I’ve been around software for 20 years now. Looking back, I have mixed
feelings about the progress we’ve made. The end results have been amazing
but the process of building software hasn’t fundamentally changed since the
80s. In fact, I see us make some of the same mistakes over and over again.
One of the common anti-patterns is over-relying on tools and frameworks
instead of inventing new programming models.
Layers of abstraction are fundamental to software. Some layers are defined
through programming models, e.g., machine language, assembly language, 3GLs,
JSP. Others are defined through a combination of tools and frameworks, e.g.,
MFC and Visual Studio on top of C++. There is a limit to how high we can
raise a level of abstraction through tools and frameworks alone. At some
point, a new programming model is the best way forward.
Here are some examples: CASE tools ... (more)
In the last installment of XML in Transit (XML-J, Vol. 2, issue 5), we
established a framework for Web Services usage. The key roles in the
framework are service providers, requesters, and brokers (see Figure 1).
Moreover, the basic Web Services use workflow involves five steps (see Figure
2): providers enabling access to services and registering them with brokers,
and requesters finding the right service to use from the broker service
repository, binding their applications to the service, and finally, invoking
the service directly from the provider.
We also looked at how bindin... (more)
In 1975 Niklaus Wirth, the Swiss computer scientist who created the Pascal
programming language, published a seminal book entitled Algorithms + Data
Structures = Programs. If Wirth had written about business applications,
Computing + Storage = Applications would have been a better title. Of course,
in 1975 there weren't that many business applications. Most of them ran
limited back-office functions on mainframes. PCs weren't on the map. The
killer app for PCs - the first spreadsheet - wouldn't be created until 1981.
More than a quarter of a century later, things have changed. Most... (more)
"Metcalfe's Law is Wrong," contended Bob Briscoe, Andrew Odlyzko, and
Benjamin Tilly recently in a much-discussed IEEE Spectrum article, in which
they wrote: "Of all the popular ideas of the Internet boom, one of the most
dangerously influential was Metcalfe's Law." Sim Simeonov disagrees.
The industry is at it again – trying to figure out what to make of
Metcalfe’s Law. This time it’s IEEE Spectrum with a
controversially titled “Metcalfe’s Law is Wrong”. The main
thrust of the argument is that the value of a network grows O(nlogn) as
opposed t... (more)
With all the noise the Web 2.0 revolutionaries are making, it’s easy to
ignore another – this time velvet – revolution. "E-commerce 2.0"
is coming into maturity and getting ready to relieve its now ten-plus year
old predecessor. It’s about time.
What makes an "E-Commerce 2.0" site? Well, as Supreme Court Justice
Stewart’s famous saying (about pornography) goes: “I know it when
I see it.” This may not be a satisfactory answer but it’s an
honest one. It’s too early to tell. E-Commerce 2.0 sites look better,
they are easier to us... (more)