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I agree that the NXS is a finely engineered, and increbibly beautiful machine. However, as a lover of true sports cars and the sport of motor racing, I find that I don't covet the NSX. What the car is lacking, which is no fault of the designers, is history...romance...a true track borne heritage. My love affair with sports cars extends to the European models: BMW, Porsche, Ferrari, SAAB. These cars define the term sports car, they've been around for decades. When you buy one, you're also buying the heritage that goes with it. I currently own a BMW and I absolutely love it. Sure...weird things happen to it, but thats all part of the experience. I guess its hard to explain. I appreciate the NSX, but it doesn't rock my world. Of course, I realize that my view is rather cultish, but thats okay. I'm only one of many who feel that way.
Certainly Java would be helpful, but Java is only a technology that would help achieve the goal that Phil has described. First you have to build the business model that is envisioned here. That's the hard part, the technology to drive it is the easy part.
Paul: No, I wouldn't call the Sonnett a sports car either. I was refering to SAAB's past involvement in Rally, which is the ultimate form of auto racing. In that vein, I should have included Audi as well.
I can sit and watch a video covering around eighty years of racing by Auto Union (Audi), Porsche, Ferrari, BMW and others. In terms of heritage, the Japanese are new-comers, albeit successful ones.
Character is the reason why you never find Americans who "kind of like" European cars, you either love them or hate them. I admit that they're not for everyone. If I wasn't a car fan, and knew how to evaluate and work on cars, then I would buy Japanese, or maybe even American. You have to be prepared to learn about every nut and bolt in your car (not as much for late models '88ish and on).
I also applaud Phil's actions. It is refreshing to see someone taking action on his beliefs. I'm sure it was refreshing for those students too. I do have mixed feelings about free tuition though. If all the students who would attend a tuition-less MIT were like Phil then there's no doubt that it would work. That's not likely to be the case though. I, like Phil, spend a great deal of time thinking of ways to improve things, wondering why something/someone doesn't work/think this way or that way, etc. My response is usually "wel...not everyone is like me." I think that applies here.
Never the less, I agree about the excessive cost, but I also agree about lazy students. Lets face it. money drives things in America. Its unfortunate, but its true so until that changes, we have to work within that framework. Someone mentioned something about the value of "free." This is my main concern...I would love to see an increase in the percieved...
Unfortunately, most of my consulting engagements are with corporations that already have an established architecture and guidelines, etc. These invariably include NT. I entirely agree with Philip's point of view regarding middleware, but its hard to go simple and elegant on NT. What are some good light web server/scripting language/RDBMS combinations that work with NT (if any)? Anything besides IIS/ASP?
Also, what about Server Side Java? What would be the likelihood of using SSJ to interact with an RDBMS and then output HTML to a browser (once SSJ is ready for the task)?