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August 2003 Archives

August 1, 2003

Vote for Elbo as the Name for (not)Echo/PIE/Atom

The syndication format parallel to RSS is hopefully voting on its final name that shouldn稚 change this time. They tried Echo, and got a trademark conflict. Some tried PIE (Pie Is Echo) but that didn't catch on. Then a bunch of people voted for Atom. Guess what, another trademark blow up. And so this time they are trying a final vote to end the naming. And before the vote started all the final names were actually vetted against the US Patent and Trademark Office's list of on-line trademarks to make sure there were no trademark conflicts. Nine names were pushed through that processes and they are being voted on now.

Who are they being voted on by? As best I can tell anybody. This means that you can vote on it as well! Simply go to The NameFinalVote Wiki Page and add your name below the one you like (click on the link "edit text" at the bottom of the page to do this).

You're not naive enough to believe I have entirely altruistic motives here, trying to spur democracy and all. After all I am an American and you don't grease the wheels of democracy and mobilize people to vote without a reason. My reason is simple: I have a name idea that was promoted to the list (by someone else for the final portion) and I would like you to vote for it. I think Elbo is the coolest name out there, but that may be because I am biased. I also feel its the name that most fulfills the guidelines for a name presented there, especially the one about quirkiness and substance being encouraged. If you look at the ElboNameDiscuss page you can see that it has a double meaning: both as an orthogonal fitting and as a strange relation to RSS (that's repetitive stress syndrome).

And if you don't like my name, vote for one of the other 8 options. Then it will just be like all the other times I got involved in student government. *hangs*head*in*shame*and*skulks*off*of*stage*.

August 13, 2003

WS-I Basic Profile Testing Tools

For anyone that's been reading the technical news lately WS-I relased the 1.0 WS-I Basic Profile (WBP). Basically it's a document that takes several of the published documents relating to web services and removes as much of the ambiguity that it can. Clearly there was some policiticing in the process in some of the rules but most of the "don't do that" rules fall under the realm of vauge and ill-defined.

One of the nice things is that they also have a set of testing tools. They current;y in beta but cover the bulk of the big "gotchas" from the spec. Implmentations are available in Java (based predominantly on Xerces and Axis) and C# (based on .NET). Source is not available. I spent most of today running these against the WSDL definitions I am developing and glean some suprising details.

  • Axis 1.1's WSDL2Java accepts a lot of WSDL that lies outside of the WBP. That's possiblbly because it generates a lot from Java2WSDL that lies outside of WBP. I consider that a good thing for WSDL2Java becuase it accepts what is within the basic profile (it's a tool, not a WSB conformance cop). I consider this a bad thing for Java2WSDL since some users are just going to blindly use the tool and say "Look! Web Services! Oohh. Aahh." Highlights (all WBP restrictions from the original WSDL spec) are the name element missing from the wsdl:fault element in the bindings, creating types instead of elements for the parts that are fault responses, and using wsdl:import to point to schema files.
  • SOAP Arrays are gonners. This is one piece of conformance I won't be conforming to for a while. Why? For structures themselves I can use other structures to get WSDL2Java to create arrays. The problem lies in the port definitions. If I use the tricks the WBP recommends to construct arrays WSDL2Java generates java classes that consist of a single indexed JavaBean property, and the methods consist of parameters of those classes and not parameters that are arrays. If I use the SOAP Array extensions I get a method call that has arrays instead of that bogus class. This seems to be a tough problem for Axis to address in a non-specialized form. Perhaps there could be a processor rule that checks to see if a type for a message part consists of a single unbound element, and if so then the method part becomes an array with the name of the element child of the element's type. I'de hate to be an IBM programmer working on WebSphere right now. As for .NET programmers? They'll never know since the C# version of the test tool doesn't flag this error.
  • No method overloading. There can be only one bound port and operation corresponding to a name. Differing these operations by message parts is not allowed, the names must be distinct. The reasons make sense. Using overloading makes your WSDL a leadky abstraction, showing too much of the underlying languages features. That, and some client langugages don't allow method overloading and that would break stuff. We want to be sure that those COBOL programmers can use your web service too!
  • Goodbye RPC/encoded and hello RPC/literal. This is potrayed as one of the biggest political force feeds in the spec, but for clear definiton of your web services XML struvture it has some merit. The use attribute on all of the bindings must be literal and can never be encoded. From an Axis viewpoint it means very little. You will only see a difference if you snoop the wire and see that all of those multi-ref elemetns are missing. What's really funny is that WSDL.exe (from Micsosoft's .NET SDK) dosen't accept RPC/literal and demands RPC/encoded or document/literal, accepting nothing else. It whines like a mule and refuses to create oerpations when you try and feed it RPC/literal. This is another poriton of the WBP I won't be conformant to for a while, becuase I use C# to prove some base level of interoperability. So when Microsoft gets their rear in gear I'll get mine. Did I mention I'm going on a vacation soon?

And one last tidbit: don't use circular schema imports. The Java version of the testing tool will start in an infinite recursive loop that no number of StackOverflowErrors will ever be able to stop. You probobly shouldn't do it anyway, but the testing tool won't tell you it's a problem (since it won't tell you anthing).

August 19, 2003

SCO Group Sheds Light on Code Theft Case

Well, SCO finally showed some of the infringing code to the public according to some info from Slashdot. Amazingly enough there is a quie concise summation of the origin of the code in the comments of the article:

So to sum it up: SCO sued IBM, because HP comitted a patch copied by SGI from an old Bell Labs Unix, which was released under a BSD license by SCO. Seems like Sun are the only ones not involved. That's probably the reason they bought one of those Unix licenses from SCO, just to be part of the picture. [Slashdot Comment]

All of our reasons for why they didn't want to show the code are now true: the theft claims are all bunk!

About August 2003

This page contains all entries posted to ... And They Shall Know Me By My Speling Errors in August 2003. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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