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  • Harvestman:news

    3am 02/08/2003
    Its Friday night and as usual i am treating my insomnia with a good dose of alpha-coding.

    Let me explain (IMHO) - you see alpha code, like alpha thought comes from the same perspective as numerical white sheep leaping a picket fence. Creative energy unleashed when most of your brain shuts down at night. Its a state somewhere between dreams and consciousness where ideas (and code) flow freely and effortlessly.

    Provided you can harness it...

    Its the debugging hour, when the entire days frustrations become clear and obvious. Ive just spent the last week squeezing memory leaks from code and like blood from a stone it doesn't come easy. But the alpha magic has worked again and allowed me the first tantilising glimpse of the Harvestman classification engine in full flight.

    I am astonished - it actually works with 98% accuracy. The data set consists of around 200 documents roughly equal portions of news sites and blogs (web logs).

    More rope please 16/07/2003
    There is a saying about C++, that is, its like rope. Useful though this modern innovation is, it can be hazardous when it forms a knots that are difficult to untie.

    I have discovered that my build environment treats static functions somewhat differently in debug and release, and hence has difficulty understanding my desire for polymorphic behavior. This is great because it totally destroyed my simple RTTI system. Now i have a slightly more complicated one.

    The world is plagued by bad standards and failure to adhere to the good ones. Sometimes im not quite sure in which category ANSI C++ belongs.

    Scratching 15/07/2003
    It looks like Yahoo! has swallowed Overture. A move which models my original business plan, i.e. to be shark fodder - food for arthropods with have taste for mergers and acquisitions.

    But with the market dwindling, and technology being shelved, im feeling theres suddenly more room on the racecourse.

    Asthetic programming 12/06/2003
    It has been my experience that asthetics have a lot to do with good design. If an architecture is asthetic, it means its readable, perhaps elegant, and most importantly - logically concise. I will often play around with empty class names and object heirarchies for 24 hours without implementing any code.

    Once i reach the point where it looks nice and there is a seamless blend between the analogy of structure and purpose, i add the code.

    Its the skeletal structure of the body that defines how it works and why, and similarly, its the skeletal structure of the code that makes the program. This is something that no design document can do.

    Memetics is a wonderful word 11/06/2003
    Work has begun on the Machine Learning library for Harvestman. Initially i had hoped to prototype with, and later license, an Open Source library for Neural Network learning. Unfortunately after evaluating many projects, and spending a day porting the most promising one (Amygdala) to Win32 i was forced to admit defeat.

    The bloat involved with introducting STL Port, Pthreads and Gnome libxml into the project was simply too much to bear.

    Open Source (0) Procrastination (1)

    Hence ill be developing a Neural Network architecture from scratch, starting with Backpropagation, Perceptrons, and Kohonen's Self Organizing Map (SOM) for unsupervised learning.

    Static in the lines 09/06/2003
    As i write this first post i cant help but think that its a carnal sin to be editing a web log manually, and for that matter running a static website. But then again, perhaps its a testament to the age old paradigm K.I.S.S.