Tuesday, January 30, 2007

How about usability?

The title links to a sample page from MSDN.

Notice that the breadcrumbs section (which lists the parent topic names all the way to the root topic) has a drop down that pops up (that's a funny expression) for each parent topic which lists all the peer topics at that level. This is a cool information architecture.


the usability of the implementation is bad. Notice that the pop-ups cover other topic names and its nuisance to have to move the mouse or hit escape button to lose the pop up that popped up because you overshot the mouse.

May be the usability testers tested with a few topics in the crumbs. The problem starts when there are many topics. Whats the way out? Nothing easy. Thats probably the reason why it is deployed that way.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Blog Entries or comments?

After posting this I got thinking about whether that should have been a comment on that blog.
  • if I make a comment there I lose an entry on my blog.
  • my blog is a collection of my thoughts (so what if that main article inspired it) - I would rather have them in one place
  • tools like technorati get at my comments anyway (if a reader of a blog entry wants to know). This possibility has a side effect which is more important than the effect-main. Those who want to other's thoughts on someone's thoughts can decide how to understand those thoughts by seeing the collage at my blog and they may even decide to skip my comment altogether based on my blog ranking.

Good Math, Bad Math, ???? description

Over at Good Math, Bad Math, the author writes (in other articles) about how people don't "get it" with maths ...

Generally those articles are fun to read. But on many an occasion the author's posts themselves are corrected by some commenter or other. But this obviously is a lesser sin. The author does pick the right things to object to. And they might make those mistakes mainly because of the nature of good blogging : that which is done in the heat of the moment, without too much polishing etc.

Now with that preamble laid out...
In the article linked to here, the author says
The standard deviation, which is usually written σ is a root mean-square measure - which means that it's the mean (average) of the square root of the difference between the points and the mean squared. The sum of the squares is also a useful figure, called the variance; the variance is just the mean of the squares - that is σ2
The RMS expands into root (of the) mean (of the) square(s of the deviation from the mean)
not mean of the root, as described above. In fact, mean of the square root of the difference between the points and the mean squared is a cool measure too. Its something like the first moment of the absolute difference or the mean absolute deviation (when the positive root alone is considered).

Monday, January 15, 2007

language independent language

Most of our languages seem to be made of arbitrary sounds assigned to objects. language is called a bhashe in kannada to stress the point.

Even then, language seems to be be made of language independent features in many parts of the brian which interpret actions. My mirror neurons which eventually "hear" 'run' act the same way as when I hear 'Odu'.

on poetry

look at me disrobe
I will remove even this garment
I will remove now the skin, the tissues
I will remove my marrow now. one up.

well designed presentation of thoughts

Well recursively, this thought itself is rehearsed many times over with self and friends. But ...

Blogging should be a rather spontaneous registration of thought process : rather than a well thought out, polished 'article' : though many bloggers seems to do this, going by private knowledge of what they do or by actual year end admissions I saw recently.

The spontaneous blog idiom is claimed by some to actually replacethe letters between scientists (or intellectuals in general) of yester years which acts as a basis of knowing the process by which many results or whatever were arrived at which is fast being lost : replaced by emials and telephones.