16.515 rapid prototyping

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Date: Fri Feb 28 2003 - 09:50:21 EST

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 16, No. 515.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                         Submit to: humanist@princeton.edu

             Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 07:57:08 +0000
             From: lhomich <lhomich@ualberta.ca>
             Subject: RE: 16.511 data-modelling; rapid prototyping?

    Dr. McCarty:

    I believe that tools for rapid, simple prototypes are available to us. I'm a
    person who came from the business world (where I was a computer systems
    developer) into academia (I'm now a student, doing my M.A. in Humanities
    Computing/English at the U. of Alberta). In my business experience, I often
    used Microsoft Access as a rapid RDBMS prototying tool. It is powerful enough
    to model complex relationships, and allows the developer to rapidly change
    table structure and connections between tables, and to build fform-based

    Building complex applications (in any platform that I've had experience with)
    *does* require a good deal of technical knowledge, but a set of basic skills
    with a tool such as MS Access is sufficient for prototyping. My approach to
    prototyping is that rather that try to design something complex from the
    start, I can start with somthing simple and build on from there. I've found
    it's beneficial to offer the user a model which gives her something to react
    to. Her responses are informed by the model I build; she has something
    'concrete' to look at, and can make decisions based on her experiences the

    And, as a former database administrator, I have to stress that a thorough data
    analysis and database design is of great importance to the success of any

    Eric Homich
    M.A. Student,
    Humanities Computing/English
    U. of Alberta

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