Conference Notes

Rob Erskine, "Web 2.0, Web 3.0 and the Participation Age", Mar 19

After a great lunch, we settled in for the four remaining sessions of the conference. Rob Erskine of the Software Practice at Sun Microsystems kicked off the afternoon’s proceedings with Web 2.0, Web 3.0 and the Participation Age. Rob didn’t use a Mac.

He started by showing the YouTube video on Web 2.0 … which Rob said was the best short explanation of “Web 2.0” that he’s seen:

What Does Web 2.0 Do To Application Design?
Today … traditional paradigm fundamentally unchanged in 100 years of computing. Classic business analysis and development in a controlled environment in the enterprise.
Tomorrow … (a) anyone can access services you expose for any purpose; (b) anyone can contribute content or redefine your content, (c) uncontrolled access and usage.

In terms of the “tomorrow”, this raises threats and opportunities.

Rob’s proposition: You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t
– Participating in collaborative networks means an uncontrolled environment, eg, Chevy Tahoe ad
– Not participating means you may get locked out of business, eg, listing of hotels in Google Earth
– Managing the balance between the two is key – When to invest, and how far to invest
– Defines the boundaries of commercial opportunity

Web mashups can happen at multiple layers in your architecture, eg, presentation layer, business logic layer, and data layer. Web 2.0 today is very much on the presentation layer today, but will increasingly go to the business logic and data layers.

Application design considerations:
– What information and access do I want to expose?
– What services do I want access to?
– How do I know the data I’m accessing is correct?
– What am I going to build it in? Simple Web services, or WS*?
– What types of tools and technologies will I use to build them?
– How do I control access? In days gone by it was very easy. You needed access into the physical building, plus passwords on the dumb terminals inside the building.
– How will I control performance and throughput?

Common themes for the participation age:
– Need for massive scalability
– Security considerations … hardware, software, services
– Solving data semantics, eg, different measurement for important things like fuel on a plane
– Change management

– Demand will be greater with exponential growth and a total lack of predictability
– It will impact the design of your entire infrastructure from the hardware layer through to OS to database, network and application scalability
– Is the burea coming back as “grid computing”?

– Building layers of security and trust, eg, security (electronic identity, personal identity, service security, etc.), trust (how I know that the data is valid/real/current)
– Who is “Rob Erskine” and is that one the same as “Rob Erskine” the BNZ account holder, the Air NZ Koru club member, the Sun employee, etc, etc.?
– What I have and what I know is just the starting point

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