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The application is currently very much a prototype. These ideas represent both
long term and short term goals for the development of the product. It’s worth
noting that this section is subject to immediate and irrevocable change.
Short term goals
These are listed in order of priority.
The framework needs a peer review. To see if the design – such as it is – needs
further work. There are already some areas I would like to modify and new
features to implement.
These are the life-blood of any Open Source development. Any contributions are welcomed.
You don’t have to be a Java developer, just interested.
Judging by the difficulty I’ve had explaining the function of this application to any
interested parties a demonstration application would be ideal. I’m already part of
the way there but there is more work to be done. A web enabled demonstration would
also be very handy but that may have to wait until …
A real priority is to get the application converted to J2EE. I haven’t used J2EE yet.
It looks fairly straightforward. I just need a server, JBoss and a working DBMS and …
One key requirement is going to be the need to attach any working application into
other commercial and possibly proprietary applications. There will be some important
work to be done in this area.
- Commercial front ends.
With a set of enterprise classes at the ready it’s probably a good idea to build some
functional user interfaces. I’m tempted to generate these as proprietary applications.
Intermediate and long term goals
- Data agents.
The data requirements for any deployment are not massive. Even a corporation does
not normally support a vast product range. However, building and maintaining the
data sets is not a job for the faint hearted or the technically unqualified.
Although I have tried to tackle the complexity issue it remains a problem.
The ‘zero maintenance’ configuration engine may solve or at least alleviate
some of the work. This idea revolves around building an agent (or group of agents)
armed with AI algorithms that decompose product documentation or database records
in order to generate the data sets.
- 3D modelling.
On paper this looks relatively easy to implement. The hard work is the panoply of
3D objects required for each sales item. I‘d like to do this simply because it
looks like great fun (and has great promotional appeal). The practicalities of
maintenance may just be overlooked.
- Interactive agents.
Customer requirements cannot always be translated simply into sales items.
The phrase – ‘I want a database server’ springs to mind. The current application
will not know the rules for building a database server but an interactive agent
can be developed that does. Applications of this nature are similar to configuration
engines – they can utilise the Composition pattern. Creating a framework for developing
‘wizard’ style interfaces should be possible (and has potential outside of the immediate framework).
- Micro edition.
I’ve had a brief look at Java ME. It looks similar to Java 1.1 SDK and as such does not support
the java.util libraries. In its current state the application would require a port to Java ME
(or perhaps adding java.util to the ME libraries). However, the mobile market is potentially
the largest growth area in the software market place.
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