I’ve posted about how impressed I was with NetBeans as a Java IDE and the incredible progress this product has made in the last couple of years. I knew for a while that Ruby on Rails and JRuby support was coming for the next major Netbeans release (v 6.0), but I hesitated moving from RadRails to NetBeans until the feature set had stabilized. Last week, the Netbeans 6.0 beta was released and, with RadRails stagnating somewhat under the Aptana brand, I caved in and made the switch.
I feel as if someone tacked a “show me your enterprise service bus” sign onto my back and I’ve been walking around blissfully unaware of this fact for months now. Client presentations, vendor presentations, casual conversations – everyone wants to show off their visuals of an ESB, SOA, and next generation architectures. Thank goodness there’s no fine print on my sign restricting me from asking tough (and not so tough) questions.
Eliminating or reducing enterprise system batch processing is the bane of many architects looking to convert large-scale legacy systems to current platforms. Some believe, rightly or wrongly so, that mainframe-style batch has no place in modern system architectures and attempt to eradicate its existence entirely. Others are a bit more accepting and attempt to understand the role that batch processing fills in enterprise application architectural space. Even for these people, finding people with the skills to engineer batch processing systems with these newer technologies is not an easy proposition since little or nothing has been written about batch on the Java or .NET platforms.
The Microsoft Live Search Maps update to include Firefox support that I blogged about a couple of weeks ago was released sooner than I expected. The updated maps API supporting Firefox has not yet been released but word has it that this is imminent as well. I’ve put together a brief screencast of Live Search Maps running in Firefox. Omitted from the screencast are the features that have been available in Firefox for a while, like bird’s eye view. Focus is given explicitly to navigating with the 3D control.
For those Rails developers using RadRails as your IDE, you might have noticed that, in the last several days, the RadRails site has slipped off of the face of the earth. Due to a very unfortunate run-in with their registrar and DNS provider, the nice folks at RadRails are apparently stuck in DNS purgatory. This little mishap coincided with the announcement of the Aptana IDE / RadRails merger. Due to the site outage, many folks missed out on the announcement all together… so I’ll repeat Aptana and RadRails are merging. The location of the RadRails download on SourceForge has not changed.
In the first of my beginning-of-the-month speed blogs, I’d like to start with the topic that I’ve been putting off longest, building applications on top of Amazon’s Web services. For those of you that think of Amazon.com as just a book store, or an e-commerce platform, or [add your assumption here], think again. In the last year or so, Amazon has released a number of services that have not only established them as a first-class platform, but have pushed the envelope considerably on the idea of virtualization.
The innovation engine at Yahoo is heating up, looking to get Yahoo back in the race with the “Big Boys”, rivals Google and Microsoft. In an environment categorized by copycat service offerings and one-upmanship, Yahoo’s offerings are refreshingly unique. I cover three of the most recent services that I’ve been playing around with and that I think will prove entertaining to my readers as well – Pipes, OmniFind Yahoo! Edition, and TagMaps.
The Technology and Venture Capitalism Podcast on IT Conversations featured some interesting guests who brought a lot of good ideas to the table. Phil Windley, the moderator, got the guests to kick around the concept of patterns for applications that are good prospective candidates for funding in the VC world. The discussion started with the simple advertising-only model (a’la Google) and the group then moved onto the Apple iTunes / iPod model.
What Tad Anderson said in a recent post about Microsoft as a “technology factory” really got me thinking. I particularly identified with his quote that “Microsoft has buried the average learner, and presented quite the challenge for the best workaholic out there.” With all of the things that he mentioned in his post plus the release of Vista, the coming release of Enterprise Library 3.0, software factory work from the Patterns and Practices group, not to mention C# 3.0, Lambda expressions, and… oh yeah, F#, it’s hard keeping your head above water as a Microsoft application development technology specialist these days.
Following up on my This Digital Life post last month, a couple of folks have sent me emails asking if I had some recommendations around other Web 2.0 tools. In the sprit of a recent podcast that defined Web 2.0 as “really anything that’s cool online nowadays”, I decided to post some Web 2.0’ish tools that I highly recommend. Some of these tools I’ve been using for a year or more (a mighty long time in the Web 2.0 world) and some I’ve been using for just a couple of weeks. Most are, with the exception of Central Desktop, free services. Enjoy and let me know if you find these useful.