Somewhere over the Pacific, a lonely iPad 2 sits in a shipping palette, wondering what fate holds in store for it. Is it destined to end up in the hands of a teenager, held in fingers covered in Cheetos dust and used to play endless sessions of Infinity Blade? Will it spend its days displaying cold financial data for some Wall Street shark? Be brave, little iPad 2, a caring home waits for you, and lots of exciting apps to run!
Meanwhile, the uncaring world continues to churn out programming news. A sampling follows.
Attachmate sends developers off to Germany on a Mono-rail
Mono has always had a mixed reception in the open source community, given that many see it as the slippery end of the slope toward a Redmond-dominated world. But for those who look upon the “.NET on Linux” project with favor, it could not have been good news this week when Attachmate, the new overlords of the entity formerly known as Novell, announced they were closing down US-based development of Mono and relocating the effort to Germany.
The news is especially distressing because Attachmate indicated that future work on Mono would be determined based on the whims of the “business unit leaders” over in the land of beer and schnitzel. After Oracle’s recent shedding of several major open source projects they acquired from Sun, one has to start wondering if the formerly friendly environment for open source participation by major corporations still exists. Will future projects return to being developed by geeks in their basements, and if so, will viewership of “Game of Thrones” suffer?
The Army Corps of Engineers requires this section to release pent up mobile news threatening to overtop our levee
First off, the white iphones are here! The white iphones are here! For those who have been pining for an iPhone 4 that they can carry around before Labor Day (ask your mothers, they’ll get it …), the wait is finally over. As with any new Apple product, controversy immediately ensued, as some owners claimed the white phone was slightly thicker than the black model. Consumer Reports refuted this claim by by breaking out their calipers.
Speaking of Apple … speculation continues as to exactly what will be unveiled at WWDC. A new iPhone seems like a reach, but the continued beta releases of OS X Lion make it likely that it will be released at the conference in June. In addition, the news that app developers are seeing iOS 5 crash logs is a strong signal that the first developer release of the new iOS version will occur at WWDC.
Microsoft is trying to lure iOS developers to
the dark side Windows Phone 7 by offering a conversion utility. There’s no question that, since Nokia has jumped in bed with the House of Gates, we’re going to see a lot of Windows phones showing up in the next year. For developers who can’t afford to ignore that market segment, tools to make the transition are going to be a godsend, since Microsoft-style development is an entirely different world from Cocoa and Java.
Earlier in the year, it appeared that Android was going to eat Apple’s lunch, but the latest report from Appcelerator and IDC shows developer interest in all platforms leveling out. Microsoft and RIM are the big losers in the report, with both scoring under 30% developer interest, compared to 91% for the iPhone and 85% for the Android platform. In a sign that RIM may see the writing on the wall, they made two significant moves this week. One was to get in bed with Microsoft by making Bing their default search engine, although it’s unclear what RIM will get out of the deal. The other was a move to offer support for BlackBerry Messenger on Android and perhaps iOS devices, if “trusted sources” are to be believed.
No Java for you!
There was a time when Java applets were going to be the future of the web, and they were one of the original players in the RIA space. But, at least as far as Google is concerned, Java applets are so last decade. In the latest version of the Chrome browser, the Java plug-in is disabled by default. In some ways, this is an odd attitude for a company that relies so heavily on Java on their mobile platforms, but evidently Google considers Java to be a marginal technology on the browser at this point. For companies that want cross-browser compatibility and were depending on Java for their client-side RIA, now might be a good time to look at HTML5, Flex, or even Silverlight.
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