Supernova 2004 midterm update

I'm at the Supernova 2004 conferenceat the moment.  I'm scribbling notes as I go, and plan to go backand cohere the highlights into a post-conference writeup.  Firstimpressions:  Lots of smart and articulate people here, both onthe panels and in the 'audience'.  I wish there were more time foraudience participation, though there is plenty of time for informalinteractions between and after sessions.  The more panel-like sessions are better than the formal presentations.

The Syndication Nation panel had some good points, but itratholed a bit on standard issues and would have benefited from alonger term/wider vision.  How to pay for content is important,but it's a well trodden area.  We could just give it a code name,like a chess opening, and save a lot of discussion time...

I am interested in the Autonomic Computing discussion and relatedtopics, if for no other reason than we really need to be able to focussmart people on something other than how to handle and recover fromsystem issues.  It's addressing the technical complexityproblem.

Next problem: The legal complexity problem (IP vs. IP:Intellectual Property Meets the Internet Protocol) - I think thisproblem is far harder because it's political.  There's no goodsolution in sight for how to deal with the disruptions technology arecausing business models and the structure of IP law.

And, on a minor note, I learned the correct pronunciation of Esther Dyson's first name.


Atom Proposal: Simple resource posting

On the Atom front, I've just added a proposal to the Wiki: PaceSimpleResourcePosting. The abstract is:

This proposal extends the AtomAPI to allowfor a new creation URI, ResourcePostURI, to be used for simple,efficient uploading of resources referenced by a separate Atom entry.It also extends the Atom format to allow a "src" attribute of thecontent element to point to an external URI as an alternative toproviding the content inline.

This proposal is an alternative toPaceObjectModule, PaceDontSyndicate, and PaceResource. It is almost asubset of and is compatible with PaceNonEntryResources, but differs inthat it presents a very focused approach to the specific problem ofefficiently uploading the parts of a compound document to form a newAtom entry. This proposal does not conflict with WebDAV but does notrequire that a server support WeDAV.


Atom: Cat picture use case

To motivate discussion about some of the basic needs for the Atom API, I've documented a use case that I want Atom to support: Posting a Cat Picture.This use case is primarily about simple compound text/picture entries,which I think are going to be very common.  It's complicatedenough to be interesting but it's still a basic usage.

The basic idea here is that we really want compound documents thatcontain both text and pictures without users needing to worry about thegrungy details; that (X)HTML already offers a way to organize the toplevel part of this document; and that Atom should at least provide away to create such entries in a simple way.


Who am I?

Technorati Profile

I'm currently a tech lead/manager at Google, working on Blogger engineering.

I'm formerly a system architect and technical manager for web based products at AOL. I last managed development for Journals and Favorites Plus.  I've helped launch Public & Private Groups, Polls, and Journals for AOL.


Around 1991, before the whole Web thing, I began mycareer at a startup which intended to compete with Intuit's Quickensoftware on the then-new Windows 3.0 platform.  This was greatexperience, especially in terms of what not to do[*]. In 1993 Itook a semi-break from the software industry to go to graduate school at UCSanta Cruz.  About this time Usenet, ftp, and email started to beaugmented by the Web.  I was primarily interested in machinelearning, software engineering, and user interfaces rather thanhypertext, though, so I ended up writing a thesis on the use of UI usabilityanalysis in software engineering.

Subsequently, I worked for a startup that essentially attempted to doFlash before the Web really took hold, along with a few other things. We had plugins for Netscape and IE in '97.  I played a variety of roles-- API designer, technical documentation manager, information designer,project manager, and development manager.  In '98 the company was acquired by CAand Imoved shortly thereafter to the combination of AtWeb/Netscape/AOL. (While I was talking to a startup called AtWeb, they were acquired byNetscape and Netscape was in turn acquired by AOL -- an employmenttrifecta.)

At AtWeb Itransitioned to HTML UIs and web servers, working on web and emaillistserver management software before joining the AOL Communitydevelopment group.  I worked as a principal software engineer andthenengineering manager.  I've managed the engineering team for theAOLJournals product from its inception in 2003 until the present time;I've also managed the Groups@AOL, Polls, Rostering, and IM Botsprojects.

What else have I been doing? I've followed and promoted the C++ standardization process andcontributed a tiny amount to the Boost library effort.  On a sidenote, I've taught courses inobject oriented programming, C++, Java,and template metaprogramming for UCSC Extension, and published two articles in the C++ Users Journal.

I'm interested in software engineering, process and agile methods, Webstandards, language standards, generic programming, informationarchitectures, user interface design, machine learning, evolution, anddisruptive innovation,

First Post

The immediate purpose of this blog is to publish thoughts about web technologies, particularly Atom. Of course that suffers from the recursive blogging-about-bloggingsyndrome, so I'll probably expand it to talk about software in general.

What does the name stand for?  Mostly, it stands for "something not currently indexed by Google".  Hopefully in a little while it will be the only thing you get when you type "Abstractioneer" into Google. Actually it's a contraction of the "Abstract Engineering" which is ameme I'm hoping to propagate.  More on that later.