September 15, 2004

Responsibility is Complex in the Now Economy

Event Driven Architectures By: ams

Courtesy of Mike Dierken we found Bill de hÓra’s “WWW cubed: syndication and scale”, in which he writes:

The most advanced thinking that doesn’t involve throwing out the Web is probably Rohit Khare’s PhD thesis, which suggests an ‘eventing’, or push style extension to the Web model. An early example of this approach where the server calls back to the connected client instead of the client initiating each time, called mod_pubsub, is available as open source. One of HTTP’s designers, Roy Fielding, is rumoured to be working on a new protocol, that could feature support for easing of the load on servers.

The question of responsibility – especially in the event of operational issues arising – becomes complex. With a pull delivery model on the other hand, organisational boundaries are crisp and clear.” This may not matter for consumer applications, but a surprising number of important business systems and services are now based on HTTP data transfers. And many people believe that syndication technology like RSS and Atom will also be used for commercially consequential exchanges in the b2b, or “business to business” arena. Switching from a polling to a pushing mode, also confers a switching of responsibilities, and this might in time have far-reaching consequences where cost-efficiency is traded for risks, legal and financial. One day, your online bank might be morally and technically culpable for getting your bank statements to your computer. In that case, expect to sign even more of your rights away in the fine print.

The Now Economy will be guided by all kinds of Service Level Agreements. Empowerment comes when people understand the benefits — and, more importantly, the limitations and risks inherent — in moving to a world where information travels to where it needs to go instantly and across trust boundaries.

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