Christmas and new year – time to look for new shiny things!

It’s that time again in the year, when everyone is rushing around shops and spending more than enough money to buy crap someone else doesn’t need. For this season we finally made and kept the promise of not buying unnecessary presents and only purchased selected few well thought gifts. Naturally it was also the sensible choice as the economic downturn has created huge uncertainties in terms of monetary situation and work in the near future. Though I am quite confident that there is and will be work to be done and money to be earned in the capital area, these uncertainties mean that instead of just slacking off and wasting my time playing Grand Theft Auto I need to catch up on my reading and hone some necessary skills – just in case.

Well. To be honest not for ”just in case” as much as for ”keeping my brain occupied so that it does not start to think about big questions like religion, getting older, life and pursuit of happiness”.

At the moment on my reading and learning list is:

  • catching up on mobile development
  • picking up professional development on Flex with Cairgorm framework
  • catch up on Python developments
  • test drive new improvements and developments on enterprise java

And in little bit more detail:

I’ve been following up from arm’s length different developments on mobile front, but resisted the temptation to start larger projects yet. However now might be a good time to invest some time to do more prototypes and testing. Though iPhone has been the hot topic for a long time, I haven’t been keen on yet learning iPhone development as so far Objective-C has made me gag and iPhone appstore horror stories have made me wonder the sanity and reliability of the platform. So instead of iPhone I’ve had my eye on some other platforms. Testing and reading about development on multiple platforms at the same time is really interesting, as it allows me much more clearly to see the similarities, differences and true benefits of each platform in clear light.

  • Android SDK
  • J2ME + LWUIT
  • Python + PyQT + Qt on Maemo
  • Python on S60
  • iPhone OS 3

Android has been the most promising and interesting platform, atleast from programmers’ point of view. Documentation and materials seem great and things just feel well thought, instanly making sense to an old java programmer.

J2ME left in early days bad taste in my mouth, but handsets are really good these days and java-applications run fast on modern phones. Lwuit is UI-framework that seems to make mobile UI programming not so painfull, actually very similar to Swing-programming. If you don’t believe, check out the intro: http://java.sun.com/developer/technicalArticles/javame/lwuit_intro/

N900 is the thing I lust after and even though it does not make commercial sense yet to develop software for Maemo, I am really keen on trying out Python on Maemo… with PyQt. Python is fun, QT is great framework for applications and Maemo on N900 seems to be just perfect mobile platform to make them work together. However Android SDK with it’s documentation and tools kicks Python on Maemo around the block for now. Getting started and up and running requires little more effort and interest, though so far Maemo community seems to be really helpfull.

Python on S60 is a little bit different breed. But as there are great examples around doing something fast is a snap. And my god it beats doing c++ Symbian development any day.

( http://mobilenin.com/pys60/menu.htm, check out Ensymble for deployment http://code.google.com/p/ensymble/wiki/Welcome )

iPhone development which still requires Objective C and all that jazz makes me gag. But… I can’t say that I have hair on my chest unless I do it.

Picking up professional development on Flex with Cairgorm framework is quite self explanatory. Actionscript reminds of java and Cairgorm brings MVC type of development pattern to Flex / Flash. Though my interests are not to turn into frontend Flash guy in any means, I do want to understand that development better and see where the state of Flex these days rests.

Catching up on Python developments also fits similar category as above. I have had my love and breakups with Python, but still admire how great scripting language it is. Python also evolves and I just recently purchased updated versions of Python Pocket reference and Python Essential Reference to catch up with an old friend.

And last but not least. As I already blogged, enterprise java has got more and more less enterprisy, more agile and more fun. We have been talking with Mikael to do some test projects and I am looking forward that. Mikael has already done tests with dependency injection and new features on JPA, but let’s see what we have time to do together before new projects start.

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2 vastausta artikkeliin: Christmas and new year – time to look for new shiny things!

  1. daviding sanoo:

    Choosing mobile development platforms by language (Python, Java, Objective-C) preference wasn’t a salient feature from my business-oriented perspective. However, in the open source movement — and maybe even more in the low-margin world of mobile applications — the aesthetics of the chosen programming language could encourage or discourage the formation of a community.

  2. huima sanoo:

    @David:

    Low margin mobile applications per se are not of interest to me, but rather mobile applications that extend products and services I am creating online. We are finally on day and age when people are not just ’getting online’, but are online…

    Android / S60/ S40 + Java and Python + Maemo & S60 allows me to do mobile development because I want to and I can, not because I have to. With I phone it is other way around.

    On aesthetics you are spot on. Business is business and fun is fun. Programming languages, tools, ecosystem and social atmosphere all affect whether platforms gain real traction and whether true communities form. Having languages and tools that make creating stuff fun usually do not hurt your changes having few run away hits.

    Apple is in this sense real enigma to me in many ways. It has given finger so many times to developers around the globe, and yet people flock around – waiting to be bitch slapped and shown tough love again.

    Naturally I am just a sour puss because I missed the whole iPhone gold rush and don’t have any hair on my chest to show that I can make jump through all the hurdles and make Objective-C and CocoaTouch my bitch. To be honest it cannot be that hard, I’ve already started to learn both iPhone SDK and Objective-C — but on both I have had very distinctive gagging reflex and feeling of ”Meh”. Yeah I could manage to learn and become adept on both eventually, but I really don’t want to – unless I have to.

    If it doesn’t feel right and fun, it is just work. And when it comes to boring work, I am lazy. This is probably also why I will not become a millionaire anytime soon. Oh well, at least I still have my boyish good looks.

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