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Permanent link to archive for Thursday, May 16, 2002. Thursday, May 16, 2002

NY Times on the Dutch election. "The party of the slain populist Pim Fortuyn elected a former journalist as its new leader today, after its followers turned out in force in parliamentary elections on Wednesday that gave Dutch politics a startling push to the right." 

EditLive for Java "empowers business users with an easy-to-use, intuitive interface for creating and publishing web content." 

Colin Faulkingham: MetaPresentation Service Description

12:03PM, getting ready for lunch, my session was blogged all over the place. I'll go look for pointers. In the meantime I'm sitting at a table with Joey deVilla, the accordian guy; and John Draper, grey-hat security guy. John just pitched me on his new security product, which is called CrunchBox, which is a funny name because John also goes by the name Captain Crunch. John says "You can try it out for free." 

News.Com: Kazaa finds friends in file-swapping fight

Here are my slides for today's talk. Short and sweet. And easy for me. When I get to the room, in about 70 minutes, I'll go to Scripting News, click on the link, and introduce myself and quickly introduce the topics for discussion by stepping through the slides. That should take about five minutes. The remaininreg forty minutes are for discussion. One of the first things I'm going to say is that this is a two-way session. If you have something to say, or a question to ask, just raise your hand and I'll try to get the flow to you. It's like a weblog, but face-to-face, and even more fun. If you're at the O'Reilly conf, I look forward to seeing you at 10:30. Let's have fun! 

Notes from O'Reilly conf 

Sorry for not more blogging. Rohit just gave a kickass presentation on SOAP routing, now I'm a last minute addition to a panel where we're debating the merits of REST vs RPC. I have good power on stage. That's where I'm blogging from. Spacebar on this laptop is still really flaky. If you have question send me an email.

Paul Prescod is speaking, what makes HTTP work. If we were going to start again and invent the web, what would the design document look like. Do Web services have anything to do with the Web? Lucas Gonze is speak. I'm a pro-REST guy. He froths at the mouth for REST. When you're building applications you want to know how everything works. Try to avoid trouble whenever possible. HTTP is a gigantic spec. A design style. Wacky. Wireless just died. I'll keep blogging. Rohit is speaking. I am handicapped. Interesting. Rohit has senioritis. Sam Ruby wants to explain REST. Good idea.

We had a big outage here. Long discussion. We did get to the nugget of the disagreement, it's whether or not you want to wait for the W3C roadmap du jour to settle down.


At one point during the Schneier session, I noticed the person in front of me was blogging with Radio.

To the left, another person was reading Scripting News.

I leaned over to Reed and said "It doesn't get any better than this."


In many of the discussions, on stage and off, a theme that's been pervasive for years.

All arguments about software are about Microsoft and other BigCo's, and open source.

What about the middle? Small commercial developers. To many, esp those in the O'Reilly sphere of influence, there's nothing else, commercial developers other than the Bigs simply don't exist.

I point this out. These days people can hear it. "That's where all the innovation comes from," I say. No one argues about this.

The sooner this outage clears, the sooner we can return to an innovation-driven industry.

I tried 

I tried to live-blog some of the sessions, but by the time I had it all set up, my battery ran out.

Shneier, Sun, SOAP, Reed 

Great day yesterday. Talks with Steve Gillmor and Mike Vizard of InfoWorld, Jon Udell, David Stutz, Paul Andrews, Daneese Cooper, Mike Chambers, Dan Gillmor, Cory Doctorow, Danny O'Brien, Evan Williams, Ben Hammersley.

Met Sam Ruby, talked with David Reed (more on that later), and attended sessions about blogging. That seemed to be the topic of the show. I'm giving a talk at 10:30AM, but not about weblogs, about the technology underneath, which I summarize as Distributed Content Management.

A picture named schneier.gifComments on Bruce Schneier's talk about security. Good talk, not a technical one, he says that security doesn't happen until the CEO is on board. Too much bashing of Microsoft, to me this is wrong. Security is the one issue we shouldn't get pissy about, if we're all professionals, our interest is in the safety of users. Microsoft has lots of them. If you want to wear the white hat, imho you have to leave the usual industry politics out of it. During the Q&A period, Daneese Cooper, who works at Sun, took the mike to bash Microsoft, but she didn't say she worked at Sun. I was appalled. I know Daneese, she's a fine ethical person, probably caught up in the moment, I stood up and interrupted. "She works for Sun," I said. The place erupted. Later I saw her in the hall and said "I love you Daneese," and gave her a big hug, but I don't think other people understood. It's part of a theme. Everyone makes mistakes. That doesn't end friendships.

During Schneier's talk I was sitting next to David Reed, who I quoted here on Sunday. Schneier took a really cheap shot at SOAP, one that I've heard repeated often -- that it was designed to circumvent firewalls. He said it in a really obnoxious way, he said that SOAP is compatible with firewalls in the same way bullets are compatible with skulls. The audience snickered. I didn't. I know that SOAP was not designed to circumvent firewalls, it was designed to be compatible with scripting environments, which, at the time the decision was made, 1998, generally had HTTP support baked in. We wanted make it easy for them to add SOAP support to their implementations. Later in his talk, Schneier said that firewalls were basically useless because they were never configured properly. I took the mike myself later, and called him on it. He said "I think we have some SOAP experts here." Oy. He made a mistake, that can be forgiven. But security, which is such a crucial issue, should not be mixed with other messages. Jon Udell, who I respect enormously said that Schneier was the leading authority on security. My impression, and it's just an impression, is that this kind of praise has gone to his head.

When I took my seat, David Reed said something to me privately, that was more important than anything anyone had said at the session, it bears repeating. "We should just be able to help each other," he said. Amen to that. When you've been through all the nasty battles and survived, something Reed can claim, this is what you end up wanting. If Sun wants to look good, they can go out of their way to help Microsoft. If Schneier wants to be an authority on security, he can't use that to bash Microsoft (which is probably where the dissing of SOAP was coming from). Even if people don't have the experience to know the person on stage is misleading, these kind of arguments create discomfort and distrust. A security expert must be almost perfect about deserving trust, or else who do you look to for advice when security becomes an issue. I have fresh experience with this, from the outages earlier this month. I got help from a lot of people. No one used the occasion to pitch their pet agenda. This philosophy helped us dig out of the hole. There were a lot of things in Schneier's talk that rang true, and for that I am grateful. But I am digusted by the side agendas he brought into the discussion, in areas where I know the truth, and the expert is lying, this breaks all trust.


Last update: Thursday, May 16, 2002 at 4:54 PM Eastern.

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