My Innovation Rant : Long in the tooth

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Ok, a question came up at work? What is something innovative that I’ve seen under the radar that was significantly better than what is shipping out there today AND was shipping out in the real world.

The most recent example is NextSTEP. I cannot recall anything else that was a great technology that was under-represented in todays world. This was my quintessential example to hold up… and it is old and tired. I must move on.

Type-Free OO Languages – Pretty much mainstream now. Java and C++ are finally getting the hurt put on them that they deserve. If you want to try a language, you can. Just go download it and run it.

Prototype languages – Javascript. Need I say more?

Good Garbage collection – coming on line. Most languages have decent garbage collection now.

Continuations, CPS, Coros – all becoming mainstream and accepted as we speak.

I guess the only one that I can think of, is the Newton Soup. Still, even there, Mac OS X and Windows Vista all have the concept of shared data available for all applications. Still, none of these are OO DB’s that are as cool as the Newton Soup storage.

I’ve occasionnally seen a few things in the past, but none of these were real shipping products that some people used, and were amazing, and under the radar.

I think the reason that this is the case is simple. The Internet. You can now see anything you want on the Internet. “Back in the old days”, you had to wait for conference proceedings or a magazine article. These prevented people from having access.

Today, I can download the original Unix for a PDP-11 and run it under an emulator !

Anyways, I need to stop using NextSTEP as my example.

So, does anybody know anything that fits the bill?

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