Hit or Miss

Microsoft HailStorm

Microsoft HailStorm. I never really got into using DeepLeap (I still haven’t deleted my deepleap.xml file), but the idea of centralized user data (links, calendars, email, etc) available in XML is very appealing. I only have experience coding in a Unix environment, so it’d be cool to be able to write my own little scripts that could access the same data that apps I would run on my PC would be using.

For example, right now I have a chain of network drive mappings so I can pull the datebook.dat backup file from my Palm Pilot directory and parse through it manually on my linux server to pull out my appointments and display them on my start page. If my calendar was available through an XML file, it would be easy to write my own custom script to access the data and display it anyway I want.

Unfortunately, it appears that to be able to access the data using Microsoft’s Passport validation system, you’ll have to pay a developer’s fee. Bummer.

I’m really pretty clueless about how the whole thing will work anyway. I can barely get my mind around XML and the concept of storing data separate from its presentation, let alone understanding how SOAP works or even what it is. I’ve been able to syndicate my blog in XML-RSS only because it’s a definite structure that I could follow like a cook book.
I tried downloading Radio, to test out its outliner tool, but I can’t make heads or tails of how it works or what the software is supposed to be used for.

Have I hit the ceiling of what I’ll be able to learn about coding and web development? Of course, six years ago when I was learning basic HTML, I had no clue that someday I’d be coding in PERL and PHP and SQL (let alone running my own server), so maybe this old dog can still learn a few tricks.