30 Jul 2000 tetron   » (Journeyer)

Dude. Objects actually go away now when they're supposed to. This is cool. Finally I won't have to restart the server every time something screws up :)

Talked to my friend Reed for a long time last night about the future of hypermedia. What the web could have really used would be an <include> tag, that let you include bits of HTML from other documents into your own, just like you can inline offsite images. If you could nest documents in documents in documents you could build incredible dynamic even sort of organtic thing - more of a complex multilevel expansive document space than a mere web page. Here's an example: take oh, slashdot slashboxes, or netscape netcenter channels. These are headline services. They get a feed from these other sites, and reformat it and integrate it as part of their own page. Now think of this: imagine if they simply linked back to the originating site, and that site could then paint inside the box whatever it liked? You can still maintain a single cohesive web page, but the browser is actually compositing many pieces of other sites together into a single sort of digest.

By better laying out our hypermedia information, in hierarchtical/hyperlinked structures, the browser can become more of an intellegent agent. Power to the end user! The internet right now is racing in two directions - one towards more centralization, with portals and ASPs and backbones, the other towards more decentralization, with gnutella and freenet and their kin.

The problem, however, is how to balance the order (and control) gained/afforded by centralization, vs the chaos that is the current rather primitive crop of distributed systems? The web does this supprisingly well, but only by having multiple, redundant, _centralized_ indices of the web. Distributed centralization. Gotta love it :) But the web is also incredibly noninteractive, and that's really bad. When people say they use the web "as an applications platform" they really mean they're using HTTP to download some ActiveX or Java controls. The idea of a web page as an application only makes sense in the context of forms and javascript - but these are not real-time technologies. A dynamic hypermedia system needs to be able to respond to changes in the system as they happen, and the web is unsuited to this.

In case you hadn't guessed, the project I'm working (ADR) on has a lot to do with this :)

Birthday yesterday (July 29th). I'm twenty now. No longer a hotshot teenager. Damnit. Now I really have to do something cool to stay ahead of the next generation :)

Left sputnik (my laptop, my desktop is named mir :-) plugged into the wrong wall socket (it's on a switch, meant for a lamp, which means you can turn it off) all night. Woke up to find the battery completely flat. WHOOPS!

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