Evolution of Applications and Data

This may be trivial to other, but for me it was a realization: before we had MS Money, Quicken, etc.  and now we have Wesabe, Mint, etc.  Why am I not happy with Wesabe?  Because it doesn’t have all the functionality I want, which Quicken and MS Money have.  How is this going to get solved?  The same way data + presentation split up in the online development world (before you had HTML which contained both "what to show" and "how to show it", whereas now you have XML to say what to show and CSS, XSL for how to show it) – this same thing should happen going forward with iPhone, client, and online apps.  It’s a bit like having multiple email clients all connecting to the same server to manage your email.  So you can switch between Thunderbird, Outlook, and Gmail without too much effort.  Except that you can’t because things like "read message" flag is stored client-side.  And then IMAP came about, where the "read" flag now resides on the server.  So now, I can use my iPhone and my GMail to work with the same data.

My point – more and more data providers should open up their interfaces for tool producers.  What seems to be lacking is a platform for how to manage revenues.  Could this be an opportunity for someone to come up with such a platform?  Something that would provide standards for data security, interfaces, etc.  Then this player comes to JoVE and says "look, all you have to do is expose the following interfaces to your data.  We’ll take care of exposing your data to iPhone and BlackBerry developers who will make use of it and we’ll provide a way for you to share revenues from sales.  Then iPhone and BlackBerry developers implement apps for scientists to show JoVE videos and plug into other data repositories facilitating access for researchers where it is beneficial.

So then I could use Wesabe, own my data in the cloud, and require that Wesabe does not actually store any of my information at all – I own all of my data in the cloud and they just provide a tool to work with it.  Moreover, I would be happy to pay to store this data in the cloud and then I could give access to other financial tool providers if I want to use other tools…  the possibilities that arise from this however trivial evolution of online tools is thoroughly blowing my mind.

This is a bit of a ramble.  Why is my data on LiveJournal.  I want it to be in the cloud, reliably backed up.  My life is now online.  Whoa.

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Filed under Musings, Tech

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