My Blog

Trends and Transients


Each year there are more new technologies to keep track of, more ways to organise your life and your company’s information, more ways to communicate. This session will introduce you to new technologies, discuss older, under-appreciated technologies, and entertain you at the same time. Our expert speakers will debate current issues and technologies, giving you the benefit of their wide experience and differing points of view, so you can decide for yourself which technologies will meet your needs and which are a waste of your time.

Classes for 2010

Choose your language: XML validation done four ways

Taught by Dr. Henry Thompson

In the early days of XML, there was one way to validate your XML, and that was with a DTD. Now there are four major ways to impose some sort of validation criteria on your XML: DTDs, W3C XML Schema, RELAX NG, and Schematron. Which language(s) you choose will depend on whether you have documents or databases, use web services, and on the tools and expertise you have available. This class will help you decide which schema language to use when – but since it’s a controversial topic, expect lots of discussion with our experts!

JSON for XML heads

Taught by Robin Berjon.

Over the past decade, XML technologies have had a hard time making their way into the common toolbox of the average Web developer, while simultaneously JSON has become ubiquitous. In this talk we will look at what JSON is, what makes it so successful, how the XML community can learn from JSON, when to pick XML over JSON and vice-versa, and how to use them both together.

Lunch break


Social Software for <Robots/>

Taught by Blaine Cook.

The web, once a collection of pages connected by links, is today an active representation of our lives. Social interactions, daily struggles and celebrations, and the fruits of our labours are all shared online. The catch is that whilst experimenting with these technologies, we’ve lost some of the most important properties of the web along the way. Centralisation of attention on the web means that experiments with new forms on the internet are harder than ever before.

In this class, we will explore the emerging web of messages. Starting from how social communication works on the web today, we’ll dive into several emerging standards that enable rich exchanges of content (and emotion) to occur without ever relying on any one company’s Ministry of Central Planning. We’ll also discuss security and privacy in the context of this social frontier, and how the approaches applied here can be extended to other contexts cross the web.

Polyglot Persistence (NoSQL, SQL, tools, and uses)

Taught by Matt Patterson

The new wave of non-relational data stores, often lumped together under the NoSQL label, are a disparate bunch. They often combine revivals of pre-relational approaches to data stores with new techniques for performance, resilience and scalability, but their approaches to the kinds of data they work with, how they store it, and why they work that way varies wildly.

In this session Matt Patterson will introduce the major families of stores, what they do and why you might want to use one. You’ll be introduced to major open-source implementations from each family, and see how they’re being used in the wild.

He’ll also look at the wider areas of polyglot persistence, relational versus non-relational, and using relational and non-relational technologies together.