Feeds

Brits hailed for component software breakthrough

Only sensible VCs, please

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

After a dozen years of false dawns, it takes a lot for us to suspend our cynicism about object-oriented software development. But a British start-up has not only got the analysts excited all over again, but attracted some big names to its commercial department.

MetaDyne has only eleven staff right now, but the sales team includes IBM's Giffin Lorimer, John Smith of Autonomy and Sun's seventh employee outside the US, Chris Brown, alongside NeXT and Apple veterans.

MetaDyne's ComponentDNA is a small piece of plumbing that enables the dynamic discovery and integration of components. And what's defined by component - MetaDyne says it's platform agnostic and can be extended to COM components or web services - can be as small as a Java class file. The software is pretty light too, with the discovery model weighing in at 12k and the core at less than 250k.

"A program sees a change, and adds the most interesting component while it stays running," is how Lorimer explains it.

The idea has been filed as a patent in the UK and won praise from Robin Bloor and Ovum's Neil Ward-Dutton.

Lorimer reckons it could be valuable for updating applications on 3G devices such as wireless PDAs and smartphones, where only small incremental additions are needed, and can be demanded from the client (rather than pushed down from the server).

Components as originally envisaged have failed to set the world on fire for a couple of reasons, we suspect. One is programmers' love of reinventing the wheel - how many string classes or libraries does the world need? The other is economic: it's easier to sell monolithic software than it is to distribute components, and it's easier to sell a hundred components than just a couple.

So while software has become more object-orientated, there isn't much more reuse than a decade ago.

Lorimer says that the ComponentDNA framework allows only a few of an authors' classes to be used, and that adding billing and auditing to ComponentDNA would be a natural next step.

ComponentDNA began life as a college project at Middlesex University by Joseph Poole and Andrew Evans, and the MetaDyne website can be found here

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Cloudy CoreOS Linux distro declares itself production-ready
Lightweight, container-happy Linux gets first Stable release
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.