Friday, March 27, 2009

IDEs will Change Soon

IDEs (integrated development environments) have stayed basically the same over the years and now it is time for them to evolve to accommodate concepts like cloud computing, dignitaries from Microsoft and IBM said during a Silicon Valley technical conference on Thursday.

Speaking at the EclipseCon 2009 event in Santa Clara, Calif., Microsoft's Tim Wagner, development manager for Visual Studio, and IBM's Kevin McGuire, senior software developer for user interfaces and Eclipse, reflected on where IDEs have been and where they are going. Microsoft Visual Studio, first released in June 1998, and the rival Eclipse open source IDE, which debuted in November 2001, are the most prominent IDEs in use these days.

"It's amazing how much stuff we have today [that] was in Eclipse 1.0," such as code completion, McGuire said. Concurring about the lack of change, Wagner added, "You kind of go back eight, nine years, and it looks pretty much the same. All has changed around us, so much of this has stayed the same."

The two officials cited industry changes, such as the jump in CPU power, systems running multiple CPUs, use of multiple monitors, and cloud computing. IDEs must adapt to industry changes, the officials argued.

An IDE in the browser makes sense, they said. This is particularly the case with software being made by teams. For instance, developers use the Bugzilla bug tracker, which is online, and source code is stored on server in a repository.

Microsoft, with its planned Visual Studio 2010 IDE, will add support for use of multiple monitors, Wagner acknowledged. The speakers showed a slide in which a monitor on the left maintained a debugging session while files were on the right monitor.

In the cloud computing space, McGuire cited the Mozilla Bespin project, providing an online code editor, and the virtual computer, offering a desktop editor in the cloud, as advancements. Developers can expect cloud IDE capabilities from Eclipse. "I think that's a natural evolution, and I think that the Bespin technology is leading the way," McGuire said.

Microsoft has sights set on a version of Visual Studio in the cloud at some point. "It's still very much a prototype effort," Wagner said.

At one point during the presentation, a slide appeared noting that in 2001, Windows XP was the Microsoft OS to have at the moment. Then the slide humorously adds, "OK, that's still true," reflecting on difficulties Microsoft has had in gaining market acceptance of the successor Windows Vista OS.

"Let's not go there," Wagner remarked after the slide appeared.

Source: InfoWorld

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Social sites eclipse e-mail use

Social network sites such as Facebook and MySpace are now more popular than personal e-mail, finds a report.

The Nielsen survey of users' habits found that 67% of all those going online were spending time at social network and blogging sites.

Interest in the category is growing four times faster than the other top four sectors, said the report.

In the UK one in every six minutes of the average web user is spent at a social site, it found.

"Social networking has become a fundamental part of the global online experience," said John Burbank, chief executive of Nielsen Online in a statement.

"Social networking will continue to alter not just the global online landscape, but the consumer experience at large," he said.


1) Search - 85.9%
2) Portals/communities - 85.2%
3) PC software - 73.4%
4) Member Communities - 66.8%
5) E-mail - 65.1%

Nielsen measures interest in categories by the percentage of the web audience that regularly visit such sites. The latest statistics suggest that 65.1% of web users use web e-mail but 66.8% are turning up at social network sites.

This means, said Nielsen, that about one in every 11 minutes a web user is online is spent at one of the sites Nielsen counts in its "Member Communities" category which includes both blogs and social network sites.

Of these sites, Facebook has highest average time per user, found Nielsen.

The researchers also found that social networking sites are managing to reach a very broad swathe of web users. The fastest growing segment of users turning up and using social sites over the last year was among 35-49 year olds.

In particular, the report noted, almost a quarter of Facebook's users were known to be over 50 years old.

More and more people want to get at their favourite social network site and update via mobile, found Nielsen. In the UK the numbers of Britons looking at a social site via their phone was up 249%.

Source : BBC News