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"The New Me"

, Bill Gates proudly announces into his bedside mirror.

http://money.cnn.com/2004/05/21/technology/msft_orcl.reut/index.htm?cnn=yes

What is with all of these love-ins involving Microsoft? There have been so many make-ups lately I'm anticipating Microsoft will really drop a bomb soon. They're clearly the legal and political docket for something really tasty.

Dennis Forbes
Sunday, May 23, 2004

We bought the Hague.

Philo

Philo
Monday, May 24, 2004

Their products' market segments are being commoditized by open source and alternative solutions.  How do you fight that?  Integrate the most popular product lines that don't directly compete against each other (i.e. VS.NET and Oracle)

GiorgioG
Monday, May 24, 2004

Does that mean they will take out the java integration including Java object support, Java swing applications, java application server and replace with .NET, hmm?

Berlin Brown
Monday, May 24, 2004

Oh my Gawd, imagine it - Java .NET.


Monday, May 24, 2004

How do you fight that?

It's simple: you make products that are better than open source.

For example, many web masters have a SEO problem: they have to rewrite URLs so they don't contain parameters.

Instead of a cryptic mod_rewrite like in Apache, Microsoft could offer this as an easy to configure, "set it and forget it", one-checkbox feature in IIS.

For example, for the directories the user selects, IIS could simply translate from:

page.asp?param1=val1&param2=val2&...

to:

page__ext_asp__param1_val1__param2_val2__....htm

Voila! Instant advantage for web masters not willing to bother with .htaccess, regular expressions, impossible to debug mod_rewrite, Apache that doesn't obey httpd.conf even when restarted many times, etc.

Add several features like this, and somebody who has to opt between Linux/Apache and Windows/IIS, will think that he has these options:

1. waste 1000 hours trying to figure out mod_rewrite and other cryptic things of Linux/Apache

2. install Windows/IIS and do the "mod_rewrite" thing by checking a checkbox, and lots of other things easily

3. hire a Linux/UNIX admin

What option will they take?

I think they will take option 2.

Instant advantage for Microsoft.

Go, Microsoft, go!!!

MX
Monday, May 24, 2004

I wish I had a legal dispute with MS.  They seem to be passing out the dollars like drunken sailors to wrap up all these loose ends. 

c:\
Monday, May 24, 2004

I tend to agree with MX on the easier you make something the more people will flock to it.  Witness VB.  There will always be a few people that want the ultimate control and customizability.  You can't capture that with a check box. 

That's why there will always be a large group that like to do things easily (Windows users) and a smaller group that likes ultimate control over what is done (Unix users).  Unix will almost always require more knowledge, or information, to complete a given task than Windows, but will probably always be more customizable as well.

c:\
Monday, May 24, 2004

Not sure if having that as a simple check-box option would be a good idea. I think if someone wants their dynamically generated pages to be spidered by Google etc this needs to be a delibarate decision and they need to think about its implications. The default should definately be dynamicly generated pages clearly visible as such from the URL, so that spiders can avoid spidering a bunch of UI actions in your web application, or a gigantic database via its user inteface, or whatever.

Matt
Monday, May 24, 2004

Yes, and cars should not be so modern that they run without breaking down.

Back in the days of my grandfather, you had to be a decent mechanic in order to be able to own a car, to use it and take care of it properly.

Why should it work "by default"?

Geiger
Monday, May 24, 2004

Because it working by default would be undesirable and possibly damaging in a lot of cases. The option should be there, and yes it could well be made easier than the likes of mod_rewrite to enable it in specific cases, but it shouldn't be turned on by default.

Unless you want to see Google innocently requesting things like

http://you.com/script/deletecrucialthingy/id=123

which it thinks is just a static page, as opposed to

http://you.com/script/deletecrucialthingy.php?id=123

which it knows isn't. Yeah sure that kind of option would normally be kept behind some kind of user authentication that google wouldn't get through. But I'm sure you can think of examples that wouldn't.

What it /is/ useful for is stuff like

http://you.com/article/1234/article_about_foo

as opposed to:

http://you.com/article.php?id=1234

If your implementation managed to distinguish between this sort of thing (essentially a static page but pulled out of a database) and a dynamic page that actually /does/ something, something you might not want a spider to innocently crawl to and make happen, then fine, but I don't think that would be easy.

Matt
Monday, May 24, 2004

you shouldn't really use GET with parameters for actions with destructive side effects anyway. use POST or another verb (e.g. DELETE).

mb
Monday, May 24, 2004

Well yeah, using POST is all very well for forms, but often you want/need a plain text link to 'do' something. Without writing some horrific javascript hack to create a dummy empty form with hidden variables on the fly and then submit it, I can't see a way of doing this without using GET...

Even if the dynamically generated pages don't 'do' anything irreversible, you could still end up with google or some other spider unnecesarily hammering the crap out of your database if you weren't careful about how you linked things.

Matt
Monday, May 24, 2004

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