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Gary Edwards

Breaking the Web: The Document War between HTML+ and OOXML - 0 views

    Microsoft to the world: Outlook's not broken and we aren't 'fixing' it!

    Mary Jo has an interesting article over at ZDNet. She points out that Microsoft is refusing to restore support for HTML editing in Outlook. Instead, Microsoft intends on using the MSWord editor. I think that means a Microsoft desktop future based on Office OpenXML (OOXML). We shall see. But if this is the case, then i also think we are looking at how Microsoft will break the Web.

    I've left an extensive comment to Mary Jo's article in the Talkback section, linked to above.

    ".... This is for all the marbles. The future of the Open
    Web is at stake. If Microsoft is successful at carving
    out and encoding an MS Web based on a document format
    specific to their platforms, applications and services,
    the Web will break. "

    "Looks like a plan to me."

    continued here
Gary Edwards

Microsoft's Quest for Interoperability and Open Standards - 0 views

    Interesting article discussing the many ways Microsoft is using to improve the public perception that they are serious about interoperability and open formats, protocols and interfaces. Rocketman attended the recent ISO SC34 meeting in Prague and agrees that Microsoft has indeed put on a new public face filled with cooperation, compliance and unheard of sincerity.

    He also says, "Don't be fooled!!!"

    There is a big difference between participation in vendor consortia and government sponsored public standards efforts, and, actual implementation at the product level. Looking at how Microsoft products implement open standards, my take is that they have decided on a policy of end user choice. Their applications offer on the one hand the choice of aging, near irrelevant and often crippled open standards. And on the other, the option of very rich and feature filled but proprietary formats, protocols and interfaces that integrate across the entire Microsoft platform of desktop, devices and servers. For instance; IE8 supports 1998 HTML-CSS, but not the advanced ACiD-3 "HTML+" used by WebKit, Firefox, Opera and near every device or smartphone operating at the edge of the Web. (HTML+ = HTML5, CSS4, SVG/Canvas, JS, JS Libs).

    But they do offer advanced .NET-WPF proprietary alternative to Open Web HTML+. These include XAML, Silverlight, XPS, LINQ, Smart Tags, and OOXML. Very nice.

    "When an open source advocate, open standards advocate, or, well, pretty much anyone that competes with Microsoft (news, site) sees an extended hand from the software giant toward better interoperability, they tend to look and see if the other hand's holding a spiked club.

    Even so, the Redmond, WA company continues to push the message that it has seen the light regarding open standards and interoperability...."

Gary Edwards

Cloud computing and the return of the platform wars | The Open Web takes on the Open Cl... - 0 views

    Excellent article on Cloud Computing and the need for an Open API from Dion Hinchcliffe. Solid analysis, deeply linked, with some good graphics:

    "....The final outcome of this struggle, as it's been in many earlier platform battles over personal computer hardware, operating systems, databases, and even the Web itself, will be the result of a fairly predictable and oft-repeated cycle of events (see diagram below) for which a small number of large winners are likely to emerge victorious...."

    "When we look back many years from now, it's probable that cloud computing will be regarded as both a momentous and major change of course in the history of software; many future computing platforms will be created and operated by what seemingly amount to utility companies. While this might seem like a boring future for computing, it's a necessarily pragmatic evolution as the very size and scope of modern software requires new economic models in order to remain cost effective. Virtually any online application these days has to scale to a few million users as quickly and inexpensively as possible....."
Gary Edwards

The Open Web: Next-Generation Standards Support in WebKit/ Safari - 0 views

    Apple has posted an interesting page describing Safari technologies. Innovations and support for existing standards as well as the ACID3 test are covered.

    Many people think that the Apple WebKit-Safari-iPhone innovations are pushing Open Web Standards beyond beyond the limits of "Open", and deep into the verboten realm of vendor specific extensions. Others, myself included, believe that the WebKit community has to do this if Open Web technologies are to be anyway competitive with Microsoft's RiA (XAML-Silverlight-WPF).

    Adobe RiA (AiR-Flex-Flash) is also an alternative to WebKit and Microsoft RiA; kind of half Open Web, half proprietary though. Adobe Flash is of course proprietary. While Adobe AiR implements the WebKit layout engine and visual document model. I suspect that as Adobe RiA loses ground to Microsoft Silverlight, they will open up Flash. But that's not something the Open Web can afford to wait for.

    In many ways, WebKit is at the cutting edge of Ajax Open Web technologies. The problems of Ajax not scaling well are being solved as shared JavaScript libraries continue to amaze, and the JavaScript engines roar with horsepower. Innovations in WebKit, even the vendor-device specific ones, are being picked up by the JS Libraries, Firefox, and the other Open Web browsers.

    At the end of the day though, it is the balance between the ACiD3 test on one side and the incredible market surge of WebKit smartphones, countertops, and netbook devices at the edge of the Web that seem to hold things together.

    The surge at the edge is washing back over the greater Web, as cross-browser frustrated Web designers and developers roll out the iPhone welcome. Let's hope the ACiD3 test holds. So far it's proving to be a far more important consideration for maintaining Open Web interop, without sacrificing innovation, than anything going on at the stalled W3C.

    "..... Safari continues to lead the way, implementing
Gary Edwards

The NeuroCommons Project: Open RDF Ontologies for Scientific Reseach - 0 views

    The NeuroCommons project seeks to make all scientific research materials - research articles, annotations, data, physical materials - as available and as useable as they can be. This is done by fostering practices that render information in a form that promotes uniform access by computational agents - sometimes called "interoperability". Semantic Web practices based on RDF will enable knowledge sources to combine meaningfully, semantically precise queries that span multiple information sources.

    Working with the Creative Commons group that sponsors "Neurocommons", Microsoft has developed and released an open source "ontology" add-on for Microsoft Word. The add-on makes use of MSOffice XML panel, Open XML formats, and proprietary "Smart Tags". Microsoft is also making the source code for both the Ontology Add-in for Office Word 2007 and the Creative Commons Add-in for Office Word 2007 tool available under the Open Source Initiative (OSI)-approved Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL) at and,respectively.

    No doubt it will take some digging to figure out what is going on here. Microsoft WPF technologies include Smart Tags and LINQ. The Creative Commons "Neurocommons" ontology work is based on W3C RDF and SPARQL. How these opposing technologies interoperate with legacy MSOffice 2003 and 2007 desktops is an interesting question. One that may hold the answer to the larger problem of re-purposing MSOffice for the Open Web?

    We know Microsoft is re-purposing MSOffice for the MS Web. Perhaps this work with Creative Commons will help to open up the Microsoft desktop productivity environment to the Open Web? One can always hope :)

    Dr Dobbs has the Microsoft - Creative Commons announcement; Microsoft Releases Open Tools for Scientific Research ...... Joins Creative Commons in releasing the Ontology Add-in
Gary Edwards

Why Kindle Should Be An Open Book - Tim O'Reilly at - 0 views

    Like someone finding out that the rapture has happened, and they've been left behind, Tim O'Reilly shakes his fists and shouts to the heavens that Amazon must support open standards. He argues that in-spite of incredible market success, the Amazon Kindle will fail because the document format is not Open. He even argues that Apple, with the iPod and iPhone, have figured out how to blend Open Web formats and application development with proprietary hardware initiatives....

    "The Amazon Kindle has sparked huge media interest in e-books and has seemingly jump-started the market. Its instant wireless access to hundreds of thousands of e-books and seamless one-click purchasing process would seem to give it an enormous edge over other dedicated e-book platforms. Yet I have a bold prediction: Unless Amazon embraces open e-book standards like epub, which allow readers to read books on a variety of devices, the Kindle will be gone within two or three years."

    TO points to ePub as an open format, apparently not realizing the format falls far short of Open Web advances designed to enable a complete publication-typesetter model. The WebKit and Mozilla open source communities are pushing the envelope of Open Web development with an extremely advanced document model based on HTML5, CSS3, SVG/Canvas, and JavaScript4+. ePub on the other hand is stuck in 1998, supporting the aging HTML4 - CSS2.1 specs. Very sad.

Gary Edwards

Design for Developers: Interactivity, animations, and AJAX - 0 views

    Awesome commentary in the must read category. JC nails it; starting with "layout"! ....... "We were both part of the same team and he was creating some UI elements that I was to wire up. As I sat there (in awe) watching him work I realized that much of his considerable skill was rooted in fundamentals not unlike the art of programming. Of course, there are design skills that are intuitive that can't be "learned." But, that can also be said of the logical clarity found in a really elegant data model or a brilliant inheritance tree. I am certainly no designer, but I have observed the more creative among us for several years and have gained some insight into their world. In this article I'll share some basic principles that can help raise your design acumen and improve the experience of your users...... "

    I'd like to attack my goal of imparting design wisdom by breaking the topic into four buckets. The first is layout.
Gary Edwards

The Struggle for the Soul of the Web: Flash and Silverlight challenge the Open Web - 0 views

    Just because the web has been open so far doesn't mean that it will stay that way. Flash and Silverlight, arguably the two market-leading technology toolkits for rich media applications are not open. Make no mistake - Microsoft and Adobe aim to have their proprietary plug-ins, aka pseudo-browsers, become the rendering engines for the next generation of the Web.
Gary Edwards

Could There Be More To Google, Android, Chrome, & Gears Than Meets The Eye? - David... - 0 views

    One of the best ways to create that perception (and reality) is to get more mobile developers building for the Web instead of any specific platform. It's a win for developers looking to reach the broader market. It's a win for end-users who shouldn't be forced into picking a specific platform or network (eg: iPhone/AT&T) just to get access to certain applications. It's a win for Google. Who is it not good for? You don't have to look far.
Gary Edwards

RiA, Chrome and the Importance of WebKit - Google Docs - 0 views

    Response to two ZDNet articles about Google Chrome. The first article, "Who Wins with Google Chrome" is very positive, but for mostly all the wrong reasons. The second article, "Five reasons why Chrome will crash and burn" is very critical; again for all the wrong reasons. Clearly much of the world doesn't get RiA. Not do they have a clue as to why it's so important to the future of the Open Web.
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