Adam Bosworth

Adam's blog was born on July 24th, 2003 with following lines:

"I've been planning to start a weblog for quite some time but, unsually for me, I've suffered from writers block at the thought that this would be so public. Well it is time to tough it out."

FYI, Adam is BEA Chief Architect and a Big Kahuna on web service technologies.  A big welcome to Adam.  I am hoping for some good meaty discussion going on web services.

XHTML: Technical Masturbation

Emitting XHTML instead of HTML is pretty popular among geeks these days and Pie/Echo/Atom (PEA) crowd is no exception.  I don't blame them because I am drawn to XHTML as well like a moth to the fire.  Unfortunately, it amounts to technical masturbation because there are no real benefits to using XHTML.  Even worse, using XHTML can be down right harmful.

Beside the subtle semantic differences between XHTML and HTML, DOM differences, lack of clients, round-trip problems, parsing problems, editor problems, and proliferation of invalid XHTML problems, the usability issues looms above them all.

You see, many people still write HTML by hand and will continue to do so for at least another ten years.  Same can be said about XHTML.  But XHTML is XML, meaning you can't just put elements anywhere like you used to in HTML.  It seems fine now because browsers think they are looking at HTML.

When and if XHTML browsers become popular, will they be as forgiving as HTML browsers with structural mistakes?  Answer has to be Yes because people want browsers to be a Tool, not a Judge.

Can people learn to write valid XHTML by hand?  My answer is No.  People can easily remember names of often used tags and attributes.  They can also remember certain common structures like <head> and <body> inside <html>.  But they just can't keep the whole XHTML schema in their head nor put up with having to look up all the time or get caught up in a viscious edit and validate cycle.

So, I consider XHTML to be the centerfold geeks are masturbating to.  I am a geek too and find XHTML to be sexy enough to ogle.  But I don't expect it to cook my dinner nor raise my children.  It's just an insert.

Sensitive Types

A cool idea: font that changes shape based on external factors similar to the way water changes shape depending on the temperature.  It is called Twin and was created by a Dutch company named LettError.  They have a live demo showing Twin hooked up to weather conditions in Minneapolis: sharper when cold, rounder when hot.  Thanks to David Sklar.

Why RDF Sucks

RDF sucks because its proponents want people to use it directly.  RDF syntaxes has little in themselves except as possible normalized data storage format.  Please don't throw nuts and bolts into people face when they are expecting knobs and buttons.

Dad is Back

My father is back in the States.  He was denied entry to North Korea, so he came home early.  Good thing too.  At his age, he should avoid the hot weather in Korea this time of the year.  He tells me he is going back there in a few months.  He is a busy man for his age, but I think I would be running around like he is at his age also.  Dying on my feet with a sword in my hand sounds a whole lot better than counting the last breaths in my bed.