A bit of gentle advice for student projects

Because my email address is attached to some the Jena source code, I quite often get direct email from students seeking help with projects. In general I don’t mind this, though I’m sufficiently busy with actual work that I can’t offer much direct support. My usual feedback is that most people need to get much clearer what they are actually to do. Often they come...

Google gdata library and maven

Despite a number of requests from a variety of users, there are as-yet no official maven versions of Google’s gdata client Java library. There are various scripts to push the .jar files into a local repo, and one project on Google code containing an older version of the client library, mavenized. I think it’s up to the code maintainers (Google) to put a process in...

British English Thesaurus for OpenOffice 3.x

OpenOffice 3.x on Ubuntu doesn’t come with a thesaurus for British English (en-gb), which is irritating. Google shows lots of recipes for faking a British thesaurus using the installed thesaurus for US English, which is at best an approximation, but in any case they don’t work on OO3. A much better solution is to download the British English Thesaurus OpenOffice extension from the weekly whinge...

Great article: learning from hostage negotiators

Really interesting article on Boxes and arrows: what design researchers can learn from hostage negotiators. I’ve used something akin to the coach role in user-studies that I have conducted in the past, though in our case the coach also had the role of note-taker, freeing the lead interviewer to be able to listen carefully to the interviewee without being distracted by getting the key points...

Moving along

Friday October 30th was my last working day at HPLabs after 20+ years with HP, most of that in the research labs. I’m not going to introspect too much on the event itself – the reasons for the large-scale changes in staffing are for HPL management not me to discuss. Suffice to say that Jena will continue, and indeed become more open, and the current...