PlanetGnome observations

by Miguel de Icaza

Havoc claims on his "Adventures in Web 2.0" post that Amazon has a SOAP API "for masochists". What exactly is difficult about SOAP exactly?

It took me longer to register with Amazon and obtain my developer key after reading his post than it took me to write a small C# program.

Step 1: Google for "Amazon WSDL", pass the link to the wsdl compiler:

	$ wsdl

Step 2: register with Amazon, obtain your IDs.

Step 3: write trivial program:

using System;
using System.Web;

class X {
	static void Main (string [] args)
		if (args.Length != 3){
			Console.Error.WriteLine ("Usage is: amazon amazon-affiliate-id amazon-access-key keyword");
		AmazonSearchService s = new AmazonSearchService ();
		KeywordRequest kr = new KeywordRequest ();

		kr.keyword = args [3];
		kr.tag = args [0];
		kr.devtag = args [1];
		kr.mode = "books"; = "1";
		kr.type = "lite";
		ProductInfo pi = s.KeywordSearchRequest (kr);
		foreach (Details detail in pi.Details){
			Console.WriteLine ("Product: {0}", detail.ProductName);

			if (detail.Authors != null)
				Console.WriteLine ("Authors: {0}", string.Join (", ", detail.Authors));

Step 4: Compile the sample code, and include the generated client code from WSDL, link with the Web Services library:

	$ mcs am.cs AmazonSearchService.cs -r:System.Web.Services


Step 5: Run:

	$ mono --debug am.exe myassociate-id  my-key "bugs in writing"
	Product: Writing Solid Code: Microsoft's Techniques for Developing Bug-Free C Programs (Microsoft Programming Series)
	Authors: Steve Maguire
	Product: BUGS in Writing: A Guide to Debugging Your Prose (2nd Edition)
	Authors: lyn dupre
	Product: The Writing Bug (Meet the Author)
	Authors: Lee Bennett Hopkins, Diane Rubinger
	Product: BUGS in writing: A guide to debugging your prose in mathematics ; taken from BUGS in writing a guide to debugging your prose
	Authors: Lyn Dupreƌ
	Product: Raewyn's Got the Writing Bug (Voyages)
	Authors: Raewyn Caisley, Brian Gilkes
	Product: The Millennium Bug.(Brief Article)(Poem) : An article from: New Statesman (1996)
	Product: Hooking the Nose of the Leviathan: Information, Knowledge, and the Mysteries of Bonding in The Gold Bug Variations. : An article from: The Review of Contemporary Fiction
	Product: Mai-Lee's bug disaster. (poem) : An article from: U.S. Kids
	Product: Don't Bug Me!
	Authors: Gillian McHale
	Product: All this talk about the millennium bug is sheer techno-paranoia, isn't it? But then again.... (year 2000 furor) : An article from: New Statesman (1996)


I concede that using SOAP with printf and jamming the output down a socket is harder than using a toolkit. But jamming down printf-generated XML down a socket without having a complete HTTP client stack implemented is asking for trouble on both counts anyways.

Alvaro and US Airport Security

Alvaro complains about being treated like a criminal in US airports. I would argue that every time you cope with "security" you are treated like a criminal, and this is not limited to US airports.

Alvaro just came from Mexico, where every person entering the country is randomly subject to a full property search on arrival. The situation is no different in Europe. If you are white or European they will mostly leave you alone, but if you look remotely like arriving from Africa you get a very different treatment in immigration and customs.

My point is merely that singling out the US airports for this treatment is not really fair. Annoying, perhaps, but with international travel you must be ready to cope with these kinds of things.

Posted on 26 Nov 2005

March 2003

by Miguel de Icaza




Posted on 24 Nov 2005

New MonoDevelop release

by Miguel de Icaza

Lluis has released a new version of MonoDevelop, there are plenty of new features in this release. The release notes are here.

  • A Welcome Page: a starting point for your ongoing projects.
  • New component-based architecture for the IDE. For details see the Architecture Overview.
  • New Add-In manager to install, update and remove plugins for the MonoDevelop IDE.
  • A command-line build tool, so you can integrate MonoDevelop projects into your batch compilation process.
  • Smartindent for C# and Boo languages.

This release is the results of many months of work where he rearchitected MonoDevelop to be a modular IDE.

The core of MonoDevelop basically offers a framework for plugins and third-party components. The framework includes a system to install, upgrade or remove plugins and little more. For instance it does not have any notion of projects.

All the functionality of the IDE has been moved into its own modules that are layered on top of it.

The new Welcome Page.

Posted on 24 Nov 2005


by Miguel de Icaza

Radek Doulik talks about his work on his Cairo-based Canvas for OpenOffice and shows the quality difference.

He also posted his slides for his presentation.

Office File Formats

Novell will be sending some folks from our Open Office team to the newly created ECMA TC45 working group. We hope to determine if the standard will be open enough and the details complete enough to allow for interoperability.

Posted on 23 Nov 2005

Gtk+/Quartz on OSX

by Miguel de Icaza

Imendio has checked into CVS their Gtk for OSX port.

Posted on 23 Nov 2005

Robert Fisk Lecture in LA

by Miguel de Icaza

Robert Fisk lecture in LA is available in MP3 format here.

Robert is an incredible story teller.

In this talk he describes some of his experiences as a journalist on the Middle East in the past twenty years and why he started to write his new book "The Great War of Civilization".

Packed with anecdotes. The parallels between the British occupation of Iraq and the new occupation are incredible.

Posted on 20 Nov 2005


by Miguel de Icaza

Been loving the US version of "The Office", the awkward moments are all there.

I also find "American Dad" hilarious. My love is divided between the fish and the alien.

Posted on 16 Nov 2005

F-Spot Monitor

by Miguel de Icaza

A few weeks ago I purchased a 24" flat screen from Dell. The sole purpose of this monitor is to run F-Spot to manage my home photo collection. Today I completed the F-Spot setup at home.

Posted on 16 Nov 2005


by Miguel de Icaza

Noam Chomsky on the debate about intelligent design:

To proponents, intelligent design is the notion that the universe is too complex to have developed without a nudge from a higher power than evolution or natural selection.

To detractors, intelligent design is creationism --- the literal interpretation of the Book of Genesis --- in a thin guise, or simply vacuous, about as interesting as "I don't understand" as has always been true in the sciences before understanding is reached.

Accordingly, there cannot be a "debate."

Robert Fisk on the rebranding of torture:

What Americans do to their prisoners is "abuse" and there was a wonderful moment last week when Amy Goodman, who is every leftist's dream, showed a clip from Pontecorvo's wonderful 1965 movie "The Battle of Algiers" on her Democracy Now program. "Col. Mathieu" -- the film is semi-fictional -- was shown explaining why torture was necessary to safeguard French lives.

Then up popped Bush's real spokesman, Scott McClellan, to say that while he would not discuss interrogation methods, the primary aim of the administration was to safeguard U.S. lives.

U.S. journalists now refer to "abuse laws" rather than torture laws.

Molly Ivins has her own take:

I have known George W. Bush since we were both in high school -- we have dozens of mutual friends. I have written two books about him and so have interviewed many dozens more who know him well in one way or another. Spare me the tough talk. He didn't play football -- he was a cheerleader. ''He is really competitive,'' said one friend. ``You wouldn't believe how tough he is on a tennis court!''

I tried to track down Robert Fisk as he tours the US but the only confirmed dates that I have are for California this weekend and I do not feel like crossing the country. If you happen to know of any dates somewhere closer to the East Coast, please drop me an email.

Norman Finkelstein is talking on Thursday in Boston. Details are available here. Norman is the author of the "Beyond Chutzpah" and "Israel-Palestine Conflict" books. Am pretty psyched.

Posted on 15 Nov 2005

Fast DCE Implementation Posted

by Miguel de Icaza

Massi posted his fast implementation of Dead Code Elimiation for the Mono runtime.

This is an optimization that we can hopefully enable by default, as opposed to the more expensive SSA-based optimizations.

This is the first on a series of optimizations patches that Massi is completing.

Posted on 15 Nov 2005

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