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What is most interesting here is the ideas about protocols and communication. To me, that's what much of software development is getting wrong both on the small and on the big.

In a single app, objects should talk to each other and databases and queues and junk via protocols, not by being glued to an ORM or a particular implementation of a queue or whatever. Most devs don't do this because it's more work, but you end up with a much cleaner/more testable structure to work with.

On a higher level, many/most programs aren't made to communicate with each other at all. Look at web software, it's all about communicating with a browser and that's it. The API driven movement is helping things along, but it's still a HTTP Browser driven mindset complete with holy wars about REST/Hypermedia.

Unix pipes are a great example of what is possible with standard communication protocols, but it seems like it could be taken further. What if you could pipe a stream of API's together? Yahoo's YQL and Pipes plays in this realm, but you still have to kind of glue pieces together yourself.

Imagine if you could say...

fb search --name 'John Doe' --location 'Chicago, IL' | linkedin --filter 'Ruby Programmer' | twitter tweet 'Hey check out our ruby meetup next week'

That's a somewhat contrived example, but it would be great if we could do something that simple and not just via a command line, but from any language in a similar amount of code. That would be a step forward I think.




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