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Permanent link to archive for Tuesday, October 09, 2001. Tuesday, October 09, 2001

BBC: Russia's threadbare forests revealed. "Only a small part of the northern forests of European Russia remain in relatively intact large sections." 

Michael Fraase: "Microsoft intends to control every aspect of digital media, from creation to consumption." 

London Times: "Bin Laden, kneeling in a cave, clad in combat fatigues, summoned Islam to arms. Bush, suited and enthroned in the White House, called his own country to fight, but just as importantly, urged moderate Muslims to support (or at least not oppose) the operation against bin Laden and his Taleban protectors." 

WSJ: "Racing a deadline imposed by state education authorities, 'American Nation' authors and editors have been scrambling for nearly four weeks to place the proper historical perspective on a terrorist assault that has enveloped the country in a still-unfolding crisis." 

Eric Soroos: JSP Proxy Responder

I've been hearing a lot in the last couple of days about Al-Jazeera, the Qatar-based TV network that covers the Moslem world the way CNN covers the US. Screen shot. On NPR they interviewed people in their audience, they sound like people who have recently discovered weblogs. "Finally I'm getting the news unfiltered by CNN," they say enthusiastically. 

Adam Curry demo'd weblogs for the Dutch Education Ministry. 

Dan Bricklin: Copy Protection Robs the Future

Scoble is having fun with his Radio 7.1 beta. 

Wired: High Court Nixes MS Appeal. "On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Microsoft's appeal that could have prevented as-yet-unspecified penalties from being levied against the software maker." 

NY Times: "The Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have ordered agents across the country to curtail their investigation of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks so they can pursue leads that might prevent a second, possibly imminent, round of attacks, senior law enforcement officials said." 

Radio UserLand: Web server port changes in 7.1

New Manila theme, designed for directory sites, patterned after SoapWare.Org. 

Chicago Tribune: "The flight attendant said 'Get him,' and, damn it, everyone went up and got him." 

Just when you least expect it! 

Java's strategy 

Reading this article on BetaNews about Sun's response to Microsoft's move to embrace Java in .NET, once again I felt the urge to evangelize.

Sun, please move Java into the path of .NET. You're ceding them the high ground. Protect your leadership position.

Sun could instantly turn Java into the installed base leader in Web Services by baking-in SOAP and XML-RPC support.

Make Microsoft climb your installed base hill. It's almost as if Sun wants Java to be subsumed into .NET.

Microsoft's strategy 

It's simple, Divide and Conquer.

For each developer community, call it Foo, create a new community, Foo.Net.

It's easy for a Foo developer to use Foo.Net.

But the transition the other way is not easy.

You'll see this happen with every open source development environment. None of them have any protection against this, either legally or in their communities. The leaders appear either not to know what to do about Microsoft, or aren't alarmed by Microsoft's strategy.

If they were alarmed, they would do what I recommend that Java do. (See above.) Protect your community, make it easy for them to participate in the Internet as a scripting environment without ceding their future to Microsoft.

As we've seen with Java, even an alert and aggressive competitor can't mount a defense without technical acumen at the top. We'll look back in a few years and play what if. What if the leaders of other development communities were paying attention when Microsoft challenged them?

If they taught software strategy in colleges, this would be covered in the first semester. It's basic stuff.

We've been here before 

In the early 90s when Apple had the high ground in GUIs, they gave the market to Microsoft.

I remember meeting with a MS exec in that period, he was grilling me for info about Apple's counter to Windows. "When is it coming!" he wanted to know, and what will it look like?

I shook my head. "It's not coming."

He thought I was bullshitting him.

I wasn't.

Today's Apple 

One more comment.

Today's Apple is doing it right.

I've heard that they're blown away by the response that's come from baking-in SOAP and XML-RPC in Mac OS 10.1. In a way I'm blown away too, but on giving it more thought, of course the Mac developers and scripters love it.

XML-RPC is the continuation of a philosophy of scriptable apps that started on the Mac.

XML-RPC has broadened that, to include the Unix developers, who love it because it is so Unixy.

Mac developers meet Unix developers.

That sparks the kind of love that Microsoft never will gather around itself. They're simply unlovable. Not to be trusted.

So Apple says "Hey this shit is interesting, let's give it a try."


Now Apple is too small to worry about trusting them. Sure they'd eat our lunch if they could, but they can't, so we don't have to worry. Their weakness is an advantage. Zig-zag. In the meantime the open source scripting leadership and the execs at Sun miss that they have a similar advantage, and don't use it. Shame.


Last update: Tuesday, October 09, 2001 at 7:47 PM Eastern.

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