Radio Community Server Userland are getting close to releasing their central cloud aggregator. So we have distributed Radio clients. That collect news. And then publish output and stats to a centralized community server. That is itself distributed, so that any group of users can run a server. What I haven't seen is if there's a layer above this. Can the Community Servers talk to each other and do the next level of aggregation?

From what can be seen of RCS at the moment, it could have been coded on many different platforms. The functionality could have been written in PHP, Python, PERL, as an Apache MOD in C++, Java, .NET and probably many others. Userland have made a virtue of building it in their own proprietary technology so that it can be run on their own client side codebase (ie Radio). But I would have a hard time justifying putting up a system that several users depended on, based on proprietary code on top of MS Windows or Apple desktop technology.

There's a pattern here of Desktop Client code, talking to private Server Aggregators talking to public Global Aggregators, where each player can choose to take on any one or more of the three roles. It's a very powerful pattern. The question that is left to the various implementors (and their market) to answer is which bits should be completely open source and free, which open source and charged and which closed source and charged.

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[ 09-Mar-02 8:44am ]