Scott Hanselman

Mixing Metaphors and Making Things Too Complex (REST and SOAP)

October 26, '04 Comments [5] Posted in Web Services
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Folks keep trying to push metaphors (or similes, like, depending on how you say it) a smidge too far. Steve Maine had some words for Mark Baker. That said:

Patrick and I sat down to talk about this:

  • REST:
    • I write a letter, a document even, and it has no address on it and doesn't even say "Dear Patrick."
    • I tell the Postman, remembering that I'm only able to tell him two things, GET and POST, to take this letter to my friend Patrick.
      • POST /patrick.aspx HTTP/1.0
    • If the Postman puts the document (not a message, considering that he's the only one who knows where it's going) down on the seat, in order to Store and Foward this message - is it a letter? No, it's a document with no destination.
    • REST doesn't cover this. The address is out of band.  It's not on the "envelope" as there IS NO ENVELOPE.  Trying to say that the HTTP Headers are a Poor Man's Envelope succeed only in describing a very poor man.
  • SOAP
    • I write a letter, a document even, and it has no address on it and doesn't even say "Dear Patrick."
    • I put it in an envelope (also, a folded piece of paper, except this one has glue on it in certain places and a licky part) and put ATTN: Patrick (WS-Addressing) on the outside with some wax seals (WS-Security) and a Notary Public Stamp (WS-Trust).
    • If the Postman puts the document on his seat, the document (now a bona fide message) could be delivered by a substitute Postman.
    • Thus, SOAP adds, gasp, value by simply formalizing addressing, containment, and with WS*.*, security and trust.
    • And, it's transport independent. The Postman is free to use a Mule or a Segway.

How anyone can argue about this is beyond Patrick and I.

REST is interesting, and when simplicity is called for, knock yourself out.  But seriously, I can see why some may call them RESTafarians because more often than not "Hay now, Mista Postman, tak dis letta to mwa bwoy Patrix. Eim dwon undastan SOAP." doesn't cut it if you really want your letter to arrive.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Why don't developers switch/migrate/convert from VB6 to VB.NET?

October 26, '04 Comments [12] Posted in Programming
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IMHO, it’s because converting (both projects and your mind) to VB6 to .NET is hard.

  • VB6 existed for one reason and one reason only – to hide the complexities of COM.
    • VB6 was the Matrix, while VB.NET is as powerful as C#. Some folks say, well, while I'm here, I'll just move over to a language with "C" in it, and maybe I'll get more money?
  • VB.NET aims to hide nothing – and the exposure is scary to many.
    • VB.NET looks like VB7 - but it's not.
  • VB6 solved the problem of multithreaded Windows Forms by not allowing it. 
    • VB.NET’s WinForms and the BeginInvoke, AsyncResult, and InvokeRequired of it all is complex for anyone, especially a VB6 Mort.
  • VB6 is used by places like "Podunk County School District" and "Whatever, Kansas Dept. of Forestry."  These are places where Microsoft Access is fine, therefore VB6 is "fine."
    • Until Microsoft explains why VB6 isn’t "just fine" – folks will linger.
  • The Migration Path is not clear and VERY complex – if you did anything funky with OCXs, or if a component vendor didn’t provide you with a migration path, you’re screwed. 
    • The Migration Wizard is an amazing chunk of work, but the 20% edge cases are hard.
  • Making no decision at all is an implicit decision.  Many VB6 developers are paralyzed. That is a decision not to move forward.
    • Safety first, and safety in numbers.

What do you think? Do you have buddies that are still on VB6? What are they doing it about it? Is VB6SP5 "just fine"? Is VB6 a technology that Microsoft should continue to support?

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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GlucoBoy - Diabetes Monitoring for your GameBoy

October 26, '04 Comments [2] Posted in Diabetes | Gaming
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Absolutely freaking brilliant.  I want to meet this guy.  Crap.  I should have thought of this.

GlucoBoy brings blood sugar monitoring to GameBoy

glucoboyGuidance Interactive have created GlucoBoy, an attachment for the Nintendo GameBoy that monitors blood sugar levels.  Creator Paul Wessel noticed that his son, who was diagnosed with diabetes at age 3, carried his GameBoy everywhere.  Wessel figured, hey - why not just turn the thing into a blood sugar monitor?  He is also developing games that work with the GlucoBoy beyond the standard testing. [Engadget]

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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How to Reset your TCP/IP Stack under Windows XP/2000/2003

October 25, '04 Comments [2] Posted in Musings
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I got myself into some kind of voodoo/Bermuda Triangle situation where my TCP/IP stack was boogered and when I said "IPCONFIG" I was greeted with a single line, and NO listings of any of my Adapters. However, Greg Hughes gave me this magic command line:

netsh int ip reset logfile.txt

Lord help me I don't know exactly what this did, but it fixed it. I wonder if I'll pay for it later. :)

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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EWeek story on the XmlDevCon

October 24, '04 Comments [1] Posted in Corillian | eFinance | Movies | Web Services | Ruby | XML
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There was a story on EWeek about the XmlDevCon. It's a very good article, actually. There was a certain amount of XML bashing, as XML does have its problems, as eloquently pointed out to by the likes of Tim Bray and Sam Ruby.

It was nice for Corillian, Patrick and I to be pointed out as success stories:

Not every aspect of XML is judged to be a potential disaster—far from it. Two presentations have demonstrated how XML is enabling solutions in the real world: one from the U.S. Department of Defense on using XML for Navy missile systems, and a presentation from Scott Hanselman and Patrick Cauldwell of Corillian about effectively using XML in financial systems.

All in all, I think it was the best SellsCon yet.  Great location - dispite my original misgivings - and great facilities.  It was very well planned, and it showed.

Congrats to Chris Sells and crowd for a great con, and thanks for inviting us.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.