Archive for March, 2006

Microsoft joins OpenDocument group | CNET News.com

Tuesday, March 28th, 2006

Microsoft joins OpenDocument group | CNET News.com

Hmm…What to make of this…Seeing the headline made me think that Microsoft had come to it’s senses, and had joined the Open Document Format Alliance.

It turns out that what’s behind the headline, is the fact that Microsoft has asked to join the ISO INCITS/V1 Technical Committee. This committee works with the ratification of the Open Document Format (ODF).

Microsoft claims that they’re joining INCITS/V1 because this committee will be involved in the ratification of Microsoft’s proposed open format, Open XML (aka. Office 2003 Reference Schemas), as well.

As mentioned in the CNET article, the execelent Groklaw site suggests (Microsoft Shows Up Where You Least Expect It – Joins INCITS V1) that Microsoft has joined in order to slow down the process of ratifying ODF.

I find that a likely scenario.

Arkitekturguide & metode — OIO Arkitektur (Prototype)

Monday, March 27th, 2006

Arkitekturguide & metode — OIO Arkitektur (Prototype)

OIOs nye IT arkitektur guide er et glimrende initiativ, hvor det ser ud til at man prøver at indføre en community drevet proces i arbejdet med at formulere strategier og anbefalinger for IT arkitektur, specielt i det offentlige.

Fint initiativ, og jeg håber at det vil øge kendskabet til vigtigheden af at arbejde mod en fælles offentlig IT arkitektur, som jeg mener er meget vigtig, og som UAD rapporten vedr. udveksling af data indenfor det offentlige klart dokumenterede, er det et område der hidtil ikke har været tilstrækkelig stor fokus på, specielt i kommunerne.

Citat fra UAD rapportens afsnit 2.2 It-arkitektur til sikring af sammenhæng

I spørgeskemaundersøgelsen angiver kun 33 procent af respondenterne fra offentlige myndigheder, at de i høj eller meget høj grad orienterer sig i forhold til de centrale itarkitekturinitiativer, som findes i for eksempel pjecen om ”Arkitektur for digital forvaltning” fra 2004. Særligt i kommunerne orienterer man sig kun i meget begrænset omfang efter de centrale it-arkitekturinitiativer. Således er det kun 25 procent af respondenterne fra kommunerne, der i høj eller meget høj grad orienterer sig efter de centrale initiativer, mens tallet for både amter og statslige myndigheder er 49 procent.

Isn’t it semantic? : Articles : Internet : BCS

Saturday, March 25th, 2006

Isn’t it semantic? : Articles : Internet : BCS

This is a great interview with the man, most often credited with the invention of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

I have to read up on RDF (Resource Description Framework) and OWL (Web Ontology Language), since these technologies are the cornerstones of the semantic web.

I must admit that I have some problems fitting RDF and OWL into the big picture, alongside SOAP, WebServices and REST. The big problem with REST is the lack of standards.

Computerworld – Dyster fremtid for Radikales åbne standarder

Friday, March 24th, 2006

Computerworld – Dyster fremtid for Radikales åbne standarder

Dette lyder desværre ikke godt. Der var ellers optimisme vedr. forslaget fra det Radikale Venstre om at det offentlige skal indføre åbne standarder senest i 2008. Desværre har Venstres ordfører, Michael Aastrup Jensen, ikke forstået ret meget af det:

Forslaget fra De Radikale lægger op til, at det offentlige skal vælge side og dele seng med den ene part i spørgsmålet om åbne standarder. Det kan jeg sige helt klart, at vi vil stemme nej til.

Der er ikke tale om at vælge side og dele seng med den ene part, det drejer sig, bla., om hvem der ejer vores dokumenter, de åbne standarder, ikke kun indenfor dokument formater, er jo netop støttet af et bredt udvalg af branchen, i modsætning til den “anden part” (som må være Microsoft). Det lyder mere som om det er Venstre, og regeringen, der deler seng med den “anden part”.

Problemet med De Radikales forslag er nok også den noget bombastiske formulering.

Folketinget pålægger regeringen at sikre, at det offentliges brug af informationsteknologi, herunder brug af software, er baseret på åbne standarder.

Staten bør senest den 1. januar 2008 indføre og vedligeholde et sæt af åbne standarder, der kan tjene til inspiration for øvrige offentlige myndigheder. Åbne standarder bør være en del af grundlaget for det offentliges indkøb af it-software med henblik på at fremme konkurrencen.

Staten bør sikre, at alle digitale informationer og data, som det offentlige udveksler med borgere, virksomheder og institutioner, findes i formater, der er baseret på åbne standarder.

Det havde måske været at foretrække, hvis man startede med at tage fat på nøgleområder, f.eks. dokument udveksling, og gøre som Fr. Anne Grete Holmsgaard foreslår, nemlig at beslutte at standardisere på OpenDocument formatet. Med denne beslutning i hånden kan staten gå til leverandører som Microsoft, og forlange at de begynder at understøtter OpenDocument, hvis de fortsat vil være leverandører til det offentlige. Personligt forstår jeg ikke hvorfor Microsoft ikke understøtter OpenDocument, argumentet om at deres alternativ, XML Reference Schemas/OpenXML sikrer bagud kompatibilitet lyder ikke helt troværdigt.

Generelt burde man hellere fokusere på at adskille indhold og design, og skifte produktionen af indhold væk fra traditionelle kontor produktivitets programmer, over til webbaserede systemer som Wikier og mere traditionelle Content Managenemt Systemer.

Men det offentliges udfordringer på det IT arkitektoniske går naturligvis langt udover en diskussion om noget så banalt som dokumenter. Når det gælder infrastrukturen, så er jeg af den opfattelse at det er på tide at skifte til en meget mere centraliseret model, og at vi på den måde vil kunne løsrive os fra skrivebordet og den frygtlige anakronisme, den stationære pc.

Men det er måske en opgave for EU. Jeg er optimist, og mener at tiden arbejder for de åbne standarder, og de centraliserede løsninger.

The clash of the desktops

Thursday, March 23rd, 2006

I remember seeing a cover of Windows Magazine In late 1993: “The system we’ll be running in 1994”, showing a screen shot of Chicago, then the code name of the next generation of Windows, later to be know as Windows 95. Well Windows 95 was not called Windows 94, and the version that launched in August 1995 was seriously flawed, despite this it blew the only credible alternative out of the water. This alternative was called OS/2, and it really was a much better system.

As mentioned in the previous post, last time around, in 1994, Microsoft faced endless delays of their then next generation of Windows code-named Chicago. In 1994 an alternative, that was technologically superior to Windows, existed, it was called OS/2, and OS/2 had already conquered the corporate desktop, due to the shortcomings of Windows 2.0 and DOS.

So how did Windows manage to beat the odd, and re-conquer the desktop, despite the better technology of OS/2?
(more…)

Who needs Windows?

Thursday, March 23rd, 2006

The cover of the September 1990 issue of BYTE Magazine showed a screen-shot of Windows 3.0, with following the sentence in big types:

“Who needs OS/2?”

With the endless delays of Windows Vista now is the time to turn the tables and ask this question:

“Who needs Windows?”

I urge you to take the Pepsi-Challenge with the alternatives, Linux or Mac OS X. I think you’ll like it.

And it’s easier than ever to try at least one of the alternatives.

Simply get a Linux Live CD, I recommend Ubuntu, and boot from it. Ubuntu is free, and the Live CD will leave your precious Windows untouched, at least until you get a Linux Install CD. Ubuntu comes bundled with the most important applications, including desktop productivity tools (OpenOffice.org), instant messaging (Gaim) and an Internet browser (Mozilla Firefox).

The long walk to Cairo – It’s over if we want it

Thursday, March 23rd, 2006

Yesterday Microsoft announced that the next version of Windows, aka Vista, aka Longhorn, will be delayed even further.

I remember attending a seminar featuring the IBM OS/2 Chief Technology Evangelist (CTE) in 1994, he demoed OS/2 running on a 16MB 486 doing amazing things, that were impossible to do using Windows 3.0, including speech recognition.

In the early 90ies Microsoft was pitching a future version of Windows NT, code named “Cairo”, that would introduce a distributed object oriented file system.

I remember the words of IBMs CTE clearly; “And it’s a long walk to Cairo”.
“Cairo” eventually became Windows NT 4.0, but we’re still walking and is Cairo in sight?

Why?…What’s that! Take a closer look at the background images shown in the Vista demos: it is indeed the Giza Pyramids – Microsoft clearly believes that they’re on final approach to Cairo.

It’s time to take back the desktop: Carpe Diem – The walk to Cairo IS over (if we want it).

BBC NEWS | Technology | Hackers get Mac running Windows

Sunday, March 19th, 2006

BBC NEWS | Technology | Hackers get Mac running Windows

Of course I couldn’t resist the temptation to comment on the fact that Windows can boot on the new Apple Intel boxes. There’s still a long way to go before this is a feasible possibility for the majority of users, and a lot of drivers has to be written. But it’s a remarkable success for the underground community of Apple fans, and congratulations to the hackers that just did, what some engineers said couldn’t be done.

It’s not really a surprise that it could be done, the Intel based Macs really aren’t that different from off-the-shelf PCs, and Windows being a half-decent operating system, of course “only” needed to have drivers and hardware abstraction layers rewritten.

So what do I think about this. Well I think that it’s great news. I’ve said this before, I believe that this only means that Apple potentially can run with the high-end market and the market for the design conscious, especially when the Intel PowerMac replacements launch.

I do however hope that people take the “Pepsi-challenge” with Mac OS X, I really doubt that Windows on Mac will run as smoothly as Mac OS X, I’d really prefer if Windows programs were running under some sort of software layer, like DARWINE.

Another, in my mind related, topic, is that I think that Apple now should introduce OS X as a commercial alternative to Windows. People are tired of waiting endlessly for Windows Vista, that will introduce a new lock-in style programming model. Apple has a huge opportunity right now.

Oh well, in the future we’ll all laugh about this discussion about GUIs, fat clients and application programming interfaces (API)s, when we run applications off the world wide grid on ultra thin clients, that is powered by an open and free system.

Wired 14.02: Geeks in Toyland – LEGO Mindstorms NXT

Sunday, March 19th, 2006

Wired 14.02: Geeks in Toyland

Not exactly news, but since I love LEGOs, in my opinion, it’s the greatest toy ever conceived, I was impressed to see an army of LEGO men on the cover of Wired 14.02.

The reason for the invasion of LEGO men, was that LEGO announced the next generation of their robotic construction kit, LEGO Mindstorms, NXT, at the CES in Las Vegas January 2006.

Below is a quote from the Wired article:

Lego built a global empire out of little plastic blocks, then conquered the wired world with a robot kit called Mindstorms. So when the time came for an upgrade, they turned to their obsessed fans – and rewrote the rules of the innovation game.

Last year LEGO was in big trouble, they sold off the LEGOLAND theme-parks, and were considering moving the HQ to China. This really enraged me.
(more…)

Manu Cornet’s website – PCkapring nu på Dansk

Wednesday, March 15th, 2006

Manu Cornet’s website PCJacking/PCKapring

Så er Manu Cornets PCJacking side tilgængelig på Dansk, takket være undertegnede. Nyd…

Og skal vi SÅ komme i gang!