Tuesday, September 26, 2006

FOXOpen - Eclipse plugin planned

I've just heard that the FOXOpen guys are planning to start writing an eclipse plugin for FOXOpen.

This is great news because whilst FOXOpen consists of the framework to describe and deliver applications the full value in terms of productivity will only really be achieved when there is tooling. Because tooling automates repetitive tasks, and reduces the learning curve.
Although it is possible to write applications using an XML editor like XML Spy, a dedicated tool will bring further productivity to teams using FOXOpen, and make it more accessable to new users.

Why am I so keen? Mainly because of this, why do you pay expensive resources to re-create the same general patterns again and again when with the right tooling you can employ more less expensive people to do the job quicker, or for less, and with fewer defects? Using standards based 4GL you can focus your experienced people on adding the real value to the systems the 4GL thing produces. And if you're using open source 4GL you can take this added value and reverse it into your framework and tooling, encapsulating your hard work and making the expensive feature easily reproducable by less expensive people. Come to think of it even though it inhabits a slightly different space Maven does this with its plugins and brings very similar benefits, but it brings them to the development process itself and not the systems which are being developed.

Encapsulating bits of your development processes in your frameworks and tooling so they can be replayed with different parameters means that your reuse is across a general pattern and not a small set of use cases. This is domain engineering, you should read this book. Combine that with truly reusable component elements and you get improved (both faster and more reliable) productivity and ease of maintenance.

All we need now for the FOXOpen plan is for it to deliver all singing all dancing AJAX applications.


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I know nothing, I'm not a fortune teller, and you'd be insane to think that I am. This disclaimer was cribbed from an email footer I once received. It is so ridiculous I had to have it for myself.

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