As a software developer working to foster and encourage the growth of RFID, my single biggest gripe has been the dearth of standards-related work in this space. Every hardware vendor has its own view of the world such that designing software solutions that work across RFID device vendors requires specialized treatment for almost each and every device supported. Now, finally some good news via this article in eweek (http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1846877,00.asp?kc=EWRSS04069TX1K0000697)
describing a new "group of 20 companies that develop RFID-based products -- chips, tags, labels and readers...". Hallelujah!! However, nothing is perfect. In this case, Intermec is reportedly not currently part of the new "RFID Consortium". While reminiscent of the "Eclipse vs. Sun" kerfuffle, one can only hope Intermec will join up and the industry will begin to coalesce around some common standards and those of us in the software world can focus more on the functionality of our solutions, rather than the idiosyncrasies of any given vendor's particular device.
Think I'm overstating the importance of the RFID Consortium announcement? Please post your comments below.
John Gerken[Read More]
Emerging Technologies You Need to Know
The ETTK encompasses a number of technology areas, such as Laszlo and Semantics.
Which ETTK technology area do you think will have the biggest impact in the next five years?
Jim Hsu[Read More]
The Integrated Development Environment for Laszlo now runs on Eclipse 3.1. You'll want to use the latest Eclipse Web Tools Platform (WTP) and OpenLaszlo 3.0.2 releases.
It looks like Eclipse has finally released an all-in-one download for the 0.7 WTP, which is a welcome convenience for those of us who are tired of having to download five separate packages.
The usage of Wikis is growing at what seems to be a fairly rapid rate. For those not familiar with the term, a wiki is a Web site where anyone can change or add to the site. Sometimes update authority is restricted, but in general, a wiki is a site that is collaboratively created by those who read it. There are many examples of wikis on the internet, the most famous being Wikipedia. Now, we are seeing a substantial roll-out of wikis by businesses. There are a few external enterprise wikis, but most of the usage seems to be behind the company firewall. Those wikis are used for project management, creating knowledge bases to support communities of interest, maintaining documentation of processes or tools and the collaborative authorship of documents like specifications or requirements documents.
IBM has made available to its employees facilities for creating wikis in an attempt to see what ways they might be used by our employees to support their activities. The ETTK team has an internal wiki we use to manage our projects, provide documentation to new ETTK technology developers and develop new ideas. This has worked out very well and we are experimenting with other ways to apply internal wikis.
We are also experimenting with an external enterprise wiki for the ETTK community. We are evolving it now to try to facilitate content that can be collaboratively created by communities of interest that form around some of our technology packages or the problem areas they address. An external enterprise wiki, in my view, is an experiment in community building and cross enterprise collaboration. I'll report on both our internal and external wiki activities, but I hope some interested parties will monitor our external ETTK wiki and contribute to it as it evolves.
Joel Farrell[Read More]