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Ray Ozzie's Weblog
- David Stutz on Platforms and WinFS
David Stutz: "Because of this, although I agree with many of Ray's observations, I disagree with his predicted outcome. Rather than becoming the basis for a powerful network driven by the commodity exchange of schematized XML data, WinFS is more likely to be just one more in a string of proprietary Microsoft extensibility mechanisms."
A very interesting essay. Much depends upon whether you or not you believe developers will embrace this new platform "in the absence of commodity (replaceable) implementations". Indeed, one of the most significant (and voluminous) criticisms I received privately after writing my essay relates to the increasing version fragmentation of the Windows installed base itself - particularly between corporate and consumer PCs. Regardless of a given platform innovation's merits, will or would ISVs take deep advantage of an OS innovation that will only reach a subset of the installed base for a very, very long time? Or have we now transitioned to a world in which there is a sustainable advantage for redistributable commodity middleware versions of "good enough" solutions? Although "Windows bundling" used to represent a surefire way to create a de facto systems-level standard e.g. MAPI, might new Windows innovations be ultimately less utilized/leveraged than commodity middleware, given the increasing fragmentation of the market?
- Onfolio launched
- Onfolio, a.k.a. Project 31, has gone live. Congratulations to JJ Allaire and the team! A great day for rich client innovation.
- The Future of Work
When we first launched Lotus Notes in the early 90's, it was an era of Reengineering The Corporation, in which companies were reducing the cost of coordination internally through business process reengineering. Companies embraced Lotus Notes, an advanced communications technology for the time, reflecting the changing nature of the organization from centralized hierarchical structures toward more decentralized work flows.
When I left Iris/Lotus/IBM in 1997, I did so primarily because in '95-'96 I saw, in our customers, the beginnings of something quite significant: they were extending their core business processes and practices outward to partners, suppliers, and in some cases even customers. When we launched Groove's V1 product in 2001 and began selling it to enterprises, our primary focus was on how it was an advance in decentralized communications that would reduce the cost of coordination externally in a manner not possible with technologies primarily designed for enterprise use. The fact that enterprises and government have embraced Groove truly reflects the changing nature of business from centralized structures toward networked, decentralized organizational relationships.
Over the past 12-18 months, we've seen some other very significant technology-catalyzed changes occurring in business, in society, and in our everyday lives. Last year was most certainly the "year of the laptop". Broadband is now ever-more pervasive, and 2003 was also undeniably the "year of WiFi". Our PC usage patterns have been transformed: we carry them to meetings, use them at hotels and on client sites and at home. Whereas most of us used to do most of our work in our "office" or "cube", our most important work is now done in our "virtual office" - the one that is implemented in software on PC's and a variety of devices tucked away in our backpack, briefcase, purse and pocket.
This isn't a small trend: its impact on business, society and our lives is huge. I would strongly recommend that you spend some quality time with this presentation based on a landmark study done in 2003 on the pervasiveness of off-site work.
I sit here writing this as we're about about to lift the veil from what I believe you'll find truly represents the next generation of communications software, Groove v3.0. Our primary design goal for this product, based very specifically on how it has been being used by our customers over the past three years, was to implement, for its users, the essence of their "virtual office". Where we do our work together, and where we want to do our work together because of how it feels and just works. We now live in an era of extreme mobility, where the attributes of secure communications, coordination, and synchronization are core to most everything we do in terms of information work. An era where our tools and mobile devices must be specifically designed with advanced, elegant awareness & notification to help us to efficiently swarm around our joint activities, and to aggregate and prioritize notifications in ways that help us to conserve our attention and cope with information overload.
Think of how you yourself work, on a day-to-day basis. This era is one of virtual work performed by a highly decentralized workforce. Technology's role in this era is to bring us effective horizontal fusion - reducing the cost of coordination between us in a manner not possible with centralized technologies. It should reflect the changing nature of work, from the physical workplace, toward the decentralized workspace. And it most certainly will.
- Applied Decentralization: A large-scale social system for HLS
It's been a few months since I've posted - a very busy and exciting time here at Groove. Both in terms of what's been happening in the business and market, but also because we're closing in on the first beta of Groove V3. I can't wait to tell you about the improvements in V3 ... because after having used it day in and day out for a few months now, I've simply never felt nearly this excited about a product that I've worked on. And that says a lot. More on V3 in a few weeks!
For those of you who have been following Groove for quite some time, you may recall that the product's original raison d'être was to enable people "at the edge" to dynamically assemble online into secure virtual workspaces, to work together and to get something done, even if those individuals were in different organizations with completely different IT infrastructure.
Today, with the gracious permission of one of our most significant customers, Groove made an announcement that I'd like to talk about for a moment. It's very significant to me for two reasons: First, the nature of how Groove is being used in this solution demonstrates to the extreme the very reason why Groove was built the way it was, from a technology and architecture perspective. Decentralization at its finest. The customer's core challenge was to enable individuals from many, many different organizations - most of whom had little or no opportunity for training - to rapidly assemble into small virtual teams to selectively share information, make decisions, get the job done, and disassemble. The individuals are geographically dispersed. They use different kinds of networks, behind different organizations' firewalls and management policies. They are very, very highly mobile. And there are few applications where the requirement for deep and effective security is more self-evident.
Groove's press release can be found here.
Why was a decentralized architecture for this network so fundamentally important, and thus why was Groove uniquely suited for the task? This brings me to the second reason that I'm tremendously pleased to have had the opportunity to contribute to solving this problem. Larry Lessig taught us that in software-based systems in cyberspace, the code can define outcomes - inadvertently or intentionally - that might have an impact on society. Or better stated in this case, the system's core architectural design principles have a real impact not only on the system's mission effectiveness, but also in how it might effectively preserve and protect rights.
To understand these issues more deeply, one need look no further than the eloquent work released this past December by the Markle Foundation Task Force on National Security in the Information Age, called "Creating a Trusted Network for Homeland Security".
If you're interested in the "why" of decentralization, read the report. Look at the members of the task force. And take particular note of their proposed SHARE network and its architecture. (Interestingly, Richard Eckel wrote about it in his blog before he became aware of the details of Groove's involvement with HSIN.)
Lots of stuff here to read, but it's truly fascinating if you are interested in understanding how decentralization and peer-to-peer technology is having a real impact on government and society.
Although so, so many people are involved in this project because of its scope, in particular I'd like to recognize Col. Tom Marenic, Pat Duecy, Ed Manavian, and especially our partner Mike Kushin of ManTech/IDS. My sincere thanks for your leadership, your passion about the mission, and your appreciation for organizational dynamics, social dynamics, technology and architecture in assembling a large and empirically effective system for purposeful social interaction.
- A lazyweb request after reading this: Someone should register the domain "phoneswap.org", and build a quick website (no - not a business) that does two things: 1) acts as a clearinghouse where you can post the phone/technology (and carrier if it's locked) that you have, and the carrier/technology that you're switching to, and 2) has a community-supported "how to" on helpful hints for swapping contacts - perhaps even technology-assisted. If you just want to get rid of an unused phone or other device or pda, you could be offered the option instead to formally accumulate whuffie.
- 640KB ought to be enough for anyone. Last year about this time I had a big travel-related gap in blogging; this year it's the same. I had few minutes today, so here's a stream-of-consciousness largely about WinFS, based on some recent conversations. Fire away.
Certification: Many of you may be unaware of the challenges involved in getting software certified and accredited to run on the U.S. government's various secure networks. After each does its own intensive due diligence related to the security of your product, agencies may then issue an "Interim Authority to Operate" on their networks with the understanding that you are genuinely on the path toward the requisite certifications. But you must follow through.
Why? "Effective 1 July 2002, U.S. Government Departments and Agencies will be required to aquire, for use on national security systems, only those IA and IA-enabled products that have been evaluated or validated in accordance with the requirements of NSTTISSP No. 11, and its associated programs and processes."
This news is a very big deal for us, and represents the collective work and diligence of many Groove employees. Thanks and congratulations to all.
re: autodiscovery... some of the blo.gs entries actually already have the rss link included... and I'm currently thinking about using a AmpetaDesk like bookmarklet to add geeds to my list
re: sorting of feeds:
The reader itself 'remembers' the feeds I've viewed and ranks them after the last time I accessed/viewed them. It's a very simple form of interst filtering. Feeds I don't view go down, the ones I'm really interested in go up.
alles Bild, Text und Tonmaterial ist © Martin Spernau, Verwendung und Reproduktion erfordert die Zustimmung des Authors