Saturday, August 16, 2008

Wanderers 2008.8.16

This wasn't an official Wanderers meeting, more a conclusion of what we'd started in Eugene, at the Starbucks.

The painting project kept happening as well, me doing lots of trim in the early hours, then some rolling of Ruby Slippers (a color name), Elizabeth at the helm, Tara first mate, Rose joining later.

However much of my day was devoted to meetings with Glenn and Nat, thinking some more about a Wanderers wiki, but mostly just comparing notes, talking about health care a little.

SQL is old hat, but we still need professionals with the skills and/or overview vis-a-vis this technology.

We talked about bridging to geometry from this data based side of things, perhaps with an audience of medical scientists just wanting to bone up on another tool of the trade?

The main table would have lots of polyhedra and their "topological inventories" (how many corners, faces, edges, maybe relative volumes according to some schema). We could store pictures of the shapes, even movie clips, as "blobs" (learning about field types).

The subtables would relate duals, provide vertices with coordinates, provide faces using these vertices (as in OFF format, already standard in CG).

Perhaps a server side process could ray trace a chosen shape on the fly and deliver it over the Web -- all part of our general purpose model of core technologies in action.

Geometric shapes form a neutral "plain vanilla" kind of content ("generic widgets"), useful in their own right (valuable heritage), unarguably primitive, and something to replace the over-used "parts in inventory" approach found in too many text books (gets stale after awhile) -- not that we have anything against supermarket math.

My thanks again to Elizabeth.

:: inside a polyhedron ::