Saturday, September 29, 2007

Web 2.0

Report và là 1 trong những bài post đầu tiên về Web 2.0.

What Is Web 2.0 ?

2. Agenda
3. Web 2.0
4. Read-Write Web
5. Other Web 2.0 influences
6. Web 2.0 by Tim O'Reilly
7. Web 2.0 Principles
8. Core Competencies of Web 2.0 Companies
9. Web 2.0 Design Patterns
10. Six (or so) Quick Examples

Web 2.0

  • “What is Web 2.0?” is a common question these days. Web 2.0 is certainly a buzz word that has been “bouncing around the blogosphere” since late 2004.
  • Tim O'Reilly attempts the following “compact” definition:

Web 2.0 is the network as platform, spanning all connected devices; Web 2.0 applications are those that make the most of the intrinsic advantages of that platform: delivering software as a continually-updated service that gets better the more people use it, consuming and remixing data from multiple sources, including individual users, while providing their own data and services in a form that allows remixing by others, creating network effects through an "architecture of participation," and going beyond the page metaphor of Web 1.0 to deliver rich user experiences.

  • “network as platform, spanning all connected devices”: the notion that Web 2.0 data is accessible anywhere; Flickr is not “Windows Only”, for instance.
  • “delivering software as a continually-updated service that gets better the more people use it”: hints of service-oriented architecture, Web services
  • “consuming and remixing data from multiple sources, including individual users, while providing their own data and services in a form that allows remixing by others”: Web 2.0 services enable mashups and/or reuse of their data in perhaps unexpected ways
  • “creating network effects”: network effects are those in which benefits of using a system increase as more users make use of it. The classic example is that of a telephone. If only one person has a telephone, its not very useful. As more and more people gain access to telephones, the benefit to an individual user goes up quite quickly
  • “going beyond the page metaphor of Web 1.0”: Web 2.0 services should feel like desktop applications that just happen to live in a browser. See Writely for instance.

Read-Write Web

  • Tim Bray (among others) feels that everything that is classified as Web 2.0 comes from the enabling of the Read-Write Web
  • In Web 1.0 days, the Web was a read-only environment (if you ignore the long-standing ability by many Web sites to let people leave comments on a Web page via the use of a CGI script)
  • But, slowly, over the years since 1993, the Web has become more and more a read-write environment in which its easier for end-users to create information that can then be re-used by others
  • I should note that Tim Berners-Lee has always wanted the Web to be read-write. His first Web browser (developed on a NeXT workstation) supported GET and PUT operations but this ability got lost in the transition to Mosaic and Netscape. It is also important to note that the vision of a read-write Web is in tune with the visions of the “fathers of hypertext”: Vannevar Bush, Doug Englebart and Ted Nelson
  • I should also note that an extremely active Web 2.0-related blog is called Read / Write Web.

Other Web 2.0 influences

Web 2.0 by Tim O'Reilly

  • Tim O'Reilly played an instrumental role in promoting the concept of Web 2.0 via O'Reilly publications and conferences
  • He has published an article in which he expands on the definition we discussed above. (Material on this slide and the next draw heavily from that article, please read the original for full details.)
  • He claims that they initially defined the Web 2.0 concept by example:
Web 1.0 Web 2.0
DoubleClick Google AdSense
Ofoto Flickr
Britannica Online Wikipedia
personal websites blogging
screen scraping web services
directories (taxonomy) tagging ("folksonomy")
stickiness syndication
  • They then attempted to tease out the underlying principles that allowed them to classify a particular concept, system, or company in one or the other category.

Web 2.0 Principles

  • The Web As Platform
    • software as service, doesn't matter what the client platform is
    • clients pay directly (place ads) or indirectly (view ads) for use of service
    • No scheduled software releases, just continuous improvement
    • no licensing or sale, just usage
    • no porting to different platforms, just massive server forms handled internally
    • AdSense Ads: no banners, just minimally intrusive, context-sensitive, consumer-friendly text ads
    • BitTorrent: every client is also a server
    • BitTorrent: the service automatically gets better the more people use it (network effects), aka the “architecture of participation” (blogging is another example here)
    • Key lesson: do business with the edges and “long tail” (see Wikipedia's and Tim Bray's explanation) of the Internet
  • Harnessing Collective Intelligence
    • Hyperlinking is fundamental
    • Yahoo!: Its directories were created via the input of its users
    • Google's PageRank
    • eBay's products organically shift based on the activities of its users
    • Amazon's search takes into consideration the concept of “most popular” which shifts based on the activities of their users
    • Wikipediia: radical experiment in trust that, similar to open source software development, can produce high quality output
    • folksonomy, i.e. tagging. Tagging creates organic taxonomies, categories of objects that arise via the activities of the participants; supports the overlapping associations that the brain itself uses, rather than rigid categories
    • Blogging: its ability to create dynamic conversations and harness the “wisdom of crowds”
    • Key lesson: Network effects from user contributions are key to market dominance in the Web 2.0 era
  • Data is the Next Intel Inside
    • MapQuest licensed map data, satellite images, etc. to create its product; Google and other companies created competing products simply by licensing the same data. Bad for MapQuest, good for the companies that own the data
    • As such, “the race is on to own certain classes of core data”
      • location
      • identity
      • calendaring of public events
      • product identifiers
    • In areas where there is significant cost to create the data, an opportunity exists for a company to become the sole owner of that database and then license it to all who want it (this is referred to as an “Intel Inside strategy”)
  • End of the Software Release Cycle
    • Operations must become a core competency
      • Not software product development…
      • because software as service means the system is running 24/7
      • Your system will cease to perform unless it is maintained on a daily basis
    • Users must be treated as co-developers
      • As is recommended in open source software development
      • You need to be able to monitor the use of features in your system
        • Features not used should be removed
        • Deploy in a few small areas and if they get picked up, deploy across the entire site
  • Lightweight Programming Models
    • Once the idea of Web services became popular, large companies jumped into the arena with a complex web services stack
      • But the Web itself was successful primarily because it discarded a lot of the complexity of prior hypertext models
    • As such there is a drive to keep Web 2.0 programming models simple, as is seen with REST and Ajax's approach of using XML and Javascript
    • O'Reilly highlights several significant lessons with respect to this:
      • Support lightweight programming models that allow for loosely coupled systems
      • Think syndication, not coordination
      • Design for "hackability" and remixability (Similar to the Web's "View Source" command)
  • Software Above the Level of a Single Device
    • Best to quote from O'Reilly directly

      One other feature of Web 2.0 that deserves mention is the fact that it's no longer limited to the PC platform. In his parting advice to Microsoft, long time Microsoft developer Dave Stutz pointed out that "Useful software written above the level of the single device will command high margins for a long time to come."

      Of course, any web application can be seen as software above the level of a single device. After all, even the simplest web application involves at least two computers: the one hosting the web server and the one hosting the browser. And as we've discussed, the development of the web as platform extends this idea to synthetic applications composed of services provided by multiple computers.

      But as with many areas of Web 2.0, where the "2.0-ness" is not something new, but rather a fuller realization of the true potential of the web platform, this phrase gives us a key insight into how to design applications and services for the new platform.

      To date, iTunes is the best exemplar of this principle. This application seamlessly reaches from the handheld device to a massive web back-end, with the PC acting as a local cache and control station. There have been many previous attempts to bring web content to portable devices, but the iPod/iTunes combination is one of the first such applications designed from the ground up to span multiple devices. TiVo is another good example.

      iTunes and TiVo also demonstrate many of the other core principles of Web 2.0. They are not web applications per se, but they leverage the power of the web platform, making it a seamless, almost invisible part of their infrastructure. Data management is most clearly the heart of their offering. They are services, not packaged applications (although in the case of iTunes, it can be used as a packaged application, managing only the user's local data.) What's more, both TiVo and iTunes show some budding use of collective intelligence, although in each case, their experiments are at war with the IP lobby's. There's only a limited architecture of participation in iTunes, though the recent addition of podcasting changes that equation substantially.

      This is one of the areas of Web 2.0 where we expect to see some of the greatest change, as more and more devices are connected to the new platform. What applications become possible when our phones and our cars are not consuming data but reporting it? Real time traffic monitoring, flash mobs, and citizen journalism are only a few of the early warning signs of the capabilities of the new platform.

  • Rich User Experiences
    • Started with GMail and Google Maps, web apps that act like desktop apps
    • Use of XHTML, CSS, DOM, XML, XSLT, XMLHttpRequest, and Javascript: AJAX!

Core Competencies of Web 2.0 Companies

  • O'Reilly states that Web 2.0 companies require skills in the following areas:
    • Services, not packaged software, with cost-effective scalability
    • Control over unique, hard-to-recreate data sources that get richer as more people use them
    • Trusting users as co-developers
    • Harnessing collective intelligence
    • Leveraging the long tail through customer self-service
    • Software above the level of a single device
    • Lightweight user interfaces, development models, AND business models

Web 2.0 Design Patterns

O'Reilly states that Web 2.0 has the following design patterns (note: the text below is a direct quote from here):

The Long Tail Small sites make up the bulk of the internet's content; narrow niches make up the bulk of internet's the possible applications. Therefore: Leverage customer-self service and algorithmic data management to reach out to the entire web, to the edges and not just the center, to the long tail and not just the head.
Data is the Next Intel Inside Applications are increasingly data-driven. Therefore: For competitive advantage, seek to own a unique, hard-to-recreate source of data.
Users Add Value The key to competitive advantage in internet applications is the extent to which users add their own data to that which you provide. Therefore: Don't restrict your "architecture of participation" to software development. Involve your users both implicitly and explicitly in adding value to your application.
Network Effects by Default Only a small percentage of users will go to the trouble of adding value to your application. Therefore: Set inclusive defaults for aggregating user data as a side-effect of their use of the application.
Some Rights Reserved. Intellectual property protection limits re-use and prevents experimentation. Therefore: When benefits come from collective adoption, not private restriction, make sure that barriers to adoption are low. Follow existing standards, and use licenses with as few restrictions as possible. Design for "hackability" and "remixability."
The Perpetual Beta When devices and programs are connected to the internet, applications are no longer software artifacts, they are ongoing services. Therefore: Don't package up new features into monolithic releases, but instead add them on a regular basis as part of the normal user experience. Engage your users as real-time testers, and instrument the service so that you know how people use the new features.
Cooperate, Don't Control Web 2.0 applications are built of a network of cooperating data services. Therefore: Offer web services interfaces and content syndication, and re-use the data services of others. Support lightweight programming models that allow for loosely-coupled systems.
Software Above the Level of a Single Device The PC is no longer the only access device for internet applications, and applications that are limited to a single device are less valuable than those that are connected. Therefore: Design your application from the get-go to integrate services across handheld devices, PCs, and internet servers.

Six (or so) Quick Examples

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I.B.M. to Offer Office Software Free in Challenge to Microsoft’s Line

I.B.M. plans to mount its most ambitious challenge in years to Microsoft’s dominance of personal computer software, by offering free programs for word processing, spreadsheets and presentations.

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Steven A. Mills, senior vice president of I.B.M.’s software group, said the programs promote an open-source document format.

The company is announcing the desktop software, called I.B.M. Lotus Symphony, at an event today in New York. The programs will be available as free downloads from the I.B.M. Web site.

I.B.M.’s Lotus-branded proprietary programs already compete with Microsoft products for e-mail, messaging and work group collaboration. But the Symphony software is a free alternative to Microsoft’s mainstay Office programs — Word, Excel and PowerPoint. The Office business is huge and lucrative for Microsoft, second only to its Windows operating system as a profit maker.

In the 1990s, I.B.M. failed in an effort to compete head-on with Microsoft in personal computer software with its OS/2 operating system and its SmartSuite office productivity programs.

But I.B.M. is taking a different approach this time. Its offerings are versions of open-source software developed in a consortium called The original code traces its origins to a German company, Star Division, which Sun Microsystems bought in 1999. Sun later made the desktop software, now called StarOffice, an open-source project, in which work and code are freely shared.

I.B.M.’s engineers have been working with OpenOffice technology for some time. But last week, I.B.M. declared that it was formally joining the open-source group, had dedicated 35 full-time programmers to the project and would contribute code to the initiative.

Free office productivity software has long been available from, and the open-source alternative has not yet made much progress against Microsoft’s Office.

But I.B.M., analysts note, has such reach and stature with corporate customers that its endorsement could be significant.

“I.B.M. is jumping in with products that are backed by I.B.M., with the I.B.M. brand and I.B.M. service,” said Melissa Webster, an analyst for IDC, a research firm. “This is a major boost for open source on the desktop.”

I.B.M. executives compare this move with the push it gave Linux, the open-source operating system, into corporate data centers. In 2000, I.B.M. declared that it would forcefully back Linux with its engineers, its marketing and its dollars. The support from I.B.M. helped make Linux a mainstream technology in corporations, where it competes with Microsoft’s Windows server software.

I.B.M. is also joining forces with Google, which offers the open-source desktop productivity programs as part of its Google Pack of software. Google supports the same document formats in its online word processor and spreadsheet service.

I.B.M. views its Symphony desktop offerings as part of a broader technology trend that will open the door to faster, more automated movement of information within and between organizations.

A crucial technical ingredient, they say, is the document format used in the open-source desktop software, called the OpenDocument Format. It makes digital information independent of the program, like a word processor or spreadsheet, that is used to create and edit a document. OpenDocument Format is based on an Internet-era protocol called XML, short for Extensible Markup Language, which enables automated machine-to-machine communication.

For example, an individual investor might create a spreadsheet with automated links to market information, and prices at which he or she wants to buy or sell shares in particular stocks. The person would get an alert by e-mail or cellphone message of price swings, and could create the document for a buy or sell order with a keystroke.

Or, in a doctor’s office, patient records could be linked to hospital, clinic and other databases and updated automatically.

Microsoft has the same vision of software automation, but it champions its own document format, called Office Open XML. Earlier this month, Microsoft failed in its initial effort to have Office Open XML ratified as a global technical standard by the International Organization for Standardization in Geneva. The OpenDocument Format, backed by I.B.M., Google, Sun and others, was approved by the standards organization last year.

I.B.M. clearly regards its open-source desktop offerings as a strategic move in the document format battle. “There is nothing that advances a standard like a product that uses it,” said Steven A. Mills, senior vice president of I.B.M.’s software group.

The Lotus Symphony products will support the Microsoft Office formats as well as the OpenDocument Format. But analysts note that technical translators are not entirely foolproof; Symphony software may easily translate the words from a Microsoft Word document, but some of the fonts and formatting may be lost. For many users, that may not matter, they say, but for others it might.

Betsy Frost, a general manager in Microsoft’s Office business, said users valued “full compatibility” with previous versions of their Office documents as well as the ease of use and familiarity of Microsoft products. And she noted that there are 500 million Office users worldwide.

Any inroads I.B.M. and its allies make against Microsoft, analysts say, will not come easily. “Three major players — I.B.M., Google and Sun — are now solidly behind a potential competing standard to Office,” said Rob Koplowitz, an analyst at Forrester Research. “But it’s a tough road. Office is very entrenched.”

SAP Unveils Web Software, New Business Model

NEW YORK (Reuters) - SAP AG unveiled a long-awaited line of Web-delivered software on Wednesday that will radically change the company's business model and may shake up the Internet software arena.

Called Business ByDesign, the software is initially a one-size-fits-all, subscription-based package aimed at mid-sized companies and is a crucial plank in SAP's strategy to more than double its customer base to 100,000 by 2010.

"It's not just a new product for us," Chief Executive Henning Kagermann told journalists and analysts at a company event in New York. "It's a new era for SAP."

SAP, the market leader in complex suites of software for large enterprises, is the first major software maker to enter the market for so-called software as a service delivered over the Internet.

It said it will have invested up to 400 million euros ($559 million) in marketing and ramping up Business ByDesign by the end of next year. One-fifth of the company's 12,300 developers are working on the project.

Business ByDesign, which integrates management of areas including financials, human resources, supply chain and customer relationship management will cost $149 per month per user and $54 per month per five users for a pared-down version.

The offering is both more complex and more expensive than competing products from the likes of Internet software pioneer Inc , which has 35,000 customers and whose prices start from $60 per user per month.

Salesforce and privately held NetSuite, which deliver their software over the Web, have seen their business grow faster than SAP and its big rivals Oracle Corp and Microsoft Corp , which usually install their software on customer computers. NetSuite has 5,300 customers.

"I hope they will make it. That would be good for the industry," said Dan Sholler, a software analyst with Gartner. "But they are promising to do something that has never been done ... I am very uncomfortable with the goals they have set."

SAP shares closed down 1.2 percent to $57.90 in New York Stock Exchange trading.


SAP, which currently has 20 selected live customers using Business ByDesign, aims to win hundreds of customers by the end of the first quarter and thousands by the end of 2008.

Kagermann told Reuters that 2008 would be the year SAP would prove the technical viability and the business case for Business ByDesign, which it hopes will eventually become more profitable than the rest of its business is currently.

From 2010, SAP aims to win 10,000 new customers annually and $1 billion per year in new revenues from the new software.

It is rolling out Business ByDesign slowly, first with selected customers in the United States and Germany, followed by Britain, France and China. It will have limited distribution until late 2008.

Analysts attending the SAP event said they were impressed by the product demonstration and unworried by the slow speed of the roll-out


"The breadth of solution is definitely going to be quite compelling," said Adam Shepherd of Dresdner Kleinwort. "In terms of pricing it seems competitive."

James Dawson of Morgan Stanley said: "They've been fine-tuning the product all year. It's a reasonable time plan."

But Salesforce's European president, Lindsey Armstrong, said she was unworried about potential competition.

"It feels to me like a very classically built SAP product. How many people need a 360-degree view of the company?" she said, when asked about the greater scope of the SAP software, compared with Salesforce's. "I'd say one -- the CEO."

She added that SAP's timetable to market made the threat remote. "I can pretty much walk to Italy from (SAP's headquarters in) Walldorf in the time they'll take to roll it out there."

SAP has, however, designed Business ByDesign as a wholly distinct product, making the decision some three years ago to set up a separate development branch rather than simply put SAP's existing software packages on line, Kagermann told Reuters.

"We decided to make no compromises," he said

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Haskell - A new perspective

after nearly a week , I have studied Haskell.
Peter, gave me a lot of work, some notes, things to do , to think about
Now it's time to review what I have learned
I spend 1 week on reading all notes in 4 week. Not big deal. OK
Some important concepts
module Sample
square :: Int -> Int
square x = x*x

Friday, September 7, 2007

Free Stanford Webinar

Long-Range Design - A Proven Paradigm for Radical Innovation
Dr. William Cockayne

Learn the new tools (e.g. critical foresight, anticipatory research design thinking) that are empowering organizations to improve the quality and speed of their research and design innovation programs.

Date: August 30, 2007
Time: 10:00 am, PDT

View the recorded webinar