David Chappell on SCA & WCF

So, David Chappell has posted a mini review of WCF & SCA in his latest issue of Opinari. It’s a good overview of the recently announced SCA. However, some points from his review are very misleading:

“SCA defines more than just a way to build services and clients. It also defines how those components can be assembled into larger modules, including specifying dependencies between them.”

This annoys me. The whole point of SOA & services is that you can define isolated, independent services. If a service has dependencies, then those dependencies should be included inside the service. Otherwise, we’re just creating a new component & packaging system akin to assemblies and jar’s, but distributed and composed of XML.

“SCA intends to let developers create service-oriented applications in a diverse group of languages. This set includes typical choices such as Java and C++, but it also includes more specialized languages such as BPEL and XSLT. WCF supports multiple languages, too, but all of them must be built on the .NET Framework’s Common Language Runtime.”

Is this really special to SCA? Isn’t this what XML promised? The idea of service interoperability reagardless of target langauge? I wouldn’t say that creating services using different langauges and connecting them using XML is special. Unless what SCA is promising is binary level interoperability, similar to what WCF delivers with other .NET based langauges. Either way, it’s a wee bit of FUD.

“SCA is meant to be implementable on top of various existing technologies, including EJB, Spring, and others. WCF is a .NET-based technology.“

Correct me if I am wrong, but Spring and EJB are built on Java, right? It seems like David isn’t comparing apples to apples here. It would be better to compare EJB to COM+ or Spring to Spring.Net ;).

“How security, transactions, and reliable messaging should be handled is described quite generally in an appendix–no specifics are given. SCA’s creators explicitly request feedback in these areas, noting that they’re complex.”


“How asynchronous and message-oriented communication should be done is also defined quite generally. Once again, the description is accompanied by a request for feedback. “

Well, it seems like the SCA members have taken care of the hard part then and left the pesky security, realibility, transactionality, and asynchronous nature of the SCA as a TODO.

“Only two bindings are defined: one for basic web services and another proprietary option for optimized SCA-to-SCA communication. Other bindings are promised, including support for WS-I profiles, the Java Message Service (JMS), and more.”

Ah, finally, the real crux of the SCA is reveled. With Java application servers becoming a commodity ( Hi JBoss! ), the other app server vendors are rushing to productize SOA using the SCA. How else would you explain why the SCA:

  1. Doesn’t include Sun

  2. Wasn’t created using the JCP

“A few aspects of SCA are implemented in (and apparently derived from) version 6 of IBM’s WebSphere Process Server, and the Apache-sponsored Tuscany project is getting underway to create an open source implementation of at least some parts of SCA. Still, all of the vendors backing this new spec clearly have a substantial amount of work left to do. Meeting the broad platform and language goals expressed in the initial SCA specifications won’t be simple.”

*COUGH* Buy our product if you want to do SOA *COUGH*

Also, have I mentioned that protions of WCF are already making their way to MSDN?

The nice part of all this is that, if done correctly, companies will be able to pick and chose what technologies they use to implement services.

Roger Ebert is becoming a figurehead…

So, I know I am not the only one who thinks this, but Roger Ebert is really going off the deep end.

The guy only seems to have two movie ratings: 3 stars and 4 stars.

Seriously, he never met a movie he didn’t like. Only ones that he liked a LOT.

Case in point, the front of the Chicago Sun Times lists his latest reviews, and today there are 9 movies listed. 7 have 3 stars or higher, and the other 2 have 2.5 stars ( which is basically 3 stars ).

This includes the perennial picture of the year contender, Cheaper By The Dozen 2.

If anyone watches Ebert & Roper’s show, they know that Roper is really getting on Ebert for this kind of crap.

Shame, I used to use Roger Ebert as a great guage for picking movies to see.

Not any more…

What's next for Martin? Glow sticks & Goa?

So, Martin Fowler’s recent posting about Music he likes reveled a strange entry: Gotan Project.

Now, I love Gotan Project, but the music, which is downtempo & worldly chillout, isn’t the type of music I would have expected Martin to like.

Strange. I did a double take when I saw it.

Martin, if you like Gotan Project, you’ll really get into Thievery Corporation. I reccommend The Richest Man in Babylon or their newest, The Cosmic Game.

Also, if you are into more worldy music, you can’t go wrong getting into some Baile Funk, as seen on Diplo’s Favela Strikes Back. Recorded directly from Brazil’s Favelas.

If you have trouble locating it, just drop me a line.

Great stuff…

Trillian on the web…

So, this is just amazing…a real life application built on AJAX technologies. It’s call Meebo, and it’s a all-in-one IM client, but it’s based out of your web browser. It’s still in its eary stages, but it’s very usable and very cool.

Check it out here.

Yes, he wears that mask all the time…

So, I went to the MF Doom concert here in Chicago on sunday. He was performing at The Abby Pub.

For those of you who don’t know who MF Doom is, he is probably one of the most famous, underground MC’s out there. One of his calling cards is his strict adherence to always being in his alter ego, MF Doom. So much so that he even wears a mask in public, so that his music is never over shadowed by anything else. He is a frequent collaborator with some of the biggest names, including Madlib on Madvillainy, DJ Danger Mouse on The Mouse and The Mask, and even a guest spot on the new Gorillaz CD Demon Days on the song ‘November Has Come‘. Although his apperance on Demon Days isn’t a surprise since DJ Danger Mouse produced that too.

He also creates solo releases at an alarming rate, sometimes 2-3 a year.

Anyway, the concert was great….The crowd was getting angry with being entertained by the JV acts that preceeded Doom, but once MF Doom hit the stage the crowd went wild. One of the strange aspects of the show was the fact that the headliners used a beat machine and cd mixer as opposed to a real DJ. Strange.

One of the things I noticed whas that MF Doom’s stage presence was leaps and bounds above the other acts. One has to question wheather that charisma is the reason he is the headliner, or does he have that charisma because he is the headliner. Contrast that with the other acts who had to pander to the crowd and try to sell some cd’s, so that they can headline one day. It’s a vicious circle I guess.

I was also surprised as the mixed crowd at the concert. All different races, ages, genders, and social classes showed up to enjoy the music. It made for a fun experience because you didn’t have to worry about being out of place or sticking out.

Lots of fun…but why, oh why, did I go on a Sunday night with a AM flight the next day???

Not everything is a DSL

So my colleague Jay Fields blogs about functional testing using a DSL and NUnit.

While I appreciate everyone’s love of Ruby, and the fact that RoR is a form of a DSL, not EVERY new language is a DSL. The fact that you can use variables as the basis of a transformation form one file to another doesn’t make those variables their own little DSL. Note: I am NOT picking on Jay at ALL 🙂

Those two little words in front of language, ‘domain’ and ‘specific’ make all the difference.

DSL’s are / should encapsulate something. Usually, an abstraction of some sort. DSL’s enable people to manipulate and abstration without knowing the intimate details of what makes up that abstraction.

For example, C#’s ‘lock’ & ‘using’ statements are an example of a subset of C#’s small DSL. Both encapsulate lower level concepts of the CLR so that developers don’t need to know what they actually represent in the CLR. Actually, to get specific, they encapsulate other concepts within C#. The same way the Windows.Forms.Form class encapsulates MFC API calls.

Everyone pull back the eagerness a wee bit….there’s a reason DSL’s are complex and expensive and haven’t been attempted at a vertical level until now.

We are on the cusp of a new and exciting paradigm, but just as with OOP, it has to be applied correctly to see the benefits.

Perhaps someone should write an article on DSL’s….and perhaps it should be published sometime soon in Dr. Dobbs….:)

More news coming soon.

Ah, songs from my youth…

When I was but a wee cell phone cloning, BBS war dialing, phrack reading youth, I fell in love with electronic music. I didn’t know the different types, just that it had samples that were funny and music that was edgy.

Then I saw Hackers, ironically the same movie that first introduced a young Angelina Jolie to the world first introducted me to Prodigy. The movie was HORRIBLE. It tried to be cool & underground, but failed of course. But the soundtracck was STELLER.

The lineup was unreal, and included:

  • Kruder & Dorfmeister
  • Underworld
  • Leftfield
  • Carl Cox
  • Plastico
  • Stereo MC’s

Oh, and Prodigy. When I was watching the movie and the scene came up when they started screwing with the traffic lights, and Prodigy’s ‘Voodoo People’ came blaring out of the speakers in the theater, I was hooked. People who love electronic music know what I am talking about…..

I didn’t know it then, but Prodigy would become the soundtrack to my youth….I can go back through their releases and pinpoint where I was when I first heard their new stuff….’Music for a Jiltted Generation’ when I was in grade school…I can still remember the sound of the music clerk when selling me ‘The Fat of the Land’ and remarking on how he, *giggle*, liked the titled of the first song ( Smack My Bitch Up )….

Ah, before I get all misty eyed, let me get to the point of this post: Prodigy has a greatest hits cd and just reshot the video for Voodoo People. Cliptip has the scoop here. It’s a great video for a great song. Check it out.

Beware: It happened again, and this time it took down Nip/Tuck.

The X-Files Effect ( my own term ) has occurred again.

What show has followed down the same beaten path of so many other fads? Why Nip / Tuck of course. Now, as readers know, I watch Nip / Tuck every week ever since the first season. I was a HUGE fan and a big mouth piece for the show. I even annointed FX, with its lineup of Nip/Tuck, The Shield, and Rescue Me, the best channel on TV.

But now? Nip/Tuck is a cheap, gross, and frankly, boring Soap Opera wannabe. Even sports columnist Jason Whitlock has turned on the show:

4. The Philadelphia Eagles remind me of the TV show “Nip/Tuck,” which I now call “Nip/Sucks.”

Donovan McNabb is Dr. Troy. He had the world by the tail until The Carver (Terrell Owens) raped him and then framed him for a series of crimes. I was initially intrigued by the Carver story line, but I now just want it to be over.

Philly’s season — just like Season 3 of “Nip/Sucks” — began with tons of promise. Now you spend every Tuesday evening wondering how things got so bad and so pointless this quickly. You TiVo the games/show just to see if things can get any worse.

Bringing back The Carver and wrapping up that story line won’t fix “Nip/Sucks.” Dr. Troy has been ruined. You’ll never live vicariously through him again.

This is, of course, part of the circle of death for anything that the public falls in love and exactly with and exactly what I talk about in the link above. First the public thinks it’s missing the ‘next big thing’, falls in love with it, grows tired of it, makes it the butt of jokes, then moves onto the next big thing.

Honestly, I FF’ed through the last two episodes of the show. All the way to the 3rd arrow on Tivo’s FF’ing ability….that’s pretty fast…

One can only hope the new season of The Shield doesn’t get the same fate. And I am not going to even talk about the possible let down after the UNREAL cliffhanger from Rescue Me’s 2nd season finale.

Eh….Where have all the good shows gone? Oh, except for ‘How I Met Your Mother’. Doogie Howser is having a Piven-like comeback to his career and I couldn’t be happier. Seriously, tivo that show.