Monday, October 26, 2015

OpenUI lead to other frameworks from competitors


Three years ago people were talking about the end of the world, which know seems like a joke. But people in the Siebel business were talking more about the advent of OpenUI, and how the new UI layer will transform the Siebel landscape. Well, it was a case of too little to late. Siebel projects are now at their lowest ebb. Most Indian IT companies have changed their business models to either discontinue their Siebel practice, or to diminish and merge them with other CRM practices. There are upgrade and support projects , but greenfield implementation projects are the rarest lot.

But it turns out Oracle's launching of the ridiculously-difficult-to-implement OpenUI lead to similar offerings from other players in the industry.  Today I learnt about how SalesForcedotCom released their lightning system to allow for better UI designs for mobile and other portable form factors. Lightning uses opensource technologies like javascript ,css and HTML5, and the look and feel looks eerily similar to OpenUI.


OpenUI also lead SAP to release a new UI layer for their systems, which they are calling OpenUI5 ! Same open standards and direct coding system, I watched a few videos on SAP's OpenUI5, and the framework requires tonnes of coding to get the layout up and running.


SAP has launchen OpenUI5 as a repo on github, and are welcoming contributions from the public to take ti forward .Both these frameworks talk about being responsive and faster than their earlier UIs, and require tonnes of lines of code to bring up even the simplest UIs, like Siebel OpenUI. Clearly Siebel is leading the innovation in this regard, and its good to see others picking up.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

babun - the best Unix shell for Windows


Sometimes the best way to use a computer is via its command line. This is particularly true for developers, there are times when even the best IDE wont' do. And its then that you realize that the best command line shell is the one on Unix. Window's command support is weak and an afterthought. In the on-premise model of enterprise software development, most companies use Unix or its variant for the production systems, due its much better stability, but also lower cost. There is nothing like grepping through entire log files to find culprit code in the system.

The Unix/Linux shell has over 160 commands, and different distributions can have extra packages. This gives a developer on Unix limitless power on the commandline, using simple chaining, it is possible to solve the problem at hand without having to download any extra program. But things are bleak on the Windows front, where all you can do is dir and findstr. Sure the bat files have some more power, but there are still a lot missing.  I wondered if there was a way to get a working Unix like shell on the Windows system which can access the Windows filesystem but still do its magic.

And I stumbled upon babun. If you are a developer like me, babun is the only shell you will need on Windows. It is a simple installable exe shell which accepts all unix commands, and then runs them on Windows. You don't have to set it up like cygwin. It does not even need administrator rights to install, and installs silently. After installation it creates a simple shortcut on the desktop, and runs a full xterm color interface.


And the shell understands  every standard Unix command, the usual grep, sort, wc,head , tail are all supported along with pipes. It periodically on startup, checks for updates.


Installation of software on Unix is the biggest roadblock even today, and babun makes it easy to install anything easily. The installer is called pact.


But the best part is that it can access your native Windows disks, so you get the best of both worlds.


So now you can have all your Unix power in Windows !