AWS Official Blog

My First Post and thoughts about standards-based world

by Jeff Barr | on | in Developer Tools | | Comments

Hiya, I am Jinesh Varia!

This is my first blog post on the AWS blog. Its so cool to be an evangelist, travel around, talk about what cool things people are building and most importantly talk about what cool things YOU can build.

Nowadays, Anything and everything that has a high “coolness-factor” gets immediate attention from the crowd. This is indeed leveling the playing field. With services like Amazon S3 and Amazon EC2, I believe there will be no difference between the student in the dorm room and the executive in the board room. The one with the best idea or coolest idea will win the game. And the one who gets there fast will be rich 😉

I hail from the standards world of IT. Prior to joining Amazon.com, I was involved in evangelising XBRL (Extensible Business Reporting Language) to FFIEC. We managed to evangelize/design/implement this standards-based technology to the Federal Government banking agencies and now over 8600 banks are reporting to FDIC/OCC/FRB every quarter in XBRL format.

Like SOAP, WSSE and other standards, XBRL is not easy. There is significant learning curve to understand the concept of taxonomies, linkbases, xbrl concepts, tuples, arcs and extended links. Normalizing Semantic Data, creating business rules using XPath and XLinks can be nerve-cracking easily.

But now, after working through various web based standards, I am feeling standards are always going complex for majority of people and they are meant to be. The elaborate and makes-me-sleepy-when-I-read nature of standards totally makes sense as it helps two entities “talk” in the same language.

So what will make these complex standards more easy-to-use and easy-to-implement? Code Samples / Starter Kits / SDKs / Software tools / Helper classes / libraries are going make the standards more “readable”, more implementable. Not many people have to know or worry about what is Unique Particle Attribution Error in XSD schema specification or Exclusive canonicalization of XML transforms in WSSE Header specification. Let those who make the starter kits go through the pain and worry about that. Concentrating on your idea, using starter kits and not worrying about the muck,  will get you where-you-want-to-be faster! and remember one who gets there fast becomes rich 😉

I will be down in Los Altos, CA at siliconvalley code camp this weekend. If you are around, please ping me and I would be more than happy to hear your comments/suggestions/criticism.

— Jin