Blabberings on technology, the web, mobile world, India, books, events, communities and everything else (Chautauqua: An old-time series of popular talks intended to edify and entertain, improve the mind and bring culture and enlightenment to the ears and thoughts of the participants)

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Saturday, August 20, 2005

some interesting posts

Over the last week or so a couple of interesting posts appeared that I think present an interesting picture when juxtaposed against each other.

A very interesting post by Jim Moore lays out why web superservices will transform the landscape. He writes:

"Traditional web services were tightly typed and constrained by the typology within which they were developed. Traditional web services are of necessity sponsored by large corporation because only a powerful economic entity can fund the design of a grand service typology, enforce a complex implementation of typing, and establish the training and tools and conferences and other institutions needed to establish a community of developers willing to work together under a particular framework. This is why there is really no competition in web services to the two corporate enties, Java, supported by Sun, and .net from Microsoft.

The new world of web superservices has no such limitations. Web superservices are by design only minimally or loosely typed, in order to promote the freedom of developers to imagine what they will. This is the big idea. The less typing the better. The less change in the basic standards--for example, URLs and RSS--the better. Loose typing promotes community participation.For those who are "Snow Crash" fans, the new world of superservices is more akin to the Metaverse, Stephenson's imagined digital city that has no boundaries, and allows every hacker to build whatever house or building he or she desires. The city expands without limit as new structures are built on open ground at its edges, and the edges move out to encompass more territory."

Now, put this in perspective with this post by Phil Windley presenting excerpts from Nick Gall's keynote at OSCON. Phil Windley reports the following from Nick Gall:

"Internetworked architectures should be interoperable, composable, extensible, generic, federated, and simple. Achieving these characteristics in an architecture requires that you create three standards:

Identifier (address, reference, name)
Format (document, message, packet)
Protocol (interaction, behavior, request/reply)

Email, Web, and containerized shipping have all of these in their own form. The hourglass in containerized shipping is takes multiple goods (grain, chairs, umbrellas) and stuffs them all into standard intermodal container (the spanning layer in Clark's terms) and then these get put on any kind of transport (ship, rail, truck).

Web 1.0 made a three compromises. It was read-only, one-way links, and macroformated (page-level granularity). Gall says that search engines are an example of something that's been layered onto Web 1.0 to deal, in part, with one of these compromises (back-links). Web 2.0 fixes these three compromises.

There will be unintended consequences of architectures in internetworked architectures. These can result in serendipity (like mash-ups, RSS, and podcasting) as well as perverse effects (like viruses, spam, and phishing). "

Those are views of the same thing from two different points. Both lay out how things will evolve in an increasingly networked and yet easy-to-change world, where everyone will be able to change and create and link. In such a world, I wonder, how will a user recieve information he/she wants? Any ideas on what users want and how "web superservices" will help them get what they want?


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