mnot’s blog

Design depends largely on constraints.” — Charles Eames

Thursday, 11 May 2006

Web Web Services

Yaron Uncloaks!

Yaron publicly says what he’s doing at Microsoft (scroll down);

I hear that HTTP stuff is pretty cool. If anyone cares you can peruse a bunch of blog entries on my website ( where I walk through a number of key enterprise scenarios and show that nothing more than HTTP+XML is required.

And yes, I still work for Microsoft. In fact, one of my jobs is to write the best practices for the design of all external interfaces for Windows Live. What you will see is a lot of HTTP, microformats, URL encodings and XML. My instructions are clear, first priority goes to simple HTTP interfaces..

Excellent! In a nutshell, he’s doing what I’m doing at Yahoo, although I’d favour JSON quicker than XML for most cases (but then again, the XML disease is pretty advanced at MSFT).

I really enjoyed working with Yaron at BEA, and “discussing” things like WebDAV properties, REST and HTTP in our copious spare time. Now we’re both full-time on it. Let the co-opetition ensue!


Sam Ruby said:

re: (scroll down)

I hear that HTML has a new feature these days. I think it is called “anchor tags”.

Thursday, May 11 2006 at 2:31 AM

Yaron Y. Goland said:

Keep in mind Sam’s comment about “anchor tags” because when TechEd hits you’ll be hearing a lot more about them. Consider this to be foreshadowing.

I hadn’t intend to be cloaked (I was never willing to spend the money on a good cloak). I have just been insanely nutso busy (see foreshadowing comment). Anyway I put together a quick article explaining what my group does ( and I even put in a mention there about my views on JSON.

Thursday, May 11 2006 at 10:53 AM

Yaron Y. Goland said:

Let’s be clear, i’m no XML lover. XML has so many flaws (lousy serialization, silly attributes, no widely adopted internal referencing system, no widely adopted usable schema system, etc.) it’s not even amusing. I’d be happy to see XML go away. I just don’t think that JSON is substantially better as a generic solution. But for certain scenarios I think JSON is really really cool. We like to use it for RPC scenarios where we are exposing JavaScript interfaces on the client and need a way to serialize data from the server.

At Microsoft my general recommendation to the Windows Live folks has been ‘design your system using whatever data abstraction is appropriate for you and then build on heads to expose that abstraction through various means such as JSON, XML, HTML Microformats, etc.’

As I argued at BEA the future does not belong to any one language (or data format). Rather the future belongs to increased productivity and the best way to increase productivity is by having tools that are custom tailored for a particular situation. This argues for an explosion of languages and data formats. This need not be the danger to interoperability that one might imagine. I suspect all these languages and data formats will end up with similar underpinnings that allow for interoperability. So you might have JSON, HTML and XML and whatever but they will all be trees. You might end up with C# and IronPython and JScript.Net and VB.Net, etc. but they are all on the CLR. Etc. (cough…)

Friday, May 12 2006 at 11:49 AM