mnot’s blog

Design depends largely on constraints.” — Charles Eames

all entries

Friday, 22 April 2016

Ideal HTTP Performance

The implicit goal for Web performance is to reduce end-user perceived latency; to get the page in front of the user and interactive as soon as possible.

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Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Alternative Services

The IESG has approved “HTTP Alternative Services” for publication as a Proposed Standard.

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Friday, 18 December 2015

Why 451?

Today, the IESG approved publication of “An HTTP Status Code to Report Legal Obstacles”. It’ll be an RFC after some work by the RFC Editor and a few more process bits, but effectively you can start using it now.

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Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Will there be a Distributed HTTP?

One of the things that came up at the HTTP Workshop was “distributed HTTP” — i.e., moving the Web from a client/server model to a more distributed one. This week, Brewster Khale (of Archive.org fame) talked about similar thoughts on his blog and at CCC. If you haven’t seen that yet, I’d highly suggest watching the latter.

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Monday, 20 July 2015

Snowden Meets the IETF

Last night, we had a screening of CITIZENFOUR at the IETF meeting in Prague, and about 170 people showed up to see the movie about Edward Snowden’s relevations — information that led the IETF to declare such pervasive monitoring as an attack on the Internet itself.

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Monday, 15 June 2015

HTTP/2 Implementation Status

RFC7540 has been out for about a month, so it seems like a good time for a snapshot of where HTTP/2 implementation is at.

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Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Improving Captive Portals

Yesterday at IETF92 in Dallas, we had a “Bar BoF” (i.e., informal meeting) about improving the behaviour and handling of Captive Portals — those login pages that you have to click through to get onto networks in hotels, airports, and many other places.

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Wednesday, 18 February 2015

HTTP/2 is Done

The IESG has formally approved the HTTP/2 and HPACK specifications, and they’re on their way to the RFC Editor, where they’ll soon be assigned RFC numbers, go through some editorial processes, and be published.

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Monday, 19 January 2015

Dissecting Australia's Proposed Data Retention Law

Much has been written about the societal impact of Australia’s proposed data retention laws (see some examples here and here) which I won’t repeat. However, they are quite interesting — and worrisome — from a more technical perspective.

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Saturday, 27 December 2014

Why Intermediation is Important

A few months ago I went to the Internet Governance Forum, looking to understand more about the IGF and its attendees. One of the things I learned there was a different definition of “intermediary” — one that I think the standards community should pay close attention to.

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Saturday, 27 December 2014

Python 2 and TLS SNI

Python 2.7.9 was recently released, and that means that it supports TLS Server Name Indication.

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Thursday, 4 December 2014

What is the Web?

This post is mostly for folks who haven’t been following Web standards closely — especially IETF folks. If you have been, there’s probably not much new here (but feel free to poke holes!).

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Saturday, 7 June 2014

RFC2616 is Dead

Don’t use RFC2616. Delete it from your hard drives, bookmarks, and burn (or responsibly recycle) any copies that are printed out.

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Sunday, 1 June 2014

Chrome and Stale-While-Revalidate

Chrome is looking at adding support for RFC5861’s stale-while-revalidate, which is really cool. I wrote about the details of SwR when it first became an RFC, but its application to browsers is something that’s a new. Seems like a good time to answer a few potential questions.

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Friday, 9 May 2014

If You Can Read This, You're SNIing

When TLS was defined, it didn’t allow more than one hostname to be available on a single IP address / port pair, leading to “virtual hosting” issues; each Web site (for example) now requires a dedicated IP address.

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Monday, 5 May 2014

How Many Package Managers Should I Support?

For whatever reason, my little hinclude JavaScript library is mildly popular. It’s just a bit of JS that you stick in a page to do declarative includes client-side; mostly, it was an experiment in doing composition a la ESI in the browser. However, Symfony picked it up, and since then, I’ve had a trickle of e-mails, issues and pull requests.

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Monday, 17 March 2014

Trying out TLS for HTTP:// URLs

The IETF now considers “pervasive monitoring” to be an attack. As Snowden points out, one of the more effective ways to combat it is to use encryption everywhere you can, and “opportunistic encryption” keeps on coming up as one way to help that.

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Thursday, 30 January 2014

Nine Things to Expect from HTTP/2

HTTP/2 is getting close to being real, with lots of discussions and more implementations popping up every week. What does a new version of the Web’s protocol mean for you? Here are some early answers:

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Saturday, 4 January 2014

Strengthening HTTP: A Personal View

Recently, one of the hottest topics in the Internet protocol community has been whether the newest version of the Web’s protocol, HTTP/2, will require, encourage or indeed say anything about the use of encryption in response to the pervasive monitoring attacks revealed to the world by Edward Snowden.

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Sunday, 23 June 2013

Five Reasons to Considering Linking in Your HTTP APIs

There’s been a lot of interest in and effort expended upon “hypermedia APIs” recently. However, I see a fair amount of resistance to it from developers and ops folks, because the pragmatic benefits aren’t often clear. This is as it should be, IMO; if you’re not able to describe concrete benefits without hand-waving about the “massive scale of the Web.”

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Friday, 21 June 2013

A Few Thoughts about PRISM

The NSA PRISM story broke while I was on the road; last week I was in Tokyo for W3C meetings, moving to San Francisco for a HTTP meeting and Velocity.

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Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Indicating Problems in HTTP APIs

A common part of HTTP-based APIs is telling the client that something has gone wrong. Most APIs do this in some fashion, whether they call it a “Fault” (very SOAP-y), “Error” or whatever.

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Sunday, 20 January 2013

A Short Note

In 2001, Charlie was born, and (understandably) we were freaking out a bit, having a new child and all. However, at about the same time, I met this really remarkable kid at the W3C, and I asked him what advice he could give me, from his perspective.

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Friday, 4 January 2013

Exploring Header Compression in HTTP/2.0

One of the major mechanisms proposed by SPDY for use in HTTP/2.0 is header compression. This is motivated by a number of things, but heavy in the mix is the combination of having more and more requests in a page, and the increasing use of mobile, where every packet is, well, precious. Compressing headers (separately from message bodies) both reduces the overhead of additional requests and of introducing new headers. To illustrate this, Patrick put together a synthetic test that showed that a set of 83 requests for assets on a page (very common these days) could be compressed down to just one round trip – a huge win (especially for mobile). You can also see the potential wins in the illustration that I used in my Velocity Europe talk.

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Tuesday, 18 December 2012

"Why Don't You Just…"

A proposal by John Graham-Cumming is currently doing the rounds:

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Friday, 7 December 2012

HTTP Status: 101 Switching Protocols

The HTTPbis Working Group met in Atlanta last month; here’s how things are going.

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Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Evolving HTTP APIs

One of the most vexing problems that still seems to be facing people when I talk to them about HTTP APIs is how to handle versioning and extensibility – i.e., how they evolve.

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Monday, 29 October 2012

OPTIONS is Not the Method You're Looking For

Once in a while, people ask me whether they should use the OPTIONS HTTP method, and whether we should try to define formats for discovering resource capabilities with it.

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Sunday, 28 October 2012

Production Notes

I’ve (finally) moved this server to another Rackspace cloud server; same (small) size, but with a fresh OS.

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Monday, 24 September 2012

Caching POST

One of the changes in Apple’s release of iOS6 last week was a surprising new ability to cache POST responses.

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Thursday, 13 September 2012

Akamai, Again

I’ve spent the last year working at Rackspace, and it’s been quite a ride. However, I joined there thinking that our work on HTTP was winding down.

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Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Why PATCH is Good for Your HTTP API

A common problem for APIs is partial update; when the client wants to change just one part of a resource’s state. For example, imagine that you’ve got a JSON representation of your widget resource that looks like:

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Saturday, 4 August 2012

HTTP in Vancouver

The HTTPBIS Working Group is in a transitional phase; we’re rapidly finishing our revision of the HTTP/1.1 specification and just getting steam up on our next target, HTTP/2.0.

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Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Bad HTTP API Smells: Version Headers

One thing I didn’t cover in my previous rant on HTTP API versioning is an anti-pattern that I’m seeing a disturbing number of APIs adopt; using a HTTP header to indicate the overall version of the API in use. Examples include CIMI, CDMI, GData and I’m sure many more.

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Monday, 25 June 2012

HTTP API Complexity

@dret: if your scenario is homogeneous and models are harmonized across participants, #REST is of limited utility for you.

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Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Profiles

Erik Wilde - otherwise known as dret - has published an Internet-Draft for a “profile” link relation type:

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Saturday, 14 April 2012

User Personas for HTTP APIs

When you’re designing HTTP APIs, you need to keep a lot of concerns in mind. Stealing a page from XP, let’s look at some possible personas and their user stories for HTTP-based APIs:

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Friday, 13 April 2012

JSON or XML: Just Decide

When people create HTTP APIs, one of the common decisions is about what format to use, usually revolving around “JSON or XML?”

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Saturday, 31 March 2012

What's Next for HTTP

We had two great meetings of the HTTPbis Working Group in Paris this week — one to start wrapping up our work on HTTP/1.1, and another to launch some exciting new work on HTTP/2.0.

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Friday, 25 November 2011

Linking in JSON

To be a full-fledged format on the Web, you need to support links – something sorely missing in JSON, which many have noticed lately.

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Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Web API Versioning Smackdown

A lot of bits have been used over on the OpenStack list recently about versioning the HTTP APIs they provide.

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Friday, 21 October 2011

Why ESI is Still Important, and How to Make it Better

More than ten years ago, I was working at Akamai and got involved in the specification of Edge Side Includes (ESI), sort of a templating language for intermediaries.

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Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Thinking about Namespaces in JSON

Since joining Rackspace to help out with OpenStack, one of the hot topics of conversation I’ve been involved in has been extensibility and versioning.

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Friday, 2 September 2011

RFC6266 and Content-Disposition

HTTPbis published RFC6266 a little while ago, but the work isn’t finished.

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Sunday, 28 August 2011

Better Browser Caching

In discussing my whinge about AppCache offline with a few browser vendory folks, I ending up writing down my longstanding wishlist for making browser caches better. Without further ado, a bunch of blue-sky ideas;

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Thursday, 25 August 2011

And now for something completely different... again.

Today is my last day at Yahoo!, after five and a half years (yes, I got a gumball machine). It’s been a lot of fun and I wish all of the folks there that I’ve worked with over those years well; I’ve learned and done a lot, and Y! has given me a lot of room (both metaphorical as well as physical, given that for most of it, I’ve been more than 7,500 miles from my boss), which is much appreciated.

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Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Distributed Hungarian Notation doesn't Work

It used to be that when you registered a media type, a URI scheme, a HTTP header or another protocol element on the Internet, it was an opaque string that was a unique identifier, nothing more.

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Friday, 5 August 2011

HTTP Pipelining Today

Last week, Blaze.io highlighted how mobile browsers use HTTP pipelining.

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Wednesday, 27 July 2011

CSP

FYI, I’ve implemented Content Security Policy on this site. If your’e a Mozilla user, please tell me if you have any problems.

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Monday, 11 July 2011

What Proxies Must Do

The explosion of HTTP implementations isn’t just in clients and servers. An oft-overlooked but important part of the Web ecosystem is the intermediary, often called just a “proxy”*.

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Sunday, 19 June 2011

Fixing AppCache

HTML5’s AppCache mechanism is one confused little puppy. Purporting to be for taking web applications offline — a compelling and useful thing — it’s more often used by performance-hungry sites that want to use it as an online cache.

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Friday, 27 May 2011

Linked Cache Invalidation

After designing and deploying Cache Channels, it quickly became apparent that one Web cache invalidation mechanism wasn’t able to cover the breadth of use cases.

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Wednesday, 18 May 2011

On HTTP Load Testing

A lot of people seem to be talking about and performing load tests on HTTP servers, perhaps because there’s a lot more choice of servers these days.

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Monday, 4 April 2011

HTTP POST: IETF Prague Edition

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Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Your REST worries have ended.

Now, you can test any URL to instantly determine if it’s RESTful.

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Wednesday, 9 March 2011

htracr in Two Minutes

I made a quick and dirty screencast to show off some of the newer features in htracr.

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Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Last Call: Content-Disposition

The IESG has received a request from the Hypertext Transfer Protocol Bis WG (httpbis) to consider the following document:

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Saturday, 27 November 2010

Digging Deeper with htracr

There’s a lot of current activity on the binding between HTTP and TCP; from pipelining to SPDY, the frontier of Web performance lives between these layers.

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Friday, 1 October 2010

HTTP Roundup: What’s Up with the Web’s Protocol

I’m going to try to start blogging more updates (kick me if I don’t!) about what’s happening in the world of HTTP.

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Friday, 23 July 2010

Thou Shalt Use TLS?

Since SPDY has surfaced, one of the oft-repeated topics has been its use of TLS; namely that the SPDY guys have said that they’ll require all traffic to go over it. Mike Belshe dives into all of the details in a new blog entry, but his summary is simple: “users want it.”

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Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Падручнік па кэшаванню

Patricia Clausnitzer has kindly translated the Caching Tutorial to Belarusian. Thanks!

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Monday, 21 June 2010

The Winter of Our Disconnect

A few weeks ago I was browsing through My Bookshop in Hawksburn, where on a whim I picked up The Winter of Our Disconnect by Susan Maushart. As I write this, I’m at 30,000 feet, and have just finished one of the more enjoyable and informative reads I’ve had in a while.

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Thursday, 3 June 2010

Why Our New TV Doesn't Like the Web

A while back we used an absurd amount of reward points from our credit card to get some Myer gift certificates, and on the weekend these miraculously turned into a new TV, the Sony 32EX600.

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Thursday, 6 May 2010

RFC5861: HTTP Stale Controls

On a bit of a roll, RFC5861: HTTP Stale Controls has (finally) been published as an Informational RFC.

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Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Thoughts on Archiving HTTP

Steve Souders and others have been working for a while on HAR, a HTTP Archive format.

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Wednesday, 7 April 2010

RFC5785: Well-Known URIs

One of the nagging theoretical problems in the Web architecture has been finding so-called “site-wide metadata”; i.e., finding something out about a Web site before you access it. We wrestled with this in P3P way back when, and the TAG took it up after that.

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Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Caching-Tutorial für Webautoren und Webmaster

Thomas Hühn has graciously translated the caching tutorial into German. Thanks!

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Thursday, 18 February 2010

Are Resource Packages a Good Idea?

Resource Packages is an interesting proposal from Mozilla folks for binding together bunches of related data (e.g., CSS files, JavaScript and images) and sending it in one HTTP response, rather than many, as browsers typically do.

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Friday, 15 January 2010

WS-REST (heh, heh)

If you haven’t seen it already, check out the Call for Papers for the First International Workshop on RESTful Design (WS-REST 2010), where I’m on the program committee, along with many of the usual suspects.

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Wednesday, 16 December 2009

HTTP + Politics = ?

Australia has apparently decided, through its elected leaders, to filter its own Internet connection.

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Friday, 13 November 2009

Will HTTP/2.0 Happen After All?

A couple of nights ago, I had a casual chat with Google’s Mike Belshe, who gave me a preview of how their “ Let’s make the Web faster” effort looks at HTTP itself.

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Friday, 30 October 2009

Traffic Server

A long time ago*, the word in high-performance proxy-caching was Inktomi’s Traffic Server. It was so fast it was referred to being “carrier grade” and this could be said without people smirking, and it was deployed by the likes of AOL, when AOL was still how most people accessed the Internet.

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Monday, 19 October 2009

Working with the US on Education

Dear Ms. Gillard,

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Thursday, 13 August 2009

#gov2au

Although I’m a bit concerned to see so many references to “Web 2.0”, it’s very exciting to see Australia talking about opening up government.

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Sunday, 12 July 2009

RED gets a blog

Just FYI, for those interested: RED now has a blog detailing news and other developments. I’ll still post about it here occaisionally, but most RED-related things are going over there…

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Friday, 3 July 2009

Come to the Stockholm IETF!

The Stockholm IETF meeting is shaping up to be an interesting one (and not just because it’s in such a beautiful city).

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Thursday, 25 June 2009

The Resource Expert Droid

A (very) long time ago, I wrote the Cacheability Engine to help people figure out how a Web cache would treat their sites. It has a few bugs, but is generally useful for that purpose.

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Wednesday, 17 June 2009

面向站长和网站管理员的Web缓存加速指南

The caching tutorial is now available in Chinese, courtesy of Che Dong (and apologies for taking so long in linking to it!).

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Friday, 12 June 2009

What to Look For in a HTTP Proxy/Cache

Part of my job is maintaining Yahoo!’s build of Squid and supporting its users, which use it to serve everything from the internal Web services that make sites go to serving Flickr’s images.

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Friday, 5 June 2009

Opera Turbo

HTTP performance is a hot topic these days, so it’s interesting that Opera has announced a “turbo” feature in Opera 10 Beta;

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Friday, 29 May 2009

Most Revealing Google Wave Comment

Everybody’s atwitter (yeah, sue me) about the Google Wave developer preview. Lots of new stuff there, but for me the most revealing comment, almost a throwaway, was here:

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Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Counting the ways that rev="canonical" hurts the Web

I had a lovely holiday weekend in Canberra with the family, without Web access. Perhaps I’ll blog about that soon — Canberra being in my opinion one of the nicest overlooked cities in the world — but that will have to wait. Going offline for a few days always brings a certain dread of what one’s inbox will hold when you get back, and this one was no exception.

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Tuesday, 24 February 2009

The FSF, IETF and Use Patents

Over the past few weeks the Free Software Foundation has had its knickers in a twist about TLS authentication — specifically, its patent encumbrance;

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Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Caching When You Least Expect it

There’s a rule of thumb about when a HTTP response can be cached; the Caching Tutorial says:

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Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Cobbler / children / shoes / etc.

Rob Sayre points out that this blog still doesn’t show a preference for Atom, embarrassingly enough.

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Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Stop it with the X- Already!

UPDATE: RFC6648 is now the official word on this topic.

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Friday, 2 January 2009

Have a Drink (or hundred)

Now here’s a good meme for the New Year…

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Friday, 21 November 2008

OAuth in Minneapolis

There are lots of new “Web 2.0” specs emerging — many beginning with “o” — that are both exciting and concerning.

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Monday, 27 October 2008

Dev-Friendly Web Caching

Ryan Tomayko announces Rack::Cache, a HTTP cache for Ruby’s generic Web API;

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Thursday, 16 October 2008

/site-meta

Metadata discovery is a nagging problem that’s been hanging around the Web for a while. There have been a few stabs at this problem (including at least one by yours truly), but no real progress.

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Friday, 4 July 2008

The WS-Empire Strikes Back... feebly

Here’s a gem on a little-used mailing list:

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Thursday, 22 May 2008

The Pitfalls of Debugging HTTP

Some folks at work were having problems debugging HTTP with LWP ’s command-line GET utility; it turned out that it was inserting Link headers — HTTP headers, mind you — for each HTML <link> element present.

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Thursday, 15 May 2008

Atom gets a new audience

Huh. The Atom Format RFC has been out for a while, and as one of the authors, I get the odd mail now and again asking a question or just saying “thanks.”

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Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Moving the Goalposts: “Use” Patents and Standards

It’s become quite fashionable for large IT shops to give blanket Royalty-Free licenses for implementation of “core” technologies, such as XML, Web Services and Atom. I’ll refrain from linking to any of them, as the purpose of this post* is not to pick on any single one**.

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Thursday, 20 March 2008

Moving Beyond Methods in REST

Having complained before about the sad state of HTTP APIs, I’m somewhat happy to say that people seem to be getting it, producing more capable server-side and client-side tools for exposing the full range of the protocol; some frameworks are even starting to align object models with resource models, where HTTP methods map to method calls on things with identity. Good stuff.

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Monday, 3 March 2008

DAV WTF?

Not many people that I know outside of IETF circles realise that a new *DAV effort has started up; CardDAV.

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Sunday, 17 February 2008

POST and PATCH

It’s 7am, I’m sitting in the Auckland Koru Club on my way home and reading the minor kerfuffle regarding PATCH with interest.

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Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Location, Location, Location

I’m back in the Bay Area for work, and out of curiosity I thought I’d check in on the housing market here. After updating my super-secret source of housing sales, I tried something new; charting price paid for square foot by county.

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Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Another Kind of HTTP Negotiation

Here’s one that I’ve been wondering about for a while, for the LazyWeb (HTTP Geek Edition);

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Monday, 21 January 2008

Watching WADL (and other rambling thoughts)

I’m following the discussion of RESTful Web description in general, and WADL in particular, with both difficulty and interest (see Patrick and Joe’s thoughts for a nice contrast).

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Friday, 4 January 2008

Cache Channels

The stale-while-revalidate and stale-if-error extensions aren’t the only fiddling we’ve been doing with the HTTP caching model. Now that Squid 2.7 is starting to see daylight, I can explain about a much more ambitious project — Cache Channels.

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Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Two HTTP Caching Extensions

We use caching extensively inside Yahoo! to improve scalability, latency and availability for back-end HTTP services, as I’ve discussed before.

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Sunday, 9 December 2007

Why Revise HTTP?

I haven’t talked about it here much, but I’ve spent a fair amount of time over the last year and a half working with people in the IETF to get RFC2616 — the HTTP specification — revised.

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Friday, 2 November 2007

WADL Documentation XSLT Updated

I’ve updated the WADL documentation stylesheet, primarily to;

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Saturday, 8 September 2007

5005

Feed Paging and Archiving (nee Feed History) has finally made it to a standards-track RFC.

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Tuesday, 7 August 2007

ETags, ETags, ETags

I’ve been hoping to avoid this, but ETags seem to be popping up more and more often recently. For whatever reason, people latch onto them as a litmus test for RESTfulness, as the defining factor of HTTP’s caching model, and much more.

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Saturday, 28 July 2007

URI Templates Redux

URI Templates -01 is now an Internet-Draft.

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Saturday, 30 June 2007

Vic Schools Mashup

For the somewhat limited audience of parents looking at neighbourhoods and schools in Victoria, Australia, I present the Victorian Schools / Google Maps Mashup. Note that there are two pages; one for secondary schools, one for primaries.

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Wednesday, 20 June 2007

The State of Proxy Caching

A while back I wrote up the state of browser caching, after writing a quick-and-dirty XHR-based test page, with the idea that if people know how their content is handled by common implementations, they’d be able to trust caches a bit more.

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Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Safari 3: Protecting Client-Side State

It’s a little thing, but I’m very pleased to see that Safari 3 will check with you before you discard a page where you’ve entered data on a form.

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Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Expires vs. max-age

I occasionally get a question from readers of the caching tutorial about whether to use the Expires header or Cache-Control: max-age to control a response’s freshness lifetime.

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Thursday, 10 May 2007

Intelligent Design, Eames-Style

For a while, I’ve had the fairly well-known Charles Eames quote “Design depends largely on constraints” as the tagline on my blog (if you read this in a feed aggregator, you’ll have to go to one of the HTML pages to see it).

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Monday, 7 May 2007

Australia != America

We were… refreshingly reminded that we’re not in Kansas (or even California) any more while watching The Daily Show on TV tonight, and this commercial came on;

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Tuesday, 1 May 2007

httperf rev

Martin Arlitt makes an exciting announcement;

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Sunday, 29 April 2007

Squid is My Service Bus

The QCon presentation ( slides) was ostensibly about how we use HTTP for services within Yahoo’s Media Group. When I started thinking about the talk, however, I quickly concluded that everyone’s heard enough about the high-level benefits of HTTP and not nearly enough details of what it does on the ground. So, I decided to concentrate on one aspect of the value that we get from using HTTP for services; intermediation, as an example.

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Sunday, 22 April 2007

Around the World in 24 Days

I haven’t blogged for a while because I’ve been on the road, a lot. Although I got back a while back, I’m just now catching up.

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Thursday, 5 April 2007

WWW2007 Developers’ Track

We’ve announced the program for this years’ Developers’ Track, and I’m very excited about the lineup.

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Tuesday, 27 February 2007

REST Issues, Real and Imagined

I think that most of the debate about REST focuses on the wrong things, leading developers down the garden path at the expense of their productivity and the success of their projects. Time and time again, I’ve seen folks who are new to REST get caught up on small stuff like this;

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Monday, 12 February 2007

Things to Remember when Moving Country

It’s always more expensive than you plan.

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Wednesday, 7 February 2007

Pipes!

Yahoo! (finally!) released Pipes as a beta today; congrats to the very talented team that put this together.

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Wednesday, 7 February 2007

Developers, Developers, Developers

A reminder: proposals for the Developers’ Track at WWW2007 should be in by February 16th.

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Wednesday, 3 January 2007

Week Two in Victoria

I say “Victoria,” not Melbourne, because we’re currently staying in Forest Hill, courtesy of Roger and Marg, who are on holiday.

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Wednesday, 3 January 2007

Connectivity in .au - Help!

So, no that we have a place to live, there are a few choices;

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Sunday, 24 December 2006

Week One in Melbourne

It’s Christmas Eve, and Charlie and I have been on the ground in Melbourne for a week. So far, we’ve got a new mobile phone (sweet), checked in with his school, and looked at a lot of apartments, trying to find somewhere to live for a few months while we house-hunt. Not quite as fast as I’d like, but not too shabby. Meanwhile, most of our possessions are about two months behind us, somewhere between San Francisco and Singapore.

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Monday, 4 December 2006

SOA Jumps Shark

Uche calls it;

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Thursday, 30 November 2006

Schema for JSON

One of the perceived deficiencies of JSON is that it doesn’t have a schema language. I say “perceived” because the problems that a schema language brings often outweigh the benefits; after all, look at the mess that XML Schema is in.

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Wednesday, 15 November 2006

Seven Year Itch

In a nutshell: After a lot of angst, back-and-forth, and false starts, we’re moving back to Melbourne next month, seven years and a few days after we arrived in San Francisco. This shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows us well, although many of our Australian friends have expressed that they won’t really believe it until we step off the plane.

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Friday, 27 October 2006

Friday Fun: I Hate Cookies

There are plenty of reasons to hate HTTP Cookies, but there’s one thing that especially annoys me; their syntax.

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Thursday, 19 October 2006

Thoughts on Declarative Ajax

Dave Johnson writes up a nice summary of the issues of adding new elements to HTML for declarative Ajax, something that I ran into when doing HInclude.

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Tuesday, 17 October 2006

Wanted: HTTP Yahoo!s

My team at Yahoo! is looking for a mid-level developer (5-10 years experience) to help build our HTTP/REST toolkit, among other things.

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Monday, 16 October 2006

The Flipperdex

I’ve been playing with sales data for houses in the Bay area for a while, and have always wanted to come up with an index of same-home sales — reputed to be one of the more accurate ways to do an index, because you’re not having to compensate for differences in intrinsic value between different houses.

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Friday, 13 October 2006

Does the Enterprise (Vendor) Get the Web?

A couple of interesting things have happened recently; first, Jonathan Marsh has a new job;

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Wednesday, 4 October 2006

URI Templating, the Spec

As mentioned a while back, there are a variety of places where it would be useful to be able to describe the structure of a URI, rather than just convey a URI itself. I took a stab at this in the Link Header draft, and have also been working in the background with DeWitt Clinton, Joe Gregorio, Marc Hadley, Dave Orchard, and James Snell on a more general specification, URI Templates, the first draft of which we (finally!) got published today.

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Sunday, 1 October 2006

More JavaScript Updates

Hot on the heels of the last batch, Stefan pointed me to Jesse Skinner’s addDOMLoadEvent, which seems to avoid the problems I found earlier (you know you’re in for some debugging when you’re cutting-and-pasting code from blog comments!).

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Thursday, 28 September 2006

Javascript Updates

I’ve updated the url_template.js and json_form.js libraries to fix some bugs, to make the demo I gave at XTech run more smoothly. It should work well on Safari, Mozilla and IE6 (despite some glitches at a showing inside Y! the other day; the demo gods were not smiling). It does not work in Opera; it seems like the more I use XHR in that browser, the more bugs I find. I’m thinking of updating the XHR tests to catch more of them, but it’s a fair amount of work.

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Saturday, 16 September 2006

Surfing the Barcoded Web

Apple’s shipping an iSight camera in just about everything these days, and one of the coolest apps to use it is Delicious Library. If you follow that to its logical conclusion, everything should be barcode-enabled, by Web-enabling it.

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Wednesday, 13 September 2006

Some Questions for Software Vendors

Everyone seems to be gushing about Microsoft’s Open Specification Promise. While any headway is good in the horrible landscape that is Intellectual Property, my initial reaction is that it — like most such vendor promises — is too little, too late.

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Sunday, 3 September 2006

This Site Powered By...

A while back, I mentioned that I was considering changing my hosting setup. In the end, I decided to outsource, for a few reasons;

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Monday, 21 August 2006

Caching Performance Notes

There have been some interesting developments in Web caching lately, from a performance perspective; event loops are becoming mainstream, and there are lots of new contenders on the scene.

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Friday, 18 August 2006

Un tutoriel de la mise en cache

Many thanks to J.J. Solari for translating the Caching Tutorial to French!

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Monday, 14 August 2006

Putting the Web back in Web 2.0

Timbl has this great term “ Webizing” that he uses to talk about giving existing systems the benefits of the Web architecture. Despite the first part of “Web 2.0”, I think AJAX is in severe need of some serious Webizing.

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Monday, 10 July 2006

On Patents, Briefly

This would be funny, if this wasn’t so scary.

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Friday, 30 June 2006

Friday Fun: Percent Encoding

If you boil down the BNF in both RFC2396 and RFC3986, path segments can contain the following characters without percent-encoding them:

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Saturday, 24 June 2006

Welcome, Hugo!

Hugo has finally blogged the big news. He’s left one of the coolest jobs in the world — working for the W3C — to come to another one of ‘em, working for Yahoo. I’m really looking forward to continuing to work with him; there’s lots to do!

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Thursday, 22 June 2006

Bringing Back the Link - With a Twist

Recently, there’s been a resurgence for the Link element in HTML; everything from Microformats to Atom autodiscovery is using it. This isn’t surprising; as machines start processing Web documents more, it’s necessary to use hyperlinks — the foundation of the Web — to tie resources together, without getting in users’ faces.

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Tuesday, 20 June 2006

Microsoft's RESTful Robots

A friend (who shall remain anonymous) pointed me to Microsoft’s announcement today regarding their foray into robotics, of all things. My eyes glazed over until they rested upon the Microsoft Robotics Application Model;

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Friday, 9 June 2006

Friday Fun: Feed Authentication with Cookies

See if your aggregator can subscribe to this feed (username/password: test/test) and post the results in comments.

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Thursday, 25 May 2006

Web Services are Dead, Long Live Web Services

When I joined Yahoo, one of the biggest adjustments I had to make was to their use of “Web Services”. There, that phrase means any kind of machine-to-machine communication using HTTP; SOAP isn’t assumed (or preferred).

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Tuesday, 16 May 2006

Caching Web 2.0

I just finished my XTech presentation, “ Web 2.0 on Speed”. here are the slides [pdf]; I’m going to try to s5 them soon. There isn’t much new in this talk; it’s just a synthesis of a few different observations;

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Thursday, 11 May 2006

Yaron Uncloaks!

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

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Thursday, 11 May 2006

The State of Browser Caching

Updated 2006-06-03

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Wednesday, 10 May 2006

Vendor-pires

Anne-Thomas Manes extolls the virtues of WS-*;

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Sunday, 23 April 2006

XTech

It’s official; I’ve got a last-minute slot at XTech, talking about all things Web caching.

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Sunday, 23 April 2006

Housing Derivatives

The Economist gives a heads-up [subscription required] about the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s plans for housing derivatives;

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Thursday, 20 April 2006

DOM vs. Web

Back at the W3C Technical Plenary, I argued that Working Groups need to concentrate on making more Web-friendly specifications. Here’s an example of one such lapse causing security problems on today’s Web.

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Tuesday, 18 April 2006

Three Months at Yahoo!

I’m quickly coming up on three months as a Yahoo, and a bunch of people have been asking me how things are going, as well as what I’m doing.

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Friday, 14 April 2006

Another WS-*

A friend in the trenches put me on to the funniest thing I’ve seen in a long time.

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Thursday, 13 April 2006

Viva Italia!

According to ABC Online (that’s Australian Broadcasting Corporation to the Americans out there):

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Thursday, 13 April 2006

Bug Syncronicity

I’ve had a lyric running through my head for the last day or so, thanks to a couple of bugs.

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Sunday, 9 April 2006

Looking for a Big House? Wait!

Most discussion you see about the housing market these days tends to focus on a) whether there’s a bubble (reliable sources say yes, at least in many places) and b) when and how it will pop (it already is, and agonisingly slowly).

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Friday, 7 April 2006

Are Namespaces (and mU) Necessary?

It’s become axiomatic in some circles — especially in WS-* land, as well as in many other uses of XML — that the preferred (or only) means of offering extensibility is through URI-based namespaces, along with a flag to tell consumers when an extension needs to be understood (a.k.a. mustUnderstand).

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Thursday, 6 April 2006

What good is SOAP to HTTP?

I’m a little confused by Mark Baker’s stance regarding SOAP; he seems to encourage the Web services world to use SOAP on top of HTTP in a fashion compatible with HTTP.

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Sunday, 26 March 2006

Workers of the World, Untie

A few snippets from the day;

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Monday, 20 March 2006

Don’s False Choice

True to form, Don’s using his witty charm and good looks (such as they are ;) to shape discussion of a topic… in this case, REST, where he splits the RESTifarian world into two; “hi” and “lo.”

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Thursday, 16 March 2006

Web Authentication

There’s some excitement out there about “ Cookie-less HTTP Authentication.”

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Wednesday, 15 March 2006

WS-Transfer, WAKA and the Web

Microsoft and friends (of the keep your enemy closer variety, I suspect) have submitted WS-Transfer to the W3C. I found the Team comment interesting; e.g.,

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Wednesday, 1 March 2006

Feed History Redux

Over the weekend, I submitted a new draft of Feed History.

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Saturday, 18 February 2006

Invalidating Caches with POST

Have you ever posted a comment to a blog, found it missing, so you re-posted it, only to find two entries? Annoying, huh?

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Wednesday, 15 February 2006

Prosper

So, a few weeks ago, I was sitting in the Galleria with Pete and Brian, having a coffee and talking about work. When, up comes two women with clipboards, asking us to take a survey. We’re bored, and want distraction, so why not?

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Tuesday, 7 February 2006

Offline

Interesting; there are not one but two sessions at the upcoming ETech about taking Web applications offline.

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Friday, 27 January 2006

And Now for Something Completely Different

For the past three and a half years, I’ve learned a lot, had a tremendous amount of fun, and made some really good friends working at BEA Systems in the Office of the CTO. I’ve also enjoyed working with the great people at WS-I and in the W3C’s Web Services Working Groups (particularly, the folks in Web Services Addressing).

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Wednesday, 25 January 2006

Little Orange “feed” Buttons

About two years ago, I got a little grouchy about those little orange XML buttons, and exhorted people to label them properly with RSS.

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Monday, 23 January 2006

How Web-Ready is XMLHttpRequest?

I’ve been playing around with some ideas that use XMLHttpRequest recently, but I keep on bumping up against implementation inconsistencies on IE vs. Safari vs. Opera vs. Mozilla. Although the interface exposed is pretty much the same, what it does in the background is very different, especially with regards to HTTP.

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Friday, 13 January 2006

Para publicadores de conteúdos e Webmasters

The RSS Tutorial for Content Publishers and Webmasters has been translated to Brazilian Portuguese, thanks to the efforts of Maurício Samy Silva.

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Wednesday, 11 January 2006

Safari and Content Sniffing

It took two years, but Apple has finally taken steps to limit Safari’s content-sniffing ways;

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Monday, 9 January 2006

Making headway on OPTIONS

On the heels of mod_cgi, PHP now does the right thing (at least in 5.1) when setting the Allow header. mod_dav is still broken, though.

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Sunday, 8 January 2006

Colour Management in OSX

After hearing about how I lusted after Bob’s D100 in Japan last November, Anitra kindly splurged on a Nikon D50 for my birthday, and I was re-introduced to serious photography.

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Monday, 26 December 2005

2005 in Feeds

Another year has gone by, and rather than cataloguing music, movies or books that I liked, here are some feeds on the Web that I enjoyed reading throughout the year. I’ll avoid repeating the obvious news, technical and blogroll feeds.

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Saturday, 24 December 2005

RFC 4229: HTTP Header Field Registrations

The useful end of RFC 3864 (at least regarding HTTP) is finally* here. When you need to know where a particular header is defined there’s now one place to do it; IANA’s Message header registry and repository have been filled with HTTP-related headers by RFC 4229.

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Thursday, 22 December 2005

How to Throw a Holiday Party

One thing I detest about many technology companies is their tendency to treat employees like overgrown 15-year-olds with no social skills. This was most evident at Java One’s “Social Event” as previously discussed, but you also tend to see it in Silicon Valley holiday* parties.

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Wednesday, 21 December 2005

Choosing a School in a Global Marketplace

Every parent should take a flip through the OECD’s Education at a Glance*, their annual look at the state of learning in most industrialised countries.

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Tuesday, 13 December 2005

Where have the Professional Journalists Gone?

Like a blogger trying to pump up their buzz, the New York Times declares;

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Tuesday, 6 December 2005

The End Is Nigh?

Bloomberg calls it;

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Monday, 5 December 2005

RFC 4287: The Atom Syndication Format

Atom has finally realised its most important advantage over the various flavours of RSS — it’s a Standards-Track RFC.

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Saturday, 26 November 2005

Leveraging the Web: Caching

The first in an occasional series about the real-world benefits of REST and the Web architecture, as applied to HTTP.

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Tuesday, 22 November 2005

It's Official: Blogs are Everywhere

One of the oldest continuously-run enterprises in the world (and a former employer of my wife), Oxford University Press, first publisher of the King James Bible, namesake of a punctuation mark, now has a weblog.

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Friday, 18 November 2005

TripSense

Just got an e-mail from Progressive, who want people to sign up for Tripsense;

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Monday, 7 November 2005

REST vs..?

More and more people are getting turned on to the advantages of using REST as a higher-level abstraction for networked applications, often comparing it favourably to SOAP and Web services.

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Sunday, 30 October 2005

Frameworks

Stumbled across this, from Ian Bicking;

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Wednesday, 26 October 2005

Calendar <-> Feed?

Does anybody know of a program or service that will look at a calendar file (e.g., vCalendar, iCalendar, hCalendar) and publish the entries on it as an RSS feed, where each entry in the feed has a link to that one calendar entry?

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Sunday, 23 October 2005

Emulating W3C ,tools with mod_rewrite

I don’t know if this has already been done (it’s not exactly rocket science), but for the benefit of those who want to emulate the W3C’s cool ,tools functions with mod_rewrite;

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Saturday, 22 October 2005

Why Just GET and POST?

Why is it that Web browsers — Amaya excluded — don’t support PUT and DELETE? After all, if there are enough VCs foolish enough to part with their money for something like Flock, surely we could at least support all of HTTP’s methods.

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Wednesday, 19 October 2005

OPTIONS Getting Better

Roy Fielding has just closed a bug that’s been around since 1996, and which I’ve previously lamented here;

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Tuesday, 18 October 2005

XSLT for the Rest of the Web

I’ve raved before about how useful the XSLT document() function is, once you get used to it. However, the stars have to be aligned just so to use it; the Web site can’t use cookies for anything important, and the content you’re interested in has to be available in well-formed XML.

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Wednesday, 5 October 2005

2.0

Does anybody else chortle quietly when they see “2.0-this” and “2.0-that”?

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Wednesday, 14 September 2005

Bennet Murray Nottingham

…has entered the building.

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Monday, 5 September 2005

Feed History -04

Feed History draft -04 is out, with the only major change being the replacement of fh:stateful with fh:incremental, with corresponding changes throughout the document, to make the concepts a bit clearer.

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Thursday, 1 September 2005

RSS Tutorial for Content Publishers and Webmasters

I took a pass at a revision of the RSS Tutorial for Content Publishers and Webmasters on the train this morning, as I realised it was dreadfully out of date.

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Monday, 29 August 2005

sparta.py 0.8

I’m happy to announce that version 0.8 of sparta, a simple API for RDF, is now available. As always, feedback and suggestions are appreciated.

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Thursday, 25 August 2005

Wanted: Blogging Fund Manager

Does anybody know of a mutual fund manager who also has a blog? I’d be interested if someone in the financial industry had such a rich channel to their customers (and potential customers).

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Thursday, 25 August 2005

Bubble Fun

It seems that the debate has switched from if there’s a housing bubble to when and where it will pop.

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Monday, 15 August 2005

Putting History in Your Feed

I’ve had a few e-mails asking how I got this site’s RSS feed to include its history, so here are the instructions for doing it in Moveable Type (the software that I use to manage this site). If you have instructions for other feed-generating software, please either leave them in comments below, or send me an e-mail.

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Monday, 15 August 2005

Feed History -03

Draft -03 of Feed History: Enabling Stateful Syndication is now available. Significant changes include:

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Monday, 15 August 2005

Advertise on the BBC!

Is it just me, or is this a thinly-veiled press release?

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Saturday, 13 August 2005

Adding Semantics to Excel with Microformats and GRDDL

When I worked in the financial industry, I quickly noticed that Excel spreadsheets contain the bulk of the data in the enterprise. It may make IT execs tear their hair out, but having the data nearby and ready for analysis is sloppy, but oh-so-effective. The challenge is to make the data reusable elsewhere.

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Wednesday, 10 August 2005

Separating the Data Model from its Serialisation

For some time, I’ve noticed that people defining XML formats spend an inordinate amount of time talking about the structure of the format. This is especially apparent in standards working groups, where hours — no, days — can be spent agonizing over whether to make something an attribute or an element.

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Monday, 8 August 2005

HTTP Performance (again)

Some folks at IONA have written a paper entitled Where HTTP Fails SOAP. I had a chance to look at this before I got it published, and their conclusions make a lot of sense — if you accept the premise that SOAP (and Web services) is about integration with existing applications.

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Saturday, 23 July 2005

Who Do We Work For?

The FT Global 500 is pretty much what you see when you look up “capitalistic orgy” in the dictionary. It’s a compilation of the largest 500 mega-corporations in the world, as measured by the market.

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Friday, 22 July 2005

Transformational Standards

Don Box (whose blog doesn’t seem to be taking comments any more, so I’ll do it over here) points out some very cool technology he’s using, Microsoft’s Office Communicator. Sounds very slick, I’m jealous (with my old tech phone line and last year’s GSM mobile)!

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Thursday, 21 July 2005

John Kerry, Spammer

Both my wife and I signed up to johnkerry.com’s mailing list during the last federal election cycle.

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Monday, 18 July 2005

Core Image Fun House

Am I just behind, or is Core Image Fun House the coolest thing ever?

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Saturday, 16 July 2005

Making Syndication Enterprise-Grade

After more than five years, syndication is maturing rapidly. It’s being used for more than blogging — whether it be stock quotes, system logs, or order lists — and even blogging will change in nature as it gets more popular; people will be using blogs to fundamentally change the way they do business, inside and outside the firewall.

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Friday, 15 July 2005

Don’t use the ‘feed’ URI Scheme

It’s been covered before elsewhere, but just a friendly reminder: ‘feed’ URIs are bad for the Web, as are any that are used solely for dispatch (e.g., ‘itms’, ‘ pcast’).

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Tuesday, 12 July 2005

Naked & Angry

Talk about ground-breaking online business models! Naked & Angry lets you submit your own patterns that people will vote on for seven days; the winners will get $500 and free product, and the winning designs will be made into limited-run numbered neckties (and, apparently, other silk things too) that are for sale on the same site.

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Saturday, 9 July 2005

Never Mind the Corporate Blogs; Here’s the Wiki

While a lot of companies are exploring blogs as a means of building communities, Intuit* (makers of Quicken, TurboTax, etc.) has skipped directly to the next logical step; using Wikis.

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Friday, 8 July 2005

One Description to Bind them All? Nah.

You can describe just about anything with sufficient precision in plain English, given enough words. In practice, this doesn’t happen; specialised fields — whether science, finance or art — develop specialised jargon as a shorthand for concepts that are well-understood in that field. It gives greater precision, easier flow of ideas, and yes, it raises the bar to entry for newcomers.

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Friday, 1 July 2005

(Statistical) Information Wants to Be Free

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has announced that as of today, their online publications and tables are now free to download, instead of requiring an account and a per-download charge, as before.

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Thursday, 30 June 2005

JavaOne

So, this week was my first JavaOne. It felt like most other industry conferences; an exhibition floor, free lunches, good technical sessions, and so forth.

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Monday, 27 June 2005

Perspectives on the Addressing Experiment

I don’t talk much about it here, but I’m honoured to be the Chair of the W3C Web Services Addressing Working Group. This is something of an experiment for the W3C, so I gave an update on its progress as part of a panel discussion at the Advisory Committee meeting a few weeks ago. I’d like to share some of what I presented there.

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Thursday, 23 June 2005

Another, More Disturbing Reason Not to Buy a House

As you might guess, I’m not too keen on buying a house at the moment, due to what I (and others) perceive to be a bubble in prices.

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Monday, 20 June 2005

Bubble News Roundup

This week the Economist continues casting doubt upon the notion that housing prices will continue going up, up, up:

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Tuesday, 14 June 2005

Getting Rid of QNames in Content

Or, What’s Wrong with XInclude?

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Tuesday, 24 May 2005

Web Description at the W3C

The W3C has just started a mailing list for discussion of Web description formats;

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Sunday, 22 May 2005

Prefetching (again)

There’s been quite a kerfuffle over Google’s Web Accelerator, because it prefetches Web content.

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Sunday, 22 May 2005

Freakonomics

After hearing a review on NPR and reading the Economist’s, I was (as was once said) with child to read Freakonomics. After finding myself in a queue of 411 other people putting it on hold in the Peninsula Library System, I broke and bought it.

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Saturday, 21 May 2005

XML Base: Evil?

If you accept that QNames in content are evil, the next logical question is whether XML Base is any better. In fact, if you turn your head a certain way, it appears that there’s very little difference between a default namespace and XML Base.

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Wednesday, 18 May 2005

WADLing towards Web Description

Marc Hadley has released WADL in the wild, and I’m intrigued; based on a first look, I’d say it’s the most promising Web (as opposed to Web Services) description language yet.

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Tuesday, 17 May 2005

OxygenXML, Now with Visual Schema Editing

OxygenXML 6.0 is out, and it sucks even less. The biggest news is — finally! — a visual Schema editor. This may be the biggest threat yet to Gudge’s job security, as Human Schema Editor. :)

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Sunday, 15 May 2005

Effects of Australian Tax Cuts

Last week, the Australian government announced a new budget. It included a number of tax cuts that were even more ambitious than expected.

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Thursday, 12 May 2005

Google's Cache-Control Extensions

I happened to look at the HTTP headers returned from Google News just now (what can I say, I’m a HTTP geek), and I noticed something unusual;

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Tuesday, 10 May 2005

Notes on Generational Accounting

Social Security represents a pact between generations—a financial and social commitment among people of all ages. — US Social Security Administration

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Monday, 9 May 2005

Greasemonkey and the Web

There’s a lot of cool apps emerging for GreaseMonkey (and GreaseMonkIE and PithHelmet, for IE and Safari respectively). It seems like these extensions have a love/hate relationship with the Web, philosophically.

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Sunday, 1 May 2005

Arguments for Buying a House Now

In the interest of equal time, two quotes attributed to Keynes;

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Friday, 29 April 2005

Questions Leading to a Web Description Format

A while back, I published a series of entries ( 1, 2, 3, 4) about would-be Web Description Formats, with the intent of figuring out which (if any) is suitable, or whether a new one is required.

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Friday, 29 April 2005

Data Modeling and Abstraction

Today’s release of Tiger includes a new but little-discussed framework for developers, CoreData. What’s most interesting to me is its similarities — and differences — to SDO, IBM and BEA’s* effort to abstract away the specifics of how data is stored.

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Sunday, 24 April 2005

Syntax for Distributed Computing

XML is arguably one of the bigger things to come onto industry’s radar for a while, and as a result programming languages (e.g., ECMAScript, Comega, Java) are changing to accommodate it. This isn’t just happening in libraries; the syntax of the languages is changing.

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Sunday, 24 April 2005

Personalised RSS and Cookie Sharing

Should cookies be shared between your RSS aggregator and your Web browser? If they were, sites would be able to automatically personalise the feeds you subscribe to; would people be interested in that, or see it as an intrusion in their privacy?

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Tuesday, 12 April 2005

Try This RSS Experiment

Way back when I put the first Atom drafts together, I included a placeholder for a section that I hoped would allow reconstruction of feed state. Presently, this often isn’t necessary, because you have to be away for a seriously long time (e.g, on vacation) before you actually miss anything. However, I’d put forth that this state of grace is going to be increasingly unlikely.

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Sunday, 10 April 2005

Tempest in a Teacup, Counterclockwise*

Those who have been preoccupied by Two Funerals and a Wedding may have missed news of a developing diplomatic crisis in Australia.

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Sunday, 10 April 2005

Coffee, Tea, or Shove that Phone Right Up Your…?

As if flying wasn’t enough of a trial already, you may have heard that the FCC is considering lifting their ban on mobile phone use in airplanes. While the FAA may still restrict their use, this is just one barrier less to having a person yammering away for hours on end, one foot away from your ear.

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Sunday, 3 April 2005

A Call to OPTIONS

Web metadata discovery is not a new topic, and one on which the final word has not been spoken. However, one of the most basic means of discovering something about a resource, the HTTP OPTIONS method, is not widely enabled by current implementations.

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Friday, 1 April 2005

Can Somebody Explain to Me...

RDF has a simple, usable, universal model; everything’s nodes and arcs, so it avoids the problems of the Infoset, which IMO are brought by its complexity and special cases. Years of disquiet about attributes by portions of the XML cognoscenti support this view unintentionally, I think.

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Wednesday, 30 March 2005

Memory, Sweet Memory...

Just added a 512M module to the Powerbook for a total of 1G (was 768M), for a pittance — $79! — courtesy of Amazon.

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Friday, 25 March 2005

Site Updates

After a deeply wounding comment about this site’s design from SOMEONE WHO KNOWS WHO THEY ARE last week, I’ve refreshed the mnot.net stylesheets and front page design.

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Monday, 21 March 2005

Nevermore

A while back, I wrote up a description of a pattern for avoiding messages like “ click submit only once.” I didn’t do much after that, because I’ve been a bit busy, and because I wanted to do some implementation of a more general HTTP framework before I wrote a more formal document.

this entry’s page

Thursday, 17 March 2005

Sparta.py 0.7

I’m happy to announce that version 0.7 of sparta.py, a simple API for RDF, is now available. As always, feedback and suggestions are appreciated.

this entry’s page

Thursday, 17 March 2005

Travel Warning

I personally like Airbus planes, especially the A340, but Risks Digest has given me a reason to avoid some of them;

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Saturday, 5 March 2005

More notes on the Bay area housing market

Carlos sent me an interesting summary page about the Bay area housing bubble. I wish there were more links substantiating the assertions there (a few ring false), but it is thought-provoking.

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Wednesday, 2 March 2005

Using XML in Data-Oriented Applications

So, you’ve got some data that you need to give to somebody else, and you want to use XML to do it; good for you, you’ve seen the light / hopped on the bandwagon / drunk the Kool-Aid.

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Tuesday, 22 February 2005

document(Web)

I love the XSLT document function. With it, you can access the whole Web from a stylesheet; this gives a lot of flexibility, in the right situation.

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Monday, 7 February 2005

The Map is Not the Territory

Werner makes an excellent point;

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Saturday, 5 February 2005

Who’ll Clean Up?

Listening to people talk about the economy — and the housing bubble in particular — makes me wonder; what happens after it bursts?

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Monday, 24 January 2005

JSON and XML

I’m intrigued by the JSON effort. While many people (and vendors) have chosen XML for data interchange because it’s not platform- or vendor-specific, these folks have chosen the other path; by leveraging the serialisation of data structures in ECMAScript (nee JavaScript) — a nearly ubiquitous language, on every desktop that has a browser — they get an automatic installed base and at least one API for free.

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Sunday, 23 January 2005

WS-Who's on First?

There are MEPs in SOAP and MEPs in WSDL; both describe patterns of messages, but at potentially different layers.

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Wednesday, 19 January 2005

On How Google Fixed Comment Spam

More than a year after my modest suggestion, Google takes a step to fix comment spam. Hopefully, other people who re-publish Web content (like mailing list archives) will start doing this as well.

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Wednesday, 5 January 2005

Melbourne

Since the W3C Web Services Addressing Working Group is visiting my (sort of) home town in a couple of weeks, I’ve updated the Opinionated Guide to Melbourne that I sometimes give to people by e-mail and put it on the Web.

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Friday, 17 December 2004

Tufte would be Proud

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released a very cool SVG-based animated population pyramid ( non-SVG preview) that very nicely visualises the change in that country’s population over time. While the pyramid technique is fairly common, the addition of a fourth dimension — time — and the ability to track a cohort through it really brings the data to life. Try the “highlight surplus of males or females” feature to see when you’ve got the least competition.

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Wednesday, 15 December 2004

text/python?

I’m thinking about whether it would be a good idea to have a media type for Python source files, call it “text/python.”

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Monday, 6 December 2004

Sparta.py 0.6: RDF (and RSS!) Made Easy

Version 0.6 of sparta.py is now available. Changes include:

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Friday, 26 November 2004

Shop ‘til you Drop

Stephen Roach, the chief economist at investment banking giant Morgan Stanley, has a public reputation for being bearish. But you should hear what he’s saying in private. Roach met select groups of fund managers downtown last week, including a group at Fidelity. His prediction: America has no better than a 10 percent chance of avoiding economic “armageddon.” Press were not allowed into the meetings. But the Herald has obtained a copy of Roach’s presentation. A stunned source who was at one meeting said, “it struck me how extreme he was - much more, it seemed to me, than in public.” — The Boston Herald

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Wednesday, 17 November 2004

What's Going on at Amazon?

I tend to use shopping carts at online stores as to-buy lists; if I’m interested in something, I’ll hold it there and muse on it for a while. This lets me build up an order over time and get it shipped in one go; I won’t buy everything at once, but eventually, everything gets bought.

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Friday, 5 November 2004

FYI

For some reason, people are considering a change, such as this one. Might I make another suggestion [pdf].

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Saturday, 16 October 2004

Partisan Hackery

I’m not the first to blog this by any means, but it’s notable enough to interrupt our regular… err… broadcast. Stop what you’re doing and see John Stewart take on Crossfire. A taste;

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Sunday, 10 October 2004

Why POST is Special

In a recent post, Don gave his take on the enlightening nature of WS-Transfer;

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Wednesday, 29 September 2004

Is there a Web Services Architecture?

As I’m sure many others were, I was intrigued to see that Microsoft published their idea of an Introduction to the Web Services Architecture and Its Specifications the other week.

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Monday, 27 September 2004

The ‘Web’ in Web Services

I was very interested to see the reaction to WS-Transfer [PDF] over the last few days. While the SOAP Resource Representation Header had opprobrium heaped upon it (see previous discussion), Transfer passed by with nothing more than a few nodding heads and people saying “aha.”

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Sunday, 19 September 2004

Back

If you’re wondering where the promised travel stories from Melbourne got to, you’ll have to wait a bit longer; other events overtook me.

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Wednesday, 8 September 2004

And now for something completely different: Roadblog!

I’m typing this from the Red Carpet Club in San Francisco International Airport, about to depart on a snap vacation to Melbourne.

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Wednesday, 8 September 2004

HTTP Header Registries

Ever wonder where the heck a particular HTTP header is defined?

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Monday, 6 September 2004

Saving the Village with Wal-Mart

In BusinessWeek, Chris Kenton brings us a thoughtful piece about the Faustian bargains that localities are making in the name of progress;

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Thursday, 2 September 2004

Innocent Fraud

…I have learned that to be right and useful, one must accept a continuing divergence between approved belief — what I have elsewhere called conventional wisdom — and the reality. And in the end, not surprisingly, it is the reality that counts.

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Thursday, 26 August 2004

HTTP Authentication and Forms

It’s no secret that HTTP authentication isn’t used as often as it should be. When I talk to Web developers, there are usually a few reasons for their use of cookies for authentication;

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Wednesday, 25 August 2004

“It seems that the housing party is over”

Today’s Wall Street Journal has an article, “Hot Housing Market Simmers Down.” I can’t reference it directly because I’m not a subscriber, but it basically notes that, according to the Association of Realtors, existing single-family home sales declined 2.9% in July, while in California the housing inventory has increased to 3.3 months, surpassing three months for the first time since February 2003.

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Saturday, 21 August 2004

sparta.py 0.5: RDF made easy

Version 0.5 of sparta.py is now available; with this release, I think it’s roughly feature-complete.

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Thursday, 19 August 2004

On Jargon and Applicability

Alfred Marshall, who is credited with turning economics from a sideline to a proper discipline of its own, had this to say:

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Sunday, 8 August 2004

Resistance is Futile

Bill points out the inevitability of the Pythonification of the world. I couldn’t agree more; if you listen to the whispers in the halls, all of the old objections are falling away, and people are taking a serious look at dynamically typed languages.

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Sunday, 8 August 2004

Preliminary Experimentation Indicates...

Baileys Irish Cream (2 measures) Kahlúa (3 measures) Macadamia nut liquor, or dark rum (e.g., Myer’s) (1 measure) Coconut Milk (4 measures) Cream, or half and half (3 measures) Banana (1 whole) Ice (to suit)

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Thursday, 5 August 2004

ComputerSpeakerPhone

Oh LazyWeb, please give me software that lets me use my Powerbook as a Bluetooth speakerphone…

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Thursday, 5 August 2004

The ‘Document’ in Document-Oriented Messaging

(Another instalment in “XML Heresies.”)

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Monday, 2 August 2004

The Age Gets RSS Feeds

Melbourne’s The Age now has RSS feeds available — hooray! I’ve been scraping them and bugging the staff for a while, so it’s nice to see that Fairfax (now “Fairfax Digital” instead of “f2”… whatever) finally get it.

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Saturday, 31 July 2004

The Whole Web in a Python Dictionary

A few days ago I blogged a straw-man API for client-side HTTP based on dictionaries. This turns out to be well-aligned with a project I’ve had on the back burner for a while; coming up with some Python APIs for HTTP that are usable, encourage good practice, and well-aligned with the specifications.

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Friday, 30 July 2004

Corporate Citizenship

Apple is making an executive summary of the 9/11 commission report and the major speeches from the Democratic National Convention available for free on the iTunes Music Store. They deserve a lot of praise for this, and I hope they continue this practice.

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Monday, 26 July 2004

Dictionary as API?

From the Daily Python URL comes another noteworthy API for XML; XMLFragment. I haven’t tried it yet (it doesn’t appear to be separately available, hint, hint), but I like the look of it.

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Sunday, 25 July 2004

A Monkey’s Lunch is…

Baileys Irish Cream Kahlúa Macadamia nut liquor, or dark rum (e.g., Myer’s) Coconut Juice Cream Banana Ice

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Sunday, 18 July 2004

Web-izing The Finder

Timbl has talked about Web-izing databasesand languages; what about operating systems? Despite Microsoft’s legal troubles brought about trying to integrate the browser into Windows, it’s a good idea.

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Saturday, 3 July 2004

Safari as HTML Editor?

Surfin’ Safari hints that the next version of WebCore will be able to edit as well as render HTML.

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Friday, 2 July 2004

Geopolitical Arbitrage

To develop a previous theme;

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Thursday, 1 July 2004

Internet Mapping For the Little Guy

When Tim O’Reilly gave his keynote at eWorld this year, one of his major points was that Internet-based mapping (e.g., Yahoo maps, Mapquest) had failed to take off, despite their obvious utility, because they were walled gardens; unlike eBay and Amazon, they don’t integrate user data and third-party applications very well.

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Thursday, 1 July 2004

Come One, Come All

The W3C Workshop on Constraints and Capabilities for Web Services promises to be a quiet, calm, tightly-scoped discussion of a well-understood topic, lacking any controversy whatsoever.

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Wednesday, 30 June 2004

SOAP: Protocol or Format?

Way back when the XML Protocol Working Group started kicking around, Henrik and I had a long-running, low-level “discusssion” about whether SOAP was a protocol or a format.

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Wednesday, 30 June 2004

More on the Housing Bubble^H^H^H^H^H^HMarket

HSBC has apparently been indiscreet enough to call it a bubble, but I can’t find the actual report (“The U.S. Housing Bubble — The case for a home-brewed hangover.”). Anyone have a link?

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Monday, 28 June 2004

Social Security

If you work in the United States or intend to retire there, grab yourself a copy of today’s Wall Street Journal, which contains a special section that covers this topic with unusual lucidity.

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Wednesday, 23 June 2004

XML Language Bindings Done Right

John Schneider was in the office last week and gave me a demo of something he’s been working on for a while, E4X — by far one of the coolest technologies I’ve seen in some time. I think that every language is going to want one when they see this stuff.

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Wednesday, 16 June 2004

What?

Check out the W eb H ypertext A pplication T echnology Working Group; it looks like our last, best hope for extending the browser platform to grow the Web.

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Monday, 14 June 2004

Use Cases for Web Description Formats

One thing about Web description formats that hasn’t seen much discussion yet is how people intend to use them.

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Saturday, 5 June 2004

Send Wiki and Comment Spammers a Message

Netcraft reports that “Search Engine Optimisers” are unable to resist the siren call of spamming.

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Saturday, 5 June 2004

Extreme URL Scraping and Debugging

Because Web sites often don’t make information available to us in the way we’d like, we have to bring the mountain to Mohammed and scrape screens.

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Monday, 31 May 2004

Why I Won’t Be Buying a House in the Bay Area Soon

Benjamin Wallace-Wells’ “ There Goes the Neighborhood” captures what many have been saying for a while now; it’s a bubble, a bubble, a bubble.

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Sunday, 30 May 2004

Ubiquitious Fragment Identifiers

Tim Bray is trying out “purple number signs” on his Web site to make fragment identifiers ubiquitous and easy to find.

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Friday, 28 May 2004

WebDAV Access Control Protocol

RFC 3744 has been published:

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Friday, 28 May 2004

Rename with Date.applescript

Hey mac fans —

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Friday, 28 May 2004

XML Infoset, RDF and Data Modelling

I’ve been talking with a few people about my previous assertion that the Infoset is a bad abstraction for data modelling, and my subsequent post about the informational properties of the Infoset.

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Tuesday, 18 May 2004

The Syndication Sky is Falling!

A few people got together in NYC to talk about Atom going to the W3C this morning. One part of the minutes of this discussion raised my eyebrows a fair amount;

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Saturday, 15 May 2004

sparta.py 0.4: Data Binding for RDF in Python

After a short pause (OK, nearly three years), I’ve released version 0.4 of sparta.py.

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Wednesday, 12 May 2004

Informational Properties of Infosets

Recently, I’ve been thinking about the influences that using the Infoset has on the information you place in it.

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Tuesday, 11 May 2004

OxygenXML is Good Enough

I’ve been playing around with the new OxygenXML 4.0 plug-in for Eclipse M8.

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Friday, 7 May 2004

XopParser.py 0.2

To help inform discussion of XOP (and to save Sam the trouble ;), I’ve put together a quick-and-dirty (we’re talking two hours) XOP parser in Python. It isn’t particularly efficient, nor is it well-tested or robust; it’s only to demonstrate how a XOP parser might behave.

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Friday, 7 May 2004

What is print.google.com?

It looks like Google is starting to index books and magazines; I came across this in a Google search I did today, but can’t find any reference to it on their public pages.

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Wednesday, 5 May 2004

iTunes

I’ve got to say that iTunes 4.5 is scary addictive.

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Wednesday, 5 May 2004

Boo!

Without pointing fingers, some people have a bee in their collective bonnet about the dangers of allowing binary content to be represented in XML, care of XOP. Others are up in arms about re-inventing HTTP in SOAP, courtesy of the Representation Header. Both of these are products of the XML Protocol WG, of which I’m a member, so I’d like to share my viewpoint (which is not that of either my employer nor the working group, etc., ad nauseam).

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Monday, 3 May 2004

Go PATCH Go

It looks like the HTTP PATCH method proposal might be based on Delta Encoding, which is IMO one of the cooler and lesser-known HTTP technologies.

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Sunday, 2 May 2004

Taxing Wages

I probably shouldn’t go around interpreting OECD statistics, as I’m not an economist (I just play one on the Web). However, the OECD’s Centre for Tax Policy and Administration has made some excerpts of its 2002/2003 edition of “Taxing Wages” available, and there’s some interesting reading therein.

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Sunday, 2 May 2004

Economic Indicators from the Web

An idea for the LazyWeb:

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Saturday, 1 May 2004

Stupid Compression Tricks

I’m watching a company called Riverbed with interest, because they just released a new product, “Steelhead”. In a nutshell, it’s IP datagram compression done with a shared, dynamic dictionary.

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Tuesday, 27 April 2004

Using WebDAV as a Description Format for REST

In the past, I’ve talked about reusing WSDL as a format for describing Web resources, as well as coming up with a bespoke format.

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Tuesday, 27 April 2004

How do we use SOAP Headers?

Way back when in the XML Protocol Working Group, one of the concerns that came up was the processing model for SOAP headers. In particular, while SOAP 1.2 does a good job of specifying how that model operates, a key peice of information is missing; how to order the steps in processing a message.

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Tuesday, 27 April 2004

Understanding Arnie

I think I’m starting to sympathise with Our Great Governor in California; the state senate has passed a bill banning the production or sale of foie gras.

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Monday, 26 April 2004

Typography Out of the Box

Don Box:

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Saturday, 24 April 2004

Madonna Dead

This is why heuristics aren’t such a hot idea.

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Tuesday, 20 April 2004

Sean’s Words of Wisdom

Sean McGrath always has carefully considered positions, and he hits it out of the ballpark with this one. A few thoughts;

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Monday, 19 April 2004

Asynchrony: There Is No Spoon

One of the things that people find compelling about Web services is its promise of asynchrony. “HTTP is only request/response, and therefore synchronous; it’s terrible for long-lived business processes, where the server needs to contact the client at some arbitrary time in the future” they say.

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Friday, 16 April 2004

Describing Generative Identifiers in WSDL

To use WSDL to describe RESTful interactions, you need some way of accommodating generative resource identifiers. In a nutshell, this means some part of the URI is dynamic. For example, with HTTP I might describe an address book where someone named “Jones” has a corresponding entry URI;

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Thursday, 15 April 2004

Five Favourite Protocol Design Papers

Lots of papers come and go over the years; take a look at any tech conference, online bibliographies (even subject-specific ones; Webbib is a favourite), and you’ll be inundated.

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Wednesday, 14 April 2004

A(nother) Description Format for REST

I’ve talked before about describing RESTful Web resources, going as far as prototyping a new format. That work was predicated on the assumption that WSDL wasn’t adequate.

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Tuesday, 13 April 2004

More Software that Everybody Should Download

Spike is a networked clipboard that allows you to easily share text, pictures and other interesting things with others near and far.

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Tuesday, 13 April 2004

GMail

People of Fremont, you might want to consider your voting choices a little more carefully. Liz Figueroa (your senator) has decided that Google’s GMail is “like having a massive billboard in the middle of your home,” and therefore wants to outlaw it.

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Monday, 12 April 2004

Leading from Afar, or Out of Touch?

From the Washington Post:

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Friday, 9 April 2004

xml:id is Coming

This is a good idea for so many reasons. The media type registration will have to be changed to take advantage of it, but I believe that RFC3023 is under review anyway.

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Friday, 9 April 2004

Elegance in Integration

Elegance in integration is multiplicity — solving one problem in ways that aid another. Elegance is optimization. Elegance is assembly — an apparatus readily put together and taken apart. Elegance is tolerance-ordering, where tolerance means uncertainty in some manufacturing operations. Elegance is simplification. As engineering designs evolve, they gain false sophistication — empty but seductive ingenuities. Ruthlessly, agonizingly, these must be stripped away. Elegance, finally, is work-arounds — minimizing the risks, endemic to all [projects], of… failures or costly delays during fabrication.

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Thursday, 1 April 2004

The Market for AdWords

Google’s AdWords program allows advertisers to target their dollars at specific words; for example, I can say that I want to buy advertising on search results when the terms are “ elephant cookie.”

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Monday, 29 March 2004

Python Just Got a Whole Lot Cooler

OK, so I know they’ve been around for a while, but I haven’t really got into Python’s metaclasses until just now, because I’ve been… well… busy.

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Monday, 29 March 2004

Behind the Scenes at Your (very) Local Music Store

Aaron Swartz has started to document the iTunes Music Store; this is a good example of a non-browser, cross-platform application reusing HTTP. It would be interesting to see the interface documented on a per-URI basis.

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Sunday, 28 March 2004

Growing the Web

Ian Hickson is thinking about client-side technologies (scroll down a bit). Some of his ideas resonated;

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Tuesday, 23 March 2004

XGrid and BEEP

I just stumbled across Apple’s new preview of XGrid, their ad hoc clustering technology. It’s got lots of cool features, like discovery via Rendezvous (aka ZeroConf), a job control dashboard, and a bioinformatics demo app.

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Monday, 22 March 2004

Thoughts on a Suburban Nation

Interested in living in actual communities, rather than subdivisions or “pods”? Tired of spending most of your life in a car?

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Wednesday, 17 March 2004

Outage in the Web: Server Configuration

In an otherwise excellent article, Jon Udell blames the lack of one-click subscribe in syndication formats on lack of vision;

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Wednesday, 10 March 2004

Google Spam Redux

Someone calling themselves Scott Wiseman has started sending messages to the HTTP-WG mailing list. Although anyone has a right to make on-topic posts to the list, Scott is stretching it; each of his posts responds to someone else’s in a trivial fashion (e.g., “That is so deep”), and includes a lengthy signature containing a variety of URLs for sites he’s presumably promoting (I won’t reproduce the mail here, lest I encourage them).

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Sunday, 7 March 2004

The Problem With Infosets

An interesting issue poked its head up at the W3C Technical Plenary last week. XML Protocol (known as SOAP to mere mortals) is defined in terms of XML Infosets — it describes how to move Infosets around and process them, as the basis of Web services.

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Friday, 5 March 2004

The Powerbook is Dead; Long Live the Powerbook

I’ve just got back from a two-week business trip, during which my 15” Titanium Powerbook showed increasing signs of shaking off this mortal coil. Specifically, the bottom 1/3 of the screen kept on flickering white. At first, I was able to tap the screen to make it better, but as time went on, tapping became hitting, and by the end, it was unresponsive. Considering the work this machine has done, I’m not terribly displeased.

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Monday, 1 March 2004

Atom Theme Song?

This just popped up on the iTunes “new releases” list. I think we’re going to see some Atom-related products called “Tomato.”

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Sunday, 15 February 2004

A Strategy for Atom Migration

One of the problems facing the syndication community as a whole is the number of formats that have been minted. This a particular concern for Atom as the newcomer; a common argument against it is that RSS content will never go away, so it’s just adding to this problem.

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Sunday, 15 February 2004

Economic Approaches to Spam

SPF is getting a lot of attention, but it’s got some pretty fundamental limitations, as well as some shorter-term practical problems. What else is there?

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Sunday, 15 February 2004

Caching Tutorial Update

I’ve published a revision of the Caching Tutorial for Web Authors and Webmasters, the first non-trivial edit in some time almost since I wrote it in 1998. That said, there aren’t any substantial changes; this is mostly tweaking and incorporation of new information.

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Saturday, 14 February 2004

XOP and MTOM

The XML Protocol Working Group (of which I’m a member) has released a first draft of XOP, XML-binary Optimised Packaging, and a revised draft of MTOM, the Message Transmission Optimisation Mechanism, that leverages XOP.

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Saturday, 14 February 2004

Krugman on Bush

Paul Krugman points out continuing efforts to shore up George Bush, the Myth;

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Saturday, 14 February 2004

Redefining the Ability to Pay

I know little about the politics or economy of Canada, but a proposal by Tony Clement (Conservative) is interesting. Mike Moffatt explains;

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Tuesday, 10 February 2004

RSS.py, version 0.45

This minor revision fixes the “admin” namespace’s URI to agree with the feed validator and pretty much all other implementations.

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Monday, 9 February 2004

Irony Defined

In the same week that Melbourne is yet again called the most liveable city in the world (a regular occurrence), John Howard, the Prime Minister of Australia, has negotiated a free-trade agreement that allows US businesses to invest as if it were just another state in the union.

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Monday, 9 February 2004

Video Chat — It’s Here

We’ve been playing with iChat AV, and I’ve got to say that it puts video chat in the same class as E-Mail and Web; killer app.

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Sunday, 8 February 2004

Delusions of Churchill

George Bush on why he should be re-elected:

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Saturday, 7 February 2004

Messages vs. Files

Jon Udell is thinking about the benefits of data being globally available, rather than localised to a machine. I’m in complete agreement; in the last two years, I’ve used Linux, Windows and Mac OSX on the desktop, leading me to be ruthless about data portability.

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Saturday, 7 February 2004

XPointer: Friend or Foe?

One of the uglier corners in the Web architecture is the relationship between fragment ids (the bit of the URI at the end, after the “#”) and content negotiation. In a nutshell, because dereferencing a single URI can return multiple formats, and because the fragID is interpreted by the client based on the format, it’s possible to have a fragID mean wildly different things across representations of a single resource.

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Friday, 6 February 2004

Caltrain Scheduling Changes (and other thoughts on Public Transport policy)

Caltrain has proposed a set of schedules that re-introduce weekend services and tweak a number of trains’ timings and stops, to enable “bullet” service.

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Wednesday, 4 February 2004

Singing the Brief

I’m so sick of watching presidential candidates confidently telling news anchors that they’re doing well in the race, and explaining how well their ideas are going across.

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Tuesday, 3 February 2004

What is NetKernel?

Just got some mail regarding the Cacheability Engine which led me to NetKernel;

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Thursday, 29 January 2004

Orkut

I have to confess to being a bit underwhelmed by Orkut after all the hype; it feels like just YASN. I’m not complaining — it’s cool, and until I write my own social networking software, I don’t have the right ;) — but it isn’t everything that such a beast could be, and I don’t think it would take that much to get it there.

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Thursday, 29 January 2004

Anybody in the house know Latvian?

I found a link in the referrers to a Latvian blog where they’re discussing a previous entry here. Can anyone offer a translation? Google and Babelfish don’t do Latvian (something I’m sure Google, at least, will soon correct, with their forthcoming influx of cash).

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Wednesday, 28 January 2004

Can we stop it with the orange XML buttons already?

It’s like having a “get your ASCII here” button; completely meaningless.

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Sunday, 25 January 2004

Legal Implications of Feedback on Weblogs

As alluded to before, you’re taking on legal risk when you allow people to say things to you. Yes, this is crazy, but hey, it’s the US legal system. Go figure.

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Saturday, 24 January 2004

Rebates and Privacy

Last weekend, I bought a Pioneer DVR-A06U DVD/CD Writer from Fry’s, for about $120, after a $30 manufacturer’s rebate.

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Thursday, 22 January 2004

iTMS does RSS

This is the way syndication should be; user-customisable and aligned with the Web view of the resources it talks about. Cool.

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Thursday, 22 January 2004

©

Over the past month or two, I’ve been noticing a little link on larger news organizations’ Web articles, such as that of the New York Times and Christian Science Monitor.

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Wednesday, 21 January 2004

RESTful SPAM?

Just got this:

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Tuesday, 13 January 2004

Papa Leave

This week’s Economist has an interesting article about parental leave in Sweden (alas, the Web version requires a subscription), a long-standing and generous benefit; they can take up to 13 months of leave, paid at 80%. Furthermore, it’s possible to divide this time between both parents, and it can be taken until the child is eight.

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Monday, 12 January 2004

XQuery on the Web

There’s a lot of interest out there about exposing XQuery 1.0 / XPath 1.0 / XPath 2.0 in Web interfaces. On the face of it, this is quite a compelling idea; it allows you to reuse a generic query mechanism (goodness) to access arbitrary data based on the client’s needs (more goodness) and only the bits of data that you want go across the wire (yet more goodness).

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Monday, 12 January 2004

Jeffrey Record

From the Washington Post: The Army War College has published a paper questioning the scope and approach to the war on terror.

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Monday, 12 January 2004

Decentralised Registration

Wouldn’t it be great if, whenever a business, government organization or just the guy down the block came up with a new format for their documents, they could easily get a media type, so that the format would be a first-class citizen on the Web?

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Sunday, 11 January 2004

Paul O’Neill

Well, this should liven things up…

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Thursday, 8 January 2004

Officially Unofficial

Rod Chavez has posted an article about running BEA WebLogic Server 8.1 on OSX to O’Reilly. It’s really, really cool that this works, and I’ve had the entire platform (including Workshop) running on my TiBook happily for several months, thanks to Sam’s efforts.

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Wednesday, 7 January 2004

Traffic

Anitra is trying to beat a head of traffic that’s built up behind an accident upstream; was able to check on the excellent SF Bay area real-time traffic map. I used one of these when I first moved to the Bay area, but it went away; Google found us another one.

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Wednesday, 7 January 2004

Cheap Eats

What a steal. If you live near San Francisco, or are visiting this month, make sure you check out Dine About Town — three-course, chef-selected prix fixe menus at over a hundred restaurants, $19.95 for lunch, $29.95 for dinner, all through January.

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Tuesday, 6 January 2004

More blogs

Welcome to the jungle, David Orchard, Chris Ferris and Tom Glover (Tom, we need RSS, OK?).

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Saturday, 3 January 2004

Extensibility and Interoperability

In his blog, Sean McGrath wonders about two potentially competing faces of standards; extensibility and interoperability.

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Saturday, 3 January 2004

Mail.app and X-Faces

Mail already shows you a little picture of someone when they’re in your address book. Why doesn’t it send and display X-Faces? Can somebody write a plugin to do this?

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Tuesday, 30 December 2003

The Semantic Web’s Dirty Little Secret

Browse through the W3C Semantic Web pages and you’ll see this notice in a few different forms:

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Monday, 29 December 2003

Comment Spam and Google

Hyperlinks have been disallowed in comment bodies on this blog for a while now, and I’ve just removed the link associated with comment authors as well.

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Sunday, 28 December 2003

What I want in a digital camera

Before all of this “Web” stuff came along, I was a photographer; I designed an… unusual university program that had me study fine art photography, photojournalism, aesthetics and the physics of light. After that, I spent a little time doing newspaper and studio work before realising that I wanted to do something else (long story here; buy me a beer).

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Saturday, 27 December 2003

Next trip: Molvania

Inger put me onto a new travel guide, and I’m already planning the trip.

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Friday, 26 December 2003

What’s after Red Hat?

Shortly after I moved to Melbourne in 1995, I set up a Red Hat Linux box in a little corner of our apartment on Flinders Lane. Shortly after that, the box was connected to the Internet via a 33.6k permanent dial-up connection with a static IP address, and it became mnot.cyber.com.au, later mnot.net.

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Friday, 26 December 2003

Travel Notes: Vienna, Venice, Bolzano

We’ve lived in California for more than four years now, and Anitra grew up in Melbourne, with the result that she first saw snow falling from the sky when she was 25. When we had an opportunity to take a week’s holiday right before Christmas, we decided against somewhere sunny; why more of the same?

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Monday, 15 December 2003

Cool OS X Software roundup

Small apps that make my life much, much easier:

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Saturday, 13 December 2003

For those who've had kids recently.

Anitra turned me on to what happened to Steve from Blue’s Clues. As he would say, “Cool!”

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Friday, 12 December 2003

Now I remember why I switched...

The other day, I bought a copy of an extremely nifty piece of software, Virtual PC. It didn’t come with an OS, but that’s OK, because I have a copy of WinXP Pro on a box that I’m not using, so I can move it over to the mac (after appropriate decommissioning, etc.).

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Friday, 12 December 2003

Notes on Atom

As you may know, I’m editing the Atom format draft in my copious spare time, but not actively participating in the community (I am watching, but I don’t have the time to really dig in).

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Thursday, 11 December 2003

Tim and Sam talk about offline content

Tim Bray’s latest missive contains a passage about offline RSS;

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Wednesday, 10 December 2003

Oh, for shame, Apple, for shame.

mnot-laptop:~> uname -a Darwin localhost.local 7.0.0 Darwin Kernel Version 7.0.0: Wed Sep 24 15:48:39 PDT 2003; root:xnu/xnu-517.obj~1/RELEASE_PPC Power Macintosh powerpc mnot-laptop:~> echo "<a href='/'>test</a>" > ~/Sites/test.txt mnot-laptop:~> chmod a+r ~/Sites/test.txt mnot-laptop:~> curl -is http://localhost/~mnot/test.txt | grep Content-Type Content-Type: text/plain mnot-laptop:~> open http://localhost/~mnot/test.txt

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Tuesday, 9 December 2003

Python for the CLR

IronPython is an implementation of Python for the CLR with some intriguing initial perf numbers. [via Jeremy Hylton’s Weblog ]

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Monday, 8 December 2003

Perspective Enhancement

The BBC reports that the UN is a bit concerned about population growth. Pretty much everybody knows this, I’m sure, but the degree of their concern is a bit of a shocker;

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Monday, 8 December 2003

Why Do Web Server APIs Suck So Much?

HTTP provides considerable benefits to Web applications that take advantage of it; everything from scalability (through caching), client-integrated authentication, automated redirection, multiple format support and lots more.

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Sunday, 7 December 2003

A Description Format for REST

Adam asks if there’s a description format for REST. I don’t know of any that have wide acceptance (and I think the hard-core RESTafarians will answer “REST is self-describing, that’s the point” ;) but I have been noodling on something for my own purposes.

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Sunday, 7 December 2003

The New RDF

I spent a little time on the plane the other day reading the latest WD of the RDF Primer. I didn’t attempt to review the entire document set, as reading a 71 page primer is quite enough!

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Saturday, 6 December 2003

QNames are Evil

How’s this analogy:

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Wednesday, 26 November 2003

Hoping for Better XML Editors

I’m getting a few requests for clarification and additional information from 3rd party vendors regarding my previous rant on XML editing. With any luck, XML editing will get much more interesting soon…

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Sunday, 9 November 2003

housekeeping

I’ve done some adjustment to this Web log; you may or may not notice the differences. Most of is is cosmetic and tightening up of the templates, but I’ve also changed the URI layout (thanks, Mark), and as a result RSS aggregators may act strangely before they settle down. Or not; mine, Shrook - a very fine aggregator for OSX indeed - doesn’t get tripped up.

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Thursday, 30 October 2003

DIME is dead.

‘cause Gudge says so, and as we all know, Gudge is always right.

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Tuesday, 21 October 2003

You say tree, I say URI...

I can’t help but wonder if what Adam wants could be had using plain old HTTP by just defining a new format that is nothing but a list of links to stuff that’s in-scope for a query.

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Friday, 17 October 2003

ROTFL

[Love your work, Banksy](http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/3201344.stm “BBC NEWS Entertainment Graffiti star sneaks work into Tate”).

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Friday, 17 October 2003

Cross-Platform DRM and other artefacts of Hell freezing over

Now that hell has frozen over, it’s interesting to speculate how far Apple will dip their toes in, and what their market opportunities are.

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Tuesday, 7 October 2003

Humboldt Fog

Saute Wednesday has exposed one of our vices… ashed goat’s cheese is like nothing else on earth.

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Friday, 3 October 2003

RSS-Data and Web services

Jeremy Allaire is writing about something he calls RSS-Data, and I must say it touches on a lot of interesting points. A few;

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Friday, 3 October 2003

Loose Coupling, Late Binding and REST

Mark Baker says that REST is SOA + late binding. While I see the truth in this, I think it’s pretty orthogonal, and it’s not that compelling for most SOAish folks.

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Thursday, 2 October 2003

Why do XML editors suck so much?

I’m seriously sick of using programs that call themselves “XML editors” because they colourize markup. I’m talking about XML Spy, Oxygen, BBEdit, and thousands of lesser programs. All of them are just glorified text editors - they still operate on the level of characters, not information items.

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Thursday, 2 October 2003

Modularity by reference

Many XML-based formats could benefit from using references to promote modularity. For example, imagine a catalogue format;

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Wednesday, 24 September 2003

RSS and E-mail

Tim Bray wonders what the difference between an RSS feed delivered via HTTP and an e-mail folder (e.g., via IMAP) is; I’ve wondered the same thing myself. As far as I can tell;

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Saturday, 20 September 2003

Seen this week's Economist?

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Thursday, 18 September 2003

A rodent of *truly* unusual size

The BBC [reports](http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3120950.stm “BBC NEWS Science/Nature Giant rodent astonishes science”) an… inconceivably large rodent, aka “Guinea-zilla”.

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Saturday, 13 September 2003

Roundup

Next time somebody says “let’s install Bugzilla to track that” consider Roundup instead (unless you like painful, bloated software).

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Saturday, 13 September 2003

Click Submit Only Once

I shudder when I see these words. Everyone I’ve asked has, at least once, gotten two orders of something online (personally, I’ve had the SonyEricsson store ship three duplicate orders); “Click Submit Only Once” is intended to stop that. The problem is, it puts me and every other shopper between a rock and a hard place.

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Friday, 12 September 2003

Anna Lindh

I was in Stockholm earlier this summer as a stopover on the way home from Helsinki. One morning, Jorgen and I were walking along Strömkajen, waiting for a ferry, when a well-dressed man walked by, just a few feet away. This wasn’t unusual, but the larger man in sunglasses with a discrete earphone behind him at a discrete distance was. This was the only sign that he wasn’t an ordinary person; a single bodyguard.

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Wednesday, 10 September 2003

iPod update

Our problems continue.

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Wednesday, 10 September 2003

The Gherkin

One of the most interesting examples of architecture I’ve seen in a while is the nearly-finished Swiss Re building (aka 30 St. Mary Axe) in London, also known as “The Gherkin” by locals there.

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Thursday, 28 August 2003

Frank Chu update

As previously noted, I often pass San Francisco figure Frank Chu on the way to and from work.

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Monday, 25 August 2003

The 'i' stands for 'idiot'

I got Anitra an iPod (an intensely desirable object) last week, because the new car (new to us, at least) doesn’t have a CD player, and she’s got a long commute. Along with an iTrip, it seemed just the ticket.

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Sunday, 24 August 2003

Atomic Draft

Somehow, I’ve been drafted into editing the Atom syntax specification, and have just thrown up a first draft.

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Saturday, 23 August 2003

Registering Media Types

I’ve had a fairly large and annoying bee in my bonnet for the past few months, regarding media type registration. It started buzzing when I tried (and failed) to register a media type for RSS, and has continued to grow as I attempt to do the same for SOAP, on behalf of the XML Protocol Working Group.

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Thursday, 21 August 2003

HTTP Performance

I’ve heard several people in the industry assert that HTTP fundamentally limits the performance of applications that use it; in other words, there’s a considerable disadvantage to using it, and that therefore other protocols (usually proprietary or platform-specific systems that those same people happen to sell) are needed to “unleash the power of Web services.”

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Monday, 18 August 2003

Web Services

If you’re lost in a sea of specs, pundits and opinions, might I suggest two very well-written, thoughtful papers:

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Tuesday, 12 August 2003

WebCapture

Here’s something different. WebCapture “is a secure capture and playback system that records, in context, all web session pages that comprise an e-business transaction.”

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Monday, 11 August 2003

Structured URIs

I just found a draft finding that the W3C TAG published about a month ago, regarding the use of metadata in URIs. This is very cool, and I especially like the emphasis on authorities’ ability to embed metadata in URIs.

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Monday, 11 August 2003

Photos and metadata

I love iPhoto’s interface and its functionality, but the fact that the metadata is so closed is frustrating. I think I’m going to be able to import the RDFPic metadata embedded in most of my photos, with a short detour through IPTC metadata, courtesy of Caption Buddy (great stuff, a real gem) and a bit of Perl scripting.

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Monday, 4 August 2003

RSSJobs

RSSJobs looks interesting; hopefully, we’ll see more of these “non-traditional” uses of RSS as time goes by.

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Monday, 4 August 2003

iDisk Offline

Marc Hadley points out that the version of iDisk in OSX Panther looks like it will enable offline functionality with caching; it also looks to do some synchronization.

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Saturday, 2 August 2003

NewAirplane

Boy, I’d sure like some of whatever the Boeing folks are smoking.

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Tuesday, 29 July 2003

Subversion

Ted Leung points out that caching PUT (and other WebDAV methods) would suit Subversion - probably the most interesting WebDAV application under open development - quite well. The only thing he says that I disagree with (and it might just be a misunderstanding) is in regard to a need for a Subversion-specific client cache; the whole point of doing this with Web protocols it to avoid application-specific infrastructure. A well-designed WebDAV cache should work equally well for any application, not just Subversion.

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Tuesday, 29 July 2003

httpRange-14

Mark Baker is the latest in a series to weigh in on the TAG issue regarding what a HTTP URI can identify.

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Saturday, 26 July 2003

Dude

I spent more time today saying “dude” than I ever have before (proportionally), because I took a little drive. As you may have guessed, Antibes left me a little cold, despite the weather; I’m not a big fan of seaside resorts.

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Saturday, 26 July 2003

Caching PUT

If we WebDAV-enable Web applications, people will be able to interact with them like filesystems. To blog something, you’d be able to write an entry in the text editor of your choice, and then drag-and-drop them into what MSFT has called “Web folders.”

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Saturday, 26 July 2003

Blogging with WebDAV

One of my personal background tasks in the last couple of months has been finding sample applications to excercise Tarawa with. Although my load is high and I’ve only got a single processor - me - I’m still trying to push this.

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Friday, 25 July 2003

Profiling HTTP

Mark Pilgrim is starting to think about issues surrounding the transport, transfer and general moving around of the Format Formerly Known as Echo (nee Pie).

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Friday, 25 July 2003

On Antibes

Pros * Makes everybody jealous when you say you’re going there * Great beaches and the Alps nearby * Sailing!

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Friday, 25 July 2003

BosBlog

Adam Bosworth gives us a small taste of his thoughts re: Web services, with a promise of more.

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Monday, 21 July 2003

RSS Profile Testbed

Back when we were exploring the possibity of a profile of RSS, I set up a wiki on the topic and promptly let it run wild, to see what would happen.

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Friday, 18 July 2003

The RSS Advisory Board

Dave Winer has announced a few changes to RSS, which seem positive at first glance, but need a little closer inspection.

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Tuesday, 15 July 2003

Switcher

I’m very happy to say that, after using Windows on the desktop for about a year, and various flavours of Unix on the desktop for about six years, I’ve Switched back to the Mac (which I happily used for about six years before that).

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Friday, 11 July 2003

Hey Dave

This is exactly what namespaces are for.

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Thursday, 10 July 2003

Too much money, not enough sense

Adam Curry explains how he’s bought placement in RSS aggregators. Trouble is, RSS isn’t universally supported, as evidenced by the echo project, and he feels cheated.

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Saturday, 28 June 2003

On Helsinki

Pros: * They’re serious about this “midnight sun” thing * Discovered I actually like herring * Fantastic mobile phone coverage * Hima & Sali * Free bicycles!

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Saturday, 28 June 2003

Caching is often enough

I feel compelled to respond to Norm Walsh’s thoughts on caching.

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Tuesday, 24 June 2003

Starting Fresh

Sam Ruby suggests a roadmap for a new effort that may very well replace RSS.

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Tuesday, 24 June 2003

SOAP1.2

We finally did it. More than two years ago, I went to North Carolina almost by accident; at the last minute I asked David Fallside if I could come to the first meeting because it sounded “interesting.”

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Tuesday, 24 June 2003

GoogleStuff

You might notice a few ads in the Weblog and a few other places on the site; I’m playing with Google AdSence, first pointed out by AaronSW.

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Tuesday, 24 June 2003

Bees and Ants

The W3C Semantic Web wiki has an entry called ‘BeesAndAnts’ that very effectively conveys something that I’ve been trying to articulate for a while (and, as usual, failing). It’s not about the Semantic Web in my mind, so much as it’s about REST and Web Services (which means that there’s something to this Web architecture stuff yet, I think).

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Monday, 23 June 2003

On Tallinn, Estonia

Pros: * quick 1.5-hour boat ride from Helsinki * cool, still-foreign-looking passport stamps * full of beautiful european architecture / city planning

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Sunday, 22 June 2003

RSS History as state transfer

Mark Baker responded to my thoughts on RSS history a while back, and I’m finally getting around to responding (nothing like a hotel lobby to clear your thoughts…).

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Sunday, 22 June 2003

Economics of standards

Looks like a good to-read list: John Beatty: Economics of Standards

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Friday, 20 June 2003

Question for the day

Is a Weblog a medium or is it a genre?

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Tuesday, 17 June 2003

Spot the difference...

What does this interesting new, ad hoc work have to do with this interesting , new standards work and this interesting, new-ish effort by GK?

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Monday, 16 June 2003

Weblog data modeling

Sam Ruby has announced a Wiki about what a weblog entry is.

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Saturday, 14 June 2003

OxygenXML

Sean McGrath, Macintouch and others point out OxygenXML, a pretty slick-looking XML editor. Either it’s pretty new and only now coming onto the scene, or I’ve had my head deeper in the sand than is typical.

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Thursday, 12 June 2003

Web-izing the Palm Pilot

Having a network-enabled (even if only through BlueTooth and infrared) is a heady experience; the ability to access the Web and sync applications from anywhere - really anywhere - is quite liberating.

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Thursday, 12 June 2003

Identifying RSS-Like Formats

I’m surprised by Dave Winer’s continuing reluctance to identify RSS 2.0 with a namespace, given how strongly he feels about interoperability and respecting format definitions.

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Friday, 6 June 2003

Newest Toy

Got the Palm Tungsten T the other day ($309 from buy.com, - $50 trade-in). Nifty, much better than the aging handspring I was toting around.

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Wednesday, 4 June 2003

RSS Soundbite

Tim Bray is looking for an RSS soundbite, what some people would call an elevator pitch, I suppose (aren’t they supposed to be level? Never mind).

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Thursday, 29 May 2003

XCAP

Jonathan Rosenberg published a new Internet-Draft, XCAP, to the SIMPLE Working Group in the IETF. Here’s the skinny:

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Thursday, 29 May 2003

Real-World RDF

Jo Walsh has created a Semantic Web system that appeals quite strongly - a means of using RDF to map to the real world in “gonzo geographical data collection”.

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Wednesday, 28 May 2003

While we're talking about standards...

I agree with just about everything that Jim Waldo says here (at least for protocol standards). Well said!

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Wednesday, 28 May 2003

One-Man Standards

Dave Winer argues that RSS implementers should toe the line:

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Sunday, 25 May 2003

RSS, Subscribers and Business Models (oh, my!)

Tim Bray thinks out loud about mechanisms to allow RSS subscribers to be counted. His poison of choice is adding a query components to the URI in the Referrer header.

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Monday, 19 May 2003

Look what the browser dragged up...

Oh… My… Gawd… I’m sooo confused. It’s a Web site, and it has an RSS feed, and it uses Moveable Type, and it even has a blogroll down the side, so it must be a blog, right?

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Friday, 16 May 2003

A sign of bad times?

Hmm. Passed the 12 Galaxies guy on the way home from work today. Usually, he’s very polite and keeps to himself. This time, he was yelling at passers by and waving his sign at him. Violently.

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Sunday, 11 May 2003

Are we bored of RSS Standardization yet?

Don wants to send RSS to OASIS, of all places. Doesn’t that mean it’ll have to be corporations standardizing it? Urgh.

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Saturday, 10 May 2003

RSS Profiling Wiki

Don, Sam, Ben, Mena and others have started blogging about a profile of RSS.

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Saturday, 10 May 2003

IT Survey in the Economist

If you are in “the industry,” you owe it to yourself to go out and pick up a copy of this week’s Economist. Alongside their customary digs at Larry Ellison (what do they have against that guy? I can’t imagine…) are several excellent articles, including topics such as growth, commoditisation, and open standards (although one paragraph was so far off-base that it made me LOL).

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Friday, 9 May 2003

We need WikiVerbs!

Before, I was wondering about the intersection of Wikis and the Semantic Web. I’ve since done some noodling and prototyping, and the idea came together on the train home tonight.

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Thursday, 8 May 2003

Conneg based on XML Dialect

I know at least one person who will think that this is a good idea. Anybody else? I’d looove to do this work…

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Monday, 5 May 2003

Tarawa

I’ve finally gotten sick enough of a project that I’ve been working on for waaaay too long to release it to the unsuspecting^H^H^H general public.

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Sunday, 4 May 2003

The Genius Bar is dry

Don’t get me wrong - I love Apple and all things apple. But, the Genius bar at the Apple Store never fails to annoy.

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Saturday, 3 May 2003

Yet more proof of things being seriously wrong in the US these days...

From the Montreal Gazette -

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Saturday, 3 May 2003

Semantic Syndication

Excellent. Danny Ayers proposes a Simple Semantic Resolution RSS 2.0 Module.

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Saturday, 3 May 2003

RSS Traffic Characterisation

I’m setting up a weblog for a fairly well-known colleague, and doing some traffic estimates to try to size his server.

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Saturday, 3 May 2003

Mail.app broken?

One of the joys of moving to a mac for my personal machine is using Apple’s excellent Mail.app; IMHO it’s the best GUI mail client yet.

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Thursday, 1 May 2003

ZeroConf is cool

Anybody know how to get ZeroConf working on Linux, so that I can advertise services on my server to the Macs at home?

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Tuesday, 29 April 2003

RSS Schema and dates

Sam mentions dc:date; that’s what I was thinking, except that ‘date’ on its own is pretty useless. As Bill points out, dcterms gives you different date semantics.

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Monday, 28 April 2003

Wiki as Semantic Web?

Anybody else notice how you can use a Wiki like a Semantic Web engine?

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Monday, 28 April 2003

I'm an overlord and I'm OK...

[I tried to post this as a comment on Sam’s blog, but I think there may still be transitional issues over there… ]

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Monday, 28 April 2003

Amazon and Privacy

Amazon sent my wife a nice, juicy bit of SPAM this morning.

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Sunday, 27 April 2003

RSS history module

For discussion: RSS history module (the eventual result of this).

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Saturday, 26 April 2003

It's alive

For those who have been helping, it’s alive, has been for almost a week, but I still want to do a bit more documentation, hunt down a few bugs, and get some more unit tests down.

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Thursday, 24 April 2003

now available - Photoblog!

OK, here’s the deal. As previously reported, we got the nifty Ericsson phones that come with free cameras. They’re Internet-capable. The next obvious step is to hook it up to a blog, and presto! You’ve got photoblog! You get to see people I meet, places I go and the mediocrity of daily life (as well as my struggles with predictive text input) in near-real time!

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Thursday, 24 April 2003

ETags

It’s not necessary to lament the lack of ETags on generated Web pages; cgi_buffer automagically generates and validates them for Perl, Python and PHP scripts.

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Wednesday, 23 April 2003

Current favourite TV

Anitra and I have taken to watching What Not To Wear. Yes, it’s a fashion show, but it’s probably the most non-American show on right now; very refreshing and wicked good fun to watch.

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Tuesday, 22 April 2003

Sam wants namespaces

Sam proposes some changes to RSS 2.0 regarding namespaces. My first question was, “why?” but upon reading his next post, I get it.

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Tuesday, 22 April 2003

RSS needs Profiling

Tim says that RSS Needs Fixing. Right on! Some people are intereted in endless tinkering with RSS - I’m not. I’m interested in putting it on everybody’s desktop, and making it transparent to them. This means we need better interop.

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Saturday, 19 April 2003

RSS.py 0.43

RSS.py has been revved; fixed some problems with addItem (now takes an index argument to say where to add the item; default is first - used to be last), and a few other tweaks.

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Friday, 18 April 2003

Pellet, indeed.

Don’s worried about the glaciating influences of having a stable spec for RSS 2.0. I couldn’t disagree more.

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Friday, 18 April 2003

Let's try this.

RSS needs a bit of stablity (as I’ve often said), so I’ve gotten off of my duff and done something about it.

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Thursday, 17 April 2003

Flair?

There seems to be a a lot of new blogs showing up from inside companies… I can only wonder if it’s becoming the microserfequivalent of flair.

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Tuesday, 8 April 2003

HTTP header sniffing

LiveHTTPHeaders for Mozilla is the best HTTP header sniffer I’ve seen yet; up till now, I’ve been using WebTee, but for most purposes, this is much better. Enjoy.

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Thursday, 27 March 2003

Macrosoft, Part II

Dave seems excited by Macromedia’s announcement.

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Tuesday, 25 March 2003

RSS standardization (again)

Jorgen hits a subject that’s of great interest to me; RSS standardization. I originally started the Syndication list to get RSS moving towards some sort of recognized standard; more recently, my effort to register an RSS media type was stalled by the lack of a stable spec published by a recognized group.

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Friday, 14 March 2003

Friendster

Not sure I like the name, but Friendster looks interesting. In a nutshell, it’s a social networking tool that’s very similar to the FOAF efforts, but with better UI and features.

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Thursday, 27 February 2003

Prototyping Kirk

Just finished reading Blue Latitudes, which follows the trail of Captain Cook, both in history as well as geography; Horowitz follows (roughly) the path of cook, sailing and flying to destinations such as New Zealand, Australia, Tonga, the Aleutians and Hawaii, as well as Cook’s native Yorkshire.

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Friday, 14 February 2003

Australia thinks twice

Word is that somewhere in the neighborhood of 200,000 Melbournians got out of bed yesterday and decided to give a peice of their minds to the government. Good thing, too; you can argue as much as you like about whether America should be invading Iraq, but Australia has no business there whatsoever; they can barely mind their own back yard.

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Thursday, 13 February 2003

Why oh why is it so hard?

One of the goals for me in using computers is to make my data and access to it platform-indenpendent; I’ve switched platforms too many times (Mac->Ultrix/Digital Unix->Linux->SunOS/Solaris->Windows NT->Linux->OSX->Windows2000->WinXP->?); I can’t have my data tied up in proprietary formats or APIs, despite the best efforts of various vendors. Doing so is also a nice complement to the Web.

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Thursday, 30 January 2003

mnot : Bookmarks : Travel

Travel bookmarks have been reorg’d and cleaned; the RSS feed gives you the latest additions. Suggestions welcome.

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Sunday, 26 January 2003

Blogging Zipf

I always wondered why so many people had their blogs’ comments and even trackback indicators turned off. Go ahead and surf around; it’s a rare blog indeed, at least in my experience, that has these features visible for the world to see.

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Tuesday, 21 January 2003

Interestinger and interestinger...

So all the sudden everybody’s talking about RSS again. It came up spontaneously at work - DaveO proclaimed “I’m totally getting into RSS” unprompted the other day. Very cool. Now Tim Bray is pondering the future of RSS. Interestinger still.

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Tuesday, 14 January 2003

Location, location...

Dave takes issue with people’s comments about the Bay area.

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Saturday, 11 January 2003

Master and Commander

If you haven’t read Patrick O’Brian’s astounding Aubrey/Maturin novels, now’s probably your last chance before at least one is made into film, by none less than Peter Weir.

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Wednesday, 8 January 2003

Keynote

I’m no SVG expert, but this sure seems like it.

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Wednesday, 11 December 2002

Switching

Aaron points out the Apple Switch commercial starring Yo Yo Ma. Cool; how long before we see a Switch ad with TBL? :)

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Sunday, 8 December 2002

RSS Wishes

Wouldn’t it be great if The Royal Society, the Commonwealth Club and your local council all had RSS feeds available, conspiquous and up-to-date?

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Wednesday, 27 November 2002

Mozilla Prefetching

I’m extremely wary about the new prefetching feature in Mozilla. The Web caching community has tried this from about every angle, but the general consensus of professionals (with one notable exception) is that prefetching is a bad approach.

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Tuesday, 26 November 2002

Eh?

Hixie, Mark and others are talking about serving up application/xhtml+xml selectively to browsers.

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Monday, 25 November 2002

What is an RSS Channel?

Almost forgot - today I put an exploration of the semantics of RSS:Channel out there for comment. I’ve been thinking about various aspects of this for a while; not sure how far I’ve gotten, but I think it’s important to nail this down if we want to move RSS forward.

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Monday, 25 November 2002

RSS XP

RSS: XHTML Profile, to me, is another proof that syntax isn’t important, as long as you can boil whatever you get down to a format you know. Nice job!

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Sunday, 17 November 2002

New toys

We just replaced our phones with Sony Ericsson T300s with T-Mobile; sooo cool.

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Saturday, 16 November 2002

RDF Model and Syntax

Jack William Bell makes a precise, short and readable effort at explaining why RDF is simple and important.

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Sunday, 10 November 2002

IETF Transparency

Finally, the IESG puts its money where its mouth is; this tool allows you to see the status and individual AD’s comments about a particular I-D. It’s only a start, but at least you have some idea of what’s going on, instead of being left out in the cold.

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Friday, 1 November 2002

You Are Crazy.

unböring is a great campaign - I’d love to know who their agency is. It’s so… Swedish; the one with the creamer and the guy on the bicycle is classic.

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Wednesday, 30 October 2002

Googlism

Cool.

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Thursday, 12 September 2002

Macrosoft?

Jeremy Allaire talks about establishing a “rich client” platform because HTML is “stagnant.” Two questions; will it be standards-based, and what about SVG?

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Tuesday, 10 September 2002

So funny... so true...

The Story About the Baby is the funniest thing I’ve read in a while, doubly so considering it’s about children. Every geek parent has thought these thoughts. (from memepool)

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Tuesday, 10 September 2002

iCal, youCal

iCal is out, and is pushing me ever so closer to taking my perfectly reasonable Dell laptop and shoving it down the throat of the next IT person that I see. Nothing personal.

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Friday, 6 September 2002

Pardon our dust...

I’m trying out movabletype, as there were some pretty severe limitations doing it with the bookmarks…

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Tuesday, 3 September 2002

RSS 0.94

I see Dave is once again rev’ing RSS. I have reservations about the some of the new mechanisms (e.g., shoe-horning MIME into XML is a horrible idea) but I’m encouraged by hints that using XML Namespaces is being considered. IMHO the smart thing for Dave to do would be to start a version of “Minimal RSS”; maybe 0.95, that is just the very, very core markup (say, title, link and description, maybe one or two others for channel metadata) and put EVERYTHING else in modules (coordinating the release of them with the spec). This would produce a very stable core spec that would allow him to experiment with new facilities with impunity, whilst strengthening 0.9x’s position; my impression is that most people use 1.0 because of Namepaces, not RDF.

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Tuesday, 3 September 2002

Global house prices

I’ve been following the Economist’s new Global Housing Index with some interest. They seem to have softened their view somewhat, but I’m hearing more about a global housing bubble recently - first, in a WSJ article about the author of “Manias, Panics and Crashes” (which I’m now reading, alas, too late) and later in a story on NPR. It is interesting that there aren’t good tools for tracking the state of real estate, even though there’s more money there than in equities, worldwide.

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Monday, 26 August 2002

Unequal Relief

This pisses me off. Victims of terrorism certainly should get some support - that’s the function of government in a society. But why should that support take the form of tax relief? People who pay a lot of taxes - and therefore get the most benefit - are the ones who least need this (and witness the high threshold on death taxes forgiven; 8.5 million). They already have substantial assets and generous life insurance to take care of their survivors. The guaranteed $10,000 payout is a joke; I know of at least one victim whose family would have received at least a $20,000,000 tax refund because of this (that’s 20 million, and in reality it was probably closer to 50, but let’s be conservative). Is that family’s loss 200 times greater than someone who only gets $10,000 back? On top of this, the Wall Street Journal recently reported that government compensation for 9-11 victims would be based on… you guessed it, the victim’s salary. Apparently, every man does have a price.

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Monday, 26 August 2002

Buzz - Continuing thoughts on F2F

One of the most intriguing parts of this, to me, is section 3.1.2; “How people meet: being in the in-group.” Possibly because I’m usually not in the in-group… Storper theorizes that F2F communication is necessary to maintain the boundries of the in-group, so that one who has been ejected can’t rejoin, but AaronSW pointed out that IRC has a similar function without F2F. Fascinating. I wonder what the intersection of this and the Advogato trust metric is, along with a project-oriented community like SourceForge?

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Saturday, 24 August 2002

RDF and RSS

Interesting; I’m glad thiswas written, because RDF is good stuff, and this is a good walkthrough.

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Saturday, 24 August 2002

Face-to-face communications

This article (you can google for the original paper) is, to me, pivotal to emerging Web standards. Both Semantic Web and Web Services are about machine-to-machine communication; the promise that machines will be able to act as an agent, and to integrate business processes, respectively (yes, there’s a lot more to each). The question is, when will people trust and actually use machines to do this? If Storper’s paper is correct, the pie-in-the-sky visions of a ‘Web of Trust’ and those of dynamic markets of smart Web Services are both without ground. To me, this is a good thing; both technologies have significant benefits to offer the world, if they’ll just get their heads out of the clouds and back down to earth.

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Saturday, 24 August 2002

DC:Date

Harumph. Date is a datatype, not a property.

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Tuesday, 20 August 2002

Don Box on Tolerance

Don talks about the evils of tolerance in receiving implementations, and I say Amen, brother! Preach! The classic approach works when there are relatively few implementators; however, when the whole world implements a protocol (whether it’s SOAP or HTML or whatever), you’re asking for trouble if you allow too generously.

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