Information Week has an interview with Bill Gates in which he talks about the Digital Nervous System, commenting that no one has got it right yet and that the idea may be ahead of it’s time. He also has some choice words for XML.
There’s going to be so many standards, so how do you map from one XML schema to another schema? That’s a tough software problem; in fact, there’s going to be more innovation in computer languages in the next couple of years than there have been in the last 10 as we expand existing languages with XML and we get new computer languages that are really designed around XML. And that’s partly why our strategy is language neutral. Visual Basic, Java, C, even the traditional languages … and you can’t tell people to go rewrite stuff because that’s not where you get interoperability. By mapping their stuff in the schemas and then being able to map between schemas, we’ll have a level of interoperability we’ve never had before. This XML thing has a lot of promise to it. Just because you use XML doesn’t deliver the promise, it’s just sort of the starting point of it. Again, a very tough software problem, fascinating software problem that we’ll go after just like all these tool things that we’ve done.He also hints at Visual Studio supporting BizTalk.
Take schemas related to people, places, events, customers—some objects that are actually fairly complex. BizTalk is doing this; we’ve got a lot of people involved in it. Actually schematizing business processes—have you agreed to this? does this quote stay valid for 90 days? if something goes wrong who in this organization do you notify?—that is the really tough thing we’re working on now. It’s not just records but it’s the whole process and the events in that process. How do you build products and standards that digitize that? That is a fairly unique role that we can play in this thing. So a year from now there will be a huge milestone with the next major version of Visual Studio. And a lot of the interoperability problems people have now will become so simpleBy the way, does anybody else find it strange that Microsoft use Dreamweaver to author the BizTalk site?