Mr Yourdon, have you considered publishing some of these threads? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

There is so much good and useful information, opinion, and experience shared in this forum by intelligient, rational people that it should be published (without the email addresses of course).

The 'How and when did you get it?' thread is a perfect example.

I've been thinking about a diary and some of the threads would be perfect for it.

Ed, what do you think? Could some be published? Would it help someone to get it?


-- MVI (, December 02, 1998


Good idea, but remember that books are static, and the Internet (and especially these threads!) are dynamic. That's a big part of their value.

Also, keep in mind that a traditional publisher takes a minimum of three months to get a finished manuscript published an into a bookstore.

Maybe some enterprising soul could distill some of the best parts of these threads into a single MS Word document (or several such documents), in order to make it easier to print out and read. I would be happy to post such documents on my site for downloading, and I'm sure lots of other Y2K sites would also be happy to do so.

Unfortunately, I don't have the time available to do the work at this point ... every moment of the day is occupied with other demands. But perhaps one of the forum visitors could do so. If there's anything else I can do to help get the process started, let me know.


-- Ed Yourdon (, December 04, 1998.

To most of the world we are considered wackos, until they get it through their thick heads, and then they become smarter than us. People don't listen to their neighbors unless they are a high ranking official, a CEO of a monstrous corporation (who incidentally allowed us to get in this mess in the first place!), a Wall Street tycoon, a documented expert, wearing a badge, or something to that effect. Sad, but true.

-- M.D. (, December 02, 1998.

MVI -- Anything that would help some more to get it sounds like a good idea to me.

-- Diane J. Squire (, December 02, 1998.

I've recommended this earlier - best format (IMHO) would be a series of small books of related threads under groups similar to the way forum is organized: government; finances; international; alternatives and survivial (energy, transporation, heating, water, food, medicine, etc.); techincal stuff; people & society; etc. Have to cross-reference and index, but that should be doable.

Threads in Misc group would need to be sorted into appropriate pieces. Threads that zig-zag get listed twice.

Length? Enough in each to make a small paperback of related threads.

Editing for spelling, grammar, and language? Good arguments can be made both ways: might be more fun to "leave as-is". Be more readable if things are corrected.

Title? How about "2000 Threads: _______ Issues. Then change the _____ to fit each paperback.

First one? Humor and Limericks.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, December 03, 1998.

Ding of cash register.

Yes good idea, proceeds to forum members, its a goldmine, all will be put towards preparation of course.

Go along with Robert there.

-- Richard Dale (, December 03, 1998.

Mr Cook, what you have described is data 'Normalization'.

I'm sure Mr Yourdon could do it. :)


-- MVI (, December 03, 1998.

LOL. Are we talking firrst, second, or third normal form?

-- Rob Michaels (, December 03, 1998.

It goes up to fifth normal form, maybe thats describing Sir Ed. The only other titled member of the forum.

-- Richard Dale (, December 04, 1998.

The only definition of "normal" I'd consider acceptable for this collection of humanity is the geometric = a line perpendicular to the indicated or selected surface or line.

In other words, "normal" is a perfect definiton in here if it means being at right angles to the rest of the known world.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, December 04, 1998.

Yes I think we've got the "right angle" on y2k.

I've just had a look at a "pollyanna" site, "y2k and ????" you have to tip toe in, there's an aura of uncanny silence, no controversy, no life, no unk, no brains, no nothing.

-- Richard Dale (, December 04, 1998.

God knows what happened there, The site has an eerie atmosphere of the living dead, no controversy, no humanity, no insults, no brain, no nothing.

We have the "right angle" on y2k, we are highly developed forms.

-- Richard Dale (, December 04, 1998.

Mr Cook reponded as follows

" format (IMHO) would be a series of small books of related threads under groups similar to the way forum is organized: government; finances; international; alternatives and survivial (energy, transporation, heating, water, food, medicine, etc.); techincal stuff; people & society; etc. Have to cross-reference and index, but that should be doable."

He goes on to say, "Threads in Misc group would need to be sorted into appropriate pieces. Threads that zig-zag get listed twice".

What I was trying to say is:

-Data that is fully 'normalized' avoids redundancy

-Data that is fully 'normalized' assures that you have the smallest data structure possible, without having redundant data.

-Data that is fully 'normalized' allows access to the data in several 'logical views' regardless of the physical structure.

Normalization by subject or keyword is possible. This would accomplish Mr Cooks goals.


-- MVI (, December 04, 1998.

Mr Yourdon, I'm going to give it some thought. I'm not sure that I have the time either.

Mr Cook, are you interested in consulting with me on this?


-- MVI (, December 04, 1998.

Yes, give me about a week. (My Master's advisor may need me to edit some things on my thesis, I'll know more about his comments Monday 12/07)

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, December 04, 1998.


Are we actually thinking of printing a fully inverted file version of this gorilla??

I could make some time available, perhaps for the effort OUCH! Wife and cable-tow tugging but well, she'll get over it!!


-- Chuck a night driver (, December 04, 1998.

I've been developing a system that maintains a local database of discussion comments these are the fields of the Access table Messages: Message ID Topic Number Question Number Answer Number Message Head Message From Name From Email From Date

The Question Number is the 6-digit base62 thread number. Answer #0 is the Question itself (starting post) and the following #'s are answers to it. This system allows for defining super-threads across the pool of comments, reclassification of Topic as needed, and filtering of unwanted posts. Subsets of the data can be selectively poured into a Word document, HTML doc, or publishing doc, as desired. Stone Soup anybody?

-- Jon (, December 04, 1998.

Mr. Cook, Chuck, Jon:

Why don't you drop me a line? Maybe we can do something with this.


-- MVI (, December 04, 1998.

MVI Check yo e-mail.

Robert, Jon, I said yes and I may have a desktop publishing artiste available.


-- Chuck a night driver (, December 05, 1998.

This is the current record structure I am using. The next step is to parse and extract the HTML text content from the browser window.

What is the best method for VBA to access this HTML? An experimental method is to

The idea is to leverage the scanning and macro functions of Word, which can use the styles and formatting of the source text in segmentation, then store the results as a log in an excel table, then insert to the database. Once the Word VBA code is set up the function can be brought into Access or as a standalone VB6 module. This method is okay for initially loading the database but may get bogged down in checking for thread updates. The key value in this approach is the extensability to compiling data from any type of online source, whether it is a static HTML page or a database query result, by going to Word for higher-level recognition and extraction routines.

Being new to ASP and having Visual InterDev 6, I'm studying how to use ASP, VBScript, Java, and more advanced techniques to put these data into an online SQL database. Any suggestions? I have the ISP resources FrontPage with SQL, IIS, NT4, etc.

Record Structure for Table: Messages

Field Name


Field Type

Discussion ID

Which discussion board is this (e.g. y2k=1, admin=2,...)


Topic ID

Which Topic is this (e.g. computers=1, energy=2, ...)


Message ID

Which posted message is this (indexing Q's and A's alike and individually)


Record Status ID

Assigned Status of this record (on, off, hide,...)

Integer filter/switch

Reference Status ID

Assigned Status of this message (new, old, delete,...)

Integer filter/switch

Source ID

Where known, the looked up record ID number of the poster


Class ID

Where does the content of this message fit in to the scheme of all knowledge


Question Link

Hyperlink to the Discussion question thread


Question Number

6-digit base62 question-post number


Answer Number

If this message is a question then answer=0, deletions allowed


Message Head

If this is a question then this is heading for this question thread


Message Text

Main body of text

Memo, for HTML text


Name of poster

Text 50


Email address of poster



Date of post


-- Jon (, December 05, 1998.

To clarify the record structure design, the first seven fields are all ID fields, meaning they hold a lookup number (an index) into another smaller table that has an Autonumber first column, and a text word or phrase for the second column. In this table only the Message ID is actually an Autonumber type, the other ID fields are all Number (long integer). This implies there are 6 lookup tables: Discussions, Topics, RecordStatus, ReferenceStatus, Source, and Class. Most of these lookup tables have only a few rows. Source is a list of Discussants. I'm working on alternate classification schemes. I will post this Access database in a public place once the tables are all set up, and some basic forms are laid out. The 6-digit Question Number is assigned across multiple discussion boards (not just Y2k discussion). In this table the text field length is set to 50 for future extensions.

-- Jon (, December 05, 1998.

Impressive, Jon.

I suspect most people would prefer topic oriented info that is re- grouped into coherent and similar discussions. Sounds like a lot of grunt work without being able to run the forum gorilla through a data & keyword prep system. Can the forum host help there with a search engine? Might be an alternative.


-- Diane J. Squire (, December 06, 1998.

If your other desktop publishing solution isn't available, I can offer my skills (correct word?). Also, I'm not sure that it would VERY important to have a field that updates as the threads are updated. If the goal is to produce a book - the book, by nature is not updatable (as an English major, I am allowed to make up words as I see fit). I would think the preferred option may be to grab it all once and go from there - otherwise, you'll be spinning your wheels. Assuming it takes a MINIMUM of 3 months to have the book published and into bookstores - you really don't have much time to work with. Also, you have to factor in the time it would take to find someone willing to publish the "Desktop Series on Y2K" - per se.

Back to the issue of time available to get this to the publisher - ideally you would need to have it out AT THE LATEST of late spring 1999. Cash register ringing would multiply in double digit integers with the potential effects of April 1999.

Anyway - if you need anything, count me in.

-- Christine A. Newbie (, December 06, 1998.

1 If it's small enough we could try Perlmutter here in Cleve, they do a lot of brochures for national marketing stuff. And, we have Tower Press (if they're still running).

2 Jonmiles- would the record structure (which I will confess I just BARELY scanned) help us set up a search engine, since we'll want to index on keywords, etc for the book.........

3 We might consider a loose leaf concept, inorder to distribute updates to a subscriber base. Kinda like "Now that you've read the book, subscribe to the update service and get your updates either snail mail or e-mail (and print out your own) for only $$LOTSA.95 for snail mail and $$1/2LOTSA.95 for e-mail"

just a thought.


-- Chuck a night driver (, December 06, 1998.

Asked Phillip Greenspun in an e-mail...

"Is there a keyword search engine out there that either you or another has developed for use with the forum threads? There is such a wealth of hard-to-access information in the threads and sub-threads."

His reply...

"I had to disable the search engine until Oracle fixes some bugs...Philip."

*Sigh* Thanks, Phil,


-- Diane J. Squire (, December 06, 1998.

Geez, I've created a monster. LOL.

Mr Yourdon emailed me a gave me the go ahead. "Just do it", he said"

I have received email from someone offering marketing/distribution help and also received email from a magazine editor offering assistance.

Gotta run....just got a call from my son. His workplace is on fire. He's ok and I'm going there now. (sigh)Later.


-- MVI (, December 06, 1998.

OK where was I? LOL

I think where I was going before interrupted was to also say that Ed Yourdon suggested selecting a few threads, then massage and edit them. Post them on the web (he offered his site), for criticism, suggestions, etc. This is the way Time Bomb 2000, was started. He also added that, if the review was not favorable it would save money and possible embarrassment.

While on the subject of money, neither making it nor losing it was a goal in my original post. And embarrassment is not an issue with me. LOL!



PS Lots of fire trucks, police, tv news, etc. Its a WalMart. Fire was in receiving/layaway area. No injuries. Lots of Smoke.

-- MVI (, December 06, 1998.

the other half says "Nothing like a hot Christmas Sale??"

Is this a fire sale???

There are a bunch of others, but I hate it when I crack me up like that, so I won't go there.


-- Chuck a night driver (, December 06, 1998.

Chuck, my son was on a break. Employees clock out on break. He was po'd.


-- MVI (, December 06, 1998.

1. A RecordDate field of Type Date is added for Date-Time stamping.

2. Yes a search function can easily be added. I had almost forgotten about that aspect, I was thinking more about the filtering of unwanted posts, but now that you mention it I will add in a keyword field to make indexing easier.

The first approach is to specify the Keywords field as type=memo, with the implicit convention that the list is a comma- or space- separated value list as text string. The second approach is to use index numbers into a keyword dictionary, which facilitates further automation by simplifying the management of new keywords, but might create too much overhead.

In either case the next procedure to specify is how to autmatically scan each Message or Posted Question for the list of keywords and recording which keywords are present. Later a keyword based browsing interface can be set up. Keywords may be specified for each post (not just questions, but each answer as well) and special keywords can be used for more complex qualitative filtering of content. However there should be a better way to record a list of the keywords for each post. Any comments (Access97)... Also: one way to present the thread is as a single HTML file as is currently implemented, but an alternate method is to have a First, Last, Next and Prev buttons to step through the sequence of answers. This is easier to implement the filtering (initially) but either view can be given. The interface can be a single web page with the discussion text showing in a subwindow, and around it are all the control settings for how you want to view the database. This includes a drop-down list for which topic, checkboxes for each filter condition, etc.

-- Jon (, December 07, 1998.

Jon, forgive this newbie who doesn't understand much of your technicalities, but who would really like to search the forum using keywords. Please, whatever you do, make sure it also works for Macs. Thanks!
xxxxxxx xxxxx

-- Leska (, December 07, 1998.


Study boolen (-1 sp) logic. A good search strategy summary page can be found at Infoseek...


Ditto on Mac's, but Leska the data prep, etc. shouldn't make a difference there as long as a search engine is not resident on one's computer.

-- Diane J. Squire (, December 07, 1998.

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