Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Adobe can have my lunch money

In response to an article thecrumb (Jim Priest) (read the article here) , I posted the following comment (awaiting moderation when I published this):
I used (and occasionally still use) cf eclipse, and have always been very happy with it. However, I honestly don’t agree that Adobe is in the wrong here to put out a whitepaper. They spent a considerable amount of time and money building a new IDE (cmon, Dreamweaver and Homesite+ had their day for CF devs, and even cf eclipse was created to fill the void). CF Builder really provides functionality that is drawing new users to CF. Adobe honestly couldn’t stay out of the market due to the fact that an OSS project existed. They saw the need, filled the need, and IIRC, conferred with certain members of the cf eclipse team. A standalone version was necessary to cater to a specific demographic in the community, as well as hooks to new cf9 features.
As ColdFusion continues to progress over the next few iterations, the IDE will be able to stay in lockstep since Adobe can perform parallel development to keep them in sync.While Adam’s post does read a little negative against cf eclipse, I think the point that should be made is that there are a few options out there, make sure you understand what they are, and that cfB is not a clone of cfE as is the common misconception.
All that being said, I am sure the community will continue to support cf eclipse, and I personally thank each and every member of the cf eclipse team for their dedication.
As an aside, I didn’t hear anything in your article that speaks to the future of cf eclipse, or the direction the project is moving. Perhaps you could bolster support by publishing your product roadmap (forgive me if it exists and I just haven’t seen it) so we could weigh options and the community could contribute if there was reason to do so.
I've ways seen cf eclipse as an awesome IDE, but with all open source projects supporting a commercial project, they always seem to be chasing their tail. Personally, I have no issue paying Adobe to ensure my ColdFusion IDE is up to date with the language, as well as is assured continuing development and improvement.  I'd like to add that the cf eclipse team has done a great job of supporting the CF community over the last few years, and I suspect they will continue.

So was Adobe wrong to put out the whitepaper comparing features?  I'd like to hear what you have to say.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Help me pick my Blackberry Playbook App

I'm vacillating around 3 application for Playbook development and just can't decide which I should focus on.  I've started developing all three (or have developed them in Flex already for demos). Would you use any of these three apps:

1. Twitter app that shows your network by value.  Ratings are given based on 10 or so indicators to help you trim who you follow, as well as find your most valuable followers.  Using this app you can also explore your network and their networks network ;)

2. Another Twitter application, but this one lets you find out what the buzz is about.  Enter some keywords, and see whats happening on Twitter around those keywords (also bound by location if you want, i.e. what are people saying right now in San Francisco).  The result is two fold.  First, a tag cloud of trending is drawn and allows you to drill deeper.  Second, you can select a few people and map their networks, overlap, etc.  this was originally developed to allow tracking persons of interest via Twitter, flag their account, link their accounts to other social networks (i.e. YouTube and Facebook) and learn about how messages travel around social circles.

3. The last application is for the open government initiative.  I think this one has legs as well and follows a social visualization pattern to allow the user to select data from and filter the data into a set.  The user is then presented with a few chart/graph options that make sense for the present set (i.e. if they have geodata, allow them to create a heatmap).  They can then style and annotate the chart/graph and export to an image or PDF for dissemination to their email or social network.

I'm interested in hearing your thoughts so I can clear my programming ADHD and focus on a single path.  Thanks!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Blackberry Playbook Application Development - Get a Free Tablet!

Over the next few weeks I'll be posting tips and tidbits about Blackberry Playbook application development.  I'm pretty excited about Blackberry Playbook for a number of reasons.  First, it has Flash, as any tablet should have.  Not only does it support Flash, but really Adobe AIR is wired into the OS.  This opens up crazy possibilities.  Also, the Playbook offers true multitasking.  For me, whats most exciting is that its a "Blackberry".  While iPad is honestly a security quagmire, especially when running within a government environment, Blackberry is a trusted name with many organizations running BB messaging servers in -house.  Time will tell on the platform's security, but its definitely going to be a good starting point for conversations with clients.  Oh BTW, the 1GHz processor and 1GB RAM doesn't hurt either ;)

I've installed the Playbook SDK and emulator on both Windows and Mac.  It's pretty straightforward, and I  only had one blip on Windows (fix is here).

So I promised there is an offer for a free tablet - if you submit a Playbook app to AppWorld and it gets accepted before the official Playbook release, you qualify for a free tablet.  Simple!  Now, I may have screwed up the offer legalities and such so look for yourself for full details.

RIM also has a few resources to get you started:

1. Getting started guide for Mac
2. Getting started guide for Windows
3. BlackBerry Tablet OS Development Resources

In link #3, be sure to check out the webcast series near the top of the page.  Enjoy!!!