I will start off by saying first off this is an excellent first drop. I was a little frustrated with FireFox 4 as I could not get Maqetta to work at all so I immediately tried Chrome and voila, things started to work. It looks like the tool has a lot of function but still needs a lot of fine tuning…
As you might have been reading on this blog I created the site PlanetWebSphere.net and the site is based on Drupal 7. The exercise was for me to learn Drupal. What I really didn’t go into was how easy this site was to produce and how it was produced. In Drupal they introduced a concept call Views where you can create basically any block with text, html, or PHP. In PHP mode you have total access to the entire Drupal API including things like module, hooks, and database API’s. The screen shot on the right is actually a custom content view where you can simply write any PHP.That is the exact code I wrote for the left panel of “Feeds”.
Today there are many applications and frameworks that allow development of the web site or application all from the web. You can publish things immediately or at a later date . Applications like Trelix, WordPress, and many other applications all have some kind of programming capability right within their admin tool. Some content management systems even allow you to add content right from the regular UI. So what is missing?
Well, something like Orion, that’s what is missing. Orion is basically the ever popular Eclipse IDE but is 100% web based. Take WordPress for instance. You can pretty much design your theme and code it entirely in the WordPress Admin panel, see the picture on the right. The problem is the editor is a basic text editor. They added a Documentation combo box for the common WP functions but the reality is the editor is not the greatest. Now, imagine if Orion was integrated into this system. You would get line numbers, color coding, and all of the other great things Eclipse brings to the table. Since WordPress is files based I actually don’t think this effort would be too hard – maybe this would be a great idea for a kick-butt WordPress extension!
In case you missed this interview JaxEnter did with Boris, you might want to check it out. He answers some pretty good questions and gives a high level summary of what Orion is all about.
Orion is a constellation located on the celestial equator that you can easily see from the Northern hemisphere.
It is also an awesome Eclipse project that just opened up its own blog so you can follow the news for the project. I eluded to the Domino Designer being a 100% web based developer tool before and as Orion matures it is becoming more and more possible. Could Designer on the cloud let Lotus developers compete with the likes of salesforce.com? I don’t know but the concepts of web based development or even web based rich applications is becoming more real today then ever before.
Orion is a proposed new open source project under the Eclipse top-level project. The project is currently in the Pre-Proposal phase. To facilitate gathering of a community for this new project, an initial code contribution has been made within the E4 incubator.
I start my day by going through emails, check my schedule on the calendar, and then jump right into work. My work is spread out through Eclipse, Designer, the Composite Application editor and test is in Lotus Notes. This doesn’t set well for the project manager side of my job where I attend meetings, demo stuff, or hold my own meetings because I am constantly going in and out of Lotus Notes and launching and shutting down Lotus Notes. I would have two laptops pretty much open all of the time, one with my production Lotus Notes email, calendar, etc open and possibly even my iPhone if I was upgrading the Notes client, and another laptop to develop and test on.
Well, then came along the iPad. I now have one developer laptop open and my iPad sitting on its cover stand at the viewing angle. Bye bye second laptop! What really rocks is how fast I can get the device out of sleep mode and straight to my calendar. With Traveler synchronizing my email, contacts and calendar it all simply “works”. At Lotusphere, for the sessions I could attend, I just brought the iPad. A small notebook like device that is extremely light and easy to carry. I had heard a crazy number like 1600 iPads were brought to the Opening General Session(OGS) on Monday, wow!
I am convinced tablets are the way of the future, no more laptops! With the introduction of Orion, I will be able to do almost everything from a touch screen device. Maybe in the near future.