Thursday, September 23, 2004

XML Open 2004

This is costing me 10 pence per minute in Stanstead Airport so read this quickly :-)

I had a good time at XML Open 2004 which ended today. Met some new faces and bumped into some old ones (the faces were not necessarily old...you know what I mean).

My favourite talk was Peter Rogers talking about 1060 NetKernel. A very interesting system - Zope'ish in places with nice XML processing pipelining features and a powerful caching architecture which looks like a very good fit with just-in-time XML transformation pipelines.

There, I said that word again - pipelines. Long before I got up to do my pipelines talk, the word had been used in a bunch of presentations (Cocoon, XForms) and a bunch of coffee-conversations (DSDL, XPipe).

Unless this conference took place on the summit of some off-the-wall statistical outlier, I believe pipelining cometh.

It appears to have entered the collective consciousness of the web publishing geeks, hard-core XML docheads, XML OS creators and uber-XML-validation fans, all at around the same time.

Namely now.

Interesting.

I believe the presentations and some audio/video of some of the talks will be made available.

I'll point to the stuff when it appears.

Generating nice documentation from Relax NG schemas

Talking to Kal Ahmed at XML Open 2004 today I found out about his rng-tools for generating documentation from Relax NG schemas via XSLT.

Nice.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Envelopes, postcards and e-mail privacy

This weeks ITWorld article addresses some aspects of e-mail privacy : Envelopes, postcards and e-mail privacy.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

A complete guide to web services in one, short paragraph

I cannot sum it all up better than Tim Bray has:
    "No matter how hard I try, I still think the WS-* stack is bloated, opaque, and insanely complex. I think it’s going to be hard to understand, hard to implement, hard to interoperate, and hard to secure."

Yup. That pretty much covers it. The whole WS standards thing has more moving parts than a 747. Much of it recently invented, untested and unproven in the real world.

Given that there are no exceptions to Gall's Law:
    A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked.

I believe WS-YouMustBeJoking is doomed to collapse under its own weight. Good riddance to it.

Why has this situation come about? Because smart people had neural spasms? No. Because smart people realise that this stuff is *real* important and commercial agendas are at work all over the map.

The most important document to read if you want to understand the WS-IfThisIsProgressImAMonkeysUncle cacophony is How to wage and win a standards war by Carl Shapiro and Hal Varian.