April 26, 2006 10:09 AM PDT

IBM eyes programming for the masses

IBM is working on a project, called QEDwiki, that takes a stab at a long-held industry promise: end-user programming.

Rod Smith, IBM's vice president of emerging technology, plans to talk about QEDwiki and Big Blue's growing fondness for scripting languages, a relatively lightweight approach to writing applications, at a PHP Web development conference on Wednesday.

The idea behind QEDwiki, which stands for quick and easily done wiki, is that businesspeople can create their own Web pages by dragging and dropping components onto a pallet, Smith said.

For example, a businessperson could build a "dashboard" to see how weather is affecting sales at retail outlets. By aggregating information from public Web sites, such as mapping and weather services, he or she could assemble a very useful, if simple, content-driven application, Smith said.

"These ideas of enterprise mashups are getting a lot of attention from IT shops," Smith said. "All of a sudden, we're seeing a new generation of applications come out."

Several Web technologies, such as RSS (Really Simple Syndication), XML (Extensible Markup Language), and collaborative Web sites called wikis, are increasingly being used in a business setting.

IBM, long a proponent of industrial-strength languages like Java and COBOL, is trying to capitalize on these technologies with software and services for relatively short-lived, rapidly built applications, Smith said.

QEDwiki is targeted at people who want to make Web applications without the aid of professional programmers. It uses Ajax scripting and a wiki on a server to collect and share information, such as RSS and Atom feeds.

To do more advanced work and customizations, people can use the PHP language with the QEDwiki, Smith said.

The idea of application assembly, in which businesspeople, rather than programmers, build their own applications, has been around for some time, but that vision has never been fully realized, IBM said.

The company is currently testing QEDwiki with its corporate customers to determine how affordable and valuable these "five-minute applications" and assembly tools are, Smith said.

"It's hard for me to say 'end-user programming' without cracking a smile. It's been overhyped and overpromised," he said.

Smith said that IBM will likely release the QEDwiki software on its emerging technology Alphaworks Web site sometime this year.

See more CNET content tagged:
Wiki, IBM Corp., RSS, PHP, XML

8 comments

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It's True
This is funny. There's a reason Rod Smith is the VP of emerging
technology. He knows that "End-User Programming" will never
really exist. Programmers will always begin where end-users, well,
end. The more advanced an end-user language becomes, the more
neccessary full-blown programmers are. The more skilled the
end-user himself becomes, the more he's acutally a programmer
and less an end-user.
Posted by keparo (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
It's True
This is funny. There's a reason Rod Smith is the VP of emerging
technology. He knows that "End-User Programming" will never
really exist. Programmers will always begin where end-users, well,
end. The more advanced an end-user language becomes, the more
neccessary full-blown programmers are. The more skilled the
end-user himself becomes, the more he's acutally a programmer
and less an end-user.
Posted by keparo (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
This will be worse than Powerpoint.
I always thought that Powerpoint presentations
were ugly. The is certainly going to be far
worse.
Posted by Mallardd (47 comments )
Reply Link Flag
This will be worse than Powerpoint.
I always thought that Powerpoint presentations
were ugly. The is certainly going to be far
worse.
Posted by Mallardd (47 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Well . . .
This is a spec piece. I hope the idea comes alive, but not in the
current concept.

IBM doesn't want to lose control anymore than any other company
does in their respective media fields.
Posted by fakespam (239 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Well . . .
This is a spec piece. I hope the idea comes alive, but not in the
current concept.

IBM doesn't want to lose control anymore than any other company
does in their respective media fields.
Posted by fakespam (239 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Is this new????????
Ning has already tried to make application development easy with PHP but the community did not feel it very different. But applications like Zoho Creator [http:// www.zohocreator.com |http:// www.zohocreator.com ], Jot Form [http://www.jot.com|http://www.jot.com] , etc makes building simple applications very easy. Its on its way ......... for serious applications. So, IBM has to watch out its every step.
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Is this new????????
Ning has already tried to make application development easy with PHP but the community did not feel it very different. But applications like Zoho Creator [http:// www.zohocreator.com |http:// www.zohocreator.com ], Jot Form [http://www.jot.com|http://www.jot.com] , etc makes building simple applications very easy. Its on its way ......... for serious applications. So, IBM has to watch out its every step.
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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