Sunday, June 10, 2007

Emails from the Edge; Atlas Calling

Mo and mo-

Well, well, well - the educational program is cranking up in Microsoft to make it look like they've been doing this crap for years and years. Well, they have. They just haven't been saying anything about what they've been doing all that time. Now Microsoft approaches the AJAX crowd with Atlas on "CTP" aka beta.

Maybe Microsoft has argued it has to have a head start (for themselves - they're far behind JavaFX and Coldfusion) AND it's in AJAX which has about as much business in business as a chicken in a man suit.

Now, entertainment and gaming, that's a different story. Microsoft has a chance to chunk the game manufacturers with their past R&D into how to deploy systems based on the kind of descriptions of web-technologies taught by patents USPTO 6,826,744 and USPTO 7,076,521. I would think since VCSY and IBM aren't focused on gaming software, a license to Microsoft useful to them to conquer the greater world of gaming software would be a fairly useful investment.

Besides, we want to buy Microsoft's office platform for the established user base for business automation and data service.

So here's Microsoft finally saying something about AJAX and Atlas (after introducing the Atlas alpha back in November 2006).

Watch the pattern for Microsoft that I think may be layered over other projects within Microsoft throughout 2005-2006. I also believe we will see the current situation (an embargo apparently times for some sort of concurrent addressing of issues ahead in force.:

[1]Jump on out there early to announce an alpha in the works-
[2] Sputtering and going silent:
Talk fizzles past July 2006 --> http ://weblogs.asp. net/atlas/
[3]Boldly going where no fool should go (becoming official beta and ready to roll):
"... Our goal is to ship the “Atlas” 1.0 release around the end of this year. The plan is to first have a Beta, then an RC, and then decide on the final date based on customer feedback."
[4] Jumping out there ahead of everybody else with version 1.0
and... sputtering.

There is no mention of Microsoft Atlas beyond that. Any google of Microsoft + Atlas have to do with aQuantive which happens to have something called Atlas (how convenient!) that looks like an Atlas construct for the advertising world. How convenient and helpful. Thank you. “An Atlas construct for the advertising world”? If Atlas works like Emily it means the Atlas described by Microsoft's language was very much like the language aQuantive used to built and operated for advertising in a language called Atlas.

Thanks you two-timing skank kisser. Emily can find her way home from there, no doubt.
And here we are June 2007 and... what? We're all waiting? Here's an editor's view following. Funny thing is this reminds me of one of those prerecorded 'infotrainers' you have to watch before they open the doors to a ride like "Soarin' Over California" at Disneyproperty.

I hope I get a center seat.

Your attention please:

(note: If you look at the website it looks like this was written in 2006 but check out the date in the URL. How funny. Odd behaviour, isn't it within Microsoft? You know what else is odd behaviour? The fact this article sounds like it could have been written in 2006 AND the conincidental naming of Aquantive's ad center [Emily is able to produce langauge frameworks for specific verticals and disciplines]. Ads seems to be the forefront of the dynamic language business plans so far driving "innovation" but when you think about it, advertising is one of the services Business really could benefit from in the Web 2.0 era. So it does fit as "preplanning. I just think the term Atlas lets a whiff of mens rea float over the festive scene.)

Editor's Note:
If you’re fortunate enough to attend a developer conference this year, look around at the variety of people. There are all kinds out there, a diverse ecosystem as the marketing folks might say. Even within a relatively narrow group like programmers, you’ll find a wide range of goals and interests.

Not everyone gets a charge out of the same things, and the best entrepreneurs know this. That must be why my Inbox is filled with all manner of spam, from one note with the subject "Mike Tyson wears Rolex You should TO!" to another that blares "Freddy Kruger wears Rolex." You really need to know your audience, not just generate random pitches.

Providing appropriate coverage in the vast yet limited space we have in MSDN Magazine presents a similar problem. What will our readers find interesting? For some, the flashy new features in Windows Vista get their hearts beating faster. Others prefer the gritty details down in the weeds of the server. Not to worry. The range of interesting topics we cover this month, from Windows Vista to Atlas to Enterprise Library, should provide something for everyone. We’ll resist the urge to compare these technologies to Mike Tyson and Freddy Kruger.
Instead, let’s focus on Atlas, the subject of this issue’s lead article. Atlas is the code name for a free framework that lets you take advantage of AJAX technologies in ASP.NET. Though Atlas is not named after Charles Atlas, the "World’s Most Perfectly Developed Man," that analogy may actually fit.

AJAX stands for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML, a combination of existing technologies that makes it easier to create interactive Web sites. When you develop a site using AJAX, you typically use HTML and cascading style sheets for the display layer, JavaScript to interact with the document object model on the client side, an XmlHttpRequest object to provide a conduit between the client and server, and XML as the data transfer protocol.

Taken together, the technologies in AJAX let the server update pages on the fly, one of the closest things to a Holy Grail Web developers have had. This isn’t the first attempt at dynamic, updateable Web pages, however. Back in 1998, Microsoft released a technology called Remote Scripting (, which let a client and server communicate using a Java-language applet. Remote Scripting made its way into some products, like the version of Outlook Web Access found in Exchange Server 2000.

Atlas is an extension of ASP.NET that takes advantage of AJAX. The ASP.NET community site ( has a big section devoted to Atlas where you can get downloads, tutorials, samples, and much more.

As more people adopt Atlas and AJAX, we’ll start to see more mash-ups (Web applications that combine content from multiple sources—maybe from RSS feeds or other public interfaces). Mash-ups are going to be big in the next couple of years. If you’re interested in the cool factor, this is where you want to go. Our advice is to take on the technology in two stages. First, get acquainted with Atlas. Matt Gibbs provides a comprehensive overview in this issue (page 48).
Next, download the CTP (which, as far as we can tell, is the new code name for "beta"). Get it up and running on your machine, and then dive in. The Atlas site provides some good walkthroughs to get you started, but, as you know, nothing works better than getting your hands dirty.
Finally, code code code. It’s the only way to become a mash-up celebrity. And besides, it’s a lot of fun.—J.T.

Maybe somebody can ask cracklaw and DC-Weave if Microsoft would be obliged to refrain from duplicating Emily if Emily were only in the patent pending state. In fact, ask them if they think it's worth the time to try to patent Emily further since the first examiner rejected it in favor of FrontPage (That's a laughable conclusion if you go back through and read the Emily patent application.)

Why would Microsoft be holding off on something that doesn't infringe VCSY's patent portfolio and there's no law against backward-engineering for somebody else's technology if there is no patent, but it's patent pending?

1 comment:

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