Day: October 12, 2002

  • That’s about it for tonight.  I know that I’ll write a lot more once all this information gets sorted out in my brain.  I had diinner with a gaggle of bloggers after the conference.  I had a blast.  This was a great experience.

    Say goodnight, Gracie.

  • Top 10 Ways You Know that you Attended Web Services DevCon East

    • 10. Dude!  He said Assemex!
    • 9. You saw a Microsoft guy program in Emacs
    • 8. You saw someone build a Java project with VBScript
    • 7. Whizzdull (the proper pronounciation for WSDL) is part of your vocabulary
    • 6. You were not suprised when Chris Sells stood on a chair and yelled for attention
    • 5. You know about SOAPerman (thanks Clemens)
    • 4. You waited in line at the mens room
    • 3. You don’t support MustUnderstand.
    • 2. You heard something and thought: “I have to post that to my weblog”
    • 1. You are looking forward to reading Mr. Bunny’s Guide to SOAP

    My apologies, it all sounded much funnier in my head.

  • Web Services DevCon Report: Day 2

    Don Box: Types

    Don’s an amazing speaker, and the fact that he gets off on tangents and gets off topic is quite allright by me.  Any time you see a Microsoft guy working in Emacs, it’s a good day.  He made us think about types by looking at languages that don’t come to mind when we think: “web services.”  He used C and SQL to illustrate some gotchas.  I’d pay money to hear Don talk again.

    Yasser Shohoud: Building Web Services the Right Way

    I think he drove home something that I had been hearing throughout the conference: Write your WSDL first, have your toolkit generate some stubs, and fill in the gaps from there.  If things are done this way, you can assure that what is going over the wire is what you want.  He’s not down with stuff generating WSDL on the fly.  I can see how that can eff up interop sometimes.  His talk got to me, and I’ll have to devote more time and energy ranting on this later.  He noted that there aren’t very many if any decent WSDL editors out there.  You can edit XSD (Xml Schema Documents) in Visual Studio .NET, but you can’t gracefully edit XML.  Same for many other toolkits.  Trust me, I’ll get back to this later.

    David Seidel & Mark Ericson: Web Services Diagnostics

    These two guys work for Mindreef and they had a version of their product that has not shipped yet.  Their product makes debugging and keeping track of what’s going on between web services easier.  The great thing about their talk ist hat they mentioned several other tools that offer partial solutions, many of them free.  They pointed to several of Simon Fell’s tools, but their tool was extremely slick too.  It showed the raw XML going over the wire, but you can also convert it to pseudocode to get a grasp on it.  This is good for all those people out there that don’t like angle brackets.

    Andres Agular: Deklarit & Web Services

    Andres demonstrated some “wicked cool” stuff, integrating web services with his companies product.  The thought of having a Visual Studio plugin handle all of your database normalization and stuff is cool, and that’s one of the things his product does.  I have a feeling that I’d get myself in trouble with a tool like this, but I’m sure it’ll definately make some lives easier somewhere.

    Tim Ewald: Programming Web Services with System.Xml

    Tim’s crazy.  Crazy in a good way.  He likes having low-level access to XML and thinks that we should be able to see and manipulate whatever is going on at the XML-over-the-wire level.  He hacked up some fairly low-level stuff that seemed like more trouble than it was worth to me, but it was cool nontheless.  I agree with him that the world doesn’t need any more SOAP stacks.  He also used some web methods stuff that I didn’t pay close enough attention to in order to grok it 100%.

    Eugene Kuznetsov: Network Infrastructure for Web Services

    This was a good counterpoint to all of the brain-hurting code that had been flying by the screen so far today.  He dealt with the problems that we run into with web services at an infrastructure level.  Firewalls and load balancers need to be more and more complex in order to handle stuff like SOAP DOS attacks and figuring out which server a SOAP request needs to head off to.  He noted that many public web services are vulnerable to attacks, and noted that things don’t look great but that they have the potential to improve.

    Keith Ballanger: Web Services Security in .NET

    Screw Powerpoint presentations, when you’re Keith you can just do your presentation in an XML tree.  This was cool.  He introduced Microsoft’s WSDK: Web Services Design Kit (or something like that).  It implements a bunch of waay cool stuff using WS-Security and stuff like that.  This is definately an area I’d like to study more.  I’m particularly curious about how SOAP interop works once you start throwing WS-Security stuff.  Note to self: check this stuff out.

    Clemens Vasters: Tales from the Labs

    Clemens had some of the coolest undocumented feature hacking of the conference.  He did amazing whacky stuff in a modular fashion that involves some of the security issues that we had spoken about earlier.  The cool thing is that he added tons and tons of functionality in an easy to use fashion.  Just add a [CheckArguments] line above your code and a little [between(1,100)] in there, and WHAM! you’ve got range checking and stuff like that.

    Rich Salz: What Web Services Needs to Know About PKI

    Rich kinda scared me with the things he told me about certificate checking.  I didn’t know that most browsers nowadays just check to see if your SSL certificate is registered with a trusted certificate authority, and don’t bother to check if your certificate has been revoked or anything like that.  Quite scary.  He also spoke about a bunch of basic cryptography that I already knew most of, but I’m sure it was informative for others.  A lot of stuff is much different in reality than it looks like on paper.

  • Holy shit!  This stupid little kiosk supports tabbed browsing!

  • I’m such a moron.  I trekked across the hotel to the internet kiosk and completely forgot to bring my notes.  I’ll be back in a few as long as I can make it to my room and back…