welcome to x a o t e c

This is the personal home page of me, Brian Huff. Some people just call me Bex.

Feel free to peruse the photo album, to see the wedding photos of Michelle and I. Our honeymoon in Tahiti was amazing!

You can also see the photos from our trip to Thailand, or our sailing adventure around the Virgin Islands. You can also take a look at some of the articles Ive thrown together about politics and technology. Beware, I'm considered somewhat opinionated...


Wed, 28 Jul 2004

Wednesday Sessions

The best sessions today were Mono-centric. The Mono 1.0 release talk was interesting, hostorically speaking... and the talk about IronPython was well attended. Everybody hissed a bit when the author told us that he was just hired by Microsoft to fix the .NET engine... Im sure they'd rather he work on Mono, but we can't all work for Novell!

The future of Java in the open source community is looking somewhat grim. There was a panel with Eric Raymond and OReilly and a few guys from Apache and Sun... developers are miffed that Sun hasn't made Java more open... but at Java One the developers were miffed that Sun hasn't put the kaibash on forked versions of J2EE. Rock and a hard place, it seems.

The XML talks I attended were fairly good - PHP has some really nice SOAP hooks in PEAR::SOAP, Python hooks are not as good, and Jabber looks like its trying to replace the verbose SOAP altogether. It is a lot more powerful, and easier to secure and use... but people love their SOAP because it goes over HTTP, dont they?

[18:00] | [oscon2004] | ### | Brian 'Bex' Huff

Wednesday Keynotes

The first keynote by OReilly was pretty good. He's still pushing the internet-as-an-operating-system jive. His latest theory is that the quality of the large databases (such as user reviews of movies or books) is what seperates the 'ok' websites from the 'great' websites. Obvious, sure, but frequently overlooked. His theory is that they might be able to brand themselves, and become the next 'Intel Inside' for web applications. If you dont have one of the name brands, your web services will suffer greatly.

I agree to a point... but there's a big difference between Intel and a data warehouse. Intel made a ton of money because they had the manufacturing infastructure and research and talent to keep the PC manufacturers supplies with chips. Its really hard to enter that market... just look at how long AMD took to get off the ground.

Compare that to a database. Their power hinges greatly on who legally owns the data. If I make a book review on Amazon, do they own the data? Or do I own it? Should these reviews be totally open, and usable by Barnes and Noble? Its a legal fine line, which makes it subject to copyright laws and the whims of Washington. Their power could collapse like a house of cards if they are not careful...

The second keynote was very funny, but he rambled quite a bit. Robert Lefkowitz had a good point that 'Open Source' means different things to different people, which causes a great deal of confusion in the business world. However, he offered no real resolution. He did have 150 slides, however... so it may have been buried in there somewhere, and I just missed it...

[12:00] | [oscon2004] | ### | Brian 'Bex' Huff