Why Google Wave makes Tim Bray nervous
XML co-author on complexity and the web
Radio Reg Before Google’s founders were ordering pizza in their Stanford University dorm rooms, Tim Bray was working to commercialize search technology. At start-up Open Text Corporation, he was using the massive University-of-Waterloo project to put the Oxford English Dictionary online.
And before Amazon Web Services was a glint in the toaster sellers’ eye, Bray co-authored XML at the W3C. XML laid the foundations for interoperability between competing systems and for the exchange of data that many today take as a given.
Bray told The Reg during a chat that he felt a little uneasy about Google Wave, which could either become the next Twitter or the next Lotus Notes. Gulp.
“I tend to be a little bit nervous and suspicious of something that tries to do everything at once,” Bray told us. “Some of the really big innovations on the internet have been things that solved one problem really well and didn’t try to boil the ocean.”
With Opera Unite, Bray’s at least a fan of the core idea of “web hooks” in the cloud — or a web server in the browser — to help users communicate. HTML 5, meanwhile, has got some “brain-dead good ideas,” but will it succeed in becoming the last word-spec in compatibility between all browsers or have things just got too big already?
Just give Bray a chunk of money and the job of building a distributed system that involves lots of events and messaging, and you might be surprised by the language he picks to build it. Rather than Java, from his employer Sun Microsystems, Bray thinks a 1980s language from Swedish telco manufacture Ericsson called Erlang has appeal.
In our full 17-minute interview, you’ll find out how the 1980s are back not just in obscure languages but also in the battle between relational and network databases. Listen using our player below, or you can just grab the Ogg file or the MP3. ®
The next Notes....
...might not be a bad thing. The current one is broken and bloated, and the original purpose (yes, there IS one) has been lost in the cloud of bling it's been burdened with. It should simply be shot and buried in a shallow grave in a desert somewhere.
As for transcripts: I am not now and never will be a podcast consumer (the word alone - *shudder*). I am not an Auditory. I am a Visual, like 60% of my fellow geeks. Transcripts or be ignored. Be tole.
"XML laid the foundations for interoperability between competing systems and for the exchange of data that many today take as a given."
Lies! Lies! *foams at the mouth*
There were plenty of mature technologies for interoperability before XML came along. It added yet another format to write things in (yay, another standard to choose from! That'll help interoperability! :-), and the media buzz at the time at least got people *thinking* about interoperability a bit more, but there's nothing about XML that makes interoperability really any easier than existing technology; sure, it has a few nice things, but it also has a lot of really horrid things too.
Sorry to rant, but I suffered badly due to people thinking that data encoded in XML would somehow be more interoperable than data encoded in TSV... there's a lot of different ways of representing a table in XML!
@ E 2
That just means you're using this as entertainment, and you're intending to plough through it irrespective of its content. That's fine; there's a place for that. There's even a place in the world for Flash. The point here isn't that one or the other is "better" in some objective sense, but rather that an MP3 is appropriate in certain circumstances (listening to while engaging in some other activity that would otherwise be intellectually dead-time) but grossly inappropriate in others (any sort of active but critical interest in efficiently reviewing the content).
In other words, yeah, MP3 is better if your goal is to kill time. MP3 isn't better if your goal is NOT to waste time.