Saturday, May 19, 2007

Emails from the Edge; The Knucklear Option


Cloudy on the peninsula and I assumed all the way out to the valley maybe not but I stayed in like a shut in today and puttered around trying to tidy up #2.

I'm getting the perky feeling Microsoft has seen the light and decided not to fight but switch.

The return of this guy says' Microsoft is capitulating to the web after all these years.
May 18th, 2007
Former Microsoft NetDocs manager comes back to run search

Posted by Mary Jo Foley @ 3:13 pm

Also this by Joe WIlcox:
May 18, 2007 6:00 PM
Microsoft's Integrated Stack Gets Higher
Joe WIlcox

is a good article about how Microsoft appears to be restructuring their software focuses but this one comment got me:

I could write severl big posts just about that, but sorry I can't help you guys by blogging this but I'm sticking to my guns not to post. It's hard not to after so long so I figgered I could taper off, as it were. You can call all this cleanup and correspondence as "taper time". Tapered to nice fine point.

At any rate, it's been a good run. My gig is done. Now I just lean back and wait for my shares that I bought all along the way to become worth what I think they are. Then I can buy an island... and make my own dz.

When I first read the Emily whitepaper, I could see a pretty good outline across the industry as to who what and where... I had no idea it would take seven years of pulling the teats on COM/DCOM to milk that cow as far as the "graphics platform" investments Microsoft made in the 90's could go.

It wasn't graphics that brought productivity but the ability to copy and paste. That's the same insight Ray Ozzy correctly sees when he talks about his internet clipboard. He knows the ability to make the use of content + format arbitrary as it travels from one application or environment or framework to another is what cut what used to be a mind bending exercise in getting an intermediate result from one application to another or from one system to another.

VCSY technology is able to make content/format and functionality an arbitrarily transported item. Cut and paste components for build software and services. Perhaps knowing that, you can see where the productivity will advance.

The amount of money Microsoft invested in graphic interface will serve the world well in making the creation of programs and services by block-wise assembly of component parts, but, without the textual metadata behind each block or screw, those graphics are a tinker's bucket of parts with nothing to do. That's a great world for designers and developers and people who get payed building systems out of parts, but... there's a scary secret lurking in the background in all this.

Computers don't communicate graphically (well, not digital machines. analog machines and digital machines that emulate analog machines may but that's for another time) they communicate textually.

The one jarring fact that slapped Bill Gates in 2000 was how much could be done by machines using the textual constructs of XML. That was back in 2000 if you will read his speeches of that time.

What kept those capabilities in the shadows for so long? Graphics is needed by humans - to make and to use. Text is needed by machines - to have and to hold.

The developers and programmers who have spent the past decades ensconced in a throne of wizardry and arcane skills required by "application" building among humans are seeing the surf fall back to the ocean away from them as the tsunami approaches.

IBM shut off a huge amount of legacy Websphere mid-April 2007 (darn it I can't remember that date because I thought... no, that's a little too fantastic to imagine - nobody would believe it and the bashers would have a hoot. But, it happened and the scenario predicted by the speculation is playing out.). IBM shut down a large part of their global software on that night and they chugged on from there. The scenario says if "whatever replaced" the existing legacy software that was retired by IBM that night was replaced with next generation stuff, would it not show up somewhere.

Where would that be? It should show up in a downforcing of human staff and an expansion of software virtualization to the improved productivity of hardware.

IBM retired legacy Websphere all over the globe. Where did the impact from the replacement show up? They released a large portion of their global workforce within a couple weeks after the "switchover" and they are announcing a new company focusing on increased software business using less hardware.

What IBM has demonstrated in only a few weeks (where it used to take months and years for a CEO to implement a change - it can happen quickly if the proper technology is there - If Microsoft has this kind of technology in house, they should be able to show integration with the new ad center software quickly. We shall see. If not? Years. And if they show it now... where was it all this time? Years to write Vista? And you'll be integrating your Office stack in weeks? Uhhhh.... something makes this sound like a perfect phishing hole.) is precisely what should be expected with the kind of advancements described by a joining of the SiteFlash concepts, the MLE concepts, the Very High Level scripting language concepts and the interoperations supposedly being pursued all this time by Microsoft in their document bases but demonstrated by emPath and NOW Solutions with their SaaS on Verison. Yeah something's screwy. I wonder if we'll ever be told the real story?

In Microsoft's OLE drag and drop day of adoption, offices began getting documents and spreadsheets much faster with far fewer errors with more consistent productivity. This had an accumulative effect in Business by empowering the admins and engineers and managers who were unfettered from a senseless task dictated by inferior technological products.

Businesses soon found they could do much more work with fewer people faster. Why? Fewer hands in the workflow.

Now that we can build workflow with graphics (or text as with Rational tools) the actual integration (the interoperability function and deliverable which has always been the focal point of the "interoperable" definition - not interoperable documents or files but interoperability provided by an arbitrary document or file content and format. This is a huge bone of contention between myself and the adled signoratti who define "interoperable" as "a file two applications may consume". Uhhh... yeah... AT THE SAME TIME. Nitwits.

Text in the form of SGML offers that. Your proprietary crap can't do that no matter what happens.

Some may argue it's only now that computer hardware and networks have become powerful enough to assume that role. What would we all do if we all found out our new paradigm has been delayed by a large player until this time and that capability has existed all along? That's the question, isn't it?

I think the computers were powerful enough five years ago. I believe the speed was available five years ago and is the reason VCSY survived all this time. What was not powerful enough was an accountable R&D base in the software factories to make sure big body parts and small lives were not ground up in the making of the giant virtual machine.

Graphics or text. Hmmm. What a difficult question.

Would you rather talk to your computer than poke graphics? The words will become text the moment the services will hear the word and find the appropriate representation. The service will distinguish the sound, song, symphony, actor, animal and write out the representation in characters. Can you do that with graphics? Do you have to draw a stick figure and a house to tell the GPS to take you home? The graphics are only a facilitator and should never have been the see all end all.

No, Mister Gates. No Mister Jobs. The machine will not put out graphics unless there is a human in the loop and that human can not understand a spoken or written command. I guess the service will have to create a "circle slash spit" for our uneducated and impolite friend.

Image processing will reach such a refinement that a picture will be tagged with a thousand words for comparison with others and for relationship with all... but all the image processing in the world can not convey "Sorry your son died. He was a hero." "Sorry your daughter didn't come home. She saved many lives."

What do you have? A picture of a bobble head protecting his platoon from a bomb? How about a weeble defending her troops against a sniper?

The audio-visual may support, but it's time to step aside and let the machines talk to each other instead of having a human carry the "interoperable" document or the "interoperable" file over to the next machine or application or system so the "interoperation" may be carried out.

Text is far superior to graphic interfaces in transmitting complex concepts to a machine. It actually works better with humans as well unless we're "in a hurry".

You know why we're in such a hurry? Because we have to do an inordinate amount of work for the machine as our software industry forgot to advance past their graphic world and the copy paste to a world where those capabilities could fold neatly into a textual stream for instructing machines on how to do this FOR us. Not TOO us.

I think we may argue from a very high level all the way to a machine level (bare metal) that Microsoft admits after seven years of stagnation and pulling the milkcow's teats that we (you and me) have paid off the development costs of Microsoft's graphics age. It's time for them to toe the line and do the right thing and produce technology we know their engineers and producers are capable of building when they are free of management and legal shod.

The transition is happening now, although Microsoft has so much to catch up to do after all this delay - unless they have much of it still in the can from back in the day and they simply have to dig out the components and wrap them in arbitrary virtualization and go from there. THAT could be the ticket. What am I saying? THAT is the ONLY ticket.

If they can't pick up where everybody else is now. I don't see them as much of a player for a couple years until they can get their SaaS centers built and their software debugged and safe.

But, methinks they be on their way now at last. Call it a hunch. The wind shifting maybe. The plastic in me shades warping a refraction a bit this way than that, so to speak.

Maybe some lubbers will walk the planks. It's a big ship and they all can float in there with all the provisions and all but the porters ain't needed.

I do believe we've hoisted the "happy sails" flag and put the cutlasses away. Harrrr... guess I can deflate me parrot. Unscrew the leg. Maybe trade the hook in for a spatula.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend. Maybe Monday will be the usual. Maybe even Tuesday will be the usual. But, it doesn't really matter to me. I feel good we've been right all these years with so many people depending, as it were.

If anybody asks when I knew the war was won, I'm gonna have to say it all began to turn when Microsoft said yes to Powershell.

When folks understand the reason that sentence is true, the house of Gates will burn like a disco.

Yers truly,

requies nostrom fornidado

1 comment:

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