March 26, 2008

Hat-tip Dennis Howlett Newsgator seem to be taking Yasn-as-platform into the enterprise.

He's also blogging about Wetpaint wiki + social publishing.

March 21, 2008

Read Joel on IE8, standards and the mother of all flame-wars.

He thinks it will "break the web".

Update : he's wrong (sort of) about Postel. The point is that Postel wasn't trying to make a reference implementation. There's be nothing to stop the W3 making a reference implementation of the spec. and just telling M$ etc. to conform or be non-standard. That's not Postel's job though. His law is designed to get a flawed communication system off the ground, not to ensure standards. (As Spolsky kind of admits)

March 15, 2008

Umair :

The real point is: Friendfeed is a next-gen, open version of Facebook's social feed.


This is a great test of the difference between my position and Umair's. I admire Umair's thinking a lot. And I've been forced to agree that Facebook's "DNA" is evil in many of the ways that he says.

Nevertheless, I still believe that a private or reliably discreet feed is a valuable service. And one which, by definition, only a closed YASN can supply. I can't imagine BabyRota-like services appearing via FriendFeed. Of course, I haven't seen BabyRota-like services on Facebook yet. But I still believe that they're more likely there than on public feeds.

Umair is right when he thinks about markets (where openness and transparency is a virtue) but, I believe, misses that not all "networks" are markets. I can see FriendFeed being interesting. (My feed) . But is no substitute for what a (potential) Facebook feed could be. ;

March 13, 2008

He he!

I am so not with the zeitgeist ... :-)

Yahoo goes SemWeb.

OK ... show me.

Maybe in 6 months I'll have to eat my words, come back and tell me then if this has reinvented the web or anything ...
Will IE break the web?
RWW a bit breathless over YouTube platform. What do you think?
Umair continues to inspire.

March 12, 2008

Twine apparently "disappoints".

Frankly, I'll be impressed if it does anything useful at all. (That couldn't be done just as well by the SynWeb). The SemWeb is such a dumb idea in the first place, it's kind of sad to see so many smart people pour so much into it. And kind of hilarious that allegedly clever journalist act all surprised : "hey! but it was so hyped! what a shock to find it's useless"

March 10, 2008

Microsoft buying Logitech sounds pretty unlikely on the face of it.

M$ are not a hardware company (if they can help it). And it's not clear what Logitech might offer (although speculating wildly, something tabletty?) Nevertheless these kinds of peripheral companies are going to be worth watching. They're going to get more interesting as the PC blows up into the device swarm. Some of them probably have some innovative devices which will become platforms in their own right.

Semi-related, I notice Gosling is pushing the Blu-ray connection with JavaFX.

"I think that a lot of the software development community--which I find really, really frustrating--is fixated on Web apps. They write their stuff on the server, it generates HTML, and there is this really big piece of the community that thinks that that is the universe," Gosling said.

"There's a lot more to it," he said. "Blu-ray is a pretty interesting corner of it."
Thinking more about Microsoft's recent announcements and the fact they seem to be back playing "own-the-infrastructure" again, perhaps we should pay more attention to Cringley's theory of the Yahoo bid.

Could they be this Machiavellian? Is it all about simply disrupting Yahoo as a rival while syphoning off talent and ideas? All the while, the real game is against Adobe to own the Rich Interface Application protocols? Eventually, of course, leading to the evolution of Office into the main client for cloud-based applications? (Routing round the browser and Google etc.)

Of course it can't work. I mean, Microsoft have been failing to get their act together to do this for the last 12 years or so. But M$ are now under new, allegedly smarter, management. They may finally be figuring this out. A Microsoft who get sociality, YASN-as-platforms, clouds, services etc. and who are quick and agile enough to bring their massive developer and user bases to it, are going to be formidable.

Platform-wars-wise things are getting very crazily interesting.

March 09, 2008

Simon Wardley recently linked this document about standards and a possible attempt by Microsoft to create a new internet-wide document standard. Think Office as the client to a proprietory M$ web.

Interesting that they might still be trying to play this game. Does it become easier if everyone assumes they've given up?

March 08, 2008

Steve Gillmor on Ray Ozzie :


The most important lesson Ray has learned is that we no longer are bound to applications in the monolithic evolution that produced Office. In this new Internet operating system, applications become modules or services that can be loosely coupled together under user control on demand, as needed.


In other words a "pull-platform" for widgets. See this evolving in the direction of "Yasn-as-platform" (where the platform is fundamentally social), and "device-swarm" where the computer explodes into a swarm of networked devices.

March 05, 2008

Nice try, Microsoft. Seems like Ozzie pushing things forward.

We'll find out if they can really do it.

IE8 support for standards is good news. Compare IE4 ... M$ always support standards when they know they're the underdog. But still not clear what having a browser buys them. And developer support in finding bugs is very nice. (Will help a lot in day-job)

Clearly they "get it" WRT what I was saying here. Flash vs. Silverlight vs. JavaFX (and Android somewhere) is the battleground that counts, both for rich widgets-in-YASNS and for the device-swarm. M$ are pushing Silverlight. Not sure I like the emphasis on advertising, but I see where it comes from. As always, Microsoft's secret weapon is their development tools and community. Visual Studio is ready for Silverlight.

Actually, we shouldn't be surprised by this. "Rich Internet Applications" or this kind of media player / virtual machine is a "sustaining innovation" ... it follows the logic that traditional proprietory software companies like Adobe and Microsoft and Apple are used to : building sophisticated code-bases, having total control over the user's experience, working with your own protocols, supporting it with good tools etc. This is not a game of insinuating yourself into and taking advantage of a massive community defined by open standards. Google would be hopeless here. But M$ will be good.

Of course, it's Apple and the iPod ecology which has persuaded everyone that this is still the game. But interestingly they aren't playing here ... unless QuickTime is due for a revamp. Not sure what's under the bonnet of iPhone etc. but perhaps Apple no longer want to be associated with "platforms" ... perhaps the idea is too geeky for their end-user focus. So Apple could use Silverlight (but rejecting Flash? Interesting, do they see Adobe as more of a rival in "cool-space" than Microsoft?)

In short ... Microsoft are a softare tech. company. This is all about software tech. So they do it well. But that may not guarantee success if Apple's consumer focus trumps. JavaFX is gonna be dead if someone somewhere doesn't come out with some tools to help work with it - which seems less than likely. Even Adobe can't afford to rest on their laurels. They're now head-to-head against M$ in the game that M$ is best at.
Two views on standards :

Institutional view

An "organic" view. What we think we know about network externalities etc.

March 03, 2008

Twitter plug-in for Firefox. The coral reef keeps growing.