The Internet is the New Unix

22 Oct 2007

Tim O'Reilly has described the Internet as the new OS. Recent observations lead me to believe it's new the new Unix. Consider the following philosophy:

Write programs that do one thing and do it well.

Write programs to work together.

Write programs to handle text streams, because that is a universal interface.

This is the Unix philosophy, but it applies equally well to successful web sites. For example, I love, but it sure isn't for its clever domain name. It solves a simple problem well and doesn't get distracted by anything else. By also providing a useful API, it lets me manage my bookmarks in a number of different ways.

Recently, I've been using Twitter, and I'm honestly turned off by the user interface. However, because I can use my phone or IM client, it's still a useful service.

Although I haven't written about it yet, I've been using Dopplr for a while now, and I like it. It's a simple application that lets me keep up with my upcoming trips as well as the trips of my friends. It does one thing, and it does it well.

Mashups are of course a valuable byproduct of open data, but I can't think of many mashups that I use daily. If someone wants to combine Dopplr with upcoming shows, so that I don't miss a chance to see my favorite musical artists, that might change.