When Sense Becomes None-Sense
I read two articles recently about two critical parts of our RIA-web application world, one was relating to standards in Cloud computing, of which there are none, as yet. The other related to what appears to be a fragmenting of the data tier into SQL, NoSQL, CoSQL and NewSQL. They both caused me to think deeply, as I have a lot recently about the most critical piece in our world, the web browser which also appears to be fragmenting and drifting further away from a standard that it ever has been.
CLOUD COMPUTING: The article about standards in Cloud Computing cites a desire from the business sector for such. The business sector forms a large part of all of our customer base and it strikes me as being rather concerning, as it has for some time, that there are few if any standards across Clouds. Personally I am jaded by all the ongoing hype around Cloud computing usually spouted by non-technical, ill-informed media outlets. The Cloud is not some sort of "magic roundabout", it is a sharing of the same infrastructure, routers, switches, servers, cables etc, etc, in data centers which has, more than anything else, benefited the owners of those data centers. They can now serve more clients, and attain more revenue using less infrastructure. To do that, they have created software abstraction layers which are proprietary; that is the reality of Cloud Computing.
ALL THINGS SQL: Regarding the data tier, the article I read about the gyrations around SQL were sparked by someone who it appears is well-respected in the world of all things database Michael Stonebraker, saying that FaceBook are in considerable trouble because of their use of MySQL and that as SQL is now around 30 years old and steeped in RDBM's that it is becoming irrelevant. In this piece, the comments are the most interesting part, passions and vitriol flying everywhere but there are some very good points in there. The reality, in my opinion, is that SQL "aint going anywhere any time soon" if ever. However, I do believe we need to look at how we are handling data overall and continue to put data closer to those who need it/use it. This article which I created in January 2009 focuses on that subject under the header "Data Distance". Certainly we should look at all means to do this without condemning our applications and thereby our clients to certain death somewhere up the road.
THE WEB BROWSER: My last point relates to browsers, Web 2.0 and HTML5. I spend at least 12 hours of my day, almost every using a web browser. Many years ago I actually bought copies of Netscape Navigator before Microsoft put it down. I then moved to Internet Explorer then eagerly to FireFox, both of which I used for many years, sequentially, then I tried Google Chrome and transitioned there because of speed and stability. Each of these browsers I used exclusively one after the other. I had read an interesting article by Tim Berners-Lee about the "semantic web" eventually named "Web 2.0"; I have to admit it confused me a little at the time. Having many customers usually many at a time, I get to see a lot of environments and a lot of application development. As HTML5 continues to evolve and it still has many years to go before requirements around any sort of standards have to be faithfully followed, I see many issues. Those who have run off try to kill Adobe Flash with great glee have, typically and sheepishly, realized that they cannot and I have seen that many times. In my own work, I now have to use Chrome, FireFox and Internet Explorer to get any semblance of stability from the many sites I visit and this is getting worse, in my view, well in my reality.
We should all, always be striving for improvements and evolution, even revolution, yet let us not make things worse in the process, that makes no sense at all, in fact, it is literally, nonsense.
Here are the two articles I recently read which caused me to write this: