|By Joe Winchester||
|June 13, 2005 11:00 AM EDT||
I witnessed a recent BOF conversation in which the general feeling was that the browser GUI and its accompanying plethora of back-end frameworks had let people down by delivering a poor return on investment and a weak user-interface experience.
The Revenge of the Server
To predict the future you must study the past. Once upon a time servers ruled the kingdom of IT, with mainframe boxes delivering computing power to users who attached themselves via terminals. Then the GUI arrived along with cheaper and faster personal computers that promised a high-function user interface, challenging the era of the server. Early attempts to solve the client/server dichotomy exposed the weaknesses and strengths of both: the GUI delivered usability and high-end functionality while the server offered easier deployment and overall systems integrity. The server attacked the perceived strength of the client by offering a browser that provided a GUI, allowing green terminal users to put a fresh coat of paint on their applications. To all but the most belligerent among us, the browser had become the de facto user interface of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.
The Clone Wars
Navigating, validating, or dealing with multiple forms simultaneously are a client applications' home territory; however, as the browser struggled with these, Mark Andreessen, Netscape's inventor, famously remarked:
There was one feature that was temporary in Mosaic: the Back and Forward buttons. That never made a lot of sense to us. Back to what? Forward to what? We thought there would be a better way to navigate. But no one ever came up with one. ... There's nothing emerging right now. Creativity stopped in 1997...
Form entry pages where information is left incomplete have to incur an entire server round-trip to determine the errant field, after which a new page is presented to the user with red text highlighting the areas that need attention. Sensitive information such as passwords is often not included in the error page returned to the user, so fixing the first error can just reveal further problems as this is now the missing required data. Pressing the back button can throw up the error message: "The page you requested cannot be displayed as it is the result of a post operation - please press Reload to refresh", after which a further dialog asks you to confirm whether this is really your intention. As Dr. Jakob Nielsen observed: "Billions of dollars are wasted every year in lost productivity as people wait for Web pages to perform duties that could have been handled better by a 1984 Macintosh-style graphical user interface application (www.useit.com/jakob)."
It's never enough to score a victory simply by recognizing a strength in your opponent's argument and turning this to your advantage, for soon they will do likewise. The strength of the server is that it provides a single way to administer the client applications and HTML is a ubiquitous GUI format that can be read on almost every operating system. The force pushed the client to invent a way to have a full-fledged user interface that could be updated centrally by the server. Java Web Start now offers this. Although applets suffered problems in their initial incarnations, improvements made in 1.4 and beyond now mean they are a viable way to deliver a fully functioning Java GUI via a browser. Java's mantra of "write once, run anywhere" suits those wishing to write a GUI that can be delivered across a wide variety of platforms, and Swing improvements in the past few years now mean that it offers a high function point that couples good platform fidelity with a set of powerful frameworks. For those wishing to program in Java and enjoy native platform widgets directly, SWT provides a very good toolkit.
The Client Strikes Back
The problems that plagued early client/server for deployment and homogeneity with native appearance are solved. As the Web folks realized once HTML's glitz wore off, more is required than just serving up a fancy GUI. Application frameworks are required and JDNC is a powerful technology that provides a way to attach a Java GUI to back-end data. JSR 273, which was recently approved, promises to overhaul the JavaBeans component model specification and allow tools builders to create an easier and more powerful programming experience. Web services were once described to me as "HTML for non-carbon based life forms," the inference being that programs could send and receive messages using the simplicity of HTTP and the Web without needing a browser to render the data for a user to interpret. As more APIs from companies whose fame arose through the browser become published as Web services, the wealth of data behind the Web can become consumed by fully functioning Java client GUIs. It seems ironic that the transport of data over HTTP, the backbone that launched the Web, might become the new model for client/server, and Web services will propel the next generation of rich GUIs. The force is with us yet.
Chuck Piluso will present a study of cloud adoption trends and the power and flexibility of IBM Power and Pureflex cloud solutions. Speaker Bio: Prior to Data Storage Corporation (DSC), Mr. Piluso founded North American Telecommunication Corporation, a facilities-based Competitive Local Exchange Carrier licensed by the Public Service Commission in 10 states, serving as the company's chairman and president from 1997 to 2000. Between 1990 and 1997, Mr. Piluso served as chairman & founder of International Telecommunications Corporation, a facilities-based international carrier licensed by t...
May. 5, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 826
We heard for many years how developing nations would be able to develop mobile-phone networks quickly, perhaps even leapfrog developed nations, because their lack of traditional, wired networks would not inhibit them from deploying the new technology. Now there is talk of history repeating itself with the Industrial Internet--a key aspect of the emerging Internet of Things. For example, Guo Ping, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Chinese electronics giant Huawei, said in a recent report from the World Economic Forum, "The Industrial Internet will afford emerging markets a unique opportunity ...
May. 5, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 410
Recent technology advances in miniaturization has positioned the wearables as the pinnacle of technology convergence with the human body. We inquire if wearables are mere standard miniaturized devices extended with the connectivity and present our views on considerations like design, applications, performance, efficiency, interoperability, usage scenarios, human device interaction and consequent trade-offs enabling wearables to impart optimal value.
May. 5, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,790
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal an...
May. 5, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 667
Enterprise IoT is an exciting and chaotic space with a lot of potential to transform how the enterprise resources are managed. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Hari Srinivasan, Sr Product Manager at Cisco, will describe the challenges in enabling mass adoption of IoT, and share perspectives and insights on architectures/standards/protocols that are necessary to build a healthy ecosystem and lay the foundation to for a wide variety of exciting IoT use cases in the years to come.
May. 5, 2015 07:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,237
Avnet, Inc. has announced that it ranked No. 4 on the InformationWeek Elite 100 – a list of the top business technology innovators in the U.S. Avnet was recognized for the development of an innovative cloud-based training system that serves as the foundation for Avnet Academy – the company’s education and training organization focused on technical training around top IT vendor technologies. The development of this system allowed Avnet to quickly expand its IT-related training capabilities around the world, while creating a new service that Avnet and its IT solution providers can offer to their...
May. 5, 2015 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 779
SYS-CON Events announced today that SafeLogic has been named “Bag Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo® New York, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. SafeLogic provides security products for applications in mobile and server/appliance environments. SafeLogic’s flagship product CryptoComply is a FIPS 140-2 validated cryptographic engine designed to secure data on servers, workstations, appliances, mobile devices, and in the Cloud.
May. 5, 2015 04:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,498
SYS-CON Events announced today that Akana, formerly SOA Software, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo® New York, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Akana’s comprehensive suite of API Management, API Security, Integrated SOA Governance, and Cloud Integration solutions helps businesses accelerate digital transformation by securely extending their reach across multiple channels – mobile, cloud and Internet of Things. Akana enables enterprises to share data as APIs, connect and integrate applications, drive part...
May. 5, 2015 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,469
SYS-CON Events announced today that Open Data Centers (ODC), a carrier-neutral colocation provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Open Data Centers is a carrier-neutral data center operator in New Jersey and New York City offering alternative connectivity options for carriers, service providers and enterprise customers.
May. 5, 2015 03:30 AM EDT Reads: 3,265
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dyn, the worldwide leader in Internet Performance, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Dyn is a cloud-based Internet Performance company. Dyn helps companies monitor, control, and optimize online infrastructure for an exceptional end-user experience. Through a world-class network and unrivaled, objective intelligence into Internet conditions, Dyn ensures traffic gets delivered faster, safer, and more reliably than ever.
May. 5, 2015 03:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,974
SYS-CON Events announced today that Vicom Computer Services, Inc., a provider of technology and service solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. They are located at booth #427. Vicom Computer Services, Inc. is a progressive leader in the technology industry for over 30 years. Headquartered in the NY Metropolitan area. Vicom provides products and services based on today’s requirements around Unified Networks, Cloud Computing strategies, Virtualization around Software defined Data Ce...
May. 5, 2015 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,507
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
May. 5, 2015 01:45 AM EDT Reads: 4,413
SYS-CON Events announced today that AIC, a leading provider of OEM/ODM server and storage solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. AIC is a leading provider of both standard OTS, off-the-shelf, and OEM/ODM server and storage solutions. With expert in-house design capabilities, validation, manufacturing and production, AIC's broad selection of products are highly flexible and are configurable to any form factor or custom configuration. AIC leads the industry with nearly 20 years of ...
May. 5, 2015 12:15 AM EDT Reads: 5,835
SYS-CON Events announced today that B2Cloud, a provider of enterprise resource planning software, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. B2cloud develops the software you need. They have the ideal tools to help you work with your clients. B2Cloud’s main solutions include AGIS – ERP, CLOHC, AGIS – Invoice, and IZUM
May. 4, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 4,432
The Internet of Things Maturity Model (IoTMM) is a qualitative method to gauge the growth and increasing impact of IoT capabilities in an IT environment from both a business and technology perspective. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan will first scan the IoT landscape and investigate the major challenges and barriers. The key areas of consideration are identified to get started with IoT journey. He will then pinpoint the need of a tool for effective IoT adoption and implementation, which leads to IoTMM in which five maturity levels are defined: Advanced, Dynamic, Optimized, Primitive,...
May. 4, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,105
There is no doubt that Big Data is here and getting bigger every day. Building a Big Data infrastructure today is no easy task. There are an enormous number of choices for database engines and technologies. To make things even more challenging, requirements are getting more sophisticated, and the standard paradigm of supporting historical analytics queries is often just one facet of what is needed. As Big Data growth continues, organizations are demanding real-time access to data, allowing immediate and actionable interpretation of events as they happen. Another aspect concerns how to deliver ...
May. 4, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 5,740
The world's leading Cloud event, Cloud Expo has launched Microservices Journal on the SYS-CON.com portal, featuring over 19,000 original articles, news stories, features, and blog entries. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. Microservices Journal offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. Follow new article posts on Twitter at @MicroservicesE
May. 4, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,890
Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York June 9-11 will find fresh new content in a new track called PaaS | Containers & Microservices Containers are not being considered for the first time by the cloud community, but a current era of re-consideration has pushed them to the top of the cloud agenda. With the launch of Docker's initial release in March of 2013, interest was revved up several notches. Then late last...
May. 4, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,845
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, discussed how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.
May. 4, 2015 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 4,309
So I guess we’ve officially entered a new era of lean and mean. I say this with the announcement of Ubuntu Snappy Core, “designed for lightweight cloud container hosts running Docker and for smart devices,” according to Canonical. “Snappy Ubuntu Core is the smallest Ubuntu available, designed for security and efficiency in devices or on the cloud.” This first version of Snappy Ubuntu Core features secure app containment and Docker 1.6 (1.5 in main release), is available on public clouds, and for ARM and x86 devices on several IoT boards. It’s a Trend! This announcement comes just as...
May. 4, 2015 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,216