RE: Grand challenges for software engineering

Tom Whore (
Wed, 4 Aug 1999 11:14:27 -0700 (PDT)

Tech wise I think the papper is something to devote ones life to. It is a
goal worthy of a life time of work and study.

The only small nits I got are semisymantical and the like...

--]"Every person on the planet has a right to communicate freely with anyone else"

First off. the term right..this implies that there is some force that
ordains this "right" onto people. SOmehow all the "rights" I have seen
have been more about spilling blood or kicking teeth ot poltical force
than any preordained force bestowed on humans.

I would think to say that ever person ought to have the opertunity to

Thing is there are many "opertunities" offered that you would think would
be used to teh limit (libraries, schools, public parks) but are instead
under utilized by those very Masses who could gain the most.

Your vision sounds great and I think with the coffers of Soros and the
tenacity of Steinbrener you could do it in a lifetime.

This though would not guarntee its use.

Just as I have seen bearly literate people pass libraries every day, so to
can I see throngs of those very masses pass up using this network of
communication to even a fraction of its potential.

--]Munchkins, a Grand Challenge Problem
--]"We should commit ourselves to developing a $1 chipset that can relay
--]messages in an ad-hoc, peer-to-peer, planetary-scale wireless
--]network. Such a network should be fair yet self-supporting, allowing
--]users to "own" rather than "rent" network access. We will use this
--]platform to bring basic telecommunications to every human community,
--]and the software principles behind it to eliminate network
--]configuration & administration from the scale of PCs on a LAN to
--]microdevices within a minefield or vending machine to software
--]components within distributed applications. We will also develop new
--]software architectural styles to exploit global messaging and event
--]notification, to truly build a "mirror world" in cyberspace to better
--]understand and manage the real one."

And now...the downside.

Goverments would either block this cold or subvert it enough so that it
would become unusable.

Yes there is crypto, but already we are seeing crypto being outlawed.
Yes there are those amongst us who are the diligent Rangers OF Encryption,
who will give us ways to deafeat the prying ears and eyes of the forces of
contol, but thats going to be fringe when your talking about the masses as
a whole.

We have seen how people in masses will use BAD tech with holes (windows,
ICQ, outlook) rather than spend the time and effort and education to use
the best tool for the job. We seem to be a network of people in which 17
million of us think using a cheap freebe platic philips head screw driver
with an AOL stamp on it is good enough to build something of worth.

--]Furthermore, non-engineering dimensions are critical as well:
--] * political science & law (ensure democratic limits to use)
--] *anthropology (to monitor adoption & adaptation in use)
--] * business process (to take advantage a vast, but marginalized, market)

Crucial points here.

--][Astute readers may quip that so far, I have reinvented FidoNet and
--]UUCP. This is even more true than it seems -- the future of the
--]connected Internet may lie in the past, disconnected,
--]everyone-pays-their-own-modem-share BBSes.]

A thought that has been bubling thru many minds inthe last 4 years:)-
ANSI grfx reborn

Low Techo paths often lead to the goal

--]Time to get some WinCE devices, 802.11 wireless Ethernet cards,
--]Ricochet transciever modems, an Apple Airport, and start coding up a
--]*TP store... I'm beginning to envision how we can prototype munchkins
--]with palmVs and palmVIIs, building a without Palm's per-bit
--]monthly fees and centralized clipping services... localizers and
--]other technology is maturing well enough: we need to start figuring
--]out how to program them, the software engineering of deeply networked

/me raises his betatest arm way high

[---===tomwhore@ [] [] []]
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