It is with some regret that I’m discontinuing my articles about J and about iLua on the iPad. Here’s why. Also, I have a question.

J Language

J language just isn’t paying off enough for me to invest more time in it. I see no possibility that I’ll be building any real software in J, and the learning curve is a rough one. You pretty much can’t do anything without having a large number of verbs and adverbs at your fingertips.

I regret this, because it is clear that J causes you to think in some interesting ways about your problem and its solution. The J community is interesting as well. I’ve encountered some very helpful people, and it seems that everyone wants to help you get it. This is great. Perhaps one day soon I’ll get to sit down with a J expert and pair on something. If I do, I’ll sure let you know.

iLua System

The iLua system is an interesting little language on the iPad. As my articles have shown, you can actually build little programs that do real things. The language allows you to construct things like objects very readily, using its very interesting internal primitives. It has been fun playing with it.

However, Apple has made it clear, by rejecting certain upgrades from the iLua people, that they will not permit the language ever to get very useful. For example, there was a very simple window/dialog capability put in, and Apple made them take it back out. It appears that Apple intends to enforce their policy that there will be no real software development for the iPad on the iPad.

I’m sad for the iLua people, and I’m sad for myself. But the fact remains that if I’m to build things for the iPad, this is not the way to do it.

What's Next?

I’m not sure. I’ve had nearly six months off waiting for a new knee and then getting used to it. (Very fine, thanks. I recommend it to anyone who doesn’t mind being felt up in airports.) So I’m looking for things to do that will be fun and, if not lucrative, at least not get in the way of supporting my limited needs.

One thread of that might be some kind of development for mobile platforms, just for the fun of doing it. I attended a very interesting talk at Philly ETE, about using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to build mobile apps. It looks to me as if this could become a better and more portable way of doing it. So I would like to learn more about that area. If you know of a course relating to it, or want to drop by and pair with us, let me know.

Another thread has to do with coaching and training. Chet and I will still be offering our highly-rated CSM course, and the Agile Skills course. At the same time, these are both aimed at entry-level and near entry-level folks, and I’d like to do a bit of work with more impact that that. Maybe deeper impact is what I mean. I’d like to work with people who have their feet solidly on the ground in Agile, and who want to excel.

So here’s a question to you: what kind of course or workshop might Chet and I offer that would entice you to attend, even if you or your company had to pick up the tab for course and travel?  What could Chet and I bring to the table that few others might? What would the session be like? How long would it go on? What would be really great?

Crazy ideas welcome … thanks!