Sunday, July 19, 2009

On citations and the scope of the languages tutorial

Yesterday, I went with (most of) my family to watch the movie : Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I have to admit that among other things I am also a Harry Potter fan, and going to new Harry Potter film is for us a family event. The movie took some shortcuts from the book, so that some things remain fuzzy for those who did not read the book, but this is a very thick book, so there is a challenge to present everything in 2.5 hours movie.

Anyway, I am following with some amusement the discussion between Paul Vincent and Tim Bass on the scope of the event processing languages tutorial (0n the linkedin CEP users group). Typically I do not answer Mr. Bass' musings, as I believe in free speech and in the general intelligence of the readers, however, today I would like to deviate from this habit (just for one posting), and sincerely congratulate Tim on the achievement that he mentions -- his paper has been cited by an Australian patent application, Wow -- I am truly impressed !, and as I am a supportive person I want to really congratulate Tim, it is very flattering when one cites you.

There is just a tiny comment, Tim adds, in the height of his self-esteem:

I noticed that the Australian government's patent application did not reference your work a decade ago nor did it reference other "leaders" in the EPTS. (Sorry about that!) The 2008 patent application did not even reference "The Power of Events"... imagine that!

I did not look at the Australian patent application, but I have no reason to doubt the fact written, well.

BTW, I personally have a patent that has been accepted some years ago by the USA patent office, and last time I visited it was cited by 13 patents that were already accepted (not just applications) in USA;

And BTW -- the patent I am talking about won at that year the award for being among the top 5% IBM patents (among several thousands of patents that were accepted for IBM at that year) which brought me not only a financial award but also the title of "IBM Master Inventor";

And BTW -- this was only one of several patents I filed, not to mention around 70 papers I published (typically with other partners) on topics related to event processing over the last 20 years that were published in peer-reviewed journals and conference papers and were cited by hundreds of other papers and patents;

And BTW -- I am only one of 18 well qualified members in the EPTS event processing languages group, and some of them may have even better credentials than me.

This paragraph was not intended, heaven forbid !, to dwarf the achievement of Tim that his (single) paper has being cited, and he has all reasons to be proud and satisfied in his well deserved achievement, but it was just intended to put things in proportion and show that in professional credentials there are some others people who have been cited and recognized by the professional community as well...

And for the discussion issue about the scope of the languages tutorial, thanks to Paul for trying to defend the team, but for me this is a non-issue. The tutorial was not about general purpose languages that people sometimes use to process events, but about event processing languages defined as languages whose main purpose is to process events - very simple definition.

There are people who indeed hard-code event processing applications in C, Java, Perl, Payton, Lisp and other general purpose languages, but the scope of the tutorial was not to discuss general purpose languages, there are conferences on programming languages which deal with such surveys. I assume that there will always be event processing applications that will be written in general purpose languages as there are always programs written in assembly languages, or many systems that use file systems and not DBMS systems to store structured data. However, we observe that the use of dedicated event processing languages is growing, and I believe that in time it will cover substantial amount of the event processing applications. Our challenge in EPTS is to help mature that state-of-the-art to make it happen;
And BTW, we don't really need education about event processing or event processing languages.

As said, this was a one time comment, and I'll not tempt to turn it to a discussion.


Jack said...

BTW, some of us who work in this field are barred from joining the LinkedIn group in question.

Opher Etzion said...

Hi Jack. If you think that any moderator of Linkedin group is abusing his power, you may complain to the Linkedin authorities.



Paul Vincent said...

Hi Opher - I must have skipped that bit regarding "I got a patent reference you didnt". That part in the discussion was actually more sad than funny. Oh dear!

Hans said...

Yikes, when are people going to stop engaging with this guy?!? When was the last time someone engaged with him and got a productive response? How about the last time engaging with him *didn't* produce a nonsensical diatribe?

I know, I know... this isn't meant to be a discussion.

Opher Etzion said...

Hi Hans. I added two words to my English vocabulary - nonsensical diatribe -I had to use Babylon in order to understand what they are.

Right -- I will not be tempted to say more, I have said enough.