Stories by Neil McAllister

  • Sencha Architect: Visual HTML5, sort of

    Sencha describes Sencha Architect 2, the latest incarnation of its visual Web development tool, as "a massive upgrade to Ext Designer," the previous version. The name change from Designer to Architect reflects the product's new focus. Instead of a tool for building Web UIs, Sencha says the new version is suitable for creating complete Web applications, both for UI designers and back-end developers. That's true up to a point.

  • 7 programming myths -- busted!

    Even among people as logical and rational as software developers, you should never underestimate the power of myth. Some programmers will believe what they choose to believe against all better judgment.

  • 10 programming languages that could shake up IT

    Do we really need another programming language? There is certainly no shortage of choices already. Between imperative languages, functional languages, object-oriented languages, dynamic languages, compiled languages, interpreted languages, and scripting languages, no developer could ever learn all of the options available today.

  • Flash on Android: Look but don't touch

    With their larger screens, long-lasting batteries, and powerful CPUs, tablets seem well suited for the kinds of rich multimedia applications that confound ordinary smartphones. But Apple famously won't allow Adobe Flash on its iOS mobile devices, including the iPad. This fued creates an ideal opportunity for competing tablet makers to step in and fill the void.

  • Open office dilemma: OpenOffice.org vs. LibreOffice

    OpenOffice.org is one of the leading competitors to the Microsoft Office suite of business productivity applications. Originally developed as StarOffice in the late 1990s, the suite had been managed in recent years by Sun Microsystems as an open source project. But when Oracle acquired Sun in April 2009, the future of Sun's software offerings -- particularly free ones like OpenOffice.org -- was called into question. Before long, key OpenOffice.org developers, unhappy with the status quo under Oracle, began defecting from the project.

  • What to expect from HTML 5

    Among Web developers, anticipation is mounting for HTML 5, the overhaul of the Web markup language currently under way at the Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C).

  • Microsoft vs. Google: The empire strikes back

    It can't be easy being Ray Ozzie. Microsoft's chief software architect is just 18 months into the job as Bill Gates' handpicked successor, yet depending on whom you ask, his tenure will either signal a bold new era for the company or mark the beginning of its terminal decline.

  • Top 5 Chrome OS myths debunked

    Misconceptions and misinformation have surrounded the Chrome OS almost since the day it was announced. This week's press conference at Google's Mountain View, Calif., campus helped to clear the air, but uncertainty about what the search giant's new OS has to offer still remains.

  • Will Google and Microsoft own the Web?

    It's something of an open secret that Mozilla, the organization behind the open source Firefox Web browser, gets most of its funding from Google -- 91 percent, to be exact. The deal gives Google top placement in Firefox's search engine bar. But now that Google is also shipping Chrome, its own branded browser, some critics are asking whether the search engine giant's deep pockets have allowed it to gain too much influence over the Web browser market.