Conference call with Telekom Tropo and node.js …

Hi..

 

we recently had a support request on Telekom Tropo conferencing and node.js . Our colleague Daniel Roth (you can find his pretty black website here 🙂 ) solved it. He did not use the Tropo package but did it rather from scratch. Well, customer’s wish is our command…

The exact same thing if you are using Telekom Tropo scripting:

The world famous 3 lines of code…

Thanks to Daniel… you: Have fun!!!

CU

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From the Desk of the CTO: Native vs Hybrid – See it like MS Access…

Hi…

there is lots of discussion and discussion regarding native apps are a must (since Facebook did switch from hybrid to native) or native are just fine… First, let’s sortout one thing: What is hybrid to start with?

It all boils down to two extremes and the middle layer. On the one side of the box ring is pure web, some call it web app. As matter of fact, it is a web site that uses javascript frameworks to optimize for mobile consumption. Those websites when designed neatly can supply a variety of different mobile device formats and OSes. But obviously they suffer from the typical drawbacks of all web sites. Things like limited local storage, limited to no access of hardware capabilities, performance, you name it. The upside is: It uses HTML5 and Javascript which should be common to all developers nowadays.

On the other side of the boy ring – the other extreme – is the native app. This is what we saw in the beginning as an app. It runs on the device, need to be installed and maintained (aka updated), is specific for the OS or even the device format, but can use all of the wealth of the modern hardware, run in the background and might survive even with no network connections (which depends on the use case of the app). Those apps come with a cost: They are OS specific and sometimes it is hard to find the right guys developing this.

Then there is the idea to mix both and combine the strengths of both worlds. Welcome to hybrid. Some seperate the pure hybrid from a mixed hybrid (when you combine platform specific code with hybrid on top) but this is not really of importance for us here. Critics say that hybrid do not inherit the strengths but more the weaknesses. Performance problems unknown to native, limited abilities due to limitations in the frameworks (because in the end the framework supports somehow only the least common dilimiter), complexity unknown to web, the need for maintainance unknown to web.

My point here is, I simply compare it to Microsoft Access. Some of you from the older ages remember Microsoft Access as admins greatest enemy. When Access came around the corner, it was not seen as an appropriate database (hey, it ran on the client!!). So, it started by being an ok solution to store the recipients of the christmas cards of a division. But it was good enough for A LOT of tasks. It provided a simple data entry and storing mechanism, a quite decent query engine, and – most important – an easy way to print out the stuff. And, bam, nobody imagined how many processes cried for a RDBMS solution. Sure, people started to fiddle around with it, stretching the limits and sometimes overdoing it tremendously. But hey, slowly but steadly it became business critical. In a way, Access and Excel were version 0.1 of the Consumerization of IT because for the first time the users took the initiative. And – as we see it today – IT was not able to cope with it.

I see hybrid in the same position as Access that days. There are so many obviously simple tasks that would tremendiously benefit from being “mobilized”. Most of the times, simple stuff like browsing a table of data and triggering some actions. With the ability to use greater amounts of local storage, doing this in a secure container, being able to work offline for some time etc. Performance is not the real critical factor here. Neither is the 120% UI. Don’t get me wrong: Software needs to serve its users and I am by no means preaching to forget about user experience. But good user experience does not need 3D animated, wobbeling buttons. At least not everywhere.

So, stop this senseless, emotional discussion. Believe me, the world will be a better place, if we could use what we learned with Access (which was a great deal how not to do it) and do more mobile apps.

Just my 2 cents.

CU

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From the desk of the CTO: 40 years gone and still the same problems…

Hi…

I found this nice presentation:

The amazing thing here is, that this guy presents from a view of 1973 (please note the pens in the pocket of his shirt, really mimicking an IBM technician of that time). What is so remarkable is that the exact same problems he describes, we are still struggeling with today.

This reminded me, on the software crisis theme as stated in 1968 at a NATO conference (see Wikipedia). We are still struggeling with the amount of software we can produce in a given time. There is more software necessary than we can produce. To address this, we can increase productivity of developers or get more people into development. We are also struggeling with the quality. We learned is that a certain freedom comes with fragmentation meaning complexity meaning quality problems.

If you look on our roadmap with App Monitor, Code Analyzer, and the things we are about to release soon, you see how we want to address this.

CU

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