The monkey and the grasshopper

I have been reading about the Monkey for some time now. Though its been more than an year, I had never actually dwelt deep into it . Just a few days ago I happened to chance upon Mainsoft and thats when my interest in the Monkey resurfaced. The reason for this revival of interest and this seriousness in effort is the other character of this story the GrassHopper. 
Grasshopper is a mainsoft product and quite an interesting one too. Grasshopper can help compile .NET code written in visual studio to run with java enabled systems!
Grasshopper is available as a free download from the Mainsoft website. It comes nicely packaged in an MSI and installing it is just clicking next, next and finish. The installer also adds Tomcat on the machine to help make sure that the web apps too really run on Java.
Grasshopper adds new project types to Visual Studio. Before using the project types we will need to activate Grasshopper. Once activated, using Grasshopper to create the first java application is simple. Just select one of the project types for Java EE and creating applications for the Java platform is just like creating any other .NET application.
Ok! the Grasshopper is great but where did the Monkey  come from? The Mono Project (spanish: mono = monkey) is an open source project. The Mono project which has Novel’s support right now aims at creating a ECMA standard compliant CLI that will help run .NET on different platforms like Linux, Mac, Solaris & windows. Though it is not as feature rich as the Microsoft implementation, it gives a lot of power in the hands of developers.


Nuked!  That has been the status message on my IMs for some time now. Call it fate or call it luck, we at Acuvate came across a portal framework called Dotnetnuke (DNN) and my status changed to Nuked!.


Written in VB.NET, DNN is an open source CMS licensed under a standard BSD open source license agreement. Though it has been around for some time, it only seems to have been catching up on the innumerable other open source CMS mostly written in Java and PHP in the recent times. Other than the fact that it is the all so familiar .NET, what lead us to trying it out, using it and even recommending it to our customers is the active user community. It is one of the top 10 projects in terms of traffic on Sourceforge now!


There are also dozens of modules that are available which can be used to build a solution with the least of coding! The regular features like User login, management, simple surveys, forums are all out of the box. It even comes packed with Localization and supports multiple sites on a single installation. Add to that the hundreds of commercially and community created modules and you have almost everything you need without a single line of code. If you really have such a unique requirement that warrants custom development DNN has something for you too. DNN has a good architecture and allows you to build and add new modules as needed. What makes it more interesting is the power of .NET I’m not restricted to VB.NET for my needs.


For me DNN is a nice tool that I can use to quickly create a website that is actually useable and also extend it as I need. I’m indeed Nuked!

The One Web !

In recent times there has been a lot of consolidation in the web world. A lot of work has been and is being done on collaboration and interoperability. Connected applications and social computing are the buzz words. The new Web or Web 2.0 as its being called is truly moving toward becomming one gigantic single Web.
MySpace and Facebook have done a lot in connecting people, Facebook API took it a step forward and it didn’t stop at that. The facebook tool kit for .NET developers added one more strand to the web and with OpenSocial the unification will be profound. A lot of new and innovative things are bringing the Web together.
Here is a small list I have come accross in recent times that have, or will change the face of the Web.
  • AJAX
    This beautiful cocktail of technologies has made user experience rich and a lot better.
  • Facebook API & .NET toolkit
    This has opened a whole new dimension to the facebook app development just because its so easy to use! With the vast developer base that .NET has and the new capabilities comming in, this will transform the already popular facebook experience.
  • Windows Live
    Its from Microsoft! Need I say more on how popular its going to be?  Its also brought in a lot of live gadgets and people on the spaces.
  • Google API
    From docs and spreadsheets to search and maps, google has it all.
  • Google gadgets
    Clocks are my favourite but there is a lot more to google gadgets
  • The OpenSocial API
    With MySpace & orkut on the band, this is gonna create waves.
  • Microsoft Popfly
    Mashups and much more to give a unique experience.
  • Mono
    Helped the cause of developers by bridging the Operating system divide.
  • Grasshopper
    The bug has made Java and Microsoft technologies more interoperable.
  • IIS 7.0
    With its support for PHP applications IIS 7.0 will go a long way in unifying the Web.

Brand New Day.. Brand New Year..

"Brand New Day  Brand New Year ..
Things do come and go from here.
There is hope and so is fear..
and lots of things that we hold dear.
Dreams are far yet so near..
and Life goes on without a tear."
Believe me the lines may not be great but the effort I put in to write that was real. It is really hard to concentrate on writing when every thing around is in a party mood.
The nice loud music, the bright fire works, the half moon in the bright night sky, people screaming and dancing wild. An year has come to an end and a new one has begun. People are partying hard, celebratiing in a million different ways, each wishing the others A happy new year.
What is this celebration for ? Why this hysteria? Is this because something bad has ended? Definetely not! We had the same frenzy last year too.
Is it because something good is gonna happen? Can’t say that either. Its just another day, another brand new day. A brand new day filled with the eternal hope that something better is in store, the hope that our dreams will come true, the hope to find happiness. Hey wait! lets move back a little .. yes right there – the hope to find happiness – thats it! Thats exactly what the people are doing! finding happiness!! Happiness in singing, dancing and being with their loved ones, happiness in the bright lights and the music, happiness in the world around them! 
But alas what is it that I see? The search for happiness in the loud bursts of crackers, the search for happiness in the large pegs of drink and the subsequent racing through the roads. The search for happiness in the wild screaming and the drunken brawls. Is this really the happiness we are searching for?
Is it really worth the trouble for just another reason, just another day?  Question are many and the reasons just as many.
End of it all there is a  Brand New Day,  Brand New Year  and like the Linkin Park song goes "and in the end, it doesn’t even matter!!"
Happy New Year !!