SYS-CON Media
 Register Now!
Save $200
Register before October 17th to SAVE! ... and also receive a FREE copy of the Best-Selling AJAX Book, a $119 Value!
Untitled Document
2008 East
Platinum Sponsor
Untitled Document
2008 East Gold Sponsors
Untitled Document
2008 East Exhibitors
Untitled Document
2008 East Media Sponsors
Untitled Document
2008 Association Sponsor
SYS-CON Media
2007 West Sponsors
Goingtomeet.com Conference Directory
SYS-CON Media
2007 East Sponsors
Untitled Document
2008 SYS-CON Events

Can't Miss RSS Feed
Subscribe to the AJAXWorld.com RSS Feed & Get All The Conference News As It Happens!

2008: Decision Year for RIAs - October 20-22, 2008 San Jose


Doubtful Diagrams and Far Out Figures of Web 2.0
I'm against the vast overuse of meaningless diagrams that presenters use to confuse, impress, and befuddle the Web 2.0 audience

In a recent presentation I attended, the speaker warmed up with a couple of bulleted lists that outlined the agenda of the session before moving onto his third slide that was clearly many days, work of stitching together powerpoint glyphs and figures in a sort of three dimensional loop that attempted to show the progression of software APIs around the evolution of networked computing. It was utterly baffling and the more I stared at it, the more I felt I was looking at some kind of latter day Escher drawing. I gazed around the room and saw most of the other attendees on their laptops distracted by their chat or e-mail clients, however amongst those of us who weren't using the session as down time in their schedule, I saw no-one question the meaning of the figures, or the information it was attempting to convey. The speaker was extremely proud of it however, and lingered on the slide for about twenty minutes as he waved his arms and spoke of REST, ATOM, Ruby, and a plethora of other acronyms that apparently were all part of the Web 2.0 solar system.

This editorial isn't a diatribe against Web 2.0, far from it, it's against the vast overuse of meaningless diagrams that presenters use to confuse, impress, and befuddle their audience. Part of this I believe stems from an insecurity of the speaker to actually understand their subject matter, and seemingly complex figures are used as a sort of crutch to fall back onto and mask the lack of content. A lot of this probably dates back to high school Math or Science classes, where the apprentice PowerPoint maestro had long since lost the plot of what the teacher was discussing, but noticed that as some of the problems got harder diagrams were introduced to help illustrate the ideas being taught. To the confused yet cunning child the association was clear; if the teacher could impress the audience with impressive looking figures, then in later life when the student was given the task of being the presenter, if they just skipped the content part and showed figures with boxes and lines between them, then they too would assume the role of authority their teacher commanded. It's sort of based on the bigger fool theory, which states that in life you don't need to be smart, you just need to be smarter than the next guy you're trying to fool. Rather like the apocryphal tale of two hunters running from an angry bear where one of them stops to put on his sneakers and the other remarks how he'll never outrun the bear, he replies that his intention is to merely outrun his partner. In presentations if the figure is meaningless and has no content, then if the goal is to impress the audience who are too nervous to challenge the emperor's naked ignorance, the speaker has outrun his pupils and achieved the respect originally given to the teacher.

Wikipedia defines a diagram as a "simplified and structured visual representation of concepts and ideas to visualize and clafiry the topic". This definition should apply to software as well as any other discipline, and as a profession we need to do more to challenge ludicrous and meaningless figures that add no value, and strive more towards simplicity so that topics and ideas are made more consumable and understood, and the peddlers of complexity are run out of town with both their sneakers firmly tied.

About Joe Winchester
Joe Winchester, Editor-in-Chief of Java Developer's Journal, was formerly JDJ's longtime Desktop Technologies Editor and is a software developer working on development tools for IBM in Hursley, UK.

In order to post a comment you need to be registered and logged in.

Register | Sign-in

Reader Feedback: Page 1 of 1

In general i agree with what the author is saying, particularly with regard to non-probing, non-inquisitory audiences. What indeed is the point of attending a lecture or talk if you don't actually want to question what is being said and reconcile with your own view of things, or find relevance to what you are trying to achieve? we are surely not all sponges, and if someone is throwing up a picture of something complex then it better enable me to gain more insight into the subject, or i am wasting my time.

Would have been good for the author to have attached a diagram or two to illustrate his point though. (i hope that is not being contradictory now!)


Latest AJAXWorld RIA Stories
Enterprises are striving to become digital businesses for differentiated innovation and customer-centricity. Traditionally, they focused on digitizing processes and paper workflow. To be a disruptor and compete against new players, they need to gain insight into business data and...
Containers and Kubernetes allow for code portability across on-premise VMs, bare metal, or multiple cloud provider environments. Yet, despite this portability promise, developers may include configuration and application definitions that constrain or even eliminate application po...
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing sm...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Ed Featherston has been named the "Tech Chair" of "FinTechEXPO - New York Blockchain Event" of CloudEXPO's 10-Year Anniversary Event which will take place on November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York will present ...
Chris Matthieu is the President & CEO of Computes, inc. He brings 30 years of experience in development and launches of disruptive technologies to create new market opportunities as well as enhance enterprise product portfolios with emerging technologies. His most recent venture ...
Untitled Document

Call 201 802-3020 or Click Here to Save $200!

Register Today and
Save $200

Your registrations includes: Golden Pass Delegates will receive full conference access on October 20-22, 2008 including: Lunch and Coffee Breaks, Collectible Bag and Archives of all sessions on DVD. Includes access to all Conference Sessions including the Technical Sessions, Exhibits, Keynotes, Vendor Technology Presentations, and Power Panels.


Sponsorship Opportunities

AJAXWorld offers the undisputed best platform to position your company as a leading vendor in the fast-emerging marketplace for AJAX and Enterprise Web 2.0.


Please call
(201)802-3020


Who Should Attend?

 CTOs & VPs of Engineering
 Directors of Technology
 Sr. User Interface Architects
 Front-End Engineers
 VCs & Industry Analysts
 Directors of Business Development
 Software Engineers
 Senior Architects
 Application Programmers & Software Developers
 Project Managers
 Web Programmers & Designers
 Companies & Organizations that need to stay in
  front of the latest Web technology

AJAXWorld Security Bootcamp

Introducing at AJAXWorld RIA Conference 2008 West the world's first-ever full, one-day immersive "AJAX Security Bootcamp" - led by one of the world's foremost AJAX security experts and teachers, HP's Billy Hoffman.

View the full one-day schedule



AJAXWorld 2008 West - Tracks

Track 01: Enterprise RIAs
Track 02: Frameworks & Toolkits
Track 03: Web 2.0 & Mashups
Track 04: Hot Topics
Track 05: The Future of the Web
Track 06: iPhone Developer Summit



Brought To You By:

AJAXWorld Magazine is the pre-eminent independent vendor-neutral resource for the fastest growing new segment of the software business: entirely Web-based applications and experiences.

Download the Latest Issue!

AJAXWorld Webcasts



SYS-CON EVENTS


AJAXWorld Keynotes & Power Panels

2008 SYS-CON TV Keynotes: Can We Fix the Web? By Douglas Crockford - by Douglas Crockford
2008 SYS-CON TV Keynotes: 2008: The Year of the RIA - by Anthony Franco
2008 SYS-CON TV Power Panel: The Business Value of RIAs
2008 SYS-CON TV Power Panel: What Lies Beyond AJAX
2007 SYS-CON TV Keynotes: Why Web 2.0 for the Enterprise Is Far More Than Just a Facelift - by Ted Farrell
2007 SYS-CON TV Keynotes: Fueling the Next Generation Web: A Peek Behind the Green Curtain - by Bob Brewin
2007 SYS-CON TV Keynotes: AJAX in the Balance - by Joe Stagner

AJAXWorld Sessions on SYS-CON.TV

· Bill Scott - Yahoo! UI Library
· David Heinemeier Hansson - AJAX on Rails
· Jesse James Garrett - Elements of User Experience
· Dion Hinchcliffe - Real World AJAX
· Eric Miraglia - Open Source AJAX Development
· Paul Rademacher - Mashing Up Your Web Application
· Adam Sah - Google Gadgets
· Doug Crockford - An Introduction to JavaScript
· David Linthicum - Enterprise Web 2.0
· Patrick Grady - The Imagination & Experience Web

AJAXWorld...All The AJAX Rock Stars in One Spot!


Past Events Archive

SOAWorld Conference & Expo 2008 East
soa2008east.sys-con.com
Virtualization Conference & Expo 2008 East
virt2008east.sys-con.com
AJAXWorld 2008 Conference & Expo East
ajaxmar08.sys-con.com
SOAWorld Conference & Expo 2007 West
www.soaworld2007.com
Virtualization Conference & Expo 2007 West
virt2007west.sys-con.com
AJAXWorld 2007 Conference & Expo West
ajaxoct07.sys-con.com
SOAWorld Conference & Expo 2007 East
soa2007east.sys-con.com
Virtualization Conference & Expo 2007 East
virt2007east.sys-con.com
AJAXWorld 2007 Conference & Expo East
ajaxmarch07.sys-con.com
Other SYS-CON Events
events.sys-con.com

Join Over 10,000 Early AJAX Adopters
Who Have Attended AJAXWorld
• A&R Edelman
• Academic Enterprise
• Accoona Corp [2 delegates]
• Acxiom
• Adams Capital Management
• Adaptive Edge
• Adaptive Path
• Adobe Systems Incorporated [21 delegates]
• Adobe Systems Romania
• Ajax13
• All Risks, Ltd.
• alliance
• Alliance For Community Care
• AlphaDetail Inc
• Altera Corporation
• Amazon.com [6 delegates]
• Appeon Corporation [2 delegates]
• Apple Computer [5 delegates]
• Apress [3 delegates]
• Arkivio
• ASA
• Astute Solutions
• Avaya Inc [2 delegates]
• Avenda Systems
• Avenue A | Razorfish [3 delegates]
• Axcella, LLC [2 delegates]
• Aximsoft
• Azimyth
• Backbase USA Inc. [4 delegates]
• BAE Systems [2 delegates]
• Bank of America [2 delegates]
• Barkley Evergreen & Partners Interactive
• Bayview Financial [2 delegates]
• BEA Systems [3 delegates]
• Billeo
• BMC Software, Inc. [2 delegates]
• Borland Software Corporation
• Bradford Technologies, Inc [2 delegates]
• Brilliance
• Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. [2 delegates]
• Brookside Capital LLC
• Brulant
• Bungee Labs, Inc [6 delegates]
• Bureau of Labor Statistics
• BUZ Interactive
• Cadena Software
• Calix Networks
• Callidus Software [2 delegates]
• Cambia Security
• Carnegie Mellon West
• Cautella, Inc.
• CBSA
• Celequest [3 delegates]
• Change Vision, Inc.
• Charles E. Kenney, CPA
• Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. [8 delegates]

   read more...


ADVERTISE   |   MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTIONS   |   FREE BREAKING-NEWSLETTERS!   |   SYS-CON.TV   |   BLOG-N-PLAY!   |   WEBCAST   |   EDUCATION   |   RESEARCH

.NET Developer's Journal - .NETDJ   |   ColdFusion Developer's Journal - CFDJ   |   Eclipse Developer's Journal - EDJ   |   Enterprise Open Source Magazine - EOS
Open Web Developer's Journal - OPEN WEB   |   iPhone Developer's Journal - iPHONE   |   Virtualization - Virtualization   |   Java Developer's Journal - JDJ   |   Linux.SYS-CON.com
PowerBuilder Developer's Journal - PBDJ   |   SEO / SEM Journal - SJ   |   SOAWorld Magazine - SOAWM   |   IT Solutions Guide - ITSG   |   Symbian Developer's Journal - SDJ
WebLogic Developer's Journal - WLDJ   |   WebSphere Journal - WJ   |   Wireless Business & Technology - WBT   |   XML-Journal - XMLJ   |   Internet Video - iTV
Flex Developer's Journal - Flex   |   AJAXWorld Magazine - AWM   |   Silverlight Developer's Journal - SLDJ   |   PHP.SYS-CON.com   |   Web 2.0 Journal - WEB2

SYS-CON MEDIA:   ABOUT US   |   CONTACT US   |   COMPANY NEWS   |   CAREERS   |   SITE MAP
SYS-CON EVENTS  |  AJAXWorld Conference & Expo  |  iPhone Developer Summit  |  OpenWeb Developer Summit  |  SOA World Conference & Expo  |  Virtualization Conference & Expo
INTERNATIONAL SITES:   India  |  U.K.  |  Canada  |  Germany  |  France  |  Australia  |  Italy  |  Spain  |  Netherlands  |  Brazil  |  Belgium
 Terms of Use & Our Privacy Statement     About Newsfeeds / Video Feeds
Copyright ©1994-2008 SYS-CON Publications, Inc. All Rights Reserved. All marks are trademarks of SYS-CON Media.
Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of SYS-CON Publications, Inc. is prohibited.