After writing my essay about platform peril, I found this great video interview from Oct 2006 with Tim Bray, one of the inventors of XML and current Director of Web Technologies for Sun Microsystems (here’s his blog). The interview addresses software architecture and development frameworks, and deals with some of the same issues I raised in earlier my post. The topics include Ruby on Rails, Java, Groovy, REST, Web Services, SOAP, ATOM, Static vs Duck Typing:

  • He likes Ruby and Ruby on Rails, but thinks Java has performance and IDE advantages because of static typing.
  • He didn’t think (as of October 06) that groovy or grails was stable or had any community. I wonder if this has changed at all recently.
  • He likes the JRuby, Jython, etc.
  • He hates SOAP, likes REST or possibly other simpler technologies. Amazon offered APIs for soap and plain old xml. 90% use the plain old xml.
  • He thinks SOA is marketing fluff.
  • At one point in the conversation, he invoked Joel Spolsky’s term ‘architecture astronautics‘ to describe Web Services specifications (WS*). “… There’s a certain class of people who want to build big complicated systems from scratch, and it doesn’t work! It’s never worked! …
  • He thinks RSS is a mess and actively participates on the ATOM specification, which attempts to solve problems with the various RSS specifications. He has interesting things to say about the benefits of ATOM.
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