IBM’s EGL Gets an Online User Group
November 3, 2008 Timothy Prickett Morgan
IBM and its software development partners that are interested in seeing its Rational development tools and the Enterprise Generation Language (EGL) that the tools kick out have established an online user group dedicated to Rational Business Developer and its EGL bolt-on, according to a notice we received from PKS Software.
We didn’t find out in time to let you know about this ahead of time, but the RBD/EGL for IBM i Online User Group had a meeting on October 31 (last Friday) at 10 a.m. Eastern. The user group says that it plans to have a quarterly Web seminar and audio conference, where IBM i and EGL/RBD customers, business partners, and IBM staff can meet and chat online as well as hear presentations on technical topics, user success stories, best practices, and new product announcements.
This desire to build an i-related community reminds me of iSociety–remember that?–which throughout 2007 tried to host monthly Fireside Chats with IBM executives and System i luminaries as well as provide a focus to the distributed i community. The last chat at iSociety (as far as I know) was back in February with IBMers George Farr and Craig Johnson concerning the i 6.1 launch, which was still called i5/OS V6R1 back then. The iSociety page was updated for the April 8 launch of the converged Power Systems Power6 machines, and doesn’t seem to have changed since.
As the guy who cranked out newsletters in 2001 and early 2002 without changing the homepage much, I am not about to throw stones at iSociety, this RDB/EGL online community, or any other site trying to be a hub for community. (We could take some pot shots about how EGL is about as likely to be adopted by AS/400 sites as Fortran, but let’s save that for another article. . . . )
If the Internet is good at anything, it’s perfect for spanning time and geography to forge communities that would not otherwise be possible. But community has two secret ingredients that are absolutely essential, something that no technology can improve or replace: human beings with a common interest and the time to be a community. The ease with which any of us can put up some Web pages and announce that these pages are now intended to be a focus of sorts for a community lulls us into believing sometimes that community is easy. This is a hard lesson to learn–trust me. I have launched a Unix newsletter two times in my life and taken over another one that is no longer alive, so that’s three dead newsletters. I did two Windows newsletters, too, and a single mainframe and a single Linux newsletter–all of which me and my team at IT Jungle put six years of work into to try create a community called IT Jungle. No matter how good the content is, communities evolve where they do, and for their own reasons. First mover status means everything when creating a community, and if you are not a first mover, you better have some money and a neat idea to knock the first mover off its feet. (Look at how Yahoo killed AltaVista, and how Google has taken over search and knocked Yahoo to its knees. Look at all the money and energy this took.)
Good luck. Let us know how we can help.