Rocky Lhotka does not come off as a “geek.” Rocky reads like a professional writer with human qualities who happens to discuss technical subjects. I categorize the RSS feed for his Blog under ‘News for Humans’—right along with Miguel de Icaza. You can guess who is listed under my other category, ‘News for Geeks by Geeks’—hey, why not download the OPML file from my company web site and see the whole thang.

His article, “The Fallacy of the Data Layer,” reveals the presence of imperfect humanity in solutions we might be tempted to view as purely technical:

In short, I am suggesting that the data layer is an external entity.

Microsoft’s Pat Helland talks about services being autonomous entities that contain business behavior or logic. He also makes a point of noting that a service owns its data source. Were it true that a given service (application) had exclusive control and access to its data source I’d buy into what he says, but that is rarely the case in real organizations.

In the rasx() context, Pat is a geek and Rocky is the human being talking about “real” organizations—only one of these two are capable of biting the head off of a chicken. Rocky is reminding us that we developers, providing enterprise data solutions, need to retreat from the idea that we will have control over the data entering our applications. We always knew this from a user interface perspective (as we wrote those data validation events) but we may not know this from a data interface perspective.

We probably did not care to know because of a variety of technical limitations but we can start caring because of the presence of Web services in our lives:

Service-orientated design leads us to the idea that any software component used by more than one other software component (used by more than one “client”) should be a service. A service is a powerful unit of reuse, providing a contractual interface by which clients can interact with the service…My contention is that the traditional “data layer” is the ideal candidate to be a service.

Take it away Rocky!

news from Friday, February 25, 2005


::: Timeka Drew: where disease and lacking meet

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THE BLUES is the substance between man and woman in Love. I have already respectfully celebrated Son House and his masculine form of The Blues. But what do the women do? I am unable to answer the question. Writers like Timeka Drew provide a response.

In a world saturated with reality ruled by corporate entertainment, the loyal subjects of the one real world would definitely call Timeka Drew’s voice “dark” and “angry”—those born again and sitting in pews might add “pornographic.” I’m calling her work hard blues. She reflects on her man with harsh words—words that cut deeply. Her man comes from a violent sex world where he counts the encounters by the number of his climaxes and not hers. Only devotees of slavery believe that you can get something for nothing… Timeka Drew sues for freedom and forces her man to file for bankruptcy.

::: Rhonda Thompson: Hip Hop Poetry Jam

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RHONDA THOMPSON A.K.A. BUTTAFLY JONES assembles a talented crew of poets with the flavor of beats. Hip Hop Poetry Jam Vol 1 features Buttafly, Bridget Gray, GaKnew, Mark Gonzales, Joy Jones, Gina Loring, Jahaira and Javon with a special appearance by Tony B Conscious. The DVD features not just the performances but also the backstage interviews of the poets. This online presentation is just a small sample of the poets, only poetry and interviews by Gina Loring, GaKnew and Tony B Conscious and an interview by Jahaira.

Gina Loring, her poem about New York is featured here and really stands out with hip hop flavor mixed with remarkable literary depth. This level of letters should inspire the respect of Chuck D and a nod from Gil Scott Heron. Stay tuned at for the latest information on this thought-provoking and entertaining series.

::: the rasx() context: a Blog

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This email list is slowly shrinking. My peoples. My peoples. We lose email addresses fast: college students leave school, financially troubled artists lose the ability to pay telecom monopoly broadband prices and chocolate-colored “realists” realize that I am sending them email—and spam, spam, wonderful spam!

Fortunately, there is a solution: the Web Log (or “Blog” for those who are hip to latest web fad short of pod-casting). You should regularly visit the Blog here:

And for those of you who already have a large collection of RSS news feeds then this will mean something to you:

I have many associates who see me every few months and they always ask, “What’s going on?” From now on my stock answer will be, ‘Check out my Blog.’ My peoples, my peoples… Will this put a strain on our friendship? Is clicking on a link so damn difficult?

Check out the Blog and leave a comment! Note that comments do not appear immediately as they must be reviewed by our staff of writers to prevent—you guessed it—Blog spam! We people need to use technology to our advantage. I am helping you get in the habit. Now drop and give me twenty! Click! Click! Click…!