The word used again and again lately to describe distributed information systems is "composition". The Unix idea of piecing together solutions from reusable parts has morphed into XML-based, service-oriented architecture. This time around, though, it's all happening on the Web, in an environment where everybody can compose simple and popular tunes. When technologists forget that, I hope users will administer the dope slap we deserve. [Full story at XML.com]I wrote this column on the plane home from SXSW. Dinah Sanders, product manager for the Innovative Interfaces OPAC system, invited me to sit in along with Liz Lawley, Tanya Raybourn, and Sun's corporate librarian Cynthia Hill. Reactions to the panel came from David Weinberger and Jenny Levine.
I really enjoyed meeting and hearing from my fellow panelists. They're on the forefront of reinventing the institution of the library and the profession of librarianship. My message to them, and to people in every other profession, is: expect spontaneous integration. My message to IT propellerheads: don't disappoint that expectation. Larry Wall got it right: hard things should be possible, and easy things should be easy.
Former URL: http://weblog.infoworld.com/udell/2004/03/18.html#a947