March 16, 2005

Irrational exuberance

Mark Brady:

Problem is, people are hard-wired to run. And to admire the fleet of foot. And to follow them. In business and evolution, running is a primary adaptation that allowed man to climb to the top of the heap. Running ahead too far has it's dangers certainly, but those are issues of direction and purpose, not speed...
(via Jim McGee). Lots more there too - don't miss Mark's Executive Lexicon.

March 15, 2005

Knock on wood

Patrick Logan picks up my bait about Groove and Croquet. Which, on the surface, are very different: Groove is some combination of document- and forms-based workspaces, presence and messaging, wheras Croquet has that white rabbit, a waterfall, a cool flag, and things that look like mirrors but behave like doors.

Underneath though, they solve the coordinated distributed persistent objects problem in very similar ways. Groove's "dynamics" is like IDispatch plus a message queue: commands against objects ("engines", in the parlance) are distributed to peers who share the model. There's no shared data, only a coordinated transaction history. And Croquet's "TeaTime" does approximately the same thing, only with Smalltalk method dispatch instead of COM method dispatch.

Anyway, that's an astronaut-view, and bears little relation to the real world. In the daily life of an office worker, I just hope that grooviness -- transparent under-the covers no-effort secure robust synchronization of workspaces, their structures and their contents -- will become something you can take for granted.

March 11, 2005


In the late nineties, I was spending a lot of time at an interesting place called "moo". It's one of the key prior-generation groupware architectures, and influenced my thinking just about as much as Notes did.

I still have an account there (although I'm not engaged in it anymore):
   @age me
   ing first connected on Thu May 22 01:20:49 1997 PDT
   Which makes him 7 years, 9 months, and 18 days old.
   However, for official purposes his age is 7 years and 9 months.

LambdaMoo evolved into Microsoft Office Live Meeting (odd though it may sound).

What will become of Groove now? Good things, I think. After all, the only competitive architecture within a couple of decades is Alan Kay's mallet...

March 03, 2005

Power-law observations from Ben

I've linked to Ben Hyde's weblog a few times, and here again: if you don't subscribe, you should (then I can stop pointing over there and saying "wow").

Two interesting things to read now: Ping/Poll, a fascinating look at the scale dynamics of notification -- in the weblog world, the two oppsite mechanisms of "ping" and "poll". And, also related to power-law distributions, Team forming in power-law contests, with the novel observation that "games with a inequitable distribution of winners creates powerful incentives to form teams". Now there's a lesson for groupware design...