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HP's E-Speak Source Released to Public

Roblimo posted more than 14 years ago | from the thank-you-so-much dept.

News 95

TheFitz writes "Hewlet-Packards new flagship internet product E-Speak has been released open source. The story can be found here on Yahoo or you can get information at E-Speak's homepage. Apparently this is similiar to a Java system in that it's a transparent application API over the HTTP protocol." No weaselly license, either; GPL and LGPL all the way. Cheers for HP!

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Re:But does it work ? (1)

penguinicide (73759) | more than 14 years ago | (#1466948)

If i get you correctly you are interpreting the name "e-speak" as a voice communications package for use over the web. Actually this product is a set of libraries to enable comunciations between businesses/users to conduct transactions of any sort.

P.S.- Have you looked into pgp phone? I don't have any experience with telephony, but other people seem to like it. (good speakers/microphones help)

Re:HP's rudderless technologies (2)

sbryant (93075) | more than 14 years ago | (#1466949)

All they really have left is printers.

Ummm... and measuring equipment (which I'm informed is pretty much the best there is), the components bit (have you seen what they produce using LEDs, for example?) and then there's all the medical stuff too.

HP's got a lot more to it than most people realise, but most of it is not for the general public, so it's not really visible.

The WinCE devices aren't bad for what they are (address book/organiser). I do think they were overpriced, and I also think the Newton was miles better. Too bad that political deals put an end to the Newton.

Don't know about Chai.

With Merced, it seems that HP was not having much joy with the other company concerned, and have now gone back to continuing development on their own processors. The Merced incident has definately put HP behind, but the PA-RISC chips are actually quite good. Too bad the machines cost so much.

As far as it goes with HP giving away E-speak: no company ever just gives something away - they always want some sort of return somewhere. The form that will take may not be directly related; maybe they want to push this as a standard so they can sell add-ons or consulting. Maybe they're doing it to have a detremental effect on a competitor.

-- Steve

they already did. (1)

mistabobdobalina (29109) | more than 14 years ago | (#1466950)

its called SOAP, and its got a much better chance of life than espeak due to being much less complex.

Re:HP's rudderless technologies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1466951)

Yeah, it's really too bad--what's happened to what once was perhaps the premier provider of quality electronics. It was clearly a company run by engineers in days gone by. Now it's just as clearly a mass-market, marketing-oriented, "Me to! I do Microsoft too!" operation.

They sold their test instruments division. Perhaps the only part of the company that still garnered any respect.

Their printers are going the same way as everything else HP: low-ball. (Just compare some of their newer LaserJet products [such as the 5000] to their older counterparts [the 4MV, in this case].)

And now they have this new "garage" advert campaign. As if the current incarnation of HP could in any way be compared with what was created by the company's founders--Messrs. Hewlett and Packard.

Just my opinion, mind you, but for me the company's name no longer has the cachet it once had.

So I guess, GPL or not, what they do really doesn't matter to me anymore.

Re:What effect have the recent IPOs had? (1)

svg (100938) | more than 14 years ago | (#1466952)

While it may be completely off topic, read almost any prospectus for an IPO, and you will see the line "We expect to incur substantial losses in the future", Andover.net is not unique. Look at other stocks, AKAM, EXDS, for example. People are buying the potential for future earnings. While, some of the stocks out there may certainly be overvalued, I believe that if we give these companies time, those that succeed will make tuns of money. (No comment on which ones I think will succeed), I do have confidence in andover though.

More free than BSD/GPL (1)

Cardinal (311) | more than 14 years ago | (#1466953)

The next step after that, the fabled 1.1 free-ness, is a license that is so open, it's the responsibility of the developer to make sure everybody is delivered a copy of the source code to his/her program, whether they ask for it or not. Free software, free software delivery!

What is e-speak? (IMHO) (2)

kevin@ank.com (87560) | more than 14 years ago | (#1466954)

Fundamentally HP in releasing e-speak is trying to foster the creation of an open marketplace for electronic services. The web is also an open market, but it was really designed to be a market for mostly free information.

In the e-speak platform you will find the features that we believe will make providing a service on the internet feasible without spending two years and a couple of million dollars rebuilding the necessary infrastructure from scratch. In other words we are trying to remove the barriers to entry for services that the web removed for publishing.

The basic features of the e-speak platform are distribution, language independence (but the most of the current code is in Java), security, manageability, dynamic resource location and intermediation (which allows services to be dynamically configured into composite services).

If that seems a bit too opaque, I'm happy to discuss what each of these means and why they are important to a services infrastructure on the e-speak mailing lists.

-kls (who doesn't officially speak for HP)

MSFT owns http://www.e-speak.org/ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1466955)

MICROSOFT CORPORATION (E-SPEAK4-DOM) 1 Microsoft Way REDMOND, WA 98052-6399 US http://www.e-speak.org/

Re:Re-inventing themselves (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1466956)

Are you really this fucking stupid?

Re:OpenSource Craze (1)

dr (93364) | more than 14 years ago | (#1466957)

but the fact that they open-sourced it is a very good thing...A move like this effectively stops any corporation from hogging the protocol and "locking down" the market.

I think you are mixing up "open source" in it's purest form with the notion of simply releasing source code. Maybe I'm wrong, but for me, an open source project is more than something where the source code is freely available for all to download. A project like that is simply looking to jump on the hype bandwagon. And call me a sceptic, but I simply don't see HP incorporating bug fixes and code that other people write into their code tree.

I think that the general public is far too easily fooled by the words "open source" and instead of no one hearing about E-Speak, now it is yet another "hot topic".
-dr

What is their market ... ? (1)

LL (20038) | more than 14 years ago | (#1466958)

Companies are not in the charity business. They do not spend millions on R&D and then "give" it away for free. My guess in looking at where H&P sees its future profits is the ultimate conversion from analog disconnected instruments to a fully digital freeform communications net. If you go to a hospital, you'd see zillions of equipment, most working on old standards (can we say serial lines?) or proprietary interfaces and thus lack the transparency and interface standards for them to work seamlessly. If we make this assumption, then we can see a reverse chain of logic connecting the GPL and their market. Hence the push for e-speak as a technology platform to try and gain a competitive advantage in the next generational upgrade. Hence they need a pool of developers and experience base (system integrators) so they can flog their hardware. Hence the GPL of the initial toolset and APIs to try and draw attention away from the Wintel/Java platforms. The smart theory being if you put out the honeypot, the worker bees will come.

The computer industry is rapidly following the development of the early car industry with distinct feature sets (cars, trucks, etc as well as the associated fallout and consolidation). My general impression of the analogies

IBM - corporate market - big iron + Java connectivity
Sun - mid-sized corporate market - medium iron + Java
HP - medical + manufacturing industries - instruments + e-speak
SGI - scientific market - big/medium iron + OpenSource
Apple - education, prosumer market - cute simple boxes
Palm/Nokkia - wireless market - handsets + WAP etc
Wintel - anything and everything

What the big companies are doing is trying to build up the component manufactuers and affiliates and then sell the finished branded product. Sure, you could assemble your own hand-tuned custom car today, but there's a reason why people go off to rummage around the car-yard instead of mucking around with the parts. I expect something similar for computers when the hardware/software/wetware complexity reaches a point such that hackers have to invest in a postgraduate (a la medicine) course just to understand the silly things. For your interest, the Australian Computer Society has pushed to obtain a professional recognition status for IT. Which means that they can now "exclude" non-qualified people from practising. Expect specialist IT salaries to keep on rising as they become the new lawyers/doctrs/dentists to the information infrastructure (with matching fees).

They must have invented this treadmill just for the rat race.

LL

Re:yep, I'd say you're broadly right (1)

Crazy Guy (126188) | more than 14 years ago | (#1466959)

Well, it seems to bit different from CORBA 2, from the programmer's guide it looks like there is better support for XML, the vocabularies seem to be services themselves which probably allows greater flexibility in building internet enabled services. Further the concept of groups and communities appears cool. I feel CORBA 2 concentrates more on low level stuff where as e-speak emphasises on higher level abstractions

Re:Hasn't HP Heard of JINI? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1466960)

From what I know, Jini doesn't scale well as it uses multi casting, so is not suitable for internet wide deployments. E-speak doesn't seem to use multi casting. The Jini architecture is too java centric, I found some perl, python stuff in the e-speak source code. I guess it's architecture is not tied to java.

Re:"Do it for me"!? (2)

DevilEye (110877) | more than 14 years ago | (#1466961)

Then again, the more helpless the aforementioned morons get, the more in demand our skills will be. I for one have no problems with profiting from public stupidity.

Re:Kudos to HP! (2)

jd (1658) | more than 14 years ago | (#1466962)

It's documented in the AD&D system calls, though it's only valid under Wizard mode.

They need to - they're in serious trouble (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1466963)

HP is being relegated to an also-ran status in every market but printers. Once the print market inevitably dries up, HP will not be in a leadership position in any of their markets (I am assuming "test and measurement" is no longer a core HP business since Agilent was spun off).

HP is getting hurt everywhere - Sun is taking the unix business from them, Dell and other cheapo PC clones will eventually drive them out of that market, and IBM will lead in services and OEM hardware.

HP is a company in need of some serious direction - one has to wonder if their new CEO can pull a Gerstner-like turnaround.

Think of it as midleware. (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 14 years ago | (#1466964)

It gives you a framework to allow applications to talk to other applications. And no I'm not talking about word processors.

Re:Roblimo = Jackass (1)

sbryant (93075) | more than 14 years ago | (#1466965)

All of this goes back to their new CEO, who is completely insane, and believes that HP is going to define the next big protocol for internet commerce development.

I don't know what HP's involvement in Internet commerce will be, but the new CEO is definately not insane. She's actually kicking some real butt inside the company. I guess it will annoy a number of people - particularly managers - who have gotten comfortable with being inneffective or overpriced. Things move on, but people often don't like to, hence the need for the kicking.

Time will tell if it works out or not. Also: watch how Agilent does in the future (at the moment Agilent == HP for the most part).

-- Steve

Re:Be Wary of HP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1466966)

Typical Open Source bigotry.

BINGO! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1466967)

My "Buzzword Bingo" card is completely filled out now, thanks not only to the actual site linked in the story, but your oh-so-informative post. Thank you very much for allowing me to cover "complements," "leverages," "utilizes," "CompoundCapitalization," and "Gratuitious TLA's" on my bingo card.

Now, I defy anyone to explain what this product does without using the terms "integrates," "deploys," "solution," or any word that starts with "e-". First person to do so will win the grand prize of a non-failing grade in English, which is something marketing and business majors and slashdot posters alike have been trying for years to attain with little success.

Good luck! You may begin now.

Old News? (1)

LaRueLaDue (73697) | more than 14 years ago | (#1466968)

I may be mistaken, but wan't this posted previously, sometime last month maybe? I remember following a link from /. to the same market-speak page on the HP site.... What's the deal, nothing new to post?

Re:Use the source, Luke! (1)

NickHolland (91075) | more than 14 years ago | (#1466969)

"Use the source, Luke" That is GOOD! I like it! 8)

I am yet another person who glanced through the web page, and pulled down the .PDF file, and after a few moments of looking through it, have no idea what e-Speak does. All I saw is it had something to do with the Internet, and I guess that was supposed to excite me.

It didn't.

Every day I'm bombarded with products that offer to improve my life, solve all my problems, and make me rich and famous. If they can't quickly tell me even what area of my life they are wanting to work on, well, I've got other things to do.

Does this form of "marketing" work? Are there people out there who respond to vague promises of "nerdvana"? Personally, it trips my B.S. detector. Open source or not, if it does something for me, I'll consider it. If it doesn't, I won't. If I can't tell, I'm not going to spend a lot of time trying to figure it out.

Part of me feels like a fool for responding to something I didn't take the time to understand, but on the other hand, I'm more responding to a marketing ploy than to e-Speak itself.

Nick.

Re:But what's it for, Mom? (1)

d-rock (113041) | more than 14 years ago | (#1466970)

Yeah. Sorry to put a damper on the enthusiasm, but after looking at the "Hello World" tutorial, it looks like this is only Java extensions. Until we have a GPL Java or clone, this isn't a really completely "free" system. Not to diminish HP's contribution, on the contrary, kudos for the hard work and foresight.

D-rock

This sort of software has to be free (1)

kvajk (18372) | more than 14 years ago | (#1466971)

Disclaimer: I work for HP. However, I don't work on or near this product; I know as much about it as you do. What follows is just my opinion, based solely on common sense and observation. HP may violently disagree with this, although I doubt it.

Anyhow, one thing that bugs me is that some people here seem to be assuming that this is some sort of move to cut development costs or something, in the hope that the free software community will somehow magically equate to a free labor pool. A new slant on the "free beer" side of things, I guess.

But this isn't like a word processor which is useful if you stick it on one machine; it's only worthwhile if you can get a bunch of networked devices using it. In other words, these sort of projects require a certain amount of critical mass in order to be successful at all. And in this day and age, people have grown sick and tired of being locked into proprietary protocols, with good reason. So if HP wants the world to start using their protocol, the only way they can do it is by releasing that protocol as free software.

Even if it were *more* expensive to develop it as free software, they'd still have to do it that way.

Just my personal opinion, of course.

Re:HP's rudderless technologies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1466972)

Ummm... and measuring equipment

Spun off into Agilent, I believe, and no longer part of HP.

The WinCE devices aren't bad for what they are (address book/organiser).

Yes they are, they suck. Palm has destroyed WinCE.

Re:OpenSource Craze (2)

helarno (34086) | more than 14 years ago | (#1466973)

I think you are mixing up "open source" in it's purest form with the notion of simply releasing source code. Maybe I'm wrong, but for me, an open source project is more than something where the source code is freely available for all to download. A project like that is simply looking to jump on the hype bandwagon. And call me a sceptic, but I simply don't see HP incorporating bug fixes and code that other people write into their code tree.

Since HP released the stuff under the GPL and LGPL licenses, if HP chooses NOT to incorporate bug fixes or contributions from others, anyone is free to take the code and in the much cherished tradition of open source, fork it.

HP is probably trying to cash in on the "open source" phenomenon but not only in the sense of publicity. They need the developers badly if this is going to go anywhere. The fact that they are willing to devote 5+ of their engineers time and commit over US$40,000 to initial e-speak projects on SourcExchange [sourcexchange.com] says a lot.

This isn't a case of a PR machine exploiting the words "open source" without the vaguest notion of what it is. It is a company taking tentative steps and testing out a new way of doing business, of achieving things. We should give them our welcome and support.

Re:I think we'll see more of this in the future... (2)

jilles (20976) | more than 14 years ago | (#1466974)

"We all know that software isn't really a product, but a service - and I think the economy is waking up to that fact."

I only half agree with you on this. The way any company works is that it uses something cheap as input, adds some value to it and puts the result of that out making money over the added value. With software there's the interesting thing that part of the input (existing software) does not have any production cost. That means that when you add value to it and are competing with other companies who deliver a similar product, you can compete with those companies by not charging for the input software.
That's where the GPL comes in. If you look what is GPLed these days it is mostly software that has been around in some form for years. Who pays money for just a C compiler or a yet another mouse driver or an editor? Right nobody, people are paying for IDE's, not for just a compiler (and even IDEs have to offer more than just edit/compile/debug functionality).
This last example also shows that there is one short term tactic of making money over the input software: bundle it with valuable software and keep those things dependent.

MS is the classical example. DOS became a commodity, so they added windows. Word became a commodity, so they bundled it with other apps. Compilers became a commodity, so they created devstudio. All the previous became a commodity so they webenabled it .....

What happened with HP puzzles me a bit, I spend half an hour staring at the code examples they provided in the tutorial and had to conlude that there was nothing special to be found. Rather it struck me that this was probably the longest version of Hello world I've seen so far.

All the concepts used in e-speak already exists in some form. Worse, as far as I can see they are all available on top of Java (Jini, CORBA, RMI, HTTP). And what they provided also runs on top of Java!?!?
Possibly the innovation is in the protocol they use for the communication but unfortunately that is only documented in the form of source code. I think this is an area where we could use a simple but elegant protocol. Setting up CORBA stuff is a bit overkill for most remote stuff and RMI only works with Java programs and DCOM is to lowlevel.

The fact that they GPLed it only confirms that they did not actually provide much new stuff here. They don't expect to make much money on licensing this software.

Interestingly I see that the new word for 'component' has become 'service'. I think this started when SUN put out Jini, suddenly anything that had an interface and was approachable over the network became a 'service' rather than a reusable component. HP is cleverly using this word now to market their stuff.

As far as I can see they reinvented reusable components and the ORB in a simplified form. I don't expect that this will go anywhere unless they make its use completely transparent. I.e. make it possible to use COM/CORBA/JavaBean components as a e-speak service. With JavaBeans I really don't want to write IDL specs, thats what we have the reflection APIs for (Voyager is an ORB that uses this to automatically hook up any java class to an ORB).

I'm highly sceptical about this, the only interesting part I was able to discover under all the marketing drool was the protocol and there's not much specific about this to be found anywhere but the gpl'd demo code.

Re:It has "paradigm" on the front page! (1)

kevin@ank.com (87560) | more than 14 years ago | (#1466975)

I would contend that e-speak doesn't rely on any new programming paradigm, but does allow one. The mental shift is from applications to services, and that is what the author of the tutorial was trying to explain.

The actual technologies involved are ones that everyone would recognize. You can currently write your services using distributed network objects, and document exchange models of programming.

The network objects support uses an API similar to Java/RMI with support for the Java standard RMI in work. Such changes as were made are the minimum necessary to create the platform we were trying to expose; so that is what is available now. Mapping those into Java/RMI will allow Jini and Java Beans to interoperate pretty seamlessly in a services environment.

The document exchange model support is through standard HTTP methods (POST & GET) and their replies; and currently uses cookies to represent conversation sessions. The documents exchanged are standard XML documents, which comply with an e-speak dtd when requesting services of the platform, but can be any dtd at all when sending messages from a miscellaneous client to a miscellaneous service.

My desire with e-speak is not to create a new competing standard for communications, but to unify all of the competing standards into an infrastructure where they can all communicate with one another. It is a great advantage of being open source; we don't have to own the API.

-kls
not speaking for HP

Re:But what's it for, Mom? (1)

Captain Teflon (15632) | more than 14 years ago | (#1466976)

Got to agree. Looking at the tutorial, I felt like I was rereading "client/server programming with Java and CORBA".

Call me a luddite, but I've yet to see any of this stuff which makes me want to do away with Perl/CGI for web apps and socket programming for non-web apps (in Perl or anything else, Java IMHO not being the best choice until it supports nonblocking IO on sockets).

And all that stuff is open source, if not GPL, not that I give a toss about that distinction.

Re:HEY (1)

kevin@ank.com (87560) | more than 14 years ago | (#1466977)

Interfaces represent parameters to remote procedure calls. Contracts represent a conversation between a client and a service.

Distributed network objects and remote procedure calls isn't the only programming model that e-speak supports.

-kls

UpnP (1)

YeOldeGnurd (14524) | more than 14 years ago | (#1466978)

1. E-speak complements device-to-device communication, such as HP's Chai, Sun's Jini and Microsoft®'s UpnP.

So MS calls their Jini UpnP? Sounds like "Hey, I've had way to much coffee at this meeting. I'd better get UpnP!"

Bravery, Kindness, Clarity, Honesty, Compassion, Generosity

Uh? (1)

kuroineko (71801) | more than 14 years ago | (#1466979)

So what does it do? Another `innovation'?
And WTF is Internet Chapter 2? Is this that one
invetned by Bill Clinton to provide us with a
more contemporary solution than the old Internet
invented by Al Gore?
Damn, so much market-speak noise these days and
I'm increasing the amount of useless posts by
discussing useless things :/
Must go and DO SOMETHING!

Re:Nice license (1)

ninoles (24951) | more than 14 years ago | (#1466980)

OffTopic: For Debian, all DFSG software is Free Software at level 1.0. We doesn't make scaling. However, I know that Bruce make some "exceptions" in the writing to included some popular license like Artistic. Read Bruce Perens Commented OSD [perens.com] for more info about this.

Back on topic, I think the use of the GPL by HP make a good for them. It shows that they really want to give the software to the Community instead of using the developpers as a bunch of cheap labors. Why? Because the patch they will receive must be under the GPL (that's a tradition that people send patches back with the same license), so, even if they want to make a non-free version of their soft, they can't incorporate all the contributions in their work, loosing a great deal of work. If they used the BSD or other less restrictive license, the deal will not be so clear. They will still be able to fork the code, included the patches and make their own, enhanced and incompatible non-free version. They can do that also under the GPL but, at least without the fixes coming from the Free Community.

For sure, HP has some interest in publishing those software. But most of this interest came from the Network Effect necessary to establish some standard, open or not. HP chooses the open source way; Good for them, good for us.

It may be interesting, and a 'victory', but... (2)

Jon Chatow (25684) | more than 14 years ago | (#1466981)

Well, is this product any good? Does it work well over low bandwidths? etc...

Weaselly licenses? (1)

pipeb0mb (60758) | more than 14 years ago | (#1466982)

So now, any license thats not GPL or GNU is simply weaselly?
Is that a word?

Anyway, can we continue to tear down the establishment we have worked so hard to build?

Hang on to your stocks boys, were going to war!!!

Nice license (2)

shawnhargreaves (66193) | more than 14 years ago | (#1466983)

Hurrah for the GPL! Anyone know if this is the first time a biggie commercial company has decided to use this, rather than inventing their own license?

Perhaps the Debian Free Software guidelines should be updated to use a sliding scale of freeness, with SCSL somewhere around 0.1, the NPL at 0.6, etc. Then we could spend the next decade or so arguing about whether GPL or BSD is most deserving of the 1.0 spot, and whether it is possible for some to even be more free than that :-)

Re:But what's it for, Mom? (1)

ChrisGB (114774) | more than 14 years ago | (#1466984)

Agreed! I have no idea what makes this any different from previous similar releases of code. Its excellent news that HP have decided to support Open Source though - wonder how long it will be before the boys at Redmond try to come up with their own version - Visual E-Speak anyone? ;-)

"Do it for me"!? (1)

Relic of the Future (118669) | more than 14 years ago | (#1466985)

That line saying that it will change the web from "do it yourself" to "do it for me"... what does that mean? I really don't like the sound of it... There's enough poorly thought out, poorly designed garbage on the web as it is, we don't need umpteen-million morons saying "do it for me". On the other hand, there is that slight chance that this will enable morons to make well designed pages (although nothing can help them think things out less poorly).

And it better not clutter my bandwidth!

"God does not play dice with the universe." -Albert Einstein

It has "paradigm" on the front page! (1)

PigleT (28894) | more than 14 years ago | (#1466986)

Eek. The Dilbert [dilbert.com] in me is getting worried...
[E-speak]allows e-services to dynamically interact to discover, negotiate, broker and compose themselves to solve a business to business or business to consumer service request.

Congratulations, that tells me nothing at all about it.

But whatever it is, I guess HP supporting Open Source is a jolly good idea. Good on 'em!

So what's new? (1)

darylp (41915) | more than 14 years ago | (#1466987)

How is this different from the likes of XML-RPC [xmlrpc.com] , or even Microsoft's SOAP [microsoft.com] ? Wouldn't it make sense for everyone to focus on keeping their 'cool stuff over HTTP' application interfaces as compatible with each other as possible?

I tried looking at the site, but got scared after seeing "paradigm" on the first page...

OpenSource Craze (3)

Joshuah (82679) | more than 14 years ago | (#1466988)

Benefits of E-Speak

1. E-speak complements device-to-device communication, such as HP's Chai, Sun's Jini and Microsoft®'s UpnP.
2. E-speak leverages key collaborative technology-standardization efforts, such as RosettaNet, ontology.net and Microsoft's BizTalk.
3. E-speak utilizes open technology standards on the Internet, including XML, LDAP, HTTP, WAP, SSL, SLP and SNMP.

Whenever a company puts a product such as this, and opensources it, it means its a good thing. Novell is looking at opensourcing their flagship product, the NDS (Novell Directory Services) I believe that opensourcing products allows designers and programmers to work together on a product that they like/need for the enhancement of that product. Big cheers for HP!

Re:Weaselly licenses? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1466989)

\\Anonymous Cowards are ignored...are you lazy or just afraid to back your words?//
Lazy.

More SOAP? (1)

mvw (2916) | more than 14 years ago | (#1466990)

Apparently this is similiar to a Java system in that it's a transparent application API over the HTTP protocol.

Pardon? Both press blurb and HP page use HTTP just as analogon. Hope the pdf file on the HP page has a bit more meat.

Re:Weaselly licenses? (1)

linuxonceleron (87032) | more than 14 years ago | (#1466991)

This is a bit off topic, and sort of a rant on licensing, but, I'll say it anyway

Aggreed, Why should we pick at what license a company decides to use for their product, it is their decision, not our's. If I were making the product, sure I'd use GPL, but is Apple or Netscape wrong for making their own license, of course not. It's not our software that is being open sourced, it is the company that wrote it's software. The GPL may be an excellent license, but I say that we should be thankful that the open source process gets any recoignition at all from companies.

But what's it for, Mom? (2)

zorgon (66258) | more than 14 years ago | (#1466992)

Well, I read the press release, I read the homepage, and I skimmed the (82-page) tutorial, and as far as I can figure out all it is is a Java class library in which they've made it interesting and different by sed -e 's/program/service/g' and sed -e 's/"user interface"/"service contract"/g' or perhaps I missed something...But hey, I agree that it's great they're releasing it under the GPL
--

Kudos to HP! (1)

mhm23x3 (30474) | more than 14 years ago | (#1466993)

It's great to have another open protocol. HP is feeling the spirit of cooperation and the Internet.

Now, if only someone out there would develop an open-source, cross-platform protocol for turning Natalie Portman into stone...

*ducks*

Re:Weaselly licenses? (2)

Stephen Williams (23750) | more than 14 years ago | (#1466994)

So now, any license thats not GPL or GNU is simply weaselly?

I don't think that that's what Roblimo meant. He was talking about semi-open licences that are a lot less open than they first appear. I can't think of any example off the top of my head, but ISTR that Apple's open licence met with some objections by some people.

Roblimo could have said "GPL and LGPL all the way (though BSD, Artistic, MPL etc etc would all have been okay too)", but it shouldn't be necessary to say that. We shouldn't get upset when a Slashdot staffie forgets to mention our favourite licence/distro/operating system/cola brand.

Please let's not have a licence flame war :-)

-Stephen

Is it great or is it just GPL? (1)

Matt Bridges (97198) | more than 14 years ago | (#1466995)

Before the initial frenzy hits, may I just remind everyone that this is a *very* new technology. Just because it has a GPL license doesn't mean it won't stink. Hopefully, of course, it won't, and if there are shortcomings I hope that the collaborative effors of open source programmers can overcome it. However, I know that there will be a couple of hundred /. posters that will just see the words "major corporation" and "GPL" and automatically think that it's the best thing since sliced bread. Maybe HP is on to something, but until I see what this is really capable of, the GPL won't mean much.

But does it work ? (1)

Zemran (3101) | more than 14 years ago | (#1466996)

I think that it is great that this has been released GPL and I hope that it will recieve the support that it deserves. I had some fun with the various e-phone packages on doze but none of them really work to a usable level. It was always like playing with my sons CB. Lots of noise and hardly able to make out what was being said.

So what I want to know is will this one work ...

Re:HEY (2)

AMK (3114) | more than 14 years ago | (#1466997)

The idea is: you write programs which offer services, and other programs can locate services that match a set of given criteria. (The use of the word "service" might be a bit misleading. One example used in the docs is a company that sells computers; they'd create a single service object for each model they offer, and other software could then find computers with the right features.) Services are offered by connecting to an e-speak core, which is a server that provides the basic e-speak functions. Cores can be connected to other cores, similar to how IRC servers are connected together. Basically e-speak is an attempt at infrastructure building; if it catches on, organizations would have a set of e-speak servers, in much the same way that they have DNS, mail, and file servers.

The architectural docs do explain all this, though they're not an easy read, and sometimes terminology is a bit strange. (For example, "contracts", as used in the docs, seem a lot like the common meaning of "interface".)

But does it work ? (0)

Zemran (3101) | more than 14 years ago | (#1466998)

I think that it is great that this has been released GPL and I hope that it will recieve the support that it deserves. I had some fun with the various e-phone pacages on doze but none of them really work to a usable level. It was always like playing with my sons CB. Lots of noise and harly able to make out what was being said.

So what I want to know is will this one work ...

Nah (1)

guran (98325) | more than 14 years ago | (#1466999)

A right thing done by a Big Bad Company (tm) is still a right thing.

What do you think is behind Sun's "vision of Java" ? Companies want to make money. Some of them have products that I benefit from, some have products that I might see as a threat. Open source is good for me. Monopolies are not. That goes independently of who issues the open source product and who has the monopoly.

Re:Weaselly licenses? (1)

David Ham (88421) | more than 14 years ago | (#1467000)

I think what he meant is that we don't have to worry about finding some stupid clause in the license like "no one under 18 can use this" or whatever - it's GPL. he didn't say every other license that wasn't GPL or LGPL was "weaselly," just reaffirmed the fact that GPL and LGPL are NOT weaselly.

e-speak and SCSL (1)

coredog (58532) | more than 14 years ago | (#1467001)

I'm looking at the e-speak license, and to me, at least, it looks like the license Sun should have used for Java.

GPL, LGPL, they keep the trademark on the name, and you get to use the trademark if you're compatible.

If I'm way out of line, tell me. I really want to know. (Unless you're gonna tell me to pour hot grits down my pants :)

Mass Confusion! (1)

Otto (17870) | more than 14 years ago | (#1467002)

I think the majority of /.'ers want to know:

What the hell does it do?

I looked over the tutorial, which had some sample code on implementation.. As far as I can tell, it looks to be a way to connect to someone else without saying where they are or what port to connect on, or pretty much anything at all. They use a lot of business jargon (contacts? WTF?), but essentially, it looks like it's geared towards the PHB mindset.

I can hear the bosses now: "I mean look at all the technology! It must be good! Look! It's even open source! I was reading about that in Windows magazine!"

Sheesh.. I'm sorry, but I stopped liking HP a looooong time ago.


---

Re:But what's it for, Mom? (1)

My_Favorite_Anonymou (36494) | more than 14 years ago | (#1467003)

I think it looks like a protocol, what's so great about it is the GPL license compare to flood of future html plus proposal pitch by the biggies. I'm sure "HP's Chai, Sun's Jini and Microsoft®'s UpnP and BizTalk" are pretty much the same thing.

Interesting thing from the pda "Ten Ways to Think E-speak"

How do you participate in a dynamic world?
Let us assume that I am interested in finding an ASIC supplier. I don't care which
company (or who) gets to build this ASIC to my specification - it is an open market. I
don't know how many companies are out there, I don't even want to know, as long as I
can get a cheap and reliable supplier.
1.5 The old world
Today I must partner with a supplier that I consider reliable, and hope that they can meet
my growing demands in the long term. If I need to create a new partnership for
something different, I go through this process of finding a new partner all over again. In
fact, creating a new partnership is time consuming and I tend not to choose the best deal I
can get because I may not know about a better deal or because I am comfortable with
what I have.
1.6 The new world
E-speak allows the deployment of e-services that are advertised in an appropriate, well-defined
vocabulary. So for example, all ASIC vendors may advertise their services in
some well-defined ASIC vocabulary. I, as a consumer of their services simply deploy my
service that finds the most appropriate supplier by searching (and potentially negotiating)
for the best ASIC supplier and making sure that they meet some minimum criteria. I can
determine the credibility of some new vendor by invoking some on-line rating service.
My service deployment then will not have any "hard-coded" links to third party services.
This enables me to provide my service, while accommodating the naturally dynamic
service marketplace that is evolving. I don't have to break my service if my supplier goes
broke.
The solution that I deploy should inherently be capable of handling interactions in a
dynamic world where many different failures can be viewed as opportunities. As a
consumer of services, failures can manifest as: failures to find a service that I am
interested in at any given time, failure to reach a service that I need, failure for an
established partner to meet requirements, etc..10



If I understand correctly, it's possible to build a "ebay network" that bypass the middleman--ebay. ALthough ebay service fee is not that high, they can make a smarter search engine that way.


I am going to post the entire of pda in next post, since it's faster then loading the plug-in for slow machine. html rules.

HP is NOT a M$ lackey (2)

OmniGeek (72743) | more than 14 years ago | (#1467004)

I used to work for HP's Personal Office Computers Division in Sunnyvale, and from my knowledge of their corporate culture, they are FAR closer to RedHat than Redmond. If HP says they're going Open Source on a project, there's a healthy component of sincerity there -- especially in the trenches and on the benches, and when I was there, those people counted for a great deal. I seriously doubt that the spirit of Bill (Hewlett) and Dave has left that place.

Re:But what's it for, Mom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1467005)

Ten Ways to Think E-speak [e-speak.net]
Version: Beta 2.2
December 1999.2
© Copyright 1999 HEWLETT-PACKARD COMPANY
To anyone who acknowledges that this document is provided "AS IS" WITH NO
EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTY: permission to copy, modify, and distribute this
document for any purpose is hereby granted without fee, provided that the above
copyright notice and this notice appear in all copies, and that the name of
Hewlett-Packard Company not be used in advertising or publicity pertaining to
distribution of this document without specific, written prior permission.
Hewlett-Packard Company makes no representations about the suitability of this
document for any purpose.3
INTRODUCTION ........ 5
WHAT IS A SERVICE? .................................................. ........................................ .................................... 6
1.1 THE OLD WORLD6
1.2 THE NEW WORL 7
WHAT IS YOUR R 8
1.3 THE OLD WORLD8
1.4 THE NEW WORL 8
HOW DO YOU PARTICIPATE IN A DYNAMIC WORLD?............................................ ..................... 9
1.5 THE OLD WORLD9
1.6 THE NEW WORL 9
IS SERVICE METADATA STATIC?........................................... ........................................ ................... 10
1.7 THE OLD WOI10
1.8 THE NEW WOI10
DOES METADATA NEED TO BE CONSISTENT?....................................... ....................................... 12
1.9 THE OLD WORI12
1.10 THE NEW WORLD .................................................. ........................................ .............................. 12
HOW DO I SUPPORT MOBILE USERS?............................................ ........................................ .......... 13
1.11 THE OLD WORLD............................................. ........................................ .................................... 13
1.12 THE NEW WORLD .................................................. ........................................ .............................. 13
WHO MANAGES ACCESS RIGHTS?........................................... ........................................ ................. 14
1.13 THE OLD WORLD............................................. ........................................ .................................... 14
1.14 THE NEW WORLD .................................................. ........................................ .............................. 14
DOES A REGISTERED SERVICE IMPLY AN ACTIVE SERVICE?.......................................... ...... 15
1.15 THE OLD WORLD............................................. ........................................ .................................... 15
1.16 THE NEW WORLD .................................................. ........................................ .............................. 15
ARE SERVICES COMPOSABLE?....................................... ........................................ ........................... 16
1.17 THE OLD WORLD............................................. ........................................ .................................... 16
1.18 THE NEW WORLD .................................................. ........................................ .............................. 16
HOW DO YOU MANAGE E-SERVICES? .................................................. ........................................ ... 17
1.19 THE OLD WORLD............................................. ........................................ .................................... 17
1.20 THE NEW WORLD .................................................. ........................................ .............................. 17.4.5
Introduction
E-speak provides a unique set of abstractions that can best be exploited if programmers
think differently when programming with e-speak. In this paper, we list ten ways to think
about programming in e-speak. By developing services with this framework, users can
expect to more effectively participate in the dynamic e-service marketplace.
There a number of other documents that are relevant to the discussions here:
E-speak Programmer's Guide
This document is a reference that shows how the abstractions described here can
be incorporated in your services.
E-speak Architecture Specification
E-speak Tutorial
E-speak Value Proposition
Interested readers are directed to read these documents for a comprehensive
understanding of e-speak functionalities. In this document, we consider what roles users
play in a dynamic e-service economy, and discuss various approaches to solving
problems using e-speak..6
What is a service?
A service is traditionally considered to be a stand-alone application with a well-defined
interface. For example, an instance of an ERP system, such as a SAP instance, may be
considered a service. Similarly, a file system is considered a service.
In the e-speak world, a service is not necessarily restricted to a unit such as an
application. Instead, the granularity of a service is much smaller. Think differently about
what constitutes an e-speak service. Anything that can be described with a unique set of
attributes is a service. Functions are invoked directly on these services
1.1 The old world
Consider the creation of a virtual file system that aggregates a number of different back-end
file systems. In a traditional model, each backend file system is registered as a
service. Users can then discover the file system of interest and perform operations on it.
Registration of the file system requires the creation of a description of the file system
represented by a set of name-value pairs. For example, the following attributes describe a
file system called "someFileSystem
name - "someFileSystem"
host - "HPUX-11.0"
type - "NFS v X"
etc...
A client would first find the appropriate file system service (say "myFileSystem") and
then ask this file system to find the file of interest and finally the client would ask this file
system to operate on the file:
// find a file system service
myFileSystem = finder.find("Name == myFileSystem");
// ask the file system to find my special text file;
foundFile = myFileSystem.find("mySpecialFile.text");
// send this file reference to the filesystem and
// ask it to open this on your behalf.
myFileSystem.open(foundFile);
...
There are a number of limitations with this approach:
Information about the files are stored within the file system
Attribute-based discovery of files is not possible if the legacy file system does
not support it.
If there are multiple file systems, then each file system needs to be asked to
search for the file "mySpecialFile.text"..7
All functional operations are performed on the filesystem and hence there is
no uniform model to reason about files irrespective of the backend file system
on which the file is stored.
Since users actually are interested in the files rather than the file system, it may be more
natural to think of the files as the service unit rather than the file system.
1.2 The new world
If each file is registered in the e-speak core then files become discoverable as services.
Operations on files that are typically addressed to a file system are now addressed to the
file itself. So, the mySpecialFile.text can be advertised using attributes that make it
discoverable. Let us assume that this file is advertised with the type attribute set to
"mySpecialFile". Then a client discovers a file based on this attribute and then invokes a
open() operation directly on this file, as follows:
// find a file with type == GIF
myFile = finder.find("type == mySpecialFile");
myFile.open();
...
Clearly, the user does not deal with the backend file system that stores it. The user can
change the binding of the file to the service description (or advertisement) at any time.
The user can even move the file store seamlessly without affecting the client bindings. In
order to enable this view of services, the file creation service performs the following two
operations:
Associate each file with a service description that lists a set of attributes identifying it.
The description of the file conforms to some well-defined file vocabulary.
Associate a service handler with the service description that handles requests targeted
to this service. This handler dispatches requests to appropriate objects that implement
a service contract. These objects, for example, may be object wrappers around legacy
file systems.
Note that many different file descriptions may be associated with the same service
handler. This implies that, for example, a single backend file system application can
handle a number of file services registered in e-speak..8
What is your role?
In the e-service world, services are not created and used in isolation from the rest of the
world. Service developers primarily write the service implementations to conform to
some interfaces. Service deployers describe their services so as to increase the likelihood
of the service being found and used by remote clients. Standards bodies define
vocabularies for vertical markets, and clients find services and use them. In such an
environment, separation of roles is critical to allow users to meet their responsibilities
while participating in this economy.
1.3 The old world
In traditional distributed computing middleware, the interfaces that an object supports
determine the object type. This object type is used to find and use the service. In such a
world, since there is no notion of a vocabulary, all services are described either in some
arbitrary vocabulary (such as in Javaspaces, CORBA), or in a single vocabulary.
The first approach requires clients to communicate with the service developer to
determine the attribute entries that describe the services, in order to perform a meaningful
search.
The second approach does not support the requirements of vertical market specific
descriptions of services. Here all services are defined in some base vocabulary. Hence, if
a user needs to define a print service and a computing service as part of defining a
common service infrastructure, then the meaning of various attributes describing the
services are overloaded, and in most instances insufficient.
1.4 The new world
In e-speak, we clearly segregate the role of various participants in the service economies.
The separation of roles is supported by defining the abstractions of a vocabulary that is
used to advertise services with some well defined attribute values, and a contract that
defines the list of interfaces that a service supports. All e-speak services are required to
satisfy the following two relationships:
A conforms-to relationship: This defines the contract that is supported by the service
built by the developer.
Advertised-in relationship: This defines the vocabulary used to describe the service
that is offered by a deployer.
Support for these abstractions in e-speak enables the separation of roles so that standards
bodies, developers, and deployers of services can evolve independently. Vocabularies
create a type-space for service discovery, so that clients know what attributes will be used
to advertise the service they are interested in. We envision evolution of vertical markets,
each with its own vocabulary..9
How do you participate in a dynamic world?
Let us assume that I am interested in finding an ASIC supplier. I don't care which
company (or who) gets to build this ASIC to my specification - it is an open market. I
don't know how many companies are out there, I don't even want to know, as long as I
can get a cheap and reliable supplier.
1.5 The old world
Today I must partner with a supplier that I consider reliable, and hope that they can meet
my growing demands in the long term. If I need to create a new partnership for
something different, I go through this process of finding a new partner all over again. In
fact, creating a new partnership is time consuming and I tend not to choose the best deal I
can get because I may not know about a better deal or because I am comfortable with
what I have.
1.6 The new world
E-speak allows the deployment of e-services that are advertised in an appropriate, well-defined
vocabulary. So for example, all ASIC vendors may advertise their services in
some well-defined ASIC vocabulary. I, as a consumer of their services simply deploy my
service that finds the most appropriate supplier by searching (and potentially negotiating)
for the best ASIC supplier and making sure that they meet some minimum criteria. I can
determine the credibility of some new vendor by invoking some on-line rating service.
My service deployment then will not have any "hard-coded" links to third party services.
This enables me to provide my service, while accommodating the naturally dynamic
service marketplace that is evolving. I don't have to break my service if my supplier goes
broke.
The solution that I deploy should inherently be capable of handling interactions in a
dynamic world where many different failures can be viewed as opportunities. As a
consumer of services, failures can manifest as: failures to find a service that I am
interested in at any given time, failure to reach a service that I need, failure for an
established partner to meet requirements, etc..10
Is service metadata static?
Consider an ASP hosting different instances of ERP systems such as SAP for use by end
users. Each of the hosted instances can be registered as a service, so users can connect to
this service and perform transactions. Having a SAP instance as a discoverable service is
useful and can provide a mechanism for clients to discover and attach to an appropriate,
active SAP instance. Clients submit various transactions on the SAP instance.
Transactions are typically encapsulated in a document such as a Purchase Order (PO),
Sales Order (SO), etc.
1.7 The old World
In the above ASP hosting scenario, each of the hosted instances can be registered as a
service, so users can connect to this service and perform transactions on it. This can be
achieved by registering each SAP instance with a set of attribute name-value pairs.
Clients wishing to use a service simply discover the appropriate SAP instance and
perform some transactions on it. All transactions are triggered when an appropriate
document is created and submitted to the SAP instance. In this model, the document is
static and inactive. That is, the document is simply a parameter to a functional interface
exposed by the SAP instance.
Consider an ERP instance that has an API that takes in a XML document that captures
the purchase order. The XML document itself may capture information such as:
Vendor name
Product ID
Quantity
Cost
etc...
Values associated with each of the above attributes are captured in the XML document.
Once this document is submitted to the backend system, this document has little
significance except perhaps for reference.
1.8 The new world
However, much more value can be obtained by considering every single transaction
performed on the SAP instance as a service. For example, a Purchase Order (PO)
performed against the SAP instance can be associated with some metadata that is
registered as a service with the e-speak core. This purchase order then becomes
discoverable and users can actually start to reason about these transactions in a much
richer manner. So, managing the portfolio of your POs, tracking status of a PO, etc.
becomes simple. This is similar to the file system example above, except that we can also
build state into the purchase order document using e-speak service specific data, thus
making this document active..11
E-speak allows users to add arbitrary state to the metadata that represents the service
descriptions. Hence, for example, a client who creates a purchase order document can
simply refer back to this document to determine the current state of this transaction. This
feature in combination with persistent folders creates a powerful framework for reasoning
about service metadata as active documents. Following is a sample pseudo-code that
shows how a purchase order service (say, acmePO) is created and stored in a persistent
folder called pendingPOs:
// Create a new PO service.
// create pendingPOs folder:
pendingPOFolder =
rootFolder.createSubFolder("pendingPOs");
// First create a PO description. Here, assume
// that the description is stored in an XML file
ESServiceDescription PODescription = new
ESServiceDescription("PO.xml", coreConnection);
newPO = new ESServiceElement(PODescription);
.... //register service
// add to pendingPOs folder
pendingPOFolder.add("acmePO",newPO);
A sales representative in the vendor side can discover this purchase order transaction on
the customer side, as if it were any other service. Updates to the status associated with
this service can be easily performed by changing its matadata. Metadata changes can be
in the form of attribute mutations or addition of service specific data..12
Does metadata need to be consistent?
In a real world service deployment that involves a large number of connected cores and
many clients and service providers, how should the metadata be shared among these
entities? Metadata describing the services are both attributes that are used for searching
and other metadata used to build or modify state associated with the service.
1.9 The old world
In traditional middleware infrastructure solutions, a central directory or lookup service
hierarchy maintains a collection of discoverable service descriptions. Clients and services
typically fall in the same administration domain. In addition, service descriptions
themselves are not usually modifiable. This restricts us to a very static world where
metadata does not change, and the sharing of metadata is very tight. In addition, since
there is no clean separation of roles, managing a dynamic, evolving service deployment
environment is not easy.
1.10 The new world
In the e-speak world, we follow a more web-like model for service metadata. Metadata of
services can move from one core to another when it is either advertised in a group or
discovered in a community. Metadata in an e-speak core is closer to the service and
therefore is more likely to be able to reflect dynamic attributes (e.g. load). In addition it
can be cached remotely. Consistency policies can be enforced externally by clients and
services, with the help of the event services, depending on the requirements imposed by
the services. In CORBA you can register with many traders and you have no guarantees
of correctness/constency either; however, CORBA does not have a notion of service
metadata held in the services core and remote caches.
This model is similar to the web model for caching web pages, but in the domain of
electronic services. Web pages are published, but cached in many different proxies
around the world. No strong consistency is guaranteed, except for explicitly allowing
mechanisms for disabling caching and time-to-live fields. Both of these can be supported
on top of the core infrastructure, depending on the deployment scenario. Keeping
consistency enforcement at a higher level allows the infrastructure to scale, and only
those services that need metadata consistency can use it..13
How do I support mobile users?
So, you have a cool way of finding the best coffee shop near where you live. Maybe it is
a coffee shop in your zip code which is not a franchise and which opened in the last one
year. You can always find this in the area where you live. Now let us say you are
traveling and you are in a new city and want to find a coffee shop that meets the criteria.
What are your choices?
1.11 The old world
In the traditional mode, clients simply connect to an advertising service in that area, and
make a new query for finding such a service. This has several problems: finding an
advertising service in the new area that will support this kind of search, and secondly
reconstructing this search again. Worse still, what if you don't remember your secret
recipe for finding the service any more? Perhaps you think that is such a cool idea that
you want to protect this secret recipe, but still share it with others, and maybe even pay
you for this service.
1.12 The new world
In e-speak, a user can choose to create a binding to an algorithm that essentially
encapsulates a search recipe. That is, you do not bind the coffee shop in your hometown
to a "bookmark" for your favoriteCoffeeShop. Instead, you bind the search query that
finds a coffee shop with the characteristics specified. In this case, you can be in any city
and on looking up the binding of the favoriteCoffeeShop, you find the closest coffee shop
that is not a franchise and was opened within the last year. This mechanism whereby a
search query is associated with a binding, rather than a single uniquely identified service,
is a powerful mechanism that enables seamless mobility and customized access to
services..14
Who manages access rights?
Suppose that a service provider is interested in hosting a service that allows users to
download some audio content on a pay-per-use basis. To enable this, the service provider
needs to keep track of what access rights each user has. There are many ways in which
this can be enabled. A common approach is to create an access control list specific to this
application and then every client request is verified using this access control list. Now,
suppose the same service provider acquires a competitor that hosts video content. The
video service implements similar mechanisms for access control, but is maintains its own
access control list. This replication of functionality cannot be easily removed, even with
the same set of users performing similar types of operations on both the services. This
problem gets worse when the service provider increases the number of services hosted, or
decides to replace his access control policy.
1.13 The old world
The service provider is forced to manage client access control and deal with any security
issues for each hosted service independently. In addition to the nightmare of maintaining
multiple lists for different services, the service provider has to deal with the inherently
poor performance of access control lists with large numbers of users. The service
provider has to deal with complex and time-consuming re-engineering work, and is
distracted from the core business of hosting multi-media services.
1.14 The new world
With E-speak, the service provider can rely on the infrastructure to manage many of the
access control issues. The service provider can specify the permissions that are to be
associated with each function supported by the service. The service provider also
associates each functional interface with a set of permissions. Clients present a set of
capabilities while accessing the service. The e-speak core extracts all permissions that
these capabilities "unlock" and passes them to the service provider. Hence the service
provider only worries about the set of permissions unlocked, rather than about the
identity of the client. The service provider needs to either use an external authorization
service or implement its own "authorize()" API that decides what capabilities are given to
users..15
Does a registered service imply an active service?
Finding a service based on metadata searches, does not say anything about whether or not
the service is actually active and useable by the client. Services can become unreachable,
may be overloaded or may simply not exist anymore. In such an environment, it would be
disastrous for an enterprise to have links to explicit, single services.
1.15 The old world
A client of an e-service has little recourse if the service disappears. In such situations, the
client attempts rediscovery of another service which matches his requirements. However,
typical middleware solutions do not support this task easily, due to the lack of well
defined vocabularies and service abstractions. On the web, it may imply searching
through a bunch of web links returned from one of the hundreds of search engines
available
1.16 The new world
Like other approaches, e-speak does not guarantee that a service is alive when the service
is accessed. However, e-speak does provide abstractions that make it easier for service
deployers to manage the lifetimes of their metadata registrations. Each service is
deployed in a particular "scope". Closing a scope marks all services registered in that
scope as transient and prone to garbage collection. All cached service metadata is by
default transient and hence the e-speak infrastructure provides mechanisms for service
deployers to address the difficult problem of distributed garbage collection elegantly..16
Are services composable?
Many services need other subservices to support their operational interfaces. For
example, a print-and-ship service needs to interact with various printing services and
shipping services. In addition to the basic interaction mechanisms, the print-and-ship
service needs to be able to compose a service based on specific instances of a printing
and a shipping service so as to meet the constraints imposed by the client.
1.17 The old world
Today printing and shipping services advertise their functional interfaces as web pages on
the Internet, or in IDLs in traditional middleware. Use of these services are restricted to
these interfaces. Simple techniques such as input-output chaining or work-flow based
techniques can be used to describe how the print-and-ship service is decomposed into the
printing and shipping services. However, there are a number of difficult problems that are
not solved today, thus making it impractical to optimally choose the configuration of
print and ship services in order to meet the client requirements? How does the print-and-ship
service negotiate with the individual services on behalf of the client? How does this
service create a marketplace for shipping and printing services to advertise their services?
1.18 The new world
E-speak supports a framework that enables services to interact with each other using
language neutral, XML pages in the form of messages. Separation of roles enables
standards bodies to create and advertise schemas that describe meaningful interactions
between services. E-speak groups enable shipping and printing services to advertise
themselves in the print-and-ship group, while the print-and-ship service can discover the
most appropriate printing and shipping services to choose. Vocabularies and contracts
defining negotiable services can allow service providers to deploy negotiated services
that allow services to negotiate values of certain attributes such as cost, based on the
requirements. All these functionalities enabled by the e-speak core makes it possible to
view the entire internet as a dynamically composable service marketplace..17
How do you manage e-services?
So you have a deployed an e-service that clients can use. But how do you know how your
service performed, when was it accessed and by whom. What were the interactions that
the service performed and how did the service data change over time? Do you have any
control of the service? Can you pause it for upgrading or backing up data. How do you
restart your service again without going through the hassle of re-installing and initializing
your service? Considering that your service depends on other services across multiple
administration domains, how do you manage these deployments that create dynamic
business partnerships?
1.19 The old world
Service management is typically performed in an ad-hoc manner. You provide your own
mechanisms for monitoring the service. The service needs to provide a mechanism to
send out the necessary data to another entity that keeps track of who accessed the service,
how the service performed, etc.
1.20 The new world
Any service can become manageable by using the e-speak service management
framework. Services do not need to explicitly add mechanisms to become manageable.
The e-speak event infrastructure enables publish, distribute and subscribe operations
across a geographically distributed environment and across multiple protection domains.
This event infrastructure coupled with the security and management framework
supported in e-speak provide a comprehensive platform for managing service
deployments that require dynamic business collaborations.

Open-source is now a buzzword.. (1)

Otto (17870) | more than 14 years ago | (#1467006)

Open-source is now a buzzword to all the PHBs of the world.

However, out of curiosity:

1. E-speak complements device-to-device communication, such as HP's Chai, Sun's Jini and Microsoft®'s UpnP.

E-speak complements XXX. Well? How does it complement it? Details, man!

2. E-speak leverages key collaborative technology-standardization efforts, such as RosettaNet, ontology.net and Microsoft's BizTalk.

Is this even a sentence? E-speak "leverages" XXX... WTF does "leverage" mean anyway? I know leverage when I'm trying to lift something heavy. I know leverage in an engineering sense, but I didn't know it had another meaning.

3. E-speak utilizes open technology standards on the Internet, including XML, LDAP, HTTP, WAP, SSL, SLP and SNMP.

Clue: nearly everything else on the internet also uses XML, LDAP, HTTP, WAP, SSL, SLP, and SNMP.

Hell, my web browser uses at least three of those. Bonus points for you if you know which three. Extra points if you can name a common application that uses 4 or more.


---

E-Speak Authors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1467007)

Did anyone happen to notice that one of the e-speak authors is Arindam Banerji who is listed in the Linux credits as contributing the ESDI driver routines necessary to port Linux to the PS/2 MCA? It looks like the e-speak group has at least one member with a long history of work with Linux.

Re:HP's rudderless technologies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1467008)

Plus their brain dead patch crazy compilers and operating systems cause pain to thousands on a daily basis. My favourite lame HP bug occurred when running the old Cfront C++ compiler as root on HP-SUX 9.04/5. It silently took out /dev/null and replaced it with a conventional file. HP is the classic example of a company that "just doesn't get it" At least from a UK perspective.

Re:What It Does (Rampant Speculation) (1)

Westley (99238) | more than 14 years ago | (#1467009)

Suppose My coffee maker wants to know the time, and its sitting on a network in my Home Of The Future® It can query the local e-speak server server (e-speak core???) for a service with the appropriate properties (must have TimeZone=>GMT, must have Precision=>microsecond, must have Name=>Time, etc), and then follow it up with a call to the *right* server's services. shazam.

Is this very different to Jini? I've never actually used Jini, just read the hype, but they sound quite similar. Is this just because the hype is vague, or are they really doing similar things?

Jon

Re:Open-source is now a buzzword.. (1)

Canadian AC (47292) | more than 14 years ago | (#1467010)

HTTP,LDAP and SSL

Re:HP's rudderless technologies (1)

BLiP2 (54296) | more than 14 years ago | (#1467011)

maybe they want to push this as a standard so they can sell add-ons or consulting

Ding! Thats exactly it, all the brains of the company jumped ship to Agalent (sp?), which AFAIK will make most of the technology and R&D while HP gets more into a "e-services" (translated: an army of consultants) type business. You see, if all your big brains leave, you now have a corporation filled with MBAs and marketing people. IMNSHO, a truope of trained monkeys could do a better job of steering a high tech company.

Also, on a more humorous note, remember all the press they got about their new CEO? Strange little fact is her education was in Midevil History, which kinda gives new meaning to the Dilbert cartoon where he says "...And I hear we'll all be reclassified as serfs!"

So why not add a discovery protocol to SOAP? (2)

Dacta (24628) | more than 14 years ago | (#1467012)

SOAP (and XML-RPC) is cross platform, and is implemented in many languages. It's simple, and runs over HTTP.

It doesn't have a standard service discovery mechanism, though.

It's a pity that just because Microsoft was involved in the RFC's most people on Slashdot are going to hate it.

If MS really does use SOAP for the new verion of DCOM/COM+, then it could be a great for for Linux client software to "leverage existing investments in legecy Windows software" (Tell that to your manager.. they will love it!)

Re:MSFT owns http://www.e-speak.org/ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1467013)

This must be a coincidence (or is MS squatting?). MS has a competing e-commerce framework called BizTalk (www.biztalk.org).

Re:So why not add a discovery protocol to SOAP? (1)

Crazy Guy (126188) | more than 14 years ago | (#1467014)

SOAP is a a very simplistic access protocol over HTTP, so that users will be able to cross firewalls (since it uses HTTP) and invoke operations in the other end. The user specifies the interface, method and arguments in XML and that is it.


On the contrary e-speak provides for some basic abstractions which enables easy development and deployment of services in internet. For e.g., it presents some service abstractions like a notion of a vocabulary (for advertising), contract and service elements. The concepts like local names, protection domain would be powerful in internet domain. E-speak provides for life time management through scopes, persistence, folders. The concepts concepts of groups and communities is interesting. It supports messaging, NOM and document exchange models. It supports events. It presents API's in Perl, Python, Java and other languages. It presents a programming model. To develop all this over SOAP will probably take as much time as it took to develop e-speak!


I would say SOAP is more of a bridge which helps in getting through firewalls, where as e-speak is a complete framework for developing services and they are no way comparable.

Re:MSFT owns http://www.e-speak.org/ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1467015)

After hearing that HP was going to name it e-speak, Microsoft went out and grabbed all of the e-speak URLs that it was able to. Basically cyber squatting.

Timewarp! Eeeek! (2)

jd (1658) | more than 14 years ago | (#1467016)

I don't know if it was on Slashdot, or somewhere else, but I'm sure I've not only seen HP's e-speak mentioned elsewhere, some considerable time back, but that it was available for download, then, too.

But, hey! If this is a newer version, what the heck! I'm a sucker for upgrading.

Having got that out the way, it's great that HP have gone the path of GPL. Not that there's anything wrong with BSD licences, et al, but Open Source is still very new in industry. If HP can demonstrate a successful release of a commercial package, under the GPL, that would have much more impact than, say, releasing it under the BSD licence. (Why? Because the GPL is close to the extreme end of "Open Source". If a package can do well under it, then anyone else's package can do well under a more "greed-friendly" licence.)

P.S. This is a semi-off-topic note, but I'm seriously pissed off with a number of commercial companies for not wanting to release Linux versions of their packages. This includes Lego, Sierra (makers of MasterCook), etc.

The more successful journeys the big-name, high-profile companies make into the land of Linux and Open Source, the more likely these other companies will take the first step.

HEY (1)

Pike (52876) | more than 14 years ago | (#1467017)

After reading comments so far, and digesting their web site, I still have one question.

WHAT DOES IT DO?? Can someone explain???

The web page was filled with meaningless marketspeak.

JD

whoa! you got post 69! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1467018)

whoa! i posted this before you got post 69!

What effect have the recent IPOs had? (1)

paulschreiber (113681) | more than 14 years ago | (#1467019)

You have to wonder if the recent IPOs and the general "market likes Linux" mentality has encouraged many "fortune 500" companies to jump on the bandwagon in order to boost their stock price.

It is unfortunate in our market economy we have to be more worried about stock prices than even making money. Nice link off the Suck parody yesterday to the SEC filing for Andover.net [sec.gov] (which includes Rob's stock deal with Andover) also contains a line which says "WE EXPECT TO INCUR SUBSTANTIAL LOSSES IN THE FUTURE."

I don't know, maybe it is just me but how can companies like this get blown up, while real companies with real income (see banks, insurance) are sitting pretty low.

So way to go "Open Source" we may not help companies profit, but we will push stock prices up, that's for sure.

HP looking to pay people to use e-speak (3)

helarno (34086) | more than 14 years ago | (#1467020)

Check out Sourcexchange [sourcexchange.com] where HP has had a few open proposals to get people to write stuff with e-speak technology in it. The amounts they are willing to pay are decent for someone hacking in his free time. So if anyone wants to take the time to really try out their stuff and get paid in the process, that's a good place to start.

It is nice to see HP putting their time, money and marketing muscle behind something open source. Hopefully, theirs will be a positive experience for all, rather than scaring a lot of developers/companies away.

I think we'll see more of this in the future... (3)

xtal (49134) | more than 14 years ago | (#1467021)

The companies that are actively supporting open source all have one thing in common - they are primarily getting there revenue from hardware, or software consulting - not sales of software. We all know that software isn't really a product, but a service - and I think the economy is waking up to that fact.

Open source helps companies like HP because they get wide distribution of their software - not because they get free developers! Wide distribution of software means it's easier to find bugs. Finding bugs makes better software. The developers are a bonus, but people shouldn't feel exploited.

I did some work for Intel, and they have a LOT of software engineers - why? To find ways to make programs that use their processors. The code isn't important, it's that they sell more hardware.

Open source goes one futher, because when the source code is out there, the program will never become obsolete - hint, engineers a dirt cheap compared to the revenues places like HP and IBM bring in. The only obstacle is not having the code. Remember the PC DemoScene? If all those groups released the code for their effects, then we'd still see evolution of their demos - but none/few of them did. (See the hornet archive before it goes away!)

Companies like Sun haven't completely figured this out yet, I don't think. IBM and HP sure have. We'll see more from them in the future - they are very "with it". If all goes will with my courses this term I'll be accepting an offer with IBM for this very reason - the push for linux and open source in general.

Kudos!

HP's rudderless technologies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1467022)

The bottom line is simple - HP is giving away E-Speak because they either can't make it wirk on their own, or they simply can't be bothered.

This is the latest in a long line of gaffs that show a company in serious decline.

HP has backed an astounding number of dud technologies over the past four years:

  • WinCE. HP boarded the Titanic with confidence on this one, just like everyone else.
  • Chai. I'm not a huge fan of Java, but if you're going to bother with it at all, go with the real deal, not some rip-off. And if you're going to go with a rip-off, market it extensively. HP's efforts in this regard seem to be essentially dead.
  • Merced. As part of the original development team, HP are as much to blame as Intel for this scheduling nightmare. Now they'll deliver an uncompetitive CPU, years late.

Meanwhile, HP's unix and PC business continue to get slammed by stronger competition.

All they really have left is printers.

Re:OpenSource Craze (1)

Gurlia (110988) | more than 14 years ago | (#1467023)

I don't know whether the product itself is going to turn out great or not (the article is typical of commercial prose -- vague, unclear, non-specific on the details of the actual product) , but the fact that they open-sourced it is a very good thing.

A move like this effectively stops any corporation from hogging the protocol and "locking down" the market. There will be no way for MS (or anyone else for that matter) to abuse this technology by locking it down in proprietary implementations and forcing everyone else out of the market. Well, at least not directly. It's things like this that could eventually bring some balance into our world of mega-corporations vs. individual freedom.

why does this matter? (1)

nous (62496) | more than 14 years ago | (#1467024)

this is strange. it does not have the telltale signs of a flagship product, something to shake the trees, and write home to mom about. it seems more like something HP did not know what to do with, and decided to throw into the open-source arena to see if anything would come off it. and some publicity does not hurt. but hey, my eyeball time is limited, and very precious. it looks like time better spent elsewhere, like fixing all the damned bugs in linux and *bsd.

-- nous

Roblimo = Jackass (0)

Blue Lang (13117) | more than 14 years ago | (#1467025)

For the love of *od, will you PLEASE stop posting crap like that? If you can't post an article without addind some half-baked 'me-too'ism to it, then don't post! There are a ton of GPL-equivalent licenses, and some that are far more free, including my favorite, and the one that I personally use, from some OpenBSD code:

Free Software! No Warranty!

OB-E-Speak:

The guy above me beat me to the Sourcexchange link, they have all sorts of info on it. Basically, it's a set of frameworks for exchanging all sorts of data, authentication info, and even a desktop over port 80.

HP also sponsored the development of an Apache test suite. All of this goes back to their new CEO, who is completely insane, and believes that HP is going to define the next big protocol for internet commerce development. Check C-Net for more info on her.

I've read those .pdf's. It's.. uhm.. there are some interesting ideas there. Somewhere. Buried deeply.

--
blue

Hasn't HP Heard of JINI? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1467026)

Sun released the JINI API months ago, and this is the EXACT SAME THING!!! I went to the E-speak site and ran through a bit of their all-to-original "Hello World" example, and this is the same thing as JINI, right down to their lookup services. For those of you who want to know what it does, here's a short explanation. E-Speak/Jini allows you to write a service on a networked device, and have the different services interact with each other by using a centralized lookup service. Your "service" could be anything like a printer, digital camera, tv, vcr etc. There are some minor differences in how you actually get to interact with each other service between E-speak and JINI, but for the most part HP just changed the terminology from JINI and released it. What a crock.

Be Wary of HP (2)

mochaone (59034) | more than 14 years ago | (#1467027)

HP has been in Microsoft's back pocket for years. They have tried their best to help Microsoft keep their hegemonic hold on the industry by doing everything in their power to undermine Sun's vision of Java. They are members of all working groups, in concert with Microsoft, that are at odds with Sun. They released a clean room version of Java that did not adhere to Sun's standards. They insist this was done because they had problems with Sun's licensing. Hogwash. They were acting on orders from Bill.

HP is not a friend of Open Source. They represent the coming wave of cynical, manipulative corporate entities that wil try to present themselves in a friendlier light. HP has had a dismal financial year and is trying to right its boat. I, for one, will not support them in any of their endeavors.

Re:What It Does (Rampant Speculation) (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1467028)

From my understanding of both (which may be off), they are very similar in terms of the problem set, possibly even the solution (java). The main difference (other than the company) is that jini is under SCSL, and e-speak is under GPL/LGPL

jeff smith

Looks like CORBA by another name to me... (1)

lawley (31214) | more than 14 years ago | (#1467029)

...or RMI. Really, if they want to change the transport layer from IIOP to somthing over HTTP then why not produce an IDL compiler that spits out stubs using their new wiz-bang protocol instead. Why introduce yet another IDL, yet another 'standard' set of naming & trading services, etc.?

Things I don't Like About JINI (vs espeak) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1467030)

2 (related) things I don't like about Jini:

1) You have to have a JVM. There is no way
to be a Jini client without a JVM. What
if my CPU just can't hack Java?

2) To access a service you download some
java classes into your JVM that implement
the interface to the service. What if I
don't WANT to download and run your code?

From spending 2 minutes looking at the e-speak
tutorial, it seems as if it just uses XML
over HTTP, so e-speak doesn't have these
drawbacks.

-- cary

yep, I'd say you're broadly right (1)

Cederic (9623) | more than 14 years ago | (#1467031)


Nice summary of what it gives us.

Anyone familiar with the CORBA Trading Service spec will see immediate parallels here - the architecture doc suggests CORBA integration is possible too.

Basically, someone will create a service (say, an on-line auction). They will "advertise" this service over E-Speak (using a "vocabulary" specified on an E-Speak server) and when someone's client software (or device) decides to buy (for instance) some RAM, it will go to its nearest E-Speak logical machine with a search request for 'auctions offering RAM at $3/MB or less' (except the search will be described in the "vocabulary"). And the E-Speak logical machine will chat to its mates, find various 'auction' services advertised and return one (or more) to the client, who can then go straight to the auction service and say 'gimme some RAM'.

Vocabularies are written in a metalanguage which is described as 'similar to' (paraphrasing) XML - hopefully it'll soon be fully XML.

Actual implementation at the moment seems to be one for the Java gurus - only Java is currently supported. C++ and others to follow..

I like their 'plug in transport protocol' - allowing support for WAP, HTTP, etc is plainly sensible.

I'm not too sure how this fits in with JINI - any JINI experts out there who can comment?

Re:What It Does (Rampant Speculation) (1)

GPB (12468) | more than 14 years ago | (#1467032)

Suppose My coffee maker wants to know the time, and its sitting on a network in my Home Of The Future® It can query the local e-speak server server (e-speak core???) for a service with the appropriate properties (must have TimeZone=>GMT, must have Precision=>microsecond, must have Name=>Time, etc), and then follow it up with a call to the *right* server's services. shazam.

What you describe has already existed for some time now. It is called CORBA [corba.org] .

-B

Re:Be Wary of HP (2)

JoeBuck (7947) | more than 14 years ago | (#1467033)

Sun's vision of Java is a Microsoft vision. That is, Sun wants to be Microsoft, by having the same iron grip on the Java platform that Microsoft has on Windows, and then force everyone to pay money to Sun, while enabling more O/S competition. The result of this fantasy would be that Scott McNealy would become the richest man in the world. HP, of course, will not tolerate this. No company that competes with Sun can tolerate this. For Java to be a standard, Sun will have to give up some power and use its greater experience at Java implementation as a competitive advantage, rather than its iron-fisted control of the platform.

Sun is shaping up to be a major enemy of open source, and a very clever one, by coming up with licensing that looks like open source but is not (the important difference being that all money and all control goes to Sun). This is too bad, because Sun in the past has been a good guy.

If HP takes orders from Bill, then why are they a major funder of the Trillian project (porting Linux and the GNU tools to Merced)?

Re:Nice license (1)

hadron (139) | more than 14 years ago | (#1467034)

The SCSL would be more likely to be at 0.0, as it not a free licenence at all, and Sun have never claimed it to be.

It's an obnoxious proprietary licence which misleadingly claims to be "Community"!

God Bless Microsoft (1)

heroine (1220) | more than 14 years ago | (#1467035)

Did you know Microsoft was the first to make a sales pitch using the letter e? They did it with the Internet Explorer 4 campaign and since then everyone who ever wanted publicity has put e before their product without failure.

Re-inventing themselves (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1467036)

Has anyone seen the HP re-inventing themselves
Commercial on TV - where they talk about how Hewlett and Packard worked together in a garage
to invent something 'innovative and useful'?

Anyway, the commercial goes on to say that the
company is re-inventing itself - and for us to
watch (naturally, or why would there be a
commercial?) But maybe this is part of that...

GPL'ed huh?

Sun who?



Read the Architecture document (2)

Bilbo (7015) | more than 14 years ago | (#1467037)

Get the Architecture document (PDF) and look at that. A lot more in depth than most people want, but there are a couple of good overview sections.

I've played with e-speak some (we're supposed to be one of those e-commerce consultant companies), and though it is still vey much "Beta" software, I think it has a lot of potential. Going first with an open standard and now with open source, it has the promise of becoming one of those fundamental standards like NFS was after Sun released the source code to that.

Re:Nice license (0)

demon (1039) | more than 14 years ago | (#1467038)

Okay, but if the GPL gets the 1.0 rating, does that make 1.0 on that scale the "g-spot"???

Yes. I HAD to ask...

Re:Weaselly licenses? (1)

demon (1039) | more than 14 years ago | (#1467039)

I don't know that Roblimo was pointing so much at the APSL or MPL/NPL, but probably (especially) as the SCSL. I think we all know why, don't we, kids?

What It Does (Rampant Speculation) (5)

PhineasFrog (114817) | more than 14 years ago | (#1467040)

From a very, very cursory perusal of the site, I get the following impression of what this thing actually is.

From the look of it, its a way for programs to invoke RPC's from hosts they don't know exist. That is:

Suppose My coffee maker wants to know the time, and its sitting on a network in my Home Of The Future® It can query the local e-speak server server (e-speak core???) for a service with the appropriate properties (must have TimeZone=>GMT, must have Precision=>microsecond, must have Name=>Time, etc), and then follow it up with a call to the *right* server's services. shazam.

This could be really cool, not just for coffee (which is pretty neat to start with) but for the ultra-thin cell phone-futurerama devices everyone is so keen on ushering into reality. And cool or not, it could be very popular with the "Now I don't have to worry about the license at all 'cuz I'm not distributing the software at all just the service' crowd.

There might come a day when open services are the name of the game- when we not only have to see that software has source shipped with distributions, but that Completely Documented Service API's are published (And the only way to do that, really, is expose the source). It would really bite to have to get a Micro$oft coffe maker to get the most out of my Micro$oft Microwave, which I got because it was the only kind that could use the Micro$oft clock-radio correctly... We may be compelled to establish our own network of services on this second chapter of the internet that HP is so cheery about (and hey, I can't say I'm not, it'll be an excuse to buy a pilot...). An open source service negotiation protocol is a great start, but from the look of things, it may be uphill from here.



I think so. (2)

Bilbo (7015) | more than 14 years ago | (#1467041)

It's still Beta software, but I have played with it some, and I think it has potential. It's an "enabling technology", meaning it provides a communications and brokering framework for other people to write their applications on top of. My impression is that it has a lot of the same things as Sun's "Gini", but it's more service related (as opposed to hardware) and designed to work over a wider network.

Now that it's free (as in "freedom"), I think it has the potential to really take off.

Use the source, Luke! (1)

MattMann (102516) | more than 14 years ago | (#1467042)

It's opensource, dude! How dare you ask what it does: download it and read the code! That's what it does! Sheeesh!

People like you ruin slashdot... alright, people like me are only kidding! :) really, it was a joke! I couldn't figure out what it did either.

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