State of the desktop?
The theme of today's conference was decentralization....
The theme of today's conference was decentralization. The first time the term appeared in DaveNet was in the first piece of 2001. That's another DaveNet tradition, like the Thanksgiving essays. I try to make the first essay of each year somehow express the most important idea of the year-ahead. It's always a guess. Some years I nailed it, desktop websites were the big idea of 2001, as we prepared Radio 8 for the market (it shipped in January 2002). And Werbach was right to pick it as the theme for the future in software-based technology. There's so much power on the desktops, both in the machine CPU and the human CPU, that isn't being well used in the centralized Internet architecture. [Scripting News]
Pfeh to the desktops. There's a lot of power in them, but I'm positive I'm not the only one using three machines throughout the day. There's nothing worse than realizing that the data you need is held hostage at home or at work - wherever you're not. There are plenty of times when I don't mind the separation - work's work, home's home. But there are certainly things that go in between.
I've been a fairly happy subscriber to Apple's .mac services, using my iDisk to ferry a few common documents and preferences (standardizing the subscriptions on all my instances of NetNewsWire Lite, Chimera bookmarks, etc). I'm using Apple's iSync Beta to keep two desktops, a laptop, and an iPod all synced up with the same address book and calendar data (I have a palm too, but I seldom use it any more).
Microsoft's "Active Desktop" vision wasn't entirely wrong. The implementation wasn't quite right, and definitely premature. But the lines between the desktop, the local network, and the global network, are fading away. Rendezvous makes local networking absolutely unbelievable in Mac OS X (well, it's believable to those who used the old AppleTalk, but it's remarkable in the internet age).
I don't know. The desktop web site idea isn't too bad (I'm using Radio right now), but I'll always prefer the Zope "Everything is done through the web" model. It's the comfort of knowing that fixes, updates, etc, can happen from anywhere, with pretty damn good security.