Simeon Simeonov

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Top Stories by Simeon Simeonov

I’ve been around software for 20 years now. Looking back, I have mixed feelings about the progress we’ve made. The end results have been amazing but the process of building software hasn’t fundamentally changed since the 80s. In fact, I see us make some of the same mistakes over and over again. One of the common anti-patterns is over-relying on tools and frameworks instead of inventing new programming models. Layers of abstraction are fundamental to software. Some layers are defined through programming models, e.g., machine language, assembly language, 3GLs, JSP. Others are defined through a combination of tools and frameworks, e.g., MFC and Visual Studio on top of C++. There is a limit to how high we can raise a level of abstraction through tools and frameworks alone. At some point, a new programming model is the best way forward. Here are some examples: CASE tools ... (more)

Scaling Web Services Usage

In the last installment of XML in Transit (XML-J, Vol. 2, issue 5), we established a framework for Web Services usage. The key roles in the framework are service providers, requesters, and brokers (see Figure 1). Moreover, the basic Web Services use workflow involves five steps (see Figure 2): providers enabling access to services and registering them with brokers, and requesters finding the right service to use from the broker service repository, binding their applications to the service, and finally, invoking the service directly from the provider. We also looked at how bindin... (more)

Integration Is the Killer App

In 1975 Niklaus Wirth, the Swiss computer scientist who created the Pascal programming language, published a seminal book entitled Algorithms + Data Structures = Programs. If Wirth had written about business applications, Computing + Storage = Applications would have been a better title. Of course, in 1975 there weren't that many business applications. Most of them ran limited back-office functions on mainframes. PCs weren't on the map. The killer app for PCs - the first spreadsheet - wouldn't be created until 1981. More than a quarter of a century later, things have changed. Most... (more)

How Can Metcalfe's Law Be Updated for Web 2.0?

"Metcalfe's Law is Wrong," contended Bob Briscoe, Andrew Odlyzko, and Benjamin Tilly recently in a much-discussed IEEE Spectrum article, in which they wrote: "Of all the popular ideas of the Internet boom, one of the most dangerously influential was Metcalfe's Law." Sim Simeonov disagrees. The industry is at it again – trying to figure out what to make of Metcalfe’s Law. This time it’s IEEE Spectrum with a controversially titled “Metcalfe’s Law is Wrong”. The main thrust of the argument is that the value of a network grows O(nlogn) as opposed t... (more)

"E-Commerce 2.0" – The Velvet Revolution

With all the noise the Web 2.0 revolutionaries are making, it’s easy to ignore another – this time velvet – revolution. "E-commerce 2.0" is coming into maturity and getting ready to relieve its now ten-plus year old predecessor. It’s about time. What makes an "E-Commerce 2.0" site? Well, as Supreme Court Justice Stewart’s famous saying (about pornography) goes: “I know it when I see it.” This may not be a satisfactory answer but it’s an honest one. It’s too early to tell. E-Commerce 2.0 sites look better, they are easier to us... (more)