"I have a mind like a steel... uh... thingy." Patrick Logan's weblog.

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Taxes and Subsidies (aka "Welfare")

Steve Dekorte conveys an item about "The Irish Economic Miracle" being attributed to low corporate taxation.

That may be. But looking from another angle, the high tech industry in Ireland is also taking advantage of the long tail of government (mostly not the Irish) investment (subsidy) in high tech in the 50's, 60's, and 70's.

The reason high tech corporations in Ireland can get away with low taxes, it seems, is because others, around the world, in past decades, *have* already been taxed.

Where would microelectronics be without the investment U.S. tax dollars made in defense and aerospace over those decades?

We may also thank those programs eventually when we as a society decide finally to decentralize electricity production through photovoltaics (among other mechanisms). Before we invest in that though, I am sure we're going to have to wrestle control away from the nuclear power lobby.

Much more investment will have to be made in the name of democracy and making each of us net producers of electricity, rather than subsidize the enrichment of the centralized few. (Running on a subsidized significant security threat (the grid) our politicians are ignoring at *our* own peril, by the way.)

Where would nuclear power have been developed without subsidies? Those corporations could not even afford insurance on the open market!

If corporations are going to benefit from the services of the commons, government subsidies (should we call it "welfare"? Horrors!), and if corporations are going to have the rights of "persons", shouldn't corporations also pay something back to the commons? "Low corporate taxes" is no more (or less) a cure-all than "high corporate taxes".

Reality is somewhere in the mix and will vary by region and industry.

Beavers!

The best thing to happen in Oregon sports in a long time... Oregon State is the only school to return from last year to the College World Series. They got pounded 11-1 in their first game against Miami. They fought their way out of the loser's elimination bracket over the last four games, beating Georgia 5-3, Miami (revenge!) 8-1, Rice 5-0 last night, and Rice again tonight 2-0.

Back-to-back shutouts against the team ranked #1 going into the series, using a pitcher with one previous start this year (in April) and tonight a pitcher on 2 days rest. When Nickerson the starter went out after 7 2/3 innings tonight, the entire stadium provided a standing ovation.

"You just saw one of the guttiest performances by any person I've ever seen in the sport of baseball," [Beaver's Coach Pat] Casey said.
*Two* gutsy career-highlight pitching performances over the last two days. This has been the most fun watching baseball has been in a long time.

The final three-game series starts Saturday against North Carolina. Go Beavs!

The games have been on ESPN2, and I assume will remain there.

Tomorrow's Edges for the Black-Diamond Runs

James Robertson explains the edge that Smalltalk's more pure objects have over languages with special "constructors". I'm thinking back to a really nice analogy Ward Cunningham made, oh dear, over a *decade* ago...

Everything I Really Need to Know About Object-Oriented Design I Could Learn on a Black-Diamond Run

I have been wondering if we aren't making this all more complicated than it need be. I wondered if designing isn't a lot like skiing, that is, easier to do than to explain or prescribe. Then I realized: everything I really need to know about object-oriented design I could have learned last weekend skiing Utah's black-diamond runs...

Now, to make these turns, I have to use my edges. I can't twist and turn my body to turn the skis; I must let the ski's edge do the work. So, let me ask you, what's the object designer's edge?

(silence)

Polymorphic message sends! That's what we use to turn a design around a bump. We plan and balance our designs just so we can apply that edge when we need it, which in practice is most of the time...

And just so, tomorrow's edges will be distributed, asynchronous message sends. Not those clumsy things you see in the SOAP catalogs. But those neat edges in the Erlang catalog. We'll need edges like those!

Oregon's Own

Oregon lost another handful of young men in Iraq this week. I think we're totaling in the 50+ range now. Conveyed by Portland's own Tim Riley on his City Desk blog...

Another young man is slaughtered in a war where there's nothing to be won thanks to gutless politicians who can't admit they were wrong, and a uninformed public duped by meaningless, dated, and obsolete patriotic propaganda.
Shame on us. But hopefully we won't be able to burn the flag soon, and that should help.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

*Advanced* Message Queue Protocol

Not just any message queue protocol, Panic From Fuzzy points to a new *Advanced* Message Queue Protocol. The spec seems incomplete at a glance (e.g. multiple mentions of several kinds of "transactions" but I could not tell that they were fully specified).

According to InfoQ...

RedHat is currently working on an implementation that will be built into the operating system, making AMQ as free and available as SendMail, and accessible from any technology API such as JMS.
I saw no mention of WS-* although AMQP appears to have the support of vendors with products in the WS-* market.

Also no mention of XMPP, or any significant mention of HTTP. Again from InfoQ the isolationist approach to the AMQP spec is acknowledged as work that...

has been done in secret.
Mighty open of you, AMQP.

If not GData, why not WSAP-DAV?

About Microsoft's Web Services Application Protocol, Mark Nottingham suggests...

There will undoubtedly be debate on whether it’s necessary to fuse REST and WS-* together in this manner (especially in the face of things like APP and GData)
The WSAP spec says...
The WSAP operations have been designed to be a superset of the methods provided by HTTP/1.1. In particular, WSAP provides support for structured data manipulation and event notification as an integral part of the service model. Because HTTP and WSAP inherently have different protocol characteristics, WSAP is complementary to HTTP and not intended as a replacement. Rather, the close relationship between WSAP and HTTP allows WSAP services to be accessed either as regular HTTP resources or as WSAP services providing additional support for structured data manipulation and event notification.
But I don't see a rationale about why they chose to extend HTTP using SOAP. If they did not want to stay within HTTP/1.1 as did APP/GData then another option would have been to follow WebDAV/CalDAV and extend HTTP/1.1 with the new methods that appear in WSAP as SOAP methods. The WSAP choice introduces two different programming models, HTTP and SOAP. At least the xDAV approach retains one programming model.

The WSAP approach seems arbitrarily complex. There appear to be at least *two* simpler extension mechanisms. Not to mention the question of the explosion of methods being worthwhile.

Is WSAP also an implicit commentary on WS-Event/Notification/whatever being too complex to easily implement? Why would Microsoft invent a new SOAP event/notification mechanism unless it was too difficult to follow the emerging spec I assume they'd otherwise want to promote?

Fire Fighting

Mark Baker in the Yahoo SOA group, on running WS-* over HTTP...

It's as if you were trying to rub two matches together to start a fire.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Sign of CORBA

The essence of CORBA wonderfully captured by Steve Loughran...

Gnome is built on Corba. You can tell that by changing your hostname and noting how you can't start any apps by double clicking on the icons. That is an ORB at work, if ever I saw one.
Steve goes on to wonder... "I wonder what Gnome-on-ICE would be like?" (where ICE is somebody's new and improved distributed object system).

While Miguel de Icaza has already started thinking about just using HTTP...

I have been considering the implementation of a system that would replace D-BUS and CORBA with a simple HTTP framework.

What If Unix

Via O'Reilly Radar, the original UNIX Time-Sharing System paper.

For most users, communication with the system is carried on with the aid of a program called the shell. The shell is a command-line interpreter: it reads lines typed by the user and interprets them as requests to execute other programs.
Something I've wondered fruitlessly about in the past: what if the first shell language had been a simle lisp interpreter, along the lines of elisp. I mean, shell programming is obscure and arguably limited, yet thousands upon thousands of people have written thousands upon thousands of lines of shell scripts.

If one of the developers had been at MIT before Bell Labs and had taken a simple interpreter along, then people would have grown up around Unix thinking Lisp was easy and useful. Those many thousands of people would just think Lisp is they way to do scripting and not give it a second thought.

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Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.