Saturday, July 25, 2009

JavaScript Editors

There really isn't much to talk about JavaScript editors. Most of the editors are just a little more than a text editor, providing some sort of syntax highlighting and a very minimal code completion and validation.
  • Notepad - If you have to write just a script or two then notepad or any text editor is good enough.
  • Aptana - Aptana Studio is a complete web development environment that combines powerful authoring tools with a collection of online hosting and collaboration services. The studio comes with number of editors - HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP etc. All the editors are fairly good with a decent code validation. The JavaScript editor comes with inbuilt JSLint script validator. JSLint catches a number of common errors and I have found it really useful.

    Although the JavaScript editor that comes with Aptana Studio is good and the studio is eclipse based, installing the whole studio just for JavaScript editing can be a overkill.
  • Netbeans - Starting with version 6.1, NetBeans IDE provides enhanced JavaScript editing features that are modeled on support already provided for Java, Ruby, and other languages. This editor has a lot of features like Semantic Highlighting, Mark occurrences, Instant Rename, Refactoring, Quick Fixes and Semantic Checks, Code Completion and Type Analysis, Go To Declaration

    While Netbeans has a rich feature set, I prefer Eclipse over Netbeans as my development environment.

  • JsEclipse - This is a relatively light weight eclipse based editor and provides code formatting, code completion etc. Download is available from a number of sites.

  • JavaScript Development Toolkit (JSDT) - This is a bunch of open source plug-ins that bring robust JavaScript programming tools to the Eclipse platform. JSDT is essentially built on the same codebase as Java development toolkit (JDT) and hence comes with many of the same features and core design found in JDT. It has all the features of Netbeans and more.
    Feature list
    • Syntax highlighting
    • Folding/line numbers
    • Full outlining, showing classes, functions, and fields
    • Highlight and check of matching brackets/parentheses
    • Auto-complete of brackets, parentheses, and indentation
    • Error detection and correction
    • Mark occurrence
    • Comment toggle (line and block)
    • Generate element JsDoc
    • Surround with do, for, try/catch, while
    • User-configurable completion templates
    • Extract function/change function signature
    • Indentation correction
    • Open declaration
    • Open-type hierarchy
    • Open-call hierarchy
    • Customizable code formating
    • Full search
    • Refactor/rename/move
    • Breakpoint support
    • Defined browser libraries with JsDoc for Firefox, Internet Explorer, and ECMA-3
    • Support for user defined libraries using JsDoc + JavaScript prototype definitions
    • Library image support
    • Debugging support provided through the ATF Project

    The concept of libraries is a great feature of JSDT, as it potentially allows all JavaScript toolkits to work well with it. Also its very lightweight (just 5-6 plugins), though currently it is available as part of Web Tools Platform it is possible to take just the JSDT plugins, drop them into an existing eclipse installation and get going.

    Although JSDT's feature list is quite good, its a bit buggy. Also if you are using a JavaScript toolkit such as Dojo, you will have to create a library definition for it yourself.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Rational's new project management solution

IBM Rational Focal Point for Project Management is a project and resource management system optimized for software and systems delivery. It allows managing activities such as Gantt charting and resource management. Focal Point manages day-to-day tasks while Rational Insight offers higher level metrics, they really work hand in hand.

Focal Point for Project Management is built on Jazz. But what does it mean to be “built on Jazz”?
  • The tasks developers see in their change management (CM) system are the same as the tasks the project managers see in the work breakdown structure (WBS)
  • Project managers assign tasks in the WBS and developers see their assignments in their CM system
  • Developers report their status in the CM system and project managers see that status in the WBS
It’s the same artifact – regardless of where it is visible in the system!

Here is a quick overview of Rational's new project management solution by Neil Leblanc, product manager at Rational. More information is also available on Jazz Team Blog.

Learn more about 'IBM Rational Focal Point for Project Management' from the official announcement page. Trial download is available as part of Rational Early Access Preview on

Focal Point for Project Management is also hosted on Get the overview, features and release plan. ( Note : You will have to register on to have a look at the release plan).

Saturday, July 11, 2009

IBM Measured Capability Improvement Framework (MCIF) - Getting started

Last month, IBM Rational announced their Measured Capability Improvement Framework (MCIF) offering, described in the IBM’s oficial news release. MCIF encapsulates 25 years of experience helping teams incrementally improve their practice maturity to deliver business results.

Learn more about MCIF.
Here is a short video on MCIF from Per Kroll, chief architect at IBM.

There is also a white paper on MCIF by Per Kroll and Murray Cantor.

Abstract : "In this paper, we describe how to govern the software and system delivery function to ensure favorable ROI by introducing a control framework that enables reasoning about those practices that work and those that don’t. Using this framework permits us to effectively manage risk or innovation and diseconomy of scale, and to understand the effectiveness of difference development models."

The paper also discusses an MCIF measurement solution implemented at IBM Rational using IBM Rational Insight - the 'Executive Dashboard'.

Also watch the presentation by Eric Larsen (Product Manager, Rational Insight) and Per Kroll (Chief Solution Arhitect, MCIF) on Make Better Decisions by Overcoming Information Blind Spots. This presentation talks about where how Rational Insight is an essential part of MCIF.

IBM Rational Software Conference 2009: Process, Project and Portfolio Management Track Keynote. This keynote talks about how Rational Insight and MCIF are part of the whole Rational solutions story

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

IBM Rational Open House

Today a bunch of us at IBM Rational Software lab at Bangalore conducted this 'Rational Open House' event. It was done at 3 places in Bangalore (EGL Pyramid, EGL Rational Lab, ISL Manyata) and 1 place in Gurgaon (ISL Gurgaon). The idea behind the event was to let people in the lab know what we do in Rational, create a buzz about Rational tools and, and also get some customers, after all money is an important thing :).

I was showcasing Rational Insight at EGL Pyramid along with few other folks who were showcasing other Rational products, including the 'rock star' Rational Team Concert. I say rock star because everyone who came wanted to know about it, and fell in love with it after seeing it. The story was the same at EGL Rational Lab and ISL Manyata. RTC was hogging all the limelight, rightly so, as its a great product.

There was quite a bit of interest in Rational Insight. Everyone who came was impressed by what she/he saw. The ability to summarize organization wide information in a dashboard, the ability to drill down to the exact cause of a problem and the ability to design a report in like 15 seconds really impressed people. Also Cognos has been a leader in BI space for a long time, so even though this is Insight's first release the underlying cognos infrastructure helps in gaining user confidence.

A few words about and RTC before I close. is the place where anyone can see what we are doing in the Rational labs, quite a few products are hosted there. Anyone can register and see all the plans and workitems for these products. This is not open source (nothing is free), though some source code is available for download. This is an Open Commercial way of software development. Our development process is open, which means our customers can see what is going on, they can provide feedback/requirements/comments early in the development process. Open development is one of the main reasons why open source projects do well. But IBM did not want Jazz platform and products on top of it to be open source like Eclipse.

According to me Open Commercial should be model for software development everywhere. After all money has to be made and salaries have to be paid, so you cant make everything open source. But you can make everything open, you can let your customers/users see what is going on, and let them interact directly with developers. Otherwise developers are hidden from customers and vice versa with layers of customer support and product managers. A direct interaction between users and developers is good for everyone. Also if you do things in open you try to do things better as everyone is watching :).

Saturday, July 4, 2009

IBM Rational Insight - Getting Started

Rational Insight is an enterprise reporting and performance measurement solution. It implements standard measurements, reports, and dashboards to provide accurate insight into systems and software delivery organization.

Seeing is believing, so here is a short demo of Rational Insight.

IBM Rational Executive Dashboard

Based on Rational Insight, the Executive Dashboard is designed around business and operational objectives. It pulls live data from a variety of sources
  • Rational Team Concert
  • Rational Quality Manager
  • Rational ClearCase
  • Rational Clearquest
  • Rational Test Manager
  • Rational RequisitePro
  • Microsoft Project
Rational Insight supports data retrieval from sources using either the REST architecture or direct database access. Hence it can support any data source that provides REST services for accessing data, or has direct database access. The above list represents the products supported out of the box.

Rational Insight is based on Cognos Business Intelligence and performance management technology. Founded in 1969, Cognos serves more than 23,000 customers in over 135 countries. Learn more about Cognos software

Rational Insight consists of the following components
  • IBM Cognos® Data Manager
  • IBM Rational Insight data warehouse
  • IBM Cognos Framework Manager
  • IBM Rational Insight report server
  • IBM Cognos Business Intelligence Server
  • IBM Rational Insight XML data configuration
  • IBM Rational Insight Data Services
It also works with other Cognos components, for instance with Cognos 8 Go to deliver reports on mobile devices.

Learn more about Rational Insight architecture

Rational Insight is a key part of IBM - Measured Capability Improvement Framework (MCIF). MCIF encapsulates 25 years of experience helping teams incrementally improve their practice maturity to deliver business results. Learn more about MCIF. Here is a short video on MCIF from Per Kroll, chief architect at IBM.