Moving this blog

March 12, 2006

Hi all,

Just a quick blurb that I’m moving this blog to my own domain. The primary reason for this is, that I want to do some things with my blog (plugin- and layout-wise) that I am not able to do here since this is a hosted service. The few posts I have here will remain but unfortunatly I will lose the comments.
Thanks to the guys at wordpress for providing this free service.

My new blog is at http://waseem.sadiq.nl/blog/ 

Hope to see you at the other side.

Hardware-as-a-Service

March 9, 2006

Interesting concept on Nicholass Carr’s weblog mentioning the term “Hardware-as-a-service” and the company that is providing virtualized IT architecture for the masses.

I know that this tends to be a pain-point for some companies that need to scale and need to scale fast, so they might just have a nice business going on here.

Still doesn’t solve the biggest infrastructure bogger of ’em all: power consumption. This is a serious issue needing to be addressed, just ask Google :-)

On a final note: do understand that for your applications to be deployable on these kind of architectures you need to keep certain principles in mind. Scalability is a forethought, performance optimizations are an afterthought.

I would like to share some stuff with you that I came upon recently which struck me as being interesting.

Research stuff

Google research papers

There is a lot of cool (academic) stuff over here about the way Google is structured and a lot of other expiremental gigs the guys over at Google have going. Don’t forget to click the “more papers by Googlers” link on the bottom of the page.

Microsoft’s technologies available for licencing

I found this one through Don Dodge (one of my favourite bloggers). It’s a list of technologies Microsoft has up for licensing for start-ups.

Peer 2 peer

I am a big fan of Channel9. I found one gem recently that made me go ‘wow’. It’s a video talking about some of the new stuff that is arriving around the Windows Vista timeframe focuses particularly on the collaboration technologies.

So you might think “peer 2 peer, big deal… people have been doing this on a very large scale since the old Napster days”. Well have a look at this video and you’ll see that Microsoft is really pushing the concept of peer 2 peer to the next level. At one hand easing the pain that users have with the big diversity of p2p-enabled applications out these (creating an integrated experience) and at the other hand providing developers with an easy to use communications stack to create peer 2 peer applications without having to write all the plumbing.
They have invested heavliy in concepts like “Serverless DNS” and “People near me”. Just watch the video. The windows peer 2 peer group also has a websites with more information.

PodCasts

There was a workshop recently somewhere in the UK titled “the future of webapps”. The line-up was interesting with names like Joshua Schachter (Delicious), David Heinemeier Hansson (Ruby on Rails), and more. The guys organizing this workshop have put the talks online as downloadable mp3’s. I haven’t listened to them yet but the content sounds interesting.

Weblogs

In the category weblogs I found Noam Wasserman’s Founder Frustrations blog. If you have the entrepeneurial ticckle or just are interested in these kind of things have a look.

Not really a weblog but nevertheless a lot of interesting stuff over at John Seely Brown’s website. Don’t know who he is? His bio sais “Chief Scientist of Xerox Corporation and the Director of its Palo Alto Research Center (PARC).” (those are the guys that gave us the mouse and the Graphical User Interface).
That should keep you busy for the weekend :-) Enjoy.

Don Dodge writes about several meme-tracking services popping up all over the internet (also see this article on TechCrunch), and what the cirtera will be for those that want to survive the shake-out in this arena.

I think it’s quite apparant that due to the flood of information that overwhelms us (I blaim the bloggers :-)), we need a good way of monitoring those things that interest us.

Services like those provided by memeorandum or technorati seem to be quite popular nowadays. But if you observe their userbase you notice that it mostly consists of
people that belong to the person2.0 profile (I’m talking about people that blog or read blogs quite often).

But what about people that aren’t that deep into the whole tech/blogosphere and simply want to stay up to date in their own little piece of the world?

Take for instance somebody that develops software for a living (somebody just like myself). To stay on top of the newest tools or techniques we need to either keep track of a lot of weblogs (my preferred way) or depend on knowledge passed on to us by our co-workers or any trade magazines. Fact is that a lot of people simply don’t have the time to read ~150 rss feeds a day.

Meme trackers could be an excellent tool for these kind of people to stay on top of the blogosphere without having to invest a lot of time in reading. But only if we happen to have meme trackers tracking this specific domain of software development (which in itself can be quite huge when looking at the vast majority of available platforms).
You can even take this a step further and combine this with social tagging to build a profile of the user in which our tracker can predict what the user might find interesting…

I’ll let you in on a little secret. For a while now I have been experimenting and building a prototype of a social tagging site doing exactly this. I talked about domain specific search engines before, imagine the disturbance this might cause with the big boys (Google, Yahoo, MSN) when a lot of these domain specific trackers slash social tagging containers slash search engines start popping up…

Update: a few minutes after posting this I read on John Batelle’s blog about Krugle (they have a blog, subscribed)… a domain specific search engine dedicated to finding code and everything related. It has begun :-)

Eweek is running an interesting article describing the architectural vision of Microsoft supporting the term Web2.0 in their future.

This is a good thing from the developers perspective because the acknowledgment by Microsoft gives us a rock-solid fundament for delivering ‘open’ solutions with a quicker time-to-market on their platform.

I was listening to a dotnetrocks show the other day in which Richard mentions a study confirming the power of Microsoft’s .NET platform in the middle-segment of the IT industry. This is exactly where the pain points lie in using the current web-service offerings.

The web-services paradigm that we have been given by vendors for enabling this ‘open-ness’ (I deliberatly avoid the term SOA) has its strong points but also its weak points. To name one of the biggest: the complexity XML and schema require in order to fully comprehend and use effectivly.

I do agree that the toolset helps by hiding these complexities… but think ‘open’ again. Try integrating a rails app with a dotnet webservice… it is very possible, but certainly not without weird hacks and quirks. The promisied holy grail of open web-services architecture (the technology formerly known Indigo) is getting there, but this is only Microsoft… a lot of other vendors have yet to catch up.

I was exploring the Yahoo Term Extraction API the other day and was able to integrate this in my application within minutes. No twiddling with wsdl-contracts or other funky stuff, just simple http GET requests and query parameters.

It is important, from the architects point of view, to understand when web-services are favored over the REST approach:

“The consumer edge is the peer-to-peer, Web 2.0 world and the enterprise edge is the SOA, ESB (enterprise service bus) model. In addition, the consumer edge is an asynchronous communications model based on the REST (Representational State Transfer) scheme, and the enterprise edge is based on the Simple Object Access Protocol scheme. REST is a dominant model on the consumer side, and SOAP is the model on the enterprise side.”

I do hope Microsoft adds more weight to these statements by actively supporting REST in their offerings in addittion to SOAP. But, until that is the case, for the time being you might want to have a look at this series of articles :-)

Found this one on digg, might have another look at your resume before going job-hunting :-)

Bloggus addictus

January 23, 2006

Hi all!

Ok so I’m not new to blogging, no sir. Actually… this is like my fourth attempt at doing the blogging thing. Did my previous attempts fail? Well no… not really. I just couldn’t get myself to write the things I am utterly passionate about.

Let me start by giving you a very short pitch to what Waseem Sadiq is all about.

I am a 23 years old guy living in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. I have a very deep passion for technology. I work as a senior software developer for a Microsoft Gold Certified partner (these guys) doing some crazy things on the software development front.

So I work as a software developer… so I must have a really big passion on developing sotware on the .NET platform right? Correct I say, I actually have a weblog devoted to exactly this on this wonderful site.

But that’s not the thing I described as being that which I am utterly passionate about. Of the 100-300 blog postings I read daily there is just a small number devoted to software development. It’s what I call the higher purpose that software serves. It’s the same higher purpose that harware serves. As it is the same higher purpose that companies like Microsoft, IBM, Dell, and even my employer Macaw serve.

That purpose, my friends, is the technology that controls our lives wether we know it or not, like it or not, appreciate it or not.

I hope you will like my take on the same old thing with a twist, in the end we are all just students of life… :-)

All the best,

– Waseem