Short internet operating system followupΒΆ

Tags: aec

On 17 april I talked about the internet operating system for the building industry, I'd like to follow up with a posting by Adam Bosworth

The platform of this decade isn't going to be around controlling hardware resources and rich UI. Nor do I think you're going to be able to charge for the platform per se. Instead, it is going to be around access to community, collaboration, and content.

My vision for the building and construction industry is that a platform like this emerges. That it will be possible to collaborate because you have access to content: specification text, drawings, regulations. In human- and in computer-readable form. Internet-accessible.

And community? Well, there is a place for company secrets, of course. But if your competitors cannot access any of your information, neither can your customers. At least not in a generic internet-like sense. Example? I dislike having my ecppm papers locked away in a not-widely-distributed book with my copyright signed away and not a google-findable copy anywhere on the internet. I might just as well have thrown it away. Perhaps a bit harsh, but still. I'm much more appreciative of the w78 series of conferences: they put the whole lot online

.... this will, by definition, be an open platform because the main value it has is in delivering information and communication. Notice that the big players, Amazon, eBay, and Google have already opened up their information through Web API's. It is Open Data coupled with Open Communication built on top of Open Source that will drive the future, ...

No, no, no. The kind of internet-based collaboration and communication and community platform will be very open. There won't be an individual commercial entity to control it all by itself. It will probably level the playing field a bit.

Leveling the playing field? Yes. Just take a look at current construction IT research. I get the impression that a lot of the tools coming out of the research are building on top of existing big expensive programs. IFC lowers the playing field already a bit, as you can load IFC files to play with, instead of writing extension modules for archicad. Working with specification systems normally requires you to have a license, this limits the demo-possibilities as you can't re-distribute your tool. And about data: how many IFC files of real projects are available online? What if you could download 500 IFC files as a researcher in order to map out the usage of various object classes?

At the moment it's not normal to hook research results up to the internet. Where is that fire exit calculation tool I saw two years ago? Might be handy if there would be a web service interface for it ("web service" as "http+xml" not "soap", you heathen!). Wouldn't it be great if there was a platform to hook these tools up to?

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My name is Reinout van Rees and I work a lot with Python (programming language) and Django (website framework). I live in The Netherlands and I'm happily married to Annie van Rees-Kooiman.

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