r5pa-fft9 at xemaps.com
Being a Terry Pratchett fan, I took my nickname from Ponder Stibbons, the wizard in the High Energy Magic Building of the Unseen University, who likes messing around with computers and making them do unusual things.
Note that in most other places, I am known as IvorW. Googling for ivorw, out of the first 100 hits, there are 3 that are not related to me.
In real life, I am an IT consultant working for finance clients in the City of London. I take many roles including developer, business analyst, sysadmin, QA person, support person - in short a Jack of all trades.
I'm also interested in computing as a hobby, in particular the following:
As of March 2006, I've given up beer. This will be a surprise to those who already knew me. I still like meeting other noders, and I will still go into pubs to meet.
Other groups I am involved with
- London Perl mongers
- City of London Cogers
- West London Trades Union Club
I am one of the three admins for the London site. I am also a major contributor of material to the site, and I am responsible for some of the perl modules that make up OpenGuides.
Here are my thoughts and opinions. /msg me if you strongly disagree, or str
My thoughts about E2
- General impressions
- Voting/Experience System
I had already met the voting, levels and XP system through Perlmonks, but I noticed that requiring a minimum number of writeups slows people's advancement, but this is probably not a bad thing (by contrast, I have reached Saint on Perlmonks in 6 months - the Monastery is purely XP based). Update: Perlmonks has since extended its level hierarchy, hence I'm still theoretically climbing it.
It seems that beyond the first level, XP becomes almost irrelevant, as you always need more writeups, more writeups, more writeups. The honor roll has made the level calculation more complicated, and introduced a potential borderline yo-yo effect, where adding a new writeup, especially an edit request, decreases the merit and can cause a drop in level, albeit a temporary drop.
I approve of the honor roll as it is putting quality above quantity. But, I agree with Wertperch's sentiments as expressed on his home node. Just because a writeup is low rep doesn't mean it is bad, and there's no reason to kill it. E2 could lose much information as perfectly good factual writeups are killed.
- My own standards
- Linking outside
- Noding about noding
- Splitting the site
s_alanet's writeup On making E2 distributed set me thinking. It depends on what is being envisaged. If we are merely talking about mirroring the database, in the form of a cluster or high availability pair, I am all in favour. Remote mirroring is another interesting idea, where many small E2s feed from a big daddy E2.
However, in terms of splitting the database to several mini-Everythings, this seems a lot of work for little benefit. From my experience, partitioning a database is like cutting a pizza. There will always be lots of cheese and topping that falls between the two slices and makes a mess.
- Noding for the ages
My first thoughts on this were "Which ages?" Although the intended meaning is clear, this alternative does bring it to mind that people should be targetting the nodes at everyone, not just those aged 18-25.
I have been a noder since April 2002. First impressions were that the site is quite élitist, but that it is possible to advance through dilligence. I have come to terms with the élitism, and I view it as a Darwinistic pot, shibboleth, or test, to keep out the riff-raff and trolls, and insure quality of the site.
I am primarily a factual noder. As such, I respect factual nodes of others. I upvote good solid factuals, with correct information, well laid out, and enough material to get my teeth into. I will not usually upvote a three-liner, and if there are already better pre-existing writeups, I may well downvote it.
I also downvote writeups that are littered with profanities - unless there is much humour and the humour is of good quality. I also have no truck with bare lyrics, game cards and bare metanodes (see below).
When it comes to poetry, creative prose and imaginative writing, I tend to leave well alone, unless I'm deeply moved. I am a believer that personal experience, as a general rule, belongs in daylogs and dreamlogs rather than in the body of E2.
I ching good writeups that have been well researched, and are well presented. Also writeups that are informative or rousing.
I know there are some technical issues with allowing general URLs in the body of normal E2 writeups - cross scripting vulnerabilities. However, I do think it's a great shame that nrmal writeups cannot contain links to external websites. But, the Everything Engine is clever enough that when URLs are made into hard links, you can browse there indirectly.
It was a shock to the system that the practice of noding about noding is so highly frowned upon. Most BBS and discussion forum sites encourage feedback from newbies, but I guess the impact of this on the signal to noise ratio would seriously affect the quality of E2. Update: this has been rectified, by the presence of the E2BB website, where NAN and whinging to the E2 admins is allowed.
Another place to put your personal opinions about noding is on your home node. What you are reading now is an example.
I hate seing nodes which are just a long list of links to other nodes. I feel that there should be some content, beyond the title, giving details of what it is that the nodes have in common.
Nodes I would like to work onMultiple tuits required. For work in progress, see my scratchpad.
- Stock exchange - crt rescue
- Fuzzy logic
- Canterbury - both stuff about the place and the musicians
- leadville - review of book on the Western Avenue
- Even Tempered Scale - Redo my w/u Well tempered Scale, distinguish the two
- Boddingtons - give a more realistic account of what this beer is and was.
- Shrink wrap Information about packaging and metaphorical use of the term.
- Martin Gardner - crt rescue
- In search of the miraculous - I would like to review this book, and include more of Gurdjieff's philosophy.
- Book reviews of Richard Adams books Shardik (done) and Maia (tbd)
- Review Brave New World
- Benchmark - history of the term
- Pink Floyd (needs a more thorough and accurate history of the band)
Nodes I'm interested in
Music related nodes
- Brian Eno
- The Piper st the Gates of Dawn
- The Velvet Underground
- Magical Mystery Tour
- Soft Machine
- Kevin Ayers
- Musical elitists
- Shostakovich Symphony No. 5
- anonymous remailers
- elliptic function
- DEC Alpha
- memory management
- Unified Change Management
- Revision Control
- Artificial life
- Genetic Algorithm
Mind and brain
- Parkinson's disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Asperger's syndrome
- Attention Deficit Disorder
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Manic Depression
- Dependency theory
- Wernicke-Geschwind model
- lucid dreaming
- Thanksgiving, suicide, and the breakdown of an already dysfunctional family
- How to love someone who is mentally ill
Miscellaneous Interesting / informative / cool nodes
- String Theory
- The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
- How to improve your break shot
- Prostitution in Medieval Europe
- How to sing: a brief guide
- How to become mayor of an English town
Books and films
- Clockwork Orange
- The Illuminatus! Trilogy
- The Beach
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time