Katie Lucas

Katie is a software engineer who is currently divorcing one of the apparently several DuncanForsyth instances.

She used to work for the London-based consultancy ParasolSolutions. http://www.parasolsolutions.com until it was driven bankrupt by a combination of ridiculous optimism and the entire City of London giving up hiring people just because other people crashed planes into their US offices. She did, for a while, try to improve the development practices of Egg http://www.egg.com but that turned out to be a completely stressful waste of time. She doesn't recommend anyone else try.

Katie's interests include 3D graphics, doing sick things with C++ templates and trying to understand exactly why it is that the software industry is so good at being bad at doing things.

Katie has taken up writing as a sideline and has a small publishing deal for some of her wargaming related work. So far, no money but quite a lot of satisfaction.

As of '04, she's now working with a start-up company in the Midlands, which aims to produce complete solutions for engineering industries based on Linux; end-to-end working from order processing, accounts, factory management and scheduling through to machine control and automation.

Update for 05. Katie has celebrated the end of the tax year with another redundancy to add to the pile. She now has a dilemma; Option 1. Proper job, pay cheque. 2. His Nibs pays the bills while Katie goes off and writes software to sell. Which to choose???

Hurrah. Katie has a new job hacking C++ for http://www.i-site.ltd.uk who make a very snazzy CCTV-over-IP solution.

Update: Oh dear.

Katie now has a new job working for http://www.CacheLogic.com building funky video-over-the-internet delivery mechanisms...


Katie is currently (2010) working for a Cambridge based group in a spin-out working on advanced network visualisation tools.


So are C++ templates good or bad then? I've never found much use for them.

They rock. Used properly, with a compiler that actually supports them, they make doing many of the things that are easy in languages like LISP at least possible in C++. They add a whole extra layer of reasoning ability to the language to talk about C++ software in terms of the software itself. The STL is the "Hello World" of template usage..

So did you mean "slick" rather than "sick"?

Oh no. Definitely "sick". Imagine C++ have almost the same powers of reflection as Java... things like that. Oh yes it is possible. It's not nice to look at, but good grief it works.


Hello Katie. Would you be interested in discussing the possible dangers of GMOs in more detail with me by e-mail? One danger I am aware of is (rather naive) attempts to improve shelf-life of fruit and vegetables leading to apoptosis-deficient plants which then turn out to be very susceptible to systemic diseases. A hot potato in Ireland given the famine history... There are also tie-ins between genetic 'stuff' and software development 'stuff' which are best discussed indirectly, and which I am still looking for people 'out there' who understand. Interested? -- JamesCrook.

I don't actually know very much more detail - the stuff I do know is because I took microbiology options at university and then worked for a microbiological imaging company for a while and have a habit of talking to people and reading books that they leave lying around. -- KatieLucas

Sets of game rules which vary during play are in some ways similar to variable sets of active sites of strands of DNA. The analogy doesn't hold all the way down to the physical level since a change in rules has no physical effect on a given game state, whereas a change in activation entails one. But, an indirect discussion is potentially down the CategoryGame road. Not sure if this helps.

Katie, you've briefly discussed using multiple inheritance to cleanly slice up code behaviors (in MultipleInheritanceIsNotEvil, for example). Do you have any net-references to point the interested towards?

I'm afraid not. It seems to work in my experience is all I can say...

Blissex says: this is very well discussed in Sonia Keene's absolutely essential book on CLOS, but which however applies far more generally.
About bacteria grabbing foreign DNA and incorporating it as their own: Actually, bacteria in general have very efficient defenses to prevent exactly this kind of thing from happening. Any incoming foreign DNA is rapidly chopped up and then destroyed. The bacteria have found that (in general) the protection they get by this system against viral invasion more than compensates for the loss of additional diversity foreign DNA could provide, that is, the incoming DNA is typically hostile and its presence signals viral attack. -- AndyPierce


3d graphics, eh? Care to take a look at my homepage (ChuckAdams) and offer any comments?

Ah -- I tend to do more programmatic stuff. I'm faintly in awe of people who can actually use tools like Blender. They always seem really hard to use for some reason; I think it's the problem of relating a tool working on the 2D surface into it's affects on the 3D model..
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