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The case (once again) for openness
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besson3c
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Nov 22, 2010, 04:16 PM
 
I took a lot of flack and got labeled as a Linux fanboy in here by some. Admittedly, I probably wasn't really clear and concise in what I wanted to say, perhaps my opinions and ideas have since changed as they came to a greater focus, but really, I think my thoughts and feelings are best encapsulated by Tim Berners Lee here (article summary):

Tim Berners-Lee: Facebook Threatens Web, Beware

Here is the full article:

Long Live the Web: A Call for Continued Open Standards and Neutrality: Scientific American


Allow me to restate...

I'm not making any assertions of the quality of open source Desktop software (although I stand by my praise of it as it pertains to server software), nor am I advocating using Linux as a Desktop OS or even Linux in general.

What I'm advocating for is openness, and not at the expense of proprietary software necessarily, but just supporting making things open. Why? For the very same reason why many of you dislike Facebook.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web, warned that social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Friendster constitute one of "several threats to the Web's universality," arguing that such sites create "closed silos of content" that may threaten the Internet's status as a "single, universal information space."
"Some of [the Web's] most successful inhabitants have begun to chip away at its principles," wrote Berners-Lee. "Large social-networking sites are walling off information posted by their users from the rest of the Web. Wireless Internet providers are being tempted to slow traffic to sites with which they have not made deals. Governments--totalitarian and democratic alike--are monitoring people's online habits, endangering important human rights."
Whether you like Facebook or not, there are many examples in addition to the wireless internet providers and government examples above that make the case that when you allow entities to control stuff, you give them the opportunity to make political power plays, to infringe, and to essentially play the game that Facebook is now of seeing how far they can push their boundaries without severe blowback.

The time is coming close where I don't think that we as computer geeks and people that support others should no longer be blasé about these sorts of issues, particularly with regards to the privacy issues surrounding Facebook now.

I'm not suggesting that we stop using any of this technology, I use Facebook myself, a Mac, etc. I'm not against people making obscene amounts of money, and I recognize the technological upside of being closed, at times. However, I'm beginning to think that we as IT dudes should start making it clear to those that count us that services like GMail are not really "free", that you should be *really* careful about what you enter into Facebook, etc. How, I'm not really sure though...

We all have to decide where these lines of privacy and control of data/formats/protocols are drawn in our own lives and I don't feel that we should be doing this on behalf of others with dogma, and there is also a balance between all of this and outright paranoia, but I really think that just general ignorance among the population is going to ultimately bite us all in the ass, big time.

Where is my pitchfork?
     
turtle777
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Nov 22, 2010, 04:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I took a lot of flack and got labeled as a Linux fanboy in here by some. Admittedly, I probably wasn't really clear and concise in what I wanted to say, perhaps my opinions and ideas have since changed as they came to a greater focus, but really, I think my thoughts and feelings are best encapsulated by Tim Berners Lee here (article summary):

Tim Berners-Lee: Facebook Threatens Web, Beware

Here is the full article:

Long Live the Web: A Call for Continued Open Standards and Neutrality: Scientific American


Allow me to restate...

I'm not making any assertions of the quality of open source Desktop software (although I stand by my praise of it as it pertains to server software), nor am I advocating using Linux as a Desktop OS or even Linux in general.

What I'm advocating for is openness, and not at the expense of proprietary software necessarily, but just supporting making things open. Why? For the very same reason why many of you dislike Facebook.

Whether you like Facebook or not, there are many examples in addition to the wireless internet providers and government examples above that make the case that when you allow entities to control stuff, you give them the opportunity to make political power plays, to infringe, and to essentially play the game that Facebook is now of seeing how far they can push their boundaries without severe blowback.

The time is coming close where I don't think that we as computer geeks and people that support others should no longer be blasé about these sorts of issues, particularly with regards to the privacy issues surrounding Facebook now.

I'm not suggesting that we stop using any of this technology, I use Facebook myself, a Mac, etc. I'm not against people making obscene amounts of money, and I recognize the technological upside of being closed, at times. However, I'm beginning to think that we as IT dudes should start making it clear to those that count us that services like GMail are not really "free", that you should be *really* careful about what you enter into Facebook, etc. How, I'm not really sure though...

We all have to decide where these lines of privacy and control of data/formats/protocols are drawn in our own lives and I don't feel that we should be doing this on behalf of others with dogma, and there is also a balance between all of this and outright paranoia, but I really think that just general ignorance among the population is going to ultimately bite us all in the ass, big time.

Where is my pitchfork?
"I probably wasn't really clear and concise in what I wanted to say"

LOL, you think ? Let me know when you have it down to one paragraph.

-t
     
Doofy
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Nov 22, 2010, 05:39 PM
 
Here be the problem, Oprah.

- Berners-Lee, a simpleton, took Hypercard and attached a networking protocol to it.

- All was good. Except having to replace keyboards when you'd barfed on them because of viewing a creative colour-scheme on someone's page.

- The geek, seeking to secure his employment, decided that more and more needed to be added to Berners-Lee's system. Thus, instead of simplicity in the hands of the user, the whole shebang turned into "have to employ a geek to write the php/javascript/etc".

- The user, baffled by this complexity and not wishing to employ a geek just to post pics of his dog so Aunty Mable could view them, took to the simple avenues provided by FaceSpace.

The solution is simple: Make it easy for users to do what they do on FaceSpace, but on their own pages. And make sure their ISP accounts have personal web space (most in the UK do).
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besson3c  (op)
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Nov 22, 2010, 05:56 PM
 
I really don't know how anything you wrote applies to my post, and with your leadoff point being the unreasonable accusation that Berners-Lee is a simpleton, I'm not sure if I want to bother asking you to explain.
     
Doofy
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Nov 22, 2010, 06:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I really don't know how anything you wrote applies to my post ... I'm not sure if I want to bother asking you to explain.
Remain in darkness then.
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besson3c  (op)
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Nov 22, 2010, 06:10 PM
 
Your arrogance continues to astound.
     
besson3c  (op)
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Nov 22, 2010, 06:12 PM
 
For those semi-curious about Berners-Lee, I'll save you a trip to his Wikipedia page:


While an independent contractor at CERN from June to December 1980, Berners-Lee proposed a project based on the concept of hypertext, to facilitate sharing and updating information among researchers.[8] While there, he built a prototype system named ENQUIRE.[9] After leaving CERN in 1980, he went to work at John Poole's Image Computer Systems, Ltd, in Bournemouth, England.[10] The project he worked on was a real-time remote procedure call where he learned the network background.[10] In 1984 he returned to CERN as a fellow.[9] In 1989, CERN was the largest Internet node in Europe, and Berners-Lee saw an opportunity to join hypertext with the Internet: "I just had to take the hypertext idea and connect it to the Transmission Control Protocol and domain name system ideas and—ta-da! — the World Wide Web."[11] He wrote his initial proposal in March 1989, and in 1990, with the help of Robert Cailliau, produced a revision which was accepted by his manager, Mike Sendall.[12] He used similar ideas to those underlying the ENQUIRE system to create the World Wide Web, for which he designed and built the first Web browser, which also functioned as an editor (WorldWideWeb, running on the NeXTSTEP operating system), and the first Web server, CERN HTTPd (short for Hypertext Transfer Protocol daemon).
The first web site built was at CERN, and was first put on line on 6 August 1991.
"Info.cern.ch was the address of the world's first-ever web site and web server, running on a NeXT computer at CERN. The first web page address was Welcome to info.cern.ch, which centred on information regarding the WWW project. Visitors could learn more about hypertext, technical details for creating their own webpage, and even an explanation on how to search the Web for information. There are no screenshots of this original page and, in any case, changes were made daily to the information available on the page as the WWW project developed. You may find a later copy (1992) on the World Wide Web Consortium website." -CERN
It provided an explanation of what the World Wide Web was, and how one could use a browser and set up a web server.[13][14][15][16]
In 1994, Berners-Lee founded the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) at MIT. It comprised various companies that were willing to create standards and recommendations to improve the quality of the Web. Berners-Lee made his idea available freely, with no patent and no royalties due. The World Wide Web Consortium decided that its standards should be based on royalty-free technology, so that they could easily be adopted by anyone.[17]
In 2001, Berners-Lee became a patron of the East Dorset Heritage Trust, having previously lived in Colehill in Wimborne, East Dorset, England.
In December 2004, he accepted a chair in Computer Science at the School of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton, England, to work on his new project, the Semantic Web.[18]
     
bstone
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Nov 22, 2010, 06:20 PM
 
Desktop OS=DOS. Not one uses that any longer.
     
besson3c  (op)
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Nov 22, 2010, 06:22 PM
 
huh?
     
imitchellg5
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Nov 22, 2010, 06:28 PM
 
Do you have to be Clinically Insane to post in this thread?
     
The Final Dakar
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Nov 22, 2010, 06:29 PM
 
It helps.
     
nonhuman
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Nov 22, 2010, 06:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
It helps.
How would you know?
     
Doofy
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Nov 22, 2010, 06:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
Do you have to be Clinically Insane to post in this thread?
No. Your preset viewpoint must be identical to Oprah's preset viewpoint in order to post in this thread. He's just jacking off trying to make himself look clever again.
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Nov 22, 2010, 06:54 PM
 
Don't feed the troll!!!
     
brassplayersrock²
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Nov 22, 2010, 06:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
No. Your preset viewpoint must be identical to Oprah's preset viewpoint in order to post in this thread. He's just jacking off trying to make himself look clever again.
So, you're saying that Oprah is a he, jacks off, and tries to be clever. Got it.
     
turtle777
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Nov 22, 2010, 06:57 PM
 
I feed the troll posted in this awesome thread.

-t
     
brassplayersrock²
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Nov 22, 2010, 07:00 PM
 
That would be "fed" by the way.
     
Doofy
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Nov 22, 2010, 07:01 PM
 
Don't try me dude. You'll lose.
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turtle777
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Nov 22, 2010, 07:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by brassplayersrock² View Post
That would be "fed" by the way.
Who says I'm done ?

F**d you

-t
     
Doofy
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Nov 22, 2010, 07:03 PM
 
It's a shame, you know. This could have been a good thread but for Oprah's accusations of arrogance. Do they have to practice passive-aggressiveness up there in Canuckistan or is it genetic?
Been inclined to wander... off the beaten track.
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brassplayersrock²
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Nov 22, 2010, 07:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
Don't try me dude. You'll lose.
I'd be the real winner if I tried you.
     
andi*pandi
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Nov 22, 2010, 07:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
The solution is simple: Make it easy for users to do what they do on FaceSpace, but on their own pages. And make sure their ISP accounts have personal web space (most in the UK do).
I like it. Can we call it iTools? Maybe there can be some kind of friendly web page export from iPhoto that could make homepages too.
     
Doofy
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Nov 22, 2010, 07:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
I like it. Can we call it iTools? Maybe there can be some kind of friendly web page export from iPhoto that could make homepages too.
That kind of stuff is way too hard for the punters. And most of 'em are on Windows anyway. Needs to be an all-in-one cross platform app with less config than FaceSpace. Like water, the general public will always look for the easiest path - and if that path leads to closed-standards lock-ins, the public doesn't care. "Easy" always wins.

Think FaceSpace in an app window which uses conventional web space, conventional mail and conventional messaging.

Berners-Lee is a simpleton because he's whining about open standards which he had the ability to legally enforce if he'd have released the www in a slightly different legal format (i.e. under patent but freely licensable provided open protocols are used).
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andi*pandi
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Nov 22, 2010, 09:02 PM
 
Considering the difficulty I had convincing family to use flickr, I concur that you can lead the horse to water blah blah blah.
     
besson3c  (op)
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Nov 22, 2010, 09:20 PM
 
Doofy, that's basically what we have now in http, but what has happened has been several layers of technology built on top of http to extend this basic functionality: several different middleware languages, database backends, Flash, Javascript/AJAX, Java, and now different video and audio formats, etc. What you get with open is people taking the ball and running with it and these technologies emerging. What sort of legal framework would you propose to allow these technologies to built from their basic foundation without some entity going after some sort of power grab?

It would be nice if you could do more with HTML and things are finally starting to change with HTML5 after HTML4 was stagnant for so long, but part of this related to the dominance of IE. What would you have done with Microsoft and IE?

These are not confrontational questions either intended to put you on the defensive, but hopefully questions that will get this thread rolling. The idea of a different legal format is interesting...
     
besson3c  (op)
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Nov 22, 2010, 09:21 PM
 
You guys have a really, really bizarre definition of trolling if that is really what you think I'm doing here...
     
The Final Dakar
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Nov 22, 2010, 09:32 PM
 
I bet besson believes in open marriages.
     
besson3c  (op)
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Nov 22, 2010, 09:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
I bet besson believes in open marriages.

Not for me, but I've often wondered if that is purely an environmental thing? It was interesting how in the TV series Caprica some of their marriages were open... Are we capable of open marriages?
     
Doofy
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Nov 22, 2010, 09:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Doofy, that's basically what we have now in http, but what has happened has been several layers of technology built on top of http to extend this basic functionality: several different middleware languages, database backends, Flash, Javascript/AJAX, Java, and now different video and audio formats, etc.
I know. Hence first post.

Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
What you get with open is people taking the ball and running with it and these technologies emerging.
I'd argue that the plethora of technologies now available are alienating the punters, who generally seek ease and familiarity.
Geeks have a way of making everything needlessly complex, sometimes because they can (or for props from fellow geeks) and sometimes because if things were simple, nobody would need them and they'd have to go flip burgers.
I'm reasonably sure that the punter quest for ease and familiarity is driving the punters over to the closed-systems which B-L is whining about. So essentially, being too open technologically is the cause of the being too closed data-wise.

Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
What sort of legal framework would you propose to allow these technologies to built from their basic foundation without some entity going after some sort of power grab?
If I were B-L, I'd have patented the web then let everyone use it (for free) on licence but retained the power myself - sort of like Philips did with the CD. Anyone not playing ball with the original intent of openness would be denied licence.
Of course, anyone wanting to develop new tech to sit on top of the web could then approach the w3 and see about integrating their ideas into the standard. But it'd be very closely monitored - for example, if a new video format came along it'd only make it into the standard if it was better than the current standard - no competing formats.

B-L is basically arguing against himself. He wants the web to be open, for everyone... ...but then whines about the results of it being open, for everyone. It's the same old story we see everywhere when related to freedom - if you want freedom for the majority (i.e. everyone who isn't seeking to modify for their own gains), then you have to have guards on the door ensuring someone else doesn't post their guards on the door.
When all's said and done, the bloke needs to make his mind up and take some common sense pills.

Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
It would be nice if you could do more with HTML and things are finally starting to change with HTML5 after HTML4 was stagnant for so long, but part of this related to the dominance of IE. What would you have done with Microsoft and IE?
See, I think HTML is becoming overly-complex. It's turned into a programming language. What does B-L expect everyone to do... ...become a coder? Hire a coder so they can upload pictures of the dog to their webspace? This is why people are turning to FaceSpace - it's easy, no pet geeks required.

Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
These are not confrontational questions either intended to put you on the defensive, but hopefully questions that will get this thread rolling.
I know the difference between conversation and someone calling me arrogant.
Been inclined to wander... off the beaten track.
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besson3c  (op)
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Nov 22, 2010, 10:10 PM
 
Your statement that B-L is a simpleton was arrogant, yes (esp. since it implies that you are somehow one up on him for recognizing his simpletonness), but it looks like you are not going to insist upon pursuing that argument, esp. now that you are claiming that the web is overly complex and that complex is bad.

Moving on with your good arguments in your post...


I believe the plethora of technologies is due to the stagnation of certain technologies and others coming forward to fill in the gaps. The end result is a very complex hodge-podge of tech, I agree with you that it is needlessly complex. However, there is a need for what has been invented.

For instance, AJAX is a very useful technique that is used predominantly now. As web apps converge into adopting the UI conventions of desktop apps and mobile apps doing the same (and vice versa), it is fitting that we need something to do stuff like auto-save our work, invoke some sort of action that goes beyond just massaging what is on the page without reloading the entire page, or whatever, which AJAX is used for in a way that mimics what desktop apps have been able to do for years.

AJAX was actually originally a Microsoft tech available in IE 5 that was eventually supported in the other browsers. However, very few people bother writing AJAX calls in pure Javascript, they use frameworks like jQuery, YUI, or Prototype to make things less complicated. In fact, many web developers rely on these frameworks so much that it is sometimes hard to think in "pure" Javascript. The same can be said for PHP toolkits. The fact that we've needed Flash to do extremely basic stuff like provide a simple media player or an upload progress bar is another good example of this.

What would be ideal is if Javascript evolved so that these toolkits were unnecessary, and likewise for HTML and all of these other technologies. However, certain entities haven't been up to the task of rising to meet these needs. Microsoft hasn't been up to improving IE for many years too. Politics are involved, people, competition, resources, etc. It's all imperfect.


I have a hard time seeing how we get from place A to place B without allowing people to bolt stuff on top of other technologies that are necessary but stagnating. How do you have guards on the door when there are so many impatient parties wanting things to move? With a lot of stakeholders comes bureaucracy, and slowness, and inefficiency.
     
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Nov 22, 2010, 10:25 PM
 
...and that's why people are liking FaceSpace.
Now, imagine if the browser had evolved, not the web app. Imagine if we'd gone client-side rather than server-side.

I know you're big on the cloud, but I ain't - I think it's a ridiculous way of doing things.
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besson3c  (op)
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Nov 22, 2010, 10:57 PM
 
In some ways it is ridiculous, but it is cost effective, and that's what matters more.
     
mduell
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Nov 23, 2010, 12:44 AM
 
tl;dr

Open is just different, not better. There's plenty of open shit out there.
     
besson3c  (op)
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Nov 23, 2010, 01:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
tl;dr

Open is just different, not better. There's plenty of open shit out there.

Not really the point, but okay...
     
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Nov 23, 2010, 02:11 AM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
tl;dr

Open is just different, not better. There's plenty of open shit out there.
I'm open; please refer to my last post in this thread.
     
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Nov 23, 2010, 03:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
If I were B-L, I'd have patented the web then let everyone use it (for free) on licence but retained the power myself - sort of like Philips did with the CD. Anyone not playing ball with the original intent of openness would be denied licence.
Would that ever have worked? OK so the license is free, but the underlying direction is locked down by the patent holder. The main reason the web ran away was that it was completely open so everyone made of it what they would. If BL had locked it down then the companies that all invested in the development of the web would have done their own thing.
There would have been a million different eWorlds.
This space for Hire! Reasonable rates. Reach an audience of literally dozens!
     
   
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