Discussion:
What ever happened to the Open Web? (and other topics)
(too old to reply)
Andy Bennett
2015-07-13 21:49:32 UTC
Permalink
Hi,

What happened to the Open Web?
Facebook XMPP deprecated
MSN Messenger protocol now closed
Google Talk XMPP is 2nd class
Don't mention Slack.

https://twitter.com/databasescaling/status/620701977375322113


Lots of land grabs in old territories now that "startups" are
mainstream. Did the UNIX vendor wars teach us nothing?

https://twitter.com/databasescaling/status/620702191779758081


Yes. I appreciate the irony of tweeting these things but I suppose
you've got to meet people where the conversation is.


What follows isn't really an essay. More like a bunch of
barely-sentences strung together in the hope that some of you can help
me form them into Actual Thoughts. :-)



I cut my teeth in the '90s just about when "Free Software" was a thing
and "Open Source" was becoming a movement. I guess I never really
noticed the change in me from becoming a beginner to being an old hand
but now I look back and there's not many left of us!

So perhaps that means I'm the one who should be taking responsibility
now. Yet somehow I'm not. I'm doing a little bit of software and sending
it out into the world with open licenses where I can, but I'm not really
like one of those great people in the '90s who really started the
communities and held them together. Where are those people now? Google?
Blogging? Retired?

"We" really did make a lot of headway in the '90s, through until about
2005. Not only had we made pretty good alternatives to most proprietary
products, they were almost usable by "real" people. Then Ubuntu (for all
its sins) came along and made it accessible to "regular" men and women.

I noticed we were losing ground in the handheld space. That was "the new
platform". ...but it was "OK", right? ...because general purpose PCs
were where the genesis of "the next big thing" always occurred because
that was the only environment that could host them.

Now there's "mobile first" and whilst that's not a terribly open
platform, it's certainly where the mind-share of so-called "developers"
is. No matter what you think of modern development methodologies and
product values, that's where the mind-share is. ...and, as has been
wrung out on this list in the past, that culture cares nothing for the
Open Source foundations that it builds with. That's where the next big
things are happening now. Or in walled garden apps (and sometimes
ecosystems) that are hosted on a website somewhere. Even if it's not
intentional, there's usually not any time to invest in the
infrastructure or build a lot of connectors.

I don't want to pick on anyone in particular, but why didn't Slack
embrace the IRC protocol? Isn't it just as easy to make an IRC bot as it
is to make any single Slack integration? Damn: even if they embraced it
and extended I'd still have a lot more respect for them than I do for
what they've done. Afterall, it's easier to write a new, 80% thing than
it is to understand an existing thing that works.

...but don't let me rant! Back to mobile!

Over the last few years (since the demise of Open Moko really) I have
come to the belief that "we" have a very small window to really attack
the handheld device market in a meaningful way. However, this window is
now closing fast.

With the advent of colour e-ink there is, for the first time in about 20
years, an opportunity to ship a very simple handheld device. The barrier
to entry for current handheld devices is rather high because they
require a lot of processing power and graphics capabilities to support
the kind of experience that is expected. However, with a first
generation, colour e-ink display the requirements are far lower and
there's a fighting chance that someone, working on their own without
much budget, can ship a useful device with a decent battery life.

I'm not talking about taking the market by storm. Such ambitious plans
are not for me. I'm talking about itch-scratching. I'm waiting for
mobile devices to get as good as the Psion and the Palm Pilot were!

They were about *productivity*, not media consumption & messaging. I
want something that I can empty my thoughts into as I wander around. Not
"whilst sitting on a train": actual wandering.

I'm a technical person, so most of my work is done sitting at a desk,
but it turns out that I do most of my thinking when I'm wandering from
place to place. For now I'll forgo my shower thoughts: those tend to be
more along the lines of architecture and design which are less word
based, difficult to type and waterproof computers are harder.

So I want something with some kind of editor.

...and I want a long battery life because I really am incredibly lazy.

...and I guess I'll take an Internet connection and a cellular
connection as well because they enable a whole bunch of really useful
things when you're in the city and even I have to admit that messaging
has it's uses even if it exposes you to interruptions. ...but I do that
with a small hesitation because I'd really like it all to work really
well "offline" so that I can keep going whenever is convenient for *me*.


A colour screen enables one of the killer apps of large-screen handhelds
which is mapping.

...and e-ink enables a sensible battery life.

...so we need GPS.



Of course, once you can type effectively on the device then you can
program as well. So it'd be nice to write little macros for things.

...and that implies a much more tightly integrated environment than the
commercial platforms.

Rather than a system of apps that are hosted in an OS, I'd have a system
of services that could project (or create) views. I'd make it very data
centric. So you might have a "mapping" view where each service could
offer a different layer: one for the images or cartography, one for the
GPS, one for the GPSs of your friends, one for the router, etc, etc.


Anyway, I seem to have degenerated into a wishlist rather than anything
productive and I've covered "The open web", "free software development &
culture" and "mobile" which I think is plenty of stuff for now!



Am I the only one living in this frustration?

Where are all the sensible people of yesteryear who could see the flaws
in the status quo, knew how to fix them and had the energy to go about it?





Regards,
@ndy
--
***@ashurst.eu.org
http://www.ashurst.eu.org/
0290 DA75 E982 7D99 A51F E46A 387A 7695 7EBA 75FF
Tony Godshall
2015-07-14 00:02:34 UTC
Permalink
You are not the only one frustrated.

What's not clear is a course of action,
except to perhaps note that free software
has often grown out of frustration with
proprietary "solutions", as a more usable
less well funded, more distributed alternative,
where each author scratches their own itch-
it's a slow processes but it will come, and
unlike in the old days, most of today's
vendors realize it. The successful ones
coexist with and even feed the open source
they depend on- they embrace, extend,
and not so much extinguish. I hope. Your
XMPP example, of course, contradicts.

Tony
Post by Andy Bennett
Hi,
What happened to the Open Web?
Facebook XMPP deprecated
MSN Messenger protocol now closed
Google Talk XMPP is 2nd class
Don't mention Slack.
https://twitter.com/databasescaling/status/620701977375322113
Lots of land grabs in old territories now that "startups" are
mainstream. Did the UNIX vendor wars teach us nothing?
https://twitter.com/databasescaling/status/620702191779758081
Yes. I appreciate the irony of tweeting these things but I suppose
you've got to meet people where the conversation is.
What follows isn't really an essay. More like a bunch of
barely-sentences strung together in the hope that some of you can help
me form them into Actual Thoughts. :-)
I cut my teeth in the '90s just about when "Free Software" was a thing
and "Open Source" was becoming a movement. I guess I never really
noticed the change in me from becoming a beginner to being an old hand
but now I look back and there's not many left of us!
So perhaps that means I'm the one who should be taking responsibility
now. Yet somehow I'm not. I'm doing a little bit of software and sending
it out into the world with open licenses where I can, but I'm not really
like one of those great people in the '90s who really started the
communities and held them together. Where are those people now? Google?
Blogging? Retired?
"We" really did make a lot of headway in the '90s, through until about
2005. Not only had we made pretty good alternatives to most proprietary
products, they were almost usable by "real" people. Then Ubuntu (for all
its sins) came along and made it accessible to "regular" men and women.
I noticed we were losing ground in the handheld space. That was "the new
platform". ...but it was "OK", right? ...because general purpose PCs
were where the genesis of "the next big thing" always occurred because
that was the only environment that could host them.
Now there's "mobile first" and whilst that's not a terribly open
platform, it's certainly where the mind-share of so-called "developers"
is. No matter what you think of modern development methodologies and
product values, that's where the mind-share is. ...and, as has been
wrung out on this list in the past, that culture cares nothing for the
Open Source foundations that it builds with. That's where the next big
things are happening now. Or in walled garden apps (and sometimes
ecosystems) that are hosted on a website somewhere. Even if it's not
intentional, there's usually not any time to invest in the
infrastructure or build a lot of connectors.
I don't want to pick on anyone in particular, but why didn't Slack
embrace the IRC protocol? Isn't it just as easy to make an IRC bot as it
is to make any single Slack integration? Damn: even if they embraced it
and extended I'd still have a lot more respect for them than I do for
what they've done. Afterall, it's easier to write a new, 80% thing than
it is to understand an existing thing that works.
...but don't let me rant! Back to mobile!
Over the last few years (since the demise of Open Moko really) I have
come to the belief that "we" have a very small window to really attack
the handheld device market in a meaningful way. However, this window is
now closing fast.
With the advent of colour e-ink there is, for the first time in about 20
years, an opportunity to ship a very simple handheld device. The barrier
to entry for current handheld devices is rather high because they
require a lot of processing power and graphics capabilities to support
the kind of experience that is expected. However, with a first
generation, colour e-ink display the requirements are far lower and
there's a fighting chance that someone, working on their own without
much budget, can ship a useful device with a decent battery life.
I'm not talking about taking the market by storm. Such ambitious plans
are not for me. I'm talking about itch-scratching. I'm waiting for
mobile devices to get as good as the Psion and the Palm Pilot were!
They were about *productivity*, not media consumption & messaging. I
want something that I can empty my thoughts into as I wander around. Not
"whilst sitting on a train": actual wandering.
I'm a technical person, so most of my work is done sitting at a desk,
but it turns out that I do most of my thinking when I'm wandering from
place to place. For now I'll forgo my shower thoughts: those tend to be
more along the lines of architecture and design which are less word
based, difficult to type and waterproof computers are harder.
So I want something with some kind of editor.
...and I want a long battery life because I really am incredibly lazy.
...and I guess I'll take an Internet connection and a cellular
connection as well because they enable a whole bunch of really useful
things when you're in the city and even I have to admit that messaging
has it's uses even if it exposes you to interruptions. ...but I do that
with a small hesitation because I'd really like it all to work really
well "offline" so that I can keep going whenever is convenient for *me*.
A colour screen enables one of the killer apps of large-screen handhelds
which is mapping.
...and e-ink enables a sensible battery life.
...so we need GPS.
Of course, once you can type effectively on the device then you can
program as well. So it'd be nice to write little macros for things.
...and that implies a much more tightly integrated environment than the
commercial platforms.
Rather than a system of apps that are hosted in an OS, I'd have a system
of services that could project (or create) views. I'd make it very data
centric. So you might have a "mapping" view where each service could
offer a different layer: one for the images or cartography, one for the
GPS, one for the GPSs of your friends, one for the router, etc, etc.
Anyway, I seem to have degenerated into a wishlist rather than anything
productive and I've covered "The open web", "free software development &
culture" and "mobile" which I think is plenty of stuff for now!
Am I the only one living in this frustration?
Where are all the sensible people of yesteryear who could see the flaws
in the status quo, knew how to fix them and had the energy to go about it?
Regards,
@ndy
--
http://www.ashurst.eu.org/
0290 DA75 E982 7D99 A51F E46A 387A 7695 7EBA 75FF
_______________________________________________
Do not Cc: anyone else on mail sent to this list. The list server is set for maximum one recipient.
linux-elitists mailing list
http://zgp.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/linux-elitists
--
--
Best Regards.
This is unedited.
This message came out of me
via a suboptimal keyboard.
Ruben Safir
2015-07-14 04:42:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tony Godshall
You are not the only one frustrated.
What's not clear is a course of action,
except to perhaps note that free software
has often grown out of frustration with
proprietary "solutions", as a more usable
less well funded, more distributed alternative,
where each author scratches their own itch-
it's a slow processes but it will come, and
unlike in the old days, most of today's
vendors realize it. The successful ones
coexist with and even feed the open source
they depend on- they embrace, extend,
and not so much extinguish.
no, i don't think that one can say that
Post by Tony Godshall
I hope. Your
XMPP example, of course, contradicts.
Tony
Post by Andy Bennett
Hi,
What happened to the Open Web?
Facebook XMPP deprecated
MSN Messenger protocol now closed
Google Talk XMPP is 2nd class
Don't mention Slack.
https://twitter.com/databasescaling/status/620701977375322113
Lots of land grabs in old territories now that "startups" are
mainstream. Did the UNIX vendor wars teach us nothing?
https://twitter.com/databasescaling/status/620702191779758081
Yes. I appreciate the irony of tweeting these things but I suppose
you've got to meet people where the conversation is.
What follows isn't really an essay. More like a bunch of
barely-sentences strung together in the hope that some of you can help
me form them into Actual Thoughts. :-)
I cut my teeth in the '90s just about when "Free Software" was a thing
and "Open Source" was becoming a movement. I guess I never really
noticed the change in me from becoming a beginner to being an old hand
but now I look back and there's not many left of us!
So perhaps that means I'm the one who should be taking responsibility
now. Yet somehow I'm not. I'm doing a little bit of software and sending
it out into the world with open licenses where I can, but I'm not really
like one of those great people in the '90s who really started the
communities and held them together. Where are those people now? Google?
Blogging? Retired?
"We" really did make a lot of headway in the '90s, through until about
2005. Not only had we made pretty good alternatives to most proprietary
products, they were almost usable by "real" people. Then Ubuntu (for all
its sins) came along and made it accessible to "regular" men and women.
I noticed we were losing ground in the handheld space. That was "the new
platform". ...but it was "OK", right? ...because general purpose PCs
were where the genesis of "the next big thing" always occurred because
that was the only environment that could host them.
Now there's "mobile first" and whilst that's not a terribly open
platform, it's certainly where the mind-share of so-called "developers"
is. No matter what you think of modern development methodologies and
product values, that's where the mind-share is. ...and, as has been
wrung out on this list in the past, that culture cares nothing for the
Open Source foundations that it builds with. That's where the next big
things are happening now. Or in walled garden apps (and sometimes
ecosystems) that are hosted on a website somewhere. Even if it's not
intentional, there's usually not any time to invest in the
infrastructure or build a lot of connectors.
I don't want to pick on anyone in particular, but why didn't Slack
embrace the IRC protocol? Isn't it just as easy to make an IRC bot as it
is to make any single Slack integration? Damn: even if they embraced it
and extended I'd still have a lot more respect for them than I do for
what they've done. Afterall, it's easier to write a new, 80% thing than
it is to understand an existing thing that works.
...but don't let me rant! Back to mobile!
Over the last few years (since the demise of Open Moko really) I have
come to the belief that "we" have a very small window to really attack
the handheld device market in a meaningful way. However, this window is
now closing fast.
With the advent of colour e-ink there is, for the first time in about 20
years, an opportunity to ship a very simple handheld device. The barrier
to entry for current handheld devices is rather high because they
require a lot of processing power and graphics capabilities to support
the kind of experience that is expected. However, with a first
generation, colour e-ink display the requirements are far lower and
there's a fighting chance that someone, working on their own without
much budget, can ship a useful device with a decent battery life.
I'm not talking about taking the market by storm. Such ambitious plans
are not for me. I'm talking about itch-scratching. I'm waiting for
mobile devices to get as good as the Psion and the Palm Pilot were!
They were about *productivity*, not media consumption & messaging. I
want something that I can empty my thoughts into as I wander around. Not
"whilst sitting on a train": actual wandering.
I'm a technical person, so most of my work is done sitting at a desk,
but it turns out that I do most of my thinking when I'm wandering from
place to place. For now I'll forgo my shower thoughts: those tend to be
more along the lines of architecture and design which are less word
based, difficult to type and waterproof computers are harder.
So I want something with some kind of editor.
...and I want a long battery life because I really am incredibly lazy.
...and I guess I'll take an Internet connection and a cellular
connection as well because they enable a whole bunch of really useful
things when you're in the city and even I have to admit that messaging
has it's uses even if it exposes you to interruptions. ...but I do that
with a small hesitation because I'd really like it all to work really
well "offline" so that I can keep going whenever is convenient for *me*.
A colour screen enables one of the killer apps of large-screen handhelds
which is mapping.
...and e-ink enables a sensible battery life.
...so we need GPS.
Of course, once you can type effectively on the device then you can
program as well. So it'd be nice to write little macros for things.
...and that implies a much more tightly integrated environment than the
commercial platforms.
Rather than a system of apps that are hosted in an OS, I'd have a system
of services that could project (or create) views. I'd make it very data
centric. So you might have a "mapping" view where each service could
offer a different layer: one for the images or cartography, one for the
GPS, one for the GPSs of your friends, one for the router, etc, etc.
Anyway, I seem to have degenerated into a wishlist rather than anything
productive and I've covered "The open web", "free software development &
culture" and "mobile" which I think is plenty of stuff for now!
Am I the only one living in this frustration?
Where are all the sensible people of yesteryear who could see the flaws
in the status quo, knew how to fix them and had the energy to go about it?
Regards,
@ndy
--
http://www.ashurst.eu.org/
0290 DA75 E982 7D99 A51F E46A 387A 7695 7EBA 75FF
_______________________________________________
Do not Cc: anyone else on mail sent to this list. The list server is set for maximum one recipient.
linux-elitists mailing list
http://zgp.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/linux-elitists
--
--
Best Regards.
This is unedited.
This message came out of me
via a suboptimal keyboard.
_______________________________________________
Do not Cc: anyone else on mail sent to this list. The list server is set for maximum one recipient.
linux-elitists mailing list
http://zgp.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/linux-elitists
--
So many immigrant groups have swept through our town
that Brooklyn, like Atlantis, reaches mythological
proportions in the mind of the world - RI Safir 1998
http://www.mrbrklyn.com

DRM is THEFT - We are the STAKEHOLDERS - RI Safir 2002
http://www.nylxs.com - Leadership Development in Free Software
http://www2.mrbrklyn.com/resources - Unpublished Archive
http://www.coinhangout.com - coins!
http://www.brooklyn-living.com

Being so tracked is for FARM ANIMALS and and extermination camps,
but incompatible with living as a free human being. -RI Safir 2013
Don Marti
2015-07-14 16:13:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tony Godshall
What's not clear is a course of action,
except to perhaps note that free software
has often grown out of frustration with
proprietary "solutions", as a more usable
less well funded, more distributed alternative,
where each author scratches their own itch-
it's a slow processes but it will come, and
unlike in the old days, most of today's
vendors realize it.
In the early days of the Free Software movement,
joining the free world had a huge transaction cost
advantage over going into the proprietary software
business. From the user POV, getting started with
GNU was a weekend project, not a corporate sales and
training cycle. From the developer and distribution
POV, releasing free software to a massive user base
had more overhead than it does now, but still less
than distributing through conventional channels.

Today, it's just as easy for a developer to do SaaS
or an app store app as it is to do Free Software,
and SaaS and app store apps are easier for most users
to get started with. The free side has lost some
friction, but the friction level on the proprietary
side is qualitatively different--low enough that an
individual developer or all-developer small team can
realistically be a "software hoarder", or more likely,
a brogrammer seeking primarily network effects and
using a mix of free and non-free licenses to get them.
--
Don Marti <***@zgp.org>
http://zgp.org/~dmarti/
Are you safe from 3rd-party web tracking? http://www.aloodo.org/test/
Ruben Safir
2015-07-15 02:31:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Don Marti
Post by Tony Godshall
What's not clear is a course of action,
except to perhaps note that free software
has often grown out of frustration with
proprietary "solutions", as a more usable
less well funded, more distributed alternative,
where each author scratches their own itch-
it's a slow processes but it will come, and
unlike in the old days, most of today's
vendors realize it.
In the early days of the Free Software movement,
joining the free world had a huge transaction cost
advantage over going into the proprietary software
business. From the user POV, getting started with
GNU was a weekend project, not a corporate sales and
training cycle. From the developer and distribution
POV, releasing free software to a massive user base
had more overhead than it does now, but still less
than distributing through conventional channels.
Today, it's just as easy for a developer to do SaaS
or an app store app as it is to do Free Software,
and SaaS and app store apps are easier for most users
to get started with. The free side has lost some
friction, but the friction level on the proprietary
side is qualitatively different--low enough that an
individual developer or all-developer small team can
realistically be a "software hoarder", or more likely,
a brogrammer seeking primarily network effects and
using a mix of free and non-free licenses to get them.
This is a decent summary. There is some minor differences in my
observation, but overall this is about what I see. What is also fueling
the movement away from free software is the complete lack of desire to
know how things really work but the new students/users, and the fuel
of the investment capital. Add to this is the economy of the "developer
and the user is your product" business model, and it gets really scary.
Free Software is not positioned to deal with this at all, and it was
not designed to.

See this

http://flatironschool.com/
https://codeday.org/

Ruben
Post by Don Marti
--
http://zgp.org/~dmarti/
Are you safe from 3rd-party web tracking? http://www.aloodo.org/test/
_______________________________________________
Do not Cc: anyone else on mail sent to this list. The list server is set for maximum one recipient.
linux-elitists mailing list
http://zgp.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/linux-elitists
--
So many immigrant groups have swept through our town
that Brooklyn, like Atlantis, reaches mythological
proportions in the mind of the world - RI Safir 1998
http://www.mrbrklyn.com

DRM is THEFT - We are the STAKEHOLDERS - RI Safir 2002
http://www.nylxs.com - Leadership Development in Free Software
http://www2.mrbrklyn.com/resources - Unpublished Archive
http://www.coinhangout.com - coins!
http://www.brooklyn-living.com

Being so tracked is for FARM ANIMALS and and extermination camps,
but incompatible with living as a free human being. -RI Safir 2013
Don Marti
2015-07-15 12:27:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ruben Safir
Post by Don Marti
Today, it's just as easy for a developer to do SaaS
or an app store app as it is to do Free Software,
and SaaS and app store apps are easier for most users
to get started with. The free side has lost some
friction, but the friction level on the proprietary
side is qualitatively different--low enough that an
individual developer or all-developer small team can
realistically be a "software hoarder", or more likely,
a brogrammer seeking primarily network effects and
using a mix of free and non-free licenses to get them.
This is a decent summary. There is some minor differences in my
observation, but overall this is about what I see. What is also fueling
the movement away from free software is the complete lack of desire to
know how things really work but the new students/users, and the fuel
of the investment capital.
You have always had a choice of which skills to pick
up and use. The difference now is that you can choose
the "credit card payments" skill and the "database
marketing" skill just as easily as you could pick up,
say, SQL. Some people are choosing business skills
(because of low-friction opportunities to use them)
and choosing not to learn malloc/free or partition
tables.

The solution isn't to get people who are interested
in the business skills to do the bit-flipping skills,
it's to offer freedom-friendly tools in the areas
people have decided to learn and work in.
Post by Ruben Safir
Add to this is the economy of the "developer
and the user is your product" business model, and it gets really scary.
Free Software is not positioned to deal with this at all, and it was
not designed to.
Sure. That's why there are projects at other levels
of the system. One of the important things we can
do for the Open Web is to reduce the returns to the
surveillance marketing/malware model, in order to
help move the web to high-signal advertising--the
kind that pays for quality writing and photography.

This guy admits to paying for fraudulent ads,
which means he's a paymaster for malware.
https://medium.com/@RickWebb/banner-fraud-doesn-t-matter-fc84413fe59c

The Open Web can protect itself by helping to inform,
nudge, and reward users toward lower trackability.
http://blog.aloodo.org/misc/site-request/

(That link goes to a freedom-promoting cut/paste for
webmasters that's just as easy as pasting in a "Like
Button.")

Tracking protection doesn't have to be perfect in
order to make an impact. Even if it's just good enough
to make the marginal banner impression disappear from
the market, it's still a win.

(Giving up on advertising now, when most users have
mid-1990s trackability, is like giving up on Linux
because you tried a mid-1990s kernel and it didn't
support your hardware.)

More ideas on the business level at Project VRM:
https://blogs.law.harvard.edu/vrm/2013/07/13/turning-the-customer-journey-into-a-virtuous-cycle/

Bonus link:
The Web We Have to Save
Hossein Derakhshan
https://medium.com/matter/the-web-we-have-to-save-2eb1fe15a426
--
Don Marti <***@zgp.org>
http://zgp.org/~dmarti/
Are you safe from 3rd-party web tracking? http://www.aloodo.org/test/
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