ql.io – a SQL-style way of mashing-up web APIs

The guys at ebay have released ql.io, which seems to be a way of using SQL-like queries to fetch and join data (typically in the form of JSON, it seems) from multiple web APIs to generate quick “mashups”. See ql.io. I can’t help thinking that there are a lot of hidden issues around API compatibility …

Continue reading ‘ql.io – a SQL-style way of mashing-up web APIs’ »

Freja – a JavaScript framework for in-broswer MVC applications

This looks really neat. A small JavaScript framework for setting up and running a single-page XML/XSLT application which fetches model data and view definitions from a server and combines them using JavaScript controllers. Once the data and views are loaded the application can run with no server latency, limited only by the ability of the …

Continue reading ‘Freja – a JavaScript framework for in-broswer MVC applications’ »

Martin Fowler dislikes rules engines. I’m not so sure

There’s no doubt that a generic rules engine can sometimes be a solution in search of a problem. The work to implement and manage both the rules and their interfaces with external systems can often completely dwarf any work which might be needed to implement the same behaviour in a regular programming language. Martin Fowler …

Continue reading ‘Martin Fowler dislikes rules engines. I’m not so sure’ »

Describing RESTful Applications

I have read a lot of faux-REST APIs recently, which are essentially just HTTP/XML or HTTP/JSON remote services, and still need a client to be pre-built with specialist knowledge of URI structure. “Proper” REST allows a server to change its URIs however and whenever it likes, with client applications seamlessly adapting to the change. InfoQ …

Continue reading ‘Describing RESTful Applications’ »

SMIL 3.0 Reaches Proposed Recommendation

SMIL is an interesting “sleeper” technology. A way of scripting the interaction and relationship between multimedia objects such as videos. I have seen some interesting Quicktime experiments based on SMIL, but so far it has remained inaccessible to casual web users and relatively difficult to use from familiar programming environments. However, it seems that a …

Continue reading ‘SMIL 3.0 Reaches Proposed Recommendation’ »

Never return Null Arrays – really?

Scott Selikoff recently posted that we should “never return null arrays”. I’m not sure I entirely agree. Both the tone of the article and the comments so far seem to be in agreement, but I am still not so sure. I’ll skip the terminology issue for the moment, just note that an array in Java …

Continue reading ‘Never return Null Arrays – really?’ »

So You Say You Want to Kill XML….

Ted Neward has posted a long and detailed discussion of the potential merits and disadvantages of Google’s “protocol buffers” approach compared with XML as a way of offering rich remote APIs. I learned a lot from this article, and I’m still digesting it, so no snap opinions this time … Interoperability Happens – So You …

Continue reading ‘So You Say You Want to Kill XML….’ »

Slight Improvement to Stringtree XML Parser

Someone just pointed out that the light-weight XML parser included in Stringtree did not handle explicit CDATA blocks. The version in SVN now has provisional support for this. If you need a simple and fast parser for textual data, then this should be all you need. For XML documents containing opaque binary data in a …

Continue reading ‘Slight Improvement to Stringtree XML Parser’ »