John Abbe

2010.12.26 Still designing (and testing, marketing and more) on WaGn, for almost four years now. I've also been nosing about here a bit again, as I am working on a Pattern Language of Group Process -

2010.12.25 Planning to be at the next WikiSym. The second day will be ChristopherAlexander's 75th birthday.

2008.04.18 RecentChangesCamp's are a lot of fun, hope to see many of you at the next one...

2005.10.26 Hello again to everyone who was at WikiSym!

On programming, computers & networking

Sometimes i think i'd like to program more, among other reasons just so that i can participate here more, and be sure that i'm raising the signal.

My friend corwin showed me Perl (in 1999?) and i was impressed enough to get back into coding - a little. I switched to Python imagining i might code on PikiePikie (while still drooling over Perl's flexibility). I know these things aren't Perl-unique but the typology of variables (atomic, list, named items), the regexes, the contextual default variables, tying variables straight to databases, and of course all the other basic and advanced code for CGI work, command line interfaces, dealing with time, images, etc. B-b-b-b-b for a guy who had seen C and LISP ~1989 and whose deepest experience in any language was a BASIC with no support for functions.

Rarely even do random bits with Python any more (earlier solved some things, did one smallish CGI, and some fun bits like the Animal program i remember assigned for LISP). Got partway through a translator from my idiosyncratic text calendar system to iCalendar format. I feel lonely as a coder, and have really enjoyed PairProgramming when i've seen it and the one time i've done it so far. It goes faster and is more enjoyable. Sounds like you'd like to participate in a PythonSprint.

My interest to stay up on coding is mostly so that i can continue to communicate usefully with 'real' programmers, and find/create more sweet spots of simple power, widely accessible. The most effective motivation for me to code is of course because it's fun. Programming is absolutely amazing. I can sit in one small room with all the tools necessary to go from idea to working artifact. And once i have a working artifact, i can (if i make something useful enough) distribute it for anyone else to use, and learn from, and improve! I still get a tingly feeling when i run anything, Python's interpretiveness is thus very attractive to me.

I had burned out on serious coding after writing the data entry software on a CommodoreCbm? for ADE's early robotic wafer sorters as a teenager in the 70s. Chunks of the program had to be swapped in and out of the CBM's 32K RAM machine off the cassette tape. I know, that makes me a newbie to some of you :-). I did learn C and a little LISP later (LISP initially from RobertMorris?), coded a bit of MacintoshToolbox? stuff with the C, played with HyperCard, and of course scripted a few things now and then, but remain more a mere SuperUser than a coder. I've also mucked with flatfile databases for pay, and have a theoretical clarity about what relational/object databases offer beyond that, but haven't learned SQL. HTML yes, XML sort of, ResourceDescriptionFramework/SemanticWeb interested we'll see...

In the 70s, i got my hands on a CLI computer.

In the 80s, i got my hands on a GUI computer.

In the 90s, i was waiting...for the NextGreatHumanComputerInterfaceParadigmShift?.

In the 00s, i got impatient, and now i'm helping make it happen. - Out of date, but gives a taste of what i'm looking for.

On life

"Things are getting better and better, and worse and worse, faster and faster." --TomAtlee?

On wikis died, my effort to resurrect it on Wagn as its own thing are here:


Write about wiki on MeatballWiki, not here.

I want a decent WikiBrowser. Too many projects...

If WikiWiki means quick in Hawaiian, then does wiki mean HalfFast?? (say it out loud)

Some pages i've started:

RecentChanges, TopTen, CategoryCategory, WikiList, (and here of course)

12 wiki links to start with:

Two "official" starting points -- WelcomeVisitors, FrontPage

More pages about Wiki:

Running your own Wiki -- You can get the source code (in PerlLanguage) for an older version of this Wiki at WikiBase (frankly, better/more interesting software is available through WikiWikiClone). You could also host your own Wiki on a free or paid-service WikiFarm. There's help for ChoosingaWiki.

Other Wikis WikiOnWiki, WikiReadingHabits, WikiWikiKudos, WikiErase, WhyWikiWorks, WikiHistory, WikiNow, EndOfWiki, WikiNature, WikiEssence, WardCunningham, ThingsOnWikisMind, WikiInTheNews, MoreAboutTheLogo

Pages about Other Things (except Wiki is about everything):

WikiLiterature? -- GoodQuotes, LimmaWiki

Human/social element -- HumanBeings, CreaturesOfHabit (see AddictionAndJunkies?) though we are, talk about (and show) LeaderShip, discuss the PrimeDirective, if not interfering with one another is impossible then how to produce ConstructiveInterference, the MentalStateCalledFlow, whether and what is a ProgrammingValueSystem, SoftwareAgeism, ClassStriation, the SubjectiveObjective duality, the MyersBriggs categories that we may see ourselves in, DiscussingVsProselytizing, DontAssumeStupidity, ConquerWithCompassion, the TragedyOfTheCommons, VotingPatterns, the PrisonersDilemma, the GamesPeoplePlay, and OrganizationalPatterns.

About Patterns -- A major topic here, best short description i've found is at and there are many WikiPagesAboutWhatArePatterns, PatternLanguages, DesignPatterns, MetaPattern, AntiPattern, NatureOfOrder, ChristopherAlexander (also see a Patterns FAQ at

The two other ~biggest topics on this original Wiki -- Haven't cracked the ExtremeProgrammingRoadmap, but i've picked up some of the idea around the edges. There are also lots of WikiPagesAboutRefactoring.

Singularity etc. philosophy -- TheSingularity, BigOmega, GreyGoo, GlobalBrain, CollectiveIntelligence, HiveMind, ComplexSystems, EmergentBehavior, SystemsAsLivingThings, ArtificialLife, GameOfLife, SpiritualMachines, ArtificialIntelligence, TuringTest, GoedelsIncompletenessTheorem, ItsJustaRule, NomicGame, InfiniteGames?, RecursionRecursion, PartToWholeAsWholeIsToPart.

Unclearly Relevant -- DramaticIdentity, CollectAndSummarize (and other EmailNetiquettePatterns), TaoTeChing, PolarizingQuestion, StoneSociety, TurkishCrafts

Miscellaneous -- ScienceFiction, TheTick, SturgeonsLaw, QuotePage, DeconstructAlmostAnything, MemesShmemes, JesusSeminar, JargonFile, GeekPerson, FreeAsInBeer, LinusTorvalds, BestAlternativeToNegotiatedAgreement

Some other people -- TeilhardDeChardin, BuckminsterFuller, VernorVinge, RogerPenrose, StephenHawking, MarvinMinsky, DouglasHofstadter, JohnVonNeumann, AlanTuring, GraceHopper, KernighanAndRitchie, TimBernersLee, AdaLovelace, WorldGeniuses

Your comments go here

Welcome! Thanks Helmut! (he saw this page when it was little)

"Wiki's way better than all those other web sites i was hanging out at." --JohnAbbe

So, thanks Ward! And all the other WikiContributors? and WikiMembers!

Hello John, i just found your notes about the AllInOneWiki. I had a similar/same idea and would like to share some thoughts with you, if you like to. See my comment on the AllInOneWiki page --FlorianKonnertz

Hi John!

I was a teenager in the 70's.

Today as I was milking the cow, and earlier, I wondered what it would be like to try to do the Map from Nepal. I love Nepal. Or perhaps SriLanka?...There's a fellow I've met when he lived in Portland a few years ago named Sharif Abdullah. I think he's in Sri Lanka. What's it like over there? Could we print a map? -- CynthiaBeal?

Sharif is in Lanka occasionally, consulting to Sarvodaya. I certainly try to keep my ears open for the kind of things you'd want in your kind of map. So, i'd have some to offer now, much more later. -- JohnAbbe

The map is here:

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