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Friday, February 24, 2006

An Answer without a Question 

Stefan Tilkov
One such feature was called ‘historization’ - capabilities to set an object’s validity. As were many other concepts within that framework, very smart people thought about this hard, and came up with an ingenious solution that enabled the creation of objects in the future, the past, the virtual might-have-been future and many other strange phenomena. For instance, you were able get answers to questions such as “if I had asked two years ago what this particular object would look like three years from now (I mean, then), what would it have been? (See what I mean?)

All of this was hidden within the framework; you simply set a few time stamps, and if you didn’t, defaults were applied; you were able to set a view (a point in time), and the objects state, including relations to other objects, would magically match that view, of course only within that logical transaction (which be built as part of our own transaction framework) …

It was brilliant. It was hard to implement, but two very smart guys did it. It rocked.

It was also totally unusable.

The problem was that while it may have been able to provide lots of answers, nobody knew how to ask the matching questions.

Topics: Representation | Meaning


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