Ubiquitous Computing
The part of the cave is all about ubiquitous and distributed computing.  Distributed computing is core to our computational future. Taking into account grid computing, the small cell-phone now can be connected to complex high performance computing environments.
I had lots of fun with sockets back in the 1990s creating proxy servers used to establish secure tunnels. Much up the plumbing was in the hands of the developer. Also there was a bit of a mapping issues when sending objects over a socket, where you would have to serialize the object, and de-serialize  later on. Also, at this point in time communications happened between computers.
Developers later put together standards like CORBA, DCOM, providing a common framework allowing systems to communicate. A lot of plumbing was managed by the system and in the context of object oriented programming object can now begin to talk over the wire to other objects. Instead of manually serializing objects one would now create “interfaces” use to send various data types over, some define by the developer.
With the development of SOAP, and XML, standards now let the message stand by itself, and not be contained in the object. Albeit, the overhead associated in these ideas can be substantial. One of the focuses in the frameworks developed here is to pursue a mechanism to distribute not only "values", but the the attributes themselves. Passing attributed-value pairs, offers flexibility, but can also be limiting. Also happening here is that not only are computers talking to each other but also are handhelds and cell phones.
Soon we will be talking less about the computer in the network, and more about the network in the computer. It will be a yet another paradigm shift.
    ubiquitous Projects
The vision of the Open Pervasive Computing Environment (OpenPCE) is to create a framework that facilitates the development and deployment of pervasive/ubiquitous devices. The environment will provide a rich set of services and frameworks to that end.
The Sourceforge open-pce project page can be found here.
Copyright © Owen McCusker 1997-2008