I would like to take a moment to say good-bye to Rational. Although IBM acquired them a while ago, It occurred to me today when I received their latest news letter that I have found nothing of value in them for months now.
I am not saying IBM doesn't make very valuable contributions to the software community, and I expect that to continue. But like Microsoft and Sun the contributions will come within the context of those contributions being tainted and being of valuable to the advancement of IBM. Which isn't bad at all, especially if you use their products. There will be some contributions that are not tainted as there will be some from the other giants in the industry. However, Rational was one of the places I would go for an untainted view of best practices for architecture and development advice. XDE was a great tool and I will miss it a lot.
Developing in .NET is great, and I hope MS pulls through with there promise to deliver industry standard integrated advice to the Software Architects. They openly admit
we were ignored in the initial releases of VSTS 2005. My primary resource for advice will remain SEI and independent authors. I am so glad they are around and are doing what they are doing. Without them I would be lost. You will notice I don't believe in pretending to invent new wheels, I search out proven wheels that work, and use them.
Nothing new has been done in our industry for years, we have just twisted things a little, renamed them a little, restructure them a little, and re-released them. Yeah, more classes have been added to libraries, new ways of distributing the compiled code have come into play, SOA and ESB
have been a silly movement I see as silly as the .com boom days, Software Factories are around the corner, more pattern catalogs are being produced, but they are all built on the genius of our predecessors. Software Engineering is even debated
about being a reality or fantasy, for what reason? Because all these rapid changes to the same core building blocks leave peoples heads spinning wondering what they are doing and with what. You need to dig so deep through all the fluff before hitting solid ground, it's practically impossible to get there.
A philosophical debate about all this stuff is a waste of time. What works today across the industry for the needs of the industries customers is all that matters. It only works, if it has worked repeatedly and can be considered institutionalized. At the rate MS, IBM, Sun, etc. dump stuff out their doors, nothing from them has a chance to get institutionalized. Luckily organizations like SEI are pulling the best out of all these releases and putting together the best practices that have a chance to get institutionalized. That is also what Rational once did.
Again, good-bye Rational… it was nice having you around in the days before you where swallowed into the belly of the great IBM whale…
P.S. May Allaire R.I.P. also….