Writing Responsibilities

I just realized that I have five articles due by the end of the month. Actually, that's not entirely true. Although Dr. Dobb's Journal article was due last month and the XML.com article will probably run in the last week of October the other three may not have such hard deadlines. I need to borrow a leaf from Tim Ewald's The Web Services Idea and work on something similar for XML. This probably doesn't need to have such a strict deadline even though I did originally plan to have it done by the beginning of this month. I also need to work on next month's Extreme XML column. No rest for the wicked.

Some of the responses to my last article have made me consider doing an "Overview of Object Oriented Programming Concepts" type article. I was quite surprised by the amount of people who couldn't tell the difference between inheritance and polymorphism or that there is a difference. I've keep taking little notes as to what I want the content to be and would love to get a K5 article out that would be actually fun to write instead of being about work. With any luck this will be Slashdot article #7.


Jon Udell on RSS and XML Namespaces

I just read Jon Udell's $0.02 about the RSS 2.0 debacle and could only shake my head in sorrow. An appreciation of XML namespaces is practically the starting gate with regards to utilizing and understanding XML in usage that extend beyond the trivial. What's been quite disillusioning is that understanding namespaces is trivial compared to most of the complexity being cooked up in the W3C nowadays.

I've talked about my irritation with the complexity of W3C's XML Schema language in previous diaries but this pales in comparison to the W3C XML Query family of specifications. No one I know completely understands it and the grand daddy of all the specs for undecipherability is the XQuery Formal Semantics. I thought it was just me until I sat across from twoP.hDs who both came to the same conclusion I did; it's barely understandable but the little that can be understood is complicated, unintuitive and in some cases just plain incorrect. Of course, XQuery is still a working draft so some of these issues can be fixed and compromises reached but from the look of things it's going to be another monster like W3C XML Schema from which it obtains its type system.

The reason for this side rant was to observe that maybe it's time to slow down "standardization" of XML technologies until more practical experience is obtained. In a world where relatively experienced developers are stumped by a 4 year old standards which are fairly understandable shouldn't the standards bodies slow down the pace of "innovation" if the cost of adoption is so high? Oh, well. I recently expressed my disillusionment with the W3C process from XML-DEV but the truth is that as long as there is so much interest in XML and the wrong kind of people keep ending up on WC working groups these problems will continue.

Interestingly enough, it looks like the Web Services working groups may be staffed by the write kind of people but then again I don't pay them much attention so I might be mistaken.


Carnage4Life the Autograph Hound

One of the cool things about working in the Belly of the Beast is getting to meet so many cool people who's work I've admired or whose books I've bought. I met Michael Kay and all I said to him was "I liked your book" to which he replied "Then you should buy 2 copies so I get more money" or something quite similar. I didn't go see Bjarne Stroustrup when he was here even though I was looking forward to it. My biggest coup so far has been getting James Clark to autograph my copies of the RELAX NG Specification and tutorial. I'm still owed T-shirts by Miguel from the time we had dinner with Sam Ruby. I should probably hound him about getting an autographed copy since he's probably forgotten by now.

I've actually considered having an Autograph Collection day where I go around grabbing signatures from the authors whose books I've own and I've meet like Dave Sceppa, Michael Brundage and Mohan, Don and Tim, and Eric Gunnerson. I've also considered hitting up Herb Sutter and Stanley Lippman but since we haven't met and probably won't unless I seek them out that seemed kind of rude.


Tasteless Link of the Day

Columbine Paintball


Amusing Link of the Day

CNN Headline News Staffers Encouraged to Keep It Real, Yo



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