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 These days, I mostly post my tech musings on Linkedin.  https://www.linkedin.com/in/seanmcgrath/

Saturday, February 01, 2003

Fourth installment of a six part interview with Python's creator Guido van Rossum

further insights into the mind of the great man.

I'm the patron saint of Saturday Morning musing

What an honour, said he, musing, on a Saturday morning...

RESTful state machines

Dave Kuhlman talks about REST, Finite State Machines and Business Processes in the Quixote Web Application Framework.
FSMs+REST are at the heart of application modelling in Mission Control Pervasive Portal Server. It is an excellent combination for dealing with the complexities, latencies, vagaries and plenitudinous verismilitudes of modern day web application development.
We found it to be a *great* combination for dealing with the issues of pervasive application development (Mission Control is technically, closer to an app server than a portal server - I never liked that distinction anyhow.).
Anyone who tells you XSL solves this problem has not understood the problem. I predict great things for REST+FSMs once developers become sufficiently chastened by the current Web Services RPC blind alley.

Friday, January 31, 2003

Thursday, January 30, 2003

Friendship is not a binary function

Over on 0xDECAFBAD an interesting aspect of the friend of a friend project (FOAF) is aired. We all know people who declare person X to be their close friend in conversation with you yet we know (or suspect) that the friendship status would come as a suprise to X. I have not looked closely at FOAF but if its concept of 'friendship' is binary and unidirectional, I doubt it reflects the real world well enough. I need to read more on this...

Magnificent power of ten zoom

[via Karlin Lillington] From the universe to quarks in zoom steps that give you a sense for the sheer enormity and complexity and self-similarity of stuff. Excellent. (Java Applet).

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Putin is to Dobby as Gollum is to ?

Dobby resembles Putin and one law firm is not amused.. This is a joke right? Anyway, its amusing to think who Gollum from the Two Towers episode of the film version of LOTR resembles. I was a bit disappointed in him personally. My mental picture of him from the book was very different - fatter, more ferocious looking...or something.

As I enter Sligo - memories of Spike Milligan on the radio

Caught an RTE Radio 1 replay of one of the Goon Shows on the way back to Sligo recently. Memories of Spike Milligan evoked. What a comic genius that man was. Not half as well known amongst geeks as he deserves to be. His mum was from Sligo and his family lived here for a while. Spike was born in India and spent most of his life in England. Here's a gem from the Radio show that had me it a fit of laughter:

A. There is nobody at the door.
B. Then I won't answer it!
A. But it might be someone we don't know!
B. Then I'd better answer it to find out who it isn't!


Tuesday, January 28, 2003

The REST architectural style for Web Applications - an analogy with high school grammar classes

An article I wrote for ITWorld starts out innocently enough but tries to elucidate a key idea in the REST architectural style of Web Apps by means of an analogy with irregular verbs in spoken language grammars. (The question early on in the piece about where all the extra earth comes from to bury everything is still outstanding. Please contact me if you have the answer!).

Monday, January 27, 2003

Ceci n'est pas un document XML

An e-mail from Bob DuCharme pointed me to this excellent image.. Brings back memories of reading and then re-reading Hofstadter's Godel, Escher, Bach. What a darned shame there aren't more books like that one.

Sunday, January 26, 2003

Descriptions enabled in my RSS feed

I've enabled full descriptions now in my blog feed. A number of people who make extensive use of RSS aggregators have asked me to switch it on. Done. (I've been using feedreader. Nice and simple windows RSS aggregator. Recommended.

A URI *is* a web page? Say it isn't so! Whither RSS, UBL, WML, VoiceXML, text, word docs etc...

Interesting (if mindbending) thread going on over at the W3C in the www-tag group. In this response to a message from Roy Fielding, Tim Berners Lee asserts that a URI identifies a web page - not just a represenation of a resource at time t which may or may not be a web page (my understanding of the REST position on Web architecture).

I was glad to see Tim Bray responding and consequently, I've cancelled my appointment to have my brain declared a reality distortion field.