Feeds

Write once, run anywhere: a lesson for digital TV

Simple programming

Boost IT visibility and business value

The end result is we have a wide range of software specifications, development environments and technologies. Notice that so far we haven't even touched on the prickly subject of hardware. Thanks to the continuing pace of innovation, hardware now stretches beyond the traditional STBs to include mobile phones and PCs among other systems, with a wide range of chip sets.

Even with a language that promotes the ability to write once and run anywhere, such as Java, we are still left with a plethora of confusing acronyms and development frameworks. This reminds me of the old enterprise development world where each platform, each language and each vendor had their own competing standards.

Integration between one environment and another was unheard of, except via bespoke - and expensive - development projects. Even those attempts at create integrated environments that did succeed were expensive, clumsy and generally hard work.

Looking at all of these one can't help but wonder whether the digital TV and STB world, especially given the format wars, isn't making the same mistakes as the enterprise made a decade ago.

Surely we can learn from what has been done there. For example, could we not have a set of language-independent standards that define a set of services that a digital broadcaster works to? Using these services different implementation languages could plug into these services via a language-independent interface.

Of course, the GUI on the STB or PC or whatever device is running the client side of the broadcast would be implemented in the favored language - that could be Java or whatever - but that would then be independent of the broadcast side of things.

This would immediately remove many of the barriers to entry, the maintenance costs and the incompatibility issues that are the subject of huge amounts investment by the industry intended to overcome these issues.

All of this brings me back to "simplicity". Recently, I have argued that simplicity in software should be paramount and I think that within the DTB field this is no less true. Lessons should be, and can be learned, from the older - and arguably more mature - enterprise world.

These can be both from an architectural point of view - such as a DTB version of SOA - through platform- and language-independent transport mechanisms - the STB equivalent of SOAP/HTTP - through to the APIs themselves.

It won't be easy, as Java itself has shown with Java 2 Micro Edition (J2ME) and its many sub specifications for different types of resource limited devices. However, it is a goal worth pursuing.®

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
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.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.