The 2012 JavaZone video is out and it’s absolutely brilliant

The JavaZone conference has a reputation for the quality and cleverness of its promotional videos, but this year’s takes it to a whole new level. Don’t watch this if you are offended by some (OK, quite a lot of) swearing. It may be coarse, but it’s very much in keeping with the style they have …

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Does it make sense to build your own workflow engine?

A “workflow engine” is becoming the new must-have for enterprise system development. In days gone by it might have been an automatic choice to go for an expert system, Enterprise Service Bus, messaging infrastructure or big-ticket database, but those now seem a little bit passé. There are several commercial workflow engines available, and a whole …

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Stringtree/Mojasef for Java 1.4 are now proper branches

A few months ago I made the decision to move the Stringtree and Mojasef code-bases on from their requirement to support older Java versions. I tagged a particular version of the code as “1.4 final” and proceeded to work through the trunk code in the repository to bring it in line with key Java 5 …

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Google App Engine for Java — First Impressions

The news was pointed out to me by a friend before I could blog about it, but Google App Engine supporting Java and servlets is a massive move forward for server side Java. I’m currently experimenting with my own evaluation of this, but in the meanwhile, here’s Michael Yuan’s take on it. Michael Yuan » …

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Build and deployment scripts using “real” programming languages

Like many teams, I’m sure, we are trying to squeeze every drop of effectiveness out of our time. Manual build and deployment not only takes up valuable time, but also acts as a drag on the development process. Anything which pulls developers out of “the zone” is a bad thing for productivity. We usually use …

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Fun with very strict TDD

I use Test-Driven Development (TDD) every day, and find it very helpful. It can be hard to get to grips with, though. I was pleased to read that acceptance-testing pundit Gojko Adzic had fun with some very strict TDD rules. Gojko Adzic » Thought-provoking TDD exercise at the Software Craftsmanship conference. My approach to TDD …

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reliable web app deployment using git and Resin

I have always liked the Resin application container. I often use it to develop servlet and J2EE applications, even ones which are eventually deployed on another server. Resin is fast, clean, and easy to manage. Its cool ability to run PHP as well as java is a bonus. Now it’s even cleverer, and it includes …

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How Difficult Is Securing Cloud Platforms?

In my dark moments I worry about the security of cloud computing. I used to be pretty upbeat about security, until some servers I was using to run a small specialist java hosting business were hacked. This resulted in the collapse of that business and the loss of several customer sites. Since then I have …

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PhoneME, a JavaVM for wifi routers

For some time I have beem mulling over the posibilities of deploying applications to low-cost wireless routers to provide hyper-local services to wi-fi surfers. One thing which has always put me off is the apparent need to dig deep into low-level Linux hacking. It’s a *long* time since I last did any significant C development. …

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Options for developing mobile apps: PhoneGap, Palm Pre, etc.

Mobile application development is certainly a hot topic at the moment. People seem to be climbing over one another to produce iPhone apps, and Google’s Android is never far from the tech news. But there are also other players, and several want to enable a more familiar web development experience on mobile devices. SitePen Blog …

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Test-Driven Development of HTTP and REST interfaces with Mojasef

Test-Driven Development (TDD) of HTTP and REST interfaces can be tricky. This post contains some examples of how to do it using the open source Mojasef toolkit. I was prompted to write this post after recently finding and fixing an irritating bug using just this technique. First, let’s set the scene. In TDD the rules …

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What’s up with Grizzly code and examples?

I was excited to read that the Grizzly Java server framework has had an update as I am currently trying to evaluate embeddable HTTP servers for several projects. I downloaded the grizzly http server jar and clicked through to the associated “Getting Started!” page of example code. It seemed so simple: knock together a fresh …

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Does More Than One Monitor Improve Productivity?

At work I have three monitors on my desk – one 20″ wide-screen and two 17″ regular monitors. At home I have just two somewhat mismatched 17″ monitors. Admittedly, in both cases all the monitors are attached to different computers, but using Synergy they respond to the same mouse and keyboard. I do a lot …

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Experimenting with GigaSpaces

As I was driving home from work yesterday it occurred to me that Sun seemed to somehow have missed a golden opportunity a few years ago. Their motto for ages was/is “The Network is the Computer” but the names everyone thinks of for “cloud” technology do not include Sun. What is most saddening is that …

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Never forget there’s a database

My personal preference is almost always to deal with a database at a fairly direct level. I have built up a bunch of Java code which largely removes the pain of database access, but it is certainly not any kind of ORM (Object-Relational Mapping) tool. I rely on understanding both the structure and efficiency of …

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WordPress syntax highlight plugin problems

Up until recently, I was using a WordPress plugin called “WP-codebox” to format my code samples in this blog, but today it broke my RSS feed, so I have abandoned it. I liked the “geshi” syntax highlighting engine used inside it, but unfortunately it generated flaky HTML, and was not smart enough to disable JavaScript …

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