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Daniel Steinberg on Jini, and How Assumptions Influence Technology Choices

2 replies on 1 page. Most recent reply: Sep 29, 2006 12:32 AM by Peter Booth

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Frank Sommers

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Nickname: fsommers
Registered: Jan, 2002

Daniel Steinberg on Jini, and How Assumptions Influence Technology Choices Posted: Sep 28, 2006 1:30 PM
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Summary
Daniel Steinberg made his presentation at the 10th Jini Community Meeting earlier this month available for download. His highly engaging piece suggests that the technologies we choose are based on the assumptions we hold to be true, and that changing those assumptions may lead to different technology choices.
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Daniel Steinberg's presentation at the 10th Jini Community Meeting earlier this month suggests that many of our technology choices are based on assumptions about a problem domain. Different assumptions would likely lead to different technology choices:

The technology you logically adapt is based on the assumptions you make. People who choose Web services, just made a different decision. They decided to agree on a protocol, whereas Jini adopters have decided to agree on the type system at both ends.

Steinberg notes that technology adoption is often driven by end-users' "gotta-have-it" moments: By applications that demonstrate a technology in compelling ways to end-users. End-user interest, in turn, will drive developer interest, according to the Steinberg:

Make end-users want to use Jini. You have to build the desire. The first time you clicked on a Google map in a browser, and dragged the map around, your understanding of how a browser-based application could act totally changed. None of the technology was new. It couldn't have been. These applications had to work in existing browsers. But Google maps became a killer app that explained to end-users what was possible that they hadn't seen before.

Steinberg also comments about the relative growth of Jini adopters, and draws a parallel with Ruby:

One question is, how big do we need to be? Well, think of Ruby. Ruby was invented in the same year as Java. In 2002, there were about 12,000 people at the JavaOne conference. Twelve thousand. And people were really concerned. Attendance was half of what it had been before. Was Java dead? ... In that same year, Ruby had its conference in the US. About 100 people gathered in Seattle. The inventor the of the language hung out at that single-track conference with the hard-core American adopters. While Java had millions of adopters in 2002, this language that was created at the same time had hundreds. Ruby gathered a little traction here or there, but it still didn't catch on.

Rails and better developer documentation, such as books, were key drivers behind Ruby's subsequent growth, according to Steinberg.

To follow Steinberg's reasoning, what key assumptions led you to use the technologies you are currently using? And how do you see those assumptions changing in the near future?


Jeff Ratcliff

Posts: 242
Nickname: jr1
Registered: Feb, 2006

Re: Daniel Steinberg on Jini, and How Assumptions Influence Technology Choices Posted: Sep 28, 2006 4:12 PM
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> These applications had to work in existing browsers. But
> Google maps became a killer app that explained to
> end-users what was possible that they hadn't seen
> before.</p>

What Steinberg doesn't mention (at least in the brief excerpt quoted at Artima) is that the lack of a decent application to illustrate the value of the technology is exactly what was wrong with Sun's strategy on a number of fronts including JINI.

Imagine the yawns the would have resulted if Google had simply written a white paper (as Sun is so fond of doing) describing how an AJAX style application could be written instead of writing an interesting one.

Peter Booth

Posts: 62
Nickname: alohashirt
Registered: Aug, 2004

Re: Daniel Steinberg on Jini, and How Assumptions Influence Technology Choi Posted: Sep 29, 2006 12:32 AM
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> > These applications had to work in existing browsers.
> But
> > Google maps became a killer app that explained to
> > end-users what was possible that they hadn't seen
> > before.</p>
>
> What Steinberg doesn't mention (at least in the brief
> excerpt quoted at Artima) is that the lack of a decent
> application to illustrate the value of the technology is
> exactly what was wrong with Sun's strategy on a number of
> fronts including JINI.
>
> Imagine the yawns the would have resulted if Google had
> simply written a white paper (as Sun is so fond of doing)
> describing how an AJAX style application could be written
> instead of writing an interesting one.


What a perceptive and accurate skewering.

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