Tim O’Reilly’s 2004 Wish List

As always, Tim O’Reilly provides excellent food for thought for software developers:

I wish that Nat Friedman (of Novell/Ximian) would finish up Dashboard for Linux, and that everyone from Apple to Microsoft Longhorn would copy his ideas, since Dashboard is one of the smartest user-centric innovations I’ve seen in a long time. (Dashboard instruments applications for data sharing, so that when I’m in an app, my dashboard automatically shows me related data from other apps, so that when I’m reading someone’s email, their other contact info is automatically retrieved from my address book, any recent search results (including photos of them) are displayed, and in general, I see as much appropriate context as my dashboard can find.)

I wish that the various web services data vendors (including Amazon, Google, EBay, Salesforce.com, and many others) would realize that they comprise the building blocks of a future “internet operating system”, and act accordingly, engaging with each other to interoperate. It seems to me that the original Unix/Linux architecture, and the architecture of the internet, are based on a model of “small pieces loosely joined” (to quote David Weinberger). Web services can also operate on this model.

I wish that Adobe, Macromedia, and other leading PC software vendors would port their products to Linux, since we’re just about at a tipping point for Linux on the desktop…Linux application market share is cheap right now, so that makes it a great time to enter the market.

Rael Dornfest, author of Google Hacks and the mobilewhack weblog adds: “I’d like to see consumer mobile devices–palmtops, hiptops, and handsets–scriptable. It was scripting that drove the Web, taking it from a static online catalogue of content to an operating system. Gaining simpler programmatic access to the contacts, calendars, and other assorted user-data; bluetooth, messaging, image capture and minipulation on the phone will open up the mobile to the people prototyping the next generation of applications.” I agree completely with Rael.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.