Finding a cure to the chaotic software landscape

Curing today's mess with incompatibility across operating systems and devices will require quite some dramatic changes. It will require software to be rewritten from the ground up using XML instead, data storage formats to be migrated to XML, and the willingness to embrace openness, as with XML your client source code will no longer pretend be a secret. Anyone may open the source code of your application and learn how to make their own, like how HTML works. If the server allows it they may also use XLink to link into your application and create a composite application or mashup using parts of your application.

The cure is nevertheless needed. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies, enterprises, and mobile app developers spend far too much money on building web applications, iPhone apps, Android apps, and even possibly locally installed desktop applications. Rebuilding the same application for a multitude of form factors and operating systems is expensive and time-consuming. Using XML only a single truth would be needed, a single source code that could feed all devices. This would reduce time to market through reduced development time, but it would save an equal amount on maintenance costs. Making the trade-off to make the code open in XML, might enable companies to build applications that they otherwise would not receive a budget for. Since many companies already have migrated their software to web versions built in JavaScript, which have an open visible source code, the openness part of the equation might prove to be less difficult than we initially imagined.

The last part is that for a new operating system to gain traction, it needs to have enough software with expected functionality to make a shift possible for an end-user. Gaining a critical mass of available software and making it easy to build software for the OS is therefore a crucial component. Our ace up our sleeve is the thousands of already available XML applications out there for almost any imaginable use case. If we can make them easy to register in the underlying XML repository of CloudBackend and then allow a user interface to quickly be built on top using XIOS/3, we would find a shortcut to get mission-critical software available on the operating system.

Effectively CloudTop makes its users create XML without seeing it. Any application running on the platform is thus like a custom XML editor, tailored for its specific XML application. The authored XML is stored in something that feels like a file system for the user, but in reality is the CloudBackend Singularity Database, which in the context of CloudTop acts as an XML repository.