Why is it so Difficult?

A famous blogger discovers the obvious. Yes, Writely “supports” the Metaweblog API, as people have been discovering over the past week. I put “supports” in quotes because the support sucks.

Why is it so hard? Even Dave’s hastily hacked together mobile blogging tool makes a correct post to my WordPress blog, but Writely drops the title, and Word 2007 dates the post as 1/1/1970 or somewhere equally ancient. Surely the API can’t be that badly written that two giants screw it up (yes they are both betas, but puh-leese)? And if the API is defined in such a broken manner, who is to blame?


We interrupt your normal broadcasting with this special bulletin from our reporter in the field..

For over 5 years now I’ve been a PalmOS developer working in three different companies, developing a series of interesting and cutting edge products in this niche market. I’ve developed on PalmOS devices from the Palm Personal to the Treo650 and it’s been a roller coaster ride I’ll admit, getting particularly exciting at the end as PalmOS 5.4 (aka Garnet) has had more and more functionality bolted on and the devices have became more shoddy and bug ridden.

But I’m now standing at the exit turnstile…with a fading grin and vague nausea. As of May I am no longer a PalmOS developer.

PalmOS is dead people. Whatever glimmer of hope was left for the OS flickered and died in the last three years when it became clear we were never going to see a PalmOS 6 (aka Cobalt) device released. Palm Inc. are clearly distancing themselves from the OS with the release of the Windows Mobile Treo 700w device.

By the time we see an embedded Linux product with a ‘Palm layer’ on it nobody will give a crap.

We’ll all be using Windows Mobile Treo devices.

Vista Rewrite Malarkey

There has been a ton of hot air circulating about a spurious claim that Microsoft is planning to rewrite “up to 60%” of Vista before release, hence the retail release delayed until 2007. Scoble jumped all over this immediately, denying everything and being hugely defensive – as you would. Not that it makes a jot of difference, but I fully agree that if there was a 60% rewrite underway then a) November release is never going to happen, and b) I wouldn’t touch the OS with a 10 foot barge pole.

A total random guess, but maybe the 60% number was misinterpreted? Maybe something like 60% of the code had bugs or performance issues somewhere in it? After my initial foray into the last release of Vista, I could believe that.

Whatever the case, I know the sheer horror that abounds in the last few weeks and months before releasing a piece of software. Nothing within an order of magnitude of Vista, but if those guys have bugs, I know first hand the sort of hacks and nasty workarounds they may be implementing to get the thing to behave. I’m guessing this is the reason that a lot of technical users recite the mantra: “not until service pack 2”, when considering a new Microsoft OS.

Mini Microsoft has a far more interesting (and vitriolic) take on the latest Vista delay.

Amazon Launches Web Storage Service

Amazon has preemted any sort of official Gmail data storage system by launching S3 or “Simple Storage Service”. TechCrunch has the scoop. Admittedly this systems is aimed at developers rather than end users, but it’s still a damn big deal.


Until now, a sophisticated and scalable data storage infrastructure like Amazon’s has been beyond the reach of small developers. Amazon S3 enables any developer to leverage Amazon’s own benefits of massive scale with no up-front investment or performance compromises. Developers are now free to innovate knowing that no matter how successful their businesses become, it will be inexpensive and simple to ensure their data is quickly accessible, always available, and secure.


Fun StackTrace of the Day

I love a good ambiguous error message as much as the next guy, and injecting some fun into those error messages always makes my day. We came across a strange error in our database connection code the other day, and the following (100% genuine, Microsoft generated) stacktrace was part of the error:

[code]Stack Trace
at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlTransaction.Zombie()
at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlInternalTransaction.ZombieParent()
at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlInternalTransaction.CloseFromConnection()
at System.Data.SqlClient.TdsParser.Deactivate(Boolean connectionIsDoomed)
at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlInternalConnectionTds.InternalDeactivate()
at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlInternalConnection.Deactivate()

Seems my connection became doomed, then went on a search for braaaaains!!