Methods & Tools Software Development Magazine

Software Development Magazine - Project Management, Programming, Software Testing


Methods & Tools - News, Facts & Comments Edition - April 2004

*** Companies **********************************************************

* Can Microsoft and Sun Really Be Friends?

Sun and Microsoft announced recently a large cooperation agreement. Microsoft will pay Sun $700 million to resolve all pending antitrust issues and $900 million to resolve patent issues. Microsoft will also make an up-front royalty payment of $350 million to Sun and could end up paying an additional $450 million depending on the level of collaboration. Both companies will collaborate to improve the way their products work together.

In the same time, Sun announced that its loss for the third quarter will be around $800 million and that it would lay off about 3'300 people worldwide.

It is difficult to think that these two sets of information are completely unrelated. Sun is currently facing big financial problems and it is happy to have somebody that provides more than $ 2 billion, even if this is the old enemy Microsoft. Microsoft gives a little bit of its cash reserve to get rid of part of its legal problems. In addition, Microsoft opens a new hardware segment to its product, as its goal is to increase its market share in the lucrative enterprise servers market. Sun and Microsoft should cooperate on .Net and Sun could sell Windows operating system, as it is already selling server based on Intel and AMD chips.

In the software market, Sun had to choose between joining what could be considered the IBM approach that combines proprietary & open source software or keeping a proprietary-only view. At the end of February, IBM made a proposal to transform Java in an open source technology and the two companies had some meetings in March about this topic. Now that Microsoft is Sun new ally, there are even fewer chances that Java will end as an open source technology. However, we have to keep in mind that currently everything is at the level of good intentions. There are many examples in the past of important announcements that have been short of results. Stay tuned...

*** Numbers ************************************************************

* Language Popularity on the Net

TIOBE, a Dutch company, has compiled an index that measures the popularity of programming languages on the Net, using Google. Here is the TIOBE Programming Index for April 2004

  1. Java 24.24%
  2. C 17.75%
  3. C++ 15.99%
  4. PHP 9.76%
  5. (Visual) Basic 7.98%
  6. Perl 7.77%
  7. SQL 2.97%
  8. C# 2.14%
  9. JavaScript 1.78%
  10. Python 1.01%
  11. Delphi/Pascal/Kylix 0.82%
  12. SAS 0.66%
  13. COBOL 0.65%


The research methodology, the ranking of 37 other languages and more data about this research can be seen on


* M&T Poll

The current poll is asking you how you rate the quality of open source software development tools (examples: Eclipse, MySQL, PHP, Junit, etc...) versus the commercial tools.

I have changed the poll system with a new function that does not require registration. Go to to express your opinion and see intermediate results. The final results will be published in one of our next issue.

*** Conferences ********************************************************

EUROPEAN SEPG 2004, 14-17th June, London

9th annual gathering of European Software and Systems Process Improvement Professionals. People, Process, Technology, Measurement and Project Management. World-leading presenters share industry experience and cutting- edge techniques, 80 scheduled sessions selected by more than 50 reviewers.

*** Humour *************************************************************

* Project management proverbs

On this site you will find many interesting proverbs on project management, for the developer and the project manager, with a good dose of humour... ;-) Here are some samples:

- Nothing is impossible for the person who doesn't have to do it.

- A change freeze is like the abominable snowman: it is a myth and would anyway melt when heat is applied.

- The most successful project managers have perfected the skill of being comfortable being uncomfortable.

- People under pressure do not think faster.

If you like these ones, you will find many more good gems on this site.

*** Books **************************************************************

If you liked the article of David Herron and David Garmus in the Spring 2004 issue, find more about their knowledge in the following books:

* Function Point Analysis: Measurement Practices for Successful Software Projects

Introduces the latest guidelines released in the International Function Point Users Group Counting Practices Manual 4.1. This book fully explains the calculations and mechanics behind function point analysis as well as its most common uses. It also offers experience-based techniques for applying the methodology.

To get more details on this book or buy it on click below:

* Measuring The Software Process: A Practical Guide to Functional Measurements

An introduction for newcomers and reference for veterans to Function Point Counting, a technique for managing software development. This book presents software measurement, sets out the rules and guidelines adopted by the International Function Point Users Group, and provides practical and detailed examples of the technique and its benefits.

To get more details on this book or buy it on click below:


The content of this publication cannot be reproduced without prior written consent of the publisher - Copyright (C) 2004, Martinig & Associates

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