XML-RPC and other TLAs

I have finally gotten around to learning a little about XML-RPC and SOAP.

In case you aren’t familiar with these buzzwords, they are basically protocols for getting data from remote programs. They use HTTP as the transport protocol, and XML for encapsulating the data. I always thought it sounded kind of complex, but it turns out to be fairly simple (especially since there are now tons of code libraries that handle the annoying parts).

I’m already envisioning all sorts of practical applications for my web development at work. We have lots of customers asking for ways to incorporate data from our systems into their own websites. This is going to be an easy way for me to add new services and data to those backend systems.

Can you tell that I’m hyped? Am I geeking out too much? Sorry…. It’s been a while since I’ve run across a software technology that got me excited.

“Linux Saved Us Millions”

Aha! Another chance to evangalize Linux. Amazon says that migration to a Linux-based technology platform helped them save $17M last quarter (vs 3Q 2000).

I’m not a total Linux-bigot who tries to sell everybody on Linux for every problem. I strongly believe in the Right Tool for the Job, and Linux is not always that tool. But I’m glad to see that big companies are stepping out and recognizing that the OS is mature and robust enough for real-world usage.

Give Me Shelter

Susan and I fired up the computer and started working on our house plans last night. I’m starting to feel like a grown-up. Wait! I don’t wanna grow up! I’m a Toys-R-Us kid!

Well, okay. I guess growing up isn’t a Bad Thing. As long as I still get to play with toys.

New Gunters Design

I’ve recently done a redesign of the Gunters website. It doesn’t degrade as well as I’d like for older browsers (i.e. Netscape 4) — but then, neither does this page.

I hope to get enough feedback from my fellow Gunters to finalize the design within a couple of weeks.

Update 10/24: I was able to tweak the CSS, so it looks much better in NS4 now. I’ll do the same for this page soon.

Update #2: Okay, now this page has a new NS4-friendly look. So there.