NetKernel News Volume 2 Issue 24

April 22nd 2011

What's new this week?

Catch up on last week's news here

Repository Updates

There are no updates this week. Steady as you go.

nCoDE - Video Demonstrations

As I promised I've captured a series of videos showing the new nCoDE development environment and runtime. They're recorded at 1280x720 HD - so I recommend you expand these embedded links to fullscreen.

In case you missed it, last week's news explains how to get started with nCoDE.

Demo 1 - Walk through of the basic "Demo1" using nCoDE

Youtube Permalink

In this video, I replicate the basic "Demo1" in which we show basic resource requests and build to full ROC functional programming using composite resource identifiers...

Demo 2 - A tour of the nCoDE tool

Youtube Permalink

In this video I provide a tour of the features of the nCoDE environment. Including a discussion of how nCoDE leverages the dynamic nature of the ROC address space to seamlessly enable hot configuration of palettes and tools...

Demo 3 - Adding your own Palettes to nCoDE

Youtube Permalink

In this video I show how, in one very simple step, you can provide the etc/system/CDEPalette.xml resource in your own modules to get your tools exposed as palette entries in nCoDE. In the second half, I discuss how nCoDE combined with ROC are able to push the locus of opportunity for information engineering (software) right up to the business executive level...


We are eager to get your feedback so that we can continue to fill out features. Obvious things such as import/export of assemblies, cut and paste etc etc are all on the horizon. Also coming soon is a complete internal rewrite of the DPML runtime on which the actual nCoDE gets compiled and executed. For one reason or another DPML has always been one of the first technologies to be written on each generation of NK and the current runtime, on NK4, would benefit from being re-implemented to exploit the over 4 years of experience since it was written.

Conversation with Tom Geudens

Almost as soon as I posted this I got an email from Tom Geudens. I thought it would be useful to share this since hopefully it explains what we're up to with nCoDE...

Thank you for the videos on the nCode toolkit. Those are really going to help. I am however missing one - for me - important link.

When I build a module 'by hand', I start with a small template, make some rootspaces ... blah blah blah ... make sure a basic (I call it 'index') endpoint is working, documentation is there, unittests ready to go ...

Yes, I do know the "New Module Wizard" can do all of the above for me, but I want to understand why it does what it does, so I still do it by hand quite often.

Then I add functionality.

The documentation you've provided focuses on the 'adding functionality' on a module that is preset for nCode 'inserts'. It also focuses on the 'exposing functionality' (palettes). But there's little on the presetting part. Yes, I do know the "New Module Wizard" does it ... and if all it did was provide an import (like a layer1 import or something), you'd not hear me pipe up.

It does more than that however. Stuff that makes me "scared" to touch the module.xml afterwards. And maybe that's the point of the whole nCode thing (the "no touching" idea that is), but I'd be surprised if it was.

So, any documentation in the pipeline on that ?

To which I replied...

Thanks Tom - this is good feedback - its not missing by design, just because we had rather a lot to get done and concentrated on the priority pieces. We'll certainly cover the nitty gritty you want. As I'm sure you guess - there's no magic, its all just basic ROC patterns.

Watch this space!

In the mean time I'd like to know if this tool helps you explain things to people - that's the real key we're hoping for - since its all well and good knowing and learning ROC - but we don't have the luxury of reverse engineering everyone's brain to get them to understand. So we're hoping this tool will give guys like you a very succinct and powerful way of showing the power on offer from the ROC domain.

We certainly don't expect nCoDE to the be primary development environment (yet, if ever?). But its part of the journey of separating architecture from code. You are an architect and you want to know about the whole world. We see nCoDE as the tool you give to the "handle turner" operatives - who's job is to complete a specification by piecing together the lego.

Look around for candidate operatives - offshore developers in India, local management and ultimately C-level executives (the chief handle turners). All could be given suitably constrained palettes and be given the ability to solve their own problems. You, as an architect, can concentrate on the tooling, the integrity, the constraints, the operations etc etc. The dynamic business information engineering can be separated from the operational mechanics.

A dangerous vision no doubt - but this is what businesses ultimately need if they are to minimise their time to change and to increase the quality by shortening the distance from "information intent" (the desire of the business knowledge owner) to the "information execution" (the actual IT state).

Have a great holiday weekend,


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