Tales from the Smart Client

John Gossman's observations on Avalon development

  • Tales from the Smart Client

    Amazon client based on XUL

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    Devon Strawn points out a very interesting app built with XUL: http://www.secretrobot.com/blog/archives/2004/10/dear_god_where.html His explanation of the significance is good, so I'll leave the comments to him.
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    The picture...

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    http://www.douglasp.com/PermaLink.aspx?guid=5e8aa9f7-a727-4167-8697-f191d3f4b300
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    Doug Purdy at Applied XML Dev Conf

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    Day 2 Doug Purdy from the Indigo team is talking about versioning web services. He mentioned it was his birthday today, and Chris Anderson led the room in a rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday." BTW -- Chris has a good signing voice...who knew? About...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    XML for Naval Missiles

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    Whit Kemmey from the DOD is a very humorous presenter. His problem domain is extreme: describe "Standard Operating Procedures" for controlling nuclear missiles on submarines. On old hardware. Operated by 19-year olds. Underwater. But his sly asides make...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    Don Box at Applied XML Conf

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    No surprise: Don was excellent. The structure of his talk was "What XML related standards would I want to take with me if I were stranded on a desert island?" His list btw: xml (or lisp), soap, ws-addressing, ws-mex and xsdwsdl. Given that Tim Bray started...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    This is different...

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    We've got a DOD representative here talking about software for Naval Missile Guidance. Haven't seen the XML connection yet, but to quote him "I've peppered the presentation with pictures of submarines to keep it interesting."
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    Software Quotes

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    Had not seen http://www.softwarequotes.com until Tim Bray referred to it. My favorite so far is anonymous: "The software isn't finished until all the last user is dead." How true. The DOS-based CAD products I worked on in the 1980s are still being sold...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    Chris Anderson at Applied XML Developer's Conference

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    Chris had a hard act to follow. Tim Bray gave a really good talk, provocative and very personal (not corporate). The room loved him. Chris then got up and gave a talk titled "Developers hate XML". At an XML conference. Just to make it interesting, his...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    Tim Bray

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    Tim Bray was worth the price of admission to the conference. He basically had one message: simplicity is goodness. His slides are on his website, but they might seem like a random collection unless you heard how he tied it together. Here's his slides...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    Applied XML Developer's Conference

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    Drove through the night from Redmond to Stevenson, Wa. to attend the Applied XML Developer's Conference. I am one of the few at MS who do not carry a laptop with them to every meeting. I find it makes it much easier to be alert and "present" at the meeting...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    Why Avalon?

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    Brian states it very well Though I would like to know what he has against dancing hippos...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    Where's the technical beef?

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    I started this blog to talk technical, and so far all I've done is fluffy human-interest stuff. Some of this was meant as background, but I am facing one difficulty: the Avalon bits out in the world are kinda old and crickety. Some of the cool stuff I...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    I knew Joe Beda, Joe Beda was a friend of mine...

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    ...but Joe Beda was not "the lead developer on Avalon". Note the key word: "the". The New York Post ran a story that said Google had hired Joe Beda, "the lead developer on Avalon." Sounds pretty serious, doesn't it? Some background to clarify. At MS,...
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    It's a big, scary world in here

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    MS is a big place. It is so big, I really don't know much about the other parts about the company after five years. There is a huge sales and marketing organization, and though I have friends who work there, I don't know much about what they do day-to...
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    What's in a name?

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    I recently got a new job title. I do exactly the same work, but the description has changed. But, I'm not saying job titles aren't important, at least not in a large organization. Job titles are important for initial contacts. Generally in a meeting of...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    Why Avalon?

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    Software developers are by nature a skeptical lot. Our scientific and mathematical training has taught us to question everything. This makes it hard to be enthusiastic sometimes: we just don’t have the cheerleader genes. So why am I so enthusiastic about...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    Is the Canvas model scalable?

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    Miguel has a list of concerns with the Avalon architecture. I'll start with the easy ones: Canvas model: Avalon's canvas model suffers from the same problem every other retained system suffers: they are hard to scale in the general case. I worked on AutoCAD...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    Introduction

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    I am a developer working on an unannounced Avalon-related project. Enough to say I work with the Avalon APIs every day, and have for about 2.5 years. The big news here is that Avalon is going to run on Windows XP, instead of being a Longhorn-only technology...
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