I haven't been posting this month because I've been really busy getting ready for iSeries DevCon. This is one of the best technical conferences, although you might consider me a little biased; in four days, I give one all-day jumpstart (this year on migrating from PDM and SEU to RDi) and then 10 sessions and hands-on labs. It's always been a forward-thinking conference; I did sessions there on Eclipse and Visual Age for Java (Eclipse's predecessor) as far back as 2001, along with some of my first web-enabling sessions.
Since then, they've always been ready to present the latest technologies and so this year I gave what I'm pretty sure was the first hands-on EGL lab at an i technical conference, along with a number of other sessions and labs ranging from multi-tier architecture development to extending Rational tools with Eclipse plugins. My session on Eclipse, WebSphere and Rational was repeated, and even though the second one was in the last slot on the last day, we still had good turnout.
In the i space, EGL has to deal with all the buzz surrounding PHP and MySQL. To me, that buzz is nothing more than white noise because PHP just doesn't stand up to EGL when it comes to ease of use, adoption of advanced technology and integration - especially with the i. As a simple example, PHP's connection to the i involves using a PHP knockoff of IBM's Java toolbox, and while the toolbox is phenomenal technology, using it directly requires a lot of code; a simple program call might require dozens of lines of code. With EGL, it's a simple CALL statement. And when I demonstrated how easy it was to build entire applications using RDi-SOA to write EGL front ends and RPG back ends, people started getting excited. In a simple 90-minutes lab attendees with no prior Java experience were able to create an EGL record, build a JSF page, then flip over to the RSE perspective to compile the RPG business logic, and then back to the EGL to add a few lines of code to attach the two.
I also did a lab on multi-tiered architecture without EGL (using plain old JSP and Java) and the people who attended both really got an understanding of what EGL was all about: simplifying the plumbing. Even the simplest web application requires a significant amount of plumbing code in any 3GL, whether it's Java or PHP or RPG-CGI. EGL removes all of that for you. Not only that, but the very nature of the language makes it easy to reuse code, so that once you've created a JSF client, it's simple to turn around and create a rich client or a web service. I think that really hit home with a lot of the attendees.
Anyway, I'm back now and I'm focused on the Rich UI book. You'll see a lot more about that in the coming weeks. It's good to be back, and thanks for reading![Read More]
From archive: October 2008 X