Friday, November 12, 2004

Universal truth


    "The right role for a standards body is to wait till the implementors have deployed things and worked out the hard bits, then write down the consensus on what works and what doesn’t." [Tim Bray]


The rest of what a standards body does is commercial/political agendas, egos and "research tunnelling".

All very useful and important things in their own right but baaaaaad when then become W3C this or ISO that or ECMA the other.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

All I want for Christmas is hyperlinking to my E-mail client


E-mail - where are all the hyperlinks?
is this weeks ITWorld E-business in the enterprise article.

Asynchronous messages queues - the heart of Web Services

Amazon Simple Queue Service. This is so satisfying. If I was a smoker, I'd step outside for one right now with a copy of this under my arm and a coffee.

Simple Queue Service is the sort of hosted web service that makes sense to me as an application developer. I would use it in its "*on* the web" mode of course by means of the RESTian interfaces. I'd also be willing to bet real money that the RESTian uses of this facility will be streets ahead of the soapy wsdls uses. All we need is to coalesce around a simple HTTP pattern for reliable message exchange and we are off and running. I'll be posting one of these soon as part of my five-part Jython tutorial.

Look out for a slew of interesting stuff on top of Amazon Simple Queue Serice. Also look out for other vendors - lemme see...search engine providers for example:-) - offering similiar pay-as-you go distributed computing plumbing services in the years to come.

If you are not familiar with asynch messaging as a distributed computing paradigm, now would be a good time to get reading. this would be a good place to start.



Sunday, November 07, 2004

An alternative way of measuring programming language popularity and a half-formed thought about half-formed thoughts

I note that BitTorrent is reported to be responsible for 35% of internet traffic. By that way of measuring things, Python has sure grown in popularity over the last couple of years.

There is a lot of "dark Python" in the Universe. Stuff that users cannot see but it is there all the same. The Google spiders, all those Zope/Plone websites, all those happy Microsoft Outlook users with their spambayes plug-ins.

Somebody recently said that dynamic languages provided a way to execute half formed thoughts. Lets hear it for all the half-formed thoughts out there! I wonder what pecentatge of software that meets its engineering goals of being on time, on budget, team friendly, grokkable, as flexible as it is powerful etc. etc. are based on half formed thoughts?