Monday, August 11, 2008

Building Castles in the Air

Some very smart people have been telling me 'everything is moving toward the cloud', to which I partially agree. However, I'm consistently amazed how readily the piece of iron (figuratively) on your desktop is discounted. And it's not necessarily a case of one being better than the other-- I feel its a philosophical argument-- but rather how they complement each other.

At the bare mininum, to access the cloud, you will need... something on your desk or in your lap. Furthermore, you will need an access point to the cloud, whether a cable coming out of a wall, a wireless router or wimax. The cloud will never replace these essential pieces.

What the cloud represents to me is an advancement in data mobility. How much or little you dress it up in Flash or HTML is really beside the point. It's all about the availability of data and how best to route it to anyone that needs it.

So it caught my eye when Dan Farber wrote about 'The Cloud of Unrealibiliy'. He wasn't writing about how the UI had bugs, or that he had to download too many pieces-- it was that occassionally he couldn't get at his data.

Sure systems will become more reliable over the years, but the question will remain the same-- how best to transfer your data. It may not even be reliability that is the issue in 2015, but whether your data can get from point A to point B. The railroads of the 1800s come to mind. As we move towards corporations having a greater hand in the delivery and storage of data, I wonder if the cloud will really become a series of weather systems.

In which case your data will benefit from having alternate modes of travel-- sort of a revamped Planes, Trains and Automobiles for bits.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

IntelliGantt Goes Global

We did the 'picture is a thousand words' preview. Here's something with a bit more weight to it.

One thing we've noticed about distributing products via the internet is that ... wait for it ... the internet is world wide! While our US, UK, Australian customers have been pleased, the rest of the world has been letting us know that foreign language support is a really good thing.

We got the message (click to view screencast):

Executive Summary: It shows an IntelliGantt menu changing display names, changing to German and Japanese.

Our approach is rather than translate a product to the top 50 languages and then ship it, we provided built-in tools to make it easy to a) change strings and (more importantly) b) have an idea of exactly what you are changing.

The screencast gives you an idea of this by selecting Menu settings. Future screencasts will show this idea better by clicking on any IntelliGantt form and configuring it with the built-in tool.

What we didn't show in this screencast-- because we didn't want to get too techie-- was where these configurations are stored and how one might go about redistributing a language pack.

The idea is IntelliGantt will look for a named list of xml files, read them in and use the defined strings. You can see these files created by running the application once, then lookin the in AppData/Local/TeamDirection/IntelliGantt/Configuration directory on Vista (did I mention this version will have full Vista support? :).

If someone would like to provide a language specific configuration, they can use the built in tools to generate these XML files, zip them together and create a simple installer for distribution. All the installer will need to do is copy these XML files to the AppData/Local/TeamDirection/IntelliGantt/Configuration directory.

We will be happy to provide a 'Language Pack' html page that refers our customers to local partners that have a language pack or two.

If you have any questions please contact partners [@] teamdirection [.] com.

Vielen Danke and ありがとうございました