Free Software and the New Sexism

A lot has been said and written about sexism in the Free Software movement over the years, from creepy behavior towards women attending community meetings, to overly sexualized language among software development teams, to infantilizing behavior towards female contributors of projects. What probably hasn’t been talked about as much is the recent emergence of a new type of sexism, taking the form of ostracizing feminist viewpoints based on misguided attempts at inclusivity.

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Printing HTML from Android via ZPL

My main professional activity is developing an Android app nowadays (and before that it was developing iOS apps) but that’s not a very exciting topic as you can find gazillions of guides on it on the web and most of the time it’s just… normal programming.

But every now and then I have to develop something rather obscure, like a server application based on the outdated SOAP protocol (in this year of 2020), or in this case, printing warehouse/product/shipping barcode labels from an Android app.

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Making a SOAP server from WSDL files

So you’ve been tasked with writing a server implementing some dinosaur communication protocol that uses SOAP instead of defining a REST API. Maybe something like MSV3, the German standard for the pharma industry that allows pharmacies to send digital orders to their suppliers. Let’s say there’s a working reference implementation, but it uses an ancient version of Java and you’re really not sure if trying to bend the reference implementation to your will is the best way forward. We’re talking about a standardized protocol, so how hard can it be to write your own compliant server? Besides, you really want to learn how to implement a SOAP application server from scratch…

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