Going Deep

E2E: Erik Meijer and Don Box - Perspectives on SOAP, Programming Data and M

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Don Box is a Distinguished Engineer at Microsoft and has a rich history in the general purpose programming world. You remember SOAP, right? Don was one of the Gang of Four who designed SOAP. Don was also instrumental in the design and implementation of WCF. Don is currently building a new model-based data programming platform, code-named Oslo, along with a new language for describing data, M.

Erik Meijer, programming language and library designer, chats with Don about the history of SOAP, model-based programming, data and M. Don will be at PDC09 and in addition to giving his usual stellar performance as a session speaker, he will be part of the Future of Programming panel (a view into Microsoft's perspective on trends and possibilities for general purpose programming in the age of many-core and cloud computing).



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    The Discussion

    • tomkirbygre​en

      Sweet goodness Don and Erik at the same time? Awesome Smiley I don't suppose there's any chance that Erik could interview Chris Brumme about what he's been up to of late? Wink

    • RobertL


    • Charles

      Not a chance... Smiley Sorry. Oh, and we tried. Chris really has no interest in being filmed and certainly can't talk about the specific things he's currently working on (which is the case for all private incubation happening across the company.....).



    • Charles

      Do you have a question?

    • exoteric

      I've been waiting for an interview with Erik, asking about M and here it is - thanks!


      Gilad, yes - optional/layered/pluggable type-systems. There is an analogy here. Code without intrinsic types, data without intrinsic types.


      I like M and the whole idea of representing everything in a database, including source code down to the token level.

    • GrantB

      XML is proof the universe hates us.

    • exoteric


    • tomkirbygre​en

      I love Don's sly C++ jokes (and I say this as someone who writes 80 / 20, C++ / C# - that's at work, at home the inverse is true [thank goodness]). I was lucky enough to see Don give a presentation during the very early days of .NET during which he talked about GC, reflection and other concepts and then finished off by turning to the audience and with a wink saying that he had a important new question that he felt that C++ developers on Windows should learn to ask: "You want fries with that?". Classic Smiley

    • RobertL

      Not really a question, but Don mentions that he felt like he was encoding a lot of stuff, and he felt he missed language support for concurrency. Then you talked about code as data, and after watching the Clojure video here on C9 I thought that perhaps Clojure.Net would be a good fit.

    • Charles

      Smiley Now that's better than just a "lisp?" reply!


    • elmer

      'M' is already in use as the name of an existing ANSI-Standard language (X11.1-1995) with quite a long history behind it.

    • staceyw

      Since when did all the hate for xml and soap start?  I missed it.  I think json is easier to look at, but did it win all around and nobody told me?  Doesn't WCF use soap at the bottom?


       I feel slow here, but this is about the 3rd video I have seen on M, and still don't understand what it is or why I need it?  Is this an n-tier solution.    Will I be able to write an M model (w/ types) in VS and click deploy to setup the DB (to sql or Azure)?  I assume that is the Write/Mod stuff your working on. 

    • contextfree

      WCF is flexible, you can configure it to use different encodings including (since 3.5 SP1) JSON.

    • gunston

      May be [probably is] a fail on my part but is the Zune WMV file broken?!  Thanks.

    • Charles

      Hi, can you elaborate? The file plays for me.


    • WinInsider

      What is wrong with WSDL?   Can someone elaborate what is wrong with it from the design perspective?  Consuming a service that exposes WSDL is easy to consume in Visual Studio.

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