October 2002 Archives
October 26, 2002

JRuby

Java | Random
I was taking a look at Ruby today then started thinking of Java and Ruby integration; then thanks to google I spotted this note on Rajah and the JRuby project. Interesting stuff. Plus its now hard to imagine life without google :-).
[James Strachan]

Interesting stuff, especially JRuby. As it has a BSF interface, Ruby becomes one more language you could script your Java applications in.

Posted by ovidiu at 08:30 PM |
October 25, 2002

Daveed Vandevoorde on C++ templates

Random

Daveed Vandevoorde of Edison Design Group, the only company with a fully compliant C++ parser, gave a talk today to a small audience at HP on C++ templates. I never programmed professionally on C++, and boy, how glad I am I didn't ;)

The language is very complex and focuses on syntax and the semantics behind it a lot. It's completely different from simpler languages like Lisp, Smalltalk, Objective-C, Python and to a lesser extend Java, which prefer to put the power in a powerful runtime system. These languages implement a lot of the language semantics in the runtime system, rather than in the compiler. The less type-constraining a language is, the simpler the compiler, and more powerful the language at runtime. Personally I prefer dynamically typed languages since they allow you to implement very powerful patterns. Lisp, Objective-C, Python and many others: I love them all!

Daveed's book C++ templates is due to appear November 8 on the shelves. Another friend of mine, Andrei Alexandrescu wrote Modern C++ Design, another book which describes patterns in C++. The only thing I wonder though is how many people are still using C++ in new commercial developments.

Posted by ovidiu at 08:32 PM |
October 23, 2002

Inline HTML editing

Weblogs

I'm testing Mitchell's IE-only WYSIWYG HTML editor.
[Blogging Roller]

Really cool and simple visual HTML editor! Now if it would only work on Mozilla and IE for MacOS X.

Posted by ovidiu at 01:10 PM |
October 22, 2002

Java SSH implementation

Java

I don't remember where I found this, I'm sure it was on a Weblog I'm subscribed to, but I cannot find it anymore. JSCH is a pure Java SSH2 implementation released under LGPL.

This should allow things like connecting to remote Unix servers from a Java application. Until now this was possible only by exec'ing the ssh command line tools. I'm not sure though JSch supports authentication through public keys though, which is very convenient as you don't have to ask users for the server password.

Posted by ovidiu at 03:59 PM |
October 20, 2002

O/R mapping: Hibernate

Java

For the last week I've been playing with Hibernate, an object/relational database mapping tool.

The documentation is good, you get the basic ideas very easily. There are some things which are not described in the docs, but since the sources and good examples are available, you can figure these things out fairly quickly.

I went with the top-down model to define my application. I defined the Java model first, and had Hibernate generate the initial mapping. I then modified this mapping to match my Java model more closely, and now I have a working system.

The application I want to build is a user feedback system for documentation. I plan to extend it to use it in a user feedback system for a Weblog tool as well. Fully integrated with the Blogger API and email too, so readers and people that comment can get notifications by email when somebody posts a new comment. I felt this need in my blog, and I'm sure other bloggers felt it too.

Posted by ovidiu at 01:44 AM |
October 16, 2002

Minor changes in XSLT-based RSS aggregator

Weblogs | XSLT

This evening I've changed the format of the subscriptions file in the XSLT-based RSS aggregator to include both the URL of the site and its RSS feed. I found several Weblogs which don't have RSS feeds.

Since I switched to NetNewsWire for reading the news, I no longer need to aggregate news on the main page. Instead I now generate the list of subscriptions at the right of each page using this XSLT stylesheet. Quite fun!

To solve the problem of the RSS2 variable namespace, I think a good solution is to have the main stylesheet automatically generate another stylesheet which uses the RSS feed's namespace as default namespace. This will avoid using ugly hacks like local-name() and other oddities in the XSLT aggregator stylesheet. More on this later.

Posted by ovidiu at 01:59 AM |
October 15, 2002

Open Source and contracting work

Random

Matthew Langham writes:

I am not surre that contracted development is disapearing, but there is certainly more emphasis being put on integration using open source. Which suits me fine. Because that is what we do.

I don't know about Germany, but in the San Francisco Bay Area contracting seems to have totally dissapeared, in sharp contrast with the old dot com days. No company seems to hire professionals to do open source integration, instead they all try to use in-house developers to do it. I'm not sure how well this works in reality, with developers and managers which were not previously exposed to the open-source way of doing things.

Posted by ovidiu at 04:28 PM |

GNU Emacs package for MacOS X 10.2 Jaguar

Apple | Emacs

Since there was interest in this, I've created a binary package for GNU Emacs, ready to be installed on MacOS X Jaguar. You can find all the necessary installation bits on my Emacs on MacOS X Web page, together with some hints on how to set it up so it integrates nicely in the MacOS X environment.

Posted by ovidiu at 03:51 PM |
October 08, 2002

Making Java/Swing apps look good on MacOS X

Apple

MacSlash has an article about how to make Java Swing applications look native on MacOS X. The developer, Sven Van Caekenberghe even includes a couple samples to show how the applications look. Very nice!

Posted by ovidiu at 10:36 AM |
October 05, 2002

Helicopter game

Random
Helicopter high score screen shot

Addictive helicopter game.

Matthew: 412

Steven: 424

Ugo: 1064

Jeff: unknown

myself: 1415, after 35 minutes of play ;)

I've noticed it's easier to play the game with IE 5.2 than with Mozilla 1.1 on MacOS X. The plunges are not so sudden on IE, and the feeling is a lot smoother. Perhaps IE/Flash is slower than Mozilla/Flash.

Posted by ovidiu at 01:29 AM |
October 04, 2002

Anteater with Jelly

Anteater | Web services

Jeff Turner just released a new version of Anteater which integrates with Jelly. It's interesting to see things moving so fast, especially after the recent discussion related to XML-based scripting languages.

Anteater is a testing framework for HTTP and SOAP applications, built as an extension of Ant. The way you write scripts is by using a declarative syntax, where you specify actions to be taken and a set of expected output(s). You can check the output in various ways, including string equality, regular expressions or XPath expressions.

In addition to emulating an HTTP or SOAP client, Anteater can also be used to emulate the server side, in order to test an HTTP or SOAP client application, or to test asynchronous Web services. Anteater embeds a full blown servlet container (Tomcat 3.3), which is used to receive incoming HTTP requests. You can apply the same checks as described above not only on the response received, but also on an incoming request. With this functionality, Anteater can be used to implement test scripts for asynchronous Web services, including ebXML and BizTalk. Anteater can also be used to quickly test Web applications by deploying them on its internal servlet container, making testing such applications a real breeze.

If you're familiar with Ant for writing build scripts, you should be able to grasp Anteater very easily. And since is based on Ant, Anteater is extensible, you can define new tasks and matchers that fit your needs very easily. Check out Anteater's user manual for more information on what it is and how it works.

Posted by ovidiu at 10:27 PM |
 
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