NetKernel News Volume 2 Issue 24

April 15th 2011

What's new this week?

Catch up on last week's news here

Repository Updates

The following updates are available in the NKEE and NKSE repositories...

  • lang-ncode 1.1.1
    • The new nCoDE visual development language runtime
  • nkse-dev-tools 1.30.1
    • Updated 'New Module Wizard' to add support for creating an nCoDE module.

*New* nCoDE - Visual Composite Development Environment

The lang-ncode package is now released to the repository. This new tool allows you to graphically compose ROC services using palettes of existing NK tools.

I'll be releasing a series of video demos to show how it works but you can get started with exploring it today.

Here's how you do the demo1, stupid XML filter/transform example in nCoDE...

Here's a universal RESTful image resource rotation service...

Getting Started

Here's a step-by-step guide to getting started.

  1. Go to Apposite and accept the update to the nkse-dev-tools. Also select the lang-ncode package for installation.
  2. After the update and install are complete go to the Developer tab and click "New Module Wizard".
  3. The Wizard has been updated and now provides the ability to create a ready-to-use module incorporating an instance of an ncode runtime.
  4. Create a new module and when asked select "Connect to Front-end Fulcrum"
  5. Leave the defaults for docs and unit tests, and select from the drop-down list the "ncode" option, accept the default to leave "ncode dynamic imports" enabled.
  6. The wizard will build you a module and it will have a rootspace with a single nCoDE enpoint in it.
  7. You can try the link to test the public REST interface to the default hello world it creates for you (recommend you do this as you'll be coming back here to look at your results later).
  8. Now we need to find the GUI for the nCoDE runtime to start playing with stuff. Go to the "Explorer" tab. It now features a new "Show nCoDE Instances", click this. And there is your newly created endpoint.
  9. Click the endpoint to view it in the explorer.
  10. The nCoDE UI is a resource-oriented plugin to the space explorer. You should see the GUI and the first "Hello World" assembly ready to play with.
  11. Try double clicking the literal string containing "Hello World" and change the message. Go and look at the REST request path again. You're now ready to start playing...

What you need to know to get going fast

nCodE supports discovery of palettes of tools. These are just regular NetKernel accessors, but now they are available to be graphically composed in the nCoDE UI. To see which tools you have available in your system just click the cog shaped icon at the top of the UI. You'll see a selection box of spaces that are exporting their endpoints as a palette. Check all those that you want to play with.

Once you click "OK" on the settings dialogue, watch the tool automatically set up the dynamic imports in your rootspace and see the palettes pop into life on the left-hand palette menu.

Drag and drop your selected tools onto the composition area and start to connect them up.

If you don't know what an endpoint does - just double click its icon in the palette menu to see its documentation in context.

When you've got a process composed click save (the disk icon on the left hand side) - then go and try the REST path again.

Notice that at the bottom of the tool is a tab bar. You can add new endpoint to your space by clicking the plus sign. Each tab is a "logical endpoint", if you double click the tab you can edit the name, id, grammar and verbs of the endpoint (just like you would if you were creating an endpoint in the module by hand).


The grammar you create for your nCoDEified endpoint may have any number of arguments - its just a grammar like you've used before anywhere. If the grammar does have arguments then these are shown as inputs you can drag onto the composition. They'll appear in the "Input/Output" section of the palette view.

Any tool you drop onto the canvas will expose its arguments as connectors. On the left is the input side, on the right is the resource that results.

All inputs are named arguments to the endpoint. If you see an asterisk next to the name you can double click the connector to rename the argument.

Play Time

So here's the rules of the game. The idea is to make the red response connect up. You can use any tools, together with any arguments coming from your grammar.

So, until I get the videos made, I'll let you explore, have fun!

Note: When you've got it installed, click the "i" icon to see the detailed nCoDE documentation

NetKernel West 2011 - Conference Report

The conference can officially be declared a great success. It was fantastic meeting you all face-to-face and having the opportunity to discuss ROC and NetKernel with such a great crowd.

The content will find its way into the newsletters in due course. But for now thanks to everyone who came and also for your enthusiastic and vocal public support for NK and ROC - it was very flattering and we Brits don't take praise easily!

Lets do this all again sometime - it was fun.

PS Apologies for this brief newsletter this week, I really wanted to get a video made of the nCoDE demo, but I'm still at the conference hotel (which was very cool) and all I can hear is hoovering and door slamming, which would not enhance the audio experience. Plus, frankly, I'm knackered. But watch this space...

PPS Here's a pair of ROCit-Scientists spotted in a micro-brewery. (Notice Chris Cormack in his lime-green NK t-shirt very post-modern!).

Have a great weekend,


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