Saturday, April 15, 2006

Javascript Databases?

You might laugh at first, "like what...huh?? That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard!" Oracle types, DBA's, and other people generally lacking in imagination have this reaction.

But there is a value play. With the web2.0 there will be more and more need to cache things in the browser. So you think well ok there are cookies. But no, we're talking more than just storing your username and a couple of preferences. We're talking about caching data, like structured text and then being able to query it without having to go back to the server.

For just storage DOJO has a framework and there is AMASS based on Flash to get around the cookie size restriction. But if you want SQL check out TrimPath's TrimQuery. It's very cool and can do basic queries, even joins! But sadly "LIKE" hasn't been implemented yet. There is even a combo TrimQuery + AMASS.

At work we're going to use similar mechanisms but we're custom coding since we need "LIKE". But I'm wondering if there's a way to ditch Flash and do some sort of in-memory thing like a javascript Prevayler with ajax calls to do the updates?

Google Calendar,Virtual Companies, and Perverted Adsense

Wow, it finally came out. People have been waiting for it after gmail. And by now we've all come to expect incredible DHTML things from google. It very slick.

At work I tried to have gmail as a frontend to our email backend but the company won't allow forwarding outside the company's domain. It's a shame because I wouldn't need Outlook or thunderbird anymore.

Now I'm thinking how a small (or even large) business could use gmail/calendar/groups/talk/writely/etc. to run their business virtually. If google would acquire or develop a file storage mechanism à la xdrive and incorporate it into google groups then it would basically all be there.

Perverted Adsense
Now I'm also thinking of a real perverted use of google adsense which a large organisation like my company could use. Companies could and perhaps should advertise internally within their web office suite. Everyone is talking about knowlege management and our company has a system but who goes there? There is no real efficient way to get mindshare for new corporate programs, technologies, events, groups, etc. So why not internal advertising using the same auction system that every google ad has. Perhaps google already sells their adsense engine to corporations like their search engine? Or if they don't a startup should build one and sell it to corporations since google adsense works.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Windows Live Mail

Well Microsoft had to respond to Google's gmail. A lot of the people I know have already switched. So I tried out windows live mail from my hotmail account. It's a version of gmail except slower for now. But it almost is like Outlook. It finally has a search and you can select multiple mails with shift-click so deleting a lot of spam is easy!

But when I tried to open it with Firefox what did I get? The Classic version. And then this message:
If you’re not using Internet Explorer 6.0: Using Internet Explorer versions 6.0 and higher will give you the best Windows Live Mail user experience with access to all functionality such as the reading pane and keyboard shortcuts. Internet Explorer 6.0 is available only for computers with certain system requirements.

I knew MS would do this. See my last post. But I think they're making a crucial mistake. They think that they're Windows Live will keep people on IE and not on Firefox or other future browsers. It's the same mistake that Apple made with their OS. In the end it's the apps that count and not the platform.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

The Web is at a new Inflexion Point

Wow the world is changing and fast. We're definately at an inflexion point. Here's what's going on. The web 2.0 is taking hold. The announcement of Google aquiring Writely just really confirms what is happening. And as Java was associated with the web 1.0, now Ruby and especially the phenominal momentum of Ruby on Rails is associated with the web 2.0. And it is growing exponentially. It seems clear to me now that RoR will eat up the J2EE and .Net market from the bottom up given the number of web hosters that offer rails hosting as well. Within a year rails will be a standard offering like php/mysql and have already made inroads into the j2ee/.net corporate world. The j2ee and .Net world will try to respond but the fundamental problem lies with the language. Java is not interpreted. See my other blog on this "How Rails saves time vs J2EE from an architect's POV"

Here is my view of the coming changes. We will go back to a semi-synchronous client / server architecture except this time with only a dhtml web browser and no more applets, activex, flash, etc. There will be a bunch of web2.0 applications built and then eventually a lot of commercial (Microsoft included) and free web 2.0 competing frameworks will eventually be winnowed down to one or two dominant opensource ones (like AWT and Swing in the Java world).

The big battle will be between Google and Microsoft. Google trying to replace all the MS apps via web2.0 apps (example: writely). MS is responing now but will as usual make their web2.0 apps only work with Internet Explorer. This could strategically be a crucial mistake. Will we then go back to a "service" business model as what was being hyped during the web1.0 dot com era? Something tells me not. I think we'll stay with a mix of paid software products and advertising based revenue streams.

One thing is clear is that all companies will have to upgrade their sites/apps to be web2.0 or they will loose traffic and customers. People are making fortunes now just redoing classic apps in web2.0 form. It truly is the web all over again but with less craziness, more experience, etc.