February 16th, 2009


All things eventually move into the cloud, including programming

Intriguing early-stage story for programmers: Ars is reporting on Bespin, a new all-online IDE. It's explicitly just starting out, and has a variety of issues still, but the high concept is quite cool: a programming environment that is accessible from everywhere and intensely customizable, designed from the ground up for online use.

I'd bet that it'll take them a year to get this ready for serious use, but once they do it could become yet another real threat to the established players. In particular, it's a much more natural mode for truly collaborative work, which in some environments may make a lot of sense: combine a webcam-based chat with a shared programming desktop, and you potentially have a fine environment for pair programming, code reviews, and lots more.

My guess is that it'll be some years before this hits the enterprise, but it's enough of a natural for open-source that it'll probably start getting picked up by some projects even while it's still kind of new and squishy. So keep an eye on this one...

Touchscreen lust

I happened to be in Staples this evening, picking up a new webcam, and happened to wander past the new HP desktop machine. And now I have a bad case of Want. The thing is basically a keyboard and a Muckin' Great Monitor, all of which is touchscreen -- something like 25" wide of smooth glass touchscreen.

This thing is *primal* to use. You don't mouse around, you just touch the thing you want; double-tap to double-click; touch and drag; it all just *works*, exactly as you expect it to. It's not quite Minority Report yet, but it gives a real vibe of what that could be like.

Mind, I'm not sure it would be all that *useful* to me at this point: the majority of my applications are largely keyboard-based. But boy, standing in the store and simply playing Bejeweled on that huge screen is remarkably fun...

Anything doing on Saturday?

So I'm going to be at loose ends on this coming Saturday, and I'm thinking of having people over -- in theory, a Low Company meeting in the afternoon, then pizza and movie-watching in the evening.

Are there conflicts I ought to be aware of, that might make this unwise? And would folks be interested in coming over for period gaming and/or video?