Kurt Cagle

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Top Stories by Kurt Cagle

In Star Trek, Scotty – James Montgomery Scott – was my favorite character, perhaps inevitably. Spock was always the cool and collected uber-genius, inscrutable and forced into an emotional straightjacket, and while the parallels to the real politik of the time are obvious, to me Spock has always been the epitome of the pure ivory tower researcher. Scotty, on the other hand, was the enginee , in many ways the ultimate hacker. Spock may have been able to tell you what properties of dilithium would induce warp speed, but Scotty knew exactly how to crack the damn crystals in such a way as to eke out that last 0.5 warp factor necessary to escape the baddies chasing the Enterprise. Scotty knew about estimates – and how much you could pad an estimate to insure that you got the correct time necessary to complete your work down to the minute... (more)

AJAX on the Enterprise

In Star Trek, Scotty ­ James Montgomery Scott ­ was my favorite character, perhaps inevitably. Spock was always the cool and collected uber-genius, inscrutable and forced into an emotional straightjacket, and while the parallels to the real politik of the time are obvious, to me Spock has always been the epitome of the pure ivory tower researcher. Scotty, on the other hand, was the enginee , in many ways the ultimate hacker. Spock may have been able to tell you what properties of dilithium would induce warp speed, but Scotty knew exactly how to crack the damn crystals in such a w... (more)

The Real Niche forWeb Services: Part 2

Last month, in Part 1 of this article, I cautioned about the potential invasiveness of Web services. It's a scary thought that companies could have that much personal information about their customers, but I added then that there are some advantages to Web services, especially in the area of business-to-business. This month I focus on these advantages. The Last Gold Rush Business-to-business, or B2B, may have been the last gold rush of the 20th century. And like the gold rushes of yore, usually the guy selling the shovels is the only one making the real profit. Web services would... (more)

Rethinking Web Services, Pert 1

I've been at this game for a while, a fact that has been hammered into my awareness with distressing frequency of late. I worked with Hollerith cards in college, running my programs through a machine with a distressing tendency to shred my carefully typed code into so much confetti if the deck was not perfectly aligned in the bin. I can remember a time when mentioning the object-oriented programming paradigm was a sure invitation to fisticuffs between its adherents and the old guard. In fact, SQL hadn't even been conceived when I went through college. I guess that puts me into t... (more)

XML Query and the Next Generation Web

Anyone who has ever done a search query on the Internet is familiar with the phenomenon in which a single query pulls up more than a million possible search matches. This has to do with the fact that information is ultimately not linear, but rather is linked and interrelated in ways that can't be quantified easily through text searches. When I was in college at the University of Illinois (way too many years ago to want to dwell on here), I spent an inordinate amount of time in the library - sometimes researching things for class, more often just researching things for my own int... (more)