Monday, November 13, 2006

13 November 2006: Hiatus

It occurs to me, and to others it seems, that I haven't blogged in two months.

Now, this in itself is not a cause for world concern: deaths in Iraq, the train crash in South Africa and Google envisioning free cell phones top the stories on three of my usual news sources, and certainly each of these is more important than my lack of blogging. However, I feel some sort of explanation is necessary, if for no other reason than I seem to have a spare fifteen minutes before this week's AKT meeting.

Curiously, the fact that I wasn't blogging on This AKTing Lark ties in with the fact that I wasn't AKTing for the last month or so either. As the magical PhD funding drew to a conclusion at the end of September, and with it came the switch to 'nominal' student status while I find the time to write the final six paragraphs of the thesis (yes, I counted them this morning) and print it out, the combination of 'AAAAH I'M FREE' feelings and 'OH POO POO POO HOW DO WE PAY THE RENT?', along with ongoing lack of movement on the Research Fellow job front, led to an unnamed company based close to London and a month of decidedly non-AKT contract work.

Now, having read the contract with said company very closely, it occurred that they weren't at all keen on me mentioning in blog-format their name or anything to do with my work during the time I was under contract. So no, I can't tell you who they were or what I was doing for them, except for one word which, to start with, brought back many happy (cough) memories of QAS: Stellent.

So that was October dealt with, spent working probably a good bit harder than I thought I would have to work but learning a lot along the way and starting to think about how RDF and Ontologies could/would/should fit inside a commercial Content Management System (probably something to do with metadata, but I'm not really sure: mainly because, FOAF apart, nobody really knows what to do with RDF yet). I actually enjoyed it quite a lot more than I ever enjoyed the equivalent work at QAS - probably because there was a good deal of creative freedom as well as some genuinely interesting projects. So that was good.

Anyway, it's all over now. ISWC last week saw a dull presentation by a heavily jet-lagged not-really-PhD-student-but-not-yet-officially-RF about why RDF and 3Store was necessary alongside traditional SQL approaches when dealing with performing calculations on large sets of metadata, which a few people seemed to find interesting, to my surprise. And now it's back to the office - just in time to move to the new building (well, that's a month away) - and I'm all excited and ready to start work in a project with the acronym ITA. Which leads to three questions:

1. What does ITA stand for?
2. What does the job entail me actually doing? and
3. Does this mean I have to change the name of this blog to 'This ITAing Lark'?

Somehow it doesn't have the same ring to it.

1 comment:

andy moore said...

Hey Dunc
Nice to hear that you are coming to a close on the PhD chapter of your life... I take it from this post that you and Gloria are staying in So'ton for the forseeable? Thats good news (couldn't have you emigrating on us, could we!)
I also have good news - the lovely Andrea Percy has agreed to marry me!
Hope to catch up soon, God bless