What is a pseudo-systems guy to do?

I was in the early stages of writing a JavaScript layer on top of Servlets, JMS, and Derby running under Glassfish. The whole point of this effort was to give me a rapid development environment. I need this environment for two reasons -- and so do you if you are a developer. I need a platform on which to quickly try ideas. I need a platform on which I can deploy production quality implementations. If these are one and the same platform then I have less cognitive dissonance between play and purpose. It is also a fun activity. (Yes, I am a card carrying geek.)

But what is a pseudo-systems guy to do when Amazon has its developer tools (S3, SQS, EC2, etc) and now Google has App Engine? Why would anyone build an application on local infrastructure when these global infrastructure are so powerful and readily usable. I guess, I need to re-focus on the application that I wanted the infrastructure for in the first place. This is a good thing but the parting does bring sorrow.

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