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Permanent link to archive for Sunday, March 04, 2001. Sunday, March 04, 2001

DaveNet: The next trend: B2R.

A fascinating story by Bruce Perens on the complexities of open sourcing a commercial product.

Lessons from Perens' story. 1. Non-disclosure agreements and cross-licensed patents severely limit options. 2. MAPI was Microsoft's invention, I don't know the history, but it would have been better if it had never happened. 3. Re SOAP, in the end will interop mean "Works with Microsoft?" Should we banish that concept or should we continue to be driven (and limited) by their vision, ship process and Windowsisms? This was a disaster for the HTML Web and is (apparently) taking a decade to unwind in email. Now we have a chance to avoid it altogether in SOAP. 4. Benjamin Franklin: "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

Mrs Petrie's class: The Wisdom of Benjamin Franklin.

I've started working on ALIDL, an acronym for A Little IDL. I'm designing it for both XML-RPC and SOAP. Writing the docs first. It's scripting-centered. It's becoming clear to me that there are at least two philosophies to net programming. The scripting approach depends on loose coupling and easy coercion between types. Further, when I return a <struct> I don't want to fully specify it. I can't generate a struct spec by parsing the handler's source code, it would have to be hand-coded. Further we generate structs with variable complexity. I doubt if you could define a schema for it, and if you could I can't imagine what use it would be. Better to just call the handler and see what it returns. It's possible (I don't know) that there's no way to browse structs in other environments. Depending on the ability to do that might be a Frontierism. Anyway, like the XML-RPC process, we'll learn about other environments. The goal is to find out if it's possible to have an IDL that works for many if not all scripting environments. I think the key to success is to keep it realllly simple.

BTW, just a few minutes after posting the above paragraph I've learned a bunch, so it already seems out of date. Consider this an OTP, or Open Thought Process. What the USPTO likes to think of as a "lab notebook". Now for today's Ole and Lena story.

Ole is taking Lena out on a date. He gets home, goes upstairs where Lena is standing in the middle of the bedroom naked. "Lena, why are you standing in the middle of the room naked?" asks Ole. "Ohh Ole, I have nothing to wear!" Ole walks over to Lena's closet and opens it. "Lena! You have nothing to wear? Here's your white dress, here's your black dress, here's Sven, here's your orange dress.."

Scoble: "Hey, a geek has to love a product that comes with a Web server built into it."

Correction --> Radio *is* a Web server.

If you want to know where Radio is going, Scoble has a great idea. He's where The Class of 2001 (yet to be formed) will be in mid-late summer.

I decided that it would be too hard to sell an outliner with a built-in Web server. People wouldn't understand, or a very small number would. So I put the Web server up front. That people understand. It's a very good Web server, high-level, it brings you news and makes it easy to write and route news, all in a browser, the perfect companion for a server.

I'm interested in techno info junkies with minds (people like Scoble). Then, later, guess what -- it's got a built in text editor. And it's a neat structured text editor. Text on rails. Think about it this way, would it be interesting if Apache had a built-in text editor? I bet you could do some neat stuff with that. Go ahead and give it a try.

Oliver Wrede: "I have no exact figure of how many Manila sites I am handling now, but they may well be 15-20."

In the future a website will be more like a document. You don't think too hard before choosing File/New. Websites are still too hard to manage. They can be simplified further.

Jim Roepcke tells me that there's no way for "little guys" like him to get WebObjects hosting. This is a bug. Jim is a relentless innovator. There's a business opportunity here. The geeks love WebObjects. If you provide them with hosting I guess you might get a few of their customers to pay the big bucks when it's time to deploy. (I have an objective of my own here, I'd like to see a publicly-accessible implementation of SOAP for WebObjects.)

Peertal is a fine source for news about P2P apps, and I had not pointed to it, but I thought I had. Many apologies for the oversight.

ICSC.Org: Apple to open retail stores. (Via AppleSurf.)

NY Times: "Transmitting intelligence instantaneously to any distance. What hath God wrought?"


Last update: Sunday, March 04, 2001 at 8:55 PM Eastern.

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