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Tom Ball

Tom Ball is a software engineer at Google, working on Java development tools. He has been working with Java since 1994 as part of the JDK, AWT, Swing, Jackpot, and NetBeans teams, and is a contributor to the JavaFX Script compiler team. Tom considers programming a craft, and is always looking for new tools and techniques to improve it.


tball's blog

Distributed SCM: You Don't Get It Until You Got It

Posted by tball on September 12, 2008 at 10:49 PM PDT

Chris Adamson recently blogged, "what are the advantages of distributed SCM, beyond the globe-spanning mega-projects?" I've been hearing that question for a long time; it started whenever a new engineer joined a Sun project and had trouble getting their head around

It's All Just Bits

Posted by tball on September 1, 2008 at 9:04 PM PDT

I was recently interviewing, and found that while some things have changed in the fourteen years since I last jumped companies, a lot is still the same. Recruiters still can barely spell Java or C++, let alone adequately screen a developer with those skills.

JavaFX Preview Releases -- A Chapter Closes

Posted by tball on July 31, 2008 at 5:00 PM PDT

Today the JavaFX Preview SDK released today, marking the end of an incredible year-plus for the JavaFX Script compiler team.

Testing Your Documentation

Posted by tball on April 21, 2008 at 2:14 PM PDT

One responsibility of the JavaFX Script compiler project is to deliver a programming guide for the language.

Divide and Conquer

Posted by tball on April 1, 2008 at 9:07 AM PDT

As anyone following the JavaFX Script compiler project knows, we have a schedule gun to our heads to finish a useful tool quickly, so the interpreter-based prototype shown at last year's JavaOne can be retired.

Elephants and the JavaFX Script Compiler

Posted by tball on November 10, 2007 at 4:42 PM PST

I don't know what it is about elephants, but they sure work well in analogies.

The Birth of the JavaFX Script Compiler

Posted by tball on July 20, 2007 at 6:49 AM PDT

Today a new JavaFX Script compiler incubator project, openjfx-compiler went live. Yes, it has source code, issues, mailing lists and a wiki, but the compiler itself actually does very little right now (although Chris Oliver did offer a nice tease).

Step Back and Wonder

Posted by tball on May 11, 2007 at 11:13 AM PDT

"Are we sufficiently awed by our own technology?" Mark Morford, one of my favorite local (San Francisco) columnists, wrote an essay titled Talkin' To The Steering Wheel which seems like a pertinent closer to JavaOne.

"Advanced Java Refactoring" JavaOne Slides Available

Posted by tball on May 10, 2007 at 10:10 PM PDT

Today I gave a talk at JavaOne titled "Advanced Java Refactoring: Pushing the Envelope" to a packed room, and just pushed a PDF of the slides to the Jackpot project site.

"Open Letter" or Extortion?

Posted by tball on April 10, 2007 at 2:22 PM PDT

Today, Geir Magnusson Jr., the Apache Software Foundation's VP of Java Community Process, issued an "Open Letter" to Sun Microsystems, addressed to Jonathan Schwartz.