Sean McGrath, CTO, Propylon

Sean McGrath's Weblog.

Saturday, February 26, 2005
    XTech Schedule Published
The schedule for XTech in Amsterdam in May has been published.

posted by Sean 5:35 AM
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    SOAP weary
For those with the energy Radaovan's site has an on-going debate about the whole SOAP thing.

One thing I know for sure. Integration folk (including me) are using words in a certain way, to mean certain things. We *think* the people we are talking with are using the same words in the same way. Words like "message", "asynchronous", "semantics", "API", "transfer", "resource", "service", "interface"... the list goes on. We don't have shared semantics for any of these terms - including the word "semantics" :-(

It is hardly surprising that we do not seem to be making progress. In an ideal world I would put the following people into a room full of white boards and feed them coffee. Their task - sort out the terminology guys!

  • Mark Baker
  • Don Box
  • Tim Bray
  • James Clark
  • Roy Fielding
  • Chris Ferris
  • Pat Helland
  • Radovan Janecek
  • Mark Nottingham
  • Bill de hÓra
  • Carlos Perez
  • Paul Prescod
  • James Strachan
  • Steve Vinoski
  • Norman Walsh
  • Gregor Hohpe
  • +me :-)

posted by Sean 3:48 AM
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Friday, February 25, 2005
Bill de hÓra has announced HTTPLR - an application protocol for reliable messaging using HTTP.

posted by Sean 1:02 AM
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Thursday, February 24, 2005
    Python, Plone/Zope, XML, OpenOffice Expertise Required
We are expanding and require Python, Plone/Zope, XML, OpenOffice expertise for Dublin, Ireland offices.

Both contract and permenant positions available. Experienced people only. If interested, contact me.

posted by Sean 9:39 AM
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    AMQ - an open wire protocol for reliable messaging. Interesting++
AMQ could prove interesting on a number of levels.

Open, non-proprietary reliable messaging is a good thing without which, enterprise class Web Services don't amount to much more than a bad implementation of DCOM or RMI in my opinion.

Anyway, the really interesting thing will be to see how AMQ as a wire protocol, fares compared to JMS which is an API.

My money is on the wire protocol. I'm a bits-on-the-wire kida guy and so I prefer JXTA to JINI and XML over HTTP to just about anything. Will I prefer AMQ to JMS? I expect so. Wire protocols are the key to true interoperability. APIs on the other hand are the key to true platform lock-in. We have seen this over and over again over the years. All the useful stuff ends up outside the platform-independent API :-(

But I don't know enough about AMQ yet. I need to dig...

BTW, the person from Sonic quoted in the article seems to have missed some pretty impressive open source reliable messaging goodies that come complete with all the "ilities" you might like. What's more, I'm familiar with most of the expensive, proprietary offerings in this space and I can assure you that as a bunch, they do not shower themselves with glory when it comes to the "ilities" either. Unless you throw in some very expensive database kit underneath.

The redoubtable James Strachan clears up any possible confusion.

posted by Sean 7:43 AM
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Wednesday, February 23, 2005
    Shrinking, Exploding Computing
Honey, I shrunk the computer is this week's ITWorld e-Business in the Enterprise article.

As computers shrink, they also seem to explode into pieces because we are not shrinking with them. Screens, keyboards need to be a certain size to be useful to us humans.

As the "brains" of machines continue to shrink, the end-user manifested differences between, say a CPU with 10 GIG of RAM and a mere identity token for logging on to a real computer shrinks too. To the point where maybe normal folk cannot tell the difference. This is good (I think).

posted by Sean 2:06 AM
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Monday, February 21, 2005
    Warthogs and Children
My colleague Liam Chambers snapped this little gem on our recent trip to Nairobi.

posted by Sean 9:54 AM
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