This morning we’re talking about Web Services and how they’re being used in higher education institutions. Mark Franklin from Dartmouth is giving a quick rundown of what Web Services are either “a great way to unfetter apps from security restrictions” or “a conspiracy to circumvent firewalls by opening port 80 to all sorts of things”
Archive for September, 2003
I’m now the proud owner of this candy-apple red Fender Roscoe Beck 5-string bass guitar that I bought over ebay (got a great price on it too).
This is my first venture into 5-string basses – for those who might not know, a five string bass adds a low B string, down below the regular low E (six string basses add a high C string too).
I can’t wait to start playing it with the band - being able to get down to the low root for tunes in C and D, and the low fifth for tunes in F and G should be just killer!
Here’s a story about this model of bass, and here is a review. I’ll report back on the bass once both it and I arrive in Seattle later this week (the bass is coming from Michigan, I’ll be coming from New Hampshire).
During a session here at the CSG meeting, an assertion was made that with large ERP implementations such as Peoplesoft, SAP, or Oracle, that the products were sufficiently driven by database tables that the business logic of an institution could be captured in the tables and not through programming the core products.
I asked whether people could comment on the truth of that assertion from their experiences.
The telling comment that turned up after some discussion was that more than one institution used the inflexibility of the core ERP products to actually force changes in their business processes – in other words, rather than looking for a product that was flexible enough to support their complex business processes, they specifically looked for a product that would require the business processes to change to a pre-determined model. Wow.
Carl Jacobson, from the University of Delaware, further noted that in their research on ERP implementations, the ratio of cost of licensing the software to the cost of integrating and implementing it ran from 1 to 9 up through 1 to 17. Yikes.
Bernie Gleason is talking about the business models for open source business applictions. From his experiences so far thinking about this, he echoes the earlier conversation that people are most comcerned about support and sustainability of open source software. “Believing is the easy part – trying to find models and ways of selling this to higher administration is the hard part – it’s so difficult to get buy-in and to have people consider changes in the way they do things.”
Bernie notes that brand names are used to suggest quality and sustainability, and that the well-known open source brands (Linux, Apache, Red Hat, JBoss, MySQL) are no exception.
I’m here in beautiful Hanover, New Hampshire where Dartmouth College is hosting the fall Common Solutions Group meeting. The first workshop topic is about the issues involved in the tradeoffs in buying or building software, and the place of open source software, within higher education institutions. The slides I’ve prepared for a panel I’m participating in this afternoon are available here.
There’s a very nice interview with the always wonderfully common-sensical Tim Bray on Cnet news.com where he talks about the state of the use of xml:
“There is no doubt whatsoever that if you go into an environment where XML is really, truly being used right now, it’s …lightweight, quick and dirty enterprise application integration.”
“There are really two ways to get information: search and browse. And browse has a lot of potential. But to work, the drill down has to be intuitive. It cannot be stupid. You have to be really aggressive about bringing the relevant stuff to the top. You can’t force the person to go through multiple levels to get to what they want.”
(or those who never learned it) are dooming all of us to repeat it. A great editorial by former US Senator Max Cleland in the Atlanta Journal Constitution on the lessons that those of us old enough to remember the Vietnam war should have known before committing us to the current conflicts…(thanks to Cory Doctorow for pointing this out in BoingBoing.
Next week I’ll be at the Common Solutions Group meeting at Dartmouth University in beautiful Hanover, New Hampshire.
The Common Solutions Group is a group of senior central computing folks from a self-identified group of major research universities in the US. The group is small, consisting of something like 25 institutions, and meets three times a year. That makes it a really interesting forum for considering topics of common interest and actually making real connections with really smart people working on the same sort of things we do.
I don’t know about anybody else, but I am growing really sick and tired of the fact that the major IM vendors apparently have no interest in making an interoperable protocol a reality. In the latest news, Yahoo is announcing changes that will disable the ability of third party clients such as Trillian to access Yahoo IM. This is ostensibly being done to protect users from IM spam.
I don’t buy it – if these folks (Yahoo, AOL, Microsoft) wanted to they could surely come up with an open protocol that would both protect users from unwanted commercial messages and allow me to use IM without having to have three or four separate clients running on my desktop. Sheesh – it ain’t rocket science.
I’ve really been enjoying listening to the latest Rodney Crowell album, Fate’s Right Hand (which I purchased from the Apple online music store – but why did I have to buy every track individually?).
While I don’t listen to much contemporary “country” music these days, this album has a certain maturity of voice and inner vision of self that really appeals to me right now, plus the arranging and playing are interesting in a deep sort of way that most Nashville-produced country music isn’t. I was a big fan of Diamonds & Dirt when I lived in the DC area in the 80s (and played with a country-rooted swing band called Sassparilla), but haven’t paid attention to what Rodney’s up to lately until this week.
As the Thom Jurek says in his All Music Guide review,“Fate’s Right Hand is the finest record Crowell has issued since Diamonds & Dirt and may turn out to be the finest of his entire career — and that’s saying a lot.” Check it out.