Google is making its Dart system open source.
This is very important, not just for open source.
As I've written here many times, there is no Moore's Law of Software. That is, programming improves arithmetically, while hardware improves geometrically. We have far more in the way of hardware resources than we can possibly use right now, because we can't build stuff fast enough to use them.
Dart isn't a cure for this problem, but it's a help. Having a big company like Google supporting it, pushing it, and teaching it is going to help a lot, too. Learn more about all this at dartlang.org.
But I hear you have a question. Why?
Google remains the cheapest source of Internet infrastructure, period. But lots of companies with very expensive hardware, name brand networking gear and costs out the wazoo are getting into the cloud game because, frankly, it doesn't matter.
There's not enough demand for web stuff to soak up all this abundance, and make costs a gating factor for competition. That's one big reason why Google isn't doing better than it is. Another reason is that Google hasn't tried to monetize its infrastructure, except through advertising.
All this is changing. Slowly.
The success of the iPhone and the Android are the tip of a demand iceberg. That is, they're drawing more bandwidth from the mobile networks than those networks can afford to sell at present prices. So they're raising prices.
I know, and readers of this blog, know this scarcity is artificial. If the current frequencies were pooled, run as a utility, or if you just forced re-sale on the existing carriers, at fair prices, the scarcity would go away. But let that pass.
Cloud technology cuts costs, prices, but raises demand. That is the intention. Over time the scarcity we are now seeing in bandwidth moves to network capacity, moves to Internet stuff itself.
It's at this point that Google starts to look good, not before. So long as a 10x cost advantage over Facebook doesn't matter (because margins are so humongous) Google's advantages are useless. It's only when demand rises that costs matter.
So Google has always had as its second goal (after keeping costs down) increasing demand for Internet stuff. That's why it gives so much stuff away.
As it's giving Dart away. If you reduce the software cost of producing highly functional Web sites, you can increase demand for them.
It's a long game, but that's what Google has been playing all along, a long game. Dart is just one piece of the puzzle.
But it's a nice piece, a free piece. It's a piece you can make money on. Try it and see.
Originally posted on danablankenhorn.com.