Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The case for yet another ID system

What is going on ? There are plenty of "open" "decentralized" "single sign on/authentication/trust" frameworks already ... Wouldn't it be better to choose ONE and support it ? There is a case for a generic "open identification" system but as far as I can see, OpenID, Shibboleth and Higgins are kind of implementing the same pattern, just with different technologies. Phil Becker makes an interesting statement in his article, but I don't know where is the proof that "OpenID has a much lighter cost structure than any alternative."

From what I've seen on their websites, Shibboleth is the one with the most advance in terms of trials, wouldn't it be a better investment to support it rather than to create competing frameworks ?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Where in the world ...

OK ... the change of job has happened :) Now from working in the middle of nowhere in the South East of the UK, I am working in the middle of nowhere in the centre of the Netherlands -.

The job so far is OK and the commuting remained the same (3 minutes door to door), the only pain is the flights to come-and-go - all packed both ways so far !

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Strengths ...

I had to do an interesting test for a position, the results for my 5 top strengths:

You love to learn. The subject matter that interests you most will be determined by your other themes and experiences, but whatever the subject, you will always be drawn to the process of learning. The process, more than the content or the result, is especially exciting for you. You are energized by the steady and deliberate journey from ignorance to competence. The thrill of the first few facts, the early efforts to recite or practice what you have learned, the growing confidence of a skill mastered-this is the process that entices you. Your excitement leads you to engage in adult learning experiences-yoga or piano lessons or graduate classes. It enables you to thrive in dynamic work environments where you are asked to take on short project assignments and are expected to learn a lot about the new subject matter in a short period of time and then move on to the next one. This Learner theme does not necessarily mean that you seek to become the subject matter expert, or that you are striving for the respect that accompanies a professional or academic credential. The outcome of the learning is less significant than the "getting there."

You are a conductor. When faced with a complex situation involving many factors, you enjoy managing all of the variables, aligning and realigning them until you are sure you have arranged them in the most productive configuration possible. In your mind there is nothing special about what you are doing. You are simply trying to figure out the best way to get things done. But others, lacking this theme, will be in awe of your ability. "How can you keep so many things in your head at once?" they will ask. "How can you stay so flexible, so willing to shelve well-laid plans in favor of some brand-new configuration that has just occurred to you?" But you cannot imagine behaving in any other way. You are a shining example of effective flexibility, whether you are changing travel schedules at the last minute because a better fare has popped up or mulling over just the right combination of people and resources to accomplish a new project. From the mundane to the complex, you are always looking for the perfect configuration. Of course, you are at your best in dynamic situations. Confronted with the unexpected, some complain that plans devised with such care cannot be changed, while others take refuge in the existing rules or procedures. You don't do either. Instead, you jump into the confusion, devising new options, hunting for new paths of least resistance, and figuring out new partnerships-because, after all, there might just be a better way.

You are fascinated by ideas. What is an idea? An idea is a concept, the best explanation of the most events. You are delighted when you discover beneath the complex surface an elegantly simple concept to explain why things are the way they are. An idea is a connection. Yours is the kind of mind that is always looking for connections, and so you are intrigued when seemingly disparate phenomena can be linked by an obscure connection. An idea is a new perspective on familiar challenges. You revel in taking the world we all know and turning it around so we can view it from a strange but strangely enlightening angle. You love all these ideas because they are profound, because they are novel, because they are clarifying, because they are contrary, because they are bizarre. For all these reasons you derive a jolt of energy whenever a new idea occurs to you. Others may label you creative or original or conceptual or even smart. Perhaps you are all of these. Who can be sure? What you are sure of is that ideas are thrilling. And on most days this is enough.

The Strategic theme enables you to sort through the clutter and find the best route. It is not a skill that can be taught. It is a distinct way of thinking, a special perspective on the world at large. This perspective allows you to see patterns where others simply see complexity. Mindful of these patterns, you play out alternative scenarios, always asking, "What if this happened? Okay, well what if this happened?" This recurring question helps you see around the next corner. There you can evaluate accurately the potential obstacles. Guided by where you see each path leading, you start to make selections. You discard the paths that lead nowhere. You discard the paths that lead straight into resistance. You discard the paths that lead into a fog of confusion. You cull and make selections until you arrive at the chosen path-your strategy. Armed with your strategy, you strike forward. This is your Strategic theme at work: "What if?" Select. Strike.

You are inquisitive. You collect things. You might collect information-words, facts, books, and quotations-or you might collect tangible objects such as butterflies, baseball cards, porcelain dolls, or sepia photographs. Whatever you collect, you collect it because it interests you. And yours is the kind of mind that finds so many things interesting. The world is exciting precisely because of its infinite variety and complexity. If you read a great deal, it is not necessarily to refine your theories but, rather, to add more information to your archives. If you like to travel, it is because each new location offers novel artifacts and facts. These can be acquired and then stored away. Why are they worth storing? At the time of storing it is often hard to say exactly when or why you might need them, but who knows when they might become useful? With all those possible uses in mind, you really don't feel comfortable throwing anything away. So you keep acquiring and compiling and filing stuff away. It's interesting. It keeps your mind fresh. And perhaps one day some of it will prove valuable.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Statement of the day ...

"While detailed domain expertise is important, it is not the most critical skill set required in the EA team. Far more critical are the skills of the enterprise architect—roles performed by the individuals tasked with contributing the enterprise perspective to architectural directions. These individuals operate higher in the abstraction “stack” and are concerned with how the various piece-parts and building blocks of the enterprise relate to each other in order to fulfill the enterprise strategy. In this role, enterprise architects are typically less concerned with the lower level details. Note the use of the term “role” in the prior sentence. In practice, enterprise architect is one of many roles played by an individual. Individuals may also perform several other roles, perhaps including domain subject matter expert.

The enterprise architect role requires individuals to understand the business of the enterprise and to interpret its strategy. They must appreciate innovation and be able to embrace a vision for how the business responds to external trends, while pursuing growth, cost-savings, customer satisfaction, efficiency or any mix of strategic objectives. Most importantly, they must be able to interpret the implications of those strategic directions. The implications become the guiding directives for all subsequent decisions. With this knowledge, they must be able to drive the enterprise in new directions, perhaps change the way decisions are made and modify the way the enterprise operates. In other words, they need to lead.
Taken from "Building & Managing the Virtual EA Team" By George S. Paras

I wonder, where are the companies (and recruitment managers) that follow these principle in their vision of Architecture ?!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Confusing ...

I see Tim Bray's references on the server side and I am lost ! Seems that most of the references are around web technologies - not enterprise systems ! Taken out of context, graphics that don't explain what they are charting and how data was sourced will always be abused !

Any how ... we'll see who posts real information to see who is more scalable in which context.

Monday, November 13, 2006

GRRR ! What is an architect ?

I am having so much fun with the different definitions of an "architect" in the market !!! Seems that the definition goes from being a very senior java developer (just see Sun's and BEA's certifications) all the way down to Enterprise Architects with all the methodologies in the market!

Come on !! You don't call the guy that design the electrical system in a building the "architect" - you call them "electrical engineers" ! the guy that plugs it ALL together and helps deliver in a timely fashion IS the architect!

Having lots of knowledge about the specifics of a technology is great, but that doesn't give you neither the understanding of how to apply it appropriately in a project, doesn't give understanding of how the solution plugs with the rest of the enterprise, and doesn't give the visibility of how it will run once deployed.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Just passed the "britishness" test :) now to finalise the forms and post everything !

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

News groups contributions

Some contributions made over time to newsgroups can be found here, so people don't think i've been doing nothing!