Sunday, November 30, 2008

Wolf Camera

Last Saturday I bought a camera at Wolf Camera. I would normally have gone to Best Buy or Frys but this being the Thanksgiving weekend I wanted to be as far away from those zoos as possible.

I was pleasantly surprised at the buying experience. I had thought that with the advent of discount electronic box stores, ebay, Shutterfly, Snapfish, etc that honest to goodness camera stores were dead.

The sales agent was informed and took time to show me different options and didn't rush me. And to top it off I was overwhelmed with free offers. The camera I bought (Cannon Powershot SD1100 came with a free printer/scanner/copier and free camera lessons. But wait there's more. It also came with a free rain jacket valued at $100.

So let's sum up I bought a $179 camera and got a printer, photo lessons and a jacket. The total value of the free items exceeded the purchase price of the camera.

I guess that's how you beat the box stores.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Auto Industry Bailout - Give me an iCar

Thomas Freidman's How to Fix a Flat has really spawned a lot of commentary on the failings of the auto industry and much creative speculation on how Steve Job's creative genius could change the car much as the iPhone changed the phone.

I'm sure there is a complex intertwined web of factors that have contributed to the auto industry digging itself into such a hole. Is pouring more money into that hole to save the economy the right path? As the markets free fall and my savings evaporate part of me says, "please stop the bleeding." But putting more money into a failed business can't be the answer. There was no dotcom implosion bailout and yet we now have Amazon, eBay and Google.

When gas was approaching $5 a gallon, secretly I was hoping it would go up to $10 and higher. While that would hurt our wallets it would truly force a new way of life. Now as gas prices fall back down again it's back to the same old ways. The auto industry is living in a false reality that just isn't sustainable and doesn't follow free market rules. How can it be that we are giving the auto industry money to fund innovation. That can't be right. Shouldn't competition spawn innovation.

If we bailout the auto industry to save the economy it can only be a temporary fix. We need a game changer. That change can come out of the ashes of the the failed big 3. At some point we have to let that failure play out. That collapse can enable a new business model that values innovation, imposes its own mandates on MPG and sets a time line for no emission vehicles. We don't need bigger car companies we need are smaller more innovative ones.

Silicone valley has the chance to be the next center of the auto industry. Pioneers like Tulsa motors are leading the way. Up next the Apple iCar. Watch out Detroit

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Web2.0 Expo New York

Curl at Web2.0 Expo

Last week I was with Curl at Web2.0 Expo in New York. The show was at the Jacob Javits center and shared the exhibition hall with Interop. The Javits show floor is huge with Web2.0 and Interop each sharing half. The difference between the 2 exhibitions was dramatic. The Web2.0 had the typical start-up small booths where as the Interop side had sophisticated presentations and lots of consumer style gimmicks like a race car replica / video game and a beautiful custom made motorcycle shown below.

Custom Cycle - Eaton Race Car Video Game See additional pictures here.

It's clear that Web2.0 has gone main stream as large companies like HP and Microsoft had their mega 3 story booths staking a claim to the new wave.

It was busy and I barely had time to see any sessions or walk the floor as I gave more than 25 demos over the 2 days. It was interesting to note that visitors to the Curl booth were much more informed on RIA than our first experience at Web2.0 Expo in San Francisco, April 2007. Many said they had heard of Curl as the new cool RIA. It seems all our efforts to be seen in the RIA landscape are gaining momentum.

Bert Halstead, our chief architect did a great job of positioning Curl in the podcast with David Berlind of Tech Radar. You can hear listen here.

All in all it was a fun show and great to visit NY. You can see my post with hotel and restaurant reviews here.

Monday, August 25, 2008

WOA vs SOA Driven by RIA

Now that's a mouth full of acronyms that 2 years ago no one would have had a clue about. But as movements go Web2.0 technologies continue to penetrate the enterprise and the old stodgy SOA is increasingly taking a back seat to WOA. As Joe McKendrick of ZDnet points out WOA wins the popularity contest hands down.

At Curl we see this phenomenon first hand. Many of our customers are enterprises that have SOA initiatives and see Curl as the RIA for SOA. We continue to enjoy our position as "The Enterprise RIA" which links us directly to SOA.

But 2008 is proving to be the inflection year for Web2.0 enterprise adoption and increasingly RIA is leading the way. Jeffrey Hammond of Forrester has commented numerous time on how the Gen Yers are driving adoption of more dynamic web applications. Coming from academia to the enterprise you can't be satisfied with boring, clunky old corporate applications when all the tools you used at school offered a compelling dynamic user experience.

At Curl we observe WOA popularity is largely driven by RIA. Increasingly we are finding enterprises are being forced to address application usability and seriously considering RIA implementations.

From The Desk
From the Desk

Summer's Over - Back to School

Well it's been a hectic several months and as a result I haven't had time to keep up my Weblog. But summer's over and its time to get back to watching and commenting my postcard observations.

With Web2.0 Expo in New York coming up there will be a lot of interesting RIA things to see and comment on.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Heading to Web2.0 Expo

I'm headed up to Web2.0 Expo with Curl. It was one year ago at this same event that we launched Curl into the US market. It certainly has been a fun year.

Ryan Stewart has a good post highlighting the RIA related things that are happening at the show.

Over the last year the RIA space has really heated up and Curl is now regularly mentioned with the big boys Adobe and Microsoft. We've received some great coverage with our recent announcements of Eclipse and Ubuntu support and our next version of the Curl platform code named Nitro.

Some mentions include:

Curl IDE To Be Integrated in Eclipse
Application Development Trends
By Will Kraft
April 21, 2008

RIA Is Dead! Long Live Web Applications
Mark Finkle’s Weblog
By Mark Finkle
April 21, 2008‑is‑dead‑long‑live‑web‑applications/

Product review: Adobe breathes fresh AIR into RIA
By James R. Borck
April 21, 2008‑adobe‑air_1.html

Revenge of the desktop app
By Dan Farber
April 21, 2008‑13953_3‑9923421‑80.html?tag=newsmap

Curl Enters Desktop Wars
By Darryl Taft
April 18, 2008‑Development/Curl‑Enters‑Desktop‑Wars/

Friday, March 21, 2008

Ajax Disappoints Power Users

A recent Forrester research paper by Stefan Ried examines how new RIA Ajax based applications are being accepted in the business community.

Stefan notes that "a great user experience is one of the most compelling and important characteristics of a modern business application." As Ajax based business applications are becoming more common his research shows that their interfaces tend to frustrate powers users. Power users are used to high performance extremely interactive client-server applications and are easily frustrated by Ajax based applications.

Stefan details a list of Ajax's shortcomings as a platform for enterprise business applications. These include slow performance, inability to deal with large complex displays and inconsistency between browser platforms.

To all you Ajax folks who have experienced these shortcomings first hand, you should check out Curl! Curl offers the high performance of client-server applications, easily handles complex displays with large datasets and runs on Windows, Linux , Mac. It's easy to Get Started Now.

From The Desk
From the Desk

Richard Treadway

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Curl Releases Web Services Developer Kit

Curl-Logo 2 color

On Tuesday we will announce the release of the Curl Web Services Development Kit - WSDK. Yesterday I briefed Paul Krill of InfoWorld on the announcement and he wrote this article.

This announcement is significant to Curl for a couple of reasons.

  • This is our first Open Source product. - Back in October of last year we contributed 3 components to Open Source. This was the first step in our open source strategy. We will continue to contribute key components of the product that help support rapid development of enterprise-class RIAs to Open Source . Now we have completed the integration and testing of the Curl WSDK and will offer it as a fully supported component of our RIA Platform.

  • The WSDK links Curl RIA applications directly to SOA - As enterprises continue to execute on their SOA strategy they are increasingly seeing the need to present and visualize large complex data sets on the client. Untill recently complex business processing and data manipulation has been a server side task. Now with RIAs more processing can happen on the client enabling much more responsive and dynamic applications. The WSDK provides the functions to enable direct connection to SOA back-end data.

The WSDK provides a simple way to use web services directly in Curl applications. You are can obtain information resources from a Service Oriented Architecture though SOAP and WSDL, or from a Resource Oriented Architecture though REST and XML.

SOAP Web Services described using WSDL are processed by the WSDK and converted directly into Curl packages and class definitions, which can be used just like any other Curl application component. The service definitions can be processed programmatically, or using a tool in the Curl IDE.

Additionally the WSDK XML Document Model (XDM) provides functionality for processing XML data in Curl: reading, creating, modifying and writing XML documents. XML document contents are represented as a hierarchy of Curl objects. The objects can be accessed using methods and by XPath expressions. They can be displayed, transformed into other Curl representations, and used as a basis for data binding.

In traditional Web environments, Web services and resources are usually consumed by other Web servers. The full potential of web data can be realized using Curl’s rich client environment. Curl clients can directly consume Web services since the Web service technology stack is embedded in the runtime platform. This allows for dynamic presentation and direct interaction with the information resources.

From The Desk
From the Desk

Richard Treadway