March 27, 2002

Much as I admire the W3C and the folks evangelizing REST, nobody seems to be able to bring any agreement into the open.
That's going to kill any real momentum for strengthening the Web and preserving its openness.

If the Web is going to be subject to the whims of programmers that don't do their homework and just rely on the 'tools' then the Web architects need to build some architecturally sound tools.

March 17, 2002

The other day I was digging through some boxes and throwing out some old books (ouch) that I won't ever look at again. I came across a book called "Semantics: Theories of Meaning in Generative Grammar" by Janet Dean Fodor. I never read the whole thing through but it has something to do with machine understanding of natural language. Anyway, I thought it ironic that 'generative grammar' is a big thing with Jeff Bone's description of what he wants to do with the web - especially as it relates to semantics and how his designs are compared to the Semantic Web.

March 09, 2002

On the REST discussion group, Jeff Bone is digging into the foundations of the Web, searching for the backbone to its architecture.
He's brought up a key point about addressability on the Web (don't know how it relates to REST, but that's for another day).
Some resources are retrievable, but aren't listed anywhere. So how do you let clients know about these unlisted numbers?
He suggests - with a lot of backup material - that delivering a description of the naming structure lets clients access truly huge amounts of information easily. He calls this 'generative naming'.
I think he is right.

March 06, 2002

"Messages Bouncing Around" - that's what this blog is all about. Messages are so cool. Take a look at a future hot item Six Degres from Creo - their tagline is "Messages Files People". How true that is.

Think about large information systems - the Web or any large corporation. In corporations, you've got databases and file systems and content mangement and whatnot.
You've got 'directory services' - which are either information like printers or people and groups. And you have messaging servers - email and message queues. Thats it. But you've got many many different ways to access these things - sometimes multiple ways for the same system. You can't point from one to another. A real mess.

Now on the Web, there are all these things, and only one way to access them. Elegant - but maybe a little too elegant. We've pretty much got the information part down on the Web - we even have DAV to make it complete. We need some pointers for the other two pieces - people and messages. People can be identified with a uri -like - but that's a lowly reference that doesn't support much functionality. Let's create some real people oriented web addresses.

After that we can talk about Web messaging.

March 05, 2002

The latest thing I'm into - technology wise - is REST. That's REpresentational State Transfer - the architecture of the World Wide Web. The term was coined after-the-fact by Roy T. Fielding who designed and built some of the core technology of the Web many years ago.

What REST is all about is how to design software systems so that they scale - across organizational boundaries and over many many machines. It's a really simple way to design systems, but the details are hard to extract from the existing technology. There is a site all about this - check it out :

The REST site moved REST Wiki
Back in 2000 I went to work for KnowNow when they started in Seattle. It was a lot of fun - really bright people with really strong idiosyncracies. I learned a lot about messaging architecture and technology. They ran out of money and I went back to work at DataChannel. ...some time passes.... I leave DataChannel and begin at a new startup - DataConcert. This one has a real business plan and very good prospects. I'll let you know what happens...