Quotes about XML in 2007

Monday, December 31, 2007
nothing can rival the XML ecosystem of tools and libraries and standards, except for the Web itself

--Stefan Tilkov on the rest-discuss mailing list, Saturday, 29 Dec 2007 14:22:52

Sunday, December 30, 2007
It is the business reality that availability is more important than data consistency for certain classes of applications. A lot of the culture and technologies of the relational database world are about preserving data consistency [which is a good thing because I don’t want money going missing from my bank account because someone thought the importance of write consistency is overstated] while the culture around Web applications is about reaching scale cheaply while maintaining high availability in situations where the occurence of data loss is unfortunate but not catastrophic (e.g. lost blog comments, mistagged photos, undelivered friend requests, etc).

--Dare Obasanjo
Read the rest in Dare Obasanjo aka Carnage4Life

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The number of companies that chase the same advertising dollars as their only business model is a sure sign that we're at the peak of Bubble 2.0. It would be much more sustainable if companies aimed to create services that users valued enough to pay for.

Right now, considerable advertising money is sloshing through the Web because most marketing managers remain clueless about how it works. They think that because search advertisements generate lots of business, other Web ads must work just as well. What a fallacy — brought on by ignorance of the basic Web user experience. People go to search engines when they're explicitly looking for a place to do business. This is why search engines profit from sucking up the work of content sites (where users exhibit strong banner blindness).

Marketing managers won't remain clueless forever. Sooner or later they'll discover that Web advertising offers almost no ROI. Only two forms of Web ads actually work: search ads and classified ads (such as eBay and real estate listings).

--Jakob Nielsen
Read the rest in Web 2.0 Can Be Dangerous (Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox)

Friday, December 28, 2007
AOL has never known what to do with Netscape. They squandered that asset. Eventually, the bottom dropped out.

--Greg Sterling
Read the rest in Macworld: News: Can AOL keep Netscape.com from fading away?

Thursday, December 27, 2007
Once, while speaking to a "technical manager" at Comcast, I was told that their email service is "consumer grade". Someone wanting to avoid missing any email should use a different service. He thought that Comcast's business-level accounts would serve, but he wasn't sure. It would be so much easier if Comcast *advertised* that fact to its clients.

--Andrew Gideon on the wwwac mailing list, Monday, 24 Dec 2007 14:29:35 +0000

Wednesday, December 26, 2007
So now we have Web 2.0, and everyone is a content provider. The content provided by most people is their self. Their actual being, with all the wry, seasoned, insightful anecdotes they have acquired in their 13-to-18 years of living on this earth and observing the foibles and follies of their fellow men and women. We all know what richness lies there, and how these founts of erudition have made life better for all around them. The point of these sites is to offer just enough interactivity to an otherwise passive pursuit to make the viewer feel that they "own" the place. You stroke their ego, make it easy for them to have "friends", let them stroke others and be stroked in return. And while they're preening and posing, they're staring at a car ad, or an add for the lastest Nike sneaker, or whatever the algorithm decides they are most likely to click on and, perhaps, buy.

--Alan Brooks on the wwwac mailing list, Wednesday, 07 Nov 2007 17:05:27

Tuesday, December 25, 2007
The Web Browser did what Java could not - create a platform for the deployment of rich user experiences - and by being sufficiently generic in the implementation of the mechanisms of what a browser does, and by the successful implementation of the plug-in concept, we now have a "Write a few times, run almost anywhere" model, and although this is not quite "write once, run anywhere" it's good enough, and good enough usually beats out the endless quest for perfection which inevitably leads to madness. At this point, the browser can do 80% of what the desktop application can do, the 20% it can't do is sometimes of no consequence.

--Martin Focazio on the wwwac mailing list, Wednesday, 10 Oct 2007 13:59:41

Monday, December 24, 2007

Visual consistency

Ah, the top graphic designer excuse for making the user’s job harder. Coloured scrollbars anyone? Unidentifiable form controls? Non-recognisable links? Unreadable text? The list goes on. This excuse is normally used by visually oriented Flash designers or ad agency art directors that create design profiles which simply do not work on the Web. Instead of adjusting their design when they are made aware of the problems, they stubbornly push ahead and make users think and work harder than they should have to in order to use the site. If your design - or you as a designer - cannot handle the fact that the Web is the Web, please do everybody a favour and stick to the safety of your printed brochures.

--Roger Johansson
Read the rest in Lame excuses for not being a Web professional | 456 Berea Street

Friday, December 21, 2007
I don't think standards writing should be geared around malfunctioning tools.

--G. Ken Holman on the xsl-list mailing list, Friday, 03 Aug 2007 07:30:53

Friday, December 14, 2007
The point of WebKit for Apple was to define an open source standard for rendering web pages on all sorts of Internet-enabled devices. This also explains why Apple used KHTML instead of Gecko or its own web engine for Safari -- even though KHTML was terrible at rendering web pages that were optimized for Internet Explorer. KHTML is the only rendering engine that can pass the Acid2 web-rendering test, and following a standard was more important to Apple than correctly rendering poorly written web pages.

--Mark Stephens
Read the rest in I, Cringely . The Pulpit . Kindling | PBS

Thursday, December 13, 2007
in English at least, all acronyms and initialisms are abbreviations, but not vice versa. That is, the set of English acronyms and the set of English initialisms are disjoint subsets of the set of English abbreviations. Furthermore, there is a non-empty set of English abbreviations that contains no English initialisms nor English acronyms.

--Sam Kuper on the whatwg mailing list, Sunday, 13 Dec 2007 00:49:14

Monday, December 10, 2007
Again, I say there's nothing unRESTful about cookies. It's putting a session id in a cookie and hiding data in the session on the server that's wrong.

--Nic Ferrier on the REST Discuss mailing list, Sunday, 20 Apr 2006 23:48:33

Sunday, December 9, 2007
Where XForms comes into its own is when you’re dealing with data - lots and lots of data. The beauty of most XForms applications is that they are in fact quite customizable, usually without a huge amount of work, but that they recognize that data is complex - multilayered, having complicated interdependencies, conditional, and frequently transient. Most of the clients that I deal with when building XForms applications are not, in fact, looking at building another community site. They are health authorities, school district administrators, community services providers, companies looking for ways to come at their data in different ways without locking themselves into one and only one view.

--Kurt Cagle
Read the rest in xforms vs. ruby - a rebuttal (sort of)

Saturday, December 8, 2007
one advantage XML offers over things like TSV and XDR is a certain measure of future-proofing. Change your RDBMS data dictionary and TSV instances out the wild often become toast. Same thing for XDR - in fact direct object serialization is almost always *wrong*. Anyhow, because XML has all these verbose labels saying what each chunk is, it tends to be more change-resistant than most of what has come before.

--Tim Bray on the xml-dev mailing list, Monday, 16 Sep 2002

Wednesday, December 5, 2007
At Yahoo we have a couple of extra copies of the Web sitting around.

--Micah Dubinko, Yahoo, at XML 2007, Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Tuesday, December 4, 2007
OfficeOpen XML is really cool because it's XML and you can mess with it.

--Mark Turner, Mark Logic, at XML 2007, Monday, December 3, 2007

Monday, December 3, 2007

XML will die when you rip it out of my cold dead hands.

--C. Michael Sperberg-McQueen at XML 2007, Monday, December 3, 2007

Sunday, December 2, 2007
And with textual vs binary XML, you don't just have to overcome inertia, you have to overcome the fact that a textual format has very considerable advantages in terms of the ability of humans to read and edit the content directly. Look at the xsl-list - how many people would offer free advice and help on debugging XSLT stylesheets if the source documents were supplied in binary rather than textual form? Human performance is much more important than machine performance.

--Michael Kay on the xml-dev mailing list, Sunday, 10 Jun 2007 18:53:17

Saturday, December 1, 2007

But consider — if one browser showed error messages on half the Web, and another browser showed no errors and instead showed the Web roughly as the author intended. Which browser would the average person use?

If we want to make HTML 5 successful, we have to make sure the browser vendors pay attention to it. Any requirements that make their market share go down relative to browsers who aren't following the spec will immediately be ignored.

--Ian Hickson
Read the rest in Conversation With X/HTML 5 Team

Friday, November 30, 2007

A similar decision will have to be made by Verizon Wireless, which this week applied ITS reality distortion field to trying to make us believe the second-largest U.S. mobile operator actually intends to open its wireless network to non-Verizon devices and services.

Yeah, right.

Verizon's move is straight from the playbook of the old AT&T back in the 1970s, when that company was trying to keep third-party telephone handsets from being connected to its network. If you are old enough you may remember AT&T expressed great fear back then that telephones not from its Western Electric subsidiary (now Alcatel-Lucent) would somehow "damage" the telephone network. It was the same excuse used to keep old guys like me from wearing jeans in high school.

We will, no doubt, see similar behavior from Verizon as it slowly releases network interface specifications then embarks on a certification program that will surprisingly reject as incompatible a lot of perfectly fine mobile phones. But this is months or even years away. The company's intent right now is to show the appearance of motion.

The appearance of motion: it's sad, wouldn't you say, when this is what American business has come to.

--Mark Stephens
Read the rest in I, Cringely . The Pulpit . When Networks Collide | PBS

Wednesday, November 28, 2007
one of the essenses of Schematron is the natural language assertion: the grammar- based schema languages all have the fundamental problem that they don't have any mechanism for effectively communicating to humans diagnostics expressed in terms of the problem domain and data graph: they can only give generic messages in terms of grammar theory, the XML tree and the specific element names. One consequence of this is that as soon as the XML is hidden by some interface, the canned validation messages (which are given in terms of the XML and grammar) become incomprehensible.

--Rick Jelliffe on the xml-dev mailing list, Wednesday, 29 Nov 2006 16:34:47

Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Be sure to measure latency as well as throughput. The old engineering proverb is "Bandwidth can be bought, but latency is forever."

--Greg Guerin on the java-dev mailing list, Sunday, 25 Nov 2007 12:14:59

Monday, November 26, 2007

Do Assumed-And, not Assumed-Or, search.

Assumed-And is the way Google does it, with the more search terms added, the narrower the results. The other way around can be argued in the abstract, but your customers are not living in the abstract. The world has voted, and Assumed-And is the way it is. Having additional terms widen, rather than narrow, the scope confuses people in the extreme. They will leave you and find a site with a search function that “works.” This blunder alone could put a company out of business.

--Bruce Tognazzini
Read the rest in Manufacturer Sites that Sell

Sunday, November 25, 2007
But it's always said, "The business is dying! The business is dying!" I don't think so. There's too many good musicians around for the music business to be sagging. There's so many different styles and facets of the 360-degree musical sphere to listen to. From tribal to classical music, it's all there. If the bottom was to sag out of that, for God's sake, help us all.

--Jimmy Page, 1975
Read the rest in Cameron Crowe

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I don't often sympathize with MSFT. However, I expect that their corporate heads are dazed, confused and downright annoyed by Google's ongoing grab for private information. The slightest attempt at MSFT to do the same - ie. have their tools and environment and such "phone home" with information from the user's computer - has been analyzed and studied and any potential privacy violations denounced as A Great Evil.

And then people just hand over the same information to Google [for free].

--Andrew Gideon on the wwwac mailing list, Sunday, Fri, 27 Apr 2007 11:46:32

Friday, November 23, 2007
Creating your own blog is about as easy as creating your own urine, and you're about as likely to find someone else interested in it.

--Lore Sjöberg
Read the rest in Wired News: The Ultimate Blog Post

Thursday, November 22, 2007
I used XOM pretty heavily in a recent NIH project on MacOS X under 1.5, and performance was good, memory usage was good, no major parser bugs bit me.

--Scott Ellsworth on the java-dev mailing list, Tuesday, 19 Jul 2005 10:51:35

Tuesday, November 20, 2007
IE 7 is reported to be the most standards compliant version of the browser yet, but it would be great if the bully attitude was dropped and full WC3 compliance was at least aimed for. Instead the web gets a warning that IE7 is coming and that everyone had better test their applications to see if they will work in the new browser. Standards create a common space in which to innovate, it’s that simple.

--Michael Arrington
Read the rest in Techcrunch » Blog Archive » Ten Things I Wish IE 7 Was About to Deliver

Tuesday, November 20, 2007
The server can do anything it wants to handle a GET request, involving any side effects whatsoever. However, there is a clear understanding that a GET request from a client can never be construed as a demand for any of these side effects. The client bears no blame for issuing a GET request that caused the server to do something untoward; if something undesirable happened, it’s the server’s fault.

--Aristotle Pagaltzis on the rest-discuss mailing list, Saturday, 27 Oct 2007 19:04:21

Saturday, November 17, 2007
The complexity of RDF is vastly overstated

--Brendan Taylor on the atom-syntax mailing list, Saturday, 6 Oct 2007 09:23:16

Friday, November 16, 2007
Programmers are like most people in that they have an investment in what they've already learned, and are much less likely to adopt something new unless they can see many benefits to their work. In many respects XML is a fairly serious investment, as you are changing the very workflow patterns that people have developed. People may want improvements, but anything that disrupts their workflow will tend to make them much more anxious about learning anything new.

--Kurt Cagle on the xml-dev mailing list, Friday, 28 Jan 2005 11:17:32

Tuesday, November 13, 2007
saying I need a fast parser is a bit like saying I need a fast car. What you mean by fast may depend on whether you're driving Nascar, Formula 1, or just trying to make good time on a vacation.

--Noah Mendelsohn on the xml-dev mailing list, Monday, 22 Oct 2007 17:18:23

Sunday, November 11, 2007
Of *ALL* of the client-side standards, XSLT is by far and beyond the most reliable when it comes to cross-browser support.

--M. David Peterson on the xsl-list mailing list, Sunday, 16 Sep 2007 11:54:27

Saturday, November 10, 2007
Si les validateurs de schémas tentent généralement d'implémenter l'intégralité des recommandations W3C XML Schema, les outils de data binding guidés par des schémas ont au contraire tendance à ne supporter que des sous ensembles de ces recommandations. Et comme ces sous ensembles sont différents, un schéma écrit pour valider des documents a peu de chances de fonctionner avec ces outils et schéma qui fonctionne avec l'un de ces outils ne fonctionne pas nécessairement avec les autres.

--Eric van der Vlist
Read the rest in XML 2006 : souvenirs, souvenirs

Thursday, November 8, 2007
One of the key reasons for XML's success is its high degree of platform independence.

--Tim Bray on the xml-dev mailing list, Tuesday, 09 Apr 2002

Wednesday, November 7, 2007
you can't distinguish between a character represented natively, and the same character represented as an entity reference. And in your application, you shouldn't, because you really don't want to constrain the document creator/sender to use one form rather than the other.

--Michael Kay on the xsl-list mailing list, Saturday, 3 Nov 2007 08:49:51

Tuesday, November 6, 2007
It would have been nice if the W3C had used its influence in the browser space to define standards for browser UI. Things like session logout, usable login dialogs, and the lack of standard affordances for PUT, DELETE, etc., are all left undone because "that's how Mosaic did it" was the only standard that mattered.

--Roy T. Fielding on the REST Discuss mailing list, Monday, 2 Oct 2006 16:14:46

Monday, November 5, 2007

Blockbuster has two options: sell off the company as soon as possible or spend huge sums of cash on research and development and strategic partnerships with distribution companies to make downloading movies a viable alternative to Netflix.

But unfortunately, I simply don't see this happening. I think Blockbuster will try to stay the course in the hopes it can find a way out. It won't.

I'll give it two years before this company goes under.

--Don Reisinger
Read the rest in Say goodbye to Blockbuster | The Digital Home - Don Reisinger blogs about the tech closest to home

Sunday, November 4, 2007

At best, we have a fundamental conflict of visions and technical values between the majority and the minority.

However, the obvious conflict of interest between the standards-based web and proprietary platforms advanced by Microsoft, and the rationales for keeping the web's client-side programming language small while the proprietary platforms rapidly evolve support for large languages, does not help maintain the fiction that only clashing high-level philosophies are involved here.

--Brendan Eich
Read the rest in Brendan's Roadmap Updates: Open letter to Chris Wilson

Saturday, November 3, 2007
The urge to code generate is particularly strong around XML Schema. You might believe you can talk people out of using WADL that way, but I doubt it; people will see XML Schema and will automatically look for the code generation button. That way of thinking is baked into the culture.

--Joe Gregorio
Read the rest in Joe Gregorio | BitWorking | Do we need WADL?

Friday, November 2, 2007

There are literally dozens if not hundreds of billions of documents already on the Web. A study of a sample of several billion of those documents with a test implementation of the HTML 5 Parser specification that I did at Google put a very conservative estimate of the fraction of those pages with markup errors at more than 78%. When I tweaked it a bit to look at a few more errors, the number was 93%. And those are only core syntax errors — it didn't count misuse of HTML, like putting a p element inside an ol element.

If we required browsers to refuse those documents, then you couldn't browse over 90% of the Web.

--Ian Hickson
Read the rest in Conversation With X/HTML 5 Team

Thursday, November 1, 2007
The early versions of JavaME were very simple and limited, a direct reflection of the fact that early phones themselves were simple and limited: we had to work with what we had. But as time has passed, and cell phones have become more powerful and capable, JavaME has grown up too. Cell phones are becoming the new desktop. We've been saying this for years. Over time, it's pretty clear that JavaME and JavaSE will converge and become largely indistinguishable.

--James Gosling
Read the rest in James Gosling: on the Java Road

Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Experts have given Wikipedia middling reviews, but they miss the critical point: it's good enough. And it's free, which means people actually read it. On the web, articles you have to pay for might as well not exist. Even if you were willing to pay to read them yourself, you can't link to them. They're not part of the conversation.

--Paul Graham
Read the rest in Web 2.0

Tuesday, October 30, 2007
your homegrown XML is practically RDF already.

--Brendan Taylor on the atom-syntax mailing list, Saturday, 6 Oct 2007 09:23:16

Monday, October 29, 2007

Avoid Flash, except to demo a product. People won’t buy your dishwasher because your website has lots of cool graphics and animation that won design awards and wowed the executive staff. They’ll buy it because you’ve demonstrated that this dishwasher of yours actually puts away the dishes when it’s done.

Flash is also consistently behind the times. For example, at the time of this writing, some two years after tabbed browsers came on the scene, Flash sites continue to reject all attempts to use the feature.

--Bruce Tognazzini
Read the rest in Manufacturer Sites that Sell

Friday, October 26, 2007
The fact that the core devs don't take documentation, consistency, and unit-testing seriously is a significant point in the argument about whether Wordpress is a business-ready platform or just a toy.

--Mike Purvis on the wp-hackers mailing list, Saturday, 13 Oct 2007 00:22:10

Thursday, October 25, 2007
unifying relational data and XML is a good move. Imagine that an organization has data in RDBMS, as well in the XML form. That organization needs to produce something (for e.g. reports of some kind, or say an application) by unifying information from the relational and XML world. Then we need to join data stored in the RDBMS and XML. If we don't have a unified relational/XML store, I think, it'll be slightly difficult to join data from the two worlds (although not difficult for good application programmers).

--Mukul Gandhi on the xml-dev mailing list, Friday, 19 Oct 2007 22:37:12

Wednesday, October 24, 2007
The health care industry has embraced XML probably more than any other. It's virtually impossible to build EHR/EMR software without XML support and still be compliant.

--Steve Manes on the NYPHP Talk mailing list, Tuesday, 14 Aug 2007 11:22:05

Tuesday, October 23, 2007
the DOM-like approach of defining an IDL interface and then adapting it to Java leads to poor usability; I would prefer something designed specifically for Java.

--Michael Kay on the saxon-help mailing list, Wednesday, 2 Aug 2006 08:41:56

Monday, October 22, 2007
It's a rare pleasure to come across a user interface on the Web that uses dialog controls correctly. Even something as simple as radio buttons and checkboxes are incorrectly used half the time. And let's not even get started on drop-down menus, which are horribly abused, or the homemade scrollbars that deface most Flash sites.

--Jakob Nielsen
Read the rest in Tabs, Used Right: The 13 Usability Guidelines (Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox)

Saturday, October 20, 2007
one of the most attractive things about Firefox is the plug-in eco system and I think it's amusing to watch Microsoft trying very, very hard to replicate that, but their plug-in eco system is full of "pay $30 to register this", "pay $50 to register that" - it's all commercialware and I think it is testament to the fact that in your open source model it's not easy to replicate that unless you are actually open source.

--Dan Warne
Read the rest in How Firefox earns $US55million a year | APC Magazine

Friday, October 19, 2007

I've seen a few standardized XML schemas in vertical industries are actually invalid schemas but made it all the way to becoming standards because the schema authors used XML Spy as their XML editor of choice.

Now companies like Microsoft now have to deal with angry customers who complain that our tools reject their schemas which were authored with the "industry's leading XML tool" or which have now become standards in their particular business sphere.

I've actually seen some people suggest we ship what is basically "XML Spy bug compatibility mode" so that we can interoperate with their tools since they have flagrantly decided to ignore parts of the W3C XML Schema recommendation. It seems that the decision makers at XML Spy fail to realize that the only reason for standardizing on an XML Schema language is so we have interoperability across various platforms and tools.

--Dare Obasanjo on the xml-dev mailing list, Friday, 22 Oct 2004

Thursday, October 18, 2007
when I painstakingly put that whitespace in a document to make it easier to edit in the environments I use, I resent editors that completely trash it, not only making it harder to read, but making cvs diffs a lot harder to interpret, since virtually every line has changed by simple virtue of using that particular editor on a file, changing perhaps one character.

--Jonathan Robie on the xml-dev mailing list, Wednesday, 17 Oct 2007 21:54:41

Wednesday, October 17, 2007
I'm a huge fan of SQL, and I've been using it for over 10 years. its a solid and reliable friend. But it seems to be far too wordy and gets hairy to maintain, which is why we tend to look for ways to modularize it within our programming languages. When using SQL, we're just working with strings. mysql_query('SELECT * FROM customers') is as painful as using innerHTML in javascript. In some instances, you just have to, but it 'feels right' to use the DOM, and the DOM allows so much more power from a javascript perspective.

--Mark Armendariz on the NYPHP Talk mailing list, Saturday, 15 Sep 2007 15:24:30

Tuesday, October 16, 2007
if it's a closed system with specific clients, there likely will not be any benefit to using Atom. If you wish to enable interchange and interop with other applications, there will be benefits to using Atom, if only to leverage the existing tool support.

--James M Snell on the atom-syntax mailing list, Friday, 05 Oct 2007 17:06:59

Saturday, October 13, 2007
One of the leading financial institutions in New York adopted XML about 7 years ago because they need to archive stock and trading information for as long as 20 years. They'd had problems with obsolete media and file formats, such as WordPerfect 5.1.

--Ken North on the xml-dev mailing list, Sunday, 9 Sep 2007 11:50:01

Friday, October 12, 2007
For a fine example of redundancy, consider all of the forms with a pop-up list asking for type of credit card. Why? Credit card numbers come in predefined patterns. If it starts with a 4, it's a Visa. If it starts with a 5, it's a MasterCard. There is no reason for any Web form to ask me what type of card I'm using when it's about to get the card number.

--Peter Seebach
Read the rest in The cranky user: Ho ho hum online retailers

Thursday, October 11, 2007
I want the markup to explicit and self-documenting, as opposed to off in the PSVI which you only compute by fetching another (potentially large & complex) resource and processing it. I have grave concerns about the PSVI in general and its "implicit claims to be generic" in particular.

--Tim Bray on the xml-dev mailing list, Monday, 30 Sep 2002

Wednesday, October 10, 2007
ISO is an organization designed to handle negotiations among countries. That's not a bad idea for things that tend to depend on heavy national regulation, like, say, smokestack industry or retail, but it makes little sense for computer technology and networking standards -- our problem is not getting the Ukraine, Tanzania, and New Zealand to use the same standards, but getting the open source people, Nokia, IBM, and Nortel to play nicely together. Using ISO's national-body structure for negotiating computer standards is about as effective as the two of us negotiating a mideast peace plan, then expecting Yasser Arafat and Ariel Sharon to thank us and implement it.

--David Megginson on the XML Developers mailing list, Thu, 29 Apr 2004

Tuesday, October 9, 2007
you shouldn't expect any performance or memory size improvements in going from DOM to JDOM (and quite possibly some loss of performance). As I see it JDOM's advantage is mainly in supplying an API that's easier for Java developers to understand.

--Dennis Sosnoski on the jdom-interest mailing list, Wednesday, 08 Dec 2004

Monday, October 8, 2007
five years from now if someone is still coding in HTML and tables and not fully CSS compliant and using XHTML and XML to address multiple devices I'll fire them, or at least sent them to some classes, which is more compatible with my value system.

--Robert Harrison on the wwwac mailing list, Sunday, 27 Sep 2007 12:06:12

Sunday, October 7, 2007
These days, with the advent of Petabytes in a trailer and data clouds that can be rented for pennies per MB / year there really isn't any reason to leave the data on some offline archival device. Once it's online the mechanics of access are pretty much irrelevant.

--Peter Hunsberger on the xml-dev mailing list, Tuesday, 11 Sep 2007 16:01:45

Saturday, October 6, 2007
for all that I would love to see CDATA sections become ancient history, they are necessary - simply because a CDATA section can (pretty safely) encapsulate text that has syntactical markup, something that will be true regardless of what symbols are used for denoting that section. I should also point out that CDATA sections become almost necessary when dealing with "unsafe" content - XML wrappers holding blog feedbacks written by people who don't have the first clue about why ampersands in text are bad for your application, or for situations where you don't WISH for your XML to be interpreted (such as examples given in a textbook). CDATA exists because you need to have a way of escaping content from interpretation.

--Kurt Cagle on the XML Developers List, Sunday, Feb 2005 10:52:23

Friday, October 5, 2007
The emergence of XML as a dominant data container came as a result of cheap processing cycles and memory, not because of sudden realizations of its utility for non-page-based applications. The uptake of that idea on the web was quick and that gives the appearance of invention where it is only broader acceptance.

--Len Bullard on the richard mailing list, Wednesday, 26 Sep 2007 09:29:33

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Net Neutrality once was called Common Carriage. Today most home users of the Net have incoming port 80 connections squelched. This is a gross violation of the rule of common carriage.

The issue is not price of bandwidth. The issue is whether we are allowed to create and use Net applications, without having to make a deal with the Duopoly.

--Jay Sulzberger on the WWWAC mailing list, Friday, 28 Sep 2007 12:39:13 -0400

Tuesday, October 2, 2007
the industrial markup and publishing community is not on the radar of database companies. Witness the complete disregard of our needs in the XML Schema development process, which in turn lead to the move to ISO and the progressive development of DSDL, which has become popular and useful in its small niche but has absolutely no commercial support for the big vendors. I don't expect you guys to understand what we in the industrial markup and publishing community do, or the value that having a standardized baseline format for document conversions out of Office (e.g. to ODF or any other target) would have for us. But please don't treat this as merely a game between the elephants.

--Rick Jelliffe on the xml-dev mailing list, Tuesday, 14 Aug 2007 05:35:42 +1000

Monday, October 1, 2007
I remain convinced that namespaces were a colossal mistake.

--Michael Kay on the xom-interest mailing list, Monday, 24 Jan 2005 17:52:22

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Web applications don't deal in files. There's no expectation you'll ever want to copy your GMail inbox to a flash drive, or drop a Flickr photo into an instant messaging conversation. Web application data lives outside the metaphors and conveniences of the desktop. Dragging a Writely document to the trashcan does not delete it, nor does double clicking it cause an appropriate editor to be loaded (assuming either of those two actions were at all possible.)

For Rich Internet Applications to be successful they need to marry the fidelity of experience from a traditional desktop application with the omnipresence of a web site. This necessitates the need to span the divide between web and desktop — which makes the problem of files such a thorny one. How can data held remotely, probably in a database, still appear to interact with familiar desktop conventions like 'the trashcan'?

Does it even need to? Could users learn to cope with a schizophrenic world where local data is referred to by file, and remote data is referred to by views into a database? Perhaps the answer is to ditch the notion of files on the desktop altogether? Imagine a computer were folders did not represent one level from a hierarchical file system, but filtered views from a pool of data items which lived on (or were immediately available to) your PC?

--Simon Morris
Read the rest in Simon Morris's Blog: Why Rich Internet Apps Will Fail

Saturday, September 29, 2007
There are a number of cultural assumptions built into WADL, and those cultural assumptions come from the WS-* arena. The first is that you want, and need, machine generated code. The idea that you could get anything useful from machine generated code is, to me, interesting. If I describe an Atom Syndication Feed in WADL, how close will the generated code be to a feed reader like Bloglines? Or even to a library like Abdera? If I write a really good WADL for (X)HTML how close will the generated code be to a web browser? The point is that generated code stubs are so far from a completed consumer of a web service that the utility seems questionable.

--Joe Gregorio
Read the rest in Joe Gregorio | BitWorking | Do we need WADL?

Friday, September 28, 2007
XML became possible only once the costs of memory and CPUs dropped, the power increased and UNICODE became available

--Len Bullard on the xml-dev mailing list, Tuesday, 11 Sep 2007 14:50:29

Thursday, September 27, 2007

There are times we need to leverage what we learned in the past and retrieve information from decades ago. NASA has been drawing on Apollo program technology for building the new Ares 1 moon rocket. (Some of the young engineers on the Constellation program weren't even alive in 1969!) NASA has been visiting museums and borrowing artifacts such as the Apollo operations manual.

Apollo was pre-SGML. Automated word processing in that era was the Friden Flexowriter, which produced a paper tape, and IBM's new MTST (Magnetic Tape Selectric Typewriter). While working on the Goddard Real-Time System (GRTS), I saw neither. We kept computer printouts of source code and link edits, but our office documents were all produced with an IBM Selectric and distributed as Xerox copies. Searching for documents that reference GRTS, I found a couple of PDFs in the NASA archives that are scans of '60s documents. The printed documents from that era are still readable today, but I'm not sure about being able to retrieve a document from a Flexowriter tape or IBM MTST tape.

So even with standard office file formats, there's still the problem that electronic documents may not be retrievable in the future due to changing digital media technology.

--Ken North on the xml-dev mailing list, Sunday, 9 Sep 2007 11:50:01

Wednesday, September 26, 2007
It started in MA and went around the world - a realisation by government that electronic documentation has really replaced paper in a very large number of cases. And from that follows the requirements for the law to continue functioning in a fair and open manner that electronic documents used by government and public companies - at least - should be accessible on a permanent basis irrespective of the existence, let alone success or failure, of the developer of the electronic format.

--Rick Marshall on the xml-dev mailing list, Sunday, 09 Sep 2007 09:36:14

Tuesday, September 25, 2007
One of XML's greatest strengths is at the low end, with small applications and even one-offs that don't get very far from home. While these don't get any glory, the gains in productivity they add to any shop that knows how to build and use them are probably impossible to calculate, but not small.

--Wendell Piez on the xsl-list mailing list, Sunday, 06 Sep 2007 14:47:48

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Tim and I were both on the old W3C XML Working Group that designed the Namespaces spec -- in retrospect, we got too far in front of implementors' requirements and delivered a spec to solve problems someone might have some day in the future, instead of problems people actually had at the time.

While some people use Namespaces as intended, most apps I've seen either don't use Namespaces or effectively hardcode the prefixes, and many apps (not just feed readers) fail if you substitute different prefixes for the same Namespace.

I liked the final Namespace spec, even though it wasn't what I had originally argued for, but when you have a spec that almost *everyone* ignores or gets wrong (XSLT and SOAP excepted), it might be time to acknowledge that the problem is the spec instead of the implementors. I predict that the use of XML Namespaces will be an ongoing problem for Atom, even though it's not Atom's fault.

--David Megginson
Read the rest in ongoing · Bad, Feed Readers, Bad!

Thursday, September 20, 2007
one of the most attractive things about Firefox is the plug-in eco system and I think it's amusing to watch Microsoft trying very, very hard to replicate that, but their plug-in eco system is full of "pay $30 to register this", "pay $50 to register that" - it's all commercialware and I think it is testament to the fact that in your open source model it's not easy to replicate that unless you are actually open source.

--Dan Warne
Read the rest in How Firefox earns $US55million a year | APC Magazine

Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Unfortunately our release cycles here at MS tend to be very long and conservative, at least compared to some of you cowboys. :)

--Joe Cheng, Microsoft on the atom-pub mailing list, Wednesday, 8 Aug 2007 11:25:00

Tuesday, September 18, 2007
the only way to get namespaces that wrong is not to use a proper XML parser, or to let it run in non-namespace aware mode.

--Julian Reschke
Read the rest in ongoing · Bad, Feed Readers, Bad!

Monday, September 17, 2007
CSS and Javascript debugging tools are of poor quality or non-existent.

--M. David Peterson on the xsl-list mailing list, Sunday, 16 Sep 2007 11:54:27

Saturday, September 15, 2007
There are applications which serialize Xerces' DOM using Java's object serialization services which rely on these classes being compatible from release to release. Aside from moving around and removing transient fields, it will be difficult to trim the size of the DOM implementation without breaking serialization compatibility. Probably seemed like a good idea at the time but making all the classes implement java.io.Serializable has significantly reduced our ability to make structural changes.

--Michael Glavassevich on the j-dev@xerces.apache.org mailing list, Sunday, 13 Nov 2005 12:24:52

Friday, September 14, 2007
One popular technique for building readership is to send e-mail to more well-trafficked blogs offering to exchange links with them. One popular response from those blogs is to laugh derisively and hit the Delete button.

--Lore Sjöberg
Read the rest in Wired News: The Ultimate Blog Post

Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Ninety percent of web design is redesign.

--Jason Santa Maria
Read the rest in An Event Apart Boston 2007

Tuesday, September 11, 2007
None of the binary XML formats we've seen greatly reduce the bandwidth or processor burden of XML in general. If you have a very specific scenario, you can get some good results, but those same techniques seldom carry over to other scenarios.

--Michael Champion on the xml-dev mailing list, Monday, 3 Sep 2007 15:38:29 -0700

Friday, September 7, 2007

True 'citizen journalists' are people like Iraqi news journalists working where western photographers dare not go, to document the destruction of their homeland. Despite putting themselves and their families in peril 24 hours a day, most if not all of them earn a pittance and many relinquish their copyright on images and stories which make the front pages of the worlds newspapers. Just this year alone, 32 have died.

Baghdad has a mobile phone network, but mobile phone image gathering is virtually unknown (unless it's execution footage), as it would be tantamount to a death sentence for most residents. Instead, another form of journalism keeps us passively 'informed' from only one perspective - embedding.

--Sion Touhig
Read the rest in How the anti-copyright lobby makes big business richer

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

JavaScript is clearly a powerful drug. Everybody that sells it will please include these two documents in the package...

"Powerful languages inhibit information reuse." -- http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/doc/leastPower

"see how we can use Javascript, but still maintain accessibility" -- http://onlinetools.org/articles/unobtrusivejavascript/

--Dan Connolly on the www-tag mailing list, Sunday, 16 Aug 2007 17:46:03

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

It's very much a design assumption in XML schema that a namespace has only one schema.

It's a slightly odd assumption really, because it's at variance with another design principle of XML Schema, which is that the same document can be validated against different rules depending on the user's preferences - for example the sender of a document might apply stronger validation than the recipient. But the assumption is there.

The assumption seems to be less strong in the case of the not-a-namespace, otherwise facilities like chameleon schemas wouldn't be provided. But it's still there. You get into trouble, for example, if you try to do a schema-aware transformation or query from one no-namespace schema to a different no-namespace schema.

--Michael Kay on the xml-dev mailing list, Wednesday, 22 Dec 2004

Monday, September 3, 2007
there are differences between Iraq and XSD. One seems to be about people with their own fiefdom agendas stubbornly miring us in a quagmire, using a grabbag of thin reasons to justify it, denying any evidence that things are not rosy, perpetually promising that things are turning around, and enmeshing all sorts of decent people in a life of horror, difficulty and with no confidence in accomplishing the mission. The other is in the Middle East.

--Rick Jelliffe on the xml-dev mailing list, Wednesday, 29 Nov 2006 12:46:06

Sunday, September 2, 2007
there aren’t that many apps where parsing and unparsing are a significant part of the workload.

--Tim Bray
Read the rest in ongoing · JSON and XML

Saturday, September 1, 2007

As an XML developer, one of the problems that I come across almost invariably within these languages is the fact that they are shaped by people who view XML as something of an afterthought, a small subset of the overall language that's intended to satisfy those strange people who think in angle brackets. However, one side effect of this viewpoint is that a rather disturbing amount of server code is still being written with HTML content (and often badly formed HTML at that) being written inline as successive lines of composed strings. For instance, it's not at all unusual to see inline PHP that looks something like:

$buf ="<html><head><title>".$myTitle;
$buf += "</title><body>"; 
$buf += "<h1>This is a test.</h1>";
$buf += "<p>If this were an actual emergency, we'd be out of here by now.";
echo $buf;

Not surprisingly, with this particular approach, your ability to create modular code is virtually nil, the likelihood that you as the developer of this particular page will spend many late hours trying to figure out why your table fails to render properly after the twelfth row (and causes the browser to crash after the 200th) is correspondingly high, and maintaining it after three months well nigh impossible.

--Kurt Cagle
Read the rest in XML.com: XQuery, the Server Language

Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Unfortunately, SCO is not the only company that is attempting to use the specter of unsubstantiated intellectual property infringement allegations as a weapon against competitors. "Always two there are," it is said. SCO's litigation war chest was partially furnished by Microsoft, which provided SCO $16 million in UNIX licensing fees and helped SCO secure tens of millions more from Baystar Capital. As Microsoft continues to trumpet baseless and unsubstantiated patent infringement allegations in its war against Linux, the company should take a close look at the fall of SCO and ask itself if it wants to follow SCO down the same road to ruin. Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny. Microsoft obviously has more resources than SCO and could probably endure a protracted legal battle forever, but what would it ultimately accomplish?

--Ryan Paul
Read the rest in Requiem for a legal disaster: a retrospective analysis of SCO v. Novell: Page 4

Tuesday, August 28, 2007
E4X is what the DOM should have been within the ECMAScript environment. The DOM was way too “CORBA” oriented to be practical in ECMAScript.

--Didier PH Martin on the xml-dev mailing list, Wednesday, 17 Jan 2007 13:31:41

Saturday, August 25, 2007
Finally, some words for non-internet loving companies: This is how it works. Whatever you sink, we build back up. Whomever you sue, ten new pirates are recruited. Wherever you go, we are already ahead of you. You are the past and the forgotten, we are the internet and the future.

Read the rest in Suprnova.org relaunches, taunts The Powers That Be

Thursday, August 23, 2007
I’m a legal academic and I woke up one day and thought, "Why can’t I get cases the same way I get stuff on Google?” People should be able to get cases easily. This is a big exception to the way information has opened up over the past decade.

--Tim Wu, Columbia Law School
Read the rest in A Quest to Get More Court Rulings Online, and Free

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

At the very least, browsers that render erroneous code should pop an error message saying "This page's code contains errors, but the rendering engine is going to take a guess and try to render it in a way that is readable."

Who would want *that* to pop up on their pages? It would force the lazy and ignorant to fix their pages, but it would still allow one to see the content of the badly-coded pages.

--David W. Fenton on the wwwac mailing list, Friday, 23 Mar 2007 08:53:12

Monday, August 20, 2007

Any number of times I have had an itch where scratching it involved JavaScript, so I'd google for "JavaScript tutorial". The top hits are full of suggestions to do things that no self-respecting software engineer should do:

  • I know JavaScript has throw/catch; why do so many tutorials use alert()?
  • Self-modifying code (document.write()) is an awfully big hammer; why does it show up in simple hello-world examples?

Worst of all, why do so many tutorials fail to cite whatever sources they are based on? They don't claim to be exhaustive or authoritative, so I expected a "for more details, see ..." link. No joy. For example, the w3schools javascript tutorial says to use text/javascript but the IETF spec deprecates that in favor of application/javascript.

--Dan Connolly
Read the rest in Notes on GRDDL/JavaScript Development

Sunday, August 19, 2007
Java is object-oriented, XML is hierarchical, and relational databases are tabular. The mapping between these three different data models generates a lot of zero-value-added work in developing an application. When you’re XML top-to-bottom, poof, that work’s all gone.

--Dave Kellogg, CEO Mark Logic
Read the rest in Mark Logic CEO Blog: Web Applications: The Virtues of Top-to

Saturday, August 18, 2007
The WS* stack is a morass of complexity - it's starting to make the CORBA boomlet of the early 90's look simple.

--James Robertson
Read the rest in WS* Barbarians at the Gate

Friday, August 17, 2007

Even after all this time, it amazes me how many poorly constructed websites there are out there.

Even more amazing is that the browsers display the code anyways.

--Ron Trenka on the WWWAC List mailing list, Friday, 23 Mar 2007 08:16:51

Thursday, August 16, 2007
Oh, sure, they've made a few half-assed attempts to make IE standards-compliant, sort of, but only after making many full-assed attempts to distort those standards to give Microsoft competitive advantages. I've heard that directly from folks working on the relevant teams over there. Microsoft cheerfully shows up at the standards meetings to make damn sure they screw up the APIs for everyone else. You know. Microsoft-style. Sorta like how DirectX was bugly compared to OpenGL. Or Win32 compared to *nix. Or MFC compared to any sane object system (e.g. TurboPascal and TurboC). Or COM compared to CORBA. (I mean, you have to work hard to be worse than CORBA.) Microsoft has always been awful at making APIs, always always always, and I've decided over the years to credit this to malice rather than incompetence. Microsoft isn't incompetent, whatever else they might be. Burdened, yes; incompetent, no.

--Steve Yegge
Read the rest in Stevey's Blog Rants: Blogger's Block #3: Dreaming in Browser Swamp

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

if an XSD validator is even in the message path, no one turns it on, because it’s too computationally expensive, not completely implemented, and unable to perform all the validation required (e.g., date X should be no more than 30 days divergent from date Y).

All of this is not to say that a rigorous, machine-readable description of an XML message isn’t useful at development time and even runtime, it is. But the notion of assigning type to elements and attributes is unnecessary. After all, how many HTML forms have been processed successfully, and those are submitted as just name/value pairs. And even when a message description is available, using it to generate code that treats remote resources as local objects and messages as their serialization is counterproductive. XML is for representing structured information not serializing objects.

--Pete Lacey
Read the rest in InfoQ: Interview: Pete Lacey Criticizes Web Services

Monday, August 13, 2007
The best way to do a shopping cart RESTfully is to use standard mark-up to describe items that can be purchased and allow the user agent to "move" items from whatever page they happen to be looking at into their own browser's virtual cart. The mark-up can describe where to go for check-out, and the cart could contain items from many different merchants. In other words, all of the state remains on the client. The reason we don't do it that way now is partly because shops don't believe in waiting for standard media types to be updated, and partly because Netscape became gun-shy after the response to their early HTML extensions.

--Roy T. Fielding on the rest-discuss mailing list, Sunday, 26 Apr 2007 13:20:13

Saturday, August 11, 2007
That's the problem with adding complexity to, well, anything -- there are always people who will rush to use the complex parts, just because they can.

--David Megginson on the xml-dev mailing list, Sunday, 18 Mar 2004

Friday, August 10, 2007
in the rush to write a 6,000 page standard in less than a year, Ecma dropped the ball. OOXML's spreadsheet formula is worse than missing. It has incorrect formulas that, if implemented according to this standard, will bring important health, safety and environmental concerns, aside from the obvious financial risks of a spreadsheet that calculates incorrect results. This standard is seriously messed up. Shame on all those who praised and continue to praise the OOXML formula specification without actually reading it.

--Rob Weir
Read the rest in An Antic Disposition: The Formula for Failure

Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Over the course of history, a remarkable number of different groups have jumped up and down and said "*We're* the ones defining HTML!!! Listen to *us*!!!". It's foolish to draw conclusions about any HTML-related spec based either on which group is originating it or what anyone claims the browser engineers are going to do.

--Tim Bray on the atom-syntax mailing list, Tuesday, 28 Nov 2006 15:57:50

Tuesday, August 7, 2007
The benefit of XML is that we no longer have to reinvent clever ways of representing complex data, and can exercise our innovative skills at higher level of the system where it gives a greater return.

--Michael Kay on the xml-dev mailing list, Tuesday, 7 Dec 2004

Monday, August 6, 2007

Reliability is often mentioned by Web services proponents as a property in which the Web is lacking. But what is meant by “reliability” in that context? Commonly, it’s used to refer to a quality of the messaging infrastructure; that HTTP messages are not, themselves, reliable. That’s true of course, but it’s equally true of any message sent over a network which is not under the control of any single authority, like the Internet; sometimes, messages are lost.

The issue, therefore, is how to build reliable applications atop an unreliable network.

In general, there is little that can be done for a Web services based solution. As arbitrary Web services clients and servers share knowledge of little more than a layer 6 message framing technology and processing model (SOAP), the only option for addressing the problem is at this level, using that knowledge. So we can take actions such as assigning messages unique identifiers in an attempt to detect loss or duplication, but not much else. Solutions at this level tend to do little more than tradeoff latency (i.e. wait time for automated retries) for slightly improved message reception rates. But even then, applications still have to deal with the inevitable case of message loss. Some might even argue that “reliable messaging” is an oxymoron, and that RM solutions are commonly attempts to mask the unmaskable.

--Mark Baker
Read the rest in Integrate This

Sunday, August 5, 2007
XForms had a lot of potential that it hasn’t yet lived up to, does require more than a little bit of advanced computing skills (or at least the right mindset) and suffers the fate of many of the W3C standards, which is to be smashed up against the rocks of browser vendor indifference.

--Kurt Cagle
Read the rest in xforms vs. ruby - a rebuttal (sort of)

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Sometimes what is needed is a design dictator who says, “Ignore what users say: I know what’s best for them.” The case of Apple Computer is illustrative. Apple’s products have long been admired for ease of use. Nonetheless, Apple replaced its well known, well-respected human interface design team with a single, authoritative (dictatorial) leader. Did usability suffer? On the contrary: its new products are considered prototypes of great design.

The “listen to your users” produces incoherent designs. The “ignore your users” can produce horror stories, unless the person in charge has a clear vision for the product, what I have called the “Conceptual Model.” The person in charge must follow that vision and not be afraid to ignore findings. Yes, listen to customers, but don’t always do what they say.

--Donald Norman
Read the rest in Don Norman's jnd.org / Human

Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Whale feces or working at Microsoft? I would probably be the whale feces researcher. Salt air and whale flatulence; what could go wrong?

--Michael Moyer, Popular Science
Read the rest in Macworld: News: Microsoft security group makes 'worst jobs' list

Monday, July 30, 2007

JSON is good at solving the particular problem of sending pairs of named/typed fields and their values, where the values can themselves (recursively) have that same structure.

XML is aimed at a much broader class of uses. For example, while one can niggle about the details, XHTML does a pretty good job of conveying HTML in the form of XML, including all the mixed content stuff like <p>My point is that this paragraph has <emph>mixed</emph> content, in which markup occurs within strings.</p> JSON doesn't even try to do that in a standard way. JSON also doesn't do a lot to support the distributed invention of cosmically-unique names, as namespaces do.

--Noah Mendelson on the xml-dev mailing list, Friday, 20 Jul 2007 09:55:44

Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Using JSON for anything else but server-to-browser communication is a mistake. Using anything else than JSON for server-to-browser communication is a mistake as well. In short, use the tool that fits the job and don't be indoctrinated by it.

--Steve Bjorg on the rest-discuss mailing list, Sunday, 10 Jun 2007 17:45:08

Monday, July 23, 2007

Treacherous Computing is an instance of a very dangerous phenomenon, namely a conspiracy of companies to restrict the public - to restrict the public's access to technology. Such conspiracies ought to be a crime. The executives of those companies should be tried, and if convicted, sent to prison for conspiring to restrict the public's access to technology. However, that sort of policy would have required leaders that believe in government of the people, by the people, for the people. What we have today is government of the people, by the flunkies, for the corporations.

For from trying to protect us from such conspiracies, our governments today show how undemocratic they are by supporting the companies against us, supporting the conspiracies against us. Laws that prohibit circumvention of these conspiracies essentially deputise the conspiracies as police men, giving them power over the citizens. Every government that supports such a law shows that it is on the side of publishers, on the side of Hollywood, on the side of the record companies, against its own citizens. It has become an arm of occupation.

--Richard M. Stallman
Read the rest in GPLv3 - Transcript of Richard Stallman from the fifth international GPLv3 conference, Tokyo, Japan; 2006-11

Saturday, July 21, 2007
My friend Ira, who lives in Yokohama, Japan, has 100-megabit-per-second fiber-optic Internet service in his home. This costs Ira less than $30 per month. What the heck is up with that? Ten years ago, the United States had the fastest and cheapest residential Internet service in the world. Today U.S. residential Internet service, especially broadband, is among the slowest and most expensive.

--Mark Stephens
Read the rest in I, Cringely . The Pulpit . When Elephants Dance | PBS

Friday, July 20, 2007
The consumer electronics companies really have their collective head so far up their ass they’re wearing their tongue for a hat.

--Adam Fields
Read the rest in Adam Fields (weblog) - » Why am I writing about HD home theater frustrations?

Thursday, July 19, 2007
Most non-technical people I know pretty much live in their browsers, and they only emerge periodically to stare in puzzlement at iTunes or a game or something, and wonder why isn't it in the browser, because everything else useful seems to be. It's where the whole world is. To non-technical people, of course. Which is, like, practically everyone.

--Steve Yegge
Read the rest in Stevey's Blog Rants: Blogger's Block #3: Dreaming in Browser Swamp

Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Several years ago, there was a movement to "simplify" XML, with a lot of mud being slung on both sides. Significantly, after a while, the argument died away, because of the realization that any simplification of XML reduced its use for others who found their core needs no longer met. I think that by forking XML yet again, you run the risk of marginalizing yourself with a use case that buys you some efficiency gain for a limited set of applications at the cost of reducing flexibility, despite the fact that it is that very flexibility that makes XML so attractive for such a wide number of use cases.

--Kurt Cagle on the XML Developers List mailing list, Sunday, Feb 2005 10:52:23

Tuesday, July 17, 2007
The CODASYL data model ultimately foundered because of its unwieldy links, and XLink foundered trying to do something similar for XML. Maybe the lesson here is that the relational model approach of defining links *dynamically* based on relationships on the *values* of information items rather than predefined links really is the way to do what XLink tried to do.

--Michael Champion on the xml-dev mailing list, Friday, 22 Oct 2004

Monday, July 16, 2007
the problem it seems to me with JSON is that it both has a beginning of a semantics, it has types for true, false, and numbers, and at the same time it does not have enough. The spec is completely at the syntactic level. The semantics it has come from it being so closely tied to JavaScript, which has a procedural semantics. Number refer to numbers because that's the way JavaScript will interpret them.

--Henry Story on the rest-discuss mailing list, Friday, 13 Jul 2007 12:27:59

Sunday, July 15, 2007
You can’t install new programs from anyone but Apple; other companies can create only iPhone-tailored mini-programs on the Web. The browser can’t handle Java or Flash, which deprives you of millions of Web videos.

--David Pogue
Read the rest in The iPhone Matches Most of Its Hype

Saturday, July 14, 2007
Less than 0.1% of the documents on the web actually conform to what's in their doctype declaration

--Dan Connolly on the www-tag mailing list, Monday, 16 Apr 2007 13:31:17

Friday, July 13, 2007

When we do information modelling we ask questions like "what is a flight?", "if a flight involves a stopover, is that one flight, two flights, or three?", "if an extra plane is laid on to handle extra demand, is that the same flight or a different flight?". I know how to tackle these questions within the confines of a closed system where we can agree the terms and what we mean by them. A smallish group of people can get together and decide on precise definitions of the terms they are using within a limited domain of discourse.

I simply don't believe that it can be done universally, and what worries me is that there seem to be people who think it can. What I mean by "flight" depends on the conversation I am having at the time, and calling it http://www.saxonica.com/vocabulary/flight instead isn't going to change that. OK, we could define 120 different URIs to cover the different precise meanings of the word, but that would only reduce our ability to communicate with each other. There's a good reason why language is fuzzy and full of nuance: if it were possible to develop a precise and unambiguous and unchanging vocabulary we would have evolved one years ago. Deciding that every distinct concept is going to have a distinct URI is just simplistic: like tons of bricks or piles of sand, concepts are amorphous and lack clear identity.

--Michael Kay on the xsl-list mailing list, Monday, 12 Dec 2005 21:21:46

Thursday, July 12, 2007
Processing content requires only that the recipient be able to understand it. Validation plays no role in that. At best it's just one way that a document recipient can identify content that might not be understood. But even without validation the content would certainly be found to be "invalid" eventually, as processing is attempted.

--Mark Baker on the www-tag mailing list, Tuesday, 3 Apr 2007 00:26:24

Wednesday, July 11, 2007
XML has gradually become rather a mess, and it is need of refactoring. Perhaps it really is time that as a community we started to think about doing it again, and doing it better next time. Personally, I suspect we haven't quite reached that point yet: the benefits of conformance are still too high. I'd give it another five years.

--Michael Kay on the xml-dev mailing list, Wednesday, 12 Oct 2005 16:28:31

Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Yes, everyone hates XSD. The thing is that XSD has become substantially *more* complicated in recent years, as Web Services have come along. Not only do people have to understand XSD, but their schemas may also partially be specified using wsdl:message syntax. (This lets you specify what the soapenv:Body element must contain, because the official SOAP schema is open. XSD's poor capabilities to support openness seem to be the root problem here.)

--Rick Jelliffe on the xml-dev mailing list, Tuesday, 28 Nov 2006 18:23:58

Monday, July 9, 2007
You know what I love about the GPL? Regular lawyers can't understand it. We've seen that over and over. I think it is so different from what they are used to, they can't get their heads around it, brainiacs though they may be. It seems unnatural to them, and I guess they can't believe it means what it says. But it means it.

--Pamela Jones, Groklaw
Read the rest in Groklaw

Saturday, July 7, 2007
WS-*? In the real world, it’s about being able to interoperate with WCF, and while that’s a worthwhile thing, that’s all it’s about. It’s not like HTTP or TCP/IP, truly interoperable frameworks, it’s like DCOM; the piece of Windows’ network-facing surface that Microsoft would like you to code to. For now, anyhow; it’ll be at least as easy as DCOM to walk away from when the embarrassment gets too great.

--Tim Bray
Read the rest in ongoing · SOA and WCF

Friday, July 6, 2007
Firefox may be getting bloated, but it's still the fastest Windows browser, particularly for running Google web applications.

--Dylan Tweney
Read the rest in Compiler

Thursday, July 5, 2007
What do whale-feces researchers, hazmat divers and employees of Microsoft Corp.’s Security Response Center have in common? They all made Popular Science magazine’s 2007 list of the absolute worst jobs in science.

--Robert McMillan, IDG News Service
Read the rest in Macworld: News: Microsoft security group makes 'worst jobs' list

Tuesday, July 3, 2007
computer programming is one of those fields where an immigrant who doesn’t speak English can still be a brilliant programmer.

--Joel Spolsky
Read the rest in Sorting Resumes

Monday, July 2, 2007
It seems pretty obvious to me that any server that changes the client-defined content of an entry (author clearly being one of those fields that cannot possibly be determined mechanically) is failing to follow the intent of the PUT, so if it returns 200 in that situation with the intention of changing the author then it is broken, both in terms of HTTP and Atom. That's broken, as in, violates the semantics of the data format regardless of who wrote the client -- it has broken operability, not interoperability.

--Roy T. Fielding on the atom-protocol mailing list, Wednesday, 14 Mar 2007 19:02:57

Sunday, July 1, 2007
As a WordPress user, I’m amazed that every time I want to add a new feature, I just do a quick search and find a WordPress plug-in that does exactly what I need.

--Scott Karp
Read the rest in WordPress vs. Movable Type: Open Source Blogging Software Showdown » Publishing 2.0

Friday, June 29, 2007
Does anyone still believe that web services will be published and consumed indiscriminately on the open Internet? I keep on seeing references to that early vision as if it's still alive, but surely everyone realizes by now it was just a geek pipedream, the idea that your servers would just go out on the Internet and 'discover' services listed by all-comers in registries conforming to the pompously-named "Universal Description Discovery and Integration protocol" (ie UDDI).

--Phil Wainewright
Read the rest in Trust, contracts and UDDI - Loosely Coupled weblog, Nov 12th 2004 10:12am

Thursday, June 28, 2007
One of the main reasons XML worked out so well is that Jon Bosak's boss turned him loose to work on it, and I'd just quit my job, and James Clark has never had a job, and Michael Sperberg-McQueen routed around his boss for a few months, so we had four people grinding away pretty well full-time.

--Tim Bray
Read the rest in ongoing - I Like Pie

Wednesday, June 27, 2007
It may be too late to compete effectively with Flash. But if Desktop Java doesn’t make a stand here, then frankly, where is it going to assert its relevance? Webapps have eliminated many of the use-cases that applets once targeted, and distribution frustrations (among other factors) continue to make double-clickable Java desktop applications a tough sell. Ajax is all but the final insult: at the end of the day, script manipulating UI widgets in a browser isn’t that different than Java bytecodes manipulating AWT or Swing widgets… except for the fact that Ajax is infinitely more popular than any of the Java client technologies ever were.

--Chris Adamson
Read the rest in Rebooting Java Media, Act I: Setup

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Because the standoff between Microsoft and the Forces of Neutrality (open standards and the like) is the main thing that's holding JavaScript back. Nobody wants to build an amazingly cool website that only works in FireFox/Opera/(insert your favorite reasonably standards-compliant browser here). Because they're focused on the short term, not the long term. It would only take one or two really killer apps for Mozilla to take back the market share from Microsoft. That, or a whole army of pretty good ones. People don't like downloading new stuff (in general), and they also don't like switching browsers. But they'll do it if they know they have to in order to use their favorite app.

Everyone knows all this; not a jot of it is news to anyone, but nobody wants to be the one to make a clean break from IE. It might bankrupt them. Great app, nobody sees it, company goes bust. So the killer apps will have to come from the fringe, the margin, the anarchy projects engineers do on the side — at least at companies where engineers have a little free time for innovation. Excepting only go-for-broke startups, most places can't (or won't) bet the farm on a Firefox-only application. So even though the spec is moving forward, or maybe sideways, DHTML in the real world has been in near-stasis for years.

--Steve Yegge
Read the rest in Stevey's Blog Rants: Blogger's Block #3: Dreaming in Browser Swamp

Monday, June 25, 2007
A resource is like an object, and a url is like a pointer to that object. If I have the same pointer, it will be the same object at the other end of that pointer. Over time the state of that object may change, so when I GET it i'll retreive different results. It still means the same thing.

--Benjamin Carlyle on the rest-discuss mailing list, Tuesday, 31 Oct 2006 08:42:20

Sunday, June 24, 2007

a standard body is not only a cool place where friendly geeks meet, drink (sometimes) free beer, and write standards for the beauty of standards.

A standards body is a battlefield, where organizations want to push THEIR OWN competitive advantage, be the first one to blabla, the best one to blabla, where they hope to be THE solution's provider when multiple solutions are on the table because THEY can implement it before others.

--Daniel Glazman on the whatwg mailing list, Sunday, 11 Mar 2007 14:35:09

Saturday, June 23, 2007
The more I run Safari on Vista, the faster it launches. Am I hallucinating? Is there a cosmic force that means just when I complain about Safari taking 57 seconds to launch, as soon as that complaint is made public, it launches much more quickly? Am I going insane? Or is someone playing a clever prank on me? It's this kind of epistemological, reality-shifting shit that makes me not want to blog any more. We are at war with Eastasia. We were always at war with Eastasia. 2+2=5, and I love Steve Jobs.

--Joel Spolsky
Read the rest in Apple Safari for Windows: The world's slowest web browser

Friday, June 22, 2007
DRM's sole purpose is to maximize revenues by minimizing your rights so that they can sell them back to you.

--Ken Fisher
Read the rest in Privately, Hollywood admits DRM isn't about piracy

Thursday, June 21, 2007
Jean Paoli and Tom Robertson share a tear-jerking story on how Microsoft has "stepped up efforts" and "listened to customers." Microsoft "congratulates Ecma" for producing a 6,000-page specification that will "spark an explosion of innovation." The enemy, on the other hand, is using the "standards process to limit choice in the marketplace for ulterior commercial motives." Microsoft has the nerve to criticize competitors for having commercial motives?

--Håkon Wium Lie
Read the rest in Microsoft's amusing standards stance | Perspectives | CNET News.com

Wednesday, June 20, 2007
I don't, however, see much evidence that the "REST calculus" of GET/PUT/UPDATE/DELETE resources by transferring representations is actually used to model real applications of any complexity. Instead, people use GET for what it is obviously good for, and use POST as sortof a DoStuff() for everything else. In other words, most have learned to GET RESTfully, but just tunnel HTTP as shamelessly as any WS-* advocate for everything else.

--Michael Champion on the xml-dev mailing list, Sunday, 23 Feb 2006 13:55:54

Tuesday, June 19, 2007
You need to lay out the user interface components visually, by hand, with total control over where they go. Automated LayoutManagers don’t cut it. A corollary of this is that you can’t move a UI layout from one platform to another and have the computer make everything fit. Computers don’t lay out interfaces by themselves any better than they can translate French to English by themselves.

--Jens Alfke
Read the rest in Thought Palace » Blog Archive » In Which I Think About Java Again, But Only For A Moment

Monday, June 18, 2007
The costs of tinkering at the edges of XML far exceed the benefits, as the XML 1.1 fiasco demonstrates all too clearly.

--Michael Kay on the xml-dev mailing list, Friday, 18 Aug 2006 09:55:24

Saturday, June 16, 2007

In practice, having two incompatible versions of XML also makes life difficult for applications; if you generate XML 1.1, other applications might not be able to read it, and if you accept XML 1.1 you can't safely save it as XML 1.0 as it might use forbidden characters in markup.

The easiest solution to all these problems is just pretend that XML 1.1 never happened, which is what most people seem to be doing. I think that it would be best if the W3C recognised that the attempt has failed, and that trying to push it further would be counterproductive.

--Michael Day on the xml mailing list, Friday, 15 Jun 2007 16:29:33

Friday, June 15, 2007
It's rare that a change to a spec makes everyone happy. I'm not sure we (W3C) made _anyone_ happy with XML 1.1, unfortunately.

--Liam R E Quin on the xml mailing list, Sunday, 14 Jun 2007 21:56:30

Thursday, June 14, 2007

whenever mainstream media reports on a field I know something about, the errors are usually large and obvious. This makes me wonder about the fields I know little or nothing about, and leads me to believe that most reporters don't even qualify as generalists. The exceptions tend to be in narrow fields where you get truly passionate people - sports and movie/theater reviews, for instance.

What's happening with the web right now is that the minimal generalists of the media are being disintermediated as our sole sources of information - we can now hear from actual experts who can give us their opinions without "joe reporter" as the middle man. For obvious reasons, reporters dislike this trend, but that's the way it is. The carnage that's happening in the US newspaper business is the leading edge of that change-over, and it can't happen soon enough as far as I'm concerned.

--James Robertson
Read the rest in Professional Media Aren't

Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Massachusetts is mandating one standard to the exclusion of other specifications. But that’s good; you want to pick a single standard for a given purpose, to the exclusion of others, as long as all suppliers can implement the standard without unrelated restrictions. If we had two signal light standards, where red meant “stop” in one and “go” in another, we’d obviously have bad results. One of the biggest problems in information technology is that in some areas there are too many standards, instead of a single standard that everyone can agree on and use. Mandating a single standard for a given area is a very good thing, if all suppliers can implement the specification without legal, monetary, or other restrictions or discriminations. Massachusetts has really a strong case for selecting OpenDocument (the topic of this letter) as this standard

--David A. Wheeler
Read the rest in GROKLAW

Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Apple has managed to make it practical to view standard web pages on a 3.5 inch screen. I’ve thought from the beginning that the drastic compromises being made to wedge reduced-content web pages into current handheld devices was a interaction dead end, and I couldn’t be happier with the job Apple has done here. If Apple doesn’t carry over this technology into some kind of slate computer, they are not nearly as bright as I think they are.

--Bruce Tognazzini
Read the rest in The iPhone User Eperience: A First Look

Monday, June 11, 2007
Although an XForms plug-in is being implemented in Mozilla, the development of this plug-in takes longer than the birth of a human baby. Although standardized by the W3C as part of XHTML 2.0, XForms are widely ignored as "the next big thing".

--Adriaan de Jonge
Read the rest in XForms vs. Ruby on Rails

Sunday, June 10, 2007
Far worse than the economic divide is the fact that technology remains so complicated that many people couldn't use a computer even if they got one for free. Many others can use computers, but don't achieve the modern world's full benefits because most of the available services are too difficult for them to understand.

--Jakob Nielsen
Read the rest in Digital Divide: The Three Stages (Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox)

Friday, June 8, 2007
I've found XOM to be easy to use and to have a far better usefulness-to-abstraction ratio than the other Java XML stuff I've tried using.

--Ilan Volow on the java-dev mailing list, Tuesday, 19 Jul 2005 14:02:26

Thursday, June 7, 2007
There are already a lot of things you can do with mozilla that you just can't do with IE. 2007 could see Mozilla-only functionality being part of the next killer app. That's an internet with IE7 left behind.

--Didier PH Martin on the xml-dev mailing list, Wednesday, 17 Jan 2007 13:28:15

Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Failure is a matter of expectation. Is the Wiki format a failed technology? From the POV of sales, I am sure it it; from the POV of numbers using it, compared to Office or OpenOffice, I am sure it is; from the POV of its ability to be useful in creating Wikipedia-like things, it is obviously a roaring success (and Office and OpenOffice are failures).

--Rick Jelliffe on the xml-dev mailing list, Friday, 05 Jan 2007 21:24:47

Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Taking the SOAP 1.1 specification in isolation, my position on it is that it went too far. Had SOAP simply defined an envelope for XML message passing it would have been a small but interesting step forward. But the SOAP spec also defines an—admittedly optional—serialization mechanism; goes out of its way to be transport neutral, but then defines an HTTP binding that ignores the basic tenets of HTTP; and goes on to define a practice for using SOAP as an RPC mechanism. However, if one ignores the optional bits, SOAP itself isn’t that bad. The envelope design pattern can be useful.

--Pete Lacey
Read the rest in InfoQ: Interview: Pete Lacey Criticizes Web Services

Monday, June 4, 2007
Currently most web video seems to be H.263 in the Flash Video container, which is pretty lousy compared to all codecs discussed here.

--Maik Merten on the whatwg mailing list, Monday, 02 Apr 2007 20:50:40

Sunday, June 3, 2007
JSON is not going to seriously jeopardize XML in the enterprise space. It is not as expressive, cannot readily embed document content without relying upon some form of HTML or XHTML markup (which right there significantly weakens the parsing argument), requires a fairly complex markup for schema validation (or blithely ignores that one might in fact be needed), places a fairly heavy overhead consequently upon placing semantic markers within data streams, and doesn’t readily handling scaling. This is not to denigrate its use - I use JSON myself, and think there are places where it works quite well, but I think that in order for JSON to become as widely used as XML, it will end up looking so much like XML (with many of the same attendant problems) that it will likely prove to be just yet another markup language.

--Kurt Cagle
Read the rest in xforms vs. ruby - a rebuttal (sort of)

Saturday, June 2, 2007
the Web, since its inception, has always been about services, and therefore that “Web services” are redundant. Worse than that though, while the Web’s service model is highly constrained in order to provide important degrees of loose coupling, Web services are effectively unconstrained, and therefore much more tightly coupled. As a result, Web services are unsuitable for use at scale; certainly between enterprises, but even between departments in larger enterprises

--Mark Baker
Read the rest in Integrate This

Friday, June 1, 2007
All you need to logout of an HTTP session is a UI for telling the browser to stop sending its cached credential, which was obvious to everyone except the browser developers. Likewise, if the browser displayed the HTTP message sent with a 401 response, then application developers could easily define their own custom login dialogs. That is all part of the design of URI+HTTP+HTML -- the only bit missing was one implementation to show all the others how to do it.

--Roy T. Fielding on the REST discuss mailing list, Monday, 2 Oct 2006 19:22:19

Thursday, May 31, 2007
Forcing good coding serves the end user in the long run because it enforces discipline on the coders, even if they're "everyone and their younger cousins." The biggest offenders in the bad code department were many of the WYWIWYG HTML editors that didn't bother to validate the code they were creating, and since the browsers were forgiving "everyone and their younger cousins" thought everything was OK. Had the browsers complained, they would have found better WYSIWYG tools, and the makers of the WYSIWYG HTML editors would have fixed their editors to produce valid HTML.

--David W. Fenton on the wwwac mailing list, Friday, 23 Mar 2007 12:20:59

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

This attempt to define the problem at successively higher layers is doomed to fail because it's turtles all the way up: there will always be another layer above whatever can be described, a layer which contains the ambiguity of two-party communication that can never be entirely defined away.

No matter how carefully a language is described, the range of askable questions and offerable answers make it impossible to create an ontology that's at once rich enough to express even a large subset of possible interests while also being restricted enough to ensure interoperability between any two arbitrary parties.

The sad fact is that communicating anything more complicated than inches-to-millimeters, in a data space less fixed than stock quotes, will require AI of the sort that's been 10 years away for the past 50 years.

--Clay Shirky
Read the rest in webservices.xml.com: Web Services: It's So Crazy, It Just Might Not Work

Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Thanks to OS X, Apple has come back from the dead in a way that is extremely rare in technology. [2] Their victory is so complete that I'm now surprised when I come across a computer running Windows. Nearly all the people we fund at Y Combinator use Apple laptops. It was the same in the audience at startup school. All the computer people use Macs or Linux now. Windows is for grandmas, like Macs used to be in the 90s. So not only does the desktop no longer matter, no one who cares about computers uses Microsoft's anyway.

--Paul Graham
Read the rest in Microsoft is Dead

Monday, May 28, 2007

Regardless of the threat, from the would-be bombers' perspective, the explosives and planes were merely tactics. Their goal was to cause terror, and in that they've succeeded.

Imagine for a moment what would have happened if they had blown up 10 planes. There would be canceled flights, chaos at airports, bans on carry-on luggage, world leaders talking tough new security measures, political posturing and all sorts of false alarms as jittery people panicked. To a lesser degree, that's basically what's happening right now.

Our politicians help the terrorists every time they use fear as a campaign tactic. The press helps every time it writes scare stories about the plot and the threat. And if we're terrified, and we share that fear, we help. All of these actions intensify and repeat the terrorists' actions, and increase the effects of their terror.

--Bruce Schneier
Read the rest in Wired News: Refuse to be Terrorized

Sunday, May 27, 2007
Web Services based on SOAP and WSDL are "Web" in name only. In fact, they are a hostile overlay of the Web based on traditional enterprise middleware architectural styles that has fallen far short of expectations over the past decade.

--Nick Gall, VP Gartner
Read the rest in Position Paper For the Workshop on Web of Services for Enterprise Computing

Saturday, May 26, 2007
In all cases of which I'm aware, data on the web that's served as */xml is a symptom of a bug, and it is not OK for agents, web robots or any other kind, to infer #fragid rules.

--Tim Bray on the xml-dev mailing list, Sat, 20 Nov 2004

Friday, May 25, 2007
I've worked with at least one government agency. The decision makers there hardly care about the grass-root realities of development. They choose vendor X because it covers the maximum support services in the least cost. They choose technology Y because it is buzzword compliant, has the stamp of approval from some organisation/vendor that matters and they assume that the stamp of approval is sufficient to keep them out of trouble. Of course, they're right as far as keeping out of trouble is concerned. Nobody ever got fired for choosing IBM, right?

--Tahir Hashmi on the xml-dev mailing list, Saturday, 08 Jul 2006 11:48:38

Thursday, May 24, 2007

REST has been around for two decades. REST is the sum of practices that have worked on the web.

The term “REST” is new and indeed hyped, but REST is old and proven.

--A. Pagaltzis on the rest-discuss mailing list, Tuesday, 22 May 2007 16:16:53

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

This is the tragedy of the internet commons: we insist on building systems that assume that everyone will buy into the commons and work together, and then we're terribly put out when we hit that tipping point and the people who only see the commons as a resource to mine show up and we've not only forgotten to hire police, we don't have locks on gates -- because we forgot to build gates, and fences.

We did this first with SMTP and email; we're still trying to put that genie back in that bottle, but I think it's going to happen (and it's one reason I went to StrongMail, because they have a commitment to work with and drive standards to make it happen). Then we did it with USENET, but back then, the net was small enough we could still pretend it WAS a commons we'd all work for. But as it all grew, we started to see the problems, and believe me, a lot of good, intellgent and earnest people burnt out trying to figure out how to solve the problems that were created by making naive assumptions of trust in the design of USENET.

--Chuq Von Rospach
Read the rest in Chuqui 3.0: KATHY SIERRA: A history lesson from Usenet

Monday, May 21, 2007
It's astonishing how much effort goes into creating usability hell.

--Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis on the whatwg mailing list, Sunday, 18 Mar 2007 16:34:01

Saturday, May 19, 2007
GET is safe because it's defined to be safe. The server can do whatever it wants in response to receiving a GET message, but the important thing is that the both parties (and intermediaries) understand that the client isn't *asking* for unsafe stuff to happen and so can't be held accountable.

--Mark Baker on the rest-discuss mailing list, Friday, 13 Apr 2007 08:05:53

Thursday, May 17, 2007
The ability to create custom data models is an anti-feature that makes integration between different computer systems impossible because it assumes that those systems can actually understand the data. Computer systems have no such intelligence - they only understand what someone has programmed them to understand. To hit the sweet spot you must come up with a standard, simple format that every system can use.

--Charlie Savage
Read the rest in Lost in Abstraction

Wednesday, May 16, 2007
I can't find a single newspaper that doesn't have a slow-loading, hard-to-navigate, crapped-up home page. These things are aversive, confusing and often useless beyond endurance. Simplify the damn things. Quit trying to "drive traffic" into a maze where every link leads to another route through of the same mess. You have readers trying to learn something, not cars looking for places to park. And please, get rid of those lame registration systems. Quit trying to wring dollars out of every click. I guarantee you'll sell more advertising to more advertisers reaching more readers if you take down the barricades and (again) link outward more. And you'll save all kinds of time and hassle.

--Doc Searls
Read the rest in The Doc Searls Weblog : Saturday, March 24, 2007

Tuesday, May 15, 2007
The thing we've missed by not having anonymous posting, however, is the wide range of opinions and perspectives that first-time and very occasional visitors can bring to a discussion. While we still have some good conversations, they haven't nearly as lively since.

--Ed Foster
Read the rest in Ed Foster's Gripelog || Anonymous Posting Returns, I Hope

Tuesday, May 15, 2007
The benefit of XML is that we no longer have to reinvent clever ways of representing complex data, and can exercise our innovative skills at higher level of the system where it gives a greater return.

--Michael Kay on the xml-dev mailing list, Tuesday, 7 Dec 2004

Monday, May 14, 2007

XML as specified gives the DTDs contained in a document absolute authority - - conformant processors which check validity at all MUST check it against the DTD in the document -- i.e. producers/authors determine. This was a mistake. XML Schema allows producers/authors to specify the schema to use, but also allows consumers/readers to override that specification -- but crucially, if they choose not to override, conformant processors use what the producers specified.

CSS1 allowed authors to mark a rule as 'important' -- conformant user agents MUST treat an producer/author's important rule as determining. This was a mistake. CSS2 introduced '!important' to allow the consumer/reader to override. Again, crucially, if consumers choose not to override producers' choices must be followed.

What's important here is that consumers' wishes are paramount, but it _is_ none-the-less possible for producers to state their wishes as well.

--Henry S. Thompson on the www-tag mailing list, Saturday, 31 Mar 2007 14:09:23

Thursday, May 10, 2007
in REST, the enemy of GET is the proxy server that thinks it knows better. The one that returns 200+text/html when the far end 401s on you. The one that caches stuff for weeks, even when the TTL is seconds. The one that caches an incomplete download and serves up to other callers.

--Steve Loughran on the rest-discuss mailing list, Friday, 4 May 2007 11:01:16

Wednesday, May 9, 2007
The real issue here is that a very significant number of authors want to be able to say "make this bit of text Arial, 18pt" and the HTML spec doesn't want them to do that (for good reason).

--Adrian Sutton on the whatwg mailing list, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 19:00:53

Tuesday, May 8, 2007
XForms logic beats any other technique when used in XML documents with semi-structured nature. XForms logic is based on XML specifications and XPath queries. This notation requires a thorough understanding of XML, creativity with XPath, trial and error, and great talent for logical puzzles. For someone with the knowledge and experience of a software architect, the simple tools in XForms can be the building blocks of a very advanced and intelligent application.

--Adriaan de Jonge
Read the rest in XForms vs. Ruby on Rails

Monday, May 7, 2007
XForms is being used all over the place, just that most of those places are not necessarily the ones that the average web developer is privy to. Google XForms and health care - half a million entries. XForms and Insurance - 453,000. xforms and the military - 648,000 hits. A lot of ink has been spilled about Ruby on Rails, because the Internet most loves to talk about itself, but the reality is that, despite all of the problems that its taken for the XForms community to get past the wall of browser indifference, XForms has taken off in those places where it’s most suited, and this even before there’s a native version of XForms sitting in a browser.

--Kurt Cagle
Read the rest in xforms vs. ruby - a rebuttal (sort of)

Saturday, May 5, 2007
there were three factions in SGML: those who used OmniMark, those who used SGMLS or NSGMLS, and those who had to roll their own tools. While people in the first two factions certainly sometimes normalized their data into fully-unminimized forms, it really was the roll-your-own crowd, notably browser makers, who needed something simpler than SGML.

--Rick Jelliffe on the xml-dev mailing list, Wednesday, 7 Jun 2006 03:34:13 +1000

Friday, May 4, 2007
the proper way to deal with bad data is ALWAYS to try first and fix it at source. If you say this isn't an option, then I would want to know why. XML is an immensely valuable interchange format because it is so widely supported. The value comes both to the sender and the recipient. Generating something that is almost XML but not quite loses all this value, you might as well generate something that is completely proprietary. If your enterprise systems are producing incorrect XML, then every consumer of that data is going to incur large extra expense because they can't use standard off-the-shelf software to process it.

--Michael Kay on the saxon-help mailing list, Sunday, 11 Jan 2007 23:25:45

Thursday, May 3, 2007
CSS layout is like one of those games where you slide 15 tiles around in a 16-square matrix. In principle it is a declarative language, but in practice the techniques are highly procedural: Step 1, Step 2, etc.

--Jon Udell
Read the rest in Matthew Levine's holy grail « Jon Udell

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

comma-delimited ASCII doesn't work just as well.

First: comma-delimited. What if the fields contain commas? Or newlines? They need to be quoted (and the developers need to know that they need to be quoted), which means you've already got an interop problem, namely, which of the half-dozen flavors of CSV are you going to use?

Second: ASCII. 'Nuf said.

Third, and most important, is the shape of the data. Not everything fits in a list of homogeneous records, which is CSV's the natural shape. Of course you can wedge data that isn't shaped like an N by M table into a CSV file, but then you have to devise your own encoding scheme.

--Joe English on the xml-dev mailing list, Wednesday, 01 Jun 2005 13:20:25

Monday, April 30, 2007
It's depressing to think that SOAP started just about 10 years ago and that now that everything is said and done, we built RPC again.

--Tim Ewald
Read the rest in I finally get REST. Wow.

Saturday, April 28, 2007
If MSNBC had any sense, which it doesn’t, it would have taken every one-minute answer from last night’s ping-pong debate and put them up on YouTube themselves. Then, today, we’d be able to watch each one without feeling as if we were trying to count cars on a speeding train. And, more important, we’d be able to comment on them and embed them in our blogs. We’d see which clips are the most popular, the most talked about. We’d get a new sense of what the electorate thinks, which itself would be news. If NBC also made the video files available, we’d see the post-debate commentary not from the same old made-up faces on the networks but from the people who matter, the voters: us. MSNBC would be part of the conversation, in the thick of it, which is exactly where it should want to be. Instead, the network is acting like the bratty and unpopular rich kid who takes him marbles and harumphs home, ruining the game for everyone.

--Kevin Bondelli
Read the rest in KevinBondelli.com

Friday, April 27, 2007
I don’t have any money, but this will get you some great exposure! Heard this before, and 9 times out of 10, that’s complete and utter bullshit. Unless you have some hard evidence that your client’s project will, without a doubt, succeed, then don’t give in to this kind of ploy. Client’s that tell you this are generally just looking for some free design work and aren’t worth your time.

--Tyler Lemieux
Read the rest in DesignersMind » Blog Archive » Five reasons to turn down a potential client

Thursday, April 26, 2007
SVG is far superior to anything Flash offers in drawing options. Especially because it's scriptable while Flash shapes are not.

--Benjamin Otte
Read the rest in Blog for company

Wednesday, April 25, 2007
use XHTML 1.0 transitional instead of HTML 4.01. With XHTML it's always clear where the error really is, with HTML 4.01 you've to know the spec. by heart, and then no browser supports it.

--Frank Ellermann on the www-validator mailing list, Sunday, Tue, 24 Apr 2007 22:41:35

Tuesday, April 24, 2007
HTTP auth is every bit as stateful as cookie auth -- in both cases the state is managed in the client. The only real difference is that the client doesn't know what it is managing when it comes to cookie auth, and thus ends up leaking security credentials all over the place.

--Roy T. Fielding on the REST Discuss mailing list, Tuesday, 3 Oct 2006 13:56:07

Monday, April 23, 2007

Nearly every advance the web has taken is because of hand coders. The first people to use tables to be able to take a photoshop comp and accurately display it on the web, the people using CSS to do the same, AJAX, Dojo, etc. all were hand coders who looked at the code and saw new ways to manipulate it to get the next big thing.

I can't think of anything new that came from someone who just knew how to use Visual Studio or Dreamweaver.

--Ron Trenka on the WWWAC List mailing list

Saturday, April 21, 2007
In the progression of web application developers, there is a phase during which the developer has the power to build something really useful but lacks the ability to create useful URLs. This phase is dangerous because if the application becomes widely deployed, you're likely to be stuck with a namespace that complements its lack of expressibility with an overabundance of complexity.

--Derrick Pallas
Read the rest in Back That URL Up

Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Google? It’s like Fight Club. The first rule about Google is you don’t talk about Google. And the second rule about Google is you don’t talk about Google. Now that’s kind of secretive. But fun -- a lot of fun.

--Jeremy Allison:
Read the rest in Information Architecture > Service Oriented Architectures > Novell

Tuesday, April 17, 2007
It's hard to find real cases where hardware acceleration (or binary XML) makes sense for application work. If you're doing anything at all that's non-trivial (building an in-memory tree, sending transactions to a database, rendering into PDF, etc.) actual parsing is going to account for 1% or less (often much less) of total running time. That means that even if you a silver bullet that speeds up XML parsing by an order of magnitude, you'll be seeing less than a 1% speed improvement in your overall app

--David Megginson on the xml-dev mailing list, Friday, 23 Feb 2007 10:10:02

Monday, April 16, 2007
XML has become THE language of data transfer. This is not to say that I think that native XML databases will take over the world - I don’t, though I think the market for them is good - but only that as serialization formats go, XML is pretty much a given, and if you can provide a publishing API around your XML providers/consumer, so much the better.

--Kurt Cagle
Read the rest in xforms vs. ruby - a rebuttal (sort of)

Sunday, April 15, 2007
I remember when DoubleClick and third party cookies were "the big problem". It appears that Google will now be well beyond what DoubleClick could ever have hoped in terms of privacy violation.

--Andrew Gideon on the wwwac mailing list, Sunday, Sat, 14 Apr 2007 09:58:05

Friday, April 13, 2007
Learning WSDL is an exercise best reserved for the residents of the Fifth Circle of Hell

--Ted Neward
Read the rest in The ServerSide Interoperability Blog » Contract-First or Code-First Design

Thursday, April 12, 2007
I still don't like Opera. So what else is new? I love the features and the speed, but the user interface is quirky and annoying. Whenever I try to use it (on whatever platform), I find the experience a chore. In my book, a browser has to be fun to use; Opera isn't.

--Scot Finnie
Read the rest in Windows expert to Redmond: Buh

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

XML caught on because people liked the idea of separating information content from presentation, and XLink never recognized that. XML says you can use any names you like for your objects and their properties, but XLink says you have to call your relationships xlink:href.

In practice people are storing information in XML form, and using XSLT to transform it into presentation formats like HTML and PDF (via XSL-FO). If you do that, you can model your relationships any way you like, and give them names that make sense. XLink just doesn't add value in that scenario.

--Michael Kay on the xml-dev mailing list, Saturday, 2 Apr 2005 10:08:19

Tuesday, April 10, 2007
XML is on the visible web. Some won't look.

--Claude L (Len) Bullard, on the xml-dev mailing list, Monday, 24 Jul 2006 08:49:18

Sunday, April 8, 2007
If you know WSDL (and I do) and you can study the source code closely (which I did) you could kind-of figure out how to use each new web service API. But, that's a lot of work. Too much work if you ask me. It made me understand why Google, eBay, and Amazom.com all provided their own proprietary toolkits for Java, C and C#: These web services were complex and demanded not only a straightforward API but plenty of documentation to back them up. With JAX-WS you get neither of those things.

--Richard Monson-Haefel
Read the rest in I, Analyst: Redeemed! JAX

Friday, April 6, 2007

Another way to look at the validation problem is through the eyes of a software architect. We’re often concerned about “encapsulation”, the practice of keeping related business logic and data together. That practice can take the form of “objects” in OO systems, or just through the partitioning of data and processing logic in non-OO systems. In either form, the value there is that maintainability is improved.

Schemas, on the other hand, when used in a typical “gatekeeper” style - where the software doesn’t see the document until after it’s passed validation - break encapsulation by enforcing some business rules separately from the software responsible for them. In practice, it’s rarely the case that software doesn’t also have some of these rules, meaning that they’re duplicated, creating a maintainability issue.

--Mark Baker
Read the rest in Integrate This»Blog Archive » Two more reasons why validation is still harmful

Thursday, April 5, 2007
XForms is more elegant than pragmatic. It is a solution designed on paper instead of extracting it out of the real world. It is designed to solve common real world problems in a limited scope and fails to further evolve from implementation experience. The XForms concept was born from a vision but it is being implemented like a mandatory school assignment. The key advantages of XForms have an academic nature. This is the exact reason why I like them myself. It is also the exact reason why it fails in the real world. History teaches us that all famous theories, models and ideas in any possible science, have one thing in common. Simplicity! The complexity of the XForms specification grew out of proportions. No amount of pragmatism is able to fix that once the harm is done.

--Adriaan de Jonge
Read the rest in XForms vs. Ruby on Rails

Wednesday, April 4, 2007
I've decided weblogs are to this decade as editors were to the 1970s. You have to write your own. It's a pretty thin rationale - the 1970s more or less sucked as I recall*.

--Bill de hÓra
Read the rest in Bill de hÓra: Journal Migration I: export entries from

Tuesday, April 3, 2007
Mainly, though, W3C’s site houses a collection of proposals, drafts, and Recommendations, written by geeks for geeks. And when I say geeks, I don’t mean ordinary web professionals like you and me. I mean geeks who make the rest of us look like Grandma on the first day She’s Got Mail.™

--Jeffrey Zeldman
Read the rest in A List Apart: Articles: Fix Your Site With the Right DOCTYPE!

Monday, April 2, 2007
We can make things much easier if the people writing the software would just let go a little more and stop demanding that all the information go in some opaque (to the web) backend data silo (i.e., a database).

--Ian Bicking
Read the rest in An Easier Legacy

Friday, March 30, 2007

Fully and correctly implementing Open XML will require the cloning of a large portion of Microsoft’s product. Best of luck doing that, especially since they have over a decade head start. Also, since they have avoided using industry standards like SVG and MathML, you’ll have to reimplement Microsoft’s flavor of many things. You had better start now. So therefore I conclude that while Microsoft may end up supporting most of Open XML (and we’ll have to see the final products to see how much and how correctly), other products will likely only end up supporting a subset.

That means that other products and software, in practice, will NOT be able to understand arbitrary Open XML that might be thrown at them. There is just too much. Therefore they will only create a bit that they need and send that off. Send it off to whom? The only software that might understand it, namely Microsoft Office.

So this is how I see this playing out: Open XML will be nearly fully read and written by Microsoft products, but only written in subset form by other software. This means that data in Open XML form will be largely sucked into the Microsoft ecosystem but very little will escape for full and practical use elsewhere.

--Bob Sutor
Read the rest in Bob Sutor: Open Blog | Is Open XML a one way specification for most people?

Thursday, March 29, 2007
XML Schema was too much, too late.

--Peter Hunsberger on the xml-dev mailing list, Sunday, 25 Jan 2007 08:52:46

Wednesday, March 28, 2007
ODF is an XML-based dump of the internal data structures of OpenOffice, while OOXML is an XML-based dump of the internal data structures of Microsoft Office.

--Håkon Wium Lie
Read the rest in Microsoft's amusing standards stance | Perspectives | CNET News.com

Monday, March 26, 2007
Stop giving away the news and charging for the olds. Okay, give away the news, if you have to, on your website. There's advertising money there. But please, open up the archives. Stop putting tomorrow's fishwrap behind paywalls. (Dean Landsman was the first to call this a "fishwrap fee".) Writers hate it. Readers hate it. Worst of all, Google and Yahoo and Technorati and Icerocket and all your other search engines ignore it. Today we see the networked world through search engines. Hiding your archives behind a paywall makes your part of the world completely invisilble. If you open the archives, and make them crawlable by search engine spiders, your authority in your commmunity will increase immeasurably. (This point is proven by Santa Barbara vs. Fort Myers, both with papers called News-Press, one with contents behind a paywall and the other wide open.) Plus, you'll open all that inventory to advertising possibilities. And I'll betcha you'll make more money with advertising than you ever made selling stale editorial to readers who hate paying for it. (And please, let's not talk about Times Select. Your paper's not the NY Times, and the jury is waaay out on that thing.)

--Doc Searls
Read the rest in The Doc Searls Weblog : Saturday, March 24, 2007

Sunday, March 25, 2007
HTML started simply, with structured markup, no licensing requirements, and the ability to link to anything. More than anything, this simplicity and openness has led to its tremendous and continued success,

--Tim Berners-Lee
Read the rest in W3C Relaunches HTML Activity

Sunday, March 18, 2007
The Point of CSS is to use clean, simple HTML in your page, then write CSS “rules” that style the objects on your page. The page stays clean and looks cool, and your HTML page works on both mobile devices and regular browsers. That’s the point of CSS.
But The Art of CSS is quickly and easily referring to the right objects in your page from your CSS rules. The act of matching CSS rules to HTML tags is like a conversation: both sides need to be clear and in sync with each other, or they’ll talk over each other and you’ll get a headache from all the yelling.

--John Manoogian III
Read the rest in John Manoogian III » Blog Archive » (The Only) Ten Things To Know About CSS

Thursday, March 15, 2007
the REST debate has dope-slapped a lot of people who thought we should/would write new interfaces for every GetRandomThing() operation they might conceptualize. That is a VERY Good Thing.

--Michael Champion on the xml-dev mailing list, Sunday, 23 Feb 2006 13:55:54

Wednesday, March 14, 2007
One downside of using HTML is that errors in the document can cause odd behaviour and can be harder to track down than errors in XML/XHTML.

--Michael Day on the WHAT WG List mailing list, Sunday, 08 Mar 2007 15:04:20

Tuesday, March 13, 2007
XML still isn't likely to change the Web much on the client side, beyond the role it plays in Ajax and related technologies. (Even that role is likely to be reduced by JSON.) The dreams of XML hypertext are dead, or at least thoroughly dormant.

--Simon St. Laurent
Read the rest in XML.com: The XQuery Chimera Takes Center Stage

Monday, March 12, 2007
      <name gender="male"><surname>Saddam</surname> Hussein</name>
      <name gender="female">Susan B. <surname>Anthony</surname></name>
      <name gender="male">Al <surname>Unser</surname> Jr.</name>
      <name gender=”male”>Don Alonso <surname>Quixote</surname>
        de la Mancha</name>

--David Megginson
Read the rest in Megginson Technologies: Quoderat

Saturday, March 10, 2007
The poor uptake of XLink suggests there is some funny dynamic at play hindering linking in general, independent of the technical excellence of the solutions.

--Rick Jelliffe on the xml-dev mailing list, Wednesday, 7 Jun 2006 03:44:21 +1000

Friday, March 9, 2007
SQL/XML hits the sweet spot for me. Currently I need to interrogate a single relational schema in order to generate XML, which can later be styled to whatever output format is required using XSLT. SQL/XML is ideal - it doesn't require much more stuff to learn - just a bunch of XML generating primitives layered on top of nested queries, which is reasonably straightforward, although I find I easily get lost in the bracketing!

--John Watson on the xml-dev mailing list, Thu, 11 Nov 2004

Thursday, March 8, 2007
For years, there are two messages that have consistently come from Microsoft - "We don't want to change the browser because we are afraid of angering our customers" and "The W3C has taken too long to get any standards work done, and the free-market approach that we espouse work better because we're more reactive to our customers." I think they are mutually exclusive. Most of the core work within the W3C was done between 1998 and 2003; in some cases there are second generation iterations of technologies that have been around for less time than IE went through any significant upgrade. Yet Microsoft has done almost nothing to work with these, has implemented those standards that it had a direct hand in (XSD Schema, which is a mess) and largely ignored those standards that it didn't.

--Kurt Cagle on the xml-dev mailing list, Saturday, 20 Jan 2007 16:28:26

Wednesday, March 7, 2007
How is it that professional web designers can go through all the motions of site design, from "branding" to Information Architecture, all the way down through wireframing and compositions, and NO one is capable of saying "Hey lads, no one can read that font, it's too small". No even thinks of saying "Lads, blue on blue probably isn't a good idea".

--Des Traynor
Read the rest in What the large font giveth, the small font taketh away

Tuesday, March 6, 2007
What we have today with XML is uniform structure, which has enough of an infrastructure that you have xml editors, xsl engines, xpath viewers, all of which use that structure. These tools help embed XML into the world (people expect XML formats for everything) while not actually helping users once you get beyond the structural basics, unless they are knee-deep in application specific code (i.e. Ant-aware editors that know about property settings, targets, <import> etc)

--Steve Loughran on the rest-discuss mailing list, Sunday, 25 Feb 2007 17:03:09

Monday, March 5, 2007

Here's the value proposition. Wi-Fi is currently at 54 Mbps and has been for years. Reaching 100 Mbps is easily achievable thanks to pre-n and other tricks. The cell connections run from 384 Kbps with EDGE up to maybe 2 Mbps on EV-DO, if you're lucky. These are the speeds we were playing with 10 years ago, but now they're some sort of breakthrough. Yes, it's a kind of breakthrough, considering the phone companies' old 115-Kbps GPRS clunker technologies.

For these speeds—which are capped, mind you, so you cannot actually use what you are sold—you pay $50, $60, maybe $70 a month. And for that money, you get to send files from a park bench a couple of times a week or maybe once a month from the airport. Is the public so stupid that if given the choice between that service and free municipal Wi-Fi, they'd want the slower expensive service over the free faster service?

Probably not when the extremes are that broad, but you can be sure that the local politicians will cave on this, and we can forget free municipal Wi-Fi and Skype phones. Free is, by definition, communist! And it hurts free enterprise!

Who needs progress when you have profits?

--John C. Dvorak
Read the rest in The Killing of Wi-Fi : The Threat of Wi-Fi

Sunday, March 4, 2007
Noone cares about error handling or the lack thereof. People care about features. Had there actually been effort to add useful capabilities to XHTML above and beyond HTML4, then there would have been adoption – draconian error handling and all. Only eggheads like you and I care about markup, and as it is, XHTML doesn’t anything to ordinary people.

--Aristotle Pagaltzis
Read the rest in XML 2.0: XML with graceful error handling?

Saturday, March 3, 2007
Wordpress is written in PHP 4. It can not benefit from the best Tidylib, the real DOM-extension, XML Reader, XML Writer or Simple XML. All those extensions require PHP 5. Nor can Wordpress do professional interaction with the DBMS through mysqli or PDO, since those also require PHP 5. Wordpress may be spectacularly successful, but IMHO it's design is a really crappy one. It was at the right time at the right place, but it is not a good example of how to do an enterprise PHP application.

--Keryx Web on the whatwg mailing list, Saturday, 17 Feb 2007 18:31:27

Friday, March 2, 2007
If there are many URIs for a given resource, the best implementation is for all of the other URIs to redirect to the one URI that is deemed to be "best" for the resource's unique semantics. The reason for that is not REST or Web Architecture (though both are specifically designed to enable it): the reason is network economics as expressed by power laws, Metcalfe's law, PageRank, and a hundred other restatements of the factors that place value on social networks.

--Roy T. Fielding on the rest-discuss mailing list, Sunday, 4 Jan 2007 14:16:58

Thursday, March 1, 2007
anyone trying to process XML without using a proper XML parser is creating a pending disaster for themselves.

--Michael Kay on the jdom-interest mailing list, Wednesday, 22 Nov 2006 23:58:15

Wednesday, February 28, 2007
We must accept the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.

--HL Mencken
Read the rest in Faith | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited

Tuesday, February 27, 2007
You cannot cherry pick life whether life in 2007 or life in the history page marked 1945. You can't keep the facts that fit your prejudices and throw out the ones that destroy your theories. If you're going to try to do that, if you still want to fool some people into thinking that Saddam was Hitler and once we gave FDR that blank check in Germany, he was no longer subject to the laws of Congress or gravity or physics, at least stop humiliating us. Get your facts straight. Use the Google.

--Keith Olbermann
Hear the rest in Special Comment: Secretary Rice, Get Your Facts Straight!

Sunday, February 25, 2007
If you have no competition the most likely reason for that is that there's no money to be made. There are six billion people on this planet, and it's very unlikely that every last of them will have left a lucrative market niche completely unexploited.

The good news is that it is very likely that your competition sucks. The vast majority of businesses are not run very well. They make shoddy products. They treat their customers and their employees like shit. It's not hard to find market opportunities where you can go in and kick the competition's ass. You don't want no competition, what you want is bad competition. And there's plenty of that out there.

--Ron Garrett
Read the rest in Rondam Ramblings: Top ten geek business myths

Saturday, February 24, 2007
I suspect the only thing with a hope of dissuading UAs from doctype sniffing is sternly telling them that they SHOULD implement doctype sniffing. ;)

--Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis on the whatwg mailing list, Monday, 12 Feb 2007 12:09:03

Friday, February 23, 2007
I awoke this morning in New York City to find Britney Spears plastered all over the cover of two gigantic daily newspapers, simply because she cut her hair off over the weekend. To me, this crosses a line. My definition of a news story involves something happening. If nothing happens, then you can't have "news," because nothing has changed since the day before. Britney Spears was an idiot last Thursday, an idiot on Friday, and an idiot on both Saturday and Sunday. She was, shockingly, also an idiot on Monday. It will be news when she stops being an idiot, and we'll know when that happens, because she'll have shot herself for the good of the planet. Britney Spears cutting her hair off is the least-worthy front page news story in the history of humanity.

--Matt Taibbi
Read the rest in AlterNet: Maybe We Deserve to Be Ripped Off By Bush's Billionaires

Thursday, February 22, 2007
If you have to write new client-side software to deal with your new server-side software, you have failed the REST test. A generic browser with sufficient knowledge of standard verbs and content types should be able to access and interact with your RESTful service. Special-purpose clients can still be written, but they should never be required.

--Benjamin Carlyle on the rest-discuss mailing list, Sunday, 01 Oct 2006 16:32:00

Wednesday, February 21, 2007
DTDs are not hard to learn, are very effective for tool users, and for many purposes, all one needs. That people rely on the XML specification over the myriad competing applications of XML is not that surprising. When something works, stop.

--Claude L (Len) Bullard on the xml-dev mailing list, Monday, 1 Nov 2004

Monday, February 19, 2007
Opera, Safari, Konquerer and Mozilla all support SVG. Microsoft uses VML, which is poorly documented, poorly implemented, has strong dependencies on Microsoft libraries and has been "frozen" since the mid-1990s. When Adobe's SVG plugin support expires in 2008, how many people who are depending upon SVG for their applications (such as the city of Toronto, not a small customer by any means) will just decide to refactor their applications to work on Mozilla and jettison their reliance on IE. When XForms support becomes integrated into Mozilla as part of the core suite (mid-summer 2007) how many customers of Infopath will start to see this as a commercially viable alternative? Or when Opera and Safari follow suit? How many web developers will just say "to hell with it" because IE's JavaScript support (excuse me, JScript support) doesn't even bother to support getters or setters, and the costs of maintaining two code bases gets to be too onerous. No, the lagging users are still firmly in the MIcrosoft camp, but the leading edge has been dropping IE in favor of alternatives at a far higher rate than the ones that are going the other way.

--Kurt Cagle on the xml-dev mailing list, Saturday, 20 Jan 2007 16:28:26

Saturday, February 17, 2007
Since I am (among other things) a PHP developer I know all there is to know about sloppy coding... ;-)

--Keryx Web on the whatwg mailing list, Saturday, 17 Feb 2007 18:31:27

Friday, February 16, 2007
I believe we're making zero progress in computer security, and have been making zero progress for quite some time. Consider this: it's 2005 and people still get viruses. How much progress are we making, really? If we can't get a handle on relatively simple problems such as controlled execution and filesystem/kernel permissions, how much progress are we going to make on the really hard problems of security, such as dealing with transitive trust? It's 2005, and IT managers still don't seem to know how to build networks that don't collapse when a worm gets loose on them. Security thinkers realized back in the early 80's that networks were a good medium for attack propagation and that networks would need to be broken into separate security domains with gateways between them. None of this is rocket science - I think that what we're seeing today is the results of this massive exuberance in the late 1990's in which everyone rushed to put all their mission critical assets onto these poorly protected networks that they then hooked to the Internet. That was a dumb idea, and that fact just hasn't sunk in, yet.

--Marcus Ranum
Read the rest in Interview with Marcus Ranum

Thursday, February 15, 2007
I have nothing good to say about the WSDL 1.1 specification (I’m sticking with the 1.1 specs as those are still the WS-I recommended versions). It is overly complex, often ambiguous, and occasionally inconsistent. In practice, tool-generated WSDL documents are nightmarish to read and the source of half of all interoperability issues (and I’m not referring to any XML Schema components). It’s also my position that WSDL is being used as a crutch by web service vendors and developers, even though the functionality it provides should be wholly unnecessary.

--Pete Lacey
Read the rest in InfoQ: Interview: Pete Lacey Criticizes Web Services

Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Cascading Style Sheets are an excellent tool used by web developers to put the repetitive formatting details -- font Tahoma, color Mauve, weight Bold, etc -- in a single, easy to maintain place. Of course, no developer actually expects to work on a site that utilizes them. But still, it's comforting to think that maybe, one day, one of us just might be lucky enough to come across that one client who actually uses them somewhat properly.

--Alex Papadimoulis
Read the rest in The Daily WTF

Tuesday, February 13, 2007
I really don't know whether we'll be printing the Times in five years, and you know what? I don't care either,

--Arthur Ochs Sulzberger
Read the rest in NY Times publisher: Our goal is to manage the transition from print to internet - Haaretz

Monday, February 12, 2007
I would normally expect 512Mb to be sufficient to process an 80Mb source file - but not with much to spare! But it depends greatly on (a) the nature of the file (number of nodes matters more than number of bytes), and (b) the processing that the stylesheet is actually doing.

--Michael Kay on the saxon-help mailing list, Wed, 2 Feb 2005 16:31:48 -0000

Sunday, February 11, 2007
I don't ever recall any version of DRM that didn't at least attempt to keep me from doing legal and useful things with whatever it was the DRM crudware was allegedly protecting. With PDFs it's typically trying to keep me from printing, and from using copy and paste. And that's just when the DRM isn't so broken that I can't open the fripping thing in the first place without stripping out the DRM.

--John Levine on the cpb mailing list, Sunday, Jan 2007 04:26:26

Friday, February 9, 2007
Things are easier now that we no longer have to appeal to companies to be “better Web citizens,” which was like asking Nestle to promote fruit as a healthy alternative. Now we simply point out that over 90 million people don’t use Internet Explorer, and some of them just might have money to spend on your services.

--Blake Ross
Read the rest in Interview with Firefox Founder and Creator Blake Ross » Opera Watch

Thursday, February 8, 2007
Resources are an abstraction -- a source of goodness as perceived by the person who linked to that resource that is in the form of a value-giver over time. There are no resources on the Web -- only senders and receivers of representations that have the effect of evaluating a resource mapping at invocation time, thereby becoming "the resource" as we perceive it over time even though we all know it is just a finite data server at any single point in time.

--Roy T. Fielding on the rest-discuss mailing list, Sunday, 4 Jan 2007 14:16:58

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

The third alternative is to abolish DRMs entirely. Imagine a world where every online store sells DRM-free music encoded in open licensable formats. In such a world, any player can play music purchased from any store, and any store can sell music which is playable on all players. This is clearly the best alternative for consumers, and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat. If the big four music companies would license Apple their music without the requirement that it be protected with a DRM, we would switch to selling only DRM-free music on our iTunes store. Every iPod ever made will play this DRM-free music.

Why would the big four music companies agree to let Apple and others distribute their music without using DRM systems to protect it? The simplest answer is because DRMs haven’t worked, and may never work, to halt music piracy. Though the big four music companies require that all their music sold online be protected with DRMs, these same music companies continue to sell billions of CDs a year which contain completely unprotected music. That’s right! No DRM system was ever developed for the CD, so all the music distributed on CDs can be easily uploaded to the Internet, then (illegally) downloaded and played on any computer or player.

In 2006, under 2 billion DRM-protected songs were sold worldwide by online stores, while over 20 billion songs were sold completely DRM-free and unprotected on CDs by the music companies themselves. The music companies sell the vast majority of their music DRM-free, and show no signs of changing this behavior, since the overwhelming majority of their revenues depend on selling CDs which must play in CD players that support no DRM system.

So if the music companies are selling over 90 percent of their music DRM-free, what benefits do they get from selling the remaining small percentage of their music encumbered with a DRM system? There appear to be none. If anything, the technical expertise and overhead required to create, operate and update a DRM system has limited the number of participants selling DRM protected music. If such requirements were removed, the music industry might experience an influx of new companies willing to invest in innovative new stores and players. This can only be seen as a positive by the music companies.

--Steve Jobs
Read the rest in Apple

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

We seem to have sunk to a kind of playground system of forming contracts. Tag, you agree! Lawyers will tell you that you can form a binding agreement just by following a link, stepping into a store, buying a product, or receiving an email. By standing there, shaking your head, and shouting "NO NO NO I DO NOT AGREE," you agree to let the other guy come over to your house, clean out your fridge, wear your underwear and make some long-distance calls.

For example, if you buy a downloadable movie from Amazon Unbox, you agree to let them install spyware on your computer, delete any file they don't like on your hard-drive, and cancel your viewing privileges for any reason. Of course, it goes without saying that Amazon reserves the right to modify the agreement at any time.

--Cory Doctorow
Read the rest in Shrinkwrap Licenses: An Epidemic Of Lawsuits Waiting To Happen

Monday, February 5, 2007
Deep down inside every software developer, there's a budding graphic designer waiting to get out. And if you let that happen, you're in trouble. Or at least your users will be, anyway

--Jeff Atwood
Read the rest in Coding Horror: This Is What Happens When You Let Developers Create UI

Sunday, February 4, 2007
Snap's preview anywhere gizmo is ruining the reading experience for millions of people. Its intrusive, obstructive and unuseful in almost every respect and use case. The fact that so many big blogs are using it, big well respected blogs, does not mean that it's useful, it just means that they, like most bloggers, have all the self restraint of a magpie in a sparkly things factory.

--Nick Wilson
Read the rest in 3 Reasons Why Snap Preview is Ruining Your Blog, and Hurting Your Readership | Performancing.com

Saturday, February 3, 2007
This is a running criticism I have of Microsoft's Office Open XML (OOXML). It has been narrowly crafted to accommodate a single vendor's applications. Its extreme length (over 6,000 pages) stems from it having detailed every wart of MS Office in an inextensible, inflexible manner. This is not a specification; this is a DNA sequence.

--Rob Weir
Read the rest in An Antic Disposition: How to hire Guillaume Portes

Friday, February 2, 2007
the combination of XML and XPath hits a sweet spot for data formats that need to be extensible; that is to say, it’s pretty easy to write XML-processing code that won’t fail in the presence of changes to the message format that don’t touch the piece you care about.

--Tim Bray
Read the rest in ongoing · JSON and XML

Thursday, February 1, 2007
Back in '96-'97, me and a group of people, many of whom are here at Google, helped build stuff that these days is called AJAX. We sat down and took a hard look at what was going to happen with the Internet and we concluded, in the face of unyielding opposition and animosity from virtually every senior person at Microsoft, that the thick client was on its way out and it was going to be replaced by browser-based apps. Saying this at Microsoft back in '96 was roughly equivalent to wandering around in a fire wearing matches, but we concluded we should go and build this thing. And we put all this stuff together so people could build thin-client applications.

--Adam Bosworth
Read the rest in Google's Bosworth: Why AJAX Failed (Then Succeeded)

Wednesday, January 31, 2007
All code is terminal. It lives under a death sentence. Data is immortal.

--Ken Downs
New York PHP user's group, 2006-10-24

Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Parsing XML should be pretty trivial, except for the annoying internal subset part. You basically have an inputstream which gives characters to the tokenizer and the parser checks if the tokens come in the right order and create a “correct tree” and all that. So all pretty straightforward. Parsing HTML is different. You still have an inputstream. You still have a tokenizer stage, but it’s more complicated. It has to deal with error handling, but also with input from the parser stage as some states within tokenizer do different things depending on which token has just been emitted. For instance, after you have encountered a script element start tag you have to consume characters and append them to the element until you see a script element closing tag (basically some lookahead handling after </). You also can’t simply tell a treebuilder that a start tag has been seen. Sometimes you need to insert elements directly before the last opened table element for instance (simply said). James is going to look into building some type of API on top of the parser so that everyone can implement that API and produce the tree he or she needs, such as ElementTree.

--Anne van Kesteren
Read the rest in Project html5lib: performance

Monday, January 29, 2007

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--Go Daddy Terms of Service
Read the rest in Low cost domain names, domain transfers, web hosting, email accounts, and so much more.

Sunday, January 28, 2007
You don't adopt the mannerisms of big, successful companies when you're small, because those mannerisms aren't what made the companies successful. They're actually symptoms of what is killing the company, because it's become too big. It's like if you meet an really old, really rich guy covered in liver spots and breathing with an oxygen tank, and you say, "I want to be rich, too, so I'm going to start walking with a cane and I'm going to act crotchety and I'm going to get liver disease."

--Wil Shipley
Read the rest in On Being and Deliciousness, with Wil Shipley

Friday, January 26, 2007
The "LISP could do everything XML does 30 years ago" argument is not new either. It is beside the point, however: for whatever reason, XML has become establisned as a ubiquitous standard and has got the network effect working in its favor, the other possibilities such as LISP and ASN.1 never did. Maybe we would have been better off if they had, but we'll never know.

--Michael Champion on the xml-dev mailing list, Saturday, 4 Dec 2004

Thursday, January 25, 2007
If you are interested in a W3C technology, don't leave it to the last moment to find out what is happening.

--Steven Pemberton
Read the rest in Mozilla Firefox

Wednesday, January 24, 2007
what C++ did to C, is what XSLT 2.0 has done to XSLT 1.0.

--Mukul Gandhi on the xsl-list mailing list, Wednesday, 24 Jan 2007 00:00:39

Tuesday, January 23, 2007
The most unfortunate aspect of the show was the lack of wi-fi on the first day. Bloggers will forgive just about anything except bad wi-fi.

--hugh macleod
Read the rest in gapingvoid: "cartoons drawn on the back of business cards": le web 3

Monday, January 22, 2007
To dwell a bit more on XML Schema, I have to say that it is a deeply flawed specification. Not only is it notoriously complex and inconsistently implemented, it is fundamentally incapable of representing textual XML documents, as opposed to XML documents representing typed data. And even for representing data it leaves much to be desired. Burton Group is soon to publish a best practices document I wrote for creating interoperable, data-oriented schemas, but I can summarize it here: don’t use anonymous types, don’t use element groups, don’t use attribute groups, don’t use redefine, don’t use “any” elements, don’t use anyAttribute, don’t use anyType, don’t use lists, don’t use unions, don’t use substitution groups, and so on. So, not only is the ability to create typed instance documents of dubious value, XML Schema isn’t particularly good at doing it. If you want to use a schema language, use RelaxNG or Schematron instead.

--Pete Lacey
Read the rest in InfoQ: Interview: Pete Lacey Criticizes Web Services

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Happy Fun JSON is not really an API. Happy Fun JSON is not a bold declaration of side-taking in the grand war of web service specifications. Do not base business models on Happy Fun JSON. Caution: Happy Fun JSON may suddenly accelerate to dangerous speeds or stop altogether. Happy Fun JSON contains a liquid core, which, if exposed due to rupture, should not be touched, inhaled, or looked at. Ingredients of Happy Fun JSON include an unknown glowing substance which fell to Earth, presumably from outer space. If Happy Fun JSON begins to smoke, get away immediately. Seek shelter and cover head.

Do not taunt Happy Fun JSON.

Having said all that? Happy Fun JSON is pretty fun to throw around

Read the rest in 0xDECAFBAD » do not taunt happy fun JSON

Saturday, January 20, 2007

It is becoming very obvious what will happen over the next two to three years. More and more of us will be downloading movies and television shows over the net and with that our usage patterns will change. Instead of using 1-3 gigabytes per month, as most broadband Internet users have in recent years, we'll go to 1-3 gigabytes per DAY -- a 30X increase that will place a huge backbone burden on ISPs. Those ISPs will be faced with the option of increasing their backbone connections by 30X, which would kill all profits, OR they could accept a peering arrangement with the local Google data center.

Seeing Google as their only alternative to bankruptcy, the ISPs will all sign on, and in doing so will transfer most of their subscriber value to Google, which will act as a huge proxy server for the Internet. We won't know if we're accessing the Internet or Google and for all practical purposes it won't matter. Google will become our phone company, our cable company, our stereo system and our digital video recorder. Soon we won't be able to live without Google, which will have marginalized the ISPs and assumed most of the market capitalization of all the service providers it has undermined -- about $1 trillion in all -- which places today's $500 Google share price about eight times too low.

--Mark Stephens
Read the rest in I, Cringely . The Pulpit . When Being a Verb is Not Enough | PBS

Thursday, January 18, 2007
If there's anything we can learn from the mess that is RSS, at a certain point feed consumers should be allowed to say simply that a buggy feed is a buggy feed and that it falls on the responsibility of the feed publisher to get things right.

--James M Snell on the atom-syntax mailing list, Monday, 01 Jan 2007 16:00:09

Wednesday, January 17, 2007
My own failure to convince Zawinski that a GPL dual-license was a good thing for Mozilla still smarts; it meant that for the first couple of years of the Mozilla project (until dual-licensing took place, after Zawinski quit), Gnome developers were shut out completely.

--Roland Turner
Read the rest in Armadillo Reticence: Sun, Java and GPLv2

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The distinction between operations and tasks is important in application design because the goal is to optimize the user interface for task performance, rather than sub-optimize it for individual operations. For example, Judy Olson and Erik Nilsen wrote a classic paper comparing two user interfaces for large data tables. One interface offered many more features for table manipulation and each feature decreased task-performance time in specific circumstances. The other design lacked these optimized features and was thus slower to operate under the specific conditions addressed by the first design's special features.

So, which of these two designs was faster to use? The one with the fewest features. For each operation, the planning time was 2.9 seconds in the stripped-down design and 4.6 seconds in the feature-rich design. With more choices, it takes more time to make a decision on which one to use. The extra 1.7 seconds required to consider the richer feature set consumed more time than users saved by executing faster operations.

--Jakob Nielsen
Read the rest in Productivity and Screen Size (Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox)

Monday, January 15, 2007
Please don't insult users with advertised prices that presuppose successful submission of a rebate form. It is not difficult to fill these forms out; but the error rate among rebate processing places is high enough to make it a lot of extra effort. When your customers have to sue either you or your supplier to get their rebates, they don't come back. Just advertise the amount you'll actually charge to the customer's credit card. If you can't work out a deal with the vendor offering the rebate, just drop it. It's better for everybody.

--Peter Seebach
Read the rest in The cranky user: Ho ho hum online retailers

Sunday, January 14, 2007
In the past when I have delivered lectures to web application developers I would caution them to never trust user input. Perhaps developers took this philosophy a little too far. The entire operating system now seems to have turned against the user. Zero tolerance drivers and regulation code will lock the system down if any type of deviance is detected. So called “tilt bits” will signal an attack on the system if anything is found out of the ordinary. These changes won’t enhance user security unfortunately as they were designed to protect only “premium content”. Medical data, credit card numbers, and other private things that do deserve this level of protection are completly ignored. Untrusting of any environmental changes the system will shut down or degrade performance in response to a perceived attack.

--Oliver Day
Read the rest in Analysis of Microsoft's Suicide Note (part 1) — BadVista

Saturday, January 13, 2007
REST works because it makes absolutely no attempt to understand what the resource is, how it might be implemented, or the scope of how it will change over time. It eliminates the semantic burden of understanding by focusing only on the interface as a means of hiding knowledge from the other side, yet communicating all that needs to be said in the same way that two people communicate -- tossing representations across the gap with a relatively small number of pitch inflections to indicate what is expected in return. In short, REST doesn't care what the resource is or how many URIs identify the same resource, because to care would require understanding that would lead to coupling which is more dangerous than inefficiency.

--Roy T. Fielding on the rest-discuss mailing list, Sunday, 4 Jan 2007 14:16:58

Friday, January 12, 2007

Jobs, in fact, couldn't possibly be more out of touch with today's Web 2.0 ethos, which is all about grand platforms, open systems, egalitarianism, and the erasing of the boundary between producer and consumer. Like the iPod, the iPhone is a little fortress ruled over by King Steve. It's as self-contained as a hammer. It's a happening staged for an elite of one. The rest of us are free to gain admission by purchasing a ticket for $500, but we're required to remain in our seats at all times while the show is in progress. User-generated content? Hah! We're not even allowed to change the damn battery. In Jobs's world, users are users, creators are creators, and never the twain shall meet.

Which is, of course, why the iPhone, like the iPod, is such an exquisite device. Steve Jobs is not interested in amateur productions.

--Nicholas Carr
Read the rest in Rough Type: Nicholas Carr's Blog: Steve's devices

Thursday, January 11, 2007

XML has never worked neatly with the heart of most web applications' architecture, the relational database. XML's hierarchical structures map poorly to relational database structures. You can, of course, create table- and record-like documents that fit easily with relational databases, but that's a fairly tiny if important subset of XML possibilities and documents.

Web applications built on relational databases can and do use XML, of course. Applications routinely generate XML from query results, and import XML documents by shredding them into pieces spread across tables. The more complicated the document, the more likely that multiple tables will be involved, or that it will prove easier to store the XML as a BLOB or a separate file.

--Simon St. Laurent
Read the rest in XML.com: The XQuery Chimera Takes Center Stage

Wednesday, January 10, 2007
For the computer industry, the main differences between Apple and Microsoft is that Apple is competent and has good PR. Apple has a history of suing bloggers who leak technical information and developers who tries to clone Aqua's look and feel, is the source of closed source binary-only Quicktime and iTunes DRM, and has close cooperative relationships with the RIAA and MPAA.

--Eric S. Raymond
Read the rest in World Domination 201

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Non-dinosaurs may be surprised to learn that SGML's earliest, near-fatal challenger was not formats, but WYSIWYG. Old word processors (troff, Word Perfect, TeX, etc) all allowed you to play with tags; even the editors with presentation preview modes allowed you to edit the tags. Then WYSIWYG came along (with bastardized version of Ben Schneiderman's "direct manipulation" ideas) and the push was on for hiding tags both on-screen and in binary data formats, and against batch processing and transformation. SGML fitted into the UNIX pipes world that, while it never went away, was not the kind of mom-and-pop technology that soaked up all the capital and market share.

Apple, Adobe, MS, Corel, and all the software houses spent hundreds of millions of marketing dollars to push the glamour of WYSIWYG. Concepts of repurposing, semantic markup, hypertext links between documents, schema checking, document construction from components, let alone archiving or application-neut rality, were abandoned. The "failure" of SGML is the "failure" of Vi over PageMaker.

--Rick Jelliffe on the xml-dev mailing list, Friday, 05 Jan 2007 21:24:47

Monday, January 8, 2007
I've been doing a lot of JavaScript and DHTML and AJAX programming lately. Increasing quantities of it. Boy howdy. The O'Reilly DHTML book has gotten big enough to crush a Volkswagon Bug, hasn't it? And my CSS book has gone from pristine to war-torn in under a month. I've managed to stay in the Dark Ages of web programming for the past 10 years: you know, HTML, a little CGI, font color="red". Way old school. And now I'm getting the crash-course. The more I learn, the more I wish I'd known it for longer. Although then I'd have had to live through the long transition from Dark Ages to the muchly-improved situation we have today. Far from good, to be sure, but it's improved dramatically since last I looked.

--Steve Yegge
Read the rest in Stevey's Blog Rants: Blogger's Block #3: Dreaming in Browser Swamp

Sunday, January 7, 2007
I don't consider blogging real writing (at least not in my case; occasionally you'll happen upon a blog that is a work of art). It's just "blogorrhea," part catharsis, part bully pulpit, partly a way of keeping in touch with friends and acquaintances since I am such a terrible correspondent.

--Poppy Z. Brite,
Read the rest in Writing

Saturday, January 6, 2007
I want 2007 to be the year when the populace put its beautifully pedicured foot down and says, "That's it, no more panicked television hosts whipping up furor about What Everyone Else Is Doing (and How Can We Stop Them)?" I'm hoping in 2007, no one will really care What Everyone Else Is Doing as long as it's informed, consensual and they aren't hurting anyone else. Even if it involves the internet, a cell phone or a manatee costume.

--Regina Lynn
Read the rest in Wired News: Hoping for Good Sex in 2007

Saturday, January 6, 2007
For use in Ajax, when exchanging moderately simple messages that will only be used internally, i.e. a web service only used by your own clients, JSON has the advantages of smaller message size, unless the messages are really tiny such as 'OK' etc, lack of need of other libraries to read and, if you don't use currently XML, nothing really new to learn. On the other hand XML is much more flexible and handles documents better, most platforms support it and it can take advantage of schemas, transforms, WSDL etc. which don't really exist in JSON. JSON still needs a library to create the object representation, otherwise it can be very tedious and repetitive, and is more of a risk, eval-ing a response could open the door to attacks, even if only annoyances for the client. So my view is, for relatively simple in-house messages JSON can have advantages, otherwise it loses to XML.

--Joe Fawcett on the xml-dev mailing list, Friday, 05 Jan 2007 09:55:38

Friday, January 5, 2007
Search engines are *ridiculously* sensitive to words that appear in the URI. On top of which, memorable URIs are more likely to survive transmission via cocktail napkin.

--Tim Bray on the atom-protocol mailing list, Wednesday, 25 Jan 2006 14:35:15

Thursday, January 4, 2007
I don't think WYSIWIG is a workable conceptual model for HTML authoring since (X)HTML is all about what you mean, not what you see.

--Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis on the whatwg mailing list, Friday, 29 Dec 2006 12:47:33

Wednesday, January 3, 2007
The XML declaration isn't part of the data model that the XSLT processor sees. Its only purpose is to tell the XML parser how to construct the data model. By the time a document has been parsed its original encoding is of no further interest.

--Michael Kay on the saxon-help mailing list, Sunday, 20 Jan 2005 09:02:34

Tuesday, January 2, 2007
XForms bears about as much resemblance to HTML forms as a Bengal tiger has to a ferret.

--Kurt Cagle
Read the rest in Why XForms Matter, Revisited

Monday, January 1, 2007
2007 will be the year where LAMPers finally decide to stop being neutral about the WS-* mess and pick the side of REST: the next wave of Web APIs will stop supplying both a SOAP and REST API and just go with the latter.

--David Heinemeier Hansson
Read the rest in Where's i

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Last Modified at Monday, December 31, 2007 8:24:33 PM