We had a meeting last week to work out our strategy for Web Services books. What fun. I'm sure you can imagine how much I love meetings that work on "strategy" and "fundamentals" and "core competencies" and all that bollocks. The good news is that most everyone else at O'Reilly also thinks those words are bollocks. The bad news is that we have to have those meetings, where we all sync up and work out what and how to do for future books, so that we don't have books competing with one another.
We take that pretty seriously. If you write for us (please write for us! I'm firstname.lastname@example.org and would be happy to hear your Perl and non-Perl book ideas) you'll benefit from this. Rather than five books fighting it out for our readers, we have only the one. Authors benefit, readers benefit, and we benefit (I'd go batshit if I had to edit grossly-similar books again and again).
So it was good to work it out. It turns out that I have a heap of the books in that area coming up. Very funny given how much I'll mock the whole field if you give me just a single beer.
I'm still amused by the memory of talking with Dave Winer after an OSCON session. We were talking about XML-RPC as Matt Sergeant walked past us. Without breaking stride, and without knowing that I was talking to Dave Winer, Matt said "XML-RPC? What're you talking about that rubbish for?" and walked off. Dave's jaw dropped, and he spent the next minute or two wondering who that was and whether to be angry or amused.
I'm reading our Java Message Service book. It occurs to me that JMS standardized the API between client and server. SOAP standardizes the message format. And if you have SOAP over NNTP or SMTP, you can get various publish-and-subscribe type services going. And a quick google search later, sure enough people are already mixing the two.
Why am I reading a JMS book? Insanity. Apparently I don't have enough in my life.