
> at least one cell phone went off.
> It is very distracting. I've been
> in the audience when people let
> their phone ring audibly and then
> they sit there and actually take the
> call. Just turn them off please.

Well, in my experience it was the high-tech companies that pioneered the "high energy", plugged-in-all-the-time, every-call-must-be-taken way of thinking. I have been in sales presentations for high-tech products where members of the sales team will answer e-mail and cell phones during the meeting. I have also worked with high-tech companies whose employees have told me that if you don't return calls/e-mails within 5 minutes 24/7 you are are put on the list of non-performers and fired.

sPh

Sat Oct 28, 07:37:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Connor McDonald said....

Cpuple of years ago when presenting, I staged having a friends mobile phone go off, stormed into the audience, grabbed his (fake plastic) mobile phone and destroyed it on stage, with a "God, I hate people who can't turn off their phone!"

You've never seen so many people grabbing for their phones to switch them off :-)

Sat Oct 28, 08:33:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Gabe said....

I'll end up just copying the entire list

26?

Sat Oct 28, 09:24:00 PM EDT  

Blogger John Rich said....

I was also floored by the amount of rudeness at OOW this year; every single session I attended had people talking loudly on cell phones and to people next to them, and pagers/PDAs going off nonstop.

I think Oracle needs to crack down on this. First maybe publish session do's and dont's in the OOW literature. Then maybe the speakers should remind people on their first slide: all pagers and cellphones on vibrate, sit in the back if your company can't survive without you, take your calls into the hall, and keep conversations to a whisper.

Sat Oct 28, 10:30:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Noons said....

Yeah, the level of these organized shows has been going down....

Last UG conference here in NSW, I told the organizer if they continued the marketing hype on xml, j2ee, rfid and let cell phones be used, no one would show up for the next one.

It must have worked: we haven't had one here since... Goood!!!

Sun Oct 29, 01:53:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Jonathan Lewis said....

I didn't see Proof by Circular Reference; which is sometimes presented as a combination of "proof by postponement" combined with "proof by prior assumption", as in:

"As Prof. Jones will demonstrate next term (semester)..."

followed 3 months later by

"As Prof. Smith demonstrated last term (semester)..."

Sun Oct 29, 06:28:00 AM EST  

Blogger Alberto Dell'Era said....

if you don't return calls/e-mails within 5 minutes 24/7 you are are put on the list of non-performers and fired.

So, you need a waterproof mobile (and laptop) to get a shower ;)

Better fired than workaholic anyway.

Sun Oct 29, 06:51:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

proof by inverted amentia:

Donald Burleson said it's false ...

Sun Oct 29, 09:09:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Gabe said....

Proof by reason of sanity: I spent all my life believing it … it better be true or I’ll go cuckoo.

Proof by indoctrination: repeat over and over “this is true”

Proof by early “investment”: tell them “it is true” while they’re young

Is there a theme here?

Sun Oct 29, 09:45:00 AM EST  

Blogger Rachel said....

onnor said:

Cpuple of years ago when presenting, I staged having a friends mobile phone go off, stormed into the audience, grabbed his (fake plastic) mobile phone and destroyed it on stage, with a "God, I hate people who can't turn off their phone!"

I remember that in Lalandia. You handed me your cell phone and the fake one -- with the very clear instruction to make sure I handed you BACK the fake one... I was so tempted to give you back your own phone :)

Sun Oct 29, 03:49:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

I don't think the cell phone thing is the worst part. I think worst off is just rudeness everywhere in the conference or in public. I was walking into rooms and people wouldn't move out of the way and insist you stop. People standing in line nicely for food and others just cutting into the front of the line by jumping right to the food. People rushing/knocking people around to get more in front only to block everyone else by taking up the entire area on the escalator or getting to the top of the escalator and not moving out of the way. Uhm, hello, there are 100 people on the escalator you need to get out of the way of the exit because they need to step off too. How about people who show up 20 minutes into a keynote and ask every person to move down so they can squeeze in? Oh, and make sure you yell over everyone when you do it. There are so many examples, but it's just awful.

Sun Oct 29, 03:54:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

A List Of Fallacious Arguments

Mon Oct 30, 09:39:00 AM EST  

Blogger Kurt said....

Connor McDonald said...
Cpuple of years ago when presenting, I staged having a friends mobile phone go off, stormed into the audience, grabbed his (fake plastic) mobile phone and destroyed it on stage, with a "God, I hate people who can't turn off their phone!"


I was there at Lalandia too, and it took several minutes before before I realized that it was a fake phone. Although my phone was off, you certainly had me do a double check! :-)

Mon Oct 30, 09:55:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Jonathan Lewis said....

Also missing:

Proof by incredulity: "I can't believe that this isn't true."

Mon Oct 30, 10:40:00 AM EST  

Blogger Jan said....

Can't they build these conference centers as a huge Faraday cage?

Mon Oct 30, 12:25:00 PM EST  

Blogger jimk said....

I like the Faraday comment. It is a sad sign when we feel that a set of etiquette guidelines has to be posted. I remember as a youngster being on a large sailboat. I was standing in the gangway. The captain (owner) nicely explained that on a boat you never stand in the gangway. You choose a place to stand that isn't going to impede people needing to travel about the boat. There maybe an emergency and you are going to get knocked aside. Good general advice. So why people stop at the top of escalators is a mystery to me. Move on or to the side so you aren't blocking traffic flow. (also you won't be interrupted by people trying to get by) maybe those people are just plain clueless.

Mon Oct 30, 01:06:00 PM EST  

Anonymous dtphan said....

Just want to say Hi. I tried to catch you at OOW but couldn't! You're so popular.

Mon Oct 30, 05:49:00 PM EST  

Blogger SeanMacGC said....

Or perhaps...

Proof à la Descartes: "I think, therefore it's true"!

Tue Oct 31, 09:18:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

proof by hand waving?

Tue Oct 31, 05:58:00 PM EST  

Blogger DBA said....

Re: pagers/cells/pda's going off in sessions.

Inexcusable! Yes I keep mine on all the time as its a condition of employent, but it's ALWAYS on vibrate, I see the number calling and more often than not I just let it go to voice mail and check the message during a break. If the same number calls again I'll discreetly check the VM or answer it with a whisper and walk out of the room. If I am dealing with a situation whereas I know I might get a call I position myself by an exit. It's that simple.

On the answering a page/email within 5 minutes - when did things get this insane? I remember when I bought my first cellphone when I had my own (non tech) business in my former life. A fixed in-vehicle phone I paid $1000 (on sale) for and I thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. No more stopping at phone booths or taking time off to deal with things that needed dealing with during regular business hours. Now I curse them, even though my calls are few and I am on call 24/7, just the fact that someone can call me at any time is more an annoyance than a convenience now.

Last year was my first OOW, and I remember having to try HARD not to laugh out loud when on a break between sessions, I walk into a washroom and there are a dozen or so men standing at urinals doing their business with one hand and reading emails on PDA's with the other. Give me a break people!! I would have taken a picture just of it for the absurdity of the whole thing, but then got to thinking taking a picture in a mens room of men at a urinal, in San Francisco, was probably not the brightest thing to be doing..

Perhaps I'm getting old, well not perhaps, I AM getting old, but I for one find the increasingly fast pace of life a bit much and wonder how much further it will go.

Wed Nov 01, 10:22:00 AM EST  

Blogger ruff around the edges said....

Can we have "proof by cellphone", as in

The degree of correctness or logical sensibility of a particular argument is directly proportional to the number of cellphones that ring while explaining it.

-Jim

Thu Nov 02, 01:01:00 AM EST  

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