Tuesday, November 25, 2003
Article: When Do Web Services Make Sense?

Douglas Kerwin provides an excellent article about when using web services is appropriate. Usually I try to keep this blog focused on SVG, but I think web services are such a strong application for SVG that this is worth mentioning. The article is short, so I won't summarize.

Monday, November 24, 2003
Article: A tale of two Cairos
In a A tale of two Cairos, Jon Udell talks about standards (or the lack thereof) in Microsoft's Longorn release. "And as the 2003 PDC made clear by conspicuous omission, CSS -- along with some other Web standards including XHTML and SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) -- won't be embraced or extended in Longhorn's presentation system, Avalon. To call attention to this fact is to risk being branded a Luddite, but two words suffice to explain how and why Web standards still matter: network effects." Jon goes on to remind us of Cairo--an earlier Microsoft failure.

"The browser, to be sure, is not a sacred relic to be preserved at all costs. But the Web is much more than the browser. It's an ecosystem whose social and information structures co-evolve. Innovation bubbles up from the grassroots; integration can happen spontaneously; relationships cross borders. Cairo Version 1 wasn't designed to nourish that ecosystem or to flourish in it. Let's hope Microsoft remembers the past and avoids being condemned to repeat it with Cairo Version 2.

I think Jon couldn't be more right. As cost cutting blitzkriegs continue at an ever increasing pace, and as content flows from one discipline to another and one context to another, standards are the only way to share content, development cost, and promote content reuse. Not just from context to context, but device to device, not to mention the value of easier hardware and software upgrades.

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