OASIS Mailing List ArchivesView the OASIS mailing list archive below
or browse/search using MarkMail.


Help: OASIS Mailing Lists Help | MarkMail Help



   Re: [xml-dev] Understanding Scaling - Critical for a Net-Centric Vision

[ Lists Home | Date Index | Thread Index ]

Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:

> Roger:
> Systems scale to the energy budget for work performed.   This means:
> 1.  If the added unit has proportional energy added, it can scale almost
> infinitely (not quite infinitely because of interference and maintenance).

relativity gets in the way. did you see the episode of the myth busters 
where they investigated disintegrating cd roms? interesting real life 
look at what happens when you keep adding energy. even before 
relativistic effects, there's plenty of other physical effects that get 
in the way, but relativity will ultimately limit anything.

> 2.  Inversely proportional systems that perform no work can scale
> almost infinitely as well.   See civil service and consultancies.  :-)

systems that perform no work have no value (by definition). i think that 
tells us a lot about the public service.....

> 3.  Don't do much but do that precisely and efficiently.
> Simpler systems scale because of the low energy requirements,
> but the systems that scale best replace energy lost to the environment
> from the environment which is why self-sustaining expanding systems
> generally have a feedback mechanism for self-regulation.  Thus at a
> certain scale, they will stop expanding, collapse, or acquire neighboring
> systems for their resources.   If you watch the history of open source
> projects, note the exchanges of members, ideas, technologies, and
> the merging and fracturing of the communities.   Systems don't
> usually have long lifecycles unless they have an active trading
> arrangement with their neighbors.   That is why I advise such efforts
> to start initially with a fairly closed and focused effort (don't go to
> PR immediately; it attracts too many non-contributors); then once
> the system is self-regulating and coherent, find the natural allies
> with whom one can begin to trade goods and services.
> Many efforts fail because they promote the effort before they
> have anything substantial to trade.  They are easy prey to
> others and themselves.
> len
>     *From:* Roger L. Costello [mailto:costello@mitre.org]
>     Hi Folks,
>     A few musings about "scaling" which I thought might be of interest ...
>     Note: In this message I use the word "technology" in its broadest
>     sense.  It can mean a specific tool, or it can mean an approach or
>     strategy.
>     A key aspect of the Web is its ability to scale.  Web technologies
>     flourish or die depending on their ability to scale.
>     What does it mean for a technology to scale?  What does it mean
>     that a technology does not scale?
>     To have a sensible net-centric vision it is critical to have a
>     deep, intuitive understanding of this concept of scaling.  As a
>     company moves to a net-centric environment it must adopt
>     technologies that scale well.  A technology will either scale
>     or it will die.
>     Let's consider some examples.
>     Roger Ebert is a professional movie critic.  He reviews a movie
>     and then provides information about it:
>        - a short description
>        - a rating (1 - 4 stars)
>     [Note that what Ebert provides is "metadata" about the movie]
>     Over the years, the number of movies has multiplied (independent
>     movies, blockbuster movies, etc).  It is no longer possible to
>     Ebert to review all them.
>     Having a single professional movie critic review movies doesn't
>     scale.  Even a group of professional movie critics would be soon
>     overloaded.
>     As well as not scaling, there is a problem with "truth".  A movie
>     review represents someone's interpretation, not facts.  Everyone
>     has their own opinions about a movie.  Ebert may love the movie,
>     but the rest of the world may hate it.
>     An alternative to using a professional movie critic to review
>     movies is to have each movie producer generate a movie review. 
>     This approach scales well - there is one movie reviewer for each
>     movie.  Of course, the problem with this approach is that the
>     movie review will be heavily biased.
>     A third alternative is to record the comments of the movie-goers. 
>     This approach is highly scalable - there are many reviewers for
>     each movie.  Further, since there are many reviewers there is a
>     diversity of opinions, which give a variety of perspective to
>     someone who is trying to decide whether to view a movie.
>     Thus, a scalable movie review "technology" is one that can grow as
>     the number of movies to be reviewed increases.
>     The New York Times has a small group of book reviewers.  This
>     group reviews books and then publishes their reviews.
>     Just as with the problem of reviewing movies, using professional
>     reviewers does not scale.  The New York times group is unable to
>     review the exponentially growing number of new and old books.
>     An alternative approach is for each book author to elicit a review
>     from a fellow author.  This scales well, but suffers from bias.
>     A third alternative is to let the users (the readers) provide a
>     review of the books.  This scales well and provides for a
>     diversity of opinions.
>     A scalable book review "technology" is one that can grow as the
>     number of books to be reviewed increases.
>     There are some lessons to be learned from the above examples.
>     There are three approaches to solving a problem:
>     1. The high priests approach: Solve the problem using a small,
>     centralized set of
>         skilled professionals (the professionals may be geographically
>     separate but
>         functionally they are centralized)
>     2. The authors approach: Solve a problem using the authors.
>     3. The users approach: Solve the problem using the large body of
>     distributed users.
>     The high priests approach is not scalable, although it may produce
>     precise, reliable results.
>     The author approach is scalable, but it may produce dubious results.
>     The user's approach is scalable and produces multiple results
>     which are then shared. 
>     A successful web technology is one that:
>         - scales and
>         - shares
>     Technologies that scale invite participation by the users.  When
>     the users become the professionals then the technology has
>     succeeded: 
>     - When your users style the XML data to their own liking and share
>     their stylesheets with others, then your technology for making
>     appealing looking data has succeeded.
>     - When your users markup data using tags that make sense to them
>     and share their tags with others, then your markup technology has
>     succeeded.
>     - When your movie goers write reviews of movies and post them for
>     others to view, then your movie review technology has succeeded.
>     - When your book readers write review of books and post them for
>     others to view, then your book review technology has succeeded.
>     A long time ago (Oct. 28, 2003) John Cowan made the below remark
>     on xml-dev.  I now understand it.
>     Roger L. Costello scripsit:
>> BTW John, I really liked your paradigm shift on the telephone
>     operator story.
>> Can you think of a similar shift with programming?  /Roger
>     Yes, in fact.  Perhaps ten years ago, I was sitting next to a stranger
>     on the New York to Boston shuttle.  In casual conversation, she asked
>     me what I did.  "I'm a computer programmer", said I.  She said, not
>     unusually, "Oh, I don't know anything about programming", but then
>     added in the same breath "except for some Excel and Basic."  I had
>     an epiphany: the world had changed.
>     As always, comments are welcome. /Roger
> !DSPAM:428e4693170347621911786! 

fn:Rick  Marshall
tel;cell:+61 411 287 530


News | XML in Industry | Calendar | XML Registry
Marketplace | Resources | MyXML.org | Sponsors | Privacy Statement

Copyright 2001 XML.org. This site is hosted by OASIS