As I awoke this morning, I cast my gaze onto a set of pleated curtains and came to realize that I was looking at an array of pleats. As an array is a programming concept, I started pondering why our children are not given lessons about stacks, queues, lists, and hierarchical trees, how to recognize them in the world that surrounds them, and how to use them to organize their lives. Are these not as important as the different types of simple machines, such as levers, wheels, axles, and pulleys? And if our children are aware of these concepts, wouldn’t they expect to find them in a programming language?
Read the rest of this entry »
Recently Brian touched on the importance of an ecosystem (community) around a technology or product for its success. I couldn’t agree more with this statement.
Which is why I’m excited to see the growing number of WDSC experts outside of the WDSC development team (including both IBMers and non-IBMers). Having a pool of experts on a technology that can answer questions, provide education and consulting services, present at conferences and write articles goes a long way to contributing to the success of the technology.
Jef Sutherland’s upcoming webcast on WDSC Editing for RPG coding is an excellent proof point of this growing expertise. It shows we (as a community) have moved beyond the typical “Introduction to the RSE” sessions and are starting to provide more indepth sessions on specific features of the RSE.
Another example is the depth of some of the discussions on the midrange.com WDSC mailing list. Recently there was a discussion about how user defined actions are stored in XML files in the RemoteSystemsConnections project and how you could manually edit these files to quickly add new actions or copy them between workspaces.
IBM announced two new System i solutions, the i515 and i525 Express servers, targeted on small to medium sized business (SMB) customers. It gives SMB customers a compelling alternative to Windows-based servers from Dell and HP.
A new System i 515 Express for small business with up to 40 users, with a starting price of under $8,000.
A new System i 525 Express for mid-sized business with increased expansion options such as Capacity on Demand.
Existing $330 Billion Small and Medium Business market is not an easy area to penetrate. It requires a lot of support, infrastructure and pricing that is not easy to hit. Microsoft is very focused on this segment of the market. Dell, HP and Microsoft all have a very big head start. IBM have to continue to work very hard to penetrate and gain SMB market shares.
New System i offer is the really nice and important move from IBM to response to what SMB enterprises want and need.
Check out IBM website for more information.
In my previous post, I showed a video on how to create a Web service from
a RPG program using WDSC. In this post, I will show how to create a Web
service client using Java Server Faces to test the web service created in
my previous post.
Here is the video on creating a Web service client using Java Server Faces. I didn’t split the video into smaller parts so be patient when loading the video.
The other day while watching a Mac versus PC advertisement, I was reminded of other historical comparisons such as Betamax versus VHS and OS/2 versus Windows. Today we have their equivalents such as PS3 versus XBox, Blue-ray versus HD DVD, and the list goes on. For each technology or product, its success depends on the growth of an ecosystem and an entire industry built around a set of supporting products. One only has to look at the phenomenal number of accessories that have been created for the iPod. Whenever a person chooses one product over another, that person buys into a particular ecosystem and is limited to purchasing items that are compatible with it. Therefore the availability, cost and potential value of a system is weighed against those of other systems. So what about the System i and RPG?
Read the rest of this entry »
Hi, my name is Edmund Reinhardt and I live with my wife and four kids in two wooded acres on the Niagara Escarpment.
Unlike some of my co-workers, my history does not go back as far as hardware design, but my grade 10 data processing course did use punch cards.
While at the University of Toronto, I hung out at the Human Computer Interface and Graphics Lab. I will concede that one motivation was the better hardware. In the beginning this consisted of 80 line terminals versus the regular 40 line ones, but by 1987 this included Sun workstations. But another part of my motivation was that I am interested in human beings as well as computers . The interface between computers and humans seems to be where the interesting problems are (as well as the cool graphics). At university I spent time browsing the internet which in those days consisted mainly of ftp. Someone was compiling a document listing all of the services available on the internet and I remembered painstakingly printing out the pages of information and putting them into a binder. We sure have come a long way since those days :-)
I started with IBM in June 1989 and I have been working on one form or other of DDS tooling ever since. I started with SDA on the green screen and then went on to DSU on OS/2. I ported that to the 32-bit OS/2 API and then led a team to rewrite it for Windows. That is how CODE Designer for CODE/400 came about. I worked on WebFacing from almost the beginning. I led a small team in writing the initial middle tier runtime as well as the conversion from DDS to JSF.
I then wrote then DDS object model in Java that is used for WebFacing conversion as well as for the outline view for the JLpex editor. In version 7 this same DDS DOM is used to enable the Screen Designer Technology Preview.
I intend to write posts about WebFacing, DDS tooling in WDSc, the Screen Designer and tips for effective use of the Eclipse platform.
Outside of work I am a lay pastor at a small Anabaptist church and am involved in various ministries. I didn’t realize that Brian Farn was a fellow clarinetist. I guess it just goes to show how useful blogs are for bringing out the truth and connecting people. I look forward to doing a lot more of that in the coming posts.
Hi, my name is Al Rodriguez. Have been with IBM since 1989; proud member of WebFacing team since 2005.
I will try to contribute posts related to WebFacing, mainly in the areas of customization and configuration. Let the remaining of this post be my first customization tip: Enhancing date input fields with a calendar widget. This tip reflects my opinion, and is in no way:
- well written … sorry.
WebFacing is not just another screen scraper. Webfacing converts display files into standard J2EE artifacts, that can be understood and molded by Web designers.
WebFacing supports a large subset of DSPF keywords, but not all. The list is largely driven by customer input and is maintained here: list. There are many reasons why not all keywords are supported; they range from complexity to them representing 5250 concepts not applicable to web applications. But, let this be the subject of a future post… My point here is that it is very likely that initial conversion of set of DSPF’s by WebFacing will result in a working web application. But to generate a best of breed web application; some DSPF rework (not requiring logic changes), and web design work is likely required.
A strength of WebFacing lies in customization. But well designed web pages do not just happen; they are the result of creativity and web technology expertize.
This post illustrates several WebFacing customization techniques by adding calendar widgets to input date fields.
We often run user center design (UCD) session here at the lab where users come in, sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), and are then either shown prototypes of new features or given a task to complete with an early driver of the next release.
During the recent rounds of UCD sessions I noticed something: programmers used to using the 5250 development tools generally focus on one WDSC view or editor at a time and ignore the rest. Naturally this comes from the fact that a 5250 session only has “one view” (yes you can open up a second emulator but I think that is somehow cognitively different).
But the power of an integrated development environment comes from using multiple views, editors and actions in combination. You use the outline view with the editor (and perhaps the snippets view or one of the table views). The properties view is often used with other views to get additional information about a selected object. And the debugger takes this to the max with lots of views being used simultaneously for controlling, viewing source, setting breakpoints and viewing fields.
Learning how to use the various views, editors and actions together takes time and experience. I’ve been using Eclipse for around 7 years now and I still learn new ways to do things. Recently I came across the Alt + Shift + Q, O shortcut to show the outline view (press Alt + Shift + Q then let go and press O). This is really handy because you can make the outline view a fast view then use this keyboard combination to display it without using the mouse. Use the keyboard to navigate the outline view and press F12 when you are ready to jump back to the editor. This should work for any WDSC editors (LPEX, Java, etc…) This example seems a bit cumbersome at first, but after a couple weeks it becomes automatic.
And if you are interested in participating in one of the UCD sessions just send me an email (my_last_name @ ca [dot] ibm [dot] com). You don’t have to live in Toronto, we can do remote sessions too.
Second Life is “3-D virtual world entirely built and owned by its residents. Since opening to the public in 2003, it has grown explosively and today is inhabited by a total of 5,148,016 people from around the globe”. Predictions estimate the number of users will grow to 25,000,000 by this time next year.
IBM sees a potential in the 3-D internet as “the next platform for global commerce and day-to-day business” and is looking at investing big $ as a result of last years third Innovation Jam, “the largest online brainstorm session ever”. Other big names like Circuit City and Sears have already joined forces with IBM to explore this new world from a business perspective by creating virtual stores and showrooms on IBM owned islands in Second Life.
Want to see what its all about?
Would folks be interested in attending a WDS/WDSC team social event in Second Life? The event would allow you to meet and converse with various members of the team, including authors from this blog, as well as others from the community in a 3-D virtual environment. Or just use this as an opportunity to explore Second Life with others like yourself.
If I see enough interest from this community, I’ll start looking into putting this event together for the near future.