codaland
Saturday, October 05, 2002
       
Ken Arnold on Designing Distributed Systems
In this third installment of Bill Venners' interview with Ken Arnold, the discussion centers around designing distributed systems, including the importance of designing for failure, avoiding the "hell" of state, and choosing recovery strategies.
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GUIDs without Singletons and Databases
EJB GUID generation techniques rely on a database to provide a sequencing mechanism or singleton objects, or a combination of both. This is a GUID generator that does not need a singleton or a database - can be safely pooled on a single machine and deployed in a cluster to provide completely scalable performance.
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Friday, October 04, 2002
       
The War on Complexity
Krupnikov suggests that this complexity isn't an accident. Although some find his suggestions "conspiratorial", it doesn't sound all that far from business as usual by large vendors forging ahead with business plans that they can, in the end, control. Driving competitors out of the market is, after all, how some organizations make money, and if they can do it by offering customers more and more attractive-sounding features, they've combined marketing power with significant difficulties for their competitors.
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There is no spoon: HTTP and The Matrix
Ahem... it's not just a joke -- I've been using that example since the
Matrix came out to force people to think about the generic interface
provided by HTTP. The point is that the resource does not exist -- a
resource is, essentially, an expectation that future representations
obtained via that interface will have a sameness in relation to past
representations.
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Web Services Architectures: Easier Said Than Done
Web services can provide an open and interoperable development framework, but the technology requires an architecture unlike anything built before.

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Web-Based WYSIWYG Editor Widgets
To be listed below the editor widget must be TTW ("through the web" - it works within a browser) and WYSIWYG ("what you see is what you get" - you don't see HTML). Some widgets allow you to toggle between "view" and "source" modes - this is a bonus but not a prerequisite for this list.
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Adding Attributes to Java
This one's a new idea from me. You already know that .Net provides a runtime-based system for accessing attributes (@tags), so you can simply do something like anobj.getClass().getAttribute("ejb.bean") for example, whereas in java you read an xml file, and XDoclet is a compile time system which reads attributes. JSR 175 works on a runtime system, but for now what do you think about a simple simulation of a runtime attribute access API? So the idea behind XRAI is a post-proccessor ant task which reads source code and modifies the compiled classes with BCEL and injects some static fields to classes.


Very interesting and this would seriously rock since attributes are really the only thing C# has over Java (and attributes are fantastically useful). #




Thursday, October 03, 2002
       
The Well-Formed Web
Now don't get me wrong, any text file can be manipulated programmatically, just load the file as a string and do search and replace using using regular expressions. The advantage of XML is that it imposes a structure that you can navigate using XML tools. And if there are many files of the same format, for example RSS files, then it becomes easy to process a great many of these files at one time and extract useful information. Just the kind of processing done by news aggregators. That's the idea of what I call the "Well-Formed Web", instead of a web of ill-formed and difficult to decipher HTML pages, the Well-Formed Web is all those HTML pages backed up with Well-Formed XML documents in well-known formats.
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Making Web Services Part of the Web
The strange notion that universal computing communications plumbing can be laid in just a few years of discussion and implementation probably needs to be discarded. The level of communications that the Web itself provides is intrinsically limited by the ability of different participants to publish and understand information, and failure is a frequent result. In the human world, this is acceptable. Different communities may need to communicate with each other, but universal communications aren't that important to solving local problems. A common document transfer protocol and a foundation document format are useful, but common understandings of documents is not a problem that the Web tries to solve. Understanding document meaning remains a local issue, solved locally.
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