Bryan Lawrence : Bryan's Blog 2005/07/18

Bryan Lawrence

... personal wiki, blog and notes

Bryan's Blog 2005/07/18

More Good Ideas about Blogging

I've blogged in the past about good reasons for blogging (well, strictly, I didn't blog, I linked to Tim Bray as usual). Here from Randy Hollaway is another one:

So here's a what if- what if you could do 20% time projects ONLY if you blogged about the effort with customers? Even if you couldn't share all of the details for competitive reasons, would this make 20% time more valuable to the organization? Something to ponder.

This is via Sam Ruby and refers back to an original blog by Stephen O'Grady, which stated:

we don't find the time for blogging, we make time for it. I've commented in the past that blogging isn't an addition to our day job, it's part of our day job. In recent weeks I've come to think of it as something akin - though different - to Google's 20% time. We have nothing so formalized, but we probably spend something like 20% of our time (ok, more) researching and writing and pursuing what we consider to be new and interesting avenues of interest. Some of these bear fruit for RedMonk, some don't. But it only takes a couple of hits to make the whole thing worthwhile.

In our context (an atmospheric data centre), one of the difficulties I have is that our staff need to remain research active (in the sense that the computer people need to keep their skills up, and the atmospheric scientists need to keep interested and up with the play). I've traditionally said this should be a twenty percent activity, but it's been nearly impossible to find ways to make this

  1. meaningful, and

  2. measurable.

Perhaps getting them to actually blog about it would achieve both (since most of what we do wont be publishable in the refereed journal sense).

by Bryan Lawrence : 2005/07/18 (permalink)

ECMWF to increase their operational model resolution

I have had my attention drawn to the planned increase in the resolution of the European Centre for Medium Range Weatherforecasting operational model from (in the case of the atmosphere) T511N256L60 to T799N400L91.

This corresponds to improving the horizontal resolution for the dynamics from about 40 km to about 25 km and the physics from about 80 km to about 50 km (where here I'm quoting the shortest resolved wave at the equator). Of course the true resolution is less than this because the numerics can't support two-grid waves (or anything near that). A rule of thumb might be to say four grid points, in which case the resolution is still about 100 km in reality, which is amazing!

If you're anything like me you can't remember - or easily calculate- what these represent in "real" surface resolution terms. So, for my own benefit, I reminded myself by perusing Laprise, 1992 and writing some simple python to generate the numbers.

# This code follows Laprise, 1992, in BAMS,
# See http://blue.atmos.colostate.edu/publications/pdf/NT-27a.pdf
#
from math import *

def gridres(N=None,T=None):

    pi=3.141592
    a=6371.0

    if N is None and T is None: 
        return 'Unknown Resolution (need N and/or T)'

    if T is not None and N is None:
        N=T

    if N is not None:
        L1=2.*pi*a/(3*N+1)
        L2=pi*a/N   # note ECMWF seem to quote this.
        L3=sqrt(4*pi)*a/(N+1)
        L4=pi/sqrt(N*(N+1)/(2*a*a))

        return  int(L1),int(L2),int(L3),int(L4)

if __name__=="__main__":

#    print gridres(T=31)   # checking code against the paper
#    ECMWF September Upgrade:
#
    print "Best to quote the 2nd of these numbers on each line:"
    print gridres(T=799)
    print gridres(N=400)

***
highlight file error
***

by Bryan Lawrence : 2005/07/18 : Categories badc climate (permalink)

WS-Security Licensing Problems

Oh how I hate Intellectual Property wars ...

Infoworld are carrying an article which states that the WS-Security licensing terms are causing the Apache foundation problems 1. It turns out that

Although WS-Security, along with the other so-called WS-* specifications such as BPEL (Business Process Execution Language), is under the jurisdiction of OASIS, users still must sign license agreements with IBM and Microsoft.

And oh dear, the terms of that license are probably incompatible with the GPL, so we probably can't build something based on WS-Security and distribute it with GPL-based software. See David Berlind blogging at ZDnet, for a more detailed discussion of this issue. This article also points out the problems with the OASIS "standard"s in general ...

Frightening stuff ... but some hope for the future in another Berlind blog. Meanwhile I begin to understand why W3C standards are far more useful (I don't have to investigate what the licensing status of their standards are, they are clear).

1: More specific details can be found in this blog (ret).

by Bryan Lawrence : 2005/07/18 : Categories computing (permalink)


DISCLAIMER: This is a personal blog. Nothing written here reflects an official opinion of my employer or any funding agency.