01 January 2013

Touching Me, Touching You (Third Chorus)

(An existing piece, with some new information.)

Diligent readers know that, while this endeavor began with my having some free time to make a public stand for the full relational model/database due to the availability of much less expensive flash SSD (compared to DRAM SSD, which have been around for decades) in a "normal" OLTP application, the world changed a bit from then to now. In particular, the iPad. I've mentioned the implications in earlier postings.

Now, as regular readers know, the iPad is not especially new, from a semantic point of view. Tablets have been in use in warehouse software applications (MRP/ERP/Distribution) for a very long time. (This is just a current version.) I programmed with them in the early '90s.

But the iPad does mean that mainstream software now has a new input semantic to deal with: touch me, touch me, not my type. So, it was with some amusement that I saw this story in today's NY Times. Small-ish touch screens means small bytes of data, a bit at a time. The 100 field input screen that's been perpetuated (in no small measure as a result of the Fortune X00 penchant for "porting" 1970's COBOL screens to java or php) now for what seems like forever is headed the way of the dodo. It simply won't work. And the assumption that "well, we'll just 'break up' those flatfiles into 'sections'" will fail miserably. There'll be deadlocks, livelocks, and collisions till the cows come home.

BCNF schemas, doled out in "just the right size" to Goldilocks, is the way forward. Very cool.


So, now we have Win8, and the move to PC and touch. Here's the first 2013 story, pushing for push-button computing. As above, while one might argue that the pure semantics of touch versus mouse isn't large (after all, one is "pushing a button" seemingly in either case) the speed and fluency of touch is miles ahead (props to the horn player) of the rodent. Keeping up with this, by providing tidy morsels of data is key to success.

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