oracle aide

August 21, 2015

Dynamo DB Local : a missing tutorial for Python

Filed under: Uncategorized — oracleaide @ 7:43 pm

Dynamo DB Local is an excellent learning and testing tool.
It has a JavaScript shell with a useful but verbose tutorial:
DynamoDBLocal: Downloading And Running

DynamoDBLocal: Javascript Shell

Here is the same tutorial, translated to Python 2.7.
(more…)

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August 18, 2015

Diagrams: Oversize to emphasize

Filed under: Uncategorized — oracleaide @ 12:36 am

Few of my fellow nerds are visual-spatial thinkers. Some of them (ladies, mostly) have good taste and
produce not only neat charts, but clean and good looking code.
Just a little bit of color theory goes a long way for UI design and visual analytics.

The majority of my fellow nerds are logical thinkers, with no interest in fine arts and subtle matters of style and harmony.
This is unfortunate, because just a little bit of visual taste would have made they diagrams much more readable and communication more efficient.

A recent diagramming marathon brought us three rules of thumb:
1. Oversize to emphasize.
2. Oversize to show composition.
3. Cater to western readers: logic flows left-right, top-down.

Here is an example – a standard no-frills vertical tree.

oversize_to_emphasize

What is the most important block here? Where do I begin?
“Oversize to emphasize” helps to bring some order.

oversize_to_emphasize_big

Although it is possible to show composition using arrows, this approach
requires an extra step – it forces users to trace arrows.
Luckily, our brains are really good in filling gaps.
We could help readers’ brains by using the “Oversize to show composition” trick.

oversize_to_emphasize_composition

A useful side effect – we get rid of diagonal arrows which break linear visual flows.

Having clear visual flows helps readers.
And the most familiar flow for all of us is the text flow – from left to right, from top – down.

oversize_to_emphasize_direction

So, placing inputs in the left top quarter and outputs in the bottom right quarter will make the diagram naturally readable.

There is one problem. I don’t know if logical readers would care.
Are the tricks working only for visual-spatial ones?

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