Notes for 18 February 2010

The sort of work I’m doing currently is to work consistently toward a goal and see how much progress I make. Since I know so little about the technologies I’m working with it’s really hard to tell just what I’ll get done. My overall goal is to have my blog served from a piece of software described in a document that can be accepted as a Masters thesis by April 4 (Easter), but what the path will look like to get from hither to yon, I have no idea.

Today was mostly working on getting neo4j to talk to cocoon.

The simplest way to build the structure of a cocoon app is:

mvn archetype:generate -DarchetypeCatalog=http://cocoon.apache.org

That will step you through the a series of prompts to configure things. To run the app is:

mvn jetty:run

Cocoon has a reloadable classloader, so while the jetty instance is running if you want to develop without restarting, you just run:

mvn cocoon:prepare

In response to my previous post, I got a reference to InfoGrid which, I’d somehow overlooked in my searches. My list at this point of graph db projects is:

I’m going flesh out my problem a bit more with this neo4j/cocoon combo, but hopefully I’ll get to delve into some of the others before too long.


Neo4j has some limitations, the biggest at the moment is nodes are unordered. Since I’m representing ordered trees, I have to work around this in some way. There is, however, a timeline indexing service which maintains an order between nodes. I’m going to wade through its source tomorrow.


I worked a bit more on the diagrams to show the multiuser graph modeled as conditional graph traversal âžœ event stream âžœ content generation, but they’re still off. The problem is I either need one really big graph (big enough to programatically generate) or do something 3D (which is hard to draw).


On an unrelated note, Rolling Stone ran a jaded critique of the financial industry. I’ve been working at focusing on the task at hand and not dreaming too much of an improved tomorrow, but I still have glimmers of hope that people will eventually seek substantial change.

I liked Jonathan Jarviscrisis of credit because it shows how everyone could see themselves as acting responsibly so long as they didn’t look too hard at the system as a whole.

The Crisis of Credit Visualized from Jonathan Jarvis.

It seems like much of the movement currently is toward more complex regulation of the systems, I’m still trying to figure out where to find the people working on concrete plans to create simpler systems that can be distributively managed. It might be the social forum folks, but I’m unsure they’ll ever have mainstream appeal. The singularity folks should be the ones working on this, but they’re too busy ignoring black swans.

In any case that search can wait a month of two ’til I’ve developed some l33t data wrangling skills to help someone improve the world. Currently, I dream of reapplying to Salsa and giving the political process a try.

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