Web Services, RSS and Sun Bloggers.

by Timothy Appnel

Related link: http://wwws.sun.com/software/sunone/innercircle/newsletter/cto0303.html

In a Sun InnerCircle publication Sun Chief Technology Evangelist Simon Phipps writes:

Still, despite wide consensus, the technologies usually associated with Web services are not actually standards or recommendations of any open standards organization. To the surprise of many, Web services are not just about SOAP and things that start with WS-*, as some vendors would like you to believe. Some of the most widespread Web services today — for instance, those in use by the fast-growing Web-logging ('blogging') community — are based on other technologies like RSS and XML-RPC.

I'm glad to finally see a major technology vendor acknowledge SOAP etc. is not all there is to Web services and that RSS as a legitimate technology in that space. Given its emerging uses, RSS is not just a format for syndicating content. As I've written in the past and others have noted, RSS feeds do qualify under the principles of the REST architectural style that the Web was built on.

Simon's mention of weblogging raises a question I've been meaning to ask for some time. Are there any Sun employees blogging? Microsoft and IBM have a handful that I know of off the top of my head. Macromedia is the model corporate blogging citizen with some significant top brass (Kevin Lynch and, until recently, Jeremy Allaire) making regular posts.

If I haven't overlooked any Sun employees blogging, this is quite an oversight. Microsoft is not the only company that could use a human face.

UPDATE: In my original post I omitted that I think Apple's Safari developer extraordinaire David Hyatt weblogging his work and views is marvelous and another great example of bloggings potential in these firms. David's communications with his existing and potential user base not only interesting, but provide me with a sense of understanding and confidence in his (and Apple's) work.

Also, some Sun employee blog sightings are coming in via private email and the comments below. One of these sightings includes Simon Phipp's own personal weblog.

Lastly, you may have noticed that I ignored Simon's mention of XML-RPC. While it certainly has its uses today, the limtiations I've come to know leads me to not support its proliferation going forward. Its flaws are serious. Today, in randomly surfacing around, I happened upon this "rant" by Charles Cook on XML-RPC and weblogging APIs that covers some of the significant shortcomings quite well and figured I share the link and state my view.

Do you view RSS as a Web service? Do you know of any Sub bloggers?


2003-03-26 13:01:49
It's not just the big guys
I run a weblog here:


I'm the Product Manager for Cincom Smalltalk, and the blog is implemented in the product I work with. It's not just the big guys out there :)

2003-03-26 17:08:38
Yes on RSS; no Sun bloggers...
Yes, RSS is the impetus for several Web services including content syndication, news feeds, etc. online.

As far as Sun bloggers, there are none to my knowledge. When I was the editor for ONJava.com, I tried to convince several Sun employees to have Weblogs on ONJava.com and O'Reilly Network. Unfornately, I got the impression that Sun employees are 'discouraged' from public blogging for legal and/or other reasons.

Maybe, Simon has a blog somewhere. I haven't followed him of late.

2003-03-26 23:27:07
Some Sun bloggers...
Simon Phipps' Blog is here:


Last week I added weblogs to Artima.com, inspired to a great extent by O'Reilly's weblogs. I started inviting people, some of which are Sun employees. The only to accept so far was lead Jini architect, Jim Waldo:


I can understand the nervousness of PR folks about Sun employees blogging, but I'm hoping some more of them will accept.

2003-03-27 07:42:13
Another Sun Blogger.
Luke Hutteman wrote me a private email in response to this post on my personal weblog. In addition to pointing out Simon Phipps blog (running on Blogger Pro) he also mentioned Patrick Chanezon, a Sun Software Architect, has a weblog at http://radio.weblogs.com/0105673/
2003-06-24 08:47:06
List of Sun Bloggers
There are a few Sun bloggers around actually - I have just posted a list to http://www.webmink.net/sun-bloggers.html
2003-06-26 22:23:19
List of Sun Bloggers
Just to comment that since posting the list I've had a number of Sun staff come out of the woodwork and have folded them in - no idea how many there will be in the end. I also discovered a blogging tool in use internally at the executive briefing centre.