"I have a mind like a steel... uh... thingy." Patrick Logan's weblog.

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Tuesday, May 06, 2003

Speculating: the Network is not the Computer

There is nothing like a controversial statement to draw attention to an issue, or at least traffic to a little-known blog.

Apparently, Patrick took a peek at WS-Transaction, didn't get any further than the author list and decided it wasn't any good. I agree that two phase commit is traditional... I hold out more hope for compensating transactions via asynchronous messages.

I did read further than the list of authors. But nothing like a controversial statement to get people interested in a topic.

I do think the compensating approach is better than the atomic approach at the distributed business level of "transaction". But I am not sure either should be a part of the connection architecture. Compensation "meta-data" if you will should be a part of the documents exchanged among business partners, no matter how those documents are exchanged.

A distributed system across trust boundaries is where I believe we are collectively heading. The internet shows us the beginnings of what is possible... for the subset of things that are generally always online and publically accessible. Expanding this to mobile and access controlled is the next big thing.


I love the NeuroTransmitters story. But Sean McGrath illustrates the problems that emerge when you overload your connection architecture over time.

The network is not the computer. My computer is over here and yours is over there. All we need is a simple way to exchange documents.

The documents are the messages. The computers are the cells. (Fortresses in Roger Session's metaphor.)

The connections should be as simple as possible and get out of the way.

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About Me

Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.