Credits : Forbes

Credits : Forbes


Albert Einstein said “If you cannot explain it simply, you didn’t get it yourself.” This quote on simplicity can be applied to everyday life regardless of what work you do, from CFO to content director to software developer.

At my company, we rely on simplicity for all tasks — the simpler you can make things, the easier your workflow. But the most vital task for simplicity is during storyboarding for software design. You can also think of storyboarding as storytelling, and of course, the process of storyboarding for most developers is through whiteboarding. Most rely on the classic whiteboard, but there is also great software out there just for storyboarding software development.

The storyboarding process was derived by Walt Disney Productions in the 1930s to pre-visualize animated films. Seven decades later, it has many uses, including all forms of development across many businesses.

Storyboarding is used throughout many principles of software development, including a few processes my team relies on daily (the Agile process and User Experience Design).

During the Agile process, the concept of user stories exist, which help define the basic requirements of a functioning platform. To create the best software experience, the team storyboards the most basic user functionality. In user experience design, storytelling is more elaborate and more human-like, providing a rich context of events from basic functionality through all steps and possible side steps along the way.

In short, storyboarding provides a step-by-step process of development that helps simplify workflow. The following are four tactics of why and how storyboarding hastens the software development process.

Externalize Mental Notes

Most learning comes through visualization. Although some developers may have the concept in their minds, they will be able to further elaborate on it once it’s storyboarded, which brings the visual concept to the surface

Storyboarding externalizes all mental notes, allowing the development stages to not only be visual for the developer completing the storyboarding, but also for anyone on his or her team. This streamlines all processes and provides quicker resolution to the proverbial moving parts as developers think of new ideas and reject other thoughts.

A few of our developers admit that they can’t fully understand a development project until their mental notes are externalized, and the quickest route towards this externalization is through storyboarding.

Storyboarding Forces Developer Collaboration

By nature, storyboarding forces collaboration and speeds up the agreement process. This type of collaboration forces developers to agree on every foundation of the process before moving ahead.

Storyboarding also creates quick reference points that may need revisiting during the iterative phases of the development process, especially when refining the product before completion. Our developers keep many photo files of whiteboard storyboarding sessions, allowing them to visually revisit a previous edition of the development.

Keeps Real-World Context In The Forefront

Storyboarding forces developers to look at the product from a real-world context — not just as another coding project. This brings the human factor into the intent of the software, helping to strengthen not only the intended outcome of the product but also the overall functionality.

The use of storyboarding also prompts unexpected findings, such as the overall flow of the product’s intent. When working with one of our energy clients, we discovered through storyboarding a few unexpected paths for user intentions that smoothened the eventual client experience. Using storyboarding keeps the human experience always in the forefront.

Also, when deep in the developing stages, the overall development flow sometimes gets distorted by technical needs such as coding issues. When this occurs, the main focus of the end need — ultimately how the user will respond — can get lost.

Allows Further Customer Research

The closer you are to a customer, the easier it is to develop truly engaging software that provides solutions. During storyboarding, questions will naturally surface that ask things that are specific to customers, like what direction a user will take when reaching “X” on the software’s intended purpose. This will keep you in constant contact with the customer, creating stronger relationships while easing development.

Encourage storyboarding as a standard practice for your software development teams. It will provide the benefits of the four tactics above, which all result in one huge thing: simplification of processes that naturally hastens workflow. The simpler the mindset, the simpler your flow of work, which results in quicker progress. Storyboarding is an essential element to true progress of any type of software development.

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Credits : Ndtv

Credits : Ndtv


Hyderabad: ORBCOMM Inc., a global provider of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, has moved its India operations to a new technology centre of excellence for software application development and Tier One customer care in Hyderabad.

Telangana’s Information Technology Secretary Jayesh Ranjan and ORBCOMM’s Executive Vice President of Product Development Craig Malone inaugurated the new office on Wednesday.

It is the company’s largest software development site and houses web and mobile application developers and customer service representatives, who are part of the company’s global team of technical experts focused on the delivery of its IoT products, services and solutions, the company said in a statement.

In addition to supporting ORBCOMM’s continued technological innovation, the office will supplement the company’s North America-based customer care team, which provides 24×7 customer service throughout the full solution delivery lifecycle for over 1.72 million end-user IoT devices on its global satellite and cellular networks.

“We opened our new state-of-the-art facility in Hyderabad, India to accommodate the continued growth and expansion of ORBCOMM’s business in the global industrial IoT market,” said Craig Malone.

“This office will serve as ORBCOMM’s centre of excellence for software development and customer care to support our broad portfolio of IoT solutions and deliver the highest level of service to our global customers. We also look forward to collaborating with local technology partners and integrators to deliver ORBCOMM’s advanced technology solutions to government and commercial customers throughout India,” he added.

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Credits : Washingtontechnology

Credits : Washingtontechnology


A subsidiary of Vencore has joined Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program to develop software that can help DARPA perform collective tasking functions for computing platforms.

Vencore Labs has received a four-year, $10.3 million contract to build software for DARPA to implement in algorithms and protocol stacks as part of the agency’s Dispersed Computing program.

DARPA announced a four-year, $9.8 million contract to Raytheon’s BBN Technologies subsidiary last week for that business’ participation in the program.

The agency’s goals for Dispersed Computing include the movement of code and data between users and management of heterogeneous computing platforms. Those platforms should also operate in environments with variable and degraded network connections, according to DARPA.

DARPA received 42 offers for the program via an open broad agency announcement.

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Credits : Gsmarena

Credits : Gsmarena


At Facebook’s annual developer conference in San Jose, Instagram announces the Android app will be getting offline capabilities that will allow you to continue scrolling and browsing, even when you find yourself outside of a serviceable area. Instagram’s Stories got some attention late last week as the app’s user count has officially surpassed that of Snapchat’s. The irony is real here.

Anyway, as Instagram’s amount of monthly active users rises, it has also decided to go the same route as the official Facebook app and offer a proper offline mode. When using Instagram offline, you’ll be able to see content previously downloaded in your feed, you can leave comments, like and save posts, even unfollow other users; all this according to Instagram engineer, Hendri.

Once your device connects back to the server, everything you did will be executed in the background. Profiles you’ve previously visited will also be visible offline, as well as cached versions of your Explore tab and profile page.

There was no mention of Instagram’s Stories working offline, but we’d imagine that Instagram implements this soon as its ‘Stories’ inspiration (A.K.A. Snapchat) already supports this.

A development like this could help Instagram users in developing countries where a stable internet connection is harder to come by. Maybe Instagram should come out with a ‘Lite’ version of the app, though given that Instagram is such a data-hungry social app, it may not happen.

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Credit: Martina Roell

Credit: Martina Roell


Java 9 has moved to the second phase of its ramp-down process, with an Oracle official advising deferment of some bugs as the upgrade heads toward its July 27 release date.

In a recent bulletin, Oracle’s Mark Reinhold, chief architect of the Java platform group, advised deferring new P1 (Priority) and P2 bugs that are either not critical or cannot be fixed in the release, which will be offered as Java Development Kit 9. P1 is the designation for the highest-priority bugs.

“The overall goal of this process is to ensure that we fix just the bugs that must be fixed in order to ensure a successful release and that we understand why we’re not going to fix some bugs that perhaps ought to be fixed,” Reinhold said.

P3-P5 bugs whose fixes would impact product code are to be left to future releases, but P3-P5 bugs whose fixes only affect documentation or demos can be fixed until the first general availability candidate build on June 22. A list of Rampdown Phase 2 bugs has been posted on the JDK Bug System site. Developers responsible for bugs on this list can fix them and request approval to integrate the fix. If a bug isn’t new in JDK 9, it can be removed from the list; if it’s new but not critical or can’t be fixed in time, developers can request a deferment.

Reinhold said the overall feature set for JDK, which emphasizes modularity and host of other features, is frozen at this time. “Low-risk enhancements that add small bits of missing functionality or improve usability may be approved, especially when justified by developer feedback, but the bar is now extremely high.” API changes or other specification changes made by a Java Specification Request Expert Group are critical by definition and will be approved, Reinhold said.

This story, “Oracle sets priorities for Java 9 bug fixes” was originally published byInfoWorld.

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Credits : Prnewswire

Credits : Prnewswire


ATLANTA, April 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Golden Code Development Corporation today announced it has released its FWD technology as open source software. FWD is an alternative to Progress OpenEdge, featuring a range of unique enhancements that add new capabilities to ABL applications. Powerful code analytics, automated transformation tooling and a Java-based runtime enable organizations to modernize their applications and deploy them in the web in a fraction of the time of existing approaches.

Developers can continue programming in the ABL indefinitely, and simply deploy using the FWD runtime environment. Alternatively, some or all development can be done in Java. Organizations can choose the exact mixture of ABL and Java development as needed, changing this blend over time as requirements change. Regardless of the development model chosen, FWD runs on the Java platform and integration with a wide variety of Java-based technologies is easy.

Some challenges for ABL applications can only be solved with innovation at the language and runtime level. The FWD project’s open source approach makes it possible for developers to help define the direction of the infrastructure on which their applications depend. Golden Code Development CEO Greg Shah stated, “FWD provides an opportunity for rapid innovation while maintaining legacy compatibility to preserve customers’ investment in their applications. We look forward to working with the community to make FWD the best possible foundation for ABL applications”.

About Golden Code Development Corporation
A technology consulting firm, Golden Code Development applies its technical talent and engineering creativity to solve its clients’ most complex problems. For more than two decades, the firm has provided engineering services to some of the world’s most respected and recognized companies, including Bank of America, IBM, Intel, Comcast, SunTrust, and Scientific Atlanta.

Golden Code Development’s creation and successful deployment of FWD makes it the first and only organization ever to deliver a fully automated conversion and strictly compatible runtime environment as a drop-in replacement for OpenEdge. As the world’s leading authority on the automated conversion, refactoring, and modernization of Progress applications, Golden Code provides a full range of service and support offerings to back the FWD technology.

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Credits: C_osett

Credits: C_osett


Android’s mobile application build system will natively support Java 8 features going forward, with Google deprecating the Jack toolchain.

Jack has served as a toolchain to compile Java source code into Android dex byte code, with Java providing the basis of Android development. But now, Google wants to support Java 8 features directly in the current javax and dx set of tools.

Existing tools and plugins dependent on the Java class file format still should work, said Google Product Manager James Lau. Google plans to launch the native support as part of its Android Studio IDE in coming weeks.

Google had tested Java 8 support through Jack. “Over time, we realized the cost of switching to Jack was too high for our community when we considered the annotation processors, byte code analyzers, and rewriters impacted,” said Lau. Developers can keep using Jack to build Java 8 code until the new support is available, and Lau predicted that the migration would mean little to no work.

Java 8, which fitted the language with lambda capabilities, debuted in March 2014. Android has supported lambdas and other Java 8 capabilities, including type annotations, method references, and default and static interface methods. The mobile platform also has supported Java 7 language features. Next up is Java 9, due in late July and featuring modularity and a host of other features. In his bulletin, Lau made no mention of the upcoming Java upgrade.

The Android build system compiles application resources and source code for packaging into Android Application Packages for testing and distribution. Android Studio uses the Gradle build toolkit to automate the build process.

Credits : fxxu

Credits : fxxu


Oracle is moving forward with its Java-on-Java intentions, in which Java would be implemented on itself via the experimental Project Metropolis.

With Metropolis, the company proceeds on building a JIT (just-in-time) compiler written in Java, said Georges Saab, Oracle vice president of development for the Java platform. The project was described in a recent presentation as an experimental clone of JDK (Java Development Kit) 10, hosting work on ahead-of-time compilation and the Graal compiler. Metropolis also would provide for translation of discrete HotSpot modules in System Java.

A presentation description says that Metropolis was “contemplating ‘Java on Java,’ the promise of a reboot of JVM technology using a modern code generator, Graal, which can be easily ported to new platforms and adapted to new workloads.”

Java-on-Java would implement the Java runtime with less C++/asm, cutting down on situations in which developers would have to code in both Java and C++. “This kind of experimentation [with Metropolis] is not new, but more and more of it is happening in collaborative projects in the OpenJDK community,” Saab said. There is no predetermined timeline to complete Metropolis, he said. “It’s not starting with some committed JDK version or date. Rather, the purpose is to learn more about what could be done in future versions.”

Project Panama, an effort to bridge native libraries to Java, would provide interoperability in Java-on-Java, while Project Valhalla would spruce up Java with multiple capabilities, such as value types, and provide flat data types for Java-on-Java. “Project Valhalla will naturalize flat, pointer-free data types to the JVM heap, giving JVM programmers the ability to define new classes with the flexibility of Java objects or C++ templates, and the efficiency of C or assembly code,” the presentation description reads.

Oracle’s conference presentation also referred to Project Amber, a recently unveiled effort to provide an incubator for productivity-oriented Java enhancement proposals, including local variable-type inference, enhanced enums, and lambda leftovers. It also promoted the notion of platform interoperability, including making native code and data more like Java code and data, but interoperability depends partly on value types and low-level bridges to non-Java APIs and data layouts.

The presentation discussed long-range plans for the JVM integrating with and running most modern languages. Goals for the JVM include having a uniform model to make objects, arrays, values, and types feel similar, being memory-efficient, having tune-able data layouts, and being naturally local and pointer-thrifty.

Oracle also wants the JVM to be performant, getting the most out of major CPUs and systems. In addition, the presentation cited “post-threaded,” as a goal, offering granular concurrency and confined/immutable data, along with having shared code mechanically customized to each hot path.

Credits : Infoworld

Credits : Infoworld

Hack, Facebook’s PHP dialect, is gaining popularity, but don’t expect it to rival PHP anytime soon.

In this month’s Tiobe index of language popularity, Hack cracked the top 50 for the first time, coming in 47th place albeit with a rating of 0.325 percent. Still, showing up on the index means that developers are starting to take notice.

Hack is more scalable, faster, and safer than PHP, a report accompanying the index emphasizes. “The Hack programming language contains modern programming paradigms such as generics, nullable types and collections,” Tiobe said. “The big question is of course: can Hack replace PHP in the future? Deployability is still quite hard (e.g. because it is not available on hosted web servers by default), otherwise it could certainly become PHP’s successor.”

ActionScript and Clojure also entered the top 50 this month, ranked 44th and 49th, respectively with ratings of 0.342 percent and 0.262 percent.

While languages like Java, C, and C++ take the top spots in the monthly index with regularity, other languages, such as D, Dart, Scala, and Rust surface in the index’s second tier, which ranks languages from 21st to 50th. The D systems programming language, which ranked 22nd this month with a rating of 1.413 percent, may see its fortunes rising soon, with the language’s compiler having recently gone open source. “Open-sourcing language implementations is always a good thing to become more popular,” said Paul Jansen, managing director at Tiobe. “The main reason is that the community has more confidence in the future of such a language because if the initial developers step out, somebody else can take over.”

Dart, coming in behind D in 23rd place with a 1.357 percent rating, is not expected to again break into the top 20, where it had been previously, but it should stay in the top 30. While Dart was once positioned as a potential rival to JavaScript, Google late last year began repositioning the language for mobile development.

Scala, ranked 31st with a 0.727 percent rating this month, has a realistic chance of breaking the top 20, said Jansen, though the object-oriented functional language, initially built for the JVM, has been mired in the top 20-to-40 space for many years. Meanwhile, the Mozilla-sponsored Rust systems language continued its steady gains and was ranked 41st this month with a rating 0.375 percent.

In the index’s first tier this month, Java again finished first with a 15.568 percent, which was down 5.28 percentage points from a year ago, and the language now vies with a multitude of other languages for the hearts and minds of developers. C was second at a 6.966 percent rating, and C++ finished third, rated at 4.544 percent, though both have seen their shares head downward. Finishing from fourth to 10th were: C# (3.579 percent), Python (3.457), PHP (3.376), Visual Basic .Net (3.251), JavaScript (2.851), Delphi/Object Pascal (2.816), and Perl (2.413). The index gauges popularity based on a formula examining searches on languages in popular search engines, assessing the number of skilled engineers, third-party vendors, and courses pertinent to a language.


Credits : sfchronicle

Credits : sfchronicle


After a 2011 civil grand jury report excoriated Oakland’s building services division, concluding that some inspectors were keeping property records in their desk drawers rather than a central database, the city purchased a multimillion-dollar software system to bring the department into the 21st century.

But next door, in the Fire Prevention Bureau, which is tasked with annually inspecting all commercial buildings and certain residential properties, the staff was stuck with an older database that its users describe as a clumsy, incomplete repository of city properties.

“It’s been cumbersome from the get-go,” said acting Fire Chief Mark Hoffmann, adding that city officials have not paid for system upgrades over the years. “It’s not particularly user-friendly for people who enter data. You can’t seamlessly go window to window.”

The system’s deficiencies may have contributed to lapses in inspections of dangerous buildings. Three years after its report castigating the building department, the Alameda County grand jury came back with another censure, this time of the Fire Department, finding that it was not inspecting more than a third of all buildings required to be reviewed annually under California law.

The warning from the civilian panel foreshadowed revelations about the Ghost Ship warehouse after a fire there killed 36 people in December. Despite a fire station being just a block away, the building wasn’t in the Fire Department’s database and no one had ever stepped foot on the premises for a formal inspection. Had inspectors done so, they would have found tangles of electrical wires, blocked exit pathways, a lack of smoke detectors and other safety hazards.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf wants to create an information technology tool that would combine various city systems into an algorithm that could predict which buildings may be at risk for fire hazards or catastrophes. Her plan, announced in an executive order shortly after the Ghost Ship fire, was made more urgent when another blaze ripped through a West Oakland halfway house two weeks ago, killing four people and displacing more than 80.

But there’s no timeline for when that plan will be put into action. A report on the plan provided to the City Council in February doesn’t specify when the project would be completed or how much it would cost.

“Ideally you’d have a big map and all the databases talking to each other,” said Claudia Cappio, an assistant city administrator. Those databases in Oakland include the Planning and Building Department’s software called Accela; the Fire Department’s system; a Public Works app that allows residents to report hazards; dispatch calls for police and medical services; and the program used by the city’s finance arm to collect business taxes.

Until a solution is put into place, the Fire Department and its Fire Prevention Bureau are relying on the existing OneStep database system, purchased in 2009, that Cappio called “incomplete and inconsistent” and “problematic for engine companies.”

The city is exploring the idea of getting the Fire Department a module to use within the Planning and Building Department’s Accela software, which cost Oakland $5 million, with an $800,000 annual license. Adding the fire capabilities to the system would cost upward of half a million dollars, said city spokeswoman Karen Boyd.

In the meantime, Cappio said, “The Fire Department can go to the Planning and Building Department and gain access to their computers. … The offices are right next door to each other.”

Hoffmann said that doesn’t happen, and as far as he knows, the fire marshal and inspectors use only OneStep.

Records reveal a disjointed picture of the Oakland Fire Department’s database.

In the city’s response to the 2014 grand jury investigation, Oakland officials said that because of the way properties were initially entered into the system — by commercial business licenses — there were often duplicate records of properties or no records at all.

For instance, multiple licenses could be tied to one business, like a hair salon with several stylists, or many small suites could be located within a larger building — but the OneStep system would tell inspectors to go review them all, the city said. Other times, they were instructed to inspect a building that turned out to be a post office box. A converted warehouse like the Ghost Ship wouldn’t have been in the system either, because there was no business license associated with it.

“Some of these places are out of business or they’re in business but they don’t want to pay the license fee,” Hoffmann said.

Firefighters have described occasions when they’ve gone on a medical call, seen a hazardous situation in a property, but couldn’t find the building in the database back at the station house.

At one point in 2014, the problems with OneStep became so extreme that a fire lieutenant was removed from regular duties and put in a full-time assignment that involved reconfiguring the program and washing the database of duplicate addresses, according to the city’s response to the grand jury investigation.

A OneStep representative, who declined to give his name, said that “all we do is just host the data they choose to collect” and that Oakland’s problems are probably caused by how properties were inputted — by business license.

“We work with dozens of fire departments,” he said. “They don’t regret buying our software because it works for them.”

Hoffmann said some of the issues with OneStep can be traced back to training. In September 2015, a firefighter who went on a call to the San Pablo Avenue halfway house wanted to refer the hazardous conditions there to the Fire Prevention Bureau. He did so by checking a referral box in the OneStep system, according to emails released by the city. In fact, Hoffmann said, referrals cannot be made within the database, and the box is supposed to indicate that a referral was made by phone or some other means — not prompt a referral to be sent.