Marc has been struggling to find the right phrase the helps people understand what he's working on. Yesterday he wrote something I've heard him say, but I don't understand, that he was “forced” to change from calling it server in the closet. Why? I find that helps to position the software, if that's really what he has in mind. I want a server in the closet, one that really works for the house as an interface to the universe, both ways.
I also believe that servers belong everywhere, and predicted it, and it's happening. Nowadays if you want to buy a webcam, you can buy one that connects into your wifi network and has an integrated HTTP server. That's how you get the images — visit a web page on your LAN. I just bought a receiver that has a built-in HTTP server, so I can program the stereo over the Internet. It wasn't the reason I bought the receiver, but you can imagine I was delighted to find that it was there. It's also why I strongly believe that the TV set in your living room or den is also going to be a full computer, a peer on the Internet, a client of various Internet services (as predicted by Mark Cuban) and a server so you can control it using a web browser, and also so you can have your own private YouTube or MySpace (that, I believe is Marc's vision).
All the players here are orbiting around a set of protocols and standards that make this stuff work, even the ones you usually don't see playing well with others, the entertainment and technology industries. The attraction of the formats is irresistable. As TBL said: “Anyone can build a new application on the Web, without asking me, or Vint Cerf, or their ISP, or their cable company, or their operating system provider, or their government, or their hardware vendor.”
What he didn't say, but surely is aware of, is that it's possible to add new layers to the Internet that have the same properties, and new proponents of evolution who stand beside himself and Vint Cerf. It didn't stop with TCP, HTTP and HTML, and it won't stop with RSS and WiFi. But the philosophy that TBL stated so succinctly is so important that it's worth codifying as a law. And it can be restated in a mashup of the words of JFK: Ask not what the Internet can do for you, ask what you can do for the Internet. [Scripting News]