Friday, December 25, 2009

Rolee Polee

I purchased the "Rolee Polee" on October 27, 2009.  My intention in its procurement was to reduce movement between my keyboard and my mouse which are approximately one and one half feet apart.

One uses the Rolee Polee by holding it, as portraid in the thrid image to the right,  by placing ones index finger through the hole in the device and using ones thumb on the small trackball and two mouse buttons on top.

In principal this device is quite useful, allowing one a higher freedom of movement during mouse usage.  Even assuming proper functioning of the device itself, the Rolee Polee is not ideal for users who are switching between the keyboard and the mouse regularly.  To make use of the Rolee Polee, as previously described, the user must palce their index finger into a hole in the Rolee Polee.  When switching back to typing, the user must take the Rolee Polee off of their finger.  Thus, the time saved in not having to move ones hand to and from the mouse is lost and then some in the picking up and putting on of the Rolee Polee.

This flaw aside, the device in and of itself is defective.  The buttons on the device are fully functional.  There are two one the top, one representing the right mouse button and one representing an augmentation of clicking on the scroll wheel of the mouse.  Also, there is a "trigger" button located across the natural position of the users index finger which represents the left mouse button.  The track ball is the portion of the Rolee Polee which is highly defective.  It consists of a small, hard plastic, green ball running over a series of small rollers meant to track its motion.  This small hard plastic track ball is not large enough to fill the cavety carved out for it and thus does not have ample cohesion with the rollers.  Strangely the device works for a few minutes out of the box, however shortly there after movement of the mouse is largely limited to the horizontal plane.  Many online reviews of the product report similar problems with the device leading me to believe that I did not receive a lone defective unit. 

In fairness, for the short period of time during which the Rolee Polee was working, it was very comfortable to use and the positioning of the buttons and track ball felt natural and did not require any acclamation. 

In Summation
I would not suggest this purchace . Given the devices track record of being defective it is not worth the risk.  If you can find a higher quality track ball which would fill the cavety provided it may be a higher functioning tool, but as is, it is nearly useless after a day. 

Had I found their website prior to purchase I may have thought twice as well. 


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

To "Keep Pace"

In formalizing the problem at hand, as was done in my Dec 10 post, I have remained wholly objective in definition of the problem itself and have avoided the temptation of attributing any of its parts to a given implementation. The terms used in the description of the problem however remain subject to the translation of the reader.  "Keeping pace" is such a phrase which lends itself well to a range of interpretation and thus begs definition.
A View of the Semantic Web must be capable of keeping pace with the Semantic web itself. 
Usage of the phase in this context is intended to denote a level of conformity between the pace keeper and the pace setter.  Movement in the Ontology is to be made manifest in the View.  In accord with the final passage of the problem, "without recourse to re-implementation upon a change in the ontology," it can be stated further that movement in the Ontology must be made manifest in the View without direct modification to the View itself.   

It follows that the View must be informed of changes in the Ontology.  Absent this any manifestation of change in the View would be guesswork akin to the man who dresses to step out on a Spring day without first checking the weather.  Thus between the View and the Ontology must reside a third entity aptly named the Crier who sings loudly to the View of the works upon the Ontology such that the View might conform itself to the authority of the Ontology.  

Here we walk on precarious grounds for as the resources of which the Model is made up are of the Ontology are we not mingling the View and the Model which are to remain distinct?  I argue in the negative, my reason being that the Ontology is an entity separate from the Model.  Consider the definition of the Model briefly set forth in my prior post.  The Model is that in which resides the "business logic" of the system.  We stipulate that as applied to the Semantic Web the resources and operations upon them are the matter of which the Model is made.  

The Ontology, in relation to resources, is the definition of the nature of the resources.  Should we then say that the nature of the elements of the Model is part of the Model?  This is perhaps more an object of philosophy and may be best to be left as such.  Can one say that the nature of those things which are apples is contained within a particular apple?  Certainly the individual apple exhibits those characteristics set forth by its nature, but we can not define one apple from another without recourse to the nature.  Therefore in the same way that one does not say the nature of the apple is of the apple, or of the totality of all apples for that matter, neither does one say that the Ontology is of the Model. 


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Starting at the Beginning

As a principal, when one takes to the task of solving a problem, it is of indispensable value to have ascertained a full grasp of that which is to be solved. He who endeavors upon such a problem lacking this will surely find a solution to nothing more than the problem of excess time. It is exactly this problem which I have lamentably solved time and time again for lack of the aforementioned principal.

I believe it was St. Thomas Aquinas who once observed "an error in the beginning is an error indeed." So as to dodge such folly as can be avoided I will be at some pains herein to set forth the problem, or problems as the case may be, which the intended system is meant to solve.

We start with the definition of a model which, in a sense, can be said to be the impetus for the problem itself, the Semantic Web. The notion and movement of the Semantic Web, as defined by those who define such things, is aimed at the bringing about of an interconnected web of data points, the connections between which are made meaningful by use of a common ontology. Work in this area is therefore performed in the space of resources and is concerned heavily with their creation, modification, destruction, and, most importantly, relation and aggregation. There are and have recently been made advances in systems for handling such operations. Many of these systems are satisfactory and some are quite mature. Thus it is not in this realm that I wish to focus my attention (though hitherto it has been this area to which my efforts have been employed).

As is, the Semantic Web would be a great boon for machines duly coded to handle the interpretation and aggregation of such information as the web can provide. Creating a meaningful view of the information is another beast entirely. Consider the Model-View-Control paradigm, pervasive in the domain of computer applications. This pattern mandates a strict decoupling of a Model and a View. Traditionally the Model is defined as that part of a system or application in which resides the "Business Logic" of the system or application. More often than not the data which the application uses, if any, is presented as part of the Model, though additional design patterns may endeavor to abstract it otherwise. The View then is that thing which is used to display that which is in the Model in such a way as is appropriate for the intention of the application. Applying this notion to the Semantic Web results in the resources of the Semantic Web being cast to the domain of the Model. The View then, highly variable based on the intended application, is that which presents resources to the intended consumer.

Some brief meditation is needed in order to see the consequence of this and the burden undoubtedly put upon the unfortunate fellow of whom a View is asked. It is easy enough to conceive of a relatively straight forward system designed for the purpose of viewing a single resource at a time. It is almost equally easy to do the same for a system providing a mapped view of the resources and their connections. Additional, and dare I say more realistic, requirements may place further restrictions on the View however. While I am not in a position to postulate a fully enumerated list of such requirements one can surmise that it may be of value to only show certain types of relationships. One may also surmise that, as we are considering a View, the consumer of said View may require a specific layout to be adhered to or multiple layouts depending on the type of resource presented.  Such an implementation is cumbersome even once and the dynamic nature of the Semantic Web increases the burden on the developer of the View as they will most certainly be required to make constant updates to the view in keeping with the ever changing, ever growing, ontology space of the Semantic Web.

And thus we come to the very heart of the matter. Problem: A View of the Semantic Web must be capable of keeping pace with the Semantic web itself.  Such a View must also allow for conformity to requirements concerning resource View positioning, layout, and associated resource requests, without recourse to re-implementation upon a change in the ontology.


My efforts to be succinct in exposition have clearly failed.  However, with problem stated progress can be made towards a solution with clarity.


Monday, December 7, 2009

Upon Embarking

Before delving into the subject matter of which I intend to write I would do well to make note of the purpose of this work. This will stand for my own sake as much as the reader for without direction my mind has a want to wander and soon sets aside the task at hand.

As I debated with myself concerning the creation of this blog ( a word of which I am not particularly fond and intend to use only as necessity dictates ) my initial notion was to utilize it solely as a log of my progress in creation of the web development framework with which I have loosely tasked myself. I felt this subject matter would be rather dry however and as my comic is largely in hiatus until the fruition of said framework or such a time as its value no longer outweighs the cost of time spent, I needed an outlet for my more satirical musings.

To that end I posit the following purposes in order of import as I see them.
  • General thoughts and notes of interest concerning my study of logic
  • Explanations of the aforementioned web development framework, along with my progress in it's creation
  • Topics of more general interest, of which "Thought on Working From Home" comes readily to mind
It is my hope that if I stray further from these topics than seems reasonable that the reader will gently correct me once, and more forcibly the second time.