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Business

Standards, and corresponding monopolies, can occur naturally Believe it or not, there are times when I feel some empathy for Microsoft. After all, I myself was once a small-time monopolist. My first company, Astrogamma, had a product called FENICS that provided foreign exchange (FX) options pricing and risk management functions for traders. FX options are a particular kind of financial...
on Aug 21, 2003
I just got a phone call from a perfectly nice woman who proceeded to ask me about my company’s IT needs. While on the surface this could have been any number of solicitation calls that I get on a regular basis; this one really struck a nerve from the get-go. The gist of her pitch was to tell me how the company she works for reduces the costs of software development for many Fortune 500...
on Aug 19, 2003
Single points of failure can be entire systems. Prevention may lie in "fencing in". For those of you on the West Coast, I can assure you that it was pretty dark here in New York last Thursday evening. A little after 4pm, suddenly all our lights, air-conditioners, phones, etc., in our office shut down. The UPS alarms started ringing, letting us know we were operating on battery power. We...
on Aug 19, 2003
Cory Doctorow has just published an essay titled Trademarks over on the O'Reilly Network that the executives at Sun should all read. Why should they read it? Because of the following analogy that Cory makes: Ask a lawyer for a 100 percent assurance of trademark protection and he'll give you plain advice: pay me to send a nasty letter to everyone who utters your name without due care and...
on Aug 15, 2003
Mr. Big Shot at AverageCorp has just given a four sentence vision statement of a new software project. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to understand what in the world he's talking about and make him happy with the resulting software. This blog entry will self destruct in 30 seconds.... This entry is a follow-up to my Fundamental Problem with Extreme Programming, the great comments...
on Aug 13, 2003
Software vendors are in a better position than enterprises to have the full-time user champions that Extreme Programming requires In his post, Fundamental Problem with Extreme Programming, Greg Vaughn argues that getting the level of business person involvement in software projects that XP demands is not realistic in practice. I have to agree with Greg's pessimistic view on how hard it is to...
on Aug 13, 2003
From MS to Apple: Don't hate me because my computer is beautiful. I now own an Apple. Its a nice 17" PowerBook. I still own an XP P IV 2GHz laptop and a few desktop PC's, but the Apple is used for 99% of my work. Why an Apple? Because it is as close to Linux as I can get without having to install it myself. Linux is cool, but I like something I can blame a real company for glitches. Imagine...
on Aug 12, 2003
Microsoft makes money from Windows desktops, not from browsers In response to the the latest installment of my Java vs. .Net series, a number of you responded with a focus on ASP.NET. ASP.NET is Microsoft's way of delivering browser-based DHTML applications. Yes, ASP.NET is an important part of .NET, but I actually do not think that Microsoft is interested in promoting browser-based DHTML...
on Aug 12, 2003
When an ISV tries to sell a new piece of software, they are likely to be asked whether the product is based on "standards". I'd like to explore what qualifies as a standard in a customer's mind. To do this, I'll answer the Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How of standards as concisely as possible (although, not in that order). While this is obviously an over-simplification, in the future I'll...
on Aug 12, 2003
Matt Stephens gives some strong arguments against Extreme Programming. It's a long article, but worth a read if there's just something about XP that doesn't feel right to you. Now, I think he does go off into rant mode in places (and he's also trying to sell you something), but the article was helpful to me to really put my finger on the fundamental problem with XP. XP requires too much of an...
on Aug 11, 2003
Two articles recently got me thinking about the fact that paradigm shifts can be born out of convenience or necessity. In his post, Another paradigm change is taking place right now..., Michael Nascimento Santos talks about the paradigm shift from Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) to Aspect-Oriented Programming (AOP) that he sees unfolding. AOP has very interesting features that may well...
on Aug 8, 2003
A few weeks ago, Tesla, the company I work for, sent all its employees to a non-techie workshop. One of the videos that was presented there contained the following sentence: "When paradigms change, everyone gets back to zero". That sentence got stuck into my mind because it reminded me of the OOP-to-AOP transition we are experiencing right now. The first article I read about AOP and Java was...
on Aug 6, 2003
What is Microsoft trying to do? Microsoft is the uncontested champion of the desktop. In the business world, they own essentially the entire client-side market. This is a huge advantage for them. But it is also a limitation. In order to fuel its growth, Microsoft must find new, less-tapped-out markets to go after. The server room is one such market. Microsoft is already strong there, but...
on Aug 6, 2003
If you could change EJBs, what would you do? If you had full power to add features or redesign the old ones, what would be different today? Well, in fact, you have the power to do it, but you need to be fast! JSR-220 is in its early stages and during JavaOne Linda DeMichiel, the spec lead, made it clear she wants to get input from the community. I attended her session about EJB 2.1 just because I...
on Aug 5, 2003
There is a natural evolution of platform technologies from document publishing to forms processing to application delivery. The Web is the leading example of this, but Adobe Acrobat PDF and Microsoft InfoPath are on their way. The W3C has finally published its specification for XForms 1.0, after much delay and without the participation of Microsoft (not surprisingly). XForms is intended to...
on Aug 5, 2003
A month ago I posted a fateful blog entry, "Hey Apple, Got J2ME?", which continues to draw counter blogs, email, and online responses. There's enough interest in this that I thought a follow-up might be in order. One thing is abundantly clear from the discussion: Java developers are very interested in seeing J2ME development tools supported by somebody on Mac OS X. Several readers posted...
on Aug 4, 2003
If you have been to the last edition of JavaOne, then you probably have seen me :-) I was one of the crazy, shameless Brazilian guys who attended the conference this year. No, I wasn't the "Brazilian superman", as one guy who works for Sun named Bruno Souza, our Javaman. :-) But, getting back to the point, there is a lot more about Java development and Brazil than you might know. To begin with,...
on Aug 4, 2003
I have a big black phone with lots of buttons on my desk. I have a very small silver phone that I carry around with me all the times. I use each of these phones on a daily basis. Although they perform the same basic function (allow me to call other people and to receive calls), and they cost roughly the same, they are quite different in a number of ways. Some of those differences make sense...
on Jul 31, 2003
In spite of all of the abstract tech talk and demo code and articles I've been involved with over the years while advocating Java technology, at the end of the day any technology, Java included, is only useful when somebody finds something interesting to do with it. To that end, I enjoyed Jack Shirazi's recent blog entry on Java Case Studies and the J2ME stats URLs posted in response by...
on Jul 30, 2003
Before I get much further in my Blog, I just want to make one thing perfectly clear: I love servers. Or more accurately, I love having my applications and data on servers, and then I like to just forget about those servers. I want them to be someone else’s concern. I simply want my applications and my data to be wherever I need them. I want them to be backed up without my thinking about it....
on Jul 30, 2003