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BEST: Official Definition "Web Services for the Rest Of Us" 
TheServerSide is interested in BEST.

BEST is also mentioned (by request & approval) in a few videos put together for a University this week.

We were also asked to create a definition - the following is coming soon to whatis.com:

"BEST (Business / Enterprise State Transfer) is an approach for exchanging content with a Web site by re-using traditional HTTP Forms and Protocols. For example, a single BEST Form could be used by both web browsers as well as by a programming API. By leveraging HTTP GET and POST, people as well as computer programs can use the exact same fill-out HTML Forms for managing client / server CRUD operations. Subscribers and software developers alike would need only to know the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) for the page where the HTML Form is located to either manually or automatically send and receive data via any HTTP Server.

As described in an Open Source Project as well as a series of blog posts by Randall Nagy at Soft9000.com, BEST is an "architectural approach" that basically embraces and extends existing technologies and protocols of the Web without the need for HTTP Server update or technology re-deployment. When using a BEST approach, for example, a service that wanted to encode Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) transactions would not have to map REST CRUD operations to ESB and / or application states, or modify the HTTP Protocol. Rather, by embracing traditional HTML Forms, HTTP GET / POST Processing, as well as HTML Forms encoding conventions, BEST offers a application-centric, rather than a protocol-centric, operational encoding strategy. By migrating CRUD and other application operations to the top of the classical ISO Reference Model (ISO-RM), BEST avoids opportunities for protocol / application request and state collisions.

Because past BUSINESS legacies are embraced, and future ENTERPRISE application problems are anticipated, BEST is simpler to use - and potentially more efficient - than the well-known REST (REpresentational State Transfer), SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) approaches, which requires writing or using a provided server program (to serve data) and a client program (to request data,) or outright server replacement."

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Also, we have an open source project related to BEST:

EasyHTTP

Here are the original articles:

Part One

Part Two

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New Java Resources 
For those who are not part of this weeks class on Java, feel free to ignore this post.

For everyone else, in order to demonstrate a few Java 7 annotation concepts, Friday’s labs will require additional libraries:

Java 1.7: SDK 7.17

Spring: Version 3.2.1

Log4J: Version 1.2.5

Commons-logging: Version 1.1.1 (rename to commons-logging.jar as desired)




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Technical Staff Ascessments - Good or Evil? 
I make my living training & consulting on extremely technical topics. One would think that I would want everyone in the world have their technical staff analyzed. -Yet, when the topic came up linked-in recently, a sense of enlightened self-interest - rather than brutal-self interest - simply had to take over.

I thought I would share my answer here.

Question: "How important is it for companies to conduct staff technology assessments?"

Response: "The question should be asked, why does anyone feel the need to conduct a staff technology assessment?

If one is looking to to train, then doing so just might barely be a good idea - but why not just ask them what type of training they want, instead? If one is looking to judge others as static quantities, then doing so can be not only offensive and / or intimidating, but almost evil. Why? Because people are dynamic. People can learn. Ultimately, no one likes to be judged.

So the answer is: The value of whole-staff technology assessments depends upon the intent behind them. If one is motivated to help someone to learn technology & become better... or not.

In general, in tough economic times such as these, at a minimum I would say that it is a very bad idea simply for reasons of morale. Indeed, if one is looking to better their staff, simply anonymously ask if they would like any technology training - find the critical mass - then train them in topically-sorted order?"

More Ideas


We should resist the idea of people even keeping records of previous test scores. Why? Because what one did not know then, one can certainly master, today. Moreover, even if one is prepared to keep track and re-take every test one has ever taken, old-scores will still be mentally used against someone for many, many years.

This problem of test-score permanence becomes even worse for Internet tests. --Who is going to expunge older test results from blogs (a celebrity’s pre-school tests), or Google?

Cleaning up Internet inertia may also bump First Amendment issues. (Unlike many elected representatives sworn to protect it (promise breakers?) I for one support the Constitution of the United States as one of the most inspired documents since the Magna Carta: If you are an American, then tell your Congressman that you do, too!)

So while exams are important, there are also good tests, as well as bad tests. Experts know that any single test score is of absolutely no importance unless a common class experience, in-depth student profiles (*), as well as a mode, median, and / or cross-test population mean - are also shared.

Hence, no mater the reason for giving any assessment. -In an age when even our governmental identifiers cannot be adequately protected by places whose very business depends upon data security, who wants the results of a 'bad test' forever stuck in any database... let alone forever 'searchable across a WORLD-wide web?


(*) Why student profiles? I recently tried to teach a batch of mixed-in welfare-to-work folks - who had neither the aptitude, nor desire - to learn how to program. Despite over 12 weeks of 10 - 12 hour days on my part, private mentoring by other company employees, and even successfully lobbing for company-gifted laptops to all, none of their number would even complete a handful of remedial exercises on-their-own.

Needless to say, while those of the class who had previous programming experience did well, for the rest - from cheating & legal threats, to outright character assassination & false-witness collusion - did not.

The experience was a perception-challenging exercise for all concerned. (i.e. While a well-documented part of a child's mental-recovery process, when the stakes are preconceived to be as high as one's entire financial future (not the case here - company said as much), even "Denial" fallout over test-taking results can be excruciatingly painful for any employer.)


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