Posting questions for Doug: some suggestions

From: N. C a r r o l l (
Date: Sat Dec 16 2000 - 13:47:09 PST

Spoke to Doug yesterday. He said that he is willing (or did he
say "happy"? ... one of the two) to respond to questions on this
hypermail list, but wishes they were more specific. Some
particular points we went over (my comments in parens):

1. Keep it specific.
(Doug gets plenty of email. While he apparently saves most
of it, the volume means that specific questions rise to the
top of the heap.)

2. Try to use one of his papers -- or one he is likely to have
read in detail -- as the launch point for the question.
(A recent example would be, which contains plenty
of specifics to think about.)

3. Give a reference. Almost anything Doug has written contains
paragraph anchors.
(E.g., refer to,
not "paragraph 8 in the OHS draft plan." It probably doesn't
hurt to mention the title of the paper, though Doug seems to
remember most papers by number as well.)

4. Avoid jargon when possible.
(Doug has traditionally gone his own way in research. Obviously
this bears fruit. However, it also means he doesn't keep up with
all the current acronyms, e.g., Xpath, UML, ASP....
Keep it in plain English, and you may be pleasantly
surprised to find he's already thought about that point.)


On a more general note (completely my own opinions):

Obviously Doug isn't scared of a big canvas -- but on the
*technology* side of things, he likes to build out of a series
of precise, carefully considered strokes, on top of a mapped
architecture. I would describe it as: on the human side, dream
big; on the technical side, get it right.

Also, Doug is more systems designer than coder. Sooner or later,
usually sooner, he wants to know how it relates to functionality
or architecture.



Nicholas Carroll Email: Alternate: ______________________________________________________

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0.0 : Tue Aug 21 2001 - 17:57:58 PDT