Google saves the day for Notes plugin developers

Alan Cooke (member of the Redbooks team) just pinged me on Sametime and pointed me to a greate piece of news. As you might remember Google acquired Instantiations a while back. Instantiations developed a couple of developer tools for GUI building, code analysis and UI testing. Today all our prayers had been heard and Google is making all the tools from Instantiations free!!!. How sweet is that?!

The article referenced above describes the different tools and screenshots.

The reason this is important to you as a Lotus guy or gal is that WindowBuilder Pro for SWT makes it very easy to quickly mock up or build the GUI for your SWT based plugins. You simply drag’n’drop components onto the screen to build the UI. Think of the XPages UI but for SWT components. Very nice.

So how do you get the tools? Simply head over to the respective Google page to learn more and/or install. The direct links are:

Did I mention that all the tools are now free?!?

Once you go the tool page you’ll see a link to the “Download” page in the menu on the left. The page has links to update sites for easy installation. The tools work with Eclipse 3.4, 3.5 and 3.6.

P.S.: There is also a GWT designer tool (Google Web Toolkit) available (tool page is here). The tool is very nice if you develop GWT applications.

Google Wave discontinued – what will that mean for Project Concord?

In a post the day before yesterday on the Google Blog Urs Holzle, Senior Vice President, Operations & Google Fellow, provides an Update on Google Wave. As it stands now Google will stop development on the Google Wave platform and provide tools to liberate the data from Google Wave. This decision has been made due to users not adopting Google Wave to the extent they would have wanted. Urs Holzle emphasizes that many of the protocols and technologies have already been made open source and that they hope that developers will continue to innovate on top of the technology.

I find this very interesting. First of all there was no end to the amazement and hype that was built around Google Wave when it was first announced. Second of all it looked like very cool technology though a lot of discussion was being had on the applicability to business and how it would fit in. Would it be the next killer application and what e-mail would become down the road? Sadly the technology never stuck and we will never know.

The announcement is however also interesting from a Lotus perspective.

As you might remember IBM unveiled Project Concord at Lotusphere 2010. Project Concord is IBM Lotus’ next generation web collaboration environment which also featured live character-by-character typing etc. Many of us thought of Project Concord as being a clear response to Google Wave and a way to compete with Google in that (new) space. Now that Google is halting development of Google Wave what will happen to Project Concord? Will it be left for dead as well as the technology has been proved inadequate or “not wanted” or will it provide a clear opening for IBM Lotus to pursue? Does IBM Lotus have some “other stuff” up its Project Concord sleeve that will prove it to be the killer platform that will replace e-mail as we know it. I guess only time can tell.

R.I.P. Google Wave – we loved you although we never really got to know you…

OpenSocial (iGoogle) gadgets in Eclipse

I’ve been reading some blog posts about the upcoming Eclipse v.4 (or e4) and which features are planned for this release. One of the posts (OpenSocial (iGoogle) gadgets in Eclipse) discusses how Google Gadgets might make their way to Eclipse as views (ViewParts). Being a Notes user this is what we’ve had for a couple of years as MyWidgets but it’s always interesting to speculate who influences who… 🙂

It is becoming very clear to me that Notes as a platform is a good citizen in the Eclipse community by drawing from the community but also giving back to it.

Google Apps Update: February 24 Outage Postmortem

Following Ed Brills “VNUNet: What if Google Mail had been your corporate IT system?” post following the Google mail outage the other day I found it interesting, as a paying Google mail customer (for my private e-mail accounts), that I received an e-mail from Google during the night.

“Dear Google Apps customer,

Between approximately 9AM to 12PM GMT / 1AM to 4AM PST on Tuesday, February 24, 2009, some Google Apps mail users were unable to access their accounts. The actual outage period varied by user because the recovery process was executed in stages. No data was lost during this time. The root cause of the problem was a software bug that caused an unexpected service disruption during the course of a routine maintenance event. The root cause of this unexpected service disruption has been found and fixed.

<snip />

We will be extending a full 15-day SLA credit to all affected Google Apps Premier customers for the month of February. This credit will be applied to customer accounts automatically so there’s no action needed on the part of administrators.”

The e-mail goes on but at least they recognize that something went wrong…