Simon Fell > Its just code > May 2003

Saturday, May 31, 2003

Headed over to the art deco sale this afternoon, really enjoyed it, they have lots of really great stuff, its open again tomorrow if you're remotely an art deco fan get yourself over there !

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

today marks the 2 year birthday of the PocketSOAP mailing list, which makes PocketSOAP itself now over 2.5 years old, and still going strong.

Monday, May 26, 2003

There's a thread about the dropping of use='rpc' from WSDL 1.2 over on SOAPBuilders. Rich Salz is responsible for my favorite quote in the thread

Geez, this is starting to sounds like the Monty Python skit. Why is it so hard to make it clear? I've heard two different answers from five different WG members.
The discussion contines to go on, with more different answers. One thing (about the only thing so far) that is clear is that the membership of the WSDL-WG don't fully understand the decision, its implications, and how rpc/encoded is to be handled in the new world, I really hope they can get together and resolve exactly what they are doing any why, because if they can't clearly explain it to a bunch of people who write web service toolkits, they stand no chance trying to explain to web services users at large.

In related news Jeffrey Schlimmer responds to my devils advocate question. I don't know if that'll be enough. As I work through adding SOAP 1.2 to PocketSOAP I find myself asking the same question about SOAP 1.2

Sunday, May 25, 2003

Saturday, May 24, 2003

Why is it that weblogging API's running over HTTP never use HTTP's authentication support, but just pass username & password's around in plain text in the message bodies ? (Well, all except RESTlog)

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Thanks to everyone who sent logo suggestions, I have a couple of idea's I want to try out, then I'll post a bunch of them for comments. In the mean time, keep them coming!.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

I'm happy to announce that details for using PocketSOAP with the Grand Central network are now up on their Developer Central site.

I really need to get a logo for PocketSOAP, free copy of YATT to anyone with suggestions! <g>
Disappointed to see that the demo IBuySpy portal app doesn't run cleanly on ASP.NET 1.1 (try using the edit links to edit a html content part). I Also tried the portal starter kit which appears to be a rev of the IBuySpy portal. The main difference seems to be that much of the portal config is now in an xml file, not a db, but looking at the code, its just a concurrency nightmare, better hope you only have one portal admin !. 3 out of 10 must try harder.
update IBuySpy is still labeled as demonstrating best practices, ouch don't think so. An interesting demo yes, best practices, don't see any. YMMV.

Monday, May 19, 2003

Sunday, May 18, 2003

Hmmm something funky going on with " gettting double encoded somewhere along the line in the comments.
Dare has posted RSS Bandit 1.1, amongst the feature list is support for IBlogExtension, Wooo Hooo !

Saturday, May 17, 2003

the daily commute continues to provide plenty of reading time, here's some recent reads.
  • Doug Kaye's Loosely Coupled. I thought Doug did a fantastic job of explaining why you should care about web services.
  • Revelation Space. Started off well, but seemed to come off the rails towards the end.
  • Altered Carbon. I loved this, couldn't put it down.
  • The Stone Canal. I seem to be reading Ken Macleod's books in the wrong order, but they've all been great.

Friday, May 16, 2003

Hey Sam do you know your search widget is broken ?
I posted a new drop of Synderilla that's based on Dimtry's May 9 release, and adds support for gzip/deflate compression, xhtml:body based items and multiple plugins (both IBlogThis and IBlogExtension).
Chris has posted the sessions for the XML DevCon West, looks very interesting, I'm hoping to be there.
There's a new build of Relaxer available that supports IBlogExtension.
Harry Pierson has been working on a RSS generator for WSS (and therefore I assume also SPS). I've been going the other way around, and have written some WebParts for rendering RSS. I started with a simple single webpart that rendered an individual feed, then moved onto a pair of parts, that implement a master/detail style view with post titles in one part, and post content in a second, the two linked via ICellProvider / ICellConsumer. I could go one further and add another part that rendered a list feeds (say from an OPML file), giving you all the bits to embed a 3 paned aggregator into a SPS portal page.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

grhhhh, I have a directory with a number of 500MB mpegs (via TyStudio) whenever i open the directory in explorer it max's out the cpu (XP SP1) WTF is it doing ? and more importantly how do i make it stop ?
Julia Lerman is backed ordered for a vs.net 2003 upgrade, as am I even though I ordered on the first day the upgrade offer was available. Looks like someone didn't guestimate the demand very well.
Encouraging to see that the Google/Blogger people are working on a blogging API which doesn't assume that bloggers only use a stunted 7-bit version of their language... ... [Cook Computing] Its good to see someone taking this seriously at last.

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Brad is documenting his adventures into dev'ing under a non-admin account
I'm pleased to announce that NewsGator 1.2 will include full support for IBlogExtension, and we will simultaneously release plug-ins for most major weblog publishing tools. [Greg Reinacker's Weblog] Coool !, This post from NewsGator via Relaxer :) This is the first time that I've looked at NG as well, pretty slick, nice job Greg !
Brad says The Math is Scary and talks about incremental feeds. Seems to me that all the infrastructure is already in place for this, and this should be doable on the server side without any explicit support from the aggregator clients. Most aggregators already send either an etag or a if-modified-since header, surely the server can use this to work out the set of new posts since that time? In most cases this'll require the server code to take control of generating the etag header, but ought to be trivial, especially for the folks already dynamically generating their RSS feeds. update check the comments for a discussion on caching proxies.

Monday, May 12, 2003

Apparently the Blogger folks were first to the BlogThis name by about 4 years, so BlogThis is now IBlogExtension, and the interface definition has be revised based on earlier discussions between Greg, Luke, Matt, and I. The revised assembly is available on the IBlogExtension page. I'll be posting versions of Synderilla and Relaxer that support this soon.
As interesting as the discussion on the RSS profile has been I can't see it achieving Dave's goal, the SOAP BDG profile, as useful as it was, didn't stop "interops with Microsoft" being the key SOAP interop goal.
Joe has an interesting post on levels of abstraction. Joe asks how the producer benifits by generating valid xhtml and using xhtml:body in the RSS over content:encoded. This lead me to ask the meta question of as a content producer what do I get by generating an RSS feed at all ?, All I seem to get so far is a bigger bandwidth bill. (my RSS feed gets 15x more hits than any other page on the site)

Sunday, May 11, 2003

PocketHTTP 1.0.2 and PocketSOAP 1.4.3 now available. The next release of PocketSOAP is likely to be v2.0 with SOAP 1.2 support and an improved extensibility model.

Saturday, May 10, 2003

The Musée Mécanique is open at its new home in Pier 45. If you've never been, go check it out, its fantastic.

Musée Mécanique
Blogging from Caffe Roma in north beach, Ben Hammersley's "have clue" blog entry is printed out and posted next to the counter!. Good coffee, nice sunny day, free wi-fi, hacking xhtml:body support into Synderilla, can't go wrong :)

Friday, May 9, 2003

Thursday, May 8, 2003

As many people have pointed out in the past, XML is a lousy wrapper for XML documents (conflicting encodings, DTD's, ID clashes etc). Given the continued trend to push for SOAP to be a transport of XML messages (aka doc/lit), and its inability to transport arbitrary XML documents (see above, plus various restrictions SOAP places on the XML structure) I've been thinking whether trying to map the whole shooting match into a single xml document is the right approach. In the end this thread on xml-dist-apps pushes me over the edge, and it looks to me that managing the headers and body as two independent xml docs would be a much better solution. Obviously I'm about 4 years too late to this realization for SOAP, but I'd be interested to know if at any time in SOAP's history this was considered.

Wednesday, May 7, 2003

goes to Proposed Recommendation. part 1, part 2

Tuesday, May 6, 2003

SPS
Developing a love/hate relationship with Sharepoint Portal Server 2.0, I like the heterogeneous search capabilities, the personalization support, the extensibility through webparts, but I hope you really really like the default look and feel, cause its somewhere between extremely painful and impossible to change the look & feel. The state of the html/css would drive Brad to insanity, for grins I ran it through the html and css validators, the html has over 120 validation errors and the css over 50. I eventually managed to alter the css enough to get a new color scheme, only to then notice that not all the pages use that same css file (I think because some of the pages that appear to be in the portal are actually WSS pages). Despite the web parts making good use of ASP.NET's control model, the rest of the pages don't seem to make very good use of ASP.NET at all, a lot of the page structure is split across the aspx pages and some portal specific controls. Simple things like removing the SPPS banner graphic seem to be impossible because its coded into a control. As I mentioned before the layout is managed with heavily nested tables, some of the table based structures are rendered by the controls, so you can't move to a tabless layout without re-writing the controls.
Cool, the Sybase folks have released a DLL wrapper for PocketSOAP (registration required) so that it can be called from Pocket PowerBuilder on the pocketPC.

Monday, May 5, 2003

iMS
Tristan Louis has some musing on the XML format for the Apple Music Store.
Dare has a rant on HttpWebRequest. I remember having to jump through similar hoops for the 301 support in Aggie. Also it appears that HttpWebRequest isn't handling persistent connections properly, in that if the server closes the connection before the client expects it, you end up with it throwing an exception when you try and re-use the connection to send the next request. I'd expect it to notice that the server has closed the connection and siliently open a new one, this is what every other HTTP 1.1 client stack I've looked at does.
SPS
I see the GUI guys for SPS are firmly in the "any html problem can be fixed by adding another nested table" camp :(

Friday, May 2, 2003

iMS
I Installed iTunes4 and had a look around the iTunes Music Store. I found the selection available to be disappointing, I looked in the electronica section and was initially hopeful given the list of artists, but then most of the artists only have a single offering (e.g. the only Orbital offering is The Middle of Nowhere). Tim Bray has some interesting comments on how iMS works. I suspect one of the reasons they used a new protocol and not mime type dispatching, is that in Safari the list of applications that can be automatically launched from a mime-type mapping is hard coded and not adjustable (the mappings are adjustable, getting Safari to launch the app is not).

Thursday, May 1, 2003

Just when I'd given up on ever seeing an SP2, there's an SP2! Anyone know if there's a list of fixed bugs anywhere ?, I wonder if my SOM bugs got fixed ?