Monday, April 28, 2008

New Mobility Agenda

The New Mobility Agenda is an international institution which while virtual and an open collaborative was originally set up by an international working group meeting at the Abbey de Royaumont near Paris with the support of the OECD in Paris in 1974 to challenge old ideas and practices in the field of urban transport through a long term collaborative program of information exchange, education and peer support. The Agenda today draws together the experience, expertise and support of more than four thousand individuals and groups world wide in an open collaborative peer network. One of the original proponents of this approach, Professor Mikoto Usui then director of the OECD Development Centre, referred to it in the founding meeting at the “Abbé de Royaumont as an “invisible college”. Drawing together the experience and expertise of more than four thousand individuals and groups world wide, who are networked via a combination of websites, discussion groups and fora, and collaborative projects, the Agenda takes an approach to transportation planning, policy and practice that has gained considerable force over the last two decades -- provides a leading-edge alternative to earlier (20th century) methods of looking at and providing mobility for people and goods in cities. The Agenda has received prestigious awards for its contributions, including the Stockholm Environment Challenge Prize (2000) and the World Technology Environment Award (2002).

Monday, April 21, 2008

Population history of American indigenous peoples

Millions of indigenous people lived in the Americas when the 1492 voyage of Christopher Columbus began a historical period of large-scale European contact with the Americas. European contact with what they called the "New World" led to the European colonization of the Americas, with millions of emigrants (willing and unwilling) from the "Old World" eventually resettling in the Americas. While the population of Old World peoples in the Americas steadily grew in the centuries after Columbus, the population of the American indigenous peoples plummeted. The extent and causes of this population decline have long been the subject of controversy and debate. The 500th anniversary in 1992 of Columbus's famous voyage drew renewed attention to claims that indigenous peoples of the Americas had been the victims of ethnocides (the destruction of a culture).

Monday, April 14, 2008

Integrated development environment

In computing, an integrated development environment (IDE) is a software application that provides comprehensive facilities to computer programmers for software development. An IDE normally consists of a source code editor, a compiler and/or interpreter, build automation tools, and (usually) a debugger. Sometimes a version control system and various tools are integrated to simplify the construction of a GUI. Many modern IDEs also have a class browser, an object inspector, and a class hierarchy diagram, for use with object oriented software development.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Snapshot isolation

In databases, snapshot isolation is a guarantee that all reads made in a transaction will see a consistent snapshot of the database, and the transaction itself will successfully commit only if no updates it has made conflict with any concurrent updates made since that snapshot.

Snapshot isolation (SI) has been adopted by several major database management systems, such as SQL Anywhere, InterBase, Firebird, Oracle, PostgreSQL and Microsoft SQL Server. The main reason for its adoption is that it allows better performance than serializability, yet still avoids the kind of concurrency anomalies that cannot easily be worked around. SI has also been used to critique the ANSI SQL-92 standard's definition of isolation levels, as it exhibits none of the "anomalies" that the SQL standard prohibited, yet is not serializable (the anomaly-free isolation level defined by ANSI).

Friday, April 04, 2008

4th Dimension (Software)

4th Dimension (or 4D, or Silver Surfer, as it was known during early development) is a relational database management system and IDE developed by Laurent Ribardière in 1984. In 1993, 4D Server, the client/server version of 4th Dimension was introduced and since 1995, 4D has supported both the Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh operating systems.

The 4D product line has since expanded to an SQL front-end, integrated compiler and several productivity plug-ins and interfaces. Some of the more useful plug-ins include 4D Write (a word processor), 4D Draw (to draw shapes), 4D View (somewhat like a spreadsheet, but with extra functionality) and 4D Internet Commands (which let you add all sorts of Internet related functionality to a database). There are also over 100 third-party plugins, free and commercial.