Current Topics

This article describes the current topics that Syger is actively investigating. They represent the type of consultancy and development work that Syger undertakes. This, and the other articles outlined here, are also available as a PDF document (about 1.3 MB).

Powerful Web Frameworks

Thanks to the programming course I held at the beginning of 2008, I spent quite a bit of time with Ruby on Rails 2.0. Though the structure has changed somewhat, I really like the architecture. It is still one of the fastest development frameworks on the market. I've written a few notes on my impressions in Ruby on Rails 2.0 – a First Look.
The WebAlbum application covers quite a lot of the classic groundwork of a web application. I'd spent a few evenings reading the “Definitive Guide to Grails”, written by the Grails development lead, Graeme Rocher, so I decided to dedicate a couple or four days development work exploring this Groovy based framework. I've written up the notes of my experiences in Grails – a First Look.

High Octane Tools

I'm currently preparing two different studies. The first is a project using Groovy, or “Java for the 21st century”, as it has been called, and the second is a programming course I'm holding. I've made some interesting discoveries, both about the Groovy language, and about Firebug and Aptana Studio.
Groovy is an agile dynamic language for the Java platform, and I've written notes on my first impressions in Groovy – a First Look.
Firebug is an excellent (X)HTML / CSS / JavaScript debugging tool which runs inside the Firefox browser. Aptana Studio is an Eclipse based development tool for (X)HTML / CSS / JavaScript development, which seemlessly integrates with Firebug to produce a single development and debugging environment. Again, I've written notes on my first impressions in Firebug and Aptana Studio.

REALbasic, the Alternative to Visual Basic 6?

REALbasic is an object oriented version of the BASIC programming language. I first came across this language in 2005, when REALbasic was then at version 5.5. It has since changed its versioning policy to reflect the year of issue. Currently, the latest version of REALbasic is version 2007 release 5.
From a consultancy point of view, the most interesting question is if REALbasic is a valid alternative to Visual Basic 6. Many companies have invested enormous amounts of effort and money in producing desktop applications with VB6, but Microsoft seems unmoveable in its policy of ending extended support for Visual Basic 6 in March, 2008. Mainstream support for Visual Basic 6 ended in March, 2005.
Syger has produced an article on switching to REALbasic, as an alternative to using Visual Basic.Net, or other Microsoft .Net technologies.

Suitable Java Web Application Frameworks

The genteel art of web application development in the Java language has taken great strides forward since the first implementations of Java Servlets and JavaServer Pages. The open source community has embraced this development environment, producing almost countless frameworks, all with the promise of being “lightweight”, and “rapid”. Commercial ventures have also moved into the field, probably with less success in popularity than some of the open source offerings, though they have certainly been welcomed by large corporations.
So, in the age of Model, View, Controller (MVC), AJAX and Rich Internet Applications (RIA), and Ruby on Rails (RoR), who are the current and future winners in this endless battle? Syger has an article summarising this thorny topic, looking at the problem from a low cost development budget point of view.

Development Tools: Version Control and Unit Testing

Modern professional application development requires much more than a text editor and compiler – unless you're a Real Programmer, of course. Now that we've got highly sophisticated Integrated Development Environments (IDEs), the natural next steps are version control systems and unit testing.
Syger has produced an article discussing the relative merits of using a version control system, and the benefits of unit testing.


Syger can be contacted for consultancy work on any of the topics mentioned in this article, by sending an email to

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