Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Caecilius Metellus

Pomponius Mela writes, and is copied by Pliny the Elder, that Quintus Caecilius Metellus Celer (died 59 BCE), proconsul in Gaul received "several Indians" (Indi) as a present from a Germanic king. The Indians were driven by a storm to the coasts of Germania (in tempestatem ex Indicis aequoribus).

Metellus Celer recalls the following: when he was proconsul in Gaul, he was given people from "India" by the king of the Sueves; upon requesting why they were in this land, he learnt that they were caught in a storm away from India, that they became castaways, and finally landed on the coast of Germany. They thus resisted the sea, but suffered from the cold for the rest of their travel, and that is the reason why they left.

It is unclear whether these castaways may have been people from India or Eastern Asia, or possibly American Indians. Edward Herbert Bunbury suggested that they were Finns. This account is open to some question, since Metellus Celer died just after his consulship, before he ever got to Gaul.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Sustainable transport

Sustainable transport, also commonly referred to as Sustainable Transportation or Sustainable Mobility, has no widely accepted definition. Since it is a sector-specific sub-set to the post-1988 sustainable development movement, it is often defined in words such as this: “Sustainable transportation is about meeting or helping meet the mobility needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.” But this is only a starting point.

The concept of sustainable mobility is a reaction to things that have gone radically and visibly wrong with current transportation policy, practice and performance over the last half of the twentieth century. In particular unsustainable transportation consumes more energy and creates pollution and declining service levels despite increasing investments. It delivers poor service for specific social and economic groups.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Relational database management system

A Relational database management system (RDBMS) is a database management system (DBMS) that is based on the relational model as introduced by E. F. Codd. Most popular commercial and open source databases currently in use are based on the relational model.

A short definition of an RDBMS may be a DBMS in which data is stored in the form of tables and the relationship among the data is also stored in the form of tables.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Software development kit

A software development kit (SDK or "devkit") is typically a set of development tools that allows a software engineer to create applications for a certain software package, software framework, hardware platform, computer system, video game console, operating system, or similar platform.

It may be something as simple as an application programming interface in the form of some files to interface to a particular programming language or include sophisticated hardware to communicate with a certain embedded system. Common tools include debugging aids and other utilities often presented in an IDE. SDKs also frequently include sample code and supporting technical notes or other supporting documentation to help clarify points from the primary reference material.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Database normalization

Database normalization, sometimes referred to as canonical synthesis, is a technique for designing relational database tables to minimize duplication of information and, in so doing, to safeguard the database against certain types of logical or structural problems, namely data anomalies. For example, when multiple instances of a given piece of information occur in a table, the possibility exists that these instances will not be kept consistent when the data within the table is updated, leading to a loss of data integrity. A table that is sufficiently normalized is less vulnerable to problems of this kind, because its structure reflects the basic assumptions for when multiple instances of the same information should be represented by a single instance only.