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Welcome Robot Sea Monsters: I must be more wicked than I thought, because no rest for me. Tonight I did taxes and wrote an item for an O'Reilly "Hacks" book. Tomorrow the technical reviewers' comments come back on my web applications/services chapter for the Python book, and I have to work on that. You'd think I was making a living at this or something.

I'm really proud of the web chapter (and undoubtedly I will remain proud until I get the reviewers' comments), partly because it brings me full circle back to the student class on CGI I gave six years ago. But mainly because in this chapter I suggest a definition of web services that I've only seen one other place, but that I'd like to see more often. I think it's a pretty intuitive definition that will hopefully set the younger generation on the right path.

In the networking chapter I don't do anything like that. For one, I don't know nearly as much about low-level networking as I do about web programming (though I know a hell of a lot more about networking than I did when I started writing that chapter). But mainly it's because on the network and the transport layer, we already had the fight between the simple geeky incrementally-developed protocol and the huge corporate designed-by-committee protocols, and just like in the movie, the ragtag band of geeks and their scruffy but loveable protocol won. Not much to do now except to show people how to use it.

We had that same fight on the application layer for email and chat and "content delivery" and you name it, and almost all the time the geeks won. And just when you thought the fight had been appealed all the way up the protocol stack and settled once and for all, now we're having the same fight on top of HTTP! Being too young to have been involved in the earlier fights, I figured I might as well do my bit for this one, and throw in my lot with the idea of web services I think fits the best with the Python philosophy.

Update: The guy doing the Hacks book (okay, it's Danny, if you must know) says of my hack: "I'm speechless!". Nothing like a shot of praise to bolster my spirits in preparation for the clobbering I fear the tech reviewers will give my web chapter.

[Comments] (3) Games Games: It's games they say, on the other side of the hill. Brendan started a fun new collaborative weblog about game design, and through it we were all reminded of Kevan's random game idea generator. It was the best temporal-displacement Christmas ever.

I think I'd be a good game designer, but almost everything I've heard says it's a miserable profession, and far better to just dabble in it as an amateur. But they say the same thing about writing, and I'm kind of headed in that direction, so maybe I can take it. They probably say that about software development, too, and carpentry.


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