From: Adam Rifkin -4K (adam@XeNT.ics.uci.edu)
Date: Sat May 20 2000 - 16:31:45 PDT
The inimitable Elwood wrote:
> From email@example.com Sat May 20 12:15:48 2000
> From: Lloyd Wood <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> To: FoRKemail@example.com
> Subject: Death of FoRK, film at 11.
> Well, _this_ is certainly a novel way to attempt to join FoRK.
You have a problem with Dave Winer joining FoRK?
> Adam, please remove my name from the FoRK faq entirely. (I am not at
> present a FoRKmember.)
> Rohit, please delete all my posts from the FoRK
> archive and archived noarchive.
No can do. Can't mess with the bits, that's like messing with peoples'
memories. Believe me there's posts I'd like to take back too.
> (Thanks for listening!)
> is quite pleased to be unsubscribed from FoRK.
You're not leaving again, are you? Geez, you've left this list more
times than Tim Byars...
Anyone long for the days when JoeBar and Byars used to do their own
version of WWF Smackdown here on FoRK? Ah, nostalgia ain't what it used
And yes, I enjoyed Dave's May 20 Scripting.com Rant, so sue me.
I do wonder where "Rohit's Pleasure Button" is, though. :)
| Point of view
| Two interesting shifts in viewpoint, as a result of this trip. First,
| think of the Web as an application, or a computer, like VisiCalc, Lotus
| 1-2-3, or the Apple II. The "Semantic Web" is Tim Berners-Lee's version
| 2.0, perhaps like Symphony or the Apple III. I realized this while I was
| listening to Tim's conversation with the attendees of Developer's Day at
| lunch on Friday. As luck would have it, I got the microphone last, and
| said several things. First, I said the two biggest problems for the Web
| are patents and Microsoft's dominance of the browser category. Then I
| talked to Tim about the version 2.0 thing. I said he should be
| incredibly proud of his accomplishment, and be careful in thinking about
| the next level Web. It's got the largest installed base ever in the
| history of software. If there is to be a version 2.0, it must overcome
| this huge disadvantage. Ask Microsoft how this works, their biggest
| competition for Windows is older versions of Windows. Upgrades, esp
| massive ones like the poorly described Semantic Web, are notoriously
| difficult to pull off. Meanwhile Microsoft is doing what they do so
| well, the incremental upgrade. Slowly but surely MSIE is being
| reconceived as an application platform. I believe this is the version
| 2.0, and with better search engines, and incremental additions of XML
| content to the HTML, and Rohit's pleasure button (more traffic if you
| use the XML additions) we can get Tim what he wants. But it cannot be
| the upheaval that the Web was because of the installed base. It's hard
| to appreciate how much has been invested in HTML, dirty as it is, over
| the last ten years.
| Another shift in viewpoint. Frank Leahy of Wired gave a really
| interesting talk about the architecture of HotBot. Each HotBot request
| can result in several requests, over HTTP, using various formats, to a
| variety of infomediaries, including Inktomi. As he was describing this,
| I visualized a computer on Wired's LAN on Third Street in San Francisco,
| talking to a computer on Inktomi's LAN at their offices in the East Bay.
| (Emeryville?) I was astounded to think that a high-flow server like
| HotBot (which runs on NT) could make so many HTTP requests for each
| search and still serve 5 million or so searches a day.
| Well, as it turns out I had visualized it incorrectly. In fact the two
| computers are in the same cage at Exodus. And there's the change in
| view, a loop back (for me) to 1982, when I was an active Compuserve user
| and wanted to write software that ran on their systems. I had a BBS for
| the Apple II, written in Pascal, that I believed could compete with the
| BBS software they had running on their old DEC mainframes. But no matter
| how I phrased the question, I don't think they ever understood what I
| wanted to do. The idea of having multiple users and then connecting my
| Apple II software to that software was very interesting to me. Today
| Exodus is doing what Compuserve might have done. I believe as the net
| shakes out more and more stuff will gravitate upstream. Our challenge is
| to do that without sacrificing the power of running your own server,
| which is something we plan to explore with Pike and its descendants.
| Looping back to Frank's talk, he wanted to show us how they are working
| with vendors to have a common XML-based syntax for the services they use
| to run HotBot. I asked him if he planned to make this spec public and he
| said yes, and I said I'd like a shot at creating a Frontier-based
| interface for that, and he said of course.
| "Find a shared vision"
| Once again I fell like Forrest Gump.
| In Davos I asked Bill Gates if he could sign on to Bill Clinton's
| challenge to find a shared vision. I hoped he would say "The Web the
| Web, that's our shared vision!" but he didn't.
| I have the same wish for Tim Berners-Lee. Like Gates, he's surrounded
| with super smart people who think like he does. And like Steve Jobs,
| Mitch Kapor, Dan Bricklin, all of whom created seminal products in a
| line leading to the Web, he yearns to do it again.
| We're definitely at a crossroads. On June 1, we'll hear, in some detail,
| what Bill Gates's next vision is. Like Berners-Lee's vision it must
| include the Web, but it's more than the Web. In the "more" is presumably
| Gate's next barrier to entry. In normal times it wouldn't be as dramatic
| as now, because the verdict in the anti-trust trial dramatizes
| everything Gates does until it's overturned or implemented. Applications
| surely figure heavily in the next configuration of Windows, and so does
| the Web. Will they be Microsoft applications or will there be a
| framework for others' applications?
| To me, the only shared vision is the Web with nothing extra. A
| commitment by Microsoft to gently upgrade the Web, while competition
| catches up. We must have competition in Web browsers. This is something
| that the DOJ got right. At minimum, if Microsoft wants the respect of
| the people who create and use the Web, they must cooperate here, if they
| want to be taken in any way to be a leader, and a supporter of
| On the flip side, for the W3C, I hope they too will embrace the Web as
| it really is today, with all its warts and blemishes, for the scarred
| battlefield that it is, and let's add some features that press the
| pleasure button for the Web creators.
| And to the creators, instead of looking back, look forward. It's true
| that the Web is broken, but for a broken system it works remarkably
| well. Laugh and sing "it's even worse than it appears." Now what would
| you die for? What single feature would unlock a years worth of
| creativity for you. The more elegantly and simply you can express that,
| the more likely it will excite the people who create the technology that
| controls the Web. (And if you doubt that MS controls the Web, think again.)
| One more thing. I plan to download and start using Amaya. I saw a demo
| at WWW9 and it's nice! It's very different from any browser I've seen.
| Why didn't I download it before? Why don't we ever talk about Amaya? I
| have an idea that it could be made to work really well with Manila sites.
| Thanks to Wes Felter, a pointer to a thread on me and SOAP and patents
| and RPCs and Sun on the FoRK mail list, which I'm going to join as soon
| as I find subscription instructions. (It's early in the morning here and
| I've had no coffee, usual problem!)
| Apparently I misunderstood Sun's position as expressed by Anne Manes. In
| my defense I said I was confused. In a follow-up conversation on
| Thursday I expressed a wish that Sun would do something positive, create
| and publish a spec that it would like others to support for connecting
| web-based applications. I think that's where I'd like to leave it,
| except to say this.
| We've seen so many markets turn into battlefields, my hope is that once
| we could have a market that involved many if not all of the big names in
| technology that wasn't a bloody battle.
| One of the posters on the FoRK list asked why Sun is so important,
| that's my answer. Do computers have to be so political and bloody? I
| don't think they do, and the choice is in the hands of just a few
| BTW, FoRK stands for Friends of Rohit Khare.
Everything you know is wrong. Just forget the words and sing along. -- "Weird Al" Yankovic
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sat May 20 2000 - 16:32:08 PDT