Thursday, December 27, 2012

On{X} Recipes - cool event based Android application

Thanks to Guy Sharon I've learned about cool Andorid application developed by Microsoft Israel called On{X}.  It enables to specify and use an event- condition-action recipes (the name sounds tastier than rules).

Ring on the third call from the same person when my phone is silent 
Set mode to silent between 11:00PM and 7:00am after the phone has not been unlocked for 2 hours
Text my wife "my phone is dying" when the battery goes below 15%

All of these look to me as event patterns.  Looking at the On{X} Blog I learned that new features include - dynamic regions, noise detection and more.  There is a collection of recipes and one can program more using JavaScript 

A very interesting event processing application  -- I may buy smartphone one of these days :-) 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

More on request driven vs. event driven

In the table above (taken from a recent presentation I am working on) I have summarized some of the main differences between request driven thinking and event driven thinking.   It is interesting to note that many of the activities we are doing in life are event driven,  however, we are programmed to think that computer should be approached in request driven way, and I have noticed that even if the application itself is event driven by nature, people will tend to convert it to request driven.  Event driven action is being activated not due to explicit request but since an event has occurred, or a derived event was concluded.  This may happen in unknown time and unknown frequency.  Furthermore, a request getting into a system should always entail response (which can be error message),  an event getting into the system may be ignored, since it is out of context, just increment internal state, or close the circle of detecting derived event which can be either internal to the system, or trigger external action or notification,  Note that only the last case has visible response to the outside.    One of the challenges is to educate people to think in event driven way rather than request driven.  I'll write more on event driven thinking in the sequel.