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Books & Articles I wrote.

Monday, July 18, 2005


Release 2.0

Release 2.0 is for me a combination of two factors.

1. We are into Internet 2.0. For many years I said that we were previously in the research stage of the web and i believe this lasted even up to 1994. I think it relatively recent that the web is starting to make things simple, although there is the tendency to try and make things difficult again. The success of Google (which was a fairly obvious choice for being simple) and Flickr (more complex, yet simple) highlights this. In addition, I thing services are going to have to start VERY simple to get a reasaonable number of users on board before they start adding the additional services that tend to make things more complicated. Internet 1.0 started off simple, but by 1999 is was heading towards everything being complex and the user being less and less in control of what was going on. We can't afford to let this happen again in this second stage of the web.

2. I feel ready to release a version 2.0 of myself. I also started off fairly simple (some argue this hasn't changed), but things got gradaually more and more complicated over the year until the technology I was creating assumed far too much about my customers. As an example I created a service syndication system that assumed people wanted to buy professional services across the web. I still think they do, but they first need to get to a point where they have some very basic trust! I could go on, but hopefully my work over the next 6 months and beyond will start to highlight some of the problems I have encountered. I patched myself up too many times. This is the new release and it promises to do what the customer wants and not what the technology can do!

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Release 2.0 Projects

Release 2.0 starts from August 2005 and will see me look at future ventures and projects in a completely different manner. Over the last 2 years I have moved more and more to simplicity - i feel this is important for two reasons:

1. As a small entrepreneur it is much easier to get to the "end" of the release of a product by making it small. This way you can find out much quicker whether there are things that can be done with your product and whether it will actuallty work.

2. Users actually want simple things. If it's simple they know exactly where to go when they want to do something. They also know what to expect. It is my firm belief that the next few years will see users hop between simple connected sites far more than the traditional portal experience that we are all used to. "Headlines" will be syndicated by technologies such as RSS which will help with the connectedness, but ultimately many end-point sites will provide the imlementation and make reasonable levels of revenue and be "closer" to the customer in the features they provide.

In view of this here are the ventures I am currently working on:

" taghop.org allows you to relate tags and categories on the web to
enable you and those who follow you to easily hop the web according to you! "

" Add your latest links and thoughts; read, rate & comment on others. Choose your friends, know what they are seeing - let them know what you find cool. Join communties with similar interests. Collaborate. "

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Internet 1.0

Internet 1.0.

Release 1.0 of the web.


To late for this release:

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Release 1.0 Projects

Between 1992 and July 2005 i had several attempts at creating start-ups with various levels of success. I call this period Release 1.0 - a time when i spent most of my time being educated about a better way of executing the potential of the web.

Here are some of the start-up projects I founded:

2004/2005 - TESARAC
TESARAC is to some extent an ongoing project. There is one major enterprise using this technology (as a free beta test) that brings weblog facilities into the Enterprise. I did learn a LOT from this project however in both technology and the business of technology. I now feel i understand the Internet in a new way and the next 6 months will be an attempt at making something of this understanding.

2000/2003 - VentureTogether
I took significant time away from work to create what I hoped to be a big step into the social networking and service arena. The software platform was developed to a stage where I would say it was more advanced than any platform available at that time. It was very difficult however to get investment in the UK for such technologies and hence i started to think differently about how I could create the "next big thing".

2000/2002 - SightKeys
This was one that got away. It is still fundamentally a good idea, but investors see too many ways for others to write the same technology that taking it to the next level is difficult just now. I can't go into detail just now in case it moves on at some point, but if you remember RealNames and know about Google AdWords, then we're somewhere along those lines, but adding siginicant value.

1999/2000 - VentureTogether.org
This was an experiment more than anything that attempted to bring together experience business people with inexperienced entrepreneurs (like myself) and allow ideas to be challenged and feedback to be sent. It was my first step into communities and social networking.

Towards where the point where investment would have been sought, the "boom" collapsed and ultimately there was little interest at that time.

1997/1999 - Enterprise Information Portal
At the tail end of my degree I created an Enterprise Information Portal based mainly on emerging Xml and Xsl technologies. I have the source code to this day, but ultimately my lack of business experience showed in me failing to clinch a deal for capital. We did have the opportunity of £100,000 of investment, but found that many of the people we were to be working with took huge advantage of us and personal conflict was inevitable.

1992/1996 : Soliton Computing
Creating a virtual web presence for businesses online. This was great for working my way through university, but ultimately there became far too many companies in this space and it was of little interest to me.

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My Social Networks

I am currently a member of too many social networks to remember from Zero Degrees and Linked-In to Ecademy and Orkut.

However, the two I use most are below. Click the link and view my connections.

Zero Degrees
Linked In

Please connect with me if we can help each other out!

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Online Resume

I am an Xml and .Net consultant with over 11 years experience working with Internet technologies. I have experience with most Web Services and Xml technologies from Xslt to the Xml Schema Language, RDF and Xml Topic Maps. I have been heavily working with Xml, Xslt and schemas in Xml in commercial projects since 1998.

I am also a Microsoft architect, with many years experience in working with DNA and .Net including C#, VB.Net, SQL Server (including TSql) and a number of other Microsoft products. I also work closely with Microsoft and I am also a member of XmlInsiders, a group of industry experts invited and sponsored by the Microsoft Xml Team.

I am author of “Beginning C# XML”, “Beginning VB.Net Xml”, “Application Development with MSXML 4.0”, “Professional Xml” and “Professional Xml 2nd Edition” which have sold over 100,000 copies in several languages. I am also author of many more books and articles on Xml, Web Services, DNA and .Net. I continue to be involved in reviewing and editing established technical titles, although I have taken a step back from writing such titles. I have worked for IBM Global Services in Canada, Scottish Enterprise, Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest creating and innovating in web environments.

I have worked for companies such as Scottish Office, IBM, Scottish Enterprise, Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest as well as a number of smaller businesses in consultancy positions.
My personal web site is at
http://www.stevenR2.com/ and contains more information about my work as well as pointers to Urls. I am also father of a 2 year old son, Xavier.

Technical Skills & Knowledge
I have extensive commercial knowledge of the Microsoft Development platform, including:
  • all versions of Visual Studio (including 2005 beta)
  • .Net development framework and languages (C#, VB.Net, ADO)
  • DNA Enterprise Architecture and Development
  • UML and practial project lifecycle experience
  • Web Services, SOAP and Xml technologies (e.g. XSLT, Xml Schema, RSS, OPML and so on)
  • all Microsoft Operating Systems
  • many Unix flavours as well as some Linux knowledge
  • SQL server databases, Ingres, Oracle, Access
  • Client Scripting with JavaScript, VB Script
I have exposure to range of additional technologies and skills. If such a skill is not listed, please ask and I will advise of my experience.

Business Experience Overview

With Scottish Enterprise and IBM Global Services, I was responsible for leading small teams (as part of much larger teams) and full lifecycle project development, from interfacing with the business to capture requirements to development, testing and production. I was also involved in evaluation, recommendation and purchasing decisions of key products, including Search Engines, CMS Systems and Portal Systems. With both positions I had to maintain relationships with a number of key consultancies and product providers.

As a consultant I have also been heavily involved in full lifecycle project development through to project maintenance and enhancements. This has also given me experience of full responsibility of projects as well as creating working relationships with a number of partners (e.g. marketing).
Additionally over the last 12 months I have created a community framework, working with individuals from around the globe to form “virtual teams” as well as networking at a high level with a number of companies across the globe.

Writing & Publications
Details of the books and articles i have had published can be found here.

July 02 – Ongoing NTAL Glasgow, Scotland
Entrepreneur & Consultant
During this time I have combined the creation of a new community portal framework development with external consultancy and development.

Specifically I decided to concentrate full time on continuing the development of a .Net community portal framework I had been working on. Now in beta testing, this framework allows live interaction, searching and more between registered users providing products and services to the community. It was build using both VB.Net and C#, runs off an SQL Server 2000 database and stores much of the data in Xml format using a number of Xml technologies (such as Xslt). It also offers syndication features using RSS as well as an increasing number of web service enhancements to enable direct integration.

During this time I have also been involved as a consultant on a number of .Net projects. Specifically, I:-

Completed the writing of
http://www.venturetogether.org using ASP.Net, C#, Xml and ADO.Net. It also supports a number of languages and provides Web Services interfaces. SightKeys at http://www.sightkeys.com was developed using ASP.Net, C#, SQL Server and Xml. Additionally ADO.Net was used to interface with SQL Server 2000. Developing a .Net based system for a Scottish recruitment agency. Completed the development of the site at http://www.bidecom.com to use ASP.Net and C# architecture, a reverse auction business with which I maintain a relationship. Developed a unique personalization system based on .Net architecture. Developed a web site for a client at http://www.team-scotland.co.uk which is an ongoing development. This was ported from Perl to ASP.Net. Completion of a .Net recruitment portal.

Jul 03 – Oct 03 Scottish Executive Glasgow, Scotland
.Net Developer and Architect
Edina software contracted me as a developer and architect on a project being worked on for the Scottish Executive, gathering statistical data from all the schools in Scotland and providing a simple means for uploading, cleaning and analysing a very large volume of data.

The system used an ASP.Net front end providing full uploading, data view and manipulation capabilities supporting Xml files of over 100MB. The backend was a SQL Server 2000 database engine and SQLXML was used to bulk upload Xml data using annotated mapping schema. ADO.Net Types datasets provided the data view with t-sql stored procedures and the Microsoft application blocks being a primary method of data retrieval.

My specific duties where as follows:-

The creation and development of Annotated Xml Mapping Schemas and Xml Bulk Upload using both the unmanaged (COM) version via Interop as well as the managed (.Net classes). Full development of the ASP.Net front end using C#, involving file uploading, data wizards, data viewing, data management with C#, DHTML and HTML. Transactional Business and Data layer development using C#. Data grids to support display and manipulation of the information and multi-tier ADO.Net used to access the SQL Server backend and retrieve the data. The data was managed using types datasets. Windows Service development to provide real-time Xml Schema file validation. Xml Schema and Xslt development to provide transform and validation of 3rd party Xml files for inclusion within the system.
The parting email from my project manager read (reference available on request):

“It's been a real pleasure working with you.
It's not too often that you get someone with tremendous technical
ability who also has the vision to understand the whole development
picture, and the ability to relate well with customers.
If you ever need a reference, I'd be more than happy to supply one.”

Jan02 – July02 Scottish Enterprise Glasgow, Scotland
IT Architect
Scottish Enterprise is a government agency and working on a portal to provide the country with a single accessible area to access information online. The budget is tens of millions of pounds and involving over 300 people in the project.

Created a meta-data directory and rendering framework to contain details on content that internal and external staff wished to publish and have personalized towards internal and external users. The directory was Xml based and the rendering used Xslt to transform and present the content. The Xml was retrieved from a SQL Server 2000 database using SQLXML 3.0 and the SQL .Net managed classes as the data format.

Also acted as systems architect and development lead of technical operations, including gathering requirements, writing up requirements, creating functional specifications and following project through full lifecycle. As an example, I was involved in requirements gathering, systems design and some development work with Exchange 2000 and Instant Messaging.

Nov01 – Jan02 Writing Chile, South America
Wrote “Application development with MSXML 4.0”.

Feb01 – Nov01 IBM Global Services Winnipeg, Canada
IT Architect

Working as the primary Microsoft and Xml consultant in the Winnipeg area within IBM Canada. Longer term focus of implementation of Microsoft web technologies with IBM technologies, such as WebSphere etc…

Was involved in creating an presentation architecture, using Xml and Xslt for the governments “Better Systems Initiative”, a multi-million dollar initiative to put the city on the Internet – had global coverage at its launch as one of the worlds most unique Internet to business process integration. Involved dealing with processes such as company registration, business start up and other processes. I specifically create the overall technical architecture specification and processes document involving best practices, preferences and technology introduction. Was involved at a high level in one of IBM’s top portal development frameworks using in businesses such as the DOW Jones and large global financial institutions.

Also presented an executive level Microsoft .NET technical and business presentation, to help IBM Canada advance their corporate strategy.

Other work involved creating business proposals and financial and resource estimates for projects over $100,000.

Mar 99 – Jan01 Scottish Enterprise Glasgow, Scotland

Developer for various projects. Initial work was based on web based transactional applications with Visual Basic 6, XML, Xslt, Site Server, DHTML, SQL Server and most Microsoft web technologies etc…responsible for the adoption of Xml technologies.

Over the last year I have been heavily involved in a very large government business portal. Here I have taken an overall project position, involving product evaluations and recommendation, integration and basic management of sourced components of the portal. Beyond this, I have been working on security and infrastructure decisions as well as development using technologies such as XML, Visual Basic and other MS technologies.

I have been involved in working with some major consulting and product companies, such as Cedalion (a top XML solution provider company in Europe), MCS, Sequoia, Semio, Escaliber and Verity to name but a few. These are all major players in the corporate enterprise markets.

I was a developer and architectural lead in a team of around 15 developers between the company I was contracting in (Scottish Enterprise) and the consultancy company. I was the technical lead for SE, while also being very much involved in feeding in business concerns to the development processes. I have worked in very much a leadership position in the project. Furthermore, technical documentation and specifications has also been within my remit.

Mar 98 – Mar 99 Royal Bank of Scotland Edinburgh, Scotland
Microsoft Technologies Developer in large WAN based online training project for one of the worlds largest banks. Using Windows Media technologies programmed to work though Web Browsers to allow satellite based live training with full question and answer sessions via the browser and Voice over IP.

Project was based on MS technologies such as Visual Basic, Windows Media (Netmeeting), XML, ASP etc… Involved all areas of the development lifecycle through to live production and consulting with MCS UK.

Aug 97 – Mar 98 NatWest Birmingham, England
IntranetCreated and evolved the NatWest Mortgage Services intranet and was involved in steering committees for entire NatWest group intranet and internet developments. This involved evaluating and developing with the latest web technologies as well as leading and training others in these technologies.

This involved promoting technologies such as ActiveX, IIS, ASP etc… and creating many applets to promote the Intranet, such as a communications directory.

Sept 92 – Aug 97 Soliton Computing Glasgow, ScotlandConsultant Web TechnologiesWorked with small businesses throughout Glasgow to advise on web technologies and development, utilising CGI, Perl, HTML and early web technologies (and yes, even some Java!). Had a portfolio of 50 small businesses by 1995.

Jun 94 – Sept 94 European Commission Milan, Italy

Client Development
Contract project to develop an application to measure and project solar cell efficiency based on a combined software/hardware project using Visual Basic and Office.
EducationSept 96 – Jun 97 Stathclyde University Glasgow, ScotlandDiploma in Information Technology SystemsWorked on various areas of computing science, from C programming to project analysis and design.

Sept 92 – Sept 96 Strathclyde University Glasgow, Scotland

BSc Honours in Applied Physics
Degree was based on combined Physics, Computing and Italian subjects.

I speak some Italian and I am learning Spanish and speak a little French. I also enjoy travel, am married and have a 2 year old son.

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Books & Articles I wrote from 1998 to 2003

Jan 2003 - End to End Web Services with UDDI 2.0 and XML Web Services
ASP today
“…this is one of the best articles I’ve read for ASPToday, and quite possible the best explanation for UDDI and .NET integration I’ve seen yet. I’m not too deep into the UDDI yet, but I’ll be starting tomorrow, you can bet – this article would get anyone on the right track. Excellent. There really aren’t enough of these articles – should be more.”
Brady Gaster -

Content Management Systems with Xml, Rss and .Net
ASP Pro Magazine

Review of "Programming GDI+"

Beginning VB.NET XML:Essential XML Skills for VB.NET Programmers
Wrox Press

"A Superb Introduction to These Great Technologies I am very impressed with this book....I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who is taking their first steps in using XML with VB.NET and wants to take their skills to the intermediate level."

Mike Poole – Director, 2F3 Internet

Beginning C# XML:Essential XML Skills for C# Programmers
Wrox Press

"If you C# programmer and you don't know anything about XML then this is your first and almost what all you need about XML, The book is great as all wrox's C# books"
Michael Saad – Egypt, CA

"MSXML Schema and .NET Schema - A practical comparison of working with the XML Schema in MSXML 4.0 and C#.NET"
ASP Today

"Overview of MSXML 4.0"

"MSXML DOM and .NET DOM - A practical comparison of working with the DOM in MSXML 4.0 and C#.NET"
ASP Today

"XML Application Development with MSXML 4.0"
Wrox Press

"MSXML4 is the fastest XML parser in the world and this book gives you needed details to take advantage of it. Some of these chapters are a gold mine. "
Mark Bosley, Amazon.com

"The book is very readable; I read half the book in one sitting and found that the flow from one topic to the next was very natural."
Daniel Bodart, Amazon.com

Contributer to Beginning XML 2nd Edition
Wrox Press

Web Services and the Future of Web Services with .NET
ASP Today

Professional XML Second Edition
Wrox Press

"This is the ONLY book you will need to learn XML effectively on your own."

"This book includes just about everything a programmer would need to get started with XML, and to start developing XML-enabled applications. There's the obligatory introduction to XML, covering all of the basics such as DTDs and namespaces so you'll understand what XML is all about. The introductions are clear and concise, so if you already know about XML you don't need to feel the pages have been wasted."
Michael Mason, XMLScript.org

Professional Commerce Server 2000
Wrox Press

Professional XML Databases
Wrox Press

XML and Java
Prentice Hall

Beginners XML
Wrox Press

Wrox Press

Professional XML
Wrox Press

Remote Scripting
ActiveWeb Magazine


Pro Site Server Commerce
Wrox Press

Pro Site Server
Wrox Press

"It is: * highly readable; * well-organized; * includes topics that are missing in the Site Server Documentation; * Suffiently thorough on topics like security - discusses concepts and their proper implementation in a Site Server Environment."
Marshall Ruskin Winnipeg, Canada.

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A bit about me

my picture

My full name is Steven Livingstone-Perez. I am 31, from Scotland (currently living in Glasgow), I am married and have a 2 and 1/2 year old son, Xavier. My core interests are:

I went to Strathclyde University in Glasgow, Scotland where i read Physics, obtaining a BSc honours degree in Physics. As most physicists want to improve the world in all areas except Physics itself, I had used and programmed on the web for several years before i graduated which led me to complete a Postgraduate diploma on Information Technology Systems - cut short from the MSc as I got offered a job by NatWest Bank which later turned out to be a great decision!

I was on the first Intranet and Internet Steering Commitees at NatWest group which had over 50,000 employees. I also started the NatWest Mortgages Intranet Site and my first app was an online telephone directory. I have moved around Royal Bank of Scotland, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Executive and IBM Global Services in Winnipeg, Canada. IBM was a very enjoyable company to be part of and i was sorry it was cut short when I moved with my wife back to Chile.

I wrote a bunch of books with Wrox Press who later got purchased by A-Press and Wiley. I enjoyed writing, but got zero time to run my own ideas so i stopped writing in 2003 - it was a hard decision as i enjoyed it and the money was fairly steady. But I want to start my own business.

I was invited my Microsoft to be part of their .Net advisory commitee which was cool. I was also invited to some other groups and have been on their Alpha and Beta programmes.

In my personal life, I have been married to Loreto for 3 years and we met on MSN (very true). I flew to Canada to meet her and ended up staying. We moved to Chile and now back to Scotland, althoug our final destination will likely somewhere else.

Loreto is Chilean and speaks both Spanish and English fluently. We have a son Xavier Esteban who is two years and some months old. I live out of Glasgow, Scotland, although we have a "second home" near Vina Del Mar in Chile.

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My taghop.org Web

Go to My taghop.org Web

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evdb events

Go to evdb events

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delicious links

Go to delicious links

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Flickr Photos

Go to Flickr Photos

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taghop linkblogs

Go to taghop linkblogs

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Release 2.0_Setup.exe

Name : Release 2.0.
Author : Steven Livingstone.

Starting ....

Archiving Release 1.0 ...... success.

Building ......... success.

Compiling ...... success.
Deploying ...... success.

Release Successful.

You may now start using Release 2.0!

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