Hehe… maybe I wasn’t as right as I thought

One of the best things about having this blog is that there are a number of very bright people who are more than willing to call me on my assumptions and perceptions, and a bunch of folks came out and did exactly that on my 2004 reflections post. For example, a friend emailed me and said

    Nice score indeed but you gave yourself plenty of wiggle room by not providing numbers 🙂

Guilty as charged. 🙂

    That being said, are you serious when you say P2P is dying? Have you used edonkey or bittorrent lately?

And here we get to the crux of the thing: Nope, never used either of them, and as soon as Cedric’s email (and Einar’s and Simon Brunning’s comments) showed up, I went to BitTorrent’s website and had a look around. Interesting, but what was even more interesting was Cedric’s next comment:

    Let me make a prediction of my own: P2P will become so prevalent in the next five years that people will simply stop subscribing to expensive cable/satellite dishes and download (legally or not) all their TV shows on P2P networks.

Wow. Interesting. Now, while I could weasel and say that I don’t think that BitTorrent is quite what I had in mind when I used the term "P2P", that’s not really going to go very far, because it clearly is building on many of the same principles that original peer-to-peer built on. What I was originally thinking was the sort of unspoken idea that most servers would sort of disappear in favor of a peer-based cloud of uncategorized resources, sort of what the "downloading music" frenzy was looking for, and that seemed to have no great future. BitTorrent definitely has some interesting ideas to it, but I still don’t see that it’s going to revolutionize the industry–yes, it provides faster downloads, but that’s about the sum total of it, at least thus far. But, admitting my own lack of experience here, I’ve not used it–just read the protocol specs–so I can’t speak with authority here.

How about we say "the hype surrounding peer-to-peer" will finally go away? Can I get away with that? 🙂

Meantime, a few other comments piqued my attention, as well:

    Microsoft did get sued again – lot’s of times. Its just that there wasn’t anything really, really big. They settled out of court for hundreds of millions multiple times, and have just lost part of the battle in Europe. (From Sandeep Kath)

Probably should have clarified the intent–that Microsoft would get sued by a major player, like Sun, IBM, Novell (as Michael Koziarski suggested), which didn’t seem to happen.

    "… realize that "objects" and "XML" don’t, in fact, go together like peanut butter and chocolate …" Since most people who don’t live in the USA think peanut butter and chocolate don’t belong together in the same room let alone in the same food item, maybe your prediction is more accurate than you thought. (From Tobek)

Supposedly, sales of Reese’s chocolate-and-peanut-butter products recently have been taking off worldwide. But, I’ll also admit, the reference was actually to an old US commercial back in the late 70’s, I think, where Reese’s was advertising their product by having somebody with peanut butter and somebody else with chocolate bump into one another and complain about how each ruined the other’s snack, until they tried it and found that "chocolate and peanut butter are two great tastes that taste great together". Hence the reference. (Sorry for the American pop culture lesson if you didn’t care to know the history, but that does perhaps explain it more clearly.) That said, hopefully the rest of the industry starts to gain the same skepticism about objects and XML that the rest of the world appears to have about chocolate and peanut butter. (As for me, I love Reeses’ stuff. 🙂 )

And as to Einar’s comments that .NET’s adoption in the large-scale enterprise has been a "miserable failure", I just have to punt–any statistics any of us care to quote have to be heavily explained and analyzed, since, as I believe it was Benjamin Disraeli put it, "There are three kids of lies in the world: lies, damned lies, and statistics". Any numbers I or you could quote would likely be coming from sources that have an agenda to push, making them suspect. Anecdotally, Einar, you’re right–I don’t see .NET making headway into large-scale enterprise systems. But at the same time, I don’t see Java making headway into small-scale enterprise systems, either, and both are gunning for what the other has. The point being, the large-scale enterprise isn’t the only place that companies and developers are or will be developing code.

So, I dunno, do I get four out of six?