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

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Monday, April 12, 2004

Did I call it?

From The Register reporting on a Business Week article...

WinFS appears to be the main casualty, having already been curtailed. A year ago Microsoft confirmed that Longhorn wouldn't, as expected, introduce an entirely new database storage architecture in which file systems NTFS would be a plug-in. Rather, Microsoft would add database like properties to NTFS. Business Week reports that the new features of WinFS will only work on local storage rather than across networks. That's been pushed into Blackcomb, which is way out towards the end of the decade.
Allow me to toot my horn for seeing this one coming over a few items I posted in recent months.

To reiterate I think the problems being addressed by WinFS are far better addressed not as a file system but by rethinking "the database". But then that would even more directly eat into the SQL Server cash cow. Either way, there are some tangly knots along the way that had simply been bypassed in the several WinFS presentations I've seen.

This is a good call, but too bad Microsoft has put countless hours into the WinFS over a decade now, if you count the origins back in Cairo-pre-Win95. If I read the above as WinFS will always be a "local file system" capability, then this is a total loss. Come back when this thing understands multiple users and runs on the network with location independence.

i.e. Come back when it is *really* a database, but not complex and not naive and self-managing... this is not easy.

Reports from Redmond suggest that the Avalon UI archtecture and the "managed code" API are also likely to be trimmed in order to get this most reluctant of steers out of the gate.
Two for two? Can we say goodbye to the waste-of-time XAML yet?

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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.