Friday, November 9, 2007

Weekly Blogs

It's been said by those who have lots to say that if you have a blog then you shold blog daily. Some do it several times a day. I can't do that. But, I shall try (note the word "try") to do this weekly. And this blog technically counts as this weeks blog. :-)

Benchmarks: So, what has happened this week in the wonderful of Rulebased System benchmarks? Well, for one thing, the past week has been one of rapid-fire comments about benchmarks from Ming Lin (Traveloicity), Mark Proctor (Drools), Peter Lin (Independent Consultant), and Daniel Selman (ILOG). Not many other weighing in so I will see if I can get some time to run some of those benchmarks as well as fire up the old Telecom bencmarks. That should stoke the fires considerably.

New Things out and about rulebased systems: Versata has a new release 6.3.0. Visual Rules now runs with Eclipse. Paul Haley is still MIA - meaning we can not seem to find out where he finally settled down outside of Haley Systems. Mark Proctor et cie are at a Drools conference. Willie Hall (formerly Neuron Data, formerly Blaze Software, formerly Mind Box) has followed Johnathan Halprin and Marty Saulenas in the Mind Box exodus to Fair Isaac's green pastures. James Taylor (formerly at Fair Isaac) is now promoting Open Source - after a fashion. Jess has a new verison,7.0p2, out now. Have not heard much from ILOG on the official front recently except for news blurbs where they got this deal or signed that contract.

Open Source: Lots of different definitions here but, personally, I think that the Apache license is probably the most open of all and the one to which I, personally, subscribe. For example, I "could" (not that I would) take the source for Drools, rename everything and re-write the screens, and then call it "Texas Rules" - and it would be quite legal from what I have heard about the Apache license. Mark Proctor would know more about this than would I. Anyway, it seems quite neat and many companies are finding out that if they want to be in the software business rather than the banking busines (for example) that they can have their own proprietary version of most any Apache software - and re-sell it to their industry.

BTW, if any of you are in the insurance market, it seems that ACORD, , is THE company for de facto global e-commerce standards for insurance. This little company, pretty much unknown outside of insurance folks, was called to my attention by Daniel Brookshier who works for No Magic, an OO design company. He seems to think that they really are straight up and above board. Maybe we could have something like that for rulebased systems? But the customers would have to lead the charge on this one - not the vendors. Anyway, check it out and see what you think.

Next Week: We'll be talking about parallel rulebase systems and (maybe) statistical analysis of applications for the insurance industry that is based on the MYCIN work done back in the late 80's. Both interesting topics. And more on Benchmarks. I promise.

Meanwhile, remember, "To thine own self be true" is a nice thought - but being true to God is even more important. :-)



James Taylor said...

Nice to see you blogging again but not sure what prompted your comment about me. Ever since Mark P. got Drools to build out its rules management capabilities I have been talking about it. I think a market needs a flourishing and competitive open source product these days to be taken seriously and I am glad business rules has one. I wish there was more going on integrating the open source rules and data mining/analytics worlds but you can't have everything.


James Taylor
The Smart (Enough) Systems blog
My ebizQ blog
Author of Smart (Enough) Systems

Bubba De Katt said...

I have 2 questions for all the experts:

(1) how long did it take you to become an effective rules person?

(2) why does corporate management think their people can do it with 2-3 weeks of training?

jco said...

Two comments:

James: I was still gettting comments about "what happend" with regards to your abrupt departure from Fair isaac. And you're right - Mark has done an outstanding job with Drools.

Bubba: (1) The definition of "effective" varies from person to person and company to company. My own evaluation is that at what pont in your career doing rules are you comfortable with someone else reviewing your code? In my case, it would be about 2002 - sometime after the Lloyds Bank job that I pretty much did on my own from front to back. After that, I felt that I could do pretty much anything associated with a rulebased system. So, from 1989 to 2002 was 13 years, but probably an effective 5 years plus. (2) Because corporate management is mostly dildos who have neveer done a rulebase but they only manage others. My current supervisor (Dandy Don Tallo) is an exception to the rule. He's an EE with about 20 years experience in rules before he finally went over to the dark side, management. The rest of the management team is mostly ex-PM and ex-something else and they have NO IDEA how to do my job, but they sure as shooting feel that they can critique me on what I'm doing and tell me how to do it.