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Permanent link to archive for Tuesday, April 03, 2001. Tuesday, April 03, 2001

Good morning citizens of the universe!

A good day is getting quoted on Paul Andrews, who in turn was the starting point for Glenn Fleishman's daily column. I'm making a fresh pot of coffee, sports fans, it's going to be a long night. I have to review a business plan, get the first release of xmlStorageSystem out, and dream of what an OS would do if it wanted to fully embrace XML-RPC and SOAP. For a guy who likes to complain about not being in the eye of the storm, actually being there is a little disconcerting.

Doc: "It'll be interesting to see what happens when folks look up your 'brand' on Google after a few weeks of screw-Earthlink blog coverage."

Something seems to have changed on the soapbuilders list. We're getting suggestions on how to tweak up the BDG so that implementations that do more will be happy to talk to BDG-level implementations. I wish I could think of an analogy for this, maybe I will later. Suffice it to say this is Good News and evidence of Working Together, interop at a human level. It was always my hope that BDG would not specify a Balkan State in SOAP-land, to make that work, we need help from the broader implementations, and that help seems to be coming now. Andrew Layman even posted a message to Jake suggesting a specific fail-case and Jake is right on it. I sent Andrew an email saying "I'm starting to like you again!" He said "I think you will respect me in the morning." Whatever that means, it sounds OK. I like to respect people, morning, noon or night. BTW, now might be a good time to mention that I've known Andrew for 14 years. We worked together at Symantec in the 80s, he lead a product team and so did I. We gave him the outlining religion. It showed up in a later release of his project management software. I think that outlining was a big win for him. And of course I didn't mind because I owned a lot of Symantec stock. Whatever. That's history. Onward!

Eric Soroos got a free lunch today from his boss and a co-worker. I got a free lunch from Scoble. I like this tradtition. Until further notice Tuesday is Take-A-Programmer-To-Lunch Day.

A mode-change for me re all discussions in the open.

A heads-up to the people using free hosting on UserLand servers, we're hitting some kind of scaling wall or getting pounded, or a combination of both. Brent is working on what he calls the Spring 2001 Cleanup. It's going to take a while to get back the performance. We're busting out on all sides, sorry for the downtime/outage.

A guy named Duncan appears to be building a Python-to-Manila library, using XML-RPC. Gotta love it.

A note to Microsoft people who read Scripting News. Reading this site allows foreign thoughts to enter your mind. If you read other sites, more foreign thoughts. This is a good philosophy, imho, because it helps make your ideas relevant to other people. It's easy to get sucked into the internal drama of Microsoft and think that's all that matters. That's the trap-door all gorillas eventually fall through. They get so big that no one can exist inside it and outside it. Eventually the world moves on. There's no precedent for it working otherwise, afaik. Also you have my gratitude for considering my point of view.

Andrew Layman, the top XML guy at Microsoft is clearly planting the seeds for Microsoft's disapproval of what we're doing with the BDG. They have been so resistant to it, so fearful of it, so fear-provoking of it. I don't know what their internal plan says about the future of SOAP, and how many "full" implementations there will be, but I suspect the number is 1, maybe 2 (gotta keep up the appearance of it being open). I want to open the door wide, and make it an inclusive club, so there can be lots of SOAP interop, so if Microsoft plays games with the market, we have choice.

Further, I truly don't like having my positon mis-stated in such a Microsoft-serving way.

I like SOAP. They ignore XML-RPC, that would be an easy way to get interop with lots of software, including ours, I guess that's a bug. So we say "OK, let's get interop with SOAP." Then all they do is give me grief. I've not heard from a single Microsoft person a single note of gratitude and acceptance for the hard work we've done to make SOAP understandable.

I have spoken with some ex-Microsoft people to get their perspective on how Microsoft parses this situation, and they have no doubt that world domination is the goal. Please understand that I am as opposed to that as Andrew is opposed to anything less than "full" implementations, and I will do everything in my power to prevent that from happening. That was my "contract" with SOAP, that it would open up the networking interfaces from now on. "Impossible to implement" is not open, and neither is "Whatever Andrew says."

Anyway, assuming the best of Microsoft, they're simply surprised, and perhaps like Apple's reaction to the Web in 1993, they truly don't like what we're doing. Well, imagine how surprised I was to find out that HailStorm is a closed box. Surprise is fun. Accept it, and if you want to, challenge it, but do it in a way that befits the stature of your company. You can handle something a little different from what you planned. If you can't you have no business being in the software business, as Bill Gates always reminds us. So what if there are thirty interoperating SOAP 1.1 stacks. Why assume that Microsoft's engineers can't produce software that has value, even when there's competition?

If you want "full" implementations I think your best strategy is to work hard to make the BDG-level implementations roaring successes, make the implementors feel like kings and queens, and show them how much you appreciate what they've done to help make SOAP a success. Gush with praise, instead of threatening to condemn. Act like a representative of a truly great company. And please include UserLand in that, we have worked hard on this and deserve success.

Anyway this is a colossal waste of my time, and I don't appreciate it. Being put on the defensive, constantly, by a company with so many resources, it's just not fair. What did I do that was so terrible? I'm trying to bring more developers, including UserLand, to SOAP.


Last update: Tuesday, April 03, 2001 at 9:34 PM Eastern.

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