Keep Thinking Inside the Box
When a perfect technology comes along, I may be willing to let it protect me from myselfWhen a perfect technology comes along, I may be willing to let it protect me from myself. Until that happens, Ill insist that every black box has to give me a way to look inside. What got me going on this subject were two comments by a software developer during a Spring Comdex panel discussion. First, he praised Microsoft for shielding him from the distraction of every "latest thing" technology; he specifically mentioned XML. In almost the next breath, though, he lauded Microsofts speed in delivering tools for .Net. Of course, .Nets Web services are based on XML. My cynical side thought, "Theres someone whos really drunk the Kool-Aid. He doesnt want to waste time on vendor-neutral standards; hed rather stay on the leading edge of proprietary APIs." My charitable side protested that I was being too quick to condemn. What he meant, I suspect, was that he didnt want to deal with technology in its raw form but preferred to find it packaged for application.
Many IT builders seem to seek the equivalent of a heat-and-eat meal, shying away from peeling their own potatoes (let alone butchering their own steaks). Object-oriented software, integrated circuits ... and .Net APIs? Yes, these can have benefits.