Re: WISEN report ... kinda

I Find Karma (
Tue, 11 Aug 1998 05:53:21 -0700

Mark wrote:
> I promised a couple of people I'd prepare a report on WISEN fit for
> public consumption, but just haven't had the time.

I think Jim and Rohit are writing the official report before the Chicago
IETF in 2 weeks.

> - an event is "the effect of the termination of an invocation of an
> operation on some object of interest"? Er, really? I prefer Webster -
> "a noteworthy happening".

Webster's is a bad definition because it tells you nothing about
what caused the happening, what the happening actually is, and what the
happening in turn causes to happen. It's not happenstance.

> - Hey, look at all these *other* event notification systems! AKA, "Hmm,
> maybe if I talk a mile-a-minute, people will be impressed!" 8-)

A better URL for that talk includes the slides:

> - no, no, look at *my* event notification system!

Actually, Keryx is worth a second look. It's got lots of useful
features as a Java-based event notification system:

> - how does one define "on-line" for a printer, anyhow? This has got to
> be the furthest thing from a "killer app" ever. Ick.

On the contrary, printer notifications will probably be one of the first
cool applications that falls out of a unified notification effort.

> - XML + HTTP-extensions. Too simplistic, but looks ok if that's what
> you want.

Simplicity is a good thing in GENA's case: it means people are more
likely to implement it and use it.

I happen to think it is desirable to have event notification services
for the Web over HTTP. In fact, Rohit and I are writing up a position
statement of that as we speak.

> - magically awake 15 mins before it starts, on 2.5 hours sleep. Don't
> wake Rohit - not sure why - could have something to do with said 2.5
> hours sleep. Oops.

There were many factors at play that evening. Rohit's life is way more
complicated than casual observation would lead one to believe.

> - sex slave, Catalina island, Rohit's love life, UCI cops, "If he dies
> tonight, I'm ok with that", coming across as "the quiet guy" once again
> (damn)

So, you want to not be "the quiet guy"? *evil grin* Then share with us
what happened in between your first sex partner and your most recent sex
partner... *wink*

(Bonus points for sending it to fork instead of fork-noarchive like that
pussycat Byars does... :)

Wonder why there's been so much posting about sex lately.

Maybe because August is the hottest month?

Or maybe because it's the cruelest month?

> - Waldo presents Java Distributed Events API (released with Jini). Ok,
> but where's the protocol?

There's a protocol there, it's just in Sun's best interest to keep it

I html'ized my notes from his slides from his WISEN talk; they are at

and the full spec for Sun's distributed events (including some
information about the protocol) is at

I do believe a generic event notification protocol will have to avoid
being Java-specific, but Waldo's done an excellent job of simplifying
the API. (What is there, one method call in total? :)

> Sure, so maybe we can't have just one protocol for everybody,

We can certainly have one protocol for Web notifications.

> but maybe we can have one that can do 80% of what we need it to -
> don't you think Jim? Even 50% would be quite an accomplishment.
> Gosh, look what kind of event notifications have been done on top of
> just SMTP.

Sure, but SMTP has a lot of other baggage you don't want in a Web
notification protocol.

> - damnit, reliability is *not* a core requirement of the protocol.
> "Reliability" in a distributed environment is an app-level concern.
> Doesn't anybody keep up with this stuff? <sigh>

Reliable notifications will be a requirement for some applications.
Therefore, a notification protocol should have hooks for reliability
when needed, incurring the associated performance penalty.

> - IETF ISEN BOF - should be interesting. May not be ready for
> standardization, but the cost of not doing it could be too high. Sounds
> like we're ripe for a 5 year standardization effort!! 8-O

No way. Lots of people want (heck, *need*) this one done quickly.

Oh, one more thing: this is no longer my PhD topic. Not that that
matters to anyone but me. I just wanted to shout my barbaric yawp from
the rooftops of the FoRK.


There are more books to read, more music to play, more words to write,
and more places to see...
-- Retirement Notification, Kenneth Ashworth, Texas Higher Education
Commissioner for 21 Years