Thursday, June 29, 2006

Getting in touch with your inner Wally

Database Worst Practices; be sure to read the very funny comments.

See also:

Congratulations Chris Bucchere

He has been selected by BEA to be one of the featured developers on their dev2dev blog.

Chris Bucchere's Blog

Presentation slides redux

Jonathan Cogley tried presenting without slides and found that his audience loved it. Speaking directly to your audience is inherently more compelling than using slides, unless you have compelling visuals. Afterwards you can always post your notes.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Standards group issues guidance for e-doc systems

Aliya Sternstein, Federal Computer Week

The international authority on content management has released today a new set of guidelines for electronic document management systems (EDMS) used by government agencies and businesses.

The Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM), an enterprise content management industry association, has published its third version of procedures that should be performed whenever choosing or implementing EDMS information technology systems.

The suggested policies apply to the National Archives and Records Administration and all federal records managers.

Given the buying power of the federal government, this will become the de facto industry standard.

About AIIM Standards Committees

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Creating compound documents

Analysis: What Microsoft Lacks Is a Universal Document Format

To revisit a little history, Adobe introduced PDF in 1993, and it put it on the map by giving away the ubiquitous Reader for free. By letting more than 1,200 independent software vendors make use of the format, Adobe has steadily nurtured PDF from cult favorite (by the mid 1990s) to de facto standard (by the late 1990s) to today's ISO-certified standard for archiving (PDF/A) and printing (PDF/X). To date, more than 500 million Adobe Readers have been downloaded and more than 200 million PDF documents are available for download on the Web. The format is the foundation of Adobe's "Intelligent Documents" product segment, which this year will account for more than one third ($700 million) of the company's nearly $2 billion in revenue.

Note the role of ISO certification. The market value of participation in standards committees cannot be overstated.

Rain, rain go away, come again another day

Crews Pumping Out Flooded Federal Buildings

Washington (AP) - Workers along Constitution Avenue are pumping water from the lower levels of several federal buildings that were closed Monday because of flooding.

A low pressure system along the Eastern United States bringing more rain and storms to the region.

Monday, June 26, 2006

PR stunt?

Larry Johnson suggests that the recent story on government monitoring of financial transactions was leaked to the press for the precise purpose of offering the President the opportunity to focus attention on the evil news media. If so, it is a very high risk approach to crisis management. File this under do not try this at home.

Edit -
Conservative assault on the New York Times based on falsehoods and absurdities.

Crispy PR news

From Constantin Bastura.

Sigh. Another tool I have to learn how to use.


One of the ways a large company can squash competition is to release vaporware, a product they don’t have, aren’t serious about developing, but want to prevent their smaller competitors from selling.

Since a company’s stability is always a factor in IT procurement, large companies have an inherent advantage. (Although whether large companies are more stable is highly debatable.)

This was brought to mind by Tony Byrne’s post about Oracle’s non-announcement about a major ECM initiative. Editors can fight vaporware by refusing to run non-announcements from large companies and reporting on new products from small companies. This kind of anticompetitive tactic will not work if it is starved for publicity oxygen.

U.S. appeals court rejects SEC rule reining in hedge funds

Marcy Gordon, Associated Press

WASHINGTON – In a setback to the Securities and Exchange Commission, a federal appeals court on Friday overturned a rule bringing hedge funds under new supervision by the agency.

The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit sent the rule – which bitterly divided the five-member SEC when it was adopted in October 2004 – back to the agency to be reviewed.

I think in the aftermath of the Long Term Capital debacle, it is very bad PR to resist SEC regulation.

Friday, June 23, 2006

The proper use of presentations

Adam Shostack makes the execellent point that the way you use presentations when you speak is very different from simply putting them on the web. The wed edition should contain additional notes. He also points to this handy piece on rethinking the design of presentation slides.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

What net neutrality is really about


Technology is a tool, like anything else of human invention. It can be used for good or ill. The Internet can do--has done--tremendous good AND harm alike since its creation. But its potential is enormous, and has yet to be fully explored.

And all of that could be taken away if we lose the right to equal access to content.

If you believe that the Internet is yours--built with your tax dollars, sustained with your usage and your commitment, and capable of enabling you to transform your world--then you support Net Neutrality. This is what we have now, and we have to fight to keep it.

Attention vendors, nominate your customer

Excellence in Enterprise Architecture Awards

Nominations are due by Thursday, July 13, 2006

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Slide presentations

In the past I have been very critical of slide presentations. I take it all back, every word. An Inconvenient Truth, the Al Gore movie, consists of Al Gore giving a side presentation on climate change. It is compelling, indeed riveting.

B.L. Ochman has some interesting news about how it is being marketed. There are many lessons here, PR & marketing being the least important.

Of, by, for, software architects

IT Architecture Standard Under Review

The International Association of Software Architects (IASA), a global non-profit association for professional IT architects that is vendor and technology agnostic, is set to deliver the first IT Architecture standard ever developed, controlled, and owned by IT architects.

This standard, entitled the "Foundations Reference Model" (FRM), represents a fundamental shift in the IT industry away from vendor initiated and managed standards, towards best practices controlled and operated by the professionals using them.

What makes my client, IASA, different is that their standard is entirely driven by the software architects that will have to live with it, thus making it technology agnostic and vendor neutral.

First impressions

Choose your email carefully.

Monday, June 19, 2006

The limits of marketing

Men without pants.

Public policy debate’s Paul Misener shows us how it’s done.

Don’t say RSS

Say newsfeed.

Cultivating the online discussion

Word of mouth is new ads message

However, conversations have been hard to track and their impact difficult to quantify. New research used by Starcom Mediavest, an agency that advises companies such as Proctor & Gamble on where and how to advertise, has measured the effects of conversations about brands and shows talk is even more important than previously thought.

One thing this article does not discuss is the importance of listening to customer complaints. A bad experience can travel from Detroit to Auckland depending on the discussion forum. In the online world, it will no longer be possible to kill stories about bad corporate behavior.

Note - I predict some companies will be stupid enough to plant bad stories about their competition. In a world of recorded IP addresses that tactic is doomed.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Staged event-driven architecture

SEDA: An Architecture for Highly Concurrent Server Applications

SEDA is an acronym for staged event-driven architecture, and decomposes a complex, event-driven application into a set of stages connected by queues. This design avoids the high overhead associated with thread-based concurrency models, and decouples event and thread scheduling from application logic. By performing admission control on each event queue, the service can be well-conditioned to load, preventing resources from being overcommitted when demand exceeds service capacity. SEDA employs dynamic control to automatically tune runtime parameters (such as the scheduling parameters of each stage), as well as to manage load, for example, by performing adaptive load shedding. Decomposing services into a set of stages also enables modularity and code reuse, as well as the development of debugging tools for complex event-driven applications.

I found out about this at the last local IASA meeting. The speaker also recommended Mule from Codehaus, an Enterprise Service Bus.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Randall Samborn, said he would not comment

The Daily Muck:

Fitzgerald Won't Charge Rove, Adviser's Lawyer Says

I would be extremely grateful if anyone with experience in criminal justice PR would explain these manuvers to me.

Pam Miles

Circle Of PR Friends for Pam Miles

Pam Miles, our 2004 Chapter President and long-time member of PRSA, needs our help. She has persevered for many years with Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic and fatal disease that affects the lungs and digestive system, but recently her condition has deteriorated. Unless she receives a lung transplant within the next six months she will not survive. Her health insurance covers the transplant surgery. However, it does not pay for all of the transplant-related expenses including anti-rejection medications which cost approximately $200,000. She can’t be a candidate for the transplant without these funds. We need to raise these dollars to help save Pam's life. The Chapter has established the Circle of PR Friends Campaign to direct fundraising efforts towards Pam Miles’ Patient Campaign with the Children's Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA). COTA is a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded to help children and adults in need of life-saving transplants. All donations are tax deductible and 100% of your donation will go directly to the transplant-related expenses.

To donate or learn more, please visit:

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Call for Papers: 2006 DC PHP Conference

The 2006 DC PHP Conference

L'Enfant Plaza Hotel
October 18-20, 2006
Washington, DC
Present your concept or application at one of our technical, business or non-profit sessions

Submission Deadline: July 7, 2006
Notification by: July 28, 2006

DC PHP Conference invites technology experts from the federal government, local community, and the non-profit sector to participate in a premiere forum for PHP's vast number of users. Present your technical concepts, cutting edge applications, or business applications for an opportunity to showcase your ideas in the PHP community.

Your participation will make this conference a success. The conference selection committee requests that you submit an abstract for consideration. All abstracts submitted on or before July 7, 2006 will be considered.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Enterprise search and public portals

i411 Discovery Engine Deployed on Brazilian Government Search Portal

"We knew that our users had difficulties with search and navigation when they sought information from the portal of Federal da Justica and that the users could not always trust and rely on the search results. To solve this problem, we looked in the marketplace for a search-based solution that would allow the integration of all information in one single search results page, independently of how the original data was stored and maintained. We also required software and technology which would be easy for our internal technical team to work with. We found all these facilities in the i411 technology, and, through a rigorous enquiry process, we have duly certified the solution," said Francisco Paulo Soares Lopes, TI & Telecommunications Secretary of Conselho Federal da Justica - CJF.

I think governments will lead the way in developing user-friendly enterprise search. Citizens will demand it.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Watch that acronym

NCTC can refer to the National Counterterrorism Center or the Fish and Wildlife Service's National Conservation Training Center.

They’re different.

Enterprise Application Integration with SOA and ESBs

Next IASA Meeting

Thursday June 15th, 2006 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Snacks & soda will be served

Where: FGM, 12021 Sunset Hills Road Suite 400, Reston, VA 20190

Direction to FGM: From Dulles Toll Road (267) take exit to Reston Parkway, turn right after ramp, take first left at Sunset Hills Road, take second left into parking lot, park on right side.

Topic: "Enterprise Application Integration with SOA and ESBs"

Abstract: Enterprise Integration with SOA and ESBs Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) is gaining steam due to a number of business drivers including mergers and acquisitions, re-organizations and cost-cutting. At the same time that the demand for EAI is increasing, the expectations from an EAI solution are higher and conditions such as lower costs, reduced invasiveness on existing applications, higher scalability and enhanced manageability are casually placed in the requirements documents. The buzz from the industry as to the preferred approach to EAI for satisfying these expectations is the use of a Service Oriented Architecture-based solution.

In this talk, we will look into how SOA can be utilized to achieve integration of enterprise applications. In this process of understanding how SOA can help with EAI, we will look at some related concepts and technologies, such as the concept of an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) and the Java Business Integration (JBI) standard, and bring everything together into a solution through the use of Enterprise Integration Patterns. Before closing the session we will take a look at the Mule open source project, which provides an excellent low-cost framework for enterprise application integration.

Speaker: Odysseas Pentakalos

Bridging the Client and the Server - AJAX

NoVAJUG Enterprise Meeting Notice

June 13th 2006 – 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m
Location: IMC
11480 Commerce Park Drive
Reston , VA 20191
Phone: (703) 871-8700

• 6:00 – 6:30 Registration, Networking, Refreshments
• 6:30 – 8:30 Bridging the Client and the Server - AJAX
• 8:30 – 9:00 Q & A Session, Planning for Next Meeting and

Topic: Bridging the Client and the Server - AJAX

Ajax is one of those hot buzz words that everyone is talking about, and many people are not sure if Ajax is for them. This talk is for developers who have a basic knowledge of JavaScript. The talk will take a low-level approach at the technology so they can obtain the basics before diving into the technology in great depth.

The talk focuses on the XMLHttpRequest object and shows basic examples. Then the flaws of this basic approach will be shown and how object-oriented JavaScript can solve these problems. This may be the first time some developers will hear that JavaScript can be an object- oriented language.

Basic examples will show developers how a simple script can change the way their users use their applications.

The talk also focuses on flaws, pet peeves, when to use Ajax, why you should use it, how to convince my boss, frameworks, and where to get information By the end of this talk, the members should be able to walk understanding how Ajax can make their user interface much more efficient—without all the hype.

Association portals

Organizations appear to be moving from traditional websites to portals. Portals are better suited to aggregating content, build community and allowing chapters and members a chance to showcase their own content. This came to mind when Scott Abel sent me the link to CM Pros:

CM Pros is a membership organization that fosters the sharing of content management information, practices, and strategies. We seek to improve content management practices within all organizations by:

- Collecting, developing, organizing, and delivering peer-vetted knowledge.
- Educating ourselves and those we work with on the key issues of content management.
- Fostering interaction among content management professionals, enterprise leadership, product vendors, and university educators.
- Identifying, refining, publicizing, and advocating respected content management practices.

It is very similar to my client, the International Association of Software Architects.

An individual can use a portal to demonstate leadership is his field, see Shahid Shah’s HITSphere.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Because journalism matters

The Inter American Press Association

The Inter American Press Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to defending freedom of expression and of the press throughout the Americas.

Its chief aims are to:

Defend press freedom wherever it is challenged in the Americas;
Protect the interests of the press in the Americas;
Advocate the dignity, rights and responsibilities of journalism;
Encourage high standards of professional and business conduct;
Foster the exchange of ideas and information that con-tribute to the professional and technical development of the press;
Foster a wider knowledge and greater interchange among the peoples of the Americas in support of the basic principles of a free society and individual liberty.
IAPA enjoys a membership in excess of 1,300,representing newspapers and magazines from Patagonia to Alaska, with a combined circulation of 43,353,762.

The loose-coupling of information sharing

Joab Jackson, Government Computer News

Although Global JXDM and XBRL operate in totally different domains of expertise, they share one common trait. Both approaches advocate keeping existing systems rather than replacing them with a unified supersystem. To share information, these initiatives require putting gateways in front of a system in order to translate the data from its native format to one shared by others. Establishing this common platform through translation frees users from dependence on any specific technology.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Print contrast ratio

I don't like the new design of Jeremy Pepper's blog. The horizontal stripes are hard on the eyes.

New to civil service blogosphere

Federal Information Management , addressing critical issues faced by the U.S. Federal Government in managing its information assets. Among these issues are information access and security, classification and declassification, search and retrieval, etc.