Monthly Archives: July 2005

The Web as a distributed object system

I thought I’d read everything Dan Connolly had ever written about the Web, but this gem (found via via apparently evaded my radar. He’d written other notes on Web & OO, but those weren’t as easy to digest as this one. Here’s the first paragraph;

I must take this opportunity to dispell a myth that is all to pervasive in the scientific and product literature surrounding the Web: that distributed objects are something that can be, or some day will be, added to the Web. Distributed objects are the very heart of the Web, and have been since its invention.

Right back at ya, Dan.

Web thinking

An excellent piece from Ryan Tomayko at about grokking the Web. A couple of comments in particular, caught my eye;

The great majority of experience with systems was not had with the constraints of the web in place. This makes conclusions drawn from observation of existing working systems, as well as recommendations based on them, extremely unreliable.

And quoting Adam Bosworth

How did the web happen? People take it for granted. You just assume that there’s always been the web. You know, in the beginning there was the web and the web was good and so on but that actually isn’t true.


Ryan also graciously lists me amoungst those who understand the situation he describes, and makes this observation about my email address;

Mark Baker’s username is always distobj (Distributed Object) because he was a big CORBA head.

True, initially. I picked that moniker in ’95, IIRC, when I was the local CORBA guru at, what was at the time, the largest publically under development CORBA project. But I continue to use it not because of momentum, nor because I’m still a fan of CORBA (I’m not, if you wondered 8-), but because I see the World Wide Web as the uber distributed object system that I’ve been looking for since my university days. I just had to squint a little to see it (and though the purist distributed object view works 99% of the time, it has gotten me into trouble on occasion).