WebMethods and The Mind Electric

I’ve known Graham for a few years, ever since I was at Nortel, working with a pre-release version of Objectspace Voyager (purchased by Recursion). He and I, and his team, had several interesting discussions about Voyager & CORBA, culminating in an attempted recruitment of yours truly (I couldn’t do the move).

Voyager was a Java framework which provided a smorgasbord of options for building distributed applications including agents, mobile agents, tuple spaces, and RPC (CORBA/RMI/DCOM/etc..). My fondest memory of it was when I used the Spaces package to prototype a workflow management system (with a constrained interface!! Who knew?! 8-) in about two days. To this day, I count that as one of my most aesthetically pleasing designs.

Shortly thereafter, I stumbled upon the work of a guy named Charles Axel Allen at a startup called WebMethods. That work was WIDL, and I used their WIDL toolkit to generate the Java stubs (IIRC) which I tied into my Voyager based workflow system. It’s hard to believe that it took me many more months to have my Web epiphany after flirting with something so similar to Web architecture in WIDL and Voyager Spaces. Live and learn.

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