Bosworth on Web Services Browser
Tim Bray summarises Adam Bosworth’s speech at the XML conference:
The central point is one that Im very friendly to: that the Web is (obviously) a good model for networked information spaces, and that application architectures that present as an object model or API or query facility, trying to abstract away the Web, dont work. So while there will still be Web Services, they will be in the back-end, and an application will be expected to follow a link, for example from a product to its supplier to that suppliers other products, rather than imagining that theres a query facility that will make the link structure invisible. Specifically, hed like to see a SOAP cookie or equivalent to allow everything to run more statelessly.
As anyone who follows Adams recent writings knows, hes been thinking a lot about supporting intermittently-offline work. He revisited this, arguing that synchronization of offline and online data models is a big and important part of future architectures. Im less convinced on this; the amount of time in which Im awake but not (potentially) online is nearly zero; I travel more than the average person but less than a real road warrior like Adam. Hes correct that people increasingly will be using small-form-factor devices like PDAs and phones, but I think the trend is clear: anyone who wants to will be able to have a fast pipe thats always on.
These are topics Bosworth discusses in his blog.
I have my own thoughts on the point that Bosworth makes about assuming an intermittently connected world (which requires sync-ing of information) as opposed to an always-on world. I think the desire for this offline data model will make devices more expensive and complex. Rather, for emerging markets where affordabaility is important, mobile computing can be accomplished by having thin client cellphones. Yes, it will not give ubiquitous connectivity, but for all practical purposes, countries like India are now blanketed by wireless networks. Competition is ensuring that data is beocming an important focus for the cellcos, so expect higher speeds in the future.