Blogging the O'Reilly Conference Keynote

Since I did such a pitiful job at blogging the Plone Conference, I'm going to try to make up for that by blogging the O'Reilly keynote.

Themes: Where Applications are going, Where the Network is going.

Inventions have to make sense for the world they are finished in, not the world they are started in.

Their [O'Reilly's] job is to help the future to happen.

Dave Stutz's Manifesto

Tim's talking about iTunes, he thinks it's something that Apple is doing in the vein of Dave Stutz's Manifesto.

Software above the level of a single device. CDDB is an example.

He's now showing all the people who've shared their music in iTunes. Someone has named their share as "Hi Tim". Cool, my name is on the list. :-)

Tim's not impressed that they just clicked Buy Now on a Tom Jones Greatest Hits song in iTunes. :-)

Tim notes that iTunes assumes you consume but not produce, and iPhoto is the opposite. Also there's no sharing in iPhoto like in iTunes. Tim says iPhoto is broken because it doesn't live up to the long term trend of building more and more networking. Mentioned that they had to transfer pictures to each other over iChat because iPhoto didn't do it.

Now they're looking at iChat.

Why are buddy lists only in iChat? Why not in iTunes or iPhoto? He thinks the Friendster / FOAF models could be extended into iChat... so you can share or browse people's buddy lists.

Now looking briefly at AddressBook. He finds it incredibly irritating. Identity is critical to all these future applications. People will need to start thinking of groups of people. He wants people in his company to be able to browse his Address Book, his wife to be able to see his Address Book and browse it.

UNIX's security model, user, group, other. Apple has a self, world model right now, world defined as being on Rendezvous LAN or some other kind of access.

We need something inbetween, we need to manage lists of people, think of their relationships, and apply that as a service been some of the other applications.

Another quote, William Gibson:

"The future is here, it's just not evenly distributed yet."

Tim says that's true at Apple. Some apps are in the future, some are not.

Human Interface Guidelines: Consistency, Metaphors.

In the networking world, we have a hodgepodge of metaphors. Stick in a CD, it gets your CDDB data.. it just happens. Rendezvous, you can meet people who are close. Buddy lists. Gateways: Email, Web site as "drop box", Web site as store. Sync. He realized he didn't talk about iCal. Publish and Subscribe...

Rael says: publish and subscribe is ridiculous for calendars, in the house it should be more pervasive, people in the house should just be able to see them. You shouldn't have to take the whole calendar (like O'Reilly sessions), should be able copy the events you want to go to to your own calendar. You can't invite people to events via iChat, only email!

Tim says there's a malange of metaphors and they're used inconsistently.

Tim says we need guidelines for applications, challenging developers to think of this. He knows ever app can't work with every metaphor, but there's a set of things we can really understand and apply it across the board.

Every app has to be Rendezvous-enabled. iPhoto is a crime for having no Rendezvous, what are they thinking?

Two way. (I missed the details on this point i was typing)

Security... who gets access to what? It's a hard problem, especially at Internet scape, but it's solvable, and whoever solves it will do very well.

It needs to be extensible. A framework, not just an app, decomposible into a service.

Scriptable. Apple hasn't done anything near enough with AppleScript in their apps, in Tim's opinion. Buddy lists should be a service, shouldn't just be in a single app.

Scalable to multiple devices. iPod is a trivial case. Mentions bluetooth enabled cellphones. Digital cameras. David Pogue will talk about that later.

Issue: Intellectual Property. Apple and Shawn Fanning should be commended for making progress and breaking down the old system, respectively.

Tim is confident that we'll get there.

Issue: More robust and easy to use framework for permissions is needed.

Issue: "Hackability" Things need to be hackable. When they hack they show you where the thing needs to go. Whether it's hardware or software, it shows you what people want to do with their stuff. Technology progress starts with hacks and then vendors take it from there. O'Reilly encourages that.

Now he's opening the floor to questions or thoughts about the promise of a future where services span devices.

Person asks what Apple is saying about all these things Tim is talking about.

Apple: "Oh yes, very interesting..." (monotone voice).

He says this takes time, sometimes it works but it's hard to move the gears.

He mentions Amazon and Google, they've been listening.

Guy next to Rael says there's another way... if one of us does one of these things, Apple will probably put it in the next version of the OS.

Audience member says video conferencing still hasn't gone anywhere in the last 15 years. Tim thinks there's more going on than is thought. A few years ago what you do with iSight was $50K, now it's $149.

Rael says it's loosely coupled. (context lost, sorry) He talks about SubEthaEdit. He used and SubEthaEdit for outlining a book remotely with conferencing.

Technologies often start by underdelivering on what people really want. PC an example, originally people said they were just toys, but they grew up and took over.

Duncan says iChat and buddy lists reduces the friction in this, because it's so easy to get started with.

Tim says Firewalls are a dreadful solution to one problem that causes so many more problems.

Audience member: As these things apple does go to Linux etc, what will happen?

Tim: the network is becoming the platform. Apple isn't about the Macintosh anymore, it's a layer above the devices, including Windows.

Asks who use Linux. A few hands. Who uses Google? Everyone. He says we all use Linux, therefore.

Devices are interconnected. He says when you're using Google, you're not using your Mac, you're using the world's largest Linux cluster, and that application, and all the interconnected web sites in the world. That's a very very different world.

People weren't looking at eBay as an application. People were only looking for thinks to dethrone Office. Apple is one of the first old-gen companies to get this. Look at the iTunes store, it's got an Amazon-like app built into it.

We're going to have more devices, more devices on the net, more ways of sharing data. When you're inventing things, think of the world in which it's finished, not started.

The world we finish in will be even more networked than we are today, and we're going to create so many opportunities about it.

He's excited about Apple because they're working on this but thinks they aren't thinking hard enough about it.

Apple today is doing it in fits and starts, pieces here and pieces there. Hoped Panther would do more than it does in this regard, thinks maybe the next version will do it. That's where he'd like to see Mac OS X go. Now he moves it over to... Pogue I assume.

Audience clapping.

Tim is introducing David Pogue. Says his attach rate books to computers is way above industry average. Distinguished not just as an author but also a speaker. Used to be a magician, broadway conductor. Tim says David's the best teacher he knows, helping ordinary people understand things, makes these people extraordinary.

I'm noting that I haven't seen any other black powerbooks at the conference. :-/

David is funny. His powerbook wasn't showing the right colors. He did a magic trick while the techs fixed the projector.

He's going to talk about features that don't show up on Apple's site.

David's secret weapon is Adam Goldstein, he's a 15 year old from New Jersey.

David says Apple hasn't done a good job of explaining the security thing.

Virus virus virus, hacker hacker hacker, Mac OS X doesn't have a single virus yet. No ports open.

Apple's not making enough noise about this.

David mentions secure delete.

Didn't understand File Vault, but then he found out about it in his own book. Adam explained it to him.

Solves the problem that you can ignore permissions if you have an OS9 CD or Firewire cable. He says it would take 149 trillion years for a computer guessing a password a second to crack your home folder, or the length of two Kevin Costner movies.

Showing the Sidebar on Finder. Says the world "Shelf". Uh huh uh huh uh huh! Show's the demo, well yeah!

The Where list in the open/save is the sidebar in collapsed mode, most recently used in expanded mode, but the sidebar is still there on the left.

You can drag a folder into a panel to go to that folder. Click on a file to get its filename in the text field. (Sorry, but that's a Win 3.1 feature I think)

Services. Import Image, scan into any app. ScriptEditor, write and run applescript anywhere.


Bluetooth, ad-hoc networking, even with Windows machines, no configuration.

Pulls a file off of Rael's powerbook using Bluetooth.

More demos, sorry this is too fun I'm not typing.

Written on October 28, 2003