Sunday, May 31, 2009

Bing and Google Wave

The heatwaves are literally on in the ongoing battle between Google and Microsoft. While Google showed a sneak preview of its nextgen (would be good if somebody cares about current gen) cool collaboration platform Wave , the bing site is still in a COMING-SOON state.

After yahoo's stupid mistake of over estimating its value, microsoft has relied upon its own and has developed a decision-engine rather than developing a search-engine. Strategically this is a plane shifter as google is hard to beat in its search algorithms and its hard to develop anything simpler looking than google, unless microsoft wants just to have a text box and in a blank page.

But this raises couple of interesting questions, who is the target audience of Bing and Wave? While the innovator gang in the web world loves and cares about the complex features that these products offer, the common man is still happy with a simpler interface. And obviously the features that Bing/Wave is going to have are not going to be rocket science and would be copied over the time across the sides and the game would be levelled again.

Probably steve jobs should come out of hibernation and guide the poor world towards a new paradigm shift. Mr Balmer, please keep perfecting the office suite , world loves it and is not going to orphan it soon and leave the search game to google.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Future Technology Trends - Mobile Platforms

It would be a cliche if i say that internet has radically changed the way we lead our lives, it has dominated the way we access, assimilate and make use of information. There has been various changes that web has gone through from its humble beginnings till the latest chrome age. But accessing web through PC's and Laptop's poses a physical constraint 'the presense'. Web is ubiquitious and why it should be constrained towards static devices.
The age of perceiving internet synonymous with the browser is quite over and applications have started emerging which treat internet as a cloud and have their own interfaces (non browser) and offer generic or unique functionality, iTunes being a classical example. But for those who are on the move and still want to leverage internet? Mobile has been the answer.
But Mobile has had its fair load of issues, from cranky interfaces and screens that required a magnifying lens and download speeds of a snail moving from london to paris. But with the advent of the high speed internet and devices like iPhone, mobile devices have evolved disruptively. iPhone has been an answer for those anti-convergence pundits who argued against the possibility of mobile devices with multiple capabilities like phone, browsing, camera etc.
With the emergence of social media networks which has become an inherent part of our lives (with most of us becoming compulsive tweeterers) , online community exists in groups with common preferences , staying in touch and responding to opportunity necessiates a device that is easy to carry and workwith.
At present i think the closest device is iPhone with its elegant interface and numerous innovative applications takes the mobile platform to the next stage. Though iPhone is far from perfect , it is stretching the imagination of what could be done with a mobile platform especially the api access (though with the restriction of mac only development) enables one to look forward into the future and build something creatively.
Mobile platform which is at its infancy is definitely going to take giant leaps and is going to revolutionalize the way we act ( i was tweeting while walking on the oxford street yesterday using free twitterfon, which posts my tweets using the REST webservices published by on a 3G network,  app in my iPhone)
So all of those who are struck with the laptops and pc's , wake up now. The future has compacted itself into mobile devices and is going to fly away from your reach

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Netbeans Eclipse Comparision

I have been using Eclipse from its early days. Around 2001 i tried using WSAD on my 512MB RAM machine, and after setting WTE up the whole PC went for a toss and the slower response only increased the rate at which i was smoking. I was seeking an alternative and Gods Magical hand slowly led me towards Eclipse. I set up a very productive environment based on eclipse, tomcat (using lombaz plugin) then eventually moved on to the whole new brave world (then) of Jakarta POI etc. My open source fanatism went to the extent that when i left from Singapore (client place) to India , calls never stopped on 'How to' with what i had developed with those funky os jar files. Good old days.
The thing that i loved about eclipse was the simplicity with which you could develop things, though the EE support was a bit lacking and i had to use an array of plugins. But WebToolsPlatform completely changed this scenario with a cool support for plugging in your favorite j2ee server and toolsets. I have always had low opinions on any IDE which is non-eclipse but recently i was in for a shock when i accidentally came across NetBeans 6.5.
Though NetBeans doesn't have the community support that eclipse enjoys, feature wise it is really good, be it UML modeling, WebServices or Mobile or anything that a normal J2EE developers would use. UML modelling is one area where Eclipse really lacks or proceeding slow due to the heavyweight IBM Rational Toolkit and NetBeans scores very high on this.
While Eclipse is trying to evolve as a mother of all IDE with support for all the programming languages that exists in the world , NetBeans is proceeding with a great focus on J2EE environments, and i think a healthy competition between Netbeans and Eclipse should be encouraged to ensure the Java Lovers benefit.
All said and done, after all Sun gave us Java and i think we can show some gratitude to them by using Netbeans and making it alive to have a David vs. Goliath fight with Eclipse.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

BOSSIE awards 2008 has a great collection of best of the breed opensource source on various categories (never knew there was some opensource on network monitoring etc). Infoworld has done a meticulous work of profiling various oss upon different categories and have selected best among the tight contestants. Eventhough there are definetely arguments about selections, I feel this is a great place if somebody wants to start a opensource journey.

Apart from the fame and satisfying geeky ego, the sense of operating in a community drives the oss developers and this sense of belonging is one of the key motivators for participating in the OSS movements. Looking at the way economy is going with out any hope to see the end of the tunnel, more companies could adopt quality OpenSource Tools for cutting down the cost on licensing, which will futher motivate the community. Unfortunately the penetration has been only with the techsavvy orgs and adventurous architects/leads and the corporates are yet to proceed their march towards OSS in a big way.

Long live opensource........

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

First Solution Architect of human race

Solution Architecture is a grossly misused term now a days, it is a term that has been conviently violated for variety of reasons and feel good factors.Wikipedia says "Solutions Architect is a very experienced architect with cross-domain, cross-functional and cross-industry expertise]Various sites indicates Solution Architect is supposed to know all the technologies, all the software development methodologies, all hardware etc and participate in the team from Analysis, Design, Development, Testing and Production implementation. This is a uphill task for a human being to perform (barring few superbrain individuals).
If we relax our boundaries and think beyond the realms of IT and tweak our definition of Solution Architect, Solution Architect is a person who helps to realize big dreams.
This requires turning back the history to its earlier pages, the first ever tool that a man built was using stones which helped solve problems of hunting , subsequent splitting of the meat and attacking one another , of course. This was a rudimentary problem to solve and a giant leap forward was the innovation of wheel. Though the invention of wheel has not been attributed to any particular individual, the wide belief is that it was invented by 5th millenium BC in mesopatomia (ironically the current iraq) , it reached europe by 4th millenum BC and to Indus valley by 3rd millenium BC. This was the mother of all inventions and the person(s) who invented the wheel must be accredited the title of best solution architect. It not only made the society proceed faster in a alarming pace, but also paved way to variety of other inventions like forging , mining etc.
Rushing forward the history pages and narrowing our scope to IT, there are two types of solution architects that we could see, a class of people who could intelligently solve the problem in hand and a class of people who could innovate and find newer ways of doing things. Bill Gates belong to the earlier class, where he identified a gap and improvised the way things were done earlier. Steve Jobs would belong to the second category where he (we should include woz here) innovates newer way of doing(listening?) things.
So lets appreciate our first ever solution architect who invented the wheel, whose name was not recorded in the history, my harddisk keeps making humming noise and reminds me that its overworked, let me search that first solution architect in my dreams while his/her offsprings in present day iraq are busy killing and getting killed.
Long live solution architecting.....