Thursday, March 20, 2008

Hierarchical vs. Relational

Some Thoughts About Hierarchical vs. Relational Representation
Part 1 – Rationale

As a rule of thumb, I like to design things so that each instance has three possible representations: in-memory object, hierarchical (e.g. XML), and relational. This tends to work out well because these are the three media of exchange in most computer architecture. Thus, in-memory for quick manipulation, hierarchical for static storage and communication via remoting or clipboard, and relational for dynamic storage.

This tends to work seamlessly except in one particular area: referenced objects (i.e. indexed objects in relational systems). Which is unfortunate, because referenced objects are a key paradigm in most computer languages and are the backbone of relational databases. This problem of coordinating referenced objects comes up in virtually every large program or code library, from e-commerce databases, to 3D graphics systems, to spreadsheets, etc.

I’ve tried several generic solutions to this problem. Most worked, but most became unwieldy as the code grew and special cases were considered. Because of this, I’ve decided to accept the fact that generic solutions here are difficult, and decided that instead, hope lies in the design patterns approach.

So, over the course of the next few blog entries, I will be presenting a series of design patterns aimed at tackling this problem. I don’t presume to think that any of these techniques are novel. The point is to arrange a series of rules-of-thumb and ad-hoc solutions into a more coherent set of design patterns.


Saturday, January 12, 2008

Pine Board is Flawed

The pine board I was planning on using to make my first goban turned out to be irredeemably flawed on the bottom side. So I guess it’s back the attic floor with that one, and I’ll start with trying to make a goban from cherry! Maybe the value of the wood will drive me to do a good job, lol.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Opening Game Study

One thing I’ve noticed in my play against SmartGo is that my closed moyo tend to develop too early. So, although I securely capture some area, I allow SmartGo to capture large segments of the remaining board and so I get crushed.

My game is too “chunky” and lacks the “integrated” look one sees in most games.

At first I wondered whether this was because of the computer style of play vs. a human style of play; was I learning bad habits? However, I decided it must be because I was not fully developing the opening game before proceeding to closed moyo.

To that end (or beginning, lol), I bought “In the Beginning” by Ikuro Ishigure. I have to say that with just one day of reading, it has solved a lot of the problems I was having with the opening. The example here, though riddled with mistakes and lacking good joseki, does show more of an integrated pattern. And, though I got stomped in mid game, I did do significantly better through the opening game than I have been (based on computer analysis of the game).


p.s. And I retrieved the pine board for goban number 1 from the attic flooring (yes, I did replace it with other boards, lol). I still need to mark it for size and decide on how to cut it for minimal warping.