Archive for the ‘techy’ Category

Duck typing

April 26, 2010

Bumped into a reference to “duck typing” today.  Its an old idea (predating its coining in 2000), but nice name – if something walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then shoot it and eat it for dinner!

While the issues refers to the use of type systems, it also goes to the heart of how much effort to put into organising information, and the benefits that come from it. Defining your structures in advance and forcing people to use them means that you can avoid errors. But this reduces flexibility and creativity and can make people focus on the structure and not the key goals of what you are trying to achieve.

Technology Buzzwords and marketing

April 14, 2010

What’s in a name? Obviously lots and sometimes the name is all people latch on to – as a hook to hang ideas on, or a buzz word to surf the latest trend.

While checking out some videos at the Google developer site I noticed very different views of what was important about RESTful web services:

  • in REST version 1 = its simple XML over HTTP (not SOAP)
  • in REST version 2 = its HTTP over a network (with benefits of a layered approach, caching etc)

While in my version of REST, its all in the URLs and the logical, modular design of services.  You could say it doesn’t matter (too much!) who’s right as in the absence of locked down definitions they are all valid points of view.  However, we do need people who can dig behind the marketing hype.