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

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Python Web Frameworks

Mark Baker asks about the best Python Web App framework.

For volume of out-of-the-box functionality its difficult to beat Plone/Zope.

If you need a thinner layer with lots and lots of headroom, its difficult to beat Jython + Servlets + Empy.

Friday, August 13, 2004

More interesting Python obs from Paul Graham

The Python paradox.

I have been using Python for XML processing since they days when XML was called SGML. I provided Python code samples in a book I wrote 8 (!) years ago:
SGML for software developers.

The reason I moved to Python for my work was that I could do more, do it faster, modify it more easily and maintain it afterwards, with Python than with any other language.

Looking back on it, I was lucky to have very little time or money on hand to develop what I needed to develop at the time.

I knew from bitter experience that C++ would take too long to write/debug. I knew from bitter experience that Perl would prove impossible to maintain. Out of sheer necessity I went looking for a solution, found Python, and the rest is history.

Necessity is the reason I chose Python.

Happy Left-Handers Day

Today is Left Handers Day.

As a left-hander, I have developed a habit of counting lefties in technical meetings. I have often seen percentages of up to 50/50 in rooms of 6-10 people.

What is it about left-handedness and the tech geek trades?

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Reference By Description - Malinke Monikers

I have been reading about Reference by Description over in Semantic Web land and am reminded of what I call "Malinke Monikers".

I first wrote about them here - A study in XML culture and evolution. Basically the difference between a name and a query that resolves to a name is a fascinating and subtle one.

It evokes images of Russell, Frege and more recently Kripke for those of a philosophical disposition.

Back in the real world - the humble URI (bless its pure little heart) does not force an HTTP server implementation to be name based or query based. The distinction between the two can blurr into nothingness in the bowels of Apache or an AppServer in a very powerful way.

Is there really a difference between:

1. a name which resolves to a representation of a resource, and
2. a query that resolves to a representation of a resource


Peter Deutsch brings Python to Smalltalk VM

Anybody who has ever suffered through my pitch about Service Oriented Architectures knows that I regularly reference Peter Deutsch's Eight Fallacies of Distributed Computing.

The great man has turned his attention to getting Python to run very quickly indeed on top of Smalltalk.

Here is a good place to start - note the url - You don't tug on supermans cape

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Digital tech. and the future/non-future of the printed book

This weeks ITWorld article : Will a paperback ever lose its paper? is about the future of the intellectual equivalent of the cockroach - the humble, sturdy printed book.

Not unrelated to this topic is an article sent to me by a colleague, quote:

    "The Internet Archive has created mobile bookmobiles in conjunction with Hewlett-Packard and others. The bookmobiles contain a printer hooked up to a satellite feed, which can print books for kids. Two are in operation in India, while another in rural Uganda prints about 1,500 books a week. The entire bookmobile, including the cost of the used van, is $15,000, and 100-page books cost about a $1 to print and bind in the van."

I want a bookmobile! But I want it to fit on or under my desk :-)

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Reinout van Rees achieves WS-Zen

    "You don't want to "call and API", you want to send over a document."


Yes! Exactly. Precisely. No more, no less.

A simple, fantastically powerful idea.

The speech-act-theory-esque fixed verbs of HTTP tell you how to interact with resources of all forms. They *are* the API to the Web. The only one you need.

Why build another one on top? Because you precieve the need for the flexibility to define your own entry pointz?


Thank you for playing, but if that is how you are thinking, you have missed the point of document-centric integration.


    "You don't want to "call and API", you want to send over a document."

Puzzled, intrigued, horrified? Have a read of Web Services and high school grammar classes.

Still horrified? Leave a comment.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Resistance is increasingly futile

Mark Nottingham on the rise and rise of Python.

I feel a warm glow inside. The low rumble you hear is me, purring like a cat:-)

Sunday, August 08, 2004

APIs considered harmful

Thinking about my recent meltdown about complexity in WS-land and reading Adam Bosworth's latest blog entry I am reminded that I believe APIs are basically anathema in document-centric computing.

This API-centricity, more than anything else, is the logjam that needs to be broken before we can gush forth into the RESTian bits-on-the-wire world which is the future of integration IMHO.

From way back in 2002, in what was then my XML in Practice column on ITWorld : APIs Considered harmful.