Tuesday, September 11, 2012

An "opposing viewpoints" database development project would exercise OOP programming skills


I went back and reviewed my previous attempts at setting up an “opposing viewpoints” database, discussed on my main blog Feb. 29, 2012.

My reason for looking was my pondering why I never got off the starting line in becoming proficient in coding Java or C# (or the older C++, or, for that matter, the less rigorous Visual Basic). 

I stayed in the mainframe area in 1999, believing I had a chance to learn DB2 from a conversion.  There were a lot of personal family distractions that year, and work was slower – in the meantime, there were the expected Y2K distractions.

However, a coworker who actually ran a web hosting site called “Virtual Netspace” from home “part time” did move over to another area of the company in early 1999, where he would have the opportunity to practice Java by actually developing something for a year (the “data access” layer of the “mid-tier”, leading to a GUI for the end-user written in Powerbuilder).

In the meantime, given my interest in content, I never really had a reason to practice and develop the “proficiency” in my own side of my own “business.”  And you can’t really learn OOP by just supporting the work already done by others.

I did take a look at my own "crude" efforts to start an OV database.  I have a Microsoft Access mokup (about 70 entries) which I at one time tried to access from my "doaskdotell" site which is on a Windows server.  I do have access to both MySQL and MSSQL on that server, and played with MySQL a little on it today.  I also have a prototype database on another MySQL server, on Unix, on another small domain. 

An “opposing viewpoints” web application, allowing users to input their own views into debates, would certainly require a lot of web programming of user interfaces, event-handling under asp.net already well known.  But, looking deeper, what it would really need is “artificial intelligence”, to match up the views stated by users across many areas (and, digging even deeper, to compare the user's statements with his/her own "moral postulates").  I checked through “Wikimedia” today and I didn’t see anything there that suggested any party in the Wikimedia world had attempted this, but it sounds like a “natural” project for the Wikimedia  Foundation people to start up. Stay tuned. 

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