Wednesday, August 25, 2004

SOA & Society

... we are now in the days of SOA. I like to respond to this in a world weary fashion by describing how the pendulum swung from monoliths to highly distributed and back to some centre ground. On the walk in this morning (being too lazy to run in - again), it occurred to me that maybe the pendulum isn't only responding to technical forces but to social forces. For instance, we are moving back to centralised systems with thin clients and highly structured and regular architectures at the same time as Western society is becoming more authoritarian and interventionist. When CORBA came along (and the ideas that started it) it was at the tail end of an era pushing libertarian values and 'there is no such thing as society'. Take a look at Jini, it was officially launched in 1999, smack in the middle of a political change in the West that has taken us to where we are now. In many ways Jini was a technology based on loose co-operative federations of services. Highly tolerant of topology changes and removal/addition of services it harked back to less interventionist days where centralisation was an anathema. Maybe that was one reason it didn't get as much mindshare as it could have done (that and the utterly shite tooling that accompanied it). So, maybe (and that's a big maybe), for a technology to cross the chasm from early adopter and get real mindshare it must reflect the society in which it is deployed.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Equipment sizing

RFP is complete, finally. So, the most boring part of its current role is complete.

Mark Twain on equipment sizing and performance:

In the space of one hundred and seventy-six years the Lower Mississippi has shortened itself two hundred and forty-two miles. This is an average of a trifle over one mile and a third per year. Therefore, any calm person, who is not blind or idiotic, can see that in the Old Oolitic Silurian Period, just a million years ago next November, the Lower Mississippi River was upward of one million three hundred thousand miles long, and stuck out over the Gulf of Mexico like a fishing-rod. And by the same token any person can see that seven hundred and forty-two years from now the Lower Mississippi will be only a mile and three-quarters long, and Cairo and New Orleans will have joined their streets together, and be plodding comfortably along under a single mayor and a mutual board of aldermen. There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
Life on the Mississippi 1883