Saturday, May 19, 2007

Black Belt in Java?

Jon-Erling this last fall suggested that there really should be a similar way to grade when it comes to programming as in martial arts. We agreed and discussed it some more but as many other things we forgot about it and went on with life even though Jon obviously was thinking about starting something like that. The other day I found this though: It's free and seems great.

Perfect, and look at some of the names that can be found there: Martin Fowler, Joshua Bloch, Marc Fleury as guests, and also noticed that Brian Goetz provided some feedback to the concurrency stuff.

I wonder what I will get first (if at all!), a black belt in martial arts or in java....

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


Doing any GUI development? Don't like Java's Swing or SWT? Or maybe you do like them (I like Swing for example) but think they could be even better (as in easier and cooler)?

Sun has just released something that seems rather cool, JavaFX. Something unexpected but most welcome as many has seen the GUI development as being powerful but lacking in the nice tool support and nice looks and effects AND not expecting much to happen about it.

Apart from making it easier to write GUIs and making them look cool a first look found the following items of special interest: The bindings stuff, Animation stuff (dur with ease-in and ease-out is so simple and automatic) but the special JavaFX script language itself is rather interesting as well!

Check the JavaFX link for demos, tutorials and more information.

Plugins available for Netbeans AND Eclipse!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Great summary of possible Java 7 features

This is a great summary including source code examples of ideas for Java 7 (now in development): Java 7 and Beyond

There are a lot of nice suggested features for the future, but as always hard to pick among them. There is wisdom in delaying some things until they mature for example, however boring that might be. Other things are sort of nice, but are they really that valuable? Then again some things would be great to have (the small Swing application framework will be nice).

Array collection syntax might not be needed that much but it is a nice touch I think and makes for less/easier typing with just some compiler magic. Type inference looks nice, but lock you to the concrete class (in the example given there it will be typed as a HashMap and not a Map), still seems worth it to me.

Annotations on Java Types seem rather useful, but ouch it looks ugly with all those annotations
all over the place. Hmm have to think about that one. Validation, JSR 303, also looks like a great idea, maybe combine it with the properties stuff, but xml-based... hmm. Maybe annotations instead. Oh, even more annotations. Hmm.

Closures, as long as they pick a version which is easy and intuitive to read (you only write once, but it is read often) I'm all for it, perfect for some things. A new time and date API, well it IS needed, third time is the charm? A Unit API certainly looks great and appeals to me as an engineer, but is it really needed? Filesystems API stuff, sure, that stuff is really needed in a modern programming language.

Invoke dynamic? Absolutely! One of the most valuble things with java is not the language but the virtual machine. Sun's Hotspot for example is really amazing. Should really try hard to be able to use it to its full extent in other related projects, such as JRuby.

A very non-sexy thing is the jar-versioning/packet management stuff but as more and more programming is about changing or extending current programs, this is really needed.

I reserve the right to change my opinions on this stuff at any time :)

Thanks Ralph and Expo-C!

Just wanted to say thank you to Ralph Johnson (yes that Ralph, of the Gang of Four) for coming to Göteborg, Sweden at Expo-C and tell us about: "Enterprise Application Architecture " +" The 'Adaptive Object Model' Architectural Style, last Wednesday. He was there on Tuesday as well but I was unable to attend that day.
Meeting Jimmy Nilsson again was nice and Niclas Nilsson as usual of course, but that happens about every week :)

I'm afraid I missed Rickard Öberg, Dan North and James O. Coplien, the other famous names at Expo-C (monday-Wednesday) in Gothenburg last week, but at least I had a nice dinner with Niclas and Ralph on Wednesday evening. Niclas tried to talk Ralph into writing a follow-up or 2nd edition to the Design patterns book using Ruby, instead of the expected Java (which just might be something that will happen!)

Ralph had one interesting part of his presentation, a play with participants from the audience. Now it might be hard to get volunteers to particpate in a play when the potential volunteers are all geeky programming nerds, but then also make them all come from Sweden! ;-) Ah well, in an out-of-character move I was the first volunteer to step up and Jimmy also joined in along with two others. Phew, could have been embarassing for Sweden! The play was great and really did add something to the points he was trying to make.