May 24, 2005


Java 2, Groovey Goodness.

Since version 2.5, Groove has had a set of Web Services interfaces; out-of-process applications (local, or remote if you open the appropriate things) can call in to Groove (client, or EDB server) and have very deep CRUD access to objects in workspaces.

Our WSDL was built and tested mostly with .NET code clients. In Visual Studio, it's really easy to add web references to your project, pull in the WSDL, and have your application use Groove's services. We've used this for a bunch of good things in-house, and it's slowly beginning to be used more widely for "proper" business applications. (Kirk, are you ready yet?) (Mark, can you tell more about TN 2.1?).

Now, WebGVO pushes the boundaries into Java. Neil and co have integrated Groove Web Services with the Struts J2EE framework, to build a really useful proof-of-concept application using a Java server and Groove together. The current implementation at WebGVO is slightly reminiscent of Rendezvoo, but whereas Rendezvoo was a quick hack, this stuff is a chunky, solid platform.

So if you've wondered whether Groove and Java would ever sit together, here's a great place to start. Nice work!

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May 22, 2005

Mmmmm... Treacle...

John Markoff's new book, "What the Dormouse said", is a very readable and quite eye-opening tour through approximately the 20 year period - late fifties to mid seventies - when computers became accessible. At the very beginning of the story, the few computers are built from vacuum triodes and manned by very serious dudes (usually on the government payroll). By the end, we have coin-operated SpaceWar, the Homebrew Computer Club and a nascent Microsoft.

Markoff's common thread joins "the counterculture" and "the personal computer"; a link between psychedelics and interactivity. Many of the characters are quite well known and their stories often told; others are more obscure (although I do hate when he calls people "mysterious", which just smacks of lazy reporting).

One sentence, below, is pivotal. We're about half way through the story, it's 1968, and Doug Engelbart is presenting the famous tour-de-force demo which introduces the mouse, cursor, interactive graphics, outline editors, collaborative editing, in-screen videoconferencing...

Operating the camera in Menlo Park for Engelbart's landmark presentation was Stewart Brand, who by then was a twenty-nine-year-old multimedia producer... He had been invited in as a consultant at the last minute to help polish the presentation and help make it an "event". The unstated connection, of course, was Brand's background in helping orchestrate Ken Kesey's Acid Tests.
Yes, the Stewart Brand of Whole Earth Catalog fame, later the Well, How Buildings Learn, the Long Now and more.

May 13, 2005


Fundable looks really interesting. Check out their examples and browse.