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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.

 

Weblogs

Chris Adamson recently blogged, "what are the advantages of distributed SCM, beyond the globe-spanning...

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...

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

One responsibility of the JavaFX Script compiler project is to deliver a...

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...

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

Today a new JavaFX Script compiler incubator project, openjfx-compiler went live. Yes, it has source code, issues, mailing lists and a wiki,...

"Are we sufficiently awed by our own technology?" Mark Morford, one of my favorite local (San Francisco) columnists, wrote an essay titled...

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

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

After months of slogging through Sun's Open Source Review process, last night I committed Jackpot's source to the NetBeans public CVS repository.

Here I was hoping to avoid participating in the "5 Things" blog game, but then Greg tagged me and sent an email...

I realize I'm dating myself paraphrasing 1994's "Pulp Fiction", but it really pays to get and stay hard-core with your project code. One easy way to turn up the heat is to enable all compiler...

Hallelujah! Java SE is now an open-source project, with the HotSpot VM and...

hack (hăk) n., A non-obvious solution to an interesting problem.

It was exciting to read that the JDK sources are now available as a java.net project (admittedly, my life is pretty low-key).

This may seem like ancient history now, but when Swing was first developed the team was sucked into a...

The recent blogs on closures have left me with a real sense of déjà vu...

A CLM, or Career Limiting Move, is an action on your part that threatens your promotion chances, or even...

This is week two of my forced vacation at Cancun, Mexico; this week we are staying at the Grand Mayan near Playa del Carmen. Forced? This may come as a shock to some, but vacation is hard to...

It's been a crazy couple of months, but JavaOne waits for no engineer. Most of Jackpot's new UI has been implemented and was...

I have been getting some comments regarding the limits of Jackpot's rule language which suggest that Jackpot itself is not very...

I've been a big fan of early community involvement in projects, especially after how much it helped drive Swing to its first release. Back then the general rule was to post an alpha, silently...

Patience is a virtue? I never really learned that growing up, and impatience has served me and most of my fellow developers much better in our careers. So it's been a frustrating time since...

For those of you unable to attend my talk on Jackpot at JavaOne last June, the presentation is now available either as a multimedia web show (audio and synchronized slides) or as a PDF file. You...

One feature I rely on for shared development is for the source control system to email a notification of any changes. CVS supports this notification and it is easy to implement: just add an...

It's an old comic routine, where a grumpy old man complains about how much easier "kids today" have it than he did. Personally I think Dana Carvey perfected it in his...

Java 5 has a lot of major improvements to the platform, to the point where some of the smaller features can get overlooked.