Weblog + Browser

Writes John Robb: “A weblog tool is the natural next step in the evolution of the browser. A weblog tool shouldn’t be something that is located on a remote website or server. Rather, it’s what needs to happen to the browser in order to reach the Web’s next level. The browser needs intelligence. It needs two-way publishing capability. It needs to allow you to subscribe to news from updated sites and allow you to share files and collaborative content directly with others. Only then will the browser live up to its potential.”

A comment from Rahul Dave in one of the comments:

A very simple way of achieving this: Use mozilla’s XUL. If I had a week of complete freedom to do this, I could put a great interface on Radio’s aggregator, with wysiwyg editor, and as mentioned rarlier, presence based and non prescence based im, using jabberzilla and tcp.im.

Check these screenshots of the oeone linux desktop to see whats possible with mozilla based development these days.

This may be useful for Rajesh too, its an open-source desktop, and has a built in application api in javascript. Mozilla can also spean xmlhttprequest(from the ie world), xmlrpc, soap, and jabber, and there is available a mechanism to add additional protocols as shared libraries using protozilla(protozilla.mozdev.org), which has been used for example to add freenet and named pipe support…

XUL is an XML dialect. Functionality is built in javascript with the ability to talk to components written in python, ruby, java, c++, and javascript itself.

Need to understand this more. I like the basic concept: browser and blogging tool integration using Mozilla.

Connecting Employees

Writes John Robb: “The only good way to connect employee is through a combination of K-Logs, digital dashboards, and composite web apps (all using Web Services behind the scenes). It’s inexpensive, flexible, and able to scale to handle the most complex business needs.” This is an alternative to all the expensive enterprise software apps that companies are doing their best to spend their money on! We have to make it happen.

DVD’s Success

From the NYTimes, a quote from Warren Lieberfarb, president of Warner Home Video: “[The DVD player] is the most successful home entertainment device in history. In five years, it has gone from zero to 30 million households, and a quarter of those have more than one DVD player. Nothing else has come close to doing that in such a short time, not CD’s, not VCR’s, not personal computers, not even television itself.”

Sun, Java and Linux

Sun bets its future on Java is the contention of David Berlind of ZDnet:

Contrary to popular belief, Sun’s recently announced forays into desktop and server-based Linux are not all about belatedly jumping on the same bandwagon as most of its competition (including IBM, HP, Dell, and Intel). Instead, the move is all about placing the biggest bet in Sun’s history.

I’ve repeatedly maintained in this column that processing power–a.k.a. MIPS–is a commodity. For all but the most finicky of technology buyers, the difference between SPARC and the Intel architecture (IA) is now, more than ever, about price. It’s a war Sun cannot win.

The latest idea is to break with the Sun tradition that has long exalted Solaris/SPARC as the ruling technology and replace it with the heir to that throne: Java.

The Java ecosystem may be Sun’s best and most natural bet….Java may already have ten times more developers than Solaris. Despite Microsoft’s recent decision to stop bundling the virtual machine with Windows, Java has a volume rivaled only by Windows. And the Java applications base is rising rapidly.

But it’s also the stool’s weakest leg. For Java to succeed Solaris/SPARC in the Sun kingdom, Sun had to concede that Solaris and SPARC are commodities. That would clear the way for Intel and Linux support, both of which Rob Gingell (of Sun) also sees as commodities, and both of which are already a part of the Java ecosystem. In fact, given Java’s independence from the operating system and hardware layers, Intel’s and Linux’s volume make them more important drivers of the Java ecosystem than either Solaris or SPARC will ever be.

TECH TALK: Tech’s 10X Tsunamis: Marching Ahead

The ultimate battlefield is the marketplace. And as we march ahead to do battle, let us keep these words from Michael Porter in mind (Financial Times interview with Rod Newing, June 5, 2002):

If theres anything new about this era, its that competition is increasingly global with more ideas, skills and knowledge-intensity. With the Net, a new way of conducting business is available, but it doesnt change the laws of business or most of what creates a competitive advantage. The fundamentals of competition remain unchanged.

It is important to be operationally efficient to be competitive, but its not enough. There is a crying need for a distinctive strategyFundamental to the success of any company and any effort to develop strategy is having a proper goal for business clearly in mind. This is to create economic value by selling a product at a price that is greater than the cost of producing it. The best way to measure economic value is a superior return on capital employed.

This series (my longest, stretching over 5 weeks and 34 columns) has been about technologys 10X forces which are impacting us, and how we can think about them as windows to new worlds. In whatever we are doing, technology can make a big difference. By understanding the underlying forces at work, we can build a mental map of the present and future world. This will help us to better leverage technologys 10X tsunamis. Every wave brings destruction of the old order and opportunities to shape the new.

Id like to end with these words by Indias new President APJ Abdul Kalam (from his new book Ignited Minds):

[I want] my young readers to hear a voice that says, Start Moving. Leadership must lead us to prosperity. Young Indians with constructive ideas should not have to see them wither in the long wait for approval. They have to rise above norms which are meant to keep them timid in the name of safety and to discourage entrepreneurship in the name of trade regimes, organizational order and group. As it is said, Thinking is Capital, Enterprise is the way, Hard Work is the solution.

Every nation has struggled to achieve its goals. Generations have given their best to make life better for their offspring. There is nothing mysterious, or hidden about this, no alternative to effort. And yet, we fail to follow the winning trackI believe that when we believe in our goals, that what we dream of can become reality, results will begin to follow. Ignited Minds is about developing that conviction in ourselves, and discarding the things that hold us back.

Not all of us may be winners as we participate in the efforts to build new futures. Yet, we will all have contributed to the wheel of progress. What is needed is a mindset to challenge the mindset and think globally. Countries like India have to embrace technology. It is a competitive world out there, and we have the potential within us to play against the best and win. It is a world which values ideas and knowledge. It is world in which perhaps the biggest 10X force is Vision we need to be able to a imagine a different future, and then go out and build it.