|By Nigel McFarlane||
|January 19, 2004 12:00 AM EST||
Software provides functionality for the benefit of real people. Most software resides in applications, not in drivers or kernels. Today the open source community needs enabling kernels like Linux far less than it needs enabling application frameworks like Mozilla. Kernels have achieved most of what they can achieve, and the game is moving on. Can this be believed?
Have you noticed that small red or aqua lizard icon on your Linux desktop? It's Mozilla, best known in the guise of a Web browser. You're going to notice that icon a lot more in the future, whether you're a programmer, an IT guru, or an end user.
When we think of open source, Linux usually comes to mind before Mozilla. That is despite the groundbreaking open source release of the Netscape source code in the middle of the '90s browser wars. After all, Linux has garage credibility (or should that be university lab credibility?), whereas Mozilla is more of a corporate escapee. But Mozilla's history is as long as GNU/Linux; Mozilla has been the internal project name for the former Netscape browser since Netscape 1.0.
So much is written about Linux, meaning the Linux kernel and associated tools, and yet the kernel source and documentation is overall not very large. The very largest open source projects are in fact all corporate gifts rather than grassroots developments. OpenOffice is the premier example at 120 MB. You might not expect Mozilla to be a massive project, but surprise, it weighs in at number 2 or 3. A hundred AOL/Netscape employees didn't work away four years over nothing. Its source is massively bigger than Apache, bigger than Perl and Tcl/Tk combined, twice as big as the biggest kernel source bundle you can find.
Except for OpenOffice developers, most of us mentally discard OpenOffice as a technology building block. This is because of its obvious end-user intent. After all, you can't build a nuclear reactor out of the GIMP. The GIMP is best left doing what it does best - manipulating images. And the same applies to OpenOffice.
It might seem that Mozilla is tarred with the same brush. After all, isn't it a Web browser first and foremost? Well, in short, the answer is no.
Larry Wall this year re-popularized the Universal Architectural Diagram in his State of the Onion 2003 speech (www.perl.com/pub/a/2003/07/16/soto2003.html). That progress report on Perl used a diagram that goes back at least as far as early IBM mainframes. In the diagram, a generic layer of technology is used as the basis for several specialist applications. Because the generic layer is common to each application, those applications are seen as having identical status. At least they are seen as members of some common group. The Universal Architectural Diagram is a very common design pattern. Java, .NET, Perl, X-Window, Pick, XML, and many others have used it to provide a generic, enabling technology layer, and a set of interesting offshoots. Even the relationship between BIOS and Windows/Linux/QNX uses this pattern, as shown by the success of VMWare and other BIOS emulators.
Mozilla is another example of the Universal Architecture. An e-mail client is not the same thing as a Web browser, and yet Mozilla supports both. The Mozilla Platform, which is a set of files shorn of any browser, is a generic basis for user-oriented, GUI-oriented, possibly networked applications. Out of that platform the Mozilla browser has been built, a highly successful browser at that. But that platform has also been used to build e-mail clients, composers, debuggers, IDEs, desktops, settops, palmtops, calendars, PIMs, chat clients, dictionaries, and educational software. That's a broad range.
Jim Gettys, of Hewlett-Packard and www.freedesktop.org fame, has recently been analyzing the technical services offered by open source Unixes that support desktop applications (http://freedesk top.org/~jg/roadmap.html). If you peruse this list, you'll see that most of the desktop technology is expressed in terms of libraries and programmer frameworks - pretty low-level stuff to some. What's missing is a very high-level, easy-to-use system for desktop GUI application development. In fact, Unix has been missing a Visual Basic-like system for a long time, with only Tcl/Tk offering any kind of easy solution. It's no wonder that desktop applications have been slow to arrive on Linux.
Mozilla is therefore well poised to be the application development framework of choice for Linux. It even comes with a bonus: Linux applications will work without change on Windows, Mac OS X, and other platforms, provided some basic portability rules are followed. They also work from local disk, across the Web, and from across the Internet.
You might ask: Why bother? Don't all good Linux hackers go armpit deep in code, as close as possible to the bare metal? And isn't Java the obvious solution for applications? Well, no, and no. Most of the comfy spots close to the open source bare metal are taken, and that kind of thing appeals only to a narrow class of programmers anyway. By comparison, there are 45,000 IT people in New Zealand (pop. 4 million) alone - that's great deal of variety. Second, Java is a very object-oriented language, and frankly, that doesn't suit a lot of people. JSP doesn't exist because Java is trivially easy to work with. Sure, Java is popular, but scripting languages are just as popular. Mozilla's easy development style suits a very big chunk of the middle ground, where all the good spots aren't yet taken, and where the code isn't too convoluted.
If you think this is unguarded opinion, then listen to Gartner (www.gartner.com). Their "Hype Cycle for Open-Source Technologies, 2003" barely remarks on core operating system features at all. That report just says applications, applications, applications, over and over. That's good news for LAMP developers (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP/Perl) if you don't mind using a browser as a GUI. Now you can go forth and Mozilla as well.
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
May. 28, 2016 05:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,061
SYS-CON Events announced today TechTarget has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechTarget is the Web’s leading destination for serious technology buyers researching and making enterprise technology decisions. Its extensive global networ...
May. 28, 2016 05:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,186
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
May. 28, 2016 04:15 AM EDT Reads: 3,162
As cloud and storage projections continue to rise, the number of organizations moving to the cloud is escalating and it is clear cloud storage is here to stay. However, is it secure? Data is the lifeblood for government entities, countries, cloud service providers and enterprises alike and losing or exposing that data can have disastrous results. There are new concepts for data storage on the horizon that will deliver secure solutions for storing and moving sensitive data around the world. ...
May. 28, 2016 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,299
SYS-CON Events announced today Object Management Group® has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
May. 28, 2016 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,496
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device. For more information, please visit https://www.mangoapps.com/.
May. 28, 2016 02:30 AM EDT Reads: 778
The essence of data analysis involves setting up data pipelines that consist of several operations that are chained together – starting from data collection, data quality checks, data integration, data analysis and data visualization (including the setting up of interaction paths in that visualization). In our opinion, the challenges stem from the technology diversity at each stage of the data pipeline as well as the lack of process around the analysis.
May. 28, 2016 01:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,436
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
May. 28, 2016 01:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,916
Designing IoT applications is complex, but deploying them in a scalable fashion is even more complex. A scalable, API first IaaS cloud is a good start, but in order to understand the various components specific to deploying IoT applications, one needs to understand the architecture of these applications and figure out how to scale these components independently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nara Rajagopalan is CEO of Accelerite, will discuss the fundamental architecture of IoT applications, ...
May. 28, 2016 01:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,246
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
May. 28, 2016 12:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,008
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri Inc., a leading producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, will exhibit at the 18th International CloudExpo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
May. 28, 2016 12:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,414
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects). Bruce Swann has more than 15 years of experience working with digital marketing disciplines like web analytics, social med...
May. 28, 2016 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,324
SYS-CON Events announced today that EastBanc Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. EastBanc Technologies has been working at the frontier of technology since 1999. Today, the firm provides full-lifecycle software development delivering flexible technology solutions that seamlessly integrate with existing systems – whether on premise or cloud. EastBanc Technologies partners with p...
May. 27, 2016 11:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,304
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC Software has been named "Siver Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. BMC is a global leader in innovative software solutions that help businesses transform into digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive advantage. BMC Digital Enterprise Management is a set of innovative IT solutions designed to make digital business fast, seamless, and optimized from mainframe to mo...
May. 27, 2016 10:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,205
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discuss how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. We'll cite examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He'll also highlight how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable...
May. 27, 2016 07:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,876
Customer experience has become a competitive differentiator for companies, and it’s imperative that brands seamlessly connect the customer journey across all platforms. With the continued explosion of IoT, join us for a look at how to build a winning digital foundation in the connected era – today and in the future. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Nguyen, Group Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how to successfully leverage mobile, rapidly deploy content, capture real-time d...
May. 27, 2016 04:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,584
SoftLayer operates a global cloud infrastructure platform built for Internet scale. With a global footprint of data centers and network points of presence, SoftLayer provides infrastructure as a service to leading-edge customers ranging from Web startups to global enterprises. SoftLayer's modular architecture, full-featured API, and sophisticated automation provide unparalleled performance and control. Its flexible unified platform seamlessly spans physical and virtual devices linked via a world...
May. 27, 2016 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,213
SYS-CON Events announced today that ContentMX, the marketing technology and services company with a singular mission to increase engagement and drive more conversations for enterprise, channel and SMB technology marketers, has been named “Sponsor & Exhibitor Lounge Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. “CloudExpo is a great opportunity to start a conversation with new prospects, but what happens after the...
May. 27, 2016 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,144
IoT generates lots of temporal data. But how do you unlock its value? How do you coordinate the diverse moving parts that must come together when developing your IoT product? What are the key challenges addressed by Data as a Service? How does cloud computing underlie and connect the notions of Digital and DevOps What is the impact of the API economy? What is the business imperative for Cognitive Computing? Get all these questions and hundreds more like them answered at the 18th Cloud Expo...
May. 27, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,236
What a difference a year makes. Organizations aren’t just talking about IoT possibilities, it is now baked into their core business strategy. With IoT, billions of devices generating data from different companies on different networks around the globe need to interact. From efficiency to better customer insights to completely new business models, IoT will turn traditional business models upside down. In the new customer-centric age, the key to success is delivering critical services and apps wit...
May. 27, 2016 08:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,156