Weblog:   All Software Should Be Network Aware
Subject:   Better use of Instant Messaging
Date:   2003-07-02 16:11:28
From:   bbrown
Response to: Better use of Instant Messaging

That's an interesting use of IM, certainly, but I think it's tacking on functionality that doesn't belong.

Perhaps a different app that might follow the same conventions as IM, but not use IM applications? I can think of a dashboard-style app that would use Rendezvous to establish connections and do the actual transmission using Jabber or something like that.

Your notion of an all-in-one app runs counter to small pieces loosely joined and the general UNIX design philosophy. I'd like to see a number of different apps that can all interoperate or not, depending on your usage.

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  • Tim O'Reilly photo Better use of Instant Messaging
    2003-07-03 09:43:15  Tim O'Reilly | O'Reilly AuthorO'Reilly Blogger [View]

    Not sure if you were responding to me or to one of the other folks who commented. I'm not suggesting an "all in one" app, and definitely not trying to contravene "small pieces loosely joined" -- in my reply to another query above, I just cited that very phrase to explain my vision. I'd love to see a lot of this stuff "built in" to OSes so that it would be easier for apps to do the right thing, or for programs supplying many of these features be modular enough that they could easily be grafted on to each other. (For example, Chandler is adding some of these features using Jabber.) But I am actually thinking that many of the things I'm talking about are not actually software features so much as they are agreements to act a certain way. I believe that many app developers are still stuck in the desktop mindset, and when folks start to put the network front and center in their consciousness, they'll make a host of small but important design decisions differently.

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