RSS in the Java

By Steve Gillmor  |  Posted 2004-03-08 Print this article Print

Desktop System?"> Gillmor: How does that filter down to the Java Desktop System? Schwartz: JDS is not necessarily about providing every choice. What you would pay Sun for isnt to assemble a bunch of open source code and give it to you on a disk. What you come to Sun for is: Give me an assembled, qualified, integrated stack that I can rely upon your roadmap to deploy.
When we make conclusions about what is the RSS infrastructure within that desktop, thats probably going to be more significant than almost anything else, even though the volume there isnt anywhere near what it is on a cell phone. We dont control all the definition of the software stack on a cell phone like we do on JDS. We obviously have to play close attention to how it is we put the infrastructure in place —and it also means that were gonna put the infrastructure in place.
Gillmor: You mentioned earlier that Microsoft is holding RSS back for some reason. What is that reason? Schwartz: Its a couple of things. One, the RSS market is relatively nascent. And there are some technology leaders who are going to go deliver their RSS feeds more proactively than others. Is Microsoft missing a huge market right now? Probably not. But it just goes to the prior point that he who controls distribution controls the definition of the standard. On one hand, I think theyre uncomfortable with how much of the RSS standards have been done in the open source community that they cant therefore lock away. And if they take a path, they have to take one that breaks that alliance, and in breaking that alliance –as theyve tried to do with HTTP, Java, and every technology they couldnt control– lies some risk for Microsoft. Im not sure right now theyre all that interested or focused on it. I think Steve Ballmer is probably more focused on his pricing in Malaysia than he is on the infrastructure for RSS. Gillmor: But this is an opportunity with JDS for you to make that effectively the center of the desktop, as opposed to a messaging client. Schwartz: That certainly is the case. The question for our desktop team is the same question that Microsoft has to ask of their Longhorn team: Is that kind of innovation going to get you incremental share? Right now the overwhelming, the preponderance, of feedback we have from customers about what they want from a desktop from Sun is security, familiarity, and affordability —and almost typically in that order. The next wave of innovations –in media playing and three-dimensional desktops and RSS readers– hasnt ranked up there, but thats in part been because weve been speaking almost exclusively to an enterprise audience. As soon as you start talking to developers, as we start building our developer desktop out this fiscal year, were going to end up with a different set of what we call CTQs —issues that are critical to quality for our customers. Next page: RSS and the Developer Community

Steve Gillmor is editor of's Messaging & Collaboration Center. As a principal reviewer at Byte magazine, Gillmor covered areas including Visual Basic, NT open systems, Lotus Notes and other collaborative software systems. After stints as a contributing editor at InformationWeek Labs, editor in chief at Enterprise Development Magazine, editor in chief and editorial director at XML and Java Pro Magazines, he joined InfoWorld as test center director and columnist.

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