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Object Relational Mappings at SDForum October 10, 2006

Posted by Bill in SDForum, SIG Meetings.

If you’ve been paying any attention at all to software development during the past two decades, you’ll have noticed two things:

  • Object-oriented programming is here to stay
  • Relational databases are here to stay

If you’ve been a software developer for any length of time during the past two decades, you probably noticed the problem:

  • Object Models of data and Relational Models of data don’t play well together.

The so-called Object-Relational Mapping Problem has been a thorn in our side for over two decades now.

This month, SDForum is providing both a world-class pundit AND coverage of a cutting-edge product. If you want to get up close and personal with the latest thinking, this month at SDForum is tailor-made for you.

First the pundit. Ted Neward is, without a doubt, one of the world’s pre-eminent experts in both .NET and J2EE. And he’s speaking at the Software Architecture and Modeling Sig on October 25. Here’s the abstract:

State Management: Shape and Storage: The insidious and slippery problem of storing objects to disk

No matter your language or platform, a large part of the time and energy required for modern enterprise development centers around managing the transition between transient (working) state and durable (stored) state. What exacerbates the problem even more is the fact that these two are often stored in different “shapes”–transient state is typically in objects, and durable state wants to be stored relationally, and it’s not trivial to map between them. If you consider the growing pervasiveness of XML services, now we have a third “shape”, that being a hierarchical form. We’ll talk about what makes this such an insidious and slippery problem, what tools are available to help address it, and mechanisms we have to avoid the problem in the first place.

Then, a week or so later, the Windows SIG is having a presentation on LINQ, which is just about the single most interesting development in computer language design since the Ruby guys invented closures. Here’s that abstract:

LINQ 101 – .NET Language Integrated Query

The LINQ Project is a codename for a set of extensions to the .NET Framework that encompass language-integrated query, set, and transform operations. It extends C# and Visual Basic with native language syntax for queries and provides class libraries to take advantage of these capabilities. In this session we’ll cover some of the basics of LINQ, BLINQ, DLINQ and XLINQ.

(and before anyone points it out, yes I know. Closures weren’t invented by Rubyists. It was a joke).

MMOG Middleware in October at the Emerging Technology SIG September 22, 2006

Posted by Bill in Future of the Web, SIG Meetings.
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We’re continuing our exploration of Virtual Worlds in October when Corey Bridges, one of the founders of The Multiverse Network, will talk about their new platform for hosted massively multiplayer online games (and give demos of the things people are building).

That’s October 11 in Palo Alto. For more information, see the official announcement.
The future of virtual worlds
Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs) are the fastest-growing segment of the video game industry. Industry-leader World of Warcraft brings in around $1 billion a year in recurring revenue–for just that one game. Even non-game virtual worlds like Second Life and There.com are receiving huge mainstream attention. Unfortunately, with development costs of $10 million to $80 million, only a handful of companies can afford to build these worlds. Independent developers–whose innovative ideas lie untapped–can’t even afford to experiment in this space.

To solve this, Multiverse is creating the world’s first network of MMOGs and other 3D virtual worlds. Multiverse’s technology platform is available at no upfront cost, and changes the economics of virtual world development. For the first time, independent developers, even from outside the game industry, can create high-quality virtual worlds. In this talk, you’ll learn how to use Multiverse’s complete development and distribution platform to quickly build a virtual world for free. You’ll also get a sneak peak at some of the virtual worlds that are being built right now, and see how they’ll change gaming, education, and other industries.

Corey Bridges is a co-founder of The Multiverse Network, Inc. As Executive Producer and Marketing Director, he works to build the world’s leading network of Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs) and 3D virtual worlds. He and the Multiverse team have pioneered a new technology platform designed to change the economics of virtual world development by providing independent and fully funded game developers with the resources they need to enter and compete in the $3 billion online game market. He oversees business development and developer relations with over 4500 game development teams, ranging from garage developers to Fortune 100 companies to Hollywood legends. Under his guidance, Multiverse has won multiple awards, including the “Red Herring 100” award for playing a leading role in innovating the technology business.

Corey brings marketing experience from some of the most influential companies in the high-tech and entertainment industries, including Netflix, Netscape, Zone Labs, Borland and The Discovery Channel. Corey created the original launch plan for the popular security program ZoneAlarm, whose Internet-only distribution strategy captured 35 million users worldwide. In 2003, he was invited to contribute to a U.S. Homeland Security task force on Cyber Security. As a member of the original launch team for Netflix, Corey pioneered a new methodology of Internet-based marketing that identified, secured and grew the initial market of customers critical to the survival and success of the now-public company. A pre-IPO employee at Netscape, Corey worked as product manager for the company’s flagship Internet browser. Corey also has written and directed a number of short films, and produced commercials and TV specials. An award-winning writer, he has also collaborated with well-known technology expert John Dvorak on multiple books. He has spoken internationally about the future of virtual worlds. He is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley.

Cory’s Talk, Recorded for Posterity September 17, 2006

Posted by Bill in Future of the Web, SIG Meetings, Slides.
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The guys at Cambrian House asked Cory’s permission, got it, and set up a video-camera in the back.

Then they posted the video on the internet archive.

It was a great talk; it’s not as good as streaming video, but it’s still interesting.

Update on the September 13 SIG Meeting September 8, 2006

Posted by Bill in Free Stuff, Future of the Web, SIG Meetings.
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We’re still doing the super-cool Web 3.0 thing.

But now we’ve also got an awesome door prize. The folks at No Fluff Just Stuff have also donated a pass to the Bay Area Software Symposium, which we’ll be raffling off (that’s right– one pass to the conference for free will be raffled off next Wednesday).

They’ve also given us a discount code for the conference. I can’t publish it here, but we’ll be giving it out at the SIG.

The Word for September is “oooooooh” August 20, 2006

Posted by Bill in Future of the Web, SIG Meetings.
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On September 13, the Emerging Tech SIG will feature a talk from Linden Lab‘s CTO.

Web 3.0: mashing virtual worlds and the web

What happens when the 2D, asynchronous Web collides with 3D,
collaborative digital worlds? As the power of rich web applications,
aggregation, and filtering are proven on the Web, how will these
technologies be connected to interactive, 3D virtual worlds? Conversely,
how will 3D worlds be used to better manage data, convey information,
and enable new forms of communications?

The user-created online world Second Life provides a unique insight into
these issues. By granting broad intellectual property rights to its
residents and embedding the tools needed to build almost anything, SL
has enabled large scale creativity that bridges the 3D and web worlds.
Projects ranging from games and shopping malls to medical research and
education have been built on top of Second Life’s core technology and
then linked to companion web sites, blogs, and wikis. This is only the
beginning, however. Currently, Firefox is being embedded within Second
Life so that web content can act as a fundamental building block of the
world as animations, textures, or audio.

This talk will cover the cutting-edge ways in which the Second Life
community has embraced both 3D world and web technology in order to
achieve the complementary goals of creating the worlds of their dreams
and solving real-world problems. Beyond that, it will also discuss ways
in which virtual worlds can better connect to – and participate in – the web as a whole.

Cory’s Bio:

Cory Ondrejka is the Chief Technology Officer of Linden Labs. As CTO, he leads the team developing “Second Life,” Linden Lab’s award-winning, user-created digital world. His team has created the revolutionary technologies required to enable collaborative, atomistic creation, including distributed physical simulation, 3D streaming, completely customizable avatars and real-time, in-world editors. He also spearheaded the decision to allow users to retain the IP rights to their creations and helped craft Linden’s virtual real estate policy.

Prior to joining Linden Lab in November, 2000, Ondrejka served as Project Leader and Lead Programmer for Pacific Coast Power and Light. At PCP&L, he brought the “Road Rash” franchise to the Nintendo for the first time with “Road Rash 64” and built the core technology teams that completed multiple products for Nintendo and Sony consoles. Previous experience includes Lead Programmer for Acclaim Coin-Operated Entertainment’s first internal coin-op title and work on Department of Defense electronic warfare software projects for Lockheed Sanders. While an officer in the United States Navy, he worked at the National Security Agency and graduated from the Navy Nuclear Power School. Ondrejka is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, where he was a Presidential “Thousand Points of Light” recipient and became the first person to earn Bachelors of Science degrees in two technical majors: Weapons and Systems Engineering and Computer Science.

Prediction Market Slides August 11, 2006

Posted by Bill in SDForum, SIG Meetings, Slides.
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Last Wednesday, ChrisHibbert gave a great talk on prediction markets. A brilliant overview of an emerging technology (and what it’s good for).

In case you couldn’t tell, I liked it a lot :-).

He’s now given us the slides as well: PPT,PDF

Special Guest Star Tomorrow Night August 8, 2006

Posted by Bill in SDForum, SIG Meetings.

So we have an awesome talk lined up for the Emerging Tech SIG tomorrow night. Chris Hibbert is going to talk about prediction markets and Zocalo, his open source framework for prediction markets.

I’m fascinated by that.

But, to borrow a phrase from the WWDC, there’s more.

A large portion of the time that Chris has spent working on Zocalo was funded by Commercenet.

Commercenet does other fascinating stuff too. For example, they’re intimately involved with Microformats.

So I asked Rohit Khare, the director of Commercenet’s Labs, to give a brief overview of Commercenet’s investments and investment philosophy. He agreed to spend 15 or 20 minutes at the end and then take questions.

The Architecture SIG is Kicking *** July 15, 2006

Posted by Bill in SDForum, SIG Meetings.
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Even though there was no Emerging Technology SIG meeting this month, there’s still plenty at SDForum for Emerging Technology junkies.

For example, I’m excited by the Architecture SIG’s meeting this month. John Kern is going to talk about design principles and architectural precepts for mobile software. It’s a great opportunity for those of us who have sat out the not-yet-occurred mobile revolution to learn a lot from a guy who’s been on the frontlines for a long time.
Even more exciting– John just sent me an e-mail saying the talk is getting better by the minute:

I was talking with Chris Hofmann of the Mozilla Foundation about my talk on the 26th. Along with Doug Turner, they are the guys behind the Mimino (http://www.mozilla.org/projects/minimo/). They have agreed to join me. That’s great! My talk focuses on developing applications. Their forte is extending the web to the handset.

Major Kudos to Ron Lichty, the primary chair of the SAM SIG, for continuing to organize and run such an excellent forum.

Zocalo: An Open Source Toolkit for Prediction Markets July 3, 2006

Posted by Bill in SIG Meetings.
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In August, on Wednesday, August 9, to be precise, the Emerging Technology SIG will feature Chris Hibbert, talking about Zocalo.

Here’s the abstract:

Zocalo: An Open Source Toolkit for Prediction Markets

Prediction Markets are a 15-year old idea that have been getting attention recently for their ability to provide improved and continuously updated forecasts.  Participants back their estimates of the likelihood of different outcomes with real or play money.  The incentives reward honesty, insight, and information sharing.  The result is a projection that accounts for the strengths of different opinions, and attends to contributions from people whose opinions would be ignored by polls, focus groups, or official forecasting departments.

These markets are being used in a variety of contexts, including sports betting, predicting Hollywood box office returns, and projecting the spread of infectious diseases.  Trials in leading companies have shown that they can improve on corporate forecasts in areas ranging from predicting product sales to comparisons of market demand for different product features mixes.

Like other open source projects, the Zocalo effort intends to make the technology more accessible and to codify the state of the art so additional development can focus on expanding available features rather than reproducing basic functionality.

Mr. Hibbert will show that Prediction Markets would be a valuable addition to any organization that wants to know more about what the employees are doing or what the customers want.

Cool stuff.

No July Meeting July 2, 2006

Posted by Bill in SIG Meetings.
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We had a killer topic and a great panel. Then … as is sometimes the case, things began to shift around. Some panelists cancelled. Other panelists didn’t return our confirmation e-mails . And while some panelists were good citizens, we decided that we weren’t sure we could put on a great SIG meeting this month.

And so we’re cancelling it.

We’ll be back next month (in August) with a great talk by Chris Hibbert (the author of Zocalo).