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23 replies Latest Post - ‏2013-03-09T20:16:53Z by M Groeneweg
dan_darnell
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Pinned topic No news since January 18 about EDT

‏2013-02-25T22:09:37Z |
I know this is not the forum for EDT but I think that everyone here has a vested interest in the success of the project -- IMHO it represents the future of EGL. I have been trying for about a week now to find out where the EDT project is heading (or even if it is still alive). An EDT release (0.8.2) came out on January 18 and that was the last time that anyone posted an update on the EGL blog or updated any planning documents.

It is unfortunate that the people running the project can't do a better job communicating futures (if there is one). Looking at Bugzilla it appears that work continues but still no planning page updates or blog posts from the team.

I may feel more optimistic later but right now I think that all of this work on EDT is going to be a case of too little, too late. (Or maybe, more accurately, just "too late".)

The market is not sitting idle while this project (by all external appearances) spins its wheels. Take a look around at mGWT, PhoneGap for GWT, and several others and you'll find very appealing ways to target web AND native mobile platforms with a single language. EDT should be ideally positioned to leverage such things as PhoneGap. If all we are going to end up with another 6-12 months down the road is EDT with a relatively small subset of Dojo/Dojo Mobile widgets and with an underlying language architecture that could do anything (but no strategic partners actually doing something with that underlying architecture) then all of this was (as I have always feared) an academic exercise primarily executed so that some really smart people at IBM can move into even better jobs at IBM (or elsewhere). If 6-12 months down the road we have an EDT version 1.0 that can only show off web development that is state-of-the-art circa 2010 then you can stick a fork in this one -- and maybe in the future of EGL altogether.

--Dan
Updated on 2013-03-09T20:16:53Z at 2013-03-09T20:16:53Z by M Groeneweg
  • nick_tn
    nick_tn
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    Re: No news since January 18 about EDT

    ‏2013-02-25T22:26:49Z  in response to dan_darnell
    Hey Dan,

    Can you tell me what EDT is? I've never seen it. Im working with RBD 8.0.1.3.

    Thanks.
    • dan_darnell
      dan_darnell
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      Re: No news since January 18 about EDT

      ‏2013-02-25T22:44:06Z  in response to nick_tn
      Sure. EDT is "EGL Development Tools" -- the open-source project where most of the work is happening on EGL these days. IBM says that they may bring some of what they have accomplished in EDT back to RBD...some day. (Based on changes to the language made in EDT I think that this is nigh unto impossible but time will tell.)

      See:
      http://www.eclipse.org/edt/

      The project started in, I think, May 2010. (Lots of design work and proposals and such before that, I'm sure.) Almost three years later it is still in an "incubator" status with version 0.8.2 released January 18, 2013.

      My concern is that the project seems to have stalled and, even if it continues to move forward, that the team (consisting almost entirely -- or maybe even entirely -- of IBM people) is simply moving too slowly to deliver something of real value in the marketplace. As I said before, if they end up delivering what would have been a great product in 2010 then they have missed the boat.

      You can see some work I've done with EDT (the games "Amaze Me" and "Conway's Life" on my web site: http://www.dandarnellonline.com.

      --Dan
      • nick_tn
        nick_tn
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        Re: No news since January 18 about EDT

        ‏2013-02-25T23:00:39Z  in response to dan_darnell
        Thanks Dan, i will check it out...

        Does the EDT version work as well with connecting to iseries as RBD does?
        • dan_darnell
          dan_darnell
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          Re: No news since January 18 about EDT

          ‏2013-02-26T02:40:22Z  in response to nick_tn
          Yes. Enterprise extensions for the IBM i were the first enterprise features added to EDT. They did a great job! The program call mechanism is completely different than in RBD but, actually, much better in many ways. Database access for DB2 on IBM i is a breeze.

          --Dan
          • SystemAdmin
            SystemAdmin
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            Re: No news since January 18 about EDT

            ‏2013-02-26T07:51:36Z  in response to dan_darnell
            Hi Dan

            what do you suggest to do ?? try to ask all together to the developers ?

            Thanks
  • SystemAdmin
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    Re: No news since January 18 about EDT

    ‏2013-02-26T14:53:21Z  in response to dan_darnell
    I agree. Since 1999, I've watched IBM as it seems to struggle in getting itself committed to provide the right set of development tools needed for web development. It has been a long road. In the beginning there was Visual Age. Then there was WASD.

    If IBM pushed EDT/EGL as they have for WAS maybe there would be more mass behind the EDT/EGL initiatives. I think this problem is really one of vision and commitment toward fomenting a cohesive environment where developers can thrive and perhaps even generate sales for more IBM hardware. But this view conflicts with IBM's which is obviously committed to providing services and custom solutions that run on WebSphere which generates most of IBM's revenue.

    So, where is IBM going? Here, to another tool-set? --> http://blogs.perficient.com/portals/2013/02/21/mobilefirst/ Where does EDT/EGL fit among this?
    • dan_darnell
      dan_darnell
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      Re: No news since January 18 about EDT

      ‏2013-02-26T17:40:30Z  in response to SystemAdmin
      Interesting response on the EDT forum this morning from one of the developers:

      "We (the EDT developers) have asked our management to respond to this thread."

      I am hoping that there is indeed a response, and soon.

      For EGL developers hoping for a future to EGL everything depends on the EDT project. I'm sure that I am not the only one who has noticed that the last few releases of RBD have included little more than a few bug fixes, support for the latest Eclipse release, and support for the latest application server versions. We have yet to see a complete Dojo widget set in RBD (and some of the existing widgets, such as graph components, are so woefully incomplete as to be unusable) and no formal support for Dojo Mobile. Anyone else notice that the last post on the blog associated with this forum was on December 3, 2012?

      Every RFE I have submitted for RBD that attempts to address forward-looking needs in RBD receives the same canned response, on the order of "We'll think about it." Clearly, all of the real R&D work around EGL has been through the EDT project. If EDT dies, RBD will continue to stagnate and with it, EGL stagnates too. In the Internet age, it won't take long for EGL to become irrelevant where Web and mobile application development is concerned.

      As has been the case so many times in the past, IBM is doing a terrible job getting the word out about a game-changing technology. Just when it seems that they have the right people in place to make a difference and inertia is building (thinking Jon Sayles, Chris Laffra, Will Smythe, among several others) they either move them to other projects or lose them entirely. It's not enough to have brilliant engineers working on something. You need the passionate people who can engage a community and spread the message effectively.

      Hoping for the best but still not very optimistic...

      --Dan
      • SystemAdmin
        SystemAdmin
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        Re: No news since January 18 about EDT

        ‏2013-02-26T18:33:26Z  in response to dan_darnell
        My fear is that once again, we will have to go to our management and ask for more dollars to buy another development suite. It's only going to be a matter of time before we lose that support and management will tell us to look elsewhere. Guess where that will be.
  • SystemAdmin
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    Re: No news since January 18 about EDT

    ‏2013-02-27T06:41:08Z  in response to dan_darnell
    This is a guest post by EGL management.

    IBM is continuing to re-assess EDT direction, which will be influenced by participation of the partner and customer community involved. For more information, please refer to the blog http://xeglblog.blogspot.com/2013/02/edt-possible-future-scenarios-no.html.

    Rocky
    • dan_darnell
      dan_darnell
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      Re: No news since January 18 about EDT

      ‏2013-02-27T18:10:06Z  in response to SystemAdmin
      Regarding:
      http://xeglblog.blogspot.com/2013/02/edt-possible-future-scenarios-no.html

      Thank you. I am pleased to see that that IBM has responded and acknowledged that there is in fact a re-assessment taking place where IBM's involvement is concerned.

      I'll note a few things in response:
      1. Why wasn't this re-assessment made public until now? Reading between the lines, I think there is concern about the lack of involvement in the project outside of IBM but you can't lament the lack of involvement in the project outside of IBM if you always treat the project like it is an internal IBM project. Want partners in this effort? Act like an entity that is willing to be a partner. (I would love to talk more about this and how the project team could both communicate better about the project and involve more non-IBM'ers...if there is any interest in such a discussion.)

      2. There are a few of us who have developed things that we hope to include in the project but the 0.8.2 release was a ground-up redevelopment of so much infrastructure that (at least in my case) I wanted to wait until it dropped before I invested more time in preparing my code for submission to the project.

      3. I know of few people or even companies that have the skills to contribute to the work that has taken place on the EDT project so far. The (IBM) project team has been putting together core infrastructure and (I think) bringing a lot of code over from internal projects like RBD. In my opinion, the project is just now at a point where meaningful but ancillary contributions like mine seem possible and relevant. But if IBM steps back from the project now you can be certain that nobody will step forward. IBM stepping back before 1.0 says quite clearly to people like me: "Dead project. Run away."

      4. For those of us in the IBM i community, IBM walking away from EDT before 1.0 would be a huge blow. EGL in RBD was pushed hard as the "way forward" for us. Every "way forward" direction from IBM (let me count the ways...VisualAge RPG, HATS, WebFacing, PHP, "learn Java or you will be flipping burgers," and on, and on) has proven to be short-lived (maybe with the exception of PHP). Unfortunately, when IBM gives advice, we suckers tend to take it to heart and make serious investments before the plug is unceremoniously pulled. It has long been apparent that EDT represents the logical evolution and way forward for EGL. We're on board. We are investing. But we've been down this road with IBM before and consistently come out feeling misled, betrayed, confused, and angry. Are you really going to pull the rug out from under us again?

      5. I have expressed more than once that I wish the project team would work harder to get the word out about EDT. My articles for iPro Developer and IBM Systems Magazine along with Joe Pluta's articles for IBM Systems Magazine are the only mentions of EDT that I can find online. (Oh, and the Slashdot article I wrote that announced the first release of the tool and the work I started and several of us continued on Rosetta Code.) You can't fail to tell people about EDT and then wonder why nobody knows about it. Contrast this (as I have many times) with an effort such as Opa -- many, many mentions in trade publications and an active ongoing effort to get the word out about its existence. If you want an active, thriving project with many contributors, make an effort to tell people you exist.

      As for my take on the direction IBM takes (not that you are asking):
      • Deliver 1.0 and then assess where IBM should stand going forward. I guarantee you that by the time you get to 1.0 you will have contributions from outside IBM. You know that there are people like me out here who have already invested in the project by writing some significant code, creating extensions (one example being for HTML 5 features), submitting bug reports, participating in design discussions (one example being the IBM i extensions).

      • Start (helping us) talk about EDT in the outside world.

      Respectfully,

      Dan Darnell
      • M Groeneweg
        M Groeneweg
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        Re: No news since January 18 about EDT

        ‏2013-02-28T08:30:51Z  in response to dan_darnell
        I remember Will Smythe requesting us to deliver changes and enhancements. One thing was Dojo Tree enhancements. I summitted a Dojo Tree enhancement I wrote earlier. The only thing happening was that it got pushed back every few months. Not very encouraging to submit more...

        I agree with Dan that EDT will only be a success if IBM delivers 1.0. Very soon, with very rich mobile support. That is the only way to get more people involved. The architecture has enormous potential but no one will step up and, for example, submit a mobile app code generator unless IBM delivers a production ready 1.0 first.

        I think that EDT has huge potential if IBM finishes and includes the prototype Android generator they created a while ago.

        This is the big issue: IBM creates great stuff but noone seems to know about it. So noone cares about it (outside existing mainframe and AS/400 communities).
        Microsoft became big with delivering crappy software which took many years to mature at the expense of their customers. But they know how to create and maintain really large communities. (and they know a thing or two about creating hypes too...)
        So these large communities complained and flamed, but they kept using the products. Because they went too far down the line to quit, but also because especially the early versions of Visual Studio were just fun to use, so they would not leave the product they came to love.
        • JBASkeen
          JBASkeen
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          Re: No news since January 18 about EDT

          ‏2013-03-04T19:53:52Z  in response to M Groeneweg
          I personally could not agree with Dan's concerns more. I have been playing with EDT tools recently and have been sinking myself into EGL because of my organization's current on-going migration from VAGen to RBD/EGL. I am also looking at EDT for mobile web development because of the ease associated with EGL programming, and especially since dojo mobile web widgets were dropped from RBD a while back for some odd reason. My hope is that by the time my organization is done implementing and migrating to RBD/EGL that the product will continue to thrive, not die. It would be nice to not have to worry about migrating to a new product every couple years, but I am trying to be optimistic about EGL's future.

          Thanks,
          James
    • dan_darnell
      dan_darnell
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      Re: No news since January 18 about EDT

      ‏2013-03-04T22:24:57Z  in response to SystemAdmin
      What kind of time-frame are we looking at where the IBM reassessment is concerned?

      When can we expect to hear which direction IBM is going to take?

      Thanks,

      Dan
      • markevans
        markevans
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        Re: No news since January 18 about EDT

        ‏2013-03-04T22:28:29Z  in response to dan_darnell
        Dan,

        I will work with management and the rest of the development team to create a response. My goal would be very soon. I know many people are interested.
        • dan_darnell
          dan_darnell
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          Re: No news since January 18 about EDT

          ‏2013-03-04T22:41:01Z  in response to markevans
          Hi Mark,

          Much appreciated.

          --Dan
        • M Groeneweg
          M Groeneweg
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          Re: No news since January 18 about EDT

          ‏2013-03-05T06:49:24Z  in response to markevans
          Mark,

          That's great, thanks!

          Marcel
          • markevans
            markevans
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            Re: No news since January 18 about EDT

            ‏2013-03-08T15:38:25Z  in response to M Groeneweg
            All,

            As you may be aware, EGL provides rapid, cross-platform business application development that represents the latest evolution of over 30 years of IBM research and development in this space. Several thousand IBM customers have reaped the productivity and portability benefits of EGL and its precursor products, namely Cross System Product (CSP), VisualGen and VisualAge Generator. However, as the business requirements shifted towards integrated solutions and access to information and processes across the network, the challenges to application development organizations changed, and this led us to a dramatic modernization of those programming paradigms and the introduction of EGL.

            EGL exemplifies the long standing tradition of IBM to support our existing customers, and where possible, provide migration paths to protect and extend their investments in the existing technologies while also providing value to attract new customers. For example, as we evolved our rapid development technology into the Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) and web computing models, we enabled the conversion of predecessor versions of our tools to the EGL technology and an eclipse based development environment. At the same time, EGL became important to and was adopted by, new customers who wrote mission critical applications due to their appreciation of the the multi-platform support, built-in SOA capabilities, Web 2.0 and mobile support, high productivity and integration with modern middleware and frameworks.

            Due to this broad usage of EGL across many application architectures and platforms, IBM will continue to support existing capabilities as well as expand and enhance functionality within Rational Business Developer (RBD) and EGL based on both customer and business requirements. More details about RBD/EGL future contents and a roadmap can be found in the attached slides deck. Note that each release (and/or fixpack) will generally contain new functionality driven by customer requirements and continuous improvement areas such as currency and performance, but this can vary depending on timing and availability of resources.

            Addressing EDT and its future, IBM realized that for a programming language to have significant growth, it must have a broad community and developer base. Open languages have a much lower barrier to entry and thus can grow at a much faster rate. Faster rates of innovation are also exhibited by open languages because more people have direct access to the technology. To enable EGL to see higher levels of adoption and increased innovation, IBM announced plans in June 2010 to develop the core of the EGL technology and tools as an open source project on Eclipse, EGL Development Tools (EDT) (http://www.eclipse.org/edt/).

            The goal of the EDT project is to increase the EGL developer base and to enable a more vibrant ecosystem of partners. Contributing technology to open source (such as EDT) requires a significant investment of time and resources which IBM has done. IBM has also invested in many efforts to promote the awareness of EGL/EDT to new audiences. One example is that IBM held a nationwide EGL programming contest in China in 2012 based on EDT. However, we (IBM) still haven't seen much participation or "pull" from partners and the communities with EDT, so the direction of EDT is being re-assessed as was stated in this blog http://xeglblog.blogspot.com/2013/02/edt-possible-future-scenarios-no.html. versus using the resources to enhance RBD/EGL.

            To summarize, the future of IBM's involvement in the open-source EDT project is still being assessed, but the production version of EGL within RBD is and will be supported and enhanced.

            Thanks for your continuing interest and use of EGL. We value your feedback.

            The EGL Development/Management team (including Mark Evans)

            Edited by: mevans_admin on Mar 8, 2013 10:33 AM

            Edited by: mevans_admin on Mar 8, 2013 10:38 AM
            Updated on 2013-03-08T15:38:25Z at 2013-03-08T15:38:25Z by markevans
            • JBASkeen
              JBASkeen
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              Re: No news since January 18 about EDT

              ‏2013-03-08T14:16:14Z  in response to markevans
              Mark,

              Thanks for the update! I am personally very excited to hear that EGL will continue to be supported and enhanced in RBD, this is a very good thing. However, I do hope that EDT can continue to thrive also. I say this because, for me, EDT is a way to still use EGL outside of work without having to purchase RBD. Let's face it, RBD is an amazing product but the pricing works for enterprise, not for an individual, or at least not for me. :) So EDT is the perfect middle ground for someone like me who wants to use EGL for their own personal projects.

              Thanks for your efforts & support,
              James
            • JBASkeen
              JBASkeen
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              Re: No news since January 18 about EDT

              ‏2013-03-08T15:47:43Z  in response to markevans
              Something I wanted to just throw out there while new possibilities of EGL are being considered....

              Of course, as others and myself have mentioned, mobile widgets coming back to EGL would be huge, if there is anything that would boost EGL's support it could be support for mobile web/hybrid development. I mean, the main motto with EGL is to make development easier, and that the problem everyone talks about with mobile development. Furthermore, like Mr. Aaron Allsbrook has mentioned here in the forum previously, I think bringing Cordova, or some other kind of mobile wrapper, to EGL would be insane! Could you imagine writing your mobile web app in EGL, porting it to Cordova in RBD, and then preparing for deployment for an App store? ....thoughts? Of course, I understand things are not that simple, like the need to build for Apple with Xcode, but wouldn't it be amazing if it was possible?!?!
              James
            • Ortwin
              Ortwin
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              Re: No news since January 18 about EDT

              ‏2013-03-09T13:44:09Z  in response to markevans
              So now things are a little bit more clear on RBD and EDT development, this might be a great moment for IBM to open a 'RBD Widget Store' in the EGL Café.

              This way, although RBD is not open source, the community can enhance the product and benefit from the expertise of RBD users all around the world. That sure will be motivating for the product experience!

              Ortwin
            • M Groeneweg
              M Groeneweg
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              Re: No news since January 18 about EDT

              ‏2013-03-09T20:16:53Z  in response to markevans
              Mark,

              Thanks, good to know that EGL in RBD will continue being supported and enhanced. As for EDT, I hope IBM will help EDT get out of the eclipse incubator status.

              Marcel
  • RickGentner
    RickGentner
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    Re: No news since January 18 about EDT

    ‏2013-03-08T15:13:24Z  in response to dan_darnell
    Where can we find the "More details about RBD/EGL future contents and a roadmap can be found in the attached slides deck"
    • markevans
      markevans
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      Re: No news since January 18 about EDT

      ‏2013-03-08T15:39:22Z  in response to RickGentner
      Sorry about that. I attached the pdf to my original post.