My new and ultimate intertwingularity project

ORM-ish à la TiddlyWiki

I had the most interesting thought a couple of weeks ago:

What if TiddlyWiki could be used to document the semantics of a universe of discourse with simple facts expressed in natural language, which TiddlyWiki could, via macros, automagically generate:

  • Plain text language scripts as input to tools that can generate software and/or database modelling diagrams  (for example: PlantUML)
  • Plain text language DDL scripts for database creation
    • (i.e. forward engineering databases in the sense of "producing database-creation code from human-elaborated semantic documentation)

Such a project would encompass all of my absolute favourite things (now I have this bit from "The Sound of Music" in my head):
    • I am at my happiest when my mind is fully immersed in large and complex projects with deeply intertwingled information / thoughts / components / etc. etc.
    • From the very moment I first learned about them, I immediately recognized the potential for wikis as easy, quick, inexpensive yet ridiculously powerful solutions for just about everything, including:
      • Knowledge Management
      • Content Management
        • (Such an easy way to create an intranet!)
      • Documentation Management
        • (Documentation, not "documents"!!!  A topic for some other day...)
    • Since 1995, I've had the pleasure of maintaining and enhancing a very large suite of applications supporting functions related to the management of capital construction projects and to facilities management.  For over fifteen years, I've used a wiki at work as a centralised/consolidated source for:
      • software documentation
        • end-user
        • help desk
        • operational support
        • application development
      • the coolest wiki use case:
        context-sensitive help engine !!!
      • release management
      • requirements management
      • project management
      • my own performance management 
    • I've always really enjoyed (fascinated with) any "diminutive" no fuss no muss (simple, light, inexpensive if not free) tool that humbly handles anything a creative imagination can throw at it.
    • TiddlyWiki describes itself as "a non-linear personal web notebook."  I agree with the description often put forward in the TiddlyWiki Google Group:  TiddlyWiki is a platform for  building solutions.
    • I have always been a huge fan of Scott Ambler's Agile Modelling methodology and the related values, principles, and practices since discovering and purchasing this book many moons ago.  In particular, the practice "Single Source Information" permeates my mindset.
    • Knowledge, Information, Content, Thoughts / Concepts
    • (Related: Chunking)
    • I believe well-organised text is much better than diagrams for communication and comprehension of information.  Although proficient with many types of diagrams (ORM models, the gamut of UML models, Entity-Relationship models, mind/concept mapping models, etc.), I've always found diagrams less than stellar.
    • Regardless, understanding the various information mapping approaches ("information mapping" in general, not the specific product) helps with hypertextual writing. 
    • I've always enjoyed Database Design and data modelling.  Simply put: it is all about intertwingularity, all about organising information into entities and attributes and relationships.  It is very good stuff.
    • Using years of work experience with the Oracle Database product and applying that knowledge in this project, how cool is that?
    • Although I do not like diagrams, I do very much enjoy the use of natural language to describe (and validate) facts about a universe of discourse.  I've found it so much easier to formulate and review simple/clear sentences with clients, and I've found it incredibly rewarding when the tool in use can take those sentences to forward engineer a database creation script. 
    • Gathering, discovering and organising requirements: YES!.  Again, I find it all about intertwingularity, and there is so much intertwingularity in this project.  For example: what types of things are needed to forward-engineer a database creation script?  What requirements do we need regarding the process of gathering information about a universe of discourse?

Oops, that got a little bit long-winded.  I must have had a need to get all of that out of my head ...

Although there is so much work to do, the beginnings don't seem to shabby to me.  Check it out:  ORM-ish à la TiddlyWiki

Cheers !

The Covid-19 pandemic should remind us: Everything is Intertwingled

I just found this interesting article by Richard Reisman, published last May on

The Pandemic Reminds Us
“Everything is Deeply Intertwingled”
— We Need Better Logics for That

Move over emotional support dogs ...

 ... because here come the "Emotional Support Canadians."

I've got all sorts of intertwingled thoughts about the news article below, top of which:  every human ought to have an "Emotional Support Canadian."

Check out this article by CTV News:

'Emotional support Canadians'
offer to help
stressed by U.S. election

All partisan nonsense aside, I find the notion of "Emotional Support Canadian" ridiculously funny, and it really makes up for this post-election hangover of mine that will drag on for however long. 

On that note, best wishes to all Americans as they go through yet another stretch of the bruising hell-ride poop-show that is the typical American election.

Sock size matters. My story followed by a classic joke.

I may have had big feet since the instant I was conceived.  Of all the sperm that could have made it, the winning one in that race would have needed to be a great swimmer, so that may explain the big feet ...

Today, at 6foot2-ish tall, my 15 shoe-size feet seems really disproportionately large.  I find consolation in the thought that in my senior years, maybe I can find a part-time job on Sesame Street representing the letter "L".

Loving self-deprecating humour, I've always enjoyed blurting out:  "You know what they say about guys with big feet:  they don't sway so much in the wind."

Throughout my adulthood, I've only ever bought socks in bulk packs, and could never find anything other than "fits between some size and size 13", so that's what I always got.  I am baffled that brick and mortar stores do not carry socks (or shoes) for big-footed males.  (I see so many tall teenagers, I can't help but think the market is there.  Meh.)

Being a fairly new shopper on, it took me a while before realising: "hey,  I can get socks here; I wonder if they have big sizes?"

Sure enough, they do, and I ordered these (13-15 size) as soon as I found them:

Because I was so used to undersized socks, I had never realized how uncomfortable they were (i.e. too tight) until I first slid these appropriately-sized socks on my feet.  What a ridiculous difference! So comfortable, so relaxing!  (One must wonder what impact undersized socks have on blood circulation.)

Just for the fun of it and to be silly, I shared my sock-size story with friends and family, and one of my friends replied with an oh-so-awesomely perfect classic joke, which I share with you below.

Cheers !

Tight Socks

The doctor said, "Joe, the good news is I can cure your headaches. The bad news is that it will require castration. You have a very rare condition, which causes your testicles to press on your spine, and the pressure creates one hell of a headache. The only way to relieve the pressure is to remove the testicles."

Joe was shocked and depressed. He wondered if he had anything to live for. He couldn't concentrate long enough to answer, but decided he had no choice but to go under the knife.

When he left the hospital he was without a headache for the first time in 20 years, but he felt like he was missing an important part of himself. As he walked down the street, he realized that he felt like a different person. He could make a new beginning and live a new life. He saw a men's clothing store & thought, "That's what I need - a new suit."

He entered the shop and told the salesman, "I'd like a new suit." The elderly tailor eyed him briefly and said, "Let's see ... size 44 long." Joe laughed, "That's right, how did you know?" "Been in the business 60 years!" Joe tried on the suit. It fit perfectly.

As Joe admired himself in the mirror, the salesman asked, "How about a new shirt?" Joe thought for a moment and then said, "Sure." The salesman eyed Joe and said, "Let's see, 34 sleeve & 16-1/2 neck." Again, Joe was surprised, "That's right, how did you know?" "Been in the business 60 years!"

Joe tried on the shirt, and it fit perfectly. As Joe adjusted the collar in the mirror, the salesman asked, "How about new shoes?" Joe was on a roll and said, "Sure." The salesman eyed Joe's feet and said, "Let's see ... 13-15E." Joe was astonished, "That's right, how did you know?" "Been in the business 60 years!"

Joe tried on the shoes and they fit perfectly. Joe walked comfortably around the shop and the salesman asked, "How about some new socks?" Joe thought for a second and said, "Sure." The salesman said, "Let's see... size 13-15E just like your shoes."

Joe laughed. "Ah ha! I got you! I've worn size 10 since I was 18 years old." The salesman shook his head, "You can't wear a size 10. A size 10 sock would cut off your circulation and and give you one hell of a headache.