Rough Theory

Theory In The Rough

Beta Blocker

I know that L Magee has been working very hard recently on the development and debugging of the ontology matching software that will provide the empirical data for a dissertation on the Semantic Web. Being the kind, considerate friend that I am, and wanting to ensure that LM stays always in a state of good cheer through this intensive work period, I must draw LM’s (and everyone else’s) attention to how the beta is already garnering scholarly repute. From orange.’s interference: yes, LM, you have now been immortalised as:

LMagee, contributor to Rough Theory and author of the strangest beta I ve ever seen

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23 responses to “Beta Blocker

  1. L Magee March 26, 2007 at 8:33 pm

    This is very nice, thank you. It is nice to have attention drawn to software that is suffering an identity crisis as we speak, casting off its ambitious designation of beta, and reverting to type as pre-alpha. Nice to suggest to people that there is in fact something to look at, and that the something indeed has a purpose which is at all fathomable. Nice indeed, for there to be such acknowledgement of an inordinate ineptitude which advertises its poor showing prematurely. Especially nice, since many a late night has been spent swearing at the screen, trying desperately to remedy the effects of a premature ‘launch’ – a process often commented on, bitterly, in the company of this blog’s author (who can therefore claim no excuse of ignorance). Thank you too, for your publicity blitzkrieg initiative having “roughtheoried” my server with traffic. I now owe the four visitors the most sincere of apologies for any disruption of service…

    On a completely separate note: how is the research question coming along? Happy, as always, to help…

  2. L Magee March 27, 2007 at 7:34 pm

    Crap – an outstandingly witty comment of mine seems to be lost in the mire of Rough Theory’s more than capable spam filter. No doubt with good reason.

    Suffice to say, I am of course immensely grateful for NP’s most effective publicity and advocacy on my behalf. Now if only my software had some kind of clear point to it, this would be most advantageous. In the meantime I am working overtime to recover from the effects of the recent “roughtheorising” my site has received. Apologies to all 4 registrants for any drop in service levels this sudden influx may have caused…

  3. N Pepperell March 27, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    LOL! I love it: perhaps I should use this in my signature when I post elsewhere – “You have been roughtheorised”… ;-P

    I can’t see your post in Akismet – did you get a specific error message? (I hate losing posts – even your posts… ;-P)

  4. N Pepperell March 27, 2007 at 9:51 pm

    Hah! Found your post! (And on the research question: You bastard!)

  5. orange. March 28, 2007 at 7:40 am

    “It is nice to have attention drawn to software that is suffering an identity crisis as we speak, casting off its ambitious designation of beta, and reverting to type as pre-alpha.”

    Pre-alpha is a good description for what I looked at when I logged in the first time as there was no content. Almost none. One that without content on any of the help pages associated rather with Finnegan’s Wake than with Rough Theory, actually.
    But talking of spreading the word.. hadn’t you yourself linked to your project on your blog first?

    “Thank you too, for your publicity blitzkrieg initiative having “roughtheoried” my server with traffic. I now owe the four visitors the most sincere of apologies for any disruption of service…”

    No problem. I haven’t noticed any offtime. :-)

    I logged in tonight the second time and am fascinated to watch it grow. Of course I knew there would be introductory content on more pages soon, but really couldn’t figure what it was going to be about. Now there is more text and I’m still curious.
    thx for sharing.

  6. orange. March 28, 2007 at 7:47 am

    ps apologies I haven’t yet filled in any profile neither at Somet nor at Rough Theory or at my own blog. I’m working on it.

  7. N Pepperell March 28, 2007 at 11:12 am

    Now see, LM – look what you do to this site, what with your work:

    associated rather with Finnegan’s Wake than with Rough Theory, actually.

    orange. – remind me (seriously) to ask your feedback before I submit work for review – you method slam with the best… :-) No worries about the profile – I still need to get around to figuring out how to let you edit your comments.

    (LM: would you know how to do this in WordPress? It seems like it ought to be a basic issue: I just want to enable someone with a standard “Contributor” account to edit their own comments. To make this possible, I need to change the privileges associated with the user category, and I’m sure I’ve done this kind of thing in the past, but can’t figure out how – or if – I did this… I’m asking you since, you know, I’ve been so nice to you lately and figure you must just be burning to do me a favour…)

  8. L Magee March 28, 2007 at 1:58 pm

    Always happy to help…

    There is some bug with contributors being able to edit their own comments.

    There are two ways around this:

    Upgrade the user to an ‘Author’

    Hack the source of WordPress, and fix the problem with the current_user_can function (requires some PHP knowledge).

    Not having done the latter, I suggest the former.

    Pirandello perhaps said it best in his famous play “Six Contributors in search of an Author”.

  9. N Pepperell March 28, 2007 at 10:05 pm

    Yeah, I tried that when I was first setting up the account, but couldn’t edit comments as “author”, either. Are you able to edit yours here? (Since I’m too lazy to create another “author” account to check… ;-P)

    There is an “editor” user category, which I haven’t tried – but I was assuming that would give someone the ability to edit everything, whereas the intention was just to allow people to edit their own material.

    I was sure, though, that at some point I had changed the privileges associated with one of the user categories – from memory, it was to make something visible that ordinarily wouldn’t have been. But I can’t remember how I did this, and it may not have involved the user categories at all…

  10. L Magee March 28, 2007 at 10:40 pm

    Yes, it does relate to making the edit and delete links visible in the edit-comments.php template. You can of course remove the “if… then” checks from the template, but this will make all comments editable to all users (please let me know if you do this, as I’m would enjoy re-writing history…).

    Just noticed I can edit *some* comments, just not all. And of course I cannot edit all of my own, and I can edit some others – meaning I can realise my re-writing desires after all.

    So maybe when I’ve perfected my own software, very shortly, I’ll look to fix up the vagueries of WordPress too…

  11. N Pepperell March 28, 2007 at 11:07 pm

    So you’re telling me that you can currently see an edit option for some other folks’ posts – but not for all of your posts? Does it have to do, perhaps, with whether you’re the author of the main post? Can you edit your commenters? But not your comments under someone else’s main post?

    The template itself shouldn’t make things editable – regardless of whether the links are visible? But the template could be causing my problem: maybe the privileges are working fine, but I just need to make some changes to get the links to show properly? It hadn’t occurred to me…

  12. L Magee March 28, 2007 at 11:10 pm

    No, you shouldn’t really have to change the template – this was me trying to hack around the limitations of the permissions system (by removing them…)

    But, yes, something seems buggy in the WordPress permissions. It probably is only for ‘Author’ roles. On this post, when I go to ‘Mass Edit Mode’, I get all the comments, some of which I can edit, some of which I can’t. The ones I can edit include *some* of mine, as well as *some* others – I’ll send you a screen shot via email.

  13. L Magee March 28, 2007 at 11:12 pm

    OK, I see what you’re saying – I can edit *all* comments related to a post *I* authored. But *no* comments, including my own, related to any other posts. Somewhat counter-intuitive. Given what you want to do, I think you’d need to hack the permissions system of WordPress after all (either via the template directly, or possibly by tweaking the database to make it look like there are many more “authors” of articles than is in fact the case). Either of these hacky options will compromise your security however. Leave it with me…

  14. rob March 29, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    I registered and trialled, but hit two problems: (1) I have no idea what it is about, nor what I’m s’posed to do with it; and (2) my browser (Camino v1.0.2) is very, very picky about javascript, and it turned up its nose at what was on offer. Sorry.

    Wait! Just tried again, and the Help is showing, so I guess my browser got over its superiority complex…

  15. N Pepperell March 29, 2007 at 1:37 pm

    LM: I think a theme might be arising in relation to your work:

    I have no idea what it is about, nor what I’m s’posed to do with it

    really couldn’t figure what it was going to be about. Now there is more text and I’m still curious.

  16. L Magee March 29, 2007 at 8:34 pm

    Just as it has been said “Existence precedes Essence”, so in this instance “Functionality precedes Documentation”.

    In any case, thanks for the pointers. Some further documentation will be forthcoming. Unfortunately JavaScript is an essential requirement, it is used quite extensively. Would be interesting to see what it looks like without it, in fact.

    To use NP’s blog for further self-promotion (some – not I – might even suggest damage control after promiscuous publicity), the software is about developing and matching semantic web databases (otherwise known, helpfully for this audience, as “ontologies”). The idea at the heart of it is to test for the commensurability of formal knowledge representations (taxonomies, database schemas and the like). How this is to be done, even now, remains somewhat mysterious…

    Anyway I appreciate the feedback.

    For rob – I found a copy of “Debating Derrida”, which looks as interesting as you suggested. Some more prompting might even have NP taking a look…

  17. orange. March 29, 2007 at 11:05 pm

    LMagee–you have launched your project, right? Its not NP’s or any other person’s responsibility when people log in to have a look around and remain, say, confused about it.
    Linking to a publication in blogsphere is more than a standard procedure–its the blogsphere’s very essence.
    So, what I was thinking first is that its past pre-alpha status is part of the experiment. I at least perceived it to possibly be programmatic.

  18. L Magee March 29, 2007 at 11:42 pm

    True, I did… My outrage at NP is entirely projected, and not of course intended seriously. And it is a generous interpretation, which I will gladly accept, that its pre-alpha status has proved to be part of the experiment…

    At least part of the difficulty related to the fact that *both* the software *and* the purported method are somewhat “experimental”. Nor is there any assured probability that the kind of confusion you describe will vanish upon successive iterations, unfortunately…

  19. orange. March 30, 2007 at 12:46 am

    From first to second log-in I found exactly the information being added I had missed before to clear my total helplessness a little up regarding the field of expertise you are working on. Theres concepts which I can look up now to get an idea at least about in what academic space(s) the project is located in.

    To me my first log-in alone has been worth to participate because I could so well observe myself looking for points of orientation in that strange surrounding.
    My browser btw first showed strange artefacts of code I did not understand on many pages, too.

  20. L Magee March 30, 2007 at 12:54 am

    Out of interest what browser are you using? I must admit, I don’t test for this. I am assuming Firefox 2 or IE 6, which may not be good assumptions…

  21. orange. March 30, 2007 at 7:24 am

    I was using IE6 that time. It didn’t look like being caused by the browser. Pages’s left and right ends were expanded and there was one single line displayes additionally to the menue on top of each page. Can’t really remember though what it said. There were some letters, words maybe and then 0s and 1s, as far as I can revisualize.

  22. rob March 30, 2007 at 10:50 am

    Hey L Magee. Glad to hear that I didn’t send you off on a fruitless hunt, and I hope you do get something from it. It’s a nice short book, so perhaps NP (if I may) can be convinced to skim a few pages each night before bed?

    As for the site/software, I’m still both intrigued and in the dark. That’s probably because I’m not sure I know what an ontology, as distinct from ontology generally, is (although I think there’s irony somewhere in that statement). It’s also probably because “avoid ontologising” functions, kind of, as a guiding “principle” of my work. To the extent, moreover, that ontologies amount to taxonomies, I’m definitely the wrong person to turn to, since I’m never very happy using them, either.

    Having said all that, my ignorance on the matter is enough to keep me interested — and I look forward to the chance to learn something. So if there’s anything the ignorant can do to help, please let me know.

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