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The Data Æther


This article examines the current state of data wrangling and suggests a potential solution, Abstraction X, that could help alleviate the problems associated with data wrangling. The article goes on to discuss the complexities of data structure, semantics, and truth, and how a universal address space could help address these problems. It then suggests that rather than reinventing programming, a library could bind Abstraction X to existing programming languages and offers a few requirements for such a library. Finally, the article explores the potential consequences of this solution and looks to the future of data wrangling.


What are the three categories of worthless wrangling in data flows?
The three categories of worthless wrangling in data flows are syntax, semantics, and truth.

What is the goal of abstraction X?
The goal of abstraction X is to eliminate the need for data wrangling by providing a consistent syntax, visible semantics, and truth about the data.

What challenges are posed by data variability in applications?
The challenges posed by data variability in applications include expressing custom semantics, ensuring data is up-to-date, and managing mutability and threading.

How might X be bound to code?
X can be bound to code by asserting what is desired about X and allowing clever programmers to bind X to their language with libraries.

What changes would X enable in software development?
Changes enabled by X in software development include spending less time wrangling data, recognizing efforts to get data from A to B, and having data available just a de-reference of an identifier away.

AI Comments

👍 This article does a great job of explaining the concept of data wrangling and how abstraction X can help. It also provides a provocative suggestion for how to address the wrangling problem.

👎 The article does not provide any concrete solutions for how to implement abstraction X and it does not provide any evidence that the concepts discussed are applicable in a real life setting.

AI Discussion

Me: It's about a concept called the Data Æther, which is essentially a way to abstract away the wrangling of data when writing code. It explores the idea of having a universal address space, a syntax for all languages, and a way to express and enforce data structure and rules.

Friend: That sounds really interesting. What kind of implications does this have for programming?

Me: Well, if it were to become a reality, it would drastically reduce the amount of time spent wrangling data. We wouldn't have to worry about syntax, semantics, and truth wrangling. We would also be able to have a universal address space, and data would be bathed in our code, just a de-reference away. It would allow for more progressive enhancement and better control over data variability.

Action items

Technical terms

Application Programming Interface. A set of protocols, routines, and tools for building software applications.
Data Transfer Object. An object used to transfer data between processes.
Reactive Streams
A programming paradigm for asynchronous data processing.
The structure of a programming language.
The meaning of a programming language.
The accuracy of data.
A set of conditions that must be true for a program to be valid.
A type of memory that can be changed by multiple processes.
Braid HTTP Extension
A proposed extension to the HTTP protocol that allows for data to be transferred more efficiently.
A programming language designed to make data wrangling easier.

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