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

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Friday, October 14, 2005


No, I don't know what's up with Termite. I like the idea of Scheme being an UNCOL.

But what I really want is an Erlang environment up and running for me. So I decided not to wait for Termite to mature or to rewrite Termite using Gambit's new mailbox mechanism.

We are now in the postmodern, dare I say, Web 2.0, era. I'm back to using Erlang after several years and loving it. It has so much good stuff packed in, from Mnesia to simple distibuted messages. It's not my favorite sequential language, but it seems like my favorite concurrent language.


I left a comment on James Robertson's blog re: his item on CORBA and WS. I agree with his point about port 80. (Although CORBA was addressing that just as the SOAP community accelerated.)

Still, as far as port 80 and people working hard on the basic interop capabilities go... the result I think is still essentially that SOAP and WS-* interop is about at the level XML-RPC was five years ago. Is it really much beyond that today?

The data passed via SOAP is arguably more expressive, or at least more widely recognizable as XML, than the XML-RPC syntax. Once you get off of port 80 though and stop using HTTP as a transport, then WS-* seems to quickly devolve into the same old proprietary vendor race to lock in customers.

JBI is an attempt to avoid this but has little momentum that I know of. The ESB is still promoted as the key to deep success of integration within the enterprise. We had this five years ago in proprietary form. Today we are no further from the vendor lock-in that it takes to move in this direction. Outside the enterprise there's still no advantage over REST in sight.

This is still interop-in-the-small... I think even CORBA was beyond this point five years ago.

The Cathedral is the Bizarre (Too)

Jon Udell points out that the cathedral and the bazaar have much in common, perhaps most of all would be their respective ongoing evolution. They are equally bizarre.

To the point about Sed and Awk... I am not sure the cathedral or today's bazaar is more coherent. I am not sure they need to be. We've been postmodern for some time and we should not expect that to change. Embracing the chaos is almost the goal itself.

Innovation implies chaos. Sometimes the cathedral can be too limiting for innovation, or at least timely innovation. Look at the back and forth on schedules and dependencies among the new work coming out of Microsoft's dotnet and longhorn team. When was WinFS avalable again? What platforms? How does that line up with the LINQ query capability again?

In the bazaar there is much less control over the chaos. I'm fine with that because generally people find or make ways to get from one place to another within the bazaar. Here's some postmodern glue I have been working with lately...

I wanted to use Erlang with the Berekeley XML database as well as with the Clips rules engine. After a little consideration of my options for integration, for my purposes the easy answer was Python. Running SWIG for Python on Erlang's C-based erl_interface creates the glue that gets me into Python from Erlang (with all the desired Erlang node management capabilities). From there Python already has Berkeley XML DB integration and the PyClips interface to Clips. Plus I can send Python code from Erlang over the distributed process connection and have it executed dynamically in those Python "agents". On the front end, Erlang sends JavaScript, XML, JSON, and CSS to the browser. These combinations make Sed, Awk, and various shells look downright homogenous.

Bizarre combinations gathered from the bazaar. But when you begin to piece together all the different MSFT components you get something equally as bizarre.

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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.