edoneel daily - daily stuff on web services

WebServices bioSqueak - sourceforge CV About Downloads Links

I've moved to sdf, a very cool public access unix system. The new url is http://edoneel.chaosnet.org

From now on this blog will focus on web services. I'll try to document my experience with getting web services to run in Squeak with a view to making it understandable to anyone, regardless of the computer language used

Reference information will appear on the WebServices link in the upper left corner but the essays will first appear below.

27 June 2003

Web Services

SOAP Over Jabber - JEP-0072. This will be my weekend reading since I am quite interested in Jabber and SOAP. Why? I've been doing this internet thing since long before it was called the internet. I find the media viewpoint that we'll all use the internet for web browsing, and, web browsing is much like watching TV with clicks, that asymetric line speeds (think ADSL or Cable Modems) are fine. Also we never will want to do anything other than watch videos etc.

I find this depressing and limiting.

Now, that said, without going to IPv6 we won't all have static IP addresses, so, we have to deal with the real life case of people having different IP addresses from 1 hour to the next. Combine that with more and more of our computers will become mobile (whether phones, PDAs, laptops, or what ever) and then the idea of jabber and presence becomes very powerful.

How would that work? A normal web service would want to talk to a specific web site, say, http://edoneel.chaosnet.org. This name maps to an IP address, which is attached to a computer somewhere in Texas. This computer is up almost all of the time.

OTOH, my laptop moves around. At work it has a fixed address, but no DNS record for assorted reasons. At home it sits behind my ISDN router which also does NAT. This means that you can't directly connect to it. Still, I'd like to run a SOAP service in squeak on my laptop. Sounds hard. Not though if you throw in Jabber. With jabber I would have a specific jabber id, (I'm a big vague here since I'm still fuzzy on some of the concepts) which you would be able to monitor to see if my laptop was available, and, if so, then you would be able to make SOAP requests to it.

Along these lines we have Bob Frankston with - We Have Connectivity!

Thanks to Michael Rueger, we have Jabber in Squeak as well. Get them from here. Apparently you have to load them in the following order:

One might want to be a bit careful filing this into the image we produced yesterday since Yaxo might conflict with the version needed by SoapOpera. I'll get to this soon.

One final note on the image from yesterday. It seems that Commanche want's to startup when you start the image. Just close the debugger box for now. I'll find a fix in the next few days.

Babble off of David N. Smith's pages is another interesting view of chat. Chat is not just people trolling for mates, but, people communicating.

26 June 2003

Web Services

To get started we need just a bit of background. One of the more important bits of Web Services that you must understand before you go too much further is that of SOAP

SOAP is a protocol specification, say just like the http protocol one uses to browse the web, which let's you send some information to a remote system and get some sort of answer back. Let's say there is a weather SOAP server. You could ask for the weather at KORD, O'Hare airport near Chicago USA, and it would return to you the temp, time, cloud cover, etc.

But, you say, why don't I just go to the Weather Channel and ask the same thing? You can. But what if you wanted to to have some page which aggregated a bunch of informatation together for you, say, the weather at a bunch of places, the current best sellers at Amazon, and a couple top google search terms, all on the same page. There is not likely to be such a page at the moment. With web services you can construct one. In addition you can manipulate the data in a more convient form. Say instead of the current temp, you wanted a graph of the last 24 hrs worth of temps? Web services let you return answers in a form that the computer can understand, rather than just in a browser for you, the human to understand

Dave Weiner, who writes at Scripting.com, is one of the designers of SOAP and he is always worth reading for more background on web services.

Over the next few days I'll also expand on what web services are as well

Let's do some setup. We'll be working in Squeak, so, go to the download page and get the 3.6 alpha version. Why 3.6 alpha? We like bleeding edge software, that's why!.

If you're not squeak familiar download one of the 3.5 bundles from the downloading page and use those.

Now go and get Comanche. Comanche is a http server. Download the .sar file, click on the squeak desktop and choose Open... from the World Menu. Then choose "file list". Once there choose the Comanche .sar file you just downloaded and click on install.

Now go and get SoapOpera. Unzip the file. Once again open up a file list from the world/open menu and click on installSoapOpera0.5 directory. Then click on install-all.st. In this file I set the line

operaInstall := true.
operaInstall := false.
to stop an error. This might be because I'm using 3.6, and/or some other outdated version.

We have a SOAP server installed. So, you can sit back and wonder, "what is it that I have done?"

For that we need to wait until tomorrow

25 June 2003

Web Services

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24 June 2003

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Bruce O'Neel
Last modified: Fri Jun 27 16:53:16 MEST 2003