Portrait of Edd Dumbill, taken by Giles Turnbull

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What I make

a conference management web application

XTech Conference
a European web technology conference

XTech keynotes lined up

Organization for the XTech 2005 conference is going well. We've just announced this year's keynote speakers:

I'm really happy with this line-up. So often conference keynotes are filled out with dull talks from corporate sponsors. XTech's are definitely worth finishing breakfast in time for, and reflect some of the major themes of the conference well: open data, open standards and browser technology.

The review period for XTech papers finished this week and I've put together a draft schedule for the conference. I think it was the toughest job I've had in the four years as chair: the standard of papers has never been higher.

The hard part is that we'll have to disappoint some excellent speakers who have excellent things to say. The good part is that the conference will be the best we can make it.

I have also created a XTech 2005 Wiki, which I hope will be useful to attendees. O'Reilly conferences have had wikis for a couple of years now, with some success. I don't think everybody uses them, but for those that do, they seem to be useful. One of my main aims for the wiki is to aid those wanting to schedule birds-of-a-feather sessions.

Flickr and REST

There's an interesting interview with Stewart Butterfield of Flickr on O'Reilly this week. This particular passage caught my eye:

I think we had one person inquire about using the SOAP version of the API. I don't know if any apps were actually built. There is at least one application built on XML-RPC. But all the others--I don't even know how many there are--are built on the REST API. It's just so easy to develop that way; I think it's foolish to do anything else.

We have been hearing similar things from Amazon's web services folk for a couple of years too now. Although platforms like .NET make SOAP easier to some extent, there's a message in here: if you want to get the maximum number of people hacking with your web services API, ensure it has a REST version.

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