Developers Are Getting Into It

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2008-04-28 Print this article Print


Eric Newcomer, chief technology officer at Iona Technologies, said developers are adopting Web 2.0 technology. "I think developers are getting into it, with wikis and community sites," he said.

"Use of social and collaborative features will further enhance the capabilities of good developers by increasing the richness of the data stream they live in," said Patrick Kerpan, CTO at Cohesive Flexible Technologies, a Chicago-based maker of cloud computing solutions for developers. "They already are able to do remote and distributed work because they are able to see each other and interact through the source code as communication, change requests and bugs, topic-based chat, wikis, as well as models and test cases. Social mechanisms like identity, presence and trust make this an even more productive process within existing teams and allow even more widely distributed teams to emerge."

Bob Bickel, co-founder of Ringside Networks, a startup that provides a social application server to enable any Web site to harness the power of social networking, said most developers really like Web 2.0 "for the most part," because they can get a lot of functionality with very little effort.

Bickel said Web 2.0 has spread the idea of reuse to a much broader audience "because all you need are a few JavaScript tags-and many times a lot of those are automatically generated for you."

However, Bickel, who also served as a key business strategist at JBoss, said there are two groups that do not like Web 2.0. "The first is the object-oriented trained computer scientist who feels PHP code is not as good as Java or C++ for OO adherence," he said.

The second group consists of "IT operations people who do not trust other Web sites to be up and running."

However, from Ringside's perspective, "we think that the benefit of more people being able to reuse software outweighs the loss of Java's OO capabilities," Bickel said. "And we, of course, allow our open-source Ringside Social Application Server to run on-premises and be under the control of the IT operations group, so they love us."

Bickel's one-time JBoss colleague, Marc Fleury, retired founder of JBoss, said part of the interest is generational.

"For most of the system heads of the Web 1.0 days, we were more concerned with infrastructure to deliver these Web 2.0 applications than the actual applications themselves," Fleury said. "We found 'plumbing' immensely more titillating than befriending 'Lola from Chico State who likes beer pong, beer pong and beer pong.' Call us geeks. That being said, I use Facebook. I don't get it, am a little bored of it, but I use it, and some of my younger friends exclusively use it for e-mail, for example."

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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