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XAwareRobloxOpen SourceData Services 6 Feb 2008 9:18 AM
It's So Easy That 12 Year Olds Are Doing It! by billm

I am facinated by the discussion on Shaun Connolly 's Tao of Open Source blog about his 12 year old son's fun with Roblox, sort of a web-based virtual Lego set.  Shaun poses the question, "Is Roblox, and other online destinations like it, grooming the next generation of open source developers? " In response to Shaun's question, Roblox 's John Shedletsky enthusiastically makes the case that their model does point the way to the future of open source (or more generally, IMHO, open, collaborative innovation) with his post "The Future of Open Source" on the Roblox Developer Forum.

What I find facinating about this discussion is (1) that a collaborative development environment can be made so intuitive that a bright 12 year old can find, re-use, enhance, and share ideas - while having a lot of fun, and (2) that Roblox's model of providing an environment for configuring the behavior of a web-based runtime with shareable/reusable, modfiable, and extensible configurations is so much like what XAware is doing for data integration using composite data services. XAware uses a similar approach, configurations that are executed at runtime to provide bi-directional data access as services, and making these congurations easy and intuitive to share, find, reuse, modify, move, store, and manage. The similarity of approach produces those similar traits that enable collaborative open innovation..

 XAware is working toward community infrastructure that will make it even easier to share run-time executable configurations, extensions, and enhancements.  Roblox provides a great example for this.  It is facinating to think that we at XAware could learn a lot from, and share a lot with,  Roblox and its age 12 and up community of virtual toy world builders.  We will be taking a closer look at Roblox as we continue to innovate down this path - and have a lot of fun doing it!

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