A picture is worth a thousand words.
June 25th, 2005
This is a random thought, but where are the pictures. Most java.net projects, even the ones that have some visual user interface (as opposed to a library like Rome), don't have screenshots or diagrams. When I come to a new project I want to quickly know what it's about and if it's quality. A picture really helps with that. I know it sounds bad, but if there's a picture then it can first tell me if these people are serious and active, or if the project dead. A picture can also convey a lot of information more quickly than a paragraph of text will. When it comes to visual projects, say a date picker component, then this is doubly important. Show me a picture! It just takes a bit of time and it really helps grab my interest.
Getting ready for JavaOne: The Day of the Desktop
June 24th, 2005
Well. Here I am getting ready for my first real JavaOne. Actually, I attended back in 1999 and had the rare fortune to see Douglas Adams speak, but this is the first time I will be speaking as an author and attending as a Sun employee. It's going to be exciting. And since most Java developers can't attend JavaOne (where would they all sit?) I expect these Java.net blogs to light up like a Christmas tree during the next week. There's going to be all sorts of cool stuff going on, but don't just pay attention to the highlights. Some of the best things will be in the BoFs, smaller sessions, and especially the simple person to person talks over a good beer. (This is what we called P2P in the old days before they invented music, computers, and light.)
technology has warped my brain
June 17th, 2005
Today I was moving a bunch of files around for a new project. I had to copy several directories worth of code and images from a mounted remote disk to my home directory. Here's what I typed:
Why I haven't been posting
June 14th, 2005
Joshua talks about what he's been doing, what's coming up, and hands out some reading material.
The Reponse to Why Don't you Ship Swing Apps
May 9th, 2005
It's been a while since I posted my original weblog on why some developers aren't shipping Swing apps, and it's gotten over a hundred responses! This makes me happy because it means there are a lot of you out there who really care about desktop Java and want to ship good apps. It's our goal to make Swing the best way to write a quality desktop application, so all of this feedback is great.
Mac OS X 10.4 has arrived, with a Hi-Rez secret
April 29th, 2005
As everyone on this side of the galaxy must know by now, Tiger, version 10.4 of Mac OS X (will they ever hit Mac OS XI?), has finally arrived. If you're a Mac head like me you've been eagerly awaiting it at least since the previews last summer, if not from day 2 of 10.3's release.
A Hi-Rez Future
April 21st, 2005
I've been working from home in Atlanta since I started at Sun. I have two homes under renovation and a lot of things to take care of before I can move out west, so working from home for a few months seemed like the best solution. The problem is I only own a laptop, my new iBook. Coding and writing for 10 hours a day on a 1024x768 screen really is no fun. I've got a USB hub, mouse, and keyboard to make it feel more like a desktop, but nothing can replace having a good screen. Today I bought a flatpanel.
Sometimes you only need a little.
April 11th, 2005
The book is done and I'm up to my ears in Windows bugs so I thought I'd take a break and work on some Mac stuff. There are a few features I've always wanted from Java and needed anyway for another side project (I've got about 3 dozen, of course). The result is a few teeny, tiny classes I've added to the new JDIC Misc project. This project is meant as a catchall for small APIs, things that require only one class or perhaps even one method. The implementation may be complicated as all get-out, but to use it you need only call a function or two.
The Portable MiniApp: Mortgage Calculator
April 7th, 2005
Hey guys. A while back I started talking about something called a MiniApp and presented several examples (Weather, Christmas, Storm, and RSI Buster). I wrote another installment some time ago but never got around to finishing it because other projects (namely the book) took precedence. Now that Chris and I have turned in our final draft (yay!) I have more time to finish up the next MiniApp.
Quick Tip for OSX Users
March 31st, 2005
If you are like me you have broken finger bindings. Probably from years of
bash use or maybe you just have to switch platforms all the time. Since finger bindings are difficult to change this little utility will change the key bindings instead.
Why don't you ship Swing apps?
March 31st, 2005
Time and time again I hear that there are no Swing apps (or no good swing apps). We can come up with lots of excuses and explanations but that doesn't get us any closer to having more Swing apps. So I'd simply like to ask all of you. Starting with the assumption that all of you are Java developers in some fashion or another, but not necesarily Swing developers, I want to ask you:
Subversion Rename Rocks!
March 24th, 2005
I don't like revision control systems
I should start off by saying that I'm not a big fan of revision control systems. What I want out of an RCS is simple. Let me check files in and out so that my code is backed up and I can revert and merge as needed. I have found that branches rarely get used except in the biggest of projects. Though your RCS system can probably handle it, developers are still people and you can end up in a lot of trouble when you work on more than one branch at a time. Over the years I have used PVCS, RCS, Contiuum, Source Safe, Star Team (I think that was the name) and a few others. I keep coming back to CVS because it does exactly what I want (backup and store revisions of a tree of files) and does it with a few simple commands. It also has the advantage of being supported everywhere.
No Session-y Goodness for Me.
March 13th, 2005
As many of you have discovered, your submissions to JavaOne were rejected. Don't feel bad. Only one of my 6 proposals were accepted, and I'm now a Sun employee myself. I the competition was fierce. The upside is we should have a really rocking JavaOne conference coming up.
Big news. I'm going West.
February 23rd, 2005
Hello All. I know it's been a while since I've been posted, so I'd like to let you all know what I've been working on. Lots of good things have happened or are coming soon. First of all....
Apple's latest efforts are the triumph of software over hardware.
January 12th, 2005
Normally I don't comment on new products, especially hotly anticipated ones that a million others will pontificate endlessly. However, I'm breaking my rule because I'm quite amazed by the new iPod Shuffle and iMac Mini. Not because of the products themselves but because of what they represent. They are both the triumph of software over hardware.
XML to Swing and the Gradual API
December 7th, 2004
I know it's been a while since I've posted, and sadly it's going to be a while until I do again. Work, my opensource projects, and my book are keeping me slammed. I've lots of good stuff cooking, so stay tuned.
October 25th, 2004
Send me your ideas of what you'd like to see out of webstart. What are the missing features. What are the most important bugs? I want to figure out what we can do through addons and what requires changes from Sun.
Please: think of the users!
October 18th, 2004
Usability is the number one concern when designing software. And I don't mean "today with modern computing and the lack of new types of software usability is easier and growing in importance". I mean computers have no other purpose than to serve humans, and a better computer serves humans better. End of story. Software that doesn't conform to the way humans do things is bad software. (bad!) I don't care how cool and awesome your software is, if it's not understandable then it's useless.
Countdown to Christmas: a Customizable MiniApp
October 3rd, 2004
Weather Watcher: Release Deux
September 29th, 2004
One of the things I love about Java is that I can quickly change things. With an army of libraries and Java's renowned platform independence I can quickly hack on a new feature or move code from the client to the server. A couple of days ago I showed off a webstart app with, umm, a few issues. I now proudly present :