Tools for the New Terrain
Prepare for a year in which application development tools demand your most careful attention.Prepare for a year in which application development tools demand your most careful attention. The opportunities and challenges of building and buying Web services are nearing the tip-over point: Anything else that you do this year will merely maintain your museum of how you used to be competitive. Development tools dont evolve in a steady, Darwinian process of natural selection. What we actually see is a punctuated equilibrium, to borrow the phrase of Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould: Nothing important seems to happen for quite some period of time, until theres a sudden burst of activity in which old species become extinct and new ones emerge.
Francis Heylighen, at the Free University of Brussels, Belgium, explained this in terms of a "fitness landscape": an imaginary terrain in which valleys of stability are separated by ridges of transition. There used to be a forbidding ridge separating PC applicationswith their assumption of fast local memory and storage, immediate and rich interaction with the user, and a high degree of hardware specificityfrom network (especially wireless network) applications, which depend on remote resources with diverse and even variable behaviors.