AJ's blog

January 14, 2007

Early 2000 and today…

Filed under: Miscellaneous, Software Developers, Software Development — ajdotnet @ 6:29 pm

Last week I did a little talk (about half a day) about XML. Nothing fancy, just trying to raise the level of basic knowledge for some people. I based this talk on a workshop I did early 2000. Which reminded me of the situation we had back then and how it evolved until today…

Early 2000 was in the middle of the XML hype, XML was the silver bullet.
Today we don’t even mention XML anymore, we just use it.

Early 2000 we had the core XML standard, yet the other family members were still in their infancy, which usually led to the usage of precursory — read inconsistent and proprietary — technologies.
Today we have what I call the XML family, namely XML, XML namespaces, XSD, XPath, and XSLT, and everybody has agreed on those.

Early 2000 we built a prototype application that had a server part serving XML (read Web Service), used heavy scripting in IE, exchanged XML data asynchonously with the server, and provided rich editing capability known the only in rich client applications. Then we abandoned it. Proprietary technology.
Today the dead horse (read AJAX) is riding again and even triggered a new hype. And it’s probably here to stay.

Early 2000 we had another hype called WAP — which burned out and died. But in this context we also speculated about push technologies as replacement for SMS.
Today we have blackberry.

Early 2000 we were in the the middle of the “Battle for the Middle Tier“, seeing the two major camps — Microsoft with COM based (read whatever you like) MTS/COM+ against EJB — fighting for the application server market, Microsoft on the loosing side.
Today Microsoft has caught up with .NET, the java community has rediscovered light-weight approaches, and heterogenous environments where both camps work nicely together are far from unusual.

Early 2000 we had a little hype about SOAP and an early notion of WebServices. Mainly it was a protocol intended by Micrososft to gain access to the java world, supported by IBM to gain access to the Microsoft world… . This hype would have died, had it not had such prominent supporters that kept it alive until additional technologies had been set up to constitute the next hype: SOA.
Today we have SOA, used to cultivate heterogenity on the technical level, but more importantly to reshape whole companies on the business level.

Early 2000 I thought I allready know a lot about technology.
Today I know how much I did not know then. Which makes me wonder about the years to come.

What else did I learn from these observations?

  1. Hypes come and go. They are important, they take us somewhere, surprisingly mostly forward. Unfortunately you never know where “forward” actually is until you are there.
  2. Fighting over technologies isn’t worth the effort. Any technology with serious support is likely to stay, technologies without will die. This is only loosely related to the quality particular technologies.

Sorry if I got a little nostalgic, maybe due to the change of the year and my approaching birthday… 😉

That’s all for now folks,


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