Tim’s Weblog Tim's Weblog
Tim Strehle’s links and thoughts on Web apps, managing software development and Digital Asset Management, since 2002.

Python never had a chance against PHP

John Lim - Python never had a chance against PHP:

"Ian Bicking has a very interesting and excellent Python blog. In Why Web Programming Matters Most he talks about PHP and Python. [...] Here are some of the areas where Python remains inferior, despite a 5-year headstart over PHP."

Wed, 30 Mar 2005 08:33:45 +0000

Exceptions create walls to reusing code

Joe Beda has "some theories as to why C++ hasn't developed the same set of libraries that other environments such as Perl, Python, Java, C#, etc. have. [...]

Code written to deal with exceptions doesn't interop well with code that turns exceptions off. [...] In any case, the result is that these are walls to reusing code."

Watch out for exception confusion, PHP 5!

Sun, 27 Mar 2005 21:17:56 +0000

Google News: Wie weit reicht Meinungsfreiheit?

Don't be evil, Google - stop spreading Nazi propaganda.

Wed, 23 Mar 2005 22:24:01 +0000


"con:cern is a workflow engine based on an extended case handling approach. A process is described as a set of activities with pre- and postconditions. An activity is executed when its preconditions are met. It manipulates the process item, thereby creating postconditions. The process flow is determined at run-time. This approach is superior to the conventional process flow approach, if at least one of the following statements applies:

* complex process with exceptions and special cases * execution sequence is dependent on multiple factors * possibility of manual intervention of process flow * content-based dependence amongst activities * strong requirements to modularity * strong requirements to flexibility * loose process coupling"

Wed, 23 Mar 2005 15:23:39 +0000

MS Ignoring developer demand for REST tools?

Microsoft's Mike Champion - MS Ignoring developer demand for REST tools?:

"Plain ol' XML over HTTP works just fine, and WS-* is overkill, in situations where:

* information is public and encryption/authentication are unnecessary; * all communication visible to the service consumer is done over one protocol, HTTP; * nothing terribly bad happens if a message is lost or duplicated; * and there are few demands for multi-part transaction management beyond what can be implemented with HTTP sessions or cookies."

Thu, 17 Mar 2005 23:21:39 +0000

High order bits and Ontologies

Robert Kaye - High order bits and Ontologies:

"Then later in the afternoon, Clay Shirky talked about the difference between ontologies and folksonomies in his "Ontology is Overrated: Links, Tags, and Post-hoc Metadata". With his usual flair Clay delivered a great overview of classic ontologies and all the issues that limit their usefulness on the Internet. [...]

Clay went on to outline the conditions under which classical ontologies can thrive:

* Domain: small corpus, formal categories, stable entities, restricted entities, clear edges * Participants: Coordinated users, expert users, expert catalogers, authoritative sources

In a nutshell, ontologies work best in small and controlled environments where experts are using the system. Unfortunately, the Internet is the the exact opposite of all of these. And thus, argues Clay, ontologies are not suited for the Internet. Fortunately, the Internet has brought us a solution to all these problems in the form of Folksonomies."

Thu, 17 Mar 2005 22:26:28 +0000

Unison File Synchronizer

"Unison is a file-synchronization tool for Unix and Windows. It allows two replicas of a collection of files and directories to be stored on different hosts (or different disks on the same host), modified separately, and then brought up to date by propagating the changes in each replica to the other.

Unison shares a number of features with tools such as configuration management packages (CVS, PRCS, Subversion, BitKeeper, etc.), distributed filesystems (Coda, etc.), uni-directional mirroring utilities (rsync, etc.), and other synchronizers (Intellisync, Reconcile, etc). However, there are several points where it differs."

Thu, 17 Mar 2005 09:56:24 +0000


"Many sites today return search results as an tightly integrated part of the website itself. Unfortunately, those search results can't be easily reused or made available elsewhere, as they are usually wrapped in HTML and don't follow any one convention. OpenSearch offers an alternative: an open format that will enable those search results to be displayed anywhere, anytime. Rather than introduce yet another proprietary or closed protocol, OpenSearch is a straightforward and backward-compatible extension of RSS 2.0, the widely adopted XML-based format for content syndication.

Any site that has content - and a search box - can choose to return results in OpenSearch RSS. This includes travel sites, classifieds, encyclopedias... If you can provide search results for something, it probably can fit into the OpenSearch model. Returning OpenSearch results is easy - the format is the standard set of XML elements, plus three additional elements designed to support navigation between pages."

Update: The new OpenSearch homepage

Wed, 16 Mar 2005 21:08:48 +0000

Don't Panic

Sam Ruby - Don't Panic:

"Just" use HTTP. This is an updated version of my Attractive Nuisance at Chris Sell's Applied XML Developers Conference 5."

Wed, 16 Mar 2005 10:43:51 +0000

How to Start a Startup

Paul Graham - How to Start a Startup:

"In technology, the low end always eats the high end. It's easier to make an inexpensive product more powerful than to make a powerful product cheaper. So the products that start as cheap, simple options tend to gradually grow more powerful till, like water rising in a room, they squash the "high-end" products against the ceiling. Sun did this to mainframes, and Intel is doing it to Sun. Microsoft Word did it to desktop publishing software like Interleaf and Framemaker."

Thu, 10 Mar 2005 01:03:08 +0000

Regarding Ruby (and Ruby on Rails)

Dan Benjamin - Regarding Ruby (and Ruby on Rails):

"PHP gives you nothing. It's up to each individual programmer to figure out the right way to do things - and to define what the "right way" really is. Unfortunately, only experience can help define that, and by the time most programmers have reached this point, many poorly-implemented systems will have been developed, deployed, and delivered, landing like a plague upon their recipients.

[...] For you personally, PHP often just makes the most sense. With the framework you've built, you can stand-up a solid, reliable PHP application quickly and focus on adding features and improving usability. Because you've spent so much time with PHP, you've learned how to make it behave. If the developer is careful to use the conventions learned by developing for other languages like Java (which, as mentioned, enforces structure), PHP can take on some decent qualities and stretch into a decent platform for web-application development."

Tue, 08 Mar 2005 20:15:36 +0000

Creeping Mouse Syndrome Windows XP SP2

I knew there must be others experiencing the same weirdness: Experts Exchange says "after loading Service Pack 2 (XPSP2) the mouse cursor will at random start to scroll off the screen when there is no mouse activity." (Found via Computer Hardware Forum.)

Tue, 08 Mar 2005 14:42:55 +0000

REST design questions

David Megginson - REST design questions:

"RESTafarians point out that REST is the basis of the Web's success, but that's really only the GET part (and its cousin, POST). Despite WebDAV, we have very little experience using PUT and DELETE even for regular web pages, much less to maintain a data repository. Even the much-touted RESTful web services from Amazon and eBay are GET-only (and POST, in eBay's case); in fact, many, if not most firewall come preconfigured to block PUT and DELETE, since web admins see them mainly as security holes.

My gut feeling is that REST is, in fact, more manageable than XML-RPC or WS-* for XML on the Web, but that we have a lot of issues we'll need to work out first. Data management is never really simple, and while WS-* makes it harder than it has to be, even the simplest REST model cannot make it trivial."

Fri, 04 Mar 2005 23:01:46 +0000

Buzzing the Yahoo! Search Web Services

Rasmus Lerdorf - Buzzing the Yahoo! Search Web Services:

"I still much prefer the REST services out there. SOAP always reminds me of being stuck behind the guy in a hat driving a Lincoln Towncar. You eventually get to where you want to go, but the journey is painful. With REST you can just toss your query into your browser and have a look at the returned XML. SOAP starts to make more sense when the queries you are sending get more complex than just tossing a couple of keywords to a search service and setting a couple of flags. But don't even try to read the SOAP spec. If you managed to fight your way through that spec already, try the new WSDL 2.0 Draft Spec. This is the sort of stuff that makes my brain hurt."

Thu, 03 Mar 2005 21:10:36 +0000

IBM developerWorks PHP resources

On IBM's developerWorks:

"Read our latest articles and tutorials on developing with PHP. And browse comprehensive listings of the articles, tutorials, project info, news, and events you need to stay up-to-date on developing with PHP."

See also: phpblog@developerWorks

Tue, 01 Mar 2005 22:21:41 +0000