Archive | April 7, 2003

Whither Novell?

An interesting article in IT Week titled “Novell Takes Linux Exit; To Drop NetWare?” I was a Novell CNA (Admin not CNE, Engineer) for Novell 3.x, and it was a powerful, scalable network OS. It was absolutely swamped by Windows, though, and seemed to muddle through a number of initiatives that were unclear. Their directory services, though, I hear, are the crown jewel of the company at this point. Not connected with the news in that part of the world, I missed the Cambridge Technology Partners acquisition – those are sharp guys. It will be interesting to see which direction the company takes from here. Thanks to the post on OSNews

SharePoint Portal Server a part of the "Microsoft Office System?"

SharePoint shacks up with Office. “Microsoft plans to add its SharePoint business portal software to its Office bundle, as the company looks to broaden the appeal of its desktop software.” according to CNET

Intriguing. As I noted some time ago, many developers have been delivering systems using portions of Office for many years. With the Sharepoint services (formerly Microsoft SharePoint Team Services) built into Microsoft (formerly .NET) Server 2003 (formerly 2002), Microsoft may have hit upon a winning combination for ease of enterprise-wide distribution, versioning and tracking. Or, like the Exchange extensions last time and the previous versions of SharePoint, they may be flailing for a problem to fit their solution. I’m having a really hard time figuring out if Microsoft is really coming up with a coordinated plan to provide enterprise-wide services (the new decade of the 2000s, turning-over-the-leaf plan) (vs. the workgroup and desktop applications thay have been shipping) or whether they are just throwing everything against the wall and seeing what sticks, the plan that got them through the nineties.

Social Software Studies

“Social software” is a term I have heard bantered about when talking about blogs and wikis, and I find the term attractive. I am convinced that software that really enhances our abilities to find birds-of-a-feather, create an online community, and find richer ways to interact easily is a category that is up-and-coming. And “social software” seems to be a good name for the category to put it all under.

However, SS may have already suffered too much diliution, excessive GoogleWashing, to effectively communicate any real concepts. Social Software isn’t new. If we try to break down SS to a simple core definition, we’ll find silly ideas like “the ability of one person to communicate with others,” which pretty much describes most of civilization, doesn’t it? One of my first experiences with SS was joining online conferences in the Dartmouth College Time-Sharing System (DTSS) back in the mid-70s, where we could type JOIN XYZ from a terminal and be able to communicate with others in a chat room and whisper privately to other individuals. (What, did you think AOL invented this?) That was “Social Software.”

Knowing that I’m rarely the first to come up with any idea, I thought I’d search Google for ideas. There’s already been a “Social Software Summit,” an, and a commerial venture, notes from an iSociety presentation by Clay Shirky, …

And “Print Your Own Wedding Invitations and Social Invitations,” described as “Social Software for Microsoft¨ Windows tm 95, 98SE, ME, NT,…” oh, dear. Is this “GoodleWashing” or more like Google-dilution? One man’s treasure…

Does a meme and its catchy phrase always go separate ways? So the Para-DIG-m and the “step outside the box” are bad jokes, but the concepts remain valid? How can we continue to communicate if our words are constantly diluted?

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This work by Ted Roche is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.