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Java Desktop

I'm not surprised to find negative sentiments towards GUI builders of the kind recently voiced by the HackNot blog (and linked by John Reynolds). For a long time, I avoided GUI building in Java, finding it a terribly unpleasant exercise. Over the past year, I've experienced a very pleasant change in attitude, and whereas last year I would have voiced ambivilance about using GUI tools, today I...
on Aug 1, 2005
When I posted the blog entry Phil's Font Fixes, what I really wanted to write about was how the use of RGB striping on LCD monitors allows LCD text to work. But that went way beyond the scope of a simple blog entry, so I just posted that blog without the geeky details, and continued writing the article I really wanted. I finally finished that article and posted it on
on Jul 26, 2005
Brainstorm! Every now and then I get the idea to build a cool program that does something interesting. Sometimes I get an idea by seeing another program, or seeing an interesting API I've never noticed before. Sometimes both. A few weeks ago I was thinking about how close to 3D I could get while still using the Java2D APIs. There's no perspective transforms in Java2D but you can fake a lot of 3D...
on Jul 25, 2005
This blog gives my late report of JavaOne 2005, basically staffing the JDIC show, and an exploration of missing features in the desktop/Java integration territory, the focus of the JDIC project. Bridging such gaps would backup Java at the center of client-side development.  A Recap of JDIC@JavaOne 2005  It's my second time attending JavaOne and the first time to be a speaker (of the...
on Jul 25, 2005
The Plastic look and feel family is very well known and widely used among Java community. That said I am often disappointed to see some programmers plug it into their UI without taking a look at the available options. Let's take a look at a sample, rather bad looking Swing application: "Yiech!" And you're right. One way to fix this UI is to change the look and feel. Now, it has many other issues...
on Jul 24, 2005
In one of my previous entries i've shown how to use Java2D to create layered icons for your application. Unfortunately, most of the time we think about icons in pixel-precision format, instead of thinking of them as vector graphics. Let's see an example first: The icons are shown starting from 10*10 to 36*36 size. As you can see, the icon components are nicely scaled (including inner graphics...
on Jul 23, 2005

Java Enterprise

I was a JavaOne virgin; I didn't know what to expect. I had been contributing to the JavaServer Faces specification and the reference implementation for quite some time, but was looking forward to finally meeting everyone involved in person. Tell you what, the folks from Sun are some of the nicest people I've ever met professionally. I made a point to try to make it to sessions that I felt...
on Jul 31, 2005
Apache Derby, has successfully received approval to graduate from incubation. Derby will move from the incubator to be a sub project of the Apache DB project. Apache Derby is based on the Cloudscape codebase which IBM donated to Apache. Congrats to the efforts of all involved with the Apache Derby project for making this happen.
on Jul 28, 2005
In my last blog's comments, Chris Mahan posited that Sun would send lawyers after a hapless coder, nashing their tiny little sharp teeth. Since this isn't generally how things work - I thought I'd blog a bit on this here: How many times have you seen a discussion on mailling lists, forums or blogs which says "If I do that with my source code, company X is going to sue me". Well, relax. The...
on Jul 20, 2005

Open JDK

The consistently excellent Brian Goetz has written a new article in his Java Theory and Practice series entitled "Be a good (event) listener". Since listeners are an important part of the JMX API, here's how his advice applies there. There are really two sets of recommendations, one for event generators and one for event listeners. In the JMX API, events are instances of Notification, event...
on Jul 29, 2005
With a Standard MBean, you define the management interface of the MBean using a Java interface. Getters and setters in the interface define attributes, and other methods define operations. But the only information extracted out of the interface is the names and types of the attributes and operations, and just the types of the operation parameters. Although the JMX API allows...
on Jul 25, 2005
Yesterday I talked about how you can use WeakReference to allow a resource to be garbage collected even if it is referenced by another object, a JMX MBean in the case in question. In fact, you can use dynamic proxies to provide a more general framework for this sort of situation. In the specific situation I was discussing before, you have a resource such as a...
on Jul 21, 2005
Suppose (to take my favourite example), you have some sort of cache, and you want to be able to control it via an MBean. You might have something a bit like this: public interface CacheControlMBean {    public int getSize();}public class CacheControl implements CacheControlMBean {    public CacheControl(Cache cache) {      ...
on Jul 20, 2005


My week began with a licensing debate. While those tend to be endless, this one, I hope, can be finite. It started when Elliotte Rusty Harold wrote in his blog the following: ...the download requires me to accept a non-open-source license that severely restricts what I'm allowed to do. I've heard Sun claim that Netbeans is open source, but that doesn't seem to be true. So I went to the...
on Jul 29, 2005
So, I'm sitting at my laptop, building netbeans... oh, wait ... OK, so I'm sitting ... oh, sorry, hold on... so, ... oh crap, not again. Another scrambled jar. This has to be the most rediculous, hoop-jumping compromise ever developed between a legal department and an engineering team. I really hope someone from Sun Legal will comment on this blog post, because I'd really like some public...
on Jul 27, 2005
Well, every time I think I'll be able to blog more often, something happens. So, I will try not to apologize about it and get straight to the point. :-) A cool thing I did recently was to write a set of NetBeans plugins that adds support for Thinlet in the IDE, called ThinNB. One important feature that it provides is a visual editor for Thinlet xml files. In order to implement it, instead of...
on Jul 27, 2005
Of course, the answer is yes to both questions, but I'm talking about Project GlassFish. It has relevance to Prague because it was during our team trip there in May that I worked feverishly to ensure the project didn't go live without tools support - a necessity to any successful project, right? We essentially spent the week in a conference room planning the next release of NetBeans and I kept...
on Jul 20, 2005

Java Tools

I just had a frustrating hour or so with Subversion. No, it's not that I have problems with its functionality (well, I actually do, but today isn't time to talk about that.) It's the lack of craftsmanship that bothers me. Firstly, the proxy support. One of the big benefits of Subversion is that it can use HTTP to talk to the server. So one would hope that the network connection set up with...
on Jul 26, 2005

Java Web Services and XML

Well, I kind of know the XML code inside out ;-), so I knew beforehand that a SAX parser closes the stream it reads. So I just mostly wrote a simple program to confirm the socket behavior. Also, I think I know about TCP probably more than average developers. That probably have helped, too. Mostly I just verified that calling socket.getInputStream().close() brings down the whole connection. This...
on Jul 22, 2005


I came across an announcement for IBM's Faces for Laszlo this morning. I haven't had time to delve into the details, but my impression is that they're "filling in" some of the missing Rich Internet Application pieces that I've wanted for a long time. My professional introduction to Java was through Applets and JSP pages. I needed browser components that were "snazzy" and "dynamic". In my case...
on Jul 22, 2005