In an age of spin and counterspin, where no one calls a spade
a spade if there's a chance of calling it an HDK instead (“hole development
kit”), JDJ Industry Newsletter decided to canvass Internet technology
experts of every stripe and ask them to anticipate the future – in just two
words. Brevity, we felt, might increase the pressure on them to be incisive
and insightful, and we weren't disappointed.
• “In two words, and only two words,” we asked, “what, in your view, does
the first half of 2002 hold in store for the Internet technology space?”
• One well-known spokesman of a major technology company, whose identity
we have politely agreed to protect, responded that “It would be easier to
send 500 than two,” before going on to admit that the two-word answer he’d
really like to offer would probably be too candid for his (or her) masters:
• If not chaos, though, then what? Here are the answers that have been
coming in from technology experts and professionals the length and breadth
of the Internet.
• Charles Goldfarb, the Father of XML Technology, doesn’t hesitate: “XML
rules!” he declares, adding that this particular prediction is “for the recently
arrived Martian who might not have noticed.”
• James Gosling, the Father of Java, is both upbeat and awe-inspiring:
“Intelligence everywhere” he intones, in what might almost be an all-purpose
incantation or mantra for 2002, from one of the world’s leading Internet
• Tyler Jewell, director of technology evangelism for BEA Systems, is equally
unequivocal, though he requires a hyphen to keep within the two-word limit.
“Java-infrastructure growth” is his prediction. “The first half of 2002,”
he explains, “will see a renewed look at enterprise infrastructure investments
by corporations...and those investments are going to made almost purely in
the Java space.” Fighting talk indeed.
• The value-investment theme is echoed by Russell Glass, VP of strategy,
AGEA: “ROI rules” is his bid. While for Simeon Simeonov, chief architect
of Macromedia Inc., the two-word future we have in store is this: “Rich clients.”
• But Andrew Watson, VP and technical director, OMG, has a different take.
“UML extends” he proclaims, referring to the Unified Modeling Language. “Use
of OMG’s Unified Modeling Language will expand and version 2 will be finalized,”
• Alan Williamson, editor-in-chief of Java Developer's Journal,
is his usual hard-hitting self. “Nearly there” or “Coming soon” will best
sum up Q1 and Q2 in 2002, he reckons.
• Greg Kiessling, CEO and cofounder of Sitraka Software, is by contrast
in no doubt whatsoever: “J2EE delivers” he declares. No hyphens needed there!
• Both Annraí O’Toole, executive chairman of Cape Clear, and Dave
Chappell, vice president and chief technology evangelist of Sonic Software,
each offer the same two words. They won’t surprise anyone who knows either
of them: independently of one another, “Web services” is the confident prediction
of each of them for what the first half of 2002 holds in store for the Internet
• Yancy Lind, CEO of Lutris Technologies, comes in with a slight tweak
to that. “Java services” is his two-word take. And Barry Morris, CEO of IONA
Technologies, qualifies the O’Toole/Chappell prediction somewhat too, by
predicting “Service architectures” rather than just Web services.
• Ron Worman, vice president of Global Alliances for IONA , cannily uses
the two-word limit to introduce IONA’s own particular brand (literally) of
future, namely “E2A Integration” – we’re not sure if that counts as one word,
two, or maybe four, because spelled out in full it signifies “End to Anywhere”
and seems to derive from IONA’s corporate aphorism: “End to end is nothing.
END TO ANYWHERE is everything.”
• Another refinement is offered by Sean McGrath, CTO of XML specialists
Propylon. “Dataflow desideratum” he tells us from Ireland, is what we need
to watch out for. “The ‘dataflow’ method of designing systems was popular
in the late seventies and early eighties,” he explains, “and then was neglected
in favor of object-oriented design. I believe XML and Web services usher
in a return to focusing on distributed data flows in designing Internet-based
• Stefan Van Overtveldt, program director of IBM’s WebSphere technical
marketing group, is at least honest about having been defeated by our two-word
rule. “Web services breakthrough” he predicts. “Not exactly two words, but
it’s the best I can do,” he adds cheerfully. “Companies will see the value
of Web services as an open standards-based approach to the integration of
multiple applications running on a variety of platforms, and start to invest
in prototypes and actual deployments.” He also notes that he expects application
servers to become “integration servers,” explaining this prediction as follows:
“With J2EE 1.3 and Web services, the application server will more and more
be used as a standards-based hub for integration between new and existing
• Whereas Rick Ross, founder of JavaLobby, seems not to be at all confident
in the resourcefulness of the i-technology sector at present. “Innovation
deficit” he predicts, somewhat gloomily.
• Charles Arehart, founder and CTO of SysteManage, is never gloomy – “JSPs
live” he offers. But being laconic is more difficult and Arehart protests
to us that a three-word limit would help him since, as he puts it, “‘JSPs
not dead’ or ‘JSPs live on’ connote a lot more than simply ‘JSPs live’ or
(worse) ‘JSPs rule,’ which sound like so much boosterism.” Charlie’s prediction,
in short, is that despite prognostications to the contrary, JSPs will live
on well into 2002 and beyond.
• And regular JDJ columnist Blair Wyman, IBM developer extraordinaire,
has a characteristically whimsical prediction, immediately understandable
to anyone with a yen for entity beans. “I was puzzling about this when I
sat down to supper last night – to absolutely one of my favorite meals in
existence – and had a sort of epiphany,” he reports. “My two-word answer
is ‘Bean soup.’”
The future arrives faster in the i-technology world than anywhere
else. What’s your prediction for what’s ahead? Add your comments at www.sys-con.com/java/article.cfm?id=1291.
“Let the market decide”
IBM’s Stefan Van Overtveldt Comments on WebSphere vs .NET Debate:
For several months now, IBM and Microsoft have engaged in an Internet debate
over the superiority of their respective platforms, WebSphere 4.0 and Visual
Studio .NET. You’ll find details of the dialogue in the February Java Developer's
Journal (Vol. 7, issue 2), and also at www.sys-con.com/java. Responding to
an open letter by Greg Leake (group product manager, Microsoft),
IBM’s Stefan Van Overtveldt comments:
“IBM and Microsoft can fight about benchmarks forever,
but what matters most is what customers and developers are doing. .NET only
supports Windows and other Microsoft technologies, while IBM offers tools
like Eclipse and WebSphere Studio that are truly cross-platform and open
standards-based. At the end of the day, it is obviously going to be hard
to prove in a discussion like this whether one tool or another is more productive.
The people who will make that call are the developers out there writing the
code, and developers would rather have a choice of platform and vendors.
We believe that it’s all about real-world scenarios, not
about just one application like petstore.com. Developers and organizations
will pick the environment and tools that provide the lowest total cost of
ownership, while matching their particular systems requirements. Most companies
don’t just rely on Windows but have to work with heterogeneous systems like
Unix, mainframes, etc. – which is why IBM’s tools are ideal. Let the market
To add your comments to the discussion, go to www.sys-con.com/java/.
Stefan Van Overtveldt
Program Director, WebSphere Technical Marketing, IBM