The Soul of Edge Computing

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Witness the canopy of the thatched hut (above) as it bathes in the soft glow of the magical lamps which line the fence alongside the embankment overlooking a stream flowing in the small ravine below (All this right in the backyard of the restaurant where many of us in the EdgeX Foundry open source community (EdgeX, for short) had dinner one fine evening recently in Seoul)

A Defining Moment (ala Preamble)

Seoul: The capital and largest metropolis of South Korea. Seoul is ranked as the fourth largest metropolitan economy in the world and is larger than London and Paris 💡

Edge Computing: The solutions which facilitate data processing at (or near) the source of data-generation. For example, in the context of the Internet of Things (IoT), the sources of data generation are things with sensors or embedded devices 💡

So there you have it, a momentary pause we just made to define a couple of terms (And with that, our quick preamble is already done.)


You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul 😀

~ George Bernard Shaw

Inspired by the title of the classic, Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Soul of a New Machine by Tracy Kidder—and drawn inexorably by the siren songs of wordplay—I nearly committed myself to naming this blog post The Seoul of Edge Computing… I finally decided to name it The Soul of Edge Computing, mostly to stave off the possibility of befuddling new, unsuspecting readers for whose sensibilities such (linguistic) disorientation might be a bit jarring.

But yeah, encouraged by the outstanding reception of my previous travelogue—Yer Edinburgh Ode to Microservices—which you’ll recall had memorialized the previous Global Face-to-Face (aka F2F) Meeting (Edinburgh, Scotland) of EdgeX, I reckoned that we should have some fun again, reminiscing this time over the recently-concluded F2F Meeting (Seoul, South Korea).

What follow, then, are my impressions—refracted as they surely will be through the lens of the slightly jet-lagged brain of yours truly when I jotted down my impressions—and which are by no means anywhere near a summary of all the cool stuff we attendees got to participate in recently, at the F2F (Seoul).

Tell you what: Think of the collage that follows as a travelogue, with some (accompanying) edge computing-related wisdom (mostly musings) tossed in… 💡

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The Edge Computing Community

For starters, the EdgeX community is eminently friendly; as contributors to this open-source software project, we participate in the daily work with cordiality, exchanging design and implementation ideas, improving one another’s work (through the typical channels), and in general supporting one another in the quest to make EdgeX the best edge computing framework ever 😀

And it’s in that spirit (of camaraderie) that I’ve written this essay.

A few more housekeeping pointers and then—honest—we dive right into the soul of edge computing. Those pointers are ➡

  1. All pics appearing in this post—except two random ones—were snapped by yours truly, using his trusty iPhone 💡
  2. All pics appearing in this post—except the first four—appear in chronological order, corresponding to the unfolding of my recent travel to Seoul, where I attended the EdgeX Global Face-to-Face Meeting 💡
  3. Everything expressed in here—much as elsewhere on this blog site and over the years—is my personal expression. It’s been that way since the inception of Programming Digressions. Put another way, this post (hey, essay!) is super-unofficial in that it represents my views and impressions, and mine alone 💡

Speaking of that most subjective of pursuits—personal expression—I remain aligned with, and take inspiration from, this George Bernard Shaw quote: My method is to take the utmost trouble to find the right thing to say, and then to say it with the utmost levity 👻

OK, wise guy, so what’s that Shaw quote doing in there? Ah, glad you asked: Again, it’s not so much a housekeeping tip as it is a heads up about my (somewhat uncommon) writing style 🙄

Up next,  you and I are going to hit a Pattern Language and then walk right into the very first page of the Seoul travelogue journal. Speaking of walking… Whoa, we see a bunch of attendees walking in front of the Samsung R&D campus (hidden from view in the pic below.)

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A Pattern Language

And now we dive into the essay proper. So this is the perfect time to get a lay of the land. Everything that follows—the Seoul travelogue—is cast in the shape of a Pattern Language. What’s up with that?, you might ask 😉

So it goes like this. The (predominantly software-oriented) patterns community was inspired  into creation by the slick work of the UC Berkeley architect—as in bricks and mortar, not as in bits and bytes—Christopher Alexander, and the ideas of a Pattern Language have achieved near-universality, becoming a movement. So I’m going to lean on that movement by creating a Pattern Language of my own:

  • Pic: A thematic picture from the F2F Meeting (Seoul)
  • #: A chronological marker (signifying nothing less, and nothing more)
  • Pic Caption: A brief, accompanying description (as in, What’s happening here?)
  • Musing: Something worth your while, at times taken from the world of edge computing (not necessarily related, though, to the pic that it accompanies), and at other times taken from the vast landscape that is the store of (human) knowledge itself.

You got that, and noted the colorcoding? Good, because here we go, starting with our first specimen (from the Seoul travelogue), presented in the format of the Pattern Language we’ve just outlined.

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From left to right—Cloud Tsai (IoTech), Tony Espy (Canonical), Toby Mosby (Intel) sharing insights into the Device Service SDKs (in the Go and C programming languages) in the Main Hall of the Samsung R&D campus (Seoul).

Musing: I rather like this wisdom from David Deutsch (as fresh and remarkably relevant today as when he coined it), as quoted in the fine book The Tao of Microservices (Manning) by Richard Rodger:

Fallacies of distributed computing

The following fallacies are a warning to programmers everywhere to tread carefully when you take your first steps into the world of distributed computing.

They were first outlined informally by David Deutsch (a Sun Microsystems engineer) in 1994:

  • The network is reliable.
  • Latency is zero.
  • Bandwidth is infinite.
  • The network is secure.
  • Topology doesn’t change.
  • There’s one administrator.
  • Transport cost is zero.
  • The network is homogeneous.

Microservices don’t allow you to escape from these fallacies. It’s a feature of the micro-service world view that we embrace the warnings of the fallacies rather than try to solve them. Put another way, dangers lurk for the unwary. As they say, forewarned is forearmed. Speaking of which, anyone up for a foray into—warning, dragons be here—the realm of eventual consistency?

Ah, somebody please remind to prominently pin these (distributed computing) fallacies to the wall across from my desk, lest I forget any one of them!

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Yours truly standing in the lobby of my hotel in Gangnam—yes, of the famed Gangnam style—ready to grab some breakfast and then head to Day 1 of the EdgeX Global Face-to-Face Meeting.

Musing: I rather like the succinct message on the EdgeX splash page, under the following heading:

The Open Platform for the IoT Edge
Vendor-neutral, open source, loosely-coupled microservices framework providing you the choice to plug and play from a growing ecosystem of available third-party offerings or augment with your own proprietary innovations. With a focus on the IoT Edge, EdgeX simplifies the process to design, develop and deploy solutions across industrial, enterprise, and consumer applications.

While on the EdgeX splash page—you surely checked it out, didn’t you?—you couldn’t have missed staring into the eyes of an impish-looking octopus. What’s up with that? Hold on, hold on, everything will become clear in short order (Hint: Programming languages do not exist in a vacuum;  they are relevant only to the extent that they serve a great goal. On top of that, how can 296 million years of evolution be wrong? Or ever wonder how IoT is evolving like an octopus? Well, head straight for the scoop in Further Adventures In Go Land, in particular look for Item #11—”Bringing Go To The IoT World”—if you just can’t wait to find out what this is all about) 🐙

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I took this pic in a hurry, taking in the environs outside the hotel (Check the winged bridge, which I thought was pretty cool)

Musing: Speaking of microservices, with the communication metaphor fresh in my mind—check the Gangnam road in the pic above as an example of corporeal communication—the key notion of communication via messages (rather than via shared state) is neatly captured in the same book (The Tao of Microservices) we brushed against a minute ago, in the context of the lowdown on the fallacies of distributed computing. And here’s the lowdown on the way to make microservices talk with one another, ala messaging. Messaging that’s not quite “actor”-centric—no, not those kind of “actors”, these kind of “actors”—yet inspired by similar goals:

Large-scale software systems are best built using a component architecture that makes composition both possible and easy. The term microservice captures two important aspects of this idea. The prefix micro indicates that the components are small, avoiding accumulation of technical debt. In any substantial system, there will be many small components, rather than fewer large ones. The root service indicates that the components shouldn’t be constrained by the limitations of a single process or machine and should be free to form a large network. Components—that is, microservices—can communicate with each other freely. As a practical matter, communication via messages, rather than shared state, is essential to scaling the network.

Now how about that? The author (of the excerpt above) sure can run with the best—slicing and dicing the narrative, with expressiveness to spare—which of course is none other than the inimitable Gangnam style.

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Hey, I think I’ve seen this guy—Akram Ahmad (Dell)—he who likes to imprint pics with selfies (His motivation in doing so, a little bird tells us, is simply this: Bring life to otherwise staid pics, ala Kilroy-was-here-imprinting to lend credence to the whole thing!)

Musing: This fabulous quote jumps to mind

Explaining Metaphysics to the nation–
I wish he would explain his Explanation 😉
~ Lord Byron (from Don Juan: Dedication)

Yeah, metaphysics and software design; joined at the hips in beautiful symmetry. Oh, and the little bird also tells me that it would be a great idea to bookmark the eminently user-friendly EdgeX docs page.

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Jim White (Dell) pausing during his talk to take questions during Architects’ Day

Musing: When it comes to architecting software (design), Domain-Driven Design (DDD) is the first thing that comes to my mind lately; DDD happens to be an exceptionally thoughtful (and effective!) approach to designing software. So let’s hear it from the horse’s mouth, which, for us, happens to be two expert practitioners of DDD (Scott Millett and Nick Tune) who point out in their fine book (entitled Patterns, Principles, and Practices of Domain-Driven Design — published by Wrox Publishers) that

DDD is a process that aligns your code with the reality of your problem domain. As your product evolves, adding new features becomes as easy as it was in the good old days of greenfield development. Although DDD understands the need for software patterns, principles, methodologies, and frameworks, it values developers and domain experts working together to understand domain concepts, policies, and logic equally. With a greater knowledge of the problem domain and a synergy with the business, developers are more likely to build software that is more readable and easier to adapt for future enhancement.

Whoa, good stuff! And to specifically get your hands on the code that makes it all happen, I invite you to bookmark this page and learn more.

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Here I’m taking a quick break during Architects’ Day to snap a pic of a segment of us participants who converged on the Samsung R&D campus (Seoul)

Musing: Funny thing happened as I clipped the pic above—having run it through an image processor to place it in a slick border…. That story, though, will have to wait for another time, sorry. For now, I submit to you another travelogue—it’s at a wholly different level and by our guest author Kitty Fassett—which is to be found at these coordinates: A Day In Botswana. (She is an ace contributor to our blog, and her guest posts well worth reading. If variety is the spice of life, she brings spice to our blog: Put another way, man does not live by bread alone; he needs some butter and garnish to go along with it.)

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And then we heard chimes announcing the arrival of lunch-time (See if you can spy some self-recursion casting its reflection on the gleaming surface of the shiny goblet that is this South Korean tea-pot….)

Musing: Yay, this has got to be tea-time, woohoo! And if you really want to know what Mr. Ahmad is brewing, you’ll need to head over to the spot of the brewing pot. Closer to hand, we can reflect on more pragmatic concerns such as system management functionality (in edge computing) in order to facilitate remote management systems with a single point of access to command, control and monitor the bunch of microservices busily humming away with activity. For more on that sort of thing, I invite you to bookmark this page.

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What, Akram, you again? (Hey, easy now. Old habits die hard, but I’m vowing to eschew all selfie tendencies. Meanwhile, we’re deep in an architectural discussion. Plus I need to give my bleary eyes a break. Really.)

Musing: Architectural considerations and (their) practice go hand in hand. Forget that and much is lost; remember that and you’re golden. And so it is that I now present:

Is that enough reading material for now, eh? Heh, I thought so.

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Wait a second: What’s this ship with a ton of containers doing in here? (The pic above is one of the two random pics not taken by me)

Musing: Visualize this: One monstrously large ship, laden with containers 🚢

Wait a second—exactly, as I noted a moment ago—what in the world is that container-laden ship doing in here? Docker containers anyone? Anyone?! (Just sayin’, just sayin’ because I’d rather stay rooted in the physical realization of building systems versus some ivory tower stuff, and I’m not even talking about Eiffel the tower or yo, for that matter, Eiffel the programming language!) 🗼

But I digress—New(er) readers catching on to the theme of our digs around here as they zig in and zag out on the slalom? ⛷

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Peter Moonki (Samsung), our chief host at the Seoul F2F meeting, seated immediately to the left, and James Gregg (Intel) on the right.

Musing: Focus is good; deep focus is the best. Learning is good; deep learning is the best! Should you care, the latter can be tackled in three steps: Step #1, Step #2, and—yep, you knew this was coming—Step #3 (and in that order, please.)

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And it was time to get a hefty dose of Vitamin C (by way of Kiwi fruit) and protein (by way of salmon) at breakfast the next morning.

Musing: We need to refuel. At times, we need to retool…. Remember what Thomas Carlyle—the Scottish philosopher, essayist, and historian—had to say on this very subject:

Man is a tool-using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.

While Carlyle probably didn’t have software tools in mind when he made the remark (above), we developers surely do.

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Hmm, I think I was trying to prove to myself that I’m wide awake-enough to snap a selfie! (See the gritty, Cheshire Cat-like smile on my face.)

Musing: The inveterate cat-lover that I am, I invite you to check out an especially cool cat—hey, any feline that yawns half as endearingly as that one gets registered as cool in my book—and let me know your reaction (Details to be found over yonder). I mean, is that an enigmatically disappearing Cheshire Cat or what?

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Jim White (Dell) in his maroon tee-shirt—dispensing wisdom, disguised as humor—addressing us early birds, filling the enviable role of making sure everyone is perked up, and wide awake in the morning as we get ready to dive into another full day.

Musing: If you’re anything like me, you revel in the joys of crafting software. Let’s check what happens when we revel in the glory of software—on a stormy night! Oh, and just a heads up that you’ll find a fair amount of (enjoyable) recursion—stories nested in stories—when you check the glory of software (at the coordinates above.)

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So this was during another stretch break (Note the cordial atmosphere, notwithstanding the resemblance of the tables’ U-shaped arrangement to that of a typical Harvard Business School class in session, case study analyses and all!)

Musing: Look at that sight—a highly-engaged, self-organizing team as in the pic above—which is enough to give the lie to whoever (waywardly) said that software types have to be herded like cats. I mean, just check the self-organizing processes and structures on display above. Think Alan Kay and his ground-breaking, pioneering work that laid the foundations of object-oriented programming. For the full scoop, head over to my essay entitled Plato And The Nerd Strikes Back. Once there, zero-in on: “#2. Bio-Inspired Artificial Intelligence: Theories, Methods, and Technologies (The MIT Press) by Dario Floreano and Claudio Mattiussi. Okay, thats it: No more spoilers.

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Gosh, is that one ginormous, undulating spine specimen or what? Well, that ain’t my spine for sure. Maybe a dinosaur’s, who knows; I do dig the elegant contours of the spine, though, outlandishly outsized as they are. Bottomline (waistline eh?) is this: Belt with size 845 inches now please, to girdle the waist above, at JC Penney or whatever your favorite department store happens to be. (The pic above is one of the two random pics not taken by me)

Musing: Dude, speaking of spines, a mere glance at the august visage of Leonardo da Vinci sends shivers down my spine. I think to myself, “Man, did somebody with his caliber actually tread the same planet we live on? Like, for real? I need to spend some time learning more about da Vinci… This is way better than that Big-Mac-and-fries-and-ice-cream-cone super-combo I got just the other day from the McDonald’s drive-through!” 🍔 🍟 🍦 🍩

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Get out of here, Akram! You again? Honest, folks, it’s just my way of surreptitiously snapping (candid) pics—darn, did I just give my stealth operation away here?—when the audience is least suspecting, paparazzi-style, you know, with me pointing the other way (I mean, posing for pics, signor, is old school and passé, no?)

Musing: Considerations of surreptitiousness aside, this one’s simple. There will be times—oh yes there will be—when you just have to make a dash (poetic license and all.)

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Now that’s one gigantic (Docker) containers-laden ship…. (One of the two random pics not taken by me)

Musing: Just checking if anyone’s still awake. So for those of you who drink coffee, now would be a good time to get yourself a mug. Oh yeah, go ahead and please make your coffee—I’ll wait for you. Once our caffeine has kicked in, we’ll take in this memorable quote ☕

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.
~ Unofficial motto of the of the United States Postal Service (USPS) that’s long been associated with the American postman

For the whole story, there’s no substitute for heading over to some stuff I wrote up on deep learning and (in particular) checking out for yourself the section entitled “DIGRESSION ON THE POSTAGE STAMPS THEME”… Cool?

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Time to dine on some fine Korean cuisine, and we’re on our way in a—shall we say—speedy bus. Check the flash of a splendidly Churchillian, “V for Victory” signal, yay. I like it!

Musing: According to Marcus Aurelius—a really smart guy who also happened to be a Roman emperor, ruling from the year 161 to the year 180, and jammed as a Stoic philosopher in his spare time—The secret of all victory lies in the organization of the non-obvious. (Hey, I spelled out how those numbers, 161 and 180, have “years” for units, lest anyone gets confused and start thinking that those are highway numbers and, as such, are intended to suggest an area that Aurelius ruled over, demarcated by highways 161 and 180. Just saying; I’ve seen weirder things happen). For the scoop, head over to section #4 (“EXTEND YOURSELF”, or “How Writing Really Works”) 🏃in a decidedly off-the-wall essay.

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A series of thatched cottages I stumbled on, right smack in the backyard of a Korean restaurant where many of us in the EdgeX (open source) community had dinner that evening.

Musing: See the organic distribution of those thatched cottages? There’s a timelessness about them, isn’t there, holding up as they do their patchwork platforms? And when it comes to distributed streaming platforms—hey, many ideas in there to mine for those of us in edge computing-land—few compare to Kafka (as in the open source Apache project for distributed streaming and not in the wacky writer Franz Kafka). If you think I’m kidding in making these connections between seemingly unrelated topics (you’ll pardon the pun with impunity, won’t you?), allow me to direct you an essay entitled Krazy About Kafka! (Full disclosure: It was not written by Krazy Kat. Oh, and a fair warning is in order: Some parts might be rather intense—in a good way—for delicate sensibilities, so please consider keeping some Maalox at your side, lest there be, well, an unbidden Maalox moment.)

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It’s nighttime, we’re packed in our speeding bus, and best be heading back to our hotel (Need to catch some sleep)

Musing: For your bedtime reading material—I mean, we need something superior to counting sheep—may I suggest some sleep-inducing stuff (if you’ll be so good as to pardon the sauntering alliteration) that’s actually good for you (and the planet)?

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It’s a long story, having to do with hailing a cab…. But I had the staff at the hotel write down—in genuinely artful Korean script—the name of my hotel (They threw in the script for the hotel’s street address for free.)

Musing: Oh, the joy of mingling language paradigms—we’ll leave for another day our venture into a concordance of natural (human) languages and the synthetic (programming) languages….

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From left to right—Lenny Goodell (Intel) and Mike Johanson (Intel) sharing insights into the Application SDK.

Musing: Designing and implementing SDKs (Software Development Kits) is pretty cool, tapping as it especially does into the programming imagination.

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Honest. Let me explain: It was another one of our hosts, Smith (Samsung), a terrific individual, who volunteered to take this pic for me…. We’re in the Main Hall of the Samsung R&D campus, with attendees steadily streaming in to take their seats.

Musing: In full disclosure, this particular segment is purely filler material, redeemed perhaps by staying true to the spirit of the pursuit of beauty as in the Pulitzer Prize-winning book Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid whose author, Douglas Hofstadter, astonished the world with the publication of this mind-bending fugue of a book (more on that in here.) But I digress. All I’m saying is: Oh man, if only I had had the foresight at that time (standing akimbo in the auditorium there) to marshal just enough computational power to carry out the “proof of work”—blockchain-style of course—I would’ve surely garnered (and of course shared with all of you my fellow EdgeXers) a Turing Prize. Hey, a pipe dream is just that; a pipe dream. But if you’re serious, darn, there’s nothing like turning to some inspiration by way of a Blockchain adventures or two, I’m telling you!

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In full candor, this is an even longer story than the one accompanying the previous pic, because I do system management stuff, among other things; security stuff is currently in the safe hands of, among others, Tingyu Zeng (Dell). Anyhow, during a break that day—and just before the Security discussion in the Main Hall—our friend Smith (Samsung) had a terrific idea (that I step up on the stage to memorialize it all), and took this pic for me…. Casting a glance at the near past (during late January of 2019), it was in Houston—at the Oil & Gas Emerging Technologies Conference—that I presented EdgeX (to a large, technical audience). And casting a glance at the near future (during late May of 2019), it will be at a Canada-based virtual event—at the Energy Connect Virtual Conference & Expo—that I will be presenting EdgeX (this time to a technical-and-marketing-industry audience). Anyhow, I’ll look back at this pic as the dress rehearsal for my talk at a future EdgeX F2F (And yes, closer at hand at the moment, in the pic, we’re still in the Main Hall of the Samsung R&D campus).

Musing: Speaking of the crucial topic of security in software, it’s been known to drive some security experts in the direction of paranoia…. But me: What, me worry? Hey, relax, I was just kidding. In full candor, I do worry about some decidedly serious—as in deadly serious—stuff related to software at large, for example the double-edged sword that goes by that mouthful of a word: Superintelligence. In fact, it behooves us to listen up when Stuart Russell (a noted research leader in AI, with UC Berkeley) speaks on this subject. He has been doing a ton of original work in this area over the years, and here’s the scoop on related tips for us world citizens: As we contemplate building AI into our systems, let’s be good citizens by remaining aware of—and, more importantly, doing something about—the promise as well as the pitfalls that come with superintelligence. Oh, on a lighter note, allow me to confess that I’ve kissed off attempting to memorize how to spell that foot-and-a-half long word (superintelligence). And there’s an app—I meant to say, a word—for that: “Sesquipedality” (the use of big words, literally those that are “a foot and a half” long, according to Bryan A. Garner, in his fine tome called Garner’s Modern American Usage, published by the venerable Oxford University Press. And yes, I digress.)

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Michael Hall (Linux Foundation) sharing a superb Developer Advocate Perspective of the EdgeX community—it’s alive and kicking! Jim White (Dell) standing by, facilitating this and other talks as usual.

Musing: Given a choice—and I’m squarely aiming this question at myself first—would we rather be reactive, or proactive? The answer (yep, you guessed it) is: It depends (I hate it when people use that phrase, so fancy me turning the tables and deploying it myself!) It depends because, if you use the word “reactive” in its software-centric sense—as in the “reactive” style of programming—then it makes a lot of sense. As we go about building microservices for edge computing, it won’t hurt to mine (for ideas and stuff like that) the realm that is (or at least should be) a part of the landscape that we travel as software practitioners. I know a thing or two about that realm, so allow me offer some guidance in that area by way of two resources I compiled, the first one a while ago, the second one more recently:

I’m telling you, the bees know a thing or two: cross-pollination—of ideas, for us humans—is a good deal all around! Put on your reading list a few (or, if it strikes your fancy, all) of the books in there. You won’t regret it. Ask Mr. Bezos, and tell him that Akram sent you his way 😉

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Jim White (Dell), well known for his tireless work of facilitating the flow of conversation in meetings such as this one, is here filling the audience—and encouraging their participation—in the finer points of embracing tactical strategies to slash through technical debt.

Musing: I wear many hats—software practitioner, student, teacher are a few of those—and have learned from some of the finest in the industry. So I feel especially lucky to continue working with some of the smartest people on the planet. In that vein, the following quote struck a chord with me:

The mind wears the colors of the soul, as a valet those of his master.

~ Anne Swetchine

Learn up, and then pass the learnings along. Be a thought leader; we need many more. What credentials do I have, you may well be asking yourself, do I have to make such a bold statement? Well, on the bits and bytes side of things, I’ve been a committer on a bunch of EdgeX code repositories for nearly a year now. And on the prose (and the occasional poetry) side of things…. Well, if you really, really want to learn more about my writing credentials and my approach to writing, fear not; there’s plenty of that online.

With that—and far be it from me to instruct others in the craft of writing—I cordially submit to you my (hopefully-brain-friendly) detailed essays (all five of them proved popular) in which I’ve shared with my readers the joy of going about practicing the fine craft of writing:

As an engineer and computer scientist, I care as much about the craft of writing prose—and the occasional verses of rhyme—as I do about crafting the finest software code I’m capable of. Enough about me.

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Akram, dude, one more selfie, and we escort you right out of the Main Hall. Yeah, we get you a corner so you can sit and quietly munch on a bowl of kimchi. And no, you won’t get a bowl of curds and whey; they’re reserved for a certain Ms Muffet.

Musing: It was no other than the Bard himself who memorialized that

The soul of this man is his clothes. Trust him not in matter of heavy consequence.

~ Shakespeare (in All’s Well That Ends Well)

Enough said. Man, that guy (Shakespeare) new a thing or two about finessing the duality of comparing and contrasting. True that, or what? (Hint: The former.) For the lowdown on this one, check out the details of why (and how) the Bard gets the top spot on my fun roundup is over there (Heads up: This may not be quite what you might be expecting as you go in. Just saying.)

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This is Andy Foster (IoTech), sharing a view of a realtime system that they have been building atop of EdgeX.

Musing: We software practitioners build progressively feature-full (executable) artifacts. But we all start with the basics, such as these. Good stuff; bookmark them for your own good, and spread the word.

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OK, Akram, that’s it—You’ve done it now, and plastered onto this blog one selfie too many. Dude, gather your stuff, because we’re escorting you out of the Main Hall this second (Heh, heh. Actually, we are, like, already outside…. Seriously, though, we’ve done a ton of awesome technical—and business—sessions that have veritably rejuvenated our creative juices, leaving us eager to tackle the next generation of milestones in edge computing! Yo, where is that fabled bowl of kimchi, for crying out loud?)

Musing: Oh my, if we were to travel down the primrose path of—gasp—self-disclosure, where would  we even begin? Hmm…. Might there be joys to be had in good jest? A joy, or two, or even three? (Did you notice what I just did? Yep, in the preceding sentence, I managed to deploy—no container deployments scheduled at the moment though—an “a” right smack before the uncountable noun “joy” 😱 I’m telling you, to witness the (let’s just say, hilarious-yet-lachrymose) impact on the grammarian sensibilities of my high school teacher when he heard some infelicitous deployment—hey, didn’t I just finish telling you that there ain’t no container deployments scheduled at this time!—from one of my woebegone classmates, you simply have to check out the true story of how “There Ain’t No Escapin’ The Grammar Police” (yes, that’s the name of the section in the essay at the coordinates I’m gonna give you in a sec) so yes, the only way to find out is to cast thine eyes thither. Heh, it’s all good. Relax.

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All roads lead to…. a smoothie I bought at the Smoothie King shop in the Sapyeong-Daero shopping district of Gangnam , yay!

Musing: Wait a sec, I thought it was supposed to be, All roads lead to Rome or something, no? (And right you are. It just so happens that I took some time to explore the area around my Gangnam hotel, and found a fabulous smoothie shop. The rest, as they say, is history.) A day will arrive in the not-too-distant future—and we’ll continue working together to help make that happen—when all edge computing roads will lead to EdgeX. For a while now, having chosen a chunk of EdgeX to contribute to, I’ve been doing my bit in the area of system management; which area will you choose or have perhaps already chosen? Regardless of which company we come from, we’re in this journey together, build a vendor-neutral, open source, loosely-coupled microservices framework. Having joined hands in this quest, we—Dell, Intel, IoTech, Canonical, Samsung, and Mainflux to name just a few—remain excited and engaged in our quest to make sure that all edge computing roads lead to EdgeX. Together, we’re going to make it happen, changing the world of IoT as the world knows it today!

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OMG! Did I really? Well… Really, truly having emerged from the stupor of self-styled selfie serfdom of sorts as well as from the jabber-jaws of jet-lag—so I had written and posted this essay a week ago, over the past weekend—I now sheepishly revisit it all to tack on an Afterword (with a sort of sob story) 😥

I’m telling you, though, in all seriousness, that all those selfless selfies served not servitude but steadfast adherence, instead, to the principle of least astonishment. Kind of (Darn, sometimes, it does behoove one to redesign a feature, or two). It’s a rather long story, a bit much to squeeze into a measly Afterword. So let’s all of us settle (for now, anyway) with my vision (when it comes to all the stuff that gets posted around here) of remaining aligned with, and taking inspiration from, this George Bernard Shaw quote: My method is to take the utmost trouble to find the right thing to say, and then to say it with the utmost levity 👻

And While Kilroy Was Here…

…you’re not going to see his imprints. Instead, you get a bunch of postcards from Seoul, from yours truly—I snapped every single one of these specimens with my own iPhone camera—imprinted with the imprimatur that is the soul of edge computing 💡

Hey Akram, can you, like, get out of here, and out of our way?

Explaining Metaphysics to the nation–
I wish he would explain his Explanation 😉
~ Lord Byron (from Don Juan: Dedication)

…and let us have at those fabled postcards, for crying out loud?

Sheesh, some people (they wouldn’t know Metaphysics from Metamucil if it hit them in the forehead, either of those two M&Ms, come to think of it!) But oh well, gotta love your readers, so here you go 😆

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Hey, where’s our caption?!

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Dude, where is our caption?!

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No caption, still waiting…

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Thine caption eludes us still, we pine for it, patiently…

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No caption, still waiting…

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Still waiting…

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    • – Your delightful comment leaves me grinning from ear to ear! And I beam on being dubbed the “Marco Polo of the programming world!” Why, thank you for the fabulous moniker and the metaphor, and, of course, for the warm welcome as I come back home from the other side of the world!
      – In replying to you, I’m slipping in a thought, edgewise, as it were… It’s not entirely, random. And the idea behind this all goes back to a monograph I wrote a while ago on this blog –> “Let’s Have Ourselves Some Nerdy Fun”
      – This is what I wrote back then, and that’s how I continue to feel to this day:
      “Let’s Have Ourselves Some Nerdy Fun”
      ==> And here I simply have to share an anecdote from the life of the late John Vlissides—the “V” in “GHJV” (Gamma, Helm, Johnson, and Vlissides), the inimitable Gang of Four (GoF)—who is one of my programming heroes of all time, right up there with Guy Steele (widely regarded as the father of Common Lisp; he happens to be the lead author of the Java Language Specification). So that Vlissides anecdote goes like this:
      ==> The Gang-of-Four celebrated the tenth anniversary of the publication of ‘Design Patterns’ last year at OOPSLA 2004. Three of them, John (sporting the propeller), Erich (wielding the knife) and Ralph are shown here preparing to eat their words. John was the OOPSLA 2004 Conference Chair, and had made the trip to Vancouver at the price, we later learned, of having had to forego chemotherapy for a week. John is shown still in costume for his role as “Jimmy the Freshman” in “Dating Design Patterns”, a skit that I had warned him might seriously undermine the dignity of the entire conference. John replied “What dignity?” For good or ill, this lesson has stuck with me. John had a self-effacing sense of humor to go with his genuinely contagious intellect, a rare combination indeed… (italics mine).
      ~ BrianFoote
      ==> What a marvelous combination of geekiness, brilliance, and joie de vivre. We miss you, John, we really do!


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