Saturday, January 10, 2009

hop and skip

It all started with a Velocity template error on a page in my bookmarks that I decided to visit again. The Wayback Machine couldn't help out of respect for and adherence to the robots exclusion protocol. Googling got me to DZone and thence to an old InfoQ article about changes in the Java Collections API made in Mustang. Two things caught my eye: "skip lists" and "William Pugh"; The former was a data structure that a colleague in one of my previous jobs had introduced me to (not that I learnt more about this data structure later, but I was quite fascinated with what I had heard). The latter is the father of one of my favourite software code quality tools, FindBugs. As it turned out, William Pugh invented skip lists. You would think that I would've got wind of this at some point given that Pugh was not an unknown name thanks to the tool. Yet, today was when the dots presented themselves to me, connected in glee. The final surprise lay in store for me over at the inevitable Wikipedia page for skip lists. The second reference listed on the page is a paper, whose co-author is a good friend.

Then again, not all coincidences are meaningful.

1 comment:

Ramanand said...

I also remember GS making a presentation on the topic at PSPL during a brief visit.

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