Show Wizards Whos in Charge

 
 
By Peter Coffee  |  Posted 2001-02-19 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Software developers live in an uneasy partnership with wizards, as Microsoft calls its automated tools that streamline coding tasks.

Software developers live in an uneasy partnership with wizards, as Microsoft calls its automated tools that streamline coding tasks. Much-needed productivity gains come at the price of doing things the wizards way or making tedious manual adjustments after the wizards work is done.

Promoting the developer to senior partner is the mission of Gen, a highly customizable power tool for generalizing and generating code, released this month by DevelopMentor, of Torrance, Calif. Gen grows out of DevelopMentors experience in software developer training, said President, CEO and co-founder Mike Abercrombie. "For all the things you want to tell the people youre teaching, they all have their own way to write code," Abercrombie said with a laugh. Gen attempts to automate practices already in use rather than imposing its own.

Gen uses a template language similar to Microsofts Active Server Pages and lets developers write or rewrite automation dialogs in HTML. Gen runs inside the Microsoft Visual C++ environment and includes its own modifiable versions of that products standard wizards, letting developers begin by fixing whatever theyve always disliked about those prefabricated tools.

A 30-day fully functional trial edition can be found at www.develop.com/genx.

 
 
 
 
Peter Coffee is Director of Platform Research at salesforce.com, where he serves as a liaison with the developer community to define the opportunity and clarify developers' technical requirements on the company's evolving Apex Platform. Peter previously spent 18 years with eWEEK (formerly PC Week), the national news magazine of enterprise technology practice, where he reviewed software development tools and methods and wrote regular columns on emerging technologies and professional community issues.Before he began writing full-time in 1989, Peter spent eleven years in technical and management positions at Exxon and The Aerospace Corporation, including management of the latter company's first desktop computing planning team and applied research in applications of artificial intelligence techniques. He holds an engineering degree from MIT and an MBA from Pepperdine University, he has held teaching appointments in computer science, business analytics and information systems management at Pepperdine, UCLA, and Chapman College.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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