Huge tech t-shirts suck

Kathy Sierra, user experience supremo, has written a lovely post on why Tech t-shirts aren’t sexy enough – this was wonderfully exemplified at Apachecon Europe which I attended this year. As we arrived and were handed our XXL tees, the girls handing them out simply said “Sorry, they’re all really really big – we’re expecting a lot of Americans”. I think I saw about two people wearing them the whole week. Personally, I live in mine when I go camping.

Downtime for a global service? Tell me when in UTC!

If a service with an allegedly global audience, say one run by Yahoo or by Google has some scheduled downtime, they always give the time when it will be back, or the time when it went down, in PST. Now I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t give a flying fig about when the downtime began on the other side of the entire planet. What I do care about is what that means to me as a user. I want to know when it went down for my timezone, and when it’s going to be back. It’s not as if there aren’t services which do exactly this and it’s not as if it’s beyond the scope of global behemoth-like IT businesses to do this themselves, but it what it gives everyone outside of the US is short shrift and two fingers up.

Making a blog post about your downtime isn’t enough. Giving out useful information is. As it is, thanks a lot, for not helping anyone out except yourselves.

It’s good to know I’m not the only moaner who finds this annoying

SOAP Security

At my last workplace, where I was employed between 2003 and 2005, we had a web services system which used SOAP across two different programming languages (Java and C++) and had a potential future in another two (.Net and Python). We had some, what you might call, practical considerations. If you like, you can check the dates on the OASIS spec

Oh, how we laughed. Even the idea of trying to do this in a semi-secure way without SSL was met with hollow laughter. I think it’s this which makes the current fuss so funny.

Whether things are different now I truly don’t know, and I’m glad that I don’t. I wouldn’t go back to that fool’s gold if you paid me.