Podcast Interview with Sun's Tim Bray and Radia Perlman

To celebrate the 15th anniversary of the World Wide Web, today I interviewed two distinguished people from Sun Microsystems - Tim Bray (Director of Web Technologies) and Radia Perlman (Distinguished Engineer). Here is the podcast interview [37 mins, 17MB].

To celebrate the 15th anniversary of the World Wide Web, today I interviewed two distinguished people from Sun Microsystems - Tim Bray (Director of Web Technologies) and Radia Perlman (Distinguished Engineer). Here is the podcast interview [37 mins, 17MB].

Both have been in the computing business a long time and have had very influential careers. Tim Bray co-invented XML 1.0 and was Tim Berners-Lee's appointee on the W3C Technical Architecture Group in 2002-2004 - amongst other accomplishments. Radia Perlman, who has a PhD from MIT in computer science, specializes in network and security protocols. In 1983 (according to a Sun timeline of the Web) she invented the spanning tree algorithm and is also sometimes referred to as the "Mother of the Internet".

Subjects discussed

Some of the subjects discussed in the full interview podcast are:

  • The past and future of the Web - and where Sun fits into the picture.
  • Peer-to-Peer (P2P) and why Tim and Radia don't think it will be a major driver on the Web.
  • Web-connected devices (music players, TV, games machines, etc) and the future of the browser.
  • Web Office - do Tim and Radia think a browser-based office suite will ever be competitive with MS Office? Sun has StarOffice, which is a desktop alternative to MS Office. Will it go web-based?
  • How does Sun fit into the Web 2.0 era we're currently in - e.g. social software, apps that leverage collective intelligence.
  • How will RSS and ATOM be used going forward; and thoughts on Google's data format GData.
  • Security on the Web
  • Where will the Web be at in another 15 years?!

Key Quotes from Part 2

Some key quotes not featured in Part 1:

  • Tim on Sun's contribution to the Web: "steel boxes with CPUs and memory inside them have been the largest contribution".
  • Radia on P2P: "[it] makes security and scalability very difficult". Her ideal is having central sites where you rendezvous, so you know what is where. And then the file goes peer to peer from that point.
  • Tim on media on the Web: "I do not expect the Internet to be a suitable medium for broadcast video, at any kind of acceptable level of quality that we've come to expect on our TV screen, any time soon. The architecture isn't built to do that and the bandwidth isn't there."
  • Tim on Web Office: "Anything that can migrate onto the Web absolutely will." [web office]
  • Radia on security on the Web and stopping the bad guys: "People ought to be trying to make it easy and cheap, rather than trying to make money out of security."

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