Links June 17th

It’s an uninteresting week but there’s a few nifty things out there tech-wise.

Shaking the world of browsing? Okay, maybe not…

Opera 10’s beta seems to be attracting a lot of attention. I still wish they had done something like a P2P network to work around routing issues.

Imagine the following situation: Person A lives in California. Person B lives in Texas. Person A and B share the same favorite site. It may be a social network or perhaps their favorite new aggregator. Person A can get to the site but Person B is running into a “local” routing issue which allows them to communicate with Person A but Mr. B can’t access this particular site. If Opera included a P2P web sharing mechanism, Person A’s browser could fetch the data for Person B.

There’d be a number of security implications, of course (passwords could be easily sniffed!) but for simply accessing a site, particularly if you really need to read it, this could be a workaround for local connectivity issues. I’d imagine the security concerns could be worked around by prohibiting form submission via the P2P connection in addition to disabling cookie access to the site.

Is HTML 5 the death knell of Flash, Silverlight, and Java Applets (JavaFX?)

It is interesting to say the least. It sounds a little idealistic to me, and the web doesn’t traditionally fare well with massive, wide-sweeping changes. Instead, many of the technological changes we’ve seen have largely been delivered piecemeal with the more interesting or useful features considered for early adoption. Those of us who have been using Firefox, Opera, and WebKit (as far as I know) have been able to enjoy limited Canvas features for at least two years. AJAX-related technologies adopt some parts of the HTML 5 spec from–once again–years ago.

Local storage and background processing seems a little far-fetched for the time being. However, it’s feasible the Internet could evolve into a distributed “operating system.” All it’d take would be merging the concepts of P2P networks (hello, Opera) and HTML 5 proposals.

We’ll see what happens. I’m not going to wager any guesses, but the HTML 5 spec sounds increasingly revolutionary. Revolutionary insofar as the Internet is concerned usually breeds half a dozen incompatible implementations–even if there is an accepted standard in place. What’s this mean for the consumer? Well, not much. Don’t expect to see any significant changes for another couple of years at best. At worst, we might see a few of the neater ideas being integrated into your favorite browser while everything else fades into vaporware.

Eclipse Galileo RC4 is out

You can read about it here. I noticed the other day while running some updates that Eclipse Galileo is due to be out in about two weeks. I’m really excited about this. From what I’ve been hearing they’re introducing a number of performance boosts and have given SWT a bit of a face lift. I really like Eclipse for general purpose coding but it’s pretty cumbersome for incredibly simple tasks. (Quick scripts get written in a simple text editor or maybe a very basic syntax highlighting-capable editor like Notepad++.) Maybe this next version will change that?

DZone has been banging around some more D language propaganda

Actually, I’ll confess. This article is really quite good. It’s actually giving me an itch to try D, and I might have to go about scratching it soon. I’ve been watching the language for a few years off and on (probably since 2002-2003 when I first heard about it from a friend), but I always assumed it was going to fade away into obscurity. It hasn’t yet, and it’s been at least six years and growing albeit rather slowly.

That said, it might be worth a look.

Internet censorship to rise in Germany

This article may be a little sensationalistic, but I think it’s worth a read. The unfortunate thing is that many do-good politicians are pushing strongly both here in the US and abroad (but most especially abroad) to censor Internet services in the name of protecting children. Sure, it sounds like a great idea–but the Aussies are already well aware of what a move like this does to the utility of the Internet. Late last year, there was talk about the Aussie filters being too ambitious, and they were. If I recall correctly, many sites (including Wikipedia) were affected due to simply mentioning a banned term.

People like their freedoms, and when they’re afraid a government initiative could potentially be used to stifle their freedoms, it doesn’t matter if it’s pushed under the guise of protecting the children. Things like this sound great–initially–but when they can be extended to squelch anything else that could be construed as “unlawful” (I see you’re saying something bad about the party in power! Ahhh, what a shame you won’t be able to have your dose of Internets today…), people get worried.

And rightfully so, I might add.


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