In this Scripting Language Forum thread here:
Dagfinn Parnas was kind enough to architect the outlines of a solution for using WDA/WDJ as a “bioinformatic” platform to launch 3D biochemcial molecule viewers with rotate capability.
Although Dagfinn was kind enough to architect the solution I needed, he also asked the question of why a solution in SAP would be preferable to the kind of open-source solution that scientists typically prefer.
In my response, I gave him several reasons why SAP would be preferable to many bioinformaticians who are interested in a stable supported integrated data environment.
But it occurred to me that what Dagfinn and I were discussing is actually related in a very direct way to the kinds of efforts SAP has announced that it will make to try and increase the presence of SAP within university curricula (in order to grow more SAP experts organically and thereby increase the pool of SAP expertise.)
In particular, suppose that SAP were to give away NW7.0 to universities free as an IDE in return for promises from the universities to teach the stack in their curricula. (Of course, the “freebie” NW7.0 stack would include no actual SAP applications – just all the development tools and database.)
Furthermore, suppose that this arrangement hinged on a promise by the universities to include final “practicums” in their SAP curricula – i.e. “final projects” in which students had to actually complete prototype SAP applications in applied areas of their choice. A permissible “applied” area could be bioinformatics (my own “non-dayjob” area of interest), or it could be economics, or electoral analysis, or any subject matter area where integration of data, data analysis, and data presentation was needed.
So, under this plan, students from all different majors could minor in a very interesting “SAP curriculum” so long as they had some rudiments of comp sci and programming from one or two introductory courses taken their freshman year. (Forgive me for using the US academic model here – “freshman” year is 1st year of post-secondary school college training.)
Well, many of these students think they will wind up in jobs related to what they majored in, but because they’re bright, they’ll be recruited by the Big 4 with promises of much filthy lucre. (“Lucre” is a very old English word for “money”, as in “SHOW ME THE FILTHY LUCRE!”)
And when these graduates hire on with these comoanies and get their functional training in company-paid SAP solution academies, then:
… presto … voila … lo and behold …
…BPExperts right off the shelf (because their newly-gained functional knowledge will be supported by the technical SAP knowledge they got in their SAP “minors” in college.)
As I said in the intro to this post (and many times before here at SDN), this hypothetical approach is actually reminiscent of the actual way that ATT beat the pants off IBM in the unix vs MVS wars of the ’80’s. ATT gave unix to the universities FREE.
Something to think about, anyway.
Depending on your point of view as to whether NW7.0 can successfully function as an independent general purpose “soup-to-nuts” (“database-to-web”) IDE.