Ten years have passed since the first realization of a commercial application with POWER-KI, ten years of intense research and development work that have brought it to a level of completeness and performance of absolute importance, clearly visible in the applications that have been realized over these years. In the following lines the story of how and why it was born and the indications on future developments.

Ten years are not few

It's real they aren't few, because in reality you have to add 5 more. In fact, the project began slowly in 2005 and then accelerated between 2008 and 2009. But there they are not many, you have to consider that the basic software, such as operating systems and especially programming languages, have a long life, the "C" for example, is from 1972 and is still among the most used languages.

From what background POWER-KI is born?

My professional activity began in the late seventies, I joined the family company (at the time one of the most important Italian die-casting foundries) to take care of the nascent IT sector, I must say that at the time i was considered by the staff a visionary. Among the most relevant achievements of those years: the creation of a software environment for the data entry of accounting data and the related relational database, systems for the collection/reporting and scheduling of production, software for the management of laboratory instruments like quantometer. All with the hardware of that times, gradually passing from 16/32/48 and 80 kbytes, incredible. However, over the course of ten years, without ever abandoning this activity, I also dealt with the management of a production sector of the company and the design of the related products, having the good fortune of having great masters of Italian design and manufacture. Subsequently I was responsible for the construction and operation of a new factory. In carrying out these activities, on the one hand, I was able to take advantage of the ways of thinking of the computer scientist and, on the other, to acquire the connection to the complexity of the production world.

What did you get from this experience ?

First of all: a clear idea of what factories would have looked like in the near future; in 1990 I made XPOLYPLUS, one of the first SCADA in the world, that is a software for creating command, control and supervision, process applications. XPOLYPLUS was significantly more advanced, stable and performing than competing products, right from the start it had a multi-Thread microKernel, capable of performing operations in parallel, and it supported the communication protocols of the main PLCs. Over the years it has evolved to become a real-time operating system in which we also merged the network technologies that we developed in 2000 inside the European HPGIN project in which we took part.

4.0 ante litteram?

Yes, almost a 5.0. With XPOLYPLUS, have been created applications that still surprise as far as they are advanced: intelligent warehouses, multiside casting machines with relative cyber-physical model, control systems for adaptive closed-loop die casting. We retired it only a few years ago after a long and honorable career; during 2020 we will make it freely downloadable and usable. Now the baton has switched to POWER-KI which has broader ambitions. XPOLYPLUS was in fact confined to a specific area, factory automation, POWER-KI, as a programming language, finds application in fields ranging from IoT (internet of things), to automation, but in addition to the factory automation , also the automation and support of decision-making processes and financial activities, then there is the whole world of the web, the cloud, robotics and so on.

Why did you create a new programmation language ?

Because I haven't found any that implement the ideas I had in mind. Probably because my starting point is different: I consider the creation of software applications a high design activity. So implementation is the end result of a creative vision that lies at the origin. Most of the languages instead are data, bolts, pulleys to be entrusted to a good mechanic. Hence the decision to create it, but it was necessary not to limit the work to the compiler and the support corollary, instead to consider from the beginning the development, test and debug environment as a part of the language itself. Obviously a long road. In addition to this, no less important, rather basic, a different idea of how and what a programming language should be.

So how and what is POWER-KI ?

In summary: "the search for the grace of lightness" (cit. Dona) has led to the creation of an executable knowledge base. The concepts at the foundations of POWER-KI are completely original, with a small debt to XPL, the proto language implemented in XPOLYPLUS.
Now, on the one hand, the current context sees powerful and multiCore processors, the network, the availability of ever larger memory resources, conditions different from those in which the previous languages ​​were born. On the other hand, software applications are called to manage increasingly complex problems. A new language must therefore, taking into account the context, be able to respond to the greatest expectations. The architecture of POWER-KI was designed on these assumptions: it is oriented to the multi thread (parallel processes) is reflective, that is, the programs can both inspect and modify itself, has a simple syntax, for an immediate understanding of the code, then implements new tools for information management (knowLedge Base) in addition to traditional ones (dataBase). We would then have to talk about the NativeCloud and many other things, but for this, there are the other pages of this site.

What is the development stage of POWER-KI ?

With 10th version, we are at full maturity. The applications that we have developed with POWER-KI, are the undeniable evidence, the concrete examples (some in operation for years) of what we call Intelligent Applications, software that optimize their service by exploiting all the information available, with optimal performances.

The next steps ?

The introduction of WRAP libraries opens scenarios of great interest and opportunity for users, so I expect important contributions from them. For our part (XPLAB), my collaborators are engaged in the development of applications of the POWER-KI ecosystem: WIZ and TOOL that automate the production of parts of application code and I must confess, that sometimes the results they get with PWK also surprise me.

In recent years, we have been lacking in communication and documentation, this site that replaces the previous one is a first step. I hope that companies, schools, universities and researchers will draw on this resource, in fact I believe that at this moment POWER-KI is a year or two ahead of the alternatives, therefore the a good opportunity for those who use it.