Daily Archive: December 7, 2004

If you only read one blog, make it this one …

I continue to be amazed by Dave Pollard and how he manages to provide us with such thought provoking insights into How To Save The World on a daily basis.  To give you a glimpse of his motivation look at the following snip, and then read his bio.

Five years ago, at the age of 48, I decided it was time to stop complaining and being depressed about the state of the world, and start doing something about it. I began to read voraciously, an average of two books a week, and gradually put together a picture in my own mind of the current state of the world, how we got here, and what we needed to do about it. In February of last year I started a weblog, in part because I wanted to share what I had learned, and in part to discuss it with others and find out if they felt the same way that I did


Way to go Adobe!

Adobe Acrobat v7 release is really quite astounding, with most if not all of the key infrastructure functionality from the full V6 product now bundled into the new version of the FREE Reader.  It’s a perfect split of the features needed by content creators and content consumers/reviewers.  Microsoft look VERY VERY hard at this and learn the lesson that Adobe is teaching you here and OpenOffice.org will teach you when they build X/Forms support into OOo, and make OOo an essential part of everyones desktop Infrastructure and destroy the market for InfoPath and possibly MS Office XML documents in general.

Way too many portals

Its seems that everyone has a solution on the way for inter-enterprise collaboration.  Use their portal and only their portal or application!  The problem is that OpenText, Microsoft, IBM, Groove etc all want you to use their solutions, for example:

Workplace creates a unified front end for technologies facing suppliers, customers, and employees, according to Larry Bowden, vice president of the Workplace division at IBM. Each of those users has different roles, but they are tapping the same back-end information sources through Workplace, he added. ?Collaboration among peers within an organization is moving toward organizational productivity, which shifts toward [collaboration] between organizations,? he said.

Well that’s not my vision of collaboration!  I want something more along the lines of POP3, RSS and Trillian (a bit of a mix of standards and products I know but hopefully you get the idea).  All you enterprises out there can use whatever collaboration solution you want, but when I connect to you and integrate all your portals into my Personal Knowledge Management environment I want to aggregate you using bog standard protocols and the clients of my choice.  Of course these enterprise portal applications could be aggregated by portlets as well for people who don’t have the …

Simply does it

Adam Bosworth has posted a nice talk on the importance of simplicity:

I gave a talk yesterday at the ICSOC04. It was essentially a reminder to a group of very smart people that their intelligence should be used to accomodate really simple user and programmer models, not to build really complex ones. Since I was preceded by Don Ferguson of IBM and followed the next day by Tim Berners-Lee, it seemed especially wise to stick to simple and basic ideas. Here is the talk

I could not agree more.  One of my observations is that simple protocols used to access well defined services lead to explosive innovation.  HTML/HTTP, POP, IMAP, RSS etc are all great examples.  Hopefully someone will figure out how to achieve the same innovation when things get just tht little bit more complex.  For XML/Web Services in general we are not there yet – too complex – and we are still waiting to see the widespread adoption of innovative clients and servers hopefully that’s where tools like the Infopath/Office XML/Longhorn Shell/WinFS, Indigo and Haystack  and OOo/XForms etc will come in.

Many layers of virtualization!

I have mentioned before how much I like VMWare and how I have been using it not only to support my Labs requirements for years, but also as a secure client to my company network, ala VMWare ACE.  I have also been looking at other application Virtualiszation technologies and Server Based Computing approaches, so it was nice to see a couple of the ideas nicely presented in this article on using VMware ACE combinted with SoftGrid, here is an extract:

What is perhaps less well known is that VMware can also provide an important service for desktop hardware. This is partly because its desktop capability is still evolving. The VMware desktop capability, VMware ACE, is currently in beta release. It provides a standard virtual hardware configuration for the desktop, including the OS, web browser and all the applications – all of which are distributed from a central point. VMware ACE solves a major desktop support problem by enforcing standardization and thus making local software installation of any kind unnecessary. It is not the resource utilization that is the issue here, but manageability.

However, on its own VMware ACE does not solve all the support issues. This is where Softricity’s SoftGrid …

Exploiting your infrastructure

I have been frustrated for years at just how little attention most businesses give to exploiting their IT infrastructure investments.  I recently came across the book, Seize the work day, which asks the question:

Have you ever wished for a solution to a near out-of-control work day? If you are like I once was, you have often longed for a way to get and stay ahead of your work load. You have felt frustrated by hours of meetings that leave you little time to complete tasks during the day—by having to work late, night after night, to catch up on those responsibilities. You have felt frustrated by losing track of, or losing time for, commitments you have made. Frustrated by an avalanche of e-mails you cannot get to, by important documents you cannot find.

Well I guess that applies to most of us, and the book is a great example of just how much thought and attention can be applied to improving productivity and just how great the payoff can be!