Thursday Jan 07, 2010

InfoWorld on VirtualBox: "Our advice to VMware (and Microsoft): Be afraid. Be very afraid."


VirtualBox 3.1 wins 2010 Technology of the Year Award from InfoWorld. The Test Center reviewers at InfoWorld credited VirtualBox as a "disruptive product" that sneaked up on an established category and shook up the apple cart. The judges were impressed with VirtualBox's unrivaled features like 32-way virtual SMP support and "teleport" -- capability to dynamically move running VMs between VirtualBox host systems. Check out the original review here for details.

InfoWorld concluded, "[VirtualBox] is a huge development for Sun Microsystems, one that places it on a collision course with heavyweights VMware and Microsoft in the virtualized datacenter. But the most remarkable aspect of this story is how quickly the company has brought this virtualization platform along. In a little over a year, Sun has turned this relatively unknown fledgling from an obscure German software developer (Innotek) into a potent threat."
Sun VirtualBox -- InfoWorld's 2010 Technology of the Year
InfoWorld's final take: "Our advice to VMware (and Microsoft): Be afraid. Be very afraid."

Congratulations to the Sun VirtualBox team!

Thursday Dec 31, 2009

Year's last "At a Glance" : Recent reviews of JavaFX, NetBeans, VirtualBox, OpenOffice and OpenSolaris


VirtualBox
VirtualBox users shared a variety of top-notch reviews as well as tips & tricks this week for the free virtualization program. A blogger from Showing My Geek, who recently started using VirtualBox, said, “I really like it,” and explained that he especially appreciated “the ability to allot memory for the video of the virtual machine.” Another blogger selected VirtualBox to highlight as the software product of the month and stated, “VirtualBox is similar to Microsoft Virtual PC, but better” and pointed to its wide-ranging support for a variety of operating systems. A blogger from wikihow.com posted a VirtualBox tutorial for users who want to “play with other operating systems without having to change what’s on your computer right now.” And finally, a blogger demonstrated how to set up VirtualBox on a Linux host to sync an iPod Touch 2G and said, “I am quite happy (and surprised) to find that this solution works for me.”

JavaFX
Some JavaFX users kept busy testing the features of the new JavaFX composer this week while others continued to test the limitations of the current release. Nick Apperley reviewed the JavaFX Composer and said the templates “are a great productivity booster in JavaFX Composer,” noting that with the tool, all of the options for creating and customizing are centralized in one location. Another blogger compared JavaFX to Flex and said the biggest differentiator favoring JavaFX is its “ability to quickly create fantastic animation and graphs compared to Flex where 3rd party libraries come into play.” Longtime JavaFX blogger Drew designed and shared a new calendar implementation he built in JavaFX to improve his design skills, while Jeff Friesen published a tutorial that details a basic demonstration of the JavaFX PerspectiveTransform class.

NetBeans
Many NetBeans users continued to explore the features of the new 6.8 release of the IDE this week while others continued to report NetBeans success stories in production environments. Adam Bien posted several blogs focusing on his experience with the 6.8 release, with one blog dedicated to the five features that he said, “make NetBeans 6.8 my IDE of choice.” The other blog looked at the new NetBeans issue tracking tool, which he said, “really rocks” because “you get immediate feedback whether it is a new bug, a known one or what the resolution is … without leaving the IDE.” Finally, blogger Nat discussed his use of the NetBeans IDE for his UI automation project and said, “NetBeans is a great IDE for watir testing; I heartily recommend it,” noting that, “its svn integration is better than anything else I’ve used so far.”

OpenOffice
OpenOffice users were buzzing with excitement over the new 3.2 release candidate, and wrote about the new features of the upgraded program. Blogger Martin from ghacks.net wrote about the new reduction in startup time as well as the new proprietary file compatibility, which he said, “now supports password protected Microsoft Office documents.” Deb Russell from about.com also discussed OpenOffice this week, and recommended the MATH equation editor that comes with the office productivity suite saying it “lets you slip math equations into your documents rather easily.”

OpenSolaris
OpenSolaris users shared a plethora of tricks with others this week starting with a blogger from Ubiquitous Talk who published an in-depth tutorial that demonstrates how to protect active directories with snapshots implemented with OpenSolaris based storage heads and W2K3 or W2K8 servers. A blogger from Simon’s Musings provided a valuable tutorial that goes through “all of the steps from bare metal” to building a version of OpenAFS on Solaris. Finally, a blogger from The Intersect posted a series of workarounds he has compiled for different issues he encountered in OpenSolaris including turning off output flushing, a broken keyboard layout, and a tip for updating systems.

Tuesday Dec 22, 2009

JavaFX Amps Up Social Networking Products At LodgON


Reviews Interactive recently spoke with Wim De Munck and Johan Vos of LodgON discussing how the company is using JavaFX to deliver social networking products and services to clients. Both Wim and Johan were early Java pioneers who became interested in JavaFX technology when it was first announced as a Java-based RIA development tool at the JavaOne 2007 keynote address. They were pleased to find that JavaFX has benefits on both the development side and for the application's end-user. As Johan said: “For our developers, JavaFX is a relief since the write-once run-anywhere paradigm now holds for Web development as well,” and pointed out that the end user equally benefits, of course, “from the fact that a more attractive user interface can now be offered.”

LodgON uses Java end-to-end in its application development, and Johan said he has found using JavaFX to be critical to both the front-end and the back-end development. As he stated, “In social networking software, the interactions between users are very important; they provide part of the real value of a project,” and pointed out that “the JavaFX HttpRequest in combination with the Jersey RESTimplementation in the Glassfish back-end allows for a high number of small requests.” Additionally, Johan reported that with JavaFX, LodgON has experienced “a dramatic reduction of the development time,” which he said saves the company from losing time “writing dirty hacks in JavaScript/CSS for each different browser.”


LodgON




Johan said the primary advantage JavaFX offers a Java developer “is the ability to use the familiar Java APIs in the JavaFX code.” And while LodgON also does projects in Flex, Johan said there is no mistaking the fact that the ability to use the Java Syntax in JavaFX “allows for a really fast development.” As an added bonus, Wim said “customers really like the 'application style' of the projects we do with JavaFX.” He listed highlights his customers have pointed to with the employment of JavaFX including “the ability to drag the JavaFX application out of the browser window, close the browser and still continue working with the JavaFX application.”

Johan also reported that LodgON is actively working on proof-of-concepts in a mapping software component for opening up JavaFX to Location Based Services as well as an OSGi service browser written in JavaFX that can handle both OSGi bundles in addition to JavaFX apps. As to what he hopes the future holds with JavaFX, Johan said that having a component that allows LodgON to edit HTML “would allow us to port even more applications to JavaFX.” LodgON is clearly dedicated to learning and sharing more about JavaFX, and has just created a new section on the company's Web site where it profiles a sample of its JavaFX applications.

To read more about how LodgON is using JavaFX and what other benefits it has realized from its implementation of the technology, check out the full interview transcript here.

Thursday Dec 17, 2009

VirtualBox gets rave review in InfoWorld

VirtualBox

InfoWorld's Randall C. Kennedy published a desktop virtualization review that looks at the latest developments made by VirtualBox, VMware and Parallels. Randall described VirtualBox as the “one freebie that breaks the mold and delivers more, not less than you're expecting,” and said of the three programs VirtualBox has had the most compelling recent developments. He pointed out that with the latest innovations in the 3.1 release: “Users from the three major platforms – Windows, MacOS X, and Linux – are flocking to VirtualBox for its scalability, robust networking, and bargain price point.”

Randall said that in general VirtualBox “after years of wallowing in obscurity” is now causing quite a ruckus.” He pointed to VirtualBox's quick evolution after being taken on by Sun, describing features such as 32-way virtual SMP support as unrivaled while noting that the branched snapshots feature “brings it on par with its commercial competitors.”
Sun VirtualBox
However, Randall said “the real shocker” with VirtualBox 3.1 is its new Teleportation ability, which adds the capability to dynamically move running VMs between VirtualBox host systems. With this latest addition Randall said “suddenly, this once shy, awkward desktop VM solution is sporting speeds and feeds that seem more at home on a VMware ESX or Microsoft Hyper-V datasheet.”

Randall noted that this latest development takes VirtualBox in an entirely new direction, one that leads directly to the corporate datacenter and the lucrative rack space turn carved out by the commercial virtualization heavyweights.” He concluded by saying: “If VirtualBox proves as capable and scalable as its latest incarnation seems to indicate, it could have a dramatic effect on the balance of power among the raised floors set.”

Tuesday Dec 15, 2009

Matthew Hegarty, October winner of the JFXStudio Challenge, talks about JavaFX technology


Reviews Interactive recently spoke with the October winner of the JFXStudio Challenge, Matthew Hegarty, creator of the JavaFX Video Poker game, which was written with a total of just 2,994 characters. A long-time Java programmer, Matt started using JavaFX about two years ago, and has relied primarily on online resources to learn the language, following examples posted on various blogs. However, in a sentiment common to the developer world, Matt states that “the most effective way of learning is to actually use the language, which is partly why I've been taking part in the JFXStudio challenges.”

Matt's idea for the Video Poker game came after hearing Dick Wall of the Java Posse mention a poker game while discussing the challenge. Even though Matt thought “it's too obvious,” he forged ahead with development. The approach Matt took was to write the code normally, and to aim for no more than 4,500 characters, confident he could cut it from there. Once he developed a final cut, he had to remove whitespace, and cut down variable names. However, when he found he was still 100 characters over he said “I had to try to shave off extra characters where I could – this involved removing extraneous semi-colons, re-using strings where I could and even swapping declarations of MountEvent for FXBase because it had a shorter name!”

Matt admits there were a few sacrifices he had to make in creating the game – mainly cutting out animations for the cards – but said, “mostly by sticking to a simple idea I was able to keep the core of the game there.” Besides the Video Poker game, Matt has used JavaFX in other application development to include a previous entry into a JFXStudio challenge called Reaction Time task, while another is an educational application called PsyKit – a face recognition task – for students of psychology.
Matthew Hegarty
Matthew Hegarty

When discussing JavaFX Matt said: “Once you get used to the style of the language you can create applications very quickly,” stating that it makes it easy and quick to translate an idea into “something working on screen, and that really keeps programming fun.” Matt was able to get the basics of his Video Poker game going in only a couple of hours, which he said was the result of “the more you use it [JavaFX], the more efficient you become.”

Read the written Q&A with Matt here.

Wednesday Dec 09, 2009

JavaFX helps WhiteStone create the “wow” factor


Reviews Interactive recently spoke with José Rubi-Gonzalo from WhiteStone Technology about how the company is currently using JavaFX in the Workflow component of its Consolidated Service Desk and IT Service Management product. Specifically, WhiteStone utilized JavaFX to create an intuitive tool with a rich set of functionalities that allows users to create complex business processes using a visual approach. José points out that “UI design is key for a successful application,” and noted that JavaFX has helped WhiteStone differentiate from other competitors in the service desk industry by giving them the capabilities to create a visually rich UI that not only helps users be more comfortable, but productive as well.

José said the JavaFX technology was announced at a time when the WhiteStone was already looking to update its Workflow tool which José said “needed to evolve,” to add more functionality without limiting growth. He said the technology “matched exactly our needs – a Java based language that fit nicely into our existing J2EE framework, multi-platform, and multi-screen.” José said there was a very fast adoption of the technology by the development team noting: “JavaFX is very easy to pick up for Java developers so our team was writing code on JavaFX in no time.”

WhiteStone Technology


José said a simple integration process was another key factor in selecting JavaFX because WhiteStone needed to protect its past technology investments. However, since the original application was developed on J2EE, José said introducing JavaFX was “straightforward.” José said WhiteStone is now able to deliver more features on a faster timeline “because our development capability has grown very significantly with the technology change.” When asked about what he liked most about using JavaFX in the service desk application José responded: “For me, personally, is the peace of mind that JavaFX gives me, because I know we have the ability to maintain and grow our application with the level of quality interaction and visual design that our users expect.”

Looking to the future, José said the company is looking to continue incorporating JavaFX into the rest of the service desk application while also exploring the potential of using JavaFX for a mobile platform to extend the capabilities of field service users. WhiteStone is also working on deploying a system with a software UI developed entirely in JavaFX for one of the leading hospitals in Spain, that will help increase quality of life for patients. As José pointed out, when starting work on this new project “we knew we could not just write another web interface...with JavaFX we had the capacity to produce the application we envision, mixing an innovative interactive design with great visual capabilities.”

To learn more about WhiteStone's experience with JavaFX, read the full interview here.

Tuesday Dec 08, 2009

Sun Ray thin clients help leading UK retailer to improve operations and reduce costs



Founded in 1979, ScrewFix is the leading tool, accessory, and hardware product supplier to both building professionals and DIY enthusiasts in the U.K. The company's original business model was based on high-volume catalog orders, but it now runs a substantial online operation in addition to its network of 143 trade outlets, delivering millions of products to customers every year.
Sun Customer ScrewFix
(Image courtesy: ScrewFix)
The ScrewFix contact center plays a critical role in daily operations, taking customer calls to place orders while also handling other customer inquiries including refunds and exchanges, using internally developed customer relationship management software. Until recently, contact center agents used the CRM system running on desktop PCs connected to the company's datacenter. However, slow system performance was making it increasingly difficult to respond quickly to customer inquiries. In 2008, as the PCs came to an end of their lifecycle, ScrewFix looked into an alternative solution with Sun.

Sun recommended a proof of concept using five Sun Ray 270 Virtual Display Client terminals that were deployed in different areas of the contact center, and ScrewFix reported that “the end-user response was impressive.” The proof of concept was enough to convince the ScrewFix IT team to deploy 350 Sun Ray 270 Virtual Display Client terminals to the entire contact center team, powered by 10 Sun Blade X6250 Server Modules residing in two Sun Blade 6000 Chassis. Six of the blades run Windows Server 2003 Terminal Services, while the other four run Sun Ray Software 4 on top of the Solaris 10 Operating System.

The new solution was installed overnight during one week to minimize disruption to employees and customers, and user migration to the new systems took place quickly. ScrewFix's server and storage team leader Peter Smith reports that because the technology is so easy to use, “for most people it was business as usual from the moment they switched on their new machine.” Additionally, ScrewFix employees are also saving time, with startup times up to 95% faster than the previous solution. The deployment of thin-client technology has also significantly lowered hardware total cost of ownership and made administration much simpler and less time consuming.

Check out the complete details, along with a podcast, here.

Wednesday Dec 02, 2009

JavaFX enables Ubivent to develop customized virtual event platform


Reviews Interactive recently spoke with Jens Arndt from Ubivent, 'Europe's leading virtual event specialist.' Ubivent both designs and conducts customized virtual events, and has based its entire platform on JavaFX. The primary reason Ubivent selected JavaFX is because the technology allows developers to create customizable graphics controls and effects in the events platform, which is essential for Ubivent customers who are utilizing virtual events as a marketing instrument, and need to ensure that all events fit corporate design guidelines.

Jens said that JavaFX makes the UI easier to customize and configure in many ways, by allowing the 3D architecture to change for each event, without having to alter the general design. As he pointed out, with JavaFX: “All of the UI is configured using XML files which are synchronized between the servers and the clients using our proprietary protocol. We then bind our DOM directly to the UI elements and so we can push updates instantly to running clients.” Jens said this has allowed Ubivent to create a much simpler process then what could be achieved with other programming languages and platforms.
Ubivent

Beyond the freedom in design JavaFX provides, Jens pointed out that “from our perspective, the most critical element is the fact that JavaFX is a powerful programming language, which makes developments really easy.” He went on to state that the clear structure of JavaFX “allows us to achieve a high degree of code re-usability within our projects,” while also allowing developers to use already established debugging tools. These details, along with the binding for UI components and overall integration with existing Java code, have helped Ubivent to improve “day-to-day efficiency in developing our platform.”

In looking to the future, Ubivent plans to leverage the capabilities of JavaFX to develop a sophisticated “what-you-see-is-what-you-get-like” admin tool to allow customers to have even more flexibility in the set-up and administration of virtual events. Jens also reports that Ubivent is additionally looking to build an evaluation and reporting app for the platform, as the company moves towards building a complete user-friendly event infrastructure, saying: “JavaFX helps us attain this goal." He is looking forward to added features and functionalities in JavaFX including getting increased accessibility support, media capturing capability, and a fully functional password field, but said right now, "in general we're totally happy with JavaFX."

To read more about how Ubivent has integrated JavaFX in its virtual events platform, read the full interview here.

Now Available: Solaris Cluster 3.2 11/09 Software


Today Sun announced the availability of the Solaris Cluster 3.2 11/09 software. Listen to the short podcast below for the details.



Tuesday Nov 24, 2009

At a Glance: Last Week's VirtualBox, JavaFX, NetBeans, OpenOffice & OpenSolaris Reviews


VirtualBox
VirtualBox received exuberant praise in both trade publications and on top blogs this week. InfoWorld's Randall Kennedy said VirtualBox “delivers tremendous virtualization power” and also noted that it “installs quickly, requires very little study, and includes all the essentials.” Ken Hess from Linux Magazine stated: “Yes, VirtualBox is all that and a bag of computer chips,” while Larry Henry from Lehsys.com reported in a blog titled 'VirtualBox just keeps getting better,' that he has been using the program for eight months and that “it's been just awesome … there's no lag to it – it just works.” Finally, blogger Roger recommended VirtualBox because “the virtualization technology is top notch.”

JavaFX
JavaFX was discussed in a variety of forums this week, including in an analysis piece of the Java programming language by Peter Wayner at InfoWorld. Peter said that while JavaFX requires Java programmers to learn a new language, “the new animation classes may make it worthwhile for highly interactive desktop tools.” Meanwhile, a blogger new to JavaFX developed his first application with the programming language and said “indeed, it's a lot easier to prepare the GUI than plain old AWT,” and also pointed out that “JavaFX is a lot easier way to do the graphics.” Finally, a blogger from Soft-Tech Talks reported “I am amazed with its features,” after testing the GUI development capabilities of JavaFX.

NetBeans
An ever-increasing number of developers made the move to NetBeans this week starting with Glen Smith who reported NetBeans was his choice of IDE for Grails development because “the Mercurial support is just fantastic (and built into the basic install!).” A blogger from TechnologyTales.com made the switch to NetBeans after Eclipse stopped working with his Ubuntu 9.10 upgrade and said “things seemed to go smoothly and it looks to have replaced Eclipse for PHP development duties.” Finally, Quintin Beukes selected NetBeans for its Maven support and said while it doesn't have as large of a feature count as Eclipse, “the features it does have are far more complete and of much higher quality.”

OpenOffice
OpenOffice users had heaps of praise for the office productivity suite this week starting with Willow Sidhe who described OpenOffice as “the best free word processor out there.” She said: “I use it exclusively for word processing and I actually prefer the program to Microsoft Word.” Don Lindich said he has been using OpenOffice regularly and has “come to prefer it over the latest version of Microsoft Word,” and pointed out that the compatibility with Word is great. Finally, Kent Newsome reported that he was “pretty impressed” with OpenOffice, saying “I'm about ready to call OpenOffice a winner.”

OpenSolaris
OpenSolaris enthusiasts continued to share tips and tricks with others this week, employing some inventive new methods in the process. Beryl Sims created a “visual installation tutorial” that walks step-by-step through the process of an OpenSolaris installation. A blogger at Linux Administration demonstrated how to setup an OpenSolaris client to work with a Linux OpenLDAP server while a blogger at Linux/UNIX succinctly described how to install a Flash player on OpenSolaris through Firefox. Finally, blogger Colin described how to overcome a bug that prevents the install of pkgs on OpenSolaris snv_127 through the Package Manager and command line.

Wednesday Nov 18, 2009

Last Week's OpenOffice Reviews


1. Why I Dumped Microsoft Office – epmonthly.com, 11/11
The blogger has been using OpenOffice 3.2 beta for a week and said, “this program rocks...the developers of OpenOffice have really made a lot of great improvements.” He said the OpenOffice suite has “a good 90% of the functionality of Office 2003,” and pointed out that “there is a low learning curve for the transition between Microsoft Office and OpenOffice.”
OpenOffice.org
2. 9 Best Free Alternatives to Paid Commercial Software – danzyworld.blogspot.com, 11/11
Blogger Dan said “OpenOffice replicates almost all of the same, functionality, menus, and even file formats,” of Microsoft Office, making it a viable alternative. He said “for most fans of the old office, or students who just need to jam out a paper now and then without paying Microsoft, it will do the trick.”

3. 10 Helpful & Useful Apps for Small Business – infusionblog.com, 11/9
Joe Manna, in discussing the top 10 apps for a small business, said OpenOffice has “a great core set of apps that allow you to author documents, presentations, and spreadsheets with ease.” He said the office suite is often “underrated,” but that it is “very suitable for many small businesses and entrepreneurs.”

4. 4 FREE Online Tools that you SHOULD be using in ANY business – blog.momekh.com, 11/7
The blogger, who has been using OpenOffice for the past 9 months said, “Not once have I 'missed' any of the features available in MS Office.” He continued to say, “all said and done, OpenOffice has served me just fine. I would go ahead and say that it is perfect because apart from being a direct replacement of the most popular office software, OpenOffice is free.”

5. OpenOffice.org 3.1.1 for Mac: first impression – aryadn.posterous.com, 11/7
The blogger was pleased to see the “command + shift + right arrow or left arrow” was again available in Calc of the 3.1.1 release of OpenOffice. He said of the entire suite “it's much more stable,” and said because of that “I'm putting the schedule to shift my staff from Microsoft Office users into OpenOffice users.”

6. Lesser Known, But Very Helpful Features in OpenOffice.org Writer – linux.com, 11/5
Jack Wallen highlighted several lesser-known features available in OpenOffice Writer to include notes, mail merge, and styles and formatting, all of which he said can be used “to make OpenOffice Writer work as a much more powerful tool in your office.”

Reviews and How-to Articles from NetBeans Developers


1. Using Graphs to Build Your Own Ruby Pattern Matcher – justinbozonier.posterous.com, 11/9
Justin Bozonier wrote about using dynamic programming to implement a string matching algorithm. He said for the IDE he tried using RadRails, RubyMine, and NetBeans, and said “ultimately I chose NetBeans...for some reason it turned out to be the easiest for me.”
NetBeans
2. NetBeans finally imports my Eclipse projects – joconner.com, 11/9
John O'Conner excitedly reported that NetBeans 6.7.1 was able to import Eclipse projects he does at his day job, and works with “no errors, no problems.” John was excited because this compatibility means “I'm going to use NetBeans again after 2 years away!” He pointed out the bonus is that “the Java support of the IDE is amazing,” stating “NetBeans does JavaScript FAR BETTER than Eclipse does.”

3. NetBeans Unit Test Creation better than Eclipse? And where should unit test live? – beilers.com, 11/9
The blogger, who said he is “kind of tied to Eclipse as my IDE,” also “plays” with NetBeans and said he would switch if the IDE had Emacs key bindings. Among the highlights the blogger said he “especially like the way it (NetBeans) manages plug-ins,” as well as the way it handles unit testing by automatically creating a secondary source tree, and the way libraries are separated.

4. Migrating to NetBeans Platform 6.8 – launchpad.net/gephi, 11/8
Mathieu Bastian reported on his trunk code update from NetBeans 6.5 to 6.8 and said “no bug has been found after migrating,” and also pointed out that “the retro-compatibility is really satisfying.”

5. Develop High Transaction Web Applications with Java MySQL & NetBeans – armelnene.blogspot.com, 11/12
Armel Nene published an in-depth tutorial that demonstrates how to develop a high transactional Web application, using NetBeans to generate the code.

6. Create a GWT Application from Scratch – blog.jdevelop.eu, 11/11
The blogger demonstrated how to create a GWT application for NetBeans in this in-depth tutorial, as well as how to do so with Eclipse and IntelliJ IDEA, allowing people to choose which IDE to work in.

7. PHP Remote Debugging with NetBeans 6.8 – roysimkes.net, 11/10
The blogger said NetBeans 6.8 is “getting better and better,” pointing out that you can now debug php code with the it, which he demonstrated how to do in this tutorial.

8. Configuring JavaMail on GlassFish – energybuns.blogspot.com, 11/6
The blogger posted a tutorial that shows how to use the NetBeans platform (6.5.1) to configure JavaMail on GlassFish.

9. Changing default Look'n'Feel for NetBeans (and the GUI builder) – raftaman.net, 11/6
The blogger said “NetBeans' GUI builder is great,” pointing out that “it's one of the essential features that made me drop Eclipse.” However, he noted that designing certain GUIs are difficult because the preview look and feel on NetBeans may differ from the look and feel of the application platform. Therefore, he described how to change the NetBeans look and feel (as well as the GUI builder's look and feel) in this tutorial.

10. Simple example on NetBeans using Java with Swing – Sum – en.actualidadinformatica.com, 11/6
The blogger posted a simple tutorial that demonstrated how to use NetBeans to combine Java and Swing elements in an application that executes a simple sum of two numbers.

Tuesday Nov 17, 2009

At a Glance: Recent VirtualBox, JavaFX and OpenSolaris Reviews


VirtualBox
This week there was a prolific amount of VirtualBox buzz to be found on the Web. Blogger Hardik Shah said VirtualBox “reigns supreme” over all virtualization options on the market stating that “everything is just CLASS EXTRAORDINARY.” A blogger from Fun with IT reported on the migration of a Windows XP virtual machine from VMware to VirtualBox and said it “worked even better than I expected,” noting that in VirtualBox “the VM just booted and ran like a champ!” Finally, a blogger from Bill's Security Blog discussed why he used VirtualBox in the setup of a safe environment to perform penetration testing, and also described how to set up and configure VirtualBox for internal networking only.

JavaFX
JavaFX continued to gain momentum this week as developers published new applications and explored new tools. Sten Anderson released a new version of his JavaFX-based music discovery application, Music Explorer FX, updating it to take advantage of “performance and stability improvements” in JavaFX 1.2. Sten reported that the new release “boasts notable performance improvements and some crazy caching techniques.” Blogger Drew from the JavaFX Journey tested blend modes in JavaFX and concluded that “blending can be powerful.” He also published an application that displays the effects of the various modes. Finally, Max Katz posted two tutorials this week, one in which he demonstrated how Exadel Flamingo allows a user to utilize Hibernate Validator-based validation in the JavaFX UI, while in the other he showed how to connect a Seam component from JavaFX to an enterprise back-end using Exadel Flamingo.

OpenSolaris
It was another hefty week of OpenSolaris tutorials, as more and more users blogged about their experiences with the OS. A blogger from toic.org reported that he has been using OpenSolaris for a while and said “I'm quite pleased with it to say the least,” posting an in-depth tutorial that demonstrates how to set up an OpenSolaris server, using ZFS and COMSTAR to create “a scalable, high-performance, low-budget storage server.” Meanwhile, a blogger from dfusion.com.au posted a step-by-step guide to mounting Solaris NVSv4 using Kerberos onto a Mac, which he reported he has been wanting to do because of Solaris ZFS which “is way superior to any other current filing system. Period.” Finally, OpenSolaris enthusiast Ewald Ertl demonstrated how to copy files to a remote Solaris server using Nautilus in OpenSolaris, which he likes because it “supports the navigation on remote systems with a lot of protocols.”

Sunday Nov 15, 2009

Sun News -- The Week in Review


In the weekly Sun News podcast, Maijaliisa and I talk about the availability of Sun Ray Software 5 and the European Commission's Statement of Objections to Oracle's acquisition of Sun.

Enjoy!


Thursday Nov 12, 2009

Tips & Tricks from NetBeans Developers


1. My Development Environment -– whoneedsactions.com, 11/4
Blogger James Riley said since starting with NetBeans he has “never looked back.” He noted that what makes NetBeans his IDE of choice “is its Ruby on Rails support – being able to carry out all your command line activities from within the IDE saves me a lot of time.”
NetBeans
2. 15+ Creative Java applications based on NetBeans Platform -– veerasundar.com, 11/3
The blogger said NetBeans is more than “just an IDE that helps you to build Java/PHP/C++ applications,” and stated “there are numerous GUI applications built upon the NetBeans platform,” 15 of which he highlighted in this post.

3. Glassfish, NetBeans and JSF 2.0 Test Drive –- andygibson.net, 11/2
Andy Gibson has been testing the new NetBeans 6.8 beta release and said “feature-wise it is a great product with better tooling for JSF,” along with other programs but said “while the features are impressive, NetBeans still seems hindered by performance issues and some minor bugs,” but said compared with other IDEs, “NetBeans is a superior product in terms of features.”

4. ZK 3.6.3 with NetBeans 6.8 Beta on GlassFish V3 –- javadude.wordpress.com, 11/6
The blogger, who is using NetBeans 6.8 Beta, was curious to see whether he could get the latest ZK release to work with NetBeans 6.8 running on GlassFish, and demonstrated step-by-step just how to add ZK 3.6.3 to NetBeans to create a directory for GlassFish in this tutorial.

5. HSQLDB NetBeans –- anipossible3.blogspot.com, 11/5
The blogger gave a step-by-step instructions describing how to configure HSQLDB in NetBeans in this tutorial.

6. NetBeans Platform: Implement Perforce client – part IV –- javasign.blogspot.com, 11/2
The blogger finished up his series on the Perforce client with the NetBeans platform, to illustrate how it can be implemented as a versioning client in NetBeans. Specifically, in this tutorial he discussed how to integrate into Perforce the NetBeans IDE file manipulation operations to include add, delete, rename, move, or edit using the NetBeans VCSInterceptor class.

7. ReST Web Services on Google App Engine using NetBeans 6.7 –- armelnene.blogspot.com, 11/1
Armel Nene demonstrated how to develop a ReST based web service that works with the Google App Engine using NetBeans and Jersey API in this tutorial.

8. Install iReport Plugins in NetBeans –- ireport-tutorial.blogspot.com, 11/1
The blogger posted a screencast tutorial that demonstrates how to install the iReport plugin in NetBeans, which the blogger said “is the most popular and top-rated NetBeans plugin.” He said the plugin allows the user to easily design reports in NetBeans.

9. NetBeans Platform: JNLP & static codebase –- puces-blog.blogspot.com, 10/31
Blogger Florian Brunner discussed how to deploy a JNLP NetBeans Platform application to a web server that doesn't support WAR-files in this tutorial.

10. NetBeans IDE unboxing and review -– violarocks.wordpress.com, 10/31
The blogger posted a video tutorial that shows the unboxing and installation of NetBeans 6.7.1 along with the creation of a simple Java project application in NetBeans.

11. NetBeans Refactoring – Part 1 –- significantinsignificance.wordpress.com, 10/30
The blogger published a tutorial on on refactoring in NetBeans, which he said is “a very powerful and a personal favorite NetBeans feature.” He described how the refactoring capabilities available in NetBeans can allow the user to change source code easily, illustrating and explaining half of the options available in the refactor menu in this post.

12. Writing your First Boxee App -– greatboxee.com, 10/30
The blogger posted an in-depth step-by-step guide to writing a Boxee app using NetBeans as an IDE. At the end, he said his experience with NetBeans was “just OK” noting that “it had the bare minimum of refactorings, intellisense, and a test runner.”

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