Lo-REST: This is your REST on Crack

Okay, this one is probably going to sting a bit. But here it goes. Don Box, my hero of adventures long gone, has coined (or as much as that) a new term: Lo-rest. He provides a list of bullet points to define it, and even comes out as the first member of the newly minted congregation. Almost immediately the poision-pill meme catches on, appearing on smart people’s blogs and mailing lists.

Well, fellas, somebody ought to come out and say it: there’s no REST in Lo-REST. It’s barely good HTTP. It seems, after years of trying to bend HTTP into a donut with the WS-* spec and somesuch, Don wants to get back to basics and normalcy of what HTTP was intended to be. And I applaud that. But please, pretty please, don’t call it REST. Or Lo-REST. Or Hi-REST.

For as long as you use “invoke”, and “service-oriented” in your jargon, you are not applying REST architectural style. If anything, it’s REV. Please, Don, you’re well-known and well-respected and your words are picked up and carried by crowds like you’re some sort of religious cleric. RTFM?

Microformats Abuzz

As you may have heard, Bill Gates ushered in a new era by saying: “We need microformats” from stage at Mix’06. It was a long time coming. Slowly but surely the purists in us are realizing that this might be the only way to bring the vision of semantic web into fruition. Slowly but surely the mechanics in us are grokking the importance of semantic markup and the benefits that come with it. And I say with open arms: “Welcome to the fray!”. Kick the tires, join the discussion, learn the process, participate in development — and start using them, dang it!

Back? By Popular? Demand?

Yes, ’tis a post of many questions. “What happened, dude?” Lots and lots of stuff. Here’s a brief summary: worked like crazy, lost lots of sleep trying to get the little one to sleep, started back on drinking coffee, replaced a house HVAC system, cooked delicious Christmas meal, gained new friends, lost a friend, found cool sites, got disappointed in most of them, became fascinated with new technologies, then disillusioned in some, made serious life and career choices, pondered philosophical questions, decided to write a book, then cooled down a bit (but not too much), swore to stop cursing (well, that lasted all 10 minutes), joined a project, abandoned a project, spoke at a couple of conferences, talked about Web 2.0 like I know what I’m talking about, and wrote a lot of code, diagrams, and specs everywhere in between.

Oh, and I also got sucked into another blog: http://fuzzycontent.com. This is a collaborative project that Bob Robertson-Boyd and Eric Hodgson have started. I hope you like it — we’re just getting started.

Growing Feet on Valuable Equipment: Bad People Are Out There

I was coming back from a long meeting. The day was almost over. I didn’t expect to find anybody back at the office, and I was right: the last person locked the doors and left about 10 minutes prior to my arrival. In that short moment of time, someone broke into the building and stole 3 laptops, one of them mine.

What can I tell you? I am sad that I lost some work that wasn’t backed up since last night. I am upset that my music collection and some valuable information is gone, among them a 2-days’ worth of code, latest blog roll and a draft of a blog post. Oh well, back to the drawing board on those.

So, here’s a reminder: bad people are out there. And to the baddies: you suck!

Motorola HS850: Now Machine Washable (and Dryable)

The weekend was drawing to a close. My son was carrying a shoe around the house with such determination and intensity that I couldn’t help but follow him around and wonder if there really was a mystic purpose behind his concentric journey. Just as I was starting to doubt the prudence of my diminutive leader, we were interrupted by a gasp of horror — my wife was standing beside the open door of the clothes dryer and holding out her hand. On the palm of her hand rested a minuscule digital gadget, the Motorola HS850 Bluetooth headset.

We will never know whether I’d forgotten to take the headset out of my pocket or maybe (quite possibly!) the mean laundry gnomes planted it gleefully in the dirty laundry. The outcome however, was painfully obvious: the headset took the Frigidaire washing cycle ride, followed by the Frigidaire dryer tumble. Even a one-year old could tell you that we were now staring at something that should never blip or blink again.

Just like an ER character, who refuses to accept the flat-lining patient, I rushed to the power adapter and plugged the thing in. And, just like in the aforementioned over-the-top dramatization of emergency health care, something miraculous happened: the headset lit up and started charging.

We couldn’t believe our eyes. The darn thing was still breathing. A couple of hours later, I attempted to use it. And yet another thaumaturgy played out that fateful evening: the headset hooked up with the phone, recognized my voice command, and successfully dialed a number!

Since then, I’ve been using this headset every day and have yet to find any trace of impact of the water-and-heat abuse that it endured. I haven’t been a huge fan of Motorola, but this feat is changing my ways of thinking.

Oh, and contrary to my coworker’s theory and his repeated attempts to test it, the headset still lets through bad words. If washing digital equipment was all it took to clean up the lexicon, Tide would’ve had the market on spam filtering. Now, machine-washing the spammers themselves might not be a bad idea…