31 Aug

Driving collaboration

Infoworld interview with Covisint’s CTO:

"We spent a lot of time talking about sophisticated integration method. But there is a segment of the market that doesn’t want to make the investment, or the bigger companies don’t want to experiment with large integration costs — they only want to stick their toe in the water. We recognize that: We will take FTP, e-mail, http, EDI, and help with the conversion to XML and whatever. I agree you have to lower the barriers for entry to extension as long as it is secure and as long as the SLA is commensurate with what you are trying to do."

29 Aug

Taxonomies and Topic Maps: Categorization Steps Forward

Econtnent Mag:

"A simple example of a topic map is illustrated in a "gentle" introduction to the subject on Topicmaps.org. A topic map discussing Shakespeare might include some explicit links to URLs for some of the plays, connecting the URLs to "topics" […]. Each of these URLs is considered an "occurrence" of each topic. These two occurrences can then be tied together with an "association"; this seemingly simple connection is what begins to give topic maps their power. Taken together, these topics, occurrences, and associations begin to form a topic map."

29 Aug

J2EE and .Net: Two Roads Diverge in XML

This ASP News article sums up how the Microsoft and Sun approaches compare. If .Net manages to become a credible multi-platform environment (who ever used ActiveX/DCOM ports by Software AG?) – through portability or interop – then Microsoft will win all these developers than don’t know Java and don’t care to learn it (or that their employers don’t want to retrain).
Update: Roger Sessions’ comparison of J2EE and .NET is fatally flawed (about a white paper and its critic by Giga).

26 Aug

To Blog or Not to Blog… That’s a Good Question


"But therein lies the rub. As a corporate marketing tactic, it works only if the blog author has talent. You need someone on your team who can write in a genuinely engaging voice, who can be intimate without telling you what he or she had for breakfast, and who knows the line between openness and damaging innuendo."

This article is similar to one I wrote last month. Someone on a French discussion board suggested I was some kind of greedy marketer jumping on the blogging bandwagon. I thought my point was clear enough: you can’t fake a genuine interest and involvement. It’s as much about adapting marketing to the web and weblogs, as the opposite.
09/05/01 update: Weblogs for public relations.
01/02/02 update: Using Weblogs as a Promotional Tool.

26 Aug

The Great Rewiring

Interview of Clay Shirky:

"Web services, by starting with a standards-driven goal, stands a much better chance in my mind of providing not only the standards and infrastructure for Web services but the spill-over: standards and infrastructure for peer-to-peer. So the obvious win for peer-to-peer from Web services is better interoperability. And I think there are a couple of important things the Web services people can learn from the peer-to-peer people as well."

25 Aug

XML-RPC and the Need to Cash In

Morbus Iff:

"Now, sure, XML-RPC is not for end users – my dog could gleefully lick his dogbowl, ignoring the fact that I’m SOAPing the amount of water in his bowl so that I can be Jabber’d when he needs more. […] We all know XML-RPC, we all know some aspects of XML, we all know how to code in something or other. But we’re not recognizing the person who just called me and said she never knew her mouse had a right button for clicking."

Morbus might have gotten a little carried away here, but he has at least half a point. I recently showed a friend how I aggregate many news sources with RadioUserland. He said "Hmm. Neat. I don’t see how that could be useful to me though."
We – the community of online addicts – think that keeping in touch with news as they happen, and being able to connect to other people through blogs or IM, is oh so very cool. Using all this stuff must obviously become easier to cross the chasm and reach the layman. But however easy these apps are, they won’t catch if people are not interested. What if the majority of people don’t want to go beyond having a beer and watching the game? Maybe some "lost" generations just don’t care (say, people born before 1975 and not already online). For teens it’s probably so natural (to blog, IM, whatever) it’s not even worth mentioning.

24 Aug

The Power of the URL-Line

Jon Udell:

"[W]hile XML-RPC and SOAP are inherently symmetric, there is often more value in getting XML out of a service than in sending XML into a service. What’s more, the URL-line remains, for lots of reasons, a really useful way to request services that may or may not emit XML, and if they do emit XML, may or may not emit SOAP or XML-RPC packets."

01/03/02 update: another advantage of url-based web services is that you can call them very easily from browser shortcuts with bookmarklets, eg. to get information from dictionary.com, Blogdex, Daypop, Wayback Machine or Google, or send data to Spyonit and Blogger.
02/18/02 update: [xml-dev] Traditional RPC vs REST.
02/25/02 update: REST and the Real World.