I stumbled across this interesting article on software innovation today: The Most Important Software Innovations. It is an attempt to define a list of the most influential open software innovations (ignoring hardware innovations). It uses a relatively arbitrary cut-off point at TCP/IP in terms of networking (ruling lower networking protocols such as Ethernet out of scope). However, I would have to agree with the overall thrust of the argument that there are relatively few real innovations in software, and that many so-called innovative software ideas are simply a recoding of an existing idea. Of course all of us who work in software surf on the wave created by the hardware developments that make our underlying platforms cheaper and more powerful at a remarkable rate, so though this list doesn't include hardware innovation, it certainly requires it!
"This document attempts to address all the IPv6 Multi-homing Solutions and their Pro's and Con's, put forward by the Internet Community as a collective. The use of this document is intended for the sole purpose of providing clarification of the IPv6 Multi-homing Solutions and their pro's and con's, in order to assist the Internet Community on deciding what solution are currently available to use Globally as a United Internet Community. The ultimate solution may or may not be as written in this document. However, these are the suggested solutions put forward to date and the ones we have to work with and adjust as needed. Additional suggested solutions and pro's and con's will be added to this document as members in the Internet Community bring them forward."
Number Resource Organization Document Store - RIR Comparative Policy Overview
Call for Comments on IPv6 Multi-homing Solutions
Geoff Huston has just published an interesting high level commentary on issues in routing, and inter-domain routing in particular ISP Column - November 2006
The Taoiseach of Ireland (or prime minister), Bertie Ahern, came to our building in Waterford Institute of Technology's (WIT) new West Campus in Carriganore on Monday 16th Oct to officially open it. The building houses two sets of complimentary activity: (i) the TSSG (Telecommunications Software & Systems Group): a research centre comprising basic research (10 faculty and postdocs, 15 students), applied research (30 researchers) and pre-rpduct development (50 researchers and developers) looking to explore the synergies between these approaches; (ii) the WIT Innovation Centre comprising entrepeneurship programmes such as the SEEPP and managing incubatiuon space in the building for spin-out and spin-in companies.
See Full TSSG Press Release for further details....
An interesting angle on the social implications for IT of the rise of flexible light-weight approcahes, and flexible remote storage and hosting Gartner: Prepare for consumer-led IT | CNET News.com
The suggestion is the pendulum is swinging back towards the end-user away from central IT infrasucture management.
You can join in on-line if you are running Windows XP and install the client software from: IFUP-ICT 2006 On-Line.
Plenary (Day One)
I can see a trend on how the use of "Convergence" has been taken up outside the technical meaning of converged IT (Information Iechnology) and Telecommunications into ICT (Information Communications Technologies). For me the term, though vague, does have a firm technology basis of the adoption of the Internet's TCP/IP infrastructure (an unreliable packet-based data network with higher layers that introduce reliability) - thus everying becomes digital and everything uses the Internet, most dramatically telephone calls as VoIP (Voice over IP). Unna Huh, President, Information and Communications University (ICU), Korea (pictured above, bottom right) has just opened the proceedings (I am blogging from Daejeon in the audience) with a general word on the convergence of industry and academia, and many other convergences. The theme of the conference is that of the role of the academy in preparing graduates and postgraduates for this changed world, with a focus on telecommunications engineering and applied computer science "Educating IT Manpower for the 21st Century - the IT Talent that the Global Industry Desires".
I was very interested in the presentation by Jan Rembowski (ENST, France) on the graduate programmes in Telecom Paris. They have a system of sharing elements of their postgraduate degree programmes, located in the research park in Sophie Antipolis and delivered through English.
At IFUP-ICT I met with Richard Kettner-Polley from the Colorado Technical University, Institute for Advanced Studies Colorado Technical University's Institute For Advanced Studies | Colorado Masters Degree | Colorado Doctorate Degree. It is very interesting to hear how they are creating doctoral programmes linking Computer Science and Management particularly through the EIS programme (Enterprise Information Systems).
I have always felt that there is a tension between the academic imperatives of doctoral programmes, and the undersatnding of the applied industrial nature of the domain, this is another attempt to resolve these tensions.
Headway Software (a TSSG spin-in company) has just launched the latest version of their Structure 101 product that allows users to analyse the complexity of their Java source code, and to help manage that complexity. The idea is very simple: despite the heavy use of UML modelling to help with the design of software, most actual deployed software does not have a model, or has drifted from the original model. The Structure 101 product analyses the actual codebase to produce graphical visualisations, and tabulated information, that effectively exposes the existing structure of the code. It employs some simple metrics, so that developers can simply focus on improving the metric, and some more detailed analysis where developers to address potential rogue dependencies.
Full press release is available from the company website: News Headway Software, Structure 101, Version 2. Potential users can download and experiment with a version of the product directly from the website.
Chris Chedgey, CEO of Headway, also has his own blog where, amongst other things, he shows how the product can be used to analyse various open source software projects.
I am speaking next week at IFUP ICT 2006 on the success in the TSSG in harnassing basic, applied and commercialisation research funding to support research into next generation services harnassing next generation networking infrastructures - IPv6 with security and mobility.
I spoke this week at the IIR Telecoms Signalling World Forum. It was an excellent event organised by IIR, professional conference organisers. The theme of my talk was the potential for new flexible next generation networking services enabled by open SIP stacks on mobile handsets, whether fully IMS integrated, or lighter weight Internet-style.