Tuesday, November 26, 2002
Web Services We'd Like To See
In a recent CNET article, Margaret Kane reports on Google and Amazon's success with Web services and the benefits they are beginning to reap. Tim O'Reilly provides his commentary on the piece here. O'Reilly notes a key takeaway from Amazon and Google’s success is "...the importance of a decentralized approach rather than a top-down approach by a single vendor." In addition to his comments, I think it's also interesting to note that two service providers are driving real Web service adoption and not software vendors such as Microsoft and IBM. (Could this be an indication of a significant shift in the industry?)

From the list, I don't think they get it. Google and Amazon webservices aren't really that useful at all.

It's not about "services" at all. #

Programming Jakarta Struts: Using Tiles, Part 2
In part two in this series of book excerpts on using tiles from Programming Jakarta Struts, learn how to install and configure tiles, as well as get an overview on tiles.

Implementing Templates with Struts
Developing portal sites without a framework in place can be a difficult job. Using templates can reduce the pain and help with sites where the content and layout can change in the blink of an eye. Struts can help you develop template-based portal sites, with the Struts Template tags.

The article covers some basic templating ideas in relation to portals, explains templating support in Struts, and rounds up with a discussion of Struts Template tags vs. Tiles, another templating mechanism.

W3C XML Schema Design Patterns: Avoiding Complexity
Over the course of the past year, during which I've worked closely with W3C XML Schema (WXS), I've observed many schema authors struggle with various aspects of the language. Given the size and relative complexity of the WXS recommendation (parts one and two ), it seems that many schema authors would be best served by understanding and utilizing an effective subset instead of attempting to comprehend all of its esoterica.

Do not try to be a master of XML Schema. It would take months.

I find it slightly amusing that a so-called master of XML schema is advising others not to become masters. Job security, anyone?

This article is pretty damn silly. If a technology is so complex that specs must be defined to construct a usable subset of the technology which is still ridiculously complex then ... it's time to throw it out. Seriously, I don't even know why people bother with this garbage. The web wasn't built on estoeric specs and "architectural principles" (which have become all the rage in the TAG, unfortunately). The web was built on the 15 minutes rule:

If I can't understand it in 15 minutes then it's not worth understanding at all.

HTTP, HTML, email, IMAP, POP3, Telnet ... all of these simple, text-based protocols and applications which just about anybody could grok pretty damn quickly. The people building next-gen systems really need to remember this. Please. Pretty please.

And I'd really advise people not to build systems based on XML schema. It's not a solution for anybody. Wait a while, and something usable will come along. I'm sure of it.


Configuring Tomcat and Apache With JK 1.2
In the simplest terms, the JK modules, or mod_jk, are conduits between a Web server and the Tomcat JSP/servlet container. They replace the previous Web server module, mod_jserv, which had many shortcomings. The new JK modules include support for a wider variety of Web servers, better SSL support, support of the AJP13 protocol, and support for the entire Tomcat series from 3.2.x to 5.x.

Sunday, November 24, 2002
Developer's introduction to JAX-RPC, Part 1
The Java APIs for XML-Based Remote Procedure Call (JAX-RPC) are an important step forward in the quest for Web services interoperability. In this first of two articles, Joshy Joseph takes you to the heart of that interoperability effort: the JAX-RPC type-mapping system. You'll learn how XML types are translated into Java types to ensure a smooth exchange of data between Web service clients and Java-based applications.

Get ahead with Java Web services
Java developers who are interested in getting started with Web services should check out the Java Web Services Developers Pack (WSDP). In this article, James McCarthy takes you on a quick tour of this package. You'll learn what the tools in this package can do for you, and find out which components are just for testing and which are ready for production use as-is.

Create flexible and extensible XML schemas
XML schemas offer a powerful set of tools for constraining and formalizing the vocabulary and grammar of XML documents. With XML rapidly emerging as the data transport format of the future, it is clear that the structure of the XML, as outlined by schemas, must be created and stored in an organized manner. Developers experienced in object-oriented design know that a flexible architecture ensures consistency throughout the system and helps to accommodate growth and change. This instructional article uses an object-oriented framework to show you how to design XML schemas that are extensible, flexible, and modular.

ApacheCon: Waka: a replacement for HTTP
Ok, I was a little misguided when I wrote earlier that XML/I18N was off-topic for an Apache conference. While not about the Apache server itself, these technologies are in fact widely used in today's environment of HTTP and Apache.

But how about something completely different: a brand new protocol to replace HTTP? Whoa.


the server side
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