A Hope for the Future: a Big Bang of Creativity

A Hope for the Future: a Big Bang of Creativity

Esto se escribió para dar ánimos a mis compañeros cuando parecía que el abaratamiento de los PC's acabaría con la industria de los ordenadores. Me lo inspiró el LANDP, producto que inventamos y realizamos, y que con sus "servlets"y "applets" permitía que los PC's interaccionaran en todo el mundo. Todo esto es ya historia pasada. Ahora, si quieren esperanza, lo mejor que pueden mirar son mis Consideralizaciones relacionadas con la Spe Salvi.

Written in 1992

I learned in high school that economy can collapse if there is a lack of creativity. Today I've heard that even the market is tired. People do not want a new videocamera that is to be obsolete in six months. In the same way one of the problems of the computer industry is that nobody wants to buy something (an operating system, for example) that is going to be obsolete in 2/3 years. So everybody is waiting, decisions are delayed and investments can not to be recovered. So, pushing the technological limits is not enough. This is not creativity in its broadest sense. This trend can pull down computers' price. However, without creativity the required computer power needed to increase the slope of industry growth in an optimistic way, will not happen. A lot of people are disappointed: more hardware will not be required, software can be copied; it's not worth dealing with them.

I've been working for ten years in LANDP development, currently in the technological strategy team. Once I've been able to store objects in our remote shared filing system using an object oriented language as a server, I've realised what will happen in the near future and, because it's wonderful, I will tell you.

I envisage a worldwide network of interacting information systems shaped as a big back end processor, which handle dynamic object databases connected through a network of optical fibber telecommunication control units to millions of front end programmable workstations clustered in LANs, and users doing visual programming in each leave of the trees.

The era of unplanned queries is gone. Now the new era of unplanned applications is coming. Putting computers to help human creativity will load information systems with creative power in an explosive way.

The network of future systems will be a big number of powerful mainframes with dynamic object oriented databases at the back end, and fast personal computers clustered in LANs doing visual programming at the front end. In the middle, a network of a lot of telecommunication control units doing optical switching among a world wide optical fibber network. One cannot imagine how many of such control units will be required nor how big and fast must be a worldwide available dynamic object database machine nor how fast will grow the hyper-system.

LANDP can create a model in a LAN showing what this wonderful worldwide network will be. Once this is achieved with LANDP, dynamic object oriented interpreter languages will be developed also for mainframes, or big computers will begin to emulate personal systems just like one can read today in high technology press. Of course the old set of currently running applications will be embedded and integrated into the hyper-system.

By dynamic object oriented databases I mean systems where the methods are to be run near the data within the same system. Persistent objects are stored in secure and safe filing systems with all of their instance variable status and relationships to other objects and methods. The more advanced paradigm describes applications as divided in three main parts: Model, View, and Controller. All the "model" will run in the server machine, either a big central mainframe, or a PS/2 in a provider's house of that kind of services. The "view" and the "control" will run in the client PS/2. The applications paradigm will be the one which is being used by LANDP applications. The "model" is split into "data model" and "process model". With "guardians" encapsulating data, one gets the required object orientation to have visual programming from the remote "view". With "agents" interacting among users and resources, one gets the required task orientation to overcome the problem of long transactions spanning over sessions. The "control" will be done by "actors", which will be generated dynamically by users acting on the "views" of the hyper-system. Visual programming will deal with the "control" of the new unplanned application and with the "agents", which will use the servers running in the distributed hyper-system.

As soon as people realise that what could be available in a short time will be profitable, they will begin to pay for it. In addition, the demand for more powerful mainframes will reach points never seen before. Big dynamic object data centres will be self-justified only to solve private personal requests for services. Also enterprise mainframes can open the door to outside people into special virtual machines working as dynamic object databases. Information and not just data as currently happens will travel through optical fibber.

Big stores will have their catalogues visually available to their customers who will be able to see the prices, the shape and characteristics of all the products well classified in containers from their homes.

Within an enterprise, it could well be that high management, people who decide by themselves if the overload of the central computing machine, due to their new program dynamically created, is worth for the company, begin to program by themselves. That ensures that nothing interesting will be lost.

A scholar will see at home icons of simulated physical experiments and play visually with them. A travel agency planner could access all the available trips in the world or all games programmed by a neighbour. Every one could grant access to his games or applications and charge for it. PTT's should handle electronic money among all players which could interact without risk on copyrights. PTT's would do the advertising of what is available in the network to get information traffic and do business on that. Programmers power in the world is now discouraged because software is easily copied. In the next future the execution of a process will happen in the author's house and he will be able to fix the price. People will prefer to have their data and methods in a secure central processor than in a palm-top which could be lost.

End users and programmers will communicate using Open Servers from their own Clients

It's not a simple new idea. It's to make computers help everybody on creativity. Creativity will apply to human activity in general, not only to computer industry. Of course the feedback here will also help the explosion.

A lot of problems will emerge from now on. Somebody must solve these problems one by one. This is our opportunity as Systems Engineers. Push object oriented techniques, dynamic object databases, visual programming, optical communications, network management and you will see very soon an explosive return on investment.

If the civilisation does not die because of corruption, degeneracy, nuclear war, a cosmical disaster or something else, there is no reason to fear that culture and business will not progress in the near future and lead us into a new era of a true new generation of information systems, when human beings will communicate love and knowledge through computer systems.

Manuel M. Domenech I.

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