george.james's blog


There have been a number of frequently asked questions. Here are some answers:

Will there be wireless access?

Yes. You are welcome to bring your laptop and will be able to keep in touch with the office and monitor your email etc. Connect to service BMGUEST. No keys or access codes required.

What's the dress code?

Thanks for this one, Mike ;) The fight club rules apply. Rule #6 is optional.

How can I get from my hotel to the conference?

If you are staying in a local hotel and would like a lift, or can offer a lift, please let Michelle know: She will try and match up your needs. She can also advise on taxis and public transport.

Will this conference be different from <insert name of similar conference>?

Yes. No dogs, no ponies, no raffles, no magicians, no bull.

Can I give a short talk?

Yes. There's a lightning talk session where anyone can stand up and talk for five minutes about about anything they want to get off their chest. No powerpoint necessary. Contact Michelle or sign-up on the day.

Education Track

We have just added an education track to the programme.

There's a debugging workshop from John Murray, a software configuration management session from myself and Rob Tweed will be teaching how to build an AJAX application using M/Gateway's EWD tool.

Subject to demand you can attend as many of these sessions as you wish. There are checkboxes on the registration form for each one, just tick the ones you would like to attend. Spaces will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

If you have already registered then just drop a line to Michelle ( letting her know which you'd like to attend.

Having given SOAP a REST along comes MEST

REST has rapidly been displacing SOAP as the pragmatic choice for accessing and interacting with resources over HTTP.

The SOAP protocol is too unwieldy and cumbersome for all but the most heavily engineered situations. (The S in SOAP was originally supposed to stand for simple, but was changed to service as it was considered to be misleading).

So just as we are all getting used to using REST to implement web-services along comes a new acronym MEST.

MEST stands for MESsage Transfer or Message Exchange State Transferand is to service oriented architectures what REST is to resource oriented architectures. REST enables you to interact with the objects and properties that make up resources, while MEST enables you to send messages and invoke services. The people behind the MEST do not make any more claims for it than this, it's a message to a service in the same way that that a REST operation is just access to and manipulation of a resource.

I don't think it's rocket science, and most of us have probably been doing this kind of thing all along, but sometimes it's useful to attach a label just because it makes it easier to talk about and explain.

Do not panic

So, there's been another outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease, this time near Egham. Fortunately, our venue, Brooklands, is just outside the current 3 km protection zone. Egham is actually about 10 km away but it seems that, as a precaution, the zone has been extended eastwards to cover the area between Egham and Woking.

There's no need to panic. Brooklands is a very urban area, there are no farms or livestock nearby so I don't imaging there will be any disruption to transport or access.

Obviously, if you live on a farm or are coming from a rural area then you may want to take this into consideration and take appropriate precautions.

The official DEFRA site which provides maps and details of the current status is here.

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