I am not a military scientist but I seem to insist that this concept I call âready stateâ comes from the military. âReady stateâ means that you have worked with your organization and have achieved a certain level of preparation. This level of preparation is ready to handle a certain set of known scenarios. For me this implies that there are (at least) two kinds of work: you work to obtain a certain level of preparation and you work to maintain a certain level of preparation.
I am not a Tibetan monk but I seem to know about this way of suffering called âthe suffering of change.â This implies that whenever I use words of permanence like âmaintainâ I am making myself vulnerable to the suffering of change. Life is about constant changeâand any âintelligent graspingâ for the illusion of permanence is a recipe for the Blues, baby.
My clever grasping would suggest to any willing to listen that my two kinds of work are worth it. And, in fact, obtaining a realistic âready stateâ is a defense against the suffering of change. The delicate, professional, career-orienting move here is to prepare for these âknown scenariosâ but also be ready to abandon them completely. So, with my Songhay System organization, I have been âsufferingâ for years working toward reaching a level of preparation in these areas:
- Building a generic solution (now called âGenericWebâ) that generalizes the document-centric Web application. This is largely server-side work in ASP.NET, XSLT and Microsoft SQL Server with a little bit of client-side AJAX/CSS under YUI.
- Building a generic solution (with no fancy nameâso letâs call it âNext-Generation Songhay UIâ) for displaying content on the Web. This is largely a client-side effort, using AJAX/CSS under YUI, with a little bit of server-side Zend Framework/PHP/XSLT.
These two work areas described with the buzzwords above suggest the following:
- The Songhay System is using XSLT to render user interfaces (with AJAX). This implies that XML must be used to represent data that âboundâ to these interfaces. This further implies that an XSLT/XML âpipelineâ had to be built in PHP and .NET.
- The PHP-based solution described above mentions no database systems. This does not mean that databases (like SQLite) are not being used. What this means to imply is that something other than direct contact with a DBMS is the future here. Yes, we can speak of âcloud computingâ but for the humble scale of the Songhay System we can look at a sample of how this ânext-generationâ UI can connect to a WordPress Blog and pull data from an RSS feed.
Why prepare so much for some theoretical scenarios when you may have to abandon them completely? WellâŠ why be born when you know you are going to die? The essentials of what I am grasping for here in this IT context are these:
- XML is the preferred way of transporting data across tiers. This preference for XML influences the desire for user interface technologies that support XML-based, declarative, techniques (e.g. XAML, E4X in Flex, XHTML and HTML 5).
- XML is the preferred way of transporting data across tiers. This preference for XML influences the desire for data management technologies that support XML-based, techniques (e.g. SQL Server 2005 and above).
So whatâs âreadyâ? I think I am âcloseâ to ready-state nirvana. More journal entries to comeâŠ Here are some proposed milestones for this journey toward âready stateâ:
- An upgrade to my SonghaySystem.com web site will use this ânext-generationâ UI. This release would be a strong indicator of readiness.
- New .NET projects from me appearing in CodePlex.com or in the âMSDN Code Galleryâ would be a strong indicator of readiness.
- New, formal documentation for all the mess Iâm talking here showing up at SonghaySystem.com is definite readiness.
These would-be achievements do not represent something I would impose upon you in order to justify its existence. These achievements represent my personal technology strategyâmy proposed expression of sanity amidst crazy worlds of proprietary technologies. It is one thing to whine and complain about another strategy (supposedly outside of oneâs âselfâ)âit is another matter (according to my illusions) to âpossessâ what represents a technology strategy that can be considered âready.â I even I am not concerned about you using âmyâ solution. My concern is that a solutionâthat is actually regarded by me as a solutionâexists.
What I find, after almost twenty years in IT, is that I have solutions to problems that many donât even regard as real. This is one of two reasons why my stackoverflow.com score is so low!