A disturbance in the force

I was pleased to discover that a BYTE.com article I wrote some time ago was helpful to Mark Woods earlier this week. He writes:

Thank you Jon Udell! I am not XML-Schema smart, but I figured it shouldn't be too hard to define a WSDL definition for a service returning an array of strings. I was wrong. I have been beating my head against the wall all day on this one. I kept getting stuck with WSDL-generated C# code that defined a class containing an array of strings, but that is not what I am returning. A desperate Google search revealed that Jon struggled with, and solved, this same problem. [ On the Mark]

You're very welcome, Mark. As it turns out, you were one of the last people to benefit from the weekly columns I wrote on BYTE.com for about three years. Imagine my surprise when I clicked on your solved link and landed in a registration screen. The homepage explains:

Dear BYTE.com reader,
Since BYTE.com opened its doors in 1998, the site has been freely available to all comers, with the goal that banner advertising would foot the bill. But in fact, as with a lot of sites, advertising has never carried its weight. Consequently, we're faced with two choices -- finding alternative ways of funding BYTE.com or (gulp!) shutting it down.

I sense a great disturbance in the force. Thousands of links cried out, and then were gone.

I'd like to point out a couple of things. First, BYTE.com opened its doors in 1995, not 1998, as was chronicled in the first installment of a monthly column I wrote until the magazine's demise. It began:

One day this spring, an HTTP request popped out the back of my old Swan 386/25, rattled through our LAN, jumped across an X.25 link to BIX, negotiated its way through three major carriers and a dozen hosts, and made a final hop over a PPP link to its rendezvous with BYTE's newborn Web server, an Alpha AXP 150 located just 2 feet from the Swan.

Thankfully those columns, and the entire five-year magazine archive I placed online, remain accessible. I implore CMP to consider doing the same for the post-1998 BYTE.com material. Charge for new stuff, but preserve the legacy. Hosting a few thousand static HTML files isn't expensive, but I'll be glad to pay you something to not disrupt my namespace.

Former URL: http://weblog.infoworld.com/udell/2002/11/27.html#a517