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

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Saturday, December 31, 2005

Glitter on the Highway

Happy New Year, drive carefully...

Hop in my Chrysler, it's as big as a whale and it's about to set sail!
I got me a car, it seats about 20
So hurry up and bring your jukebox money...
Can't move. Resting...
Huggin' and a kissin', dancin' and a lovin' at the love shack
A (young) driver (without a license) in a borrowed car (without insurance) smacked into my car yesterday. He tried crossing two lanes of traffic from a side street and did not make it.

He hit my left front fender. If I was a few more feet into the intersection he would have hit my door. I bumped my head a little bit, but neither of us had significant injuries. Another good thing.

Drive carefully out there, and have fun.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Type Pecked

Brian Foote used the term "type-pecked [languages] like C++ and... Java". I had not heard that before. And so I chuckled.

An Acronym With Meaning

My vote for best acronym in the SOA world...


Wednesday, December 28, 2005

SCA: EJB Redux?

Steve Loughran writes...

A component architecture from a group of vendors including IBM, Oracle and BEA. The last time I saw one of those it was called Enterprise Java Beans... I am so excited I could lie down
I was a participant early (pre-1.0) in that process. It was *truly* frightening. Literally a Jeckyll and Hide experience. I would say a "ping-pong" experience as the spec bounced around, but more scary.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Following the Rest of You

Mark Baker, Jeff Schneider, and others are going around on the WS / Rest debate. (Hey, has there been a live debate on this anywhere? Saved to the web?)

Mark says WS is unnecessary, that HTTP will do. Jeff says, yes but all kinds of things will do. It seems to me in this argument, Jeff should get down to one selection or at least begin to lay out his criteria for when to choose one or another. But...

The funny thing is, I'm a REST fan - I just can't stomach this one-sided bullshit.
But if Jeff is a REST fan then *when* is he a REST fan and when not? Jeff thinks Mark's stance is BS, but Mark is consistently towing the line on his choice. Exactly how does Jeff propose choosing one or another approach in any given setting?

As for my own semi-informed, partially-formed opinion, aren't the constraints of REST in the form of HTTP providing a more *broad* set of capabilities? i.e. an HTTP-based resource-representation-centric approach can be used by all systems that understand that architecture, which includes all the software written for the web already. (That's pretty substantial. 8^)

However if you take some other approach, say WS, then which WS standards do various vendors support? Big problem from what I can see. Then suppose you want to leverage all that existing web stuff. So you have a WS to get some resource in some representation and you want the representation to include a form that will POST requests to update the resource. From what I can see you still need to implement the REST model using HTTP anyway to do this. So why the WS?

So is the question just this: is the representational state transfer approach going to form the core of your architecture or not? If so, use REST. If not, then *what* will your architecture be?

For some situations I could see adopting some other architecture in conjunction with REST. Within some boundary, say an internal set of IT data centers, I could see using various architectural approaches that are more along the lines of what you put *behind* the REST-ful applications. Here you need a request dispatching and approval architecture, a caching architecture, a query architecture, a systems management architecture, and so on.

When I listen to vendors talking about Enterprise Service Busses this is what I think I am hearing -- how do you implement the data center itself? GET should be fairly ubiquitous. Then there would uses of POST, PUT, DELETE, etc. but maybe not so ubiquitously. i.e. eventually there are databases of various kinds: relational databases, file systems, and tuple spaces may form the core, if not completely in their current form.

There are two architectural questions it seems to me -- what do you present as an abstract programming model? And what do you use to implement that model? I am not sure there are enough constraints around a general WSDL model. More constraints are needed to guide the specific model. What do you think they should be?

RDF, REA, MRAM, etc.

On the topic of representing persistent formats for RDF, I came across another favorite paper from some years ago. Reading through this paper in 2005 (Adaptive Framework for the REA Model), there would appear to be some correspondence between RDF triples and REA, which also has a kind of "triple" model: Resources, Events, and Agents. I can't say what that correspondence is except at my superficial level of understanding of either.

The paper's approach to incremental computation results in a kind of graph model that would correspond to a graph of RDF triples representing the same information. i.e. I think RDF could be used in a straightforward manner to represent the fine-grained elements of REA models. Both models have some scenarios where connected graphs would be useful and this paper points out one of them... incremental computation, esp. for aggregating information and computing results not represented directly in the model itself.

This is an interesting approach and I wonder if the authors or others have pursued it since 1998. (Aside: the creative approach is yet another to come out of the Smalltalk community, in particular Ralph Johnson and his U.Illinois squadron.) So if you are not familiar with the history of ideas that have streamed out of the Lisp and Smalltalk communities, start your search now because the list is long.

Also -- this would seem to be an interesting solution for throwing hardware at a problem rather than the typical way low level engineering of computation. (Disclaimer -- I work for a hardware vendor, so you might conclude I have a personal interest in this approach. Actually I am generally interested in simple software approaches that can be accelerated with the evolution of hardware. I recognized this several times over the last 20+ years working for varying employers on varying problems. Through it all, reasonable solutions in Lisp, Smalltalk, etc. became faster simply by migrating the hardware. Meanwhile the industry generally migrated their languages to take on more features of these earliest dynamic languages born in the laboratories of the 1960's.

On another aspect of hardware, unfortunately for soloutions like the one in this paper, I was (now unrealistically) thrilled by the advances in Magnetic RAM (MRAM). This hardware seemed to be on the cusp of a price and density breakthrough which would have virtually eliminated the need for secondary disc-based storage for even very large persistent data sets. That does not seem to be panning out on the rosy schedule presented a few years ago. There appear to be some real limitations that will be difficult to overcome. The run-time / persistence mapping problem will be with us for a while. All the more reason to strive for simple run-time models as well as simple persistence models.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Not Unexpected

You scored as The Amazing Spider-Man. After being bitten by a radioactive spider, Peter Parker was transformed from a nerdy high school student into New York's greatest hero. Peter enjoys the thrill of being a super hero, but he struggles with the burdens of leading a double life. He hopes someday to win the heart of his true love Mary Jane, the woman he's loved since before he even liked girls. Right now, he just wants to make it through college and pay his bills.

The Amazing Spider-Man


Neo, the "One"




Lara Croft


El Zorro


Batman, the Dark Knight


Captain Jack Sparrow


The Terminator


William Wallace


Indiana Jones


James Bond, Agent 007


Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with QuizFarm.com

Google: "All your Base are belong to us"

Via Mark Baker, apparently Google says, "All your Base are belong to us."

At least if you make your base Google Base then Google will prevent that content from being openly searchable on the web.

Also from Mark's same post, apparently Google Base is supporting the most base of purposes. As I wrote regarding another new Internet capability, oh, dear. That seems to be the way of the world.

Which Internet, again, did Google climb to the top of? Is it safe?

MIMO - Super G Wireless

My treat this season is a NetGear RangeMax MIMO wireless Super-G router. Seven antennas and 108 mbps. Actually it was a treat for my youngest who just got his own first PC. He is gaming wirelessly reliably from his room with a very strong signal and 108 mpbs.

I just have an 802.11g card in my laptop so I'm still at 54 mbps. But where the signal from the far corner of my house had been low, now it is very strong. The other son wants a Super-G card now too. I've got my eye on the new round of wireless products for network storage, etc.

'Tis the season I suppose.

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About Me

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.