Phillip Pearson - web + electronics notes

tech notes and web hackery from a new zealander who was vaguely useful on the web back in 2002 (see: python community server, the blogging ecosystem, the new zealand coffee review, the internet topic exchange).


How the updates page works

This question has been answered in so many places, but for the benefit of the new bloggers here, here are some pointers to the tech details behind the updates page.

It works the same way as Like most things Radio-related, the copy of Radio running on your computer makes a connection to the server using XML-RPC. The interface is defined here.

Whenever you make a new post to your blog, after Radio has finished upstreaming (more detail) the web pages that have changed, it connects to the Salon server and fires off a 'ping' command. The server takes note of this and moves your blog up to the top of the 'recently changed' list.

To avoid overloading the server, only one ping will be accepted in any 5-minute period.

If you find that you don't seem to be appearing at the top of the 'recently changed' list, despite making several new posts, check your event log (click here to see your one) and make sure there is a line saying something like 'Notified and your community server that you have updated'. If this is there, it's probably just a temporary thing and you'll find that your update will make it through eventually.

Note that there are a lot of other blogs out there, so even if you go to or straight after posting something, you won't always appear right at the top!
... more like this: [, ]

100 blogs now!

... more like this: []

"Locked in competition" - huh?

Dave comments on the NY Times's assertion that "Microsoft is now locked in competition with small start-up companies that originally pioneered the Web services field" and adds his own note that "Microsoft clearly does not understand what they're used for"

Both of these comments seem pretty weird to me. Like Dave says, Microsoft isn't competing with UserLand (assuming that's who they're referring to), but IMHO it certainly does understand what web services are used for. For Microsoft, web services are used for competing with Java.

.Net is a platform: a new language (to compete with the Java language), a new runtime (to complete with the Java VM), an updated web framework (to compete with all the J2EE things: servlets, JSP etc).

Web services are nothing new; XML-RPC has been around for ages. The pioneers have been using it for 'personal' things - publishing, message board access and the like. However, the money is in the enterprise. Before .Net, Microsoft had nothing to technically match J2EE. Web services, to Microsoft, are a competitor to Java's RPC system that fit nicely into MS's new 'open, standards-compliant' image.

We'll see MS using SOAP for client-server communcation in more of its desktop applications over time, but I think the focus will always be on the enterprise, because that's where the money is.
... more like this: [, , ]

I was wondering about that ...

The Register:
NVidia is positioning Cg as the "C for graphics". Presumably they don't mean that language prone to pointer errors and memory allocation bugs, with a dodgy run-time library, that takes 15 years to clear an ANSI standard ... but instead is a rich, high level language that removes the need to target low-level hardware card-by-card. (That's what happens when you let marketing people loose on the metaphors).