Like many people in the industry, I'm torn over open source software. I'm not
opposed to developers creating software and deciding they do it for the love
of programming, and have no need for payment - if they want to give their
work away, I see no reason why they shouldn't be able to do so, although I
think the people who want all software to be free should first get uniform
agreement from everyone in the industry to work for nothing before they get
on that soapbox. Even though I run a magazine in my spare time, I make my
living designing software, and I personally don't want to do it for free.
I'm not opposed to people who want to develop for fun, or for the pure joy of
programming. Lots of students in college do this, and many hardcore
programmers who don't get enough code during the day seem to grind it out
after hours as well.
Eventually though, the economics ca... (more)
I have no children myself, but I've watched my nieces and nephew grow from
newborns to walking, talking, independent individuals over the years. To me,
one of the most fascinating parts of watching a child grow is seeing them go
from their first tentative, hesitant steps to toddling around, grabbing the
furniture at every opportunity but gaining mobility to finally running around
and crashing into my legs more often than I care to think about.
We've been speaking about service-oriented architecture here in the magazine
for over four years now. In many ways, I've felt like an uncle... (more)
Build a better mousetrap and the world will build a better mouse. In the
beginning we had a two-tiered architecture (I count mainframes as
prehistory), and we could figure out how to do things with it. Unfortunately,
one of the things we figured out was that we needed more than two tiers. Up
came the concept of an application server and a Web server to accompany our
ubiquitous database server.
I've had occasion recently to look at a number of currently available
application servers. In general I like what I see, but as usual there isn't
one single product that fulfills every need... (more)
About a year ago, in a magazine not too far away, I wrote an article called
"Middle-Tier Madness." A year and several languages later, we're back at the
middle-tier stage again. Distributed computing is one of my main areas of
interest, so my concern with the middle tier shouldn't surprise anyone.
I've done work with all three of the major standards for distributed work -
CORBA, COM and EJB. I much prefer EJB. For those of you that don't recognize
the acronym, it stands for Enterprise JavaBeans, a specification from Sun
Microsystems that describes how to construct server components... (more)
I spent a couple of weeks in Florida recently - ignoring the Internet and
hoping the market dip would go away. It felt good not to pull e-mail (all
right, I did, but not every day) and it gave me some time to think about the
whirlwind pace that's been the routine of the past year.
About a year ago I got involved in the development of what I call "Net
Markets." You're probably familiar with the concept but you probably haven't
logged onto one. In its simplest form a Net Market is eBay - a place to buy
or sell stuff - and in a more complex form it's the stock exchange. But eBay