Tuesday Jul 10, 2007

Free Online Java Web Services and SOA Training

Sang Shin's doing another great course. From Sang:

The 3rd session of the "Web Services and SOA Programming" online course starts from August 24th. The topics for the course are here

This new session will have heavy emphasis on the following 4 technology areas.

  • New Java APIs for Web Services (JAX-WS, JAXB, REST)
  • WSIT (Project Tango)
  • SOA Technologies (BPEL, JBI, Open ESB)
  • GlassFish (Java EE 5, JBI runtime, Service Engines)

For the Hands-on labs, the “out of the box” support of the above technologies by NetBeans 6.0 (both in terms of designer tool and runtime) will be heavily leveraged:

  • XML Schema editor
  • WSDL editor
  • BPEL designer
  • CASA
To register for this course, all you have to do is send a blank email to the course subscription alias.

Tuesday Jul 03, 2007

NetBeans 6 Milestone 10 Released

Here. Includes:

Ruby Debugger enhancements
Plugin Manager allows you to distribute groups of IDE components
Visual Designer with a new look and feel
More Ajax enabled components from Project Woodstock
Struts 1.3.x files are recognized by the IDE
UML Source Code Synchronization
and more

One gotcha I hit on my Mac was that the installer came up with a weird message about Milestone 9! Turns out that if you've installed Milestone 9, then deleted or moved it, this error comes up. Easiest workaround is to delete the .nbi directory in your home folder, and restart the install.

Why the .nbi directory exists or why the installer cares is what bugs me. Shades of the illbegoten "productregistry" file. Grrr!

Not to worry, once installed, lots of goodness to enjoy.

Saturday Jun 16, 2007

Mac Apps

Having used my Macbook Pro since just before JavaOne, I thought it worthwhile to detail what's hot and what's not, at least IMO.

Worth saying that - while I've used and appreciated Macs in the past - I now see why the huge shift towards the Mac from the developer community has happened. It's very difficult to avoid being the trad Mac fanboy. Probably comes down to workflow in the various ways one uses a computer.

First and foremost, QuickSilver is the cat's ass (old expression, probably not in vogue, but WTF). It took me several tries to get to the point where I really appreciated QS. It's a weird app: sorta somewhere between a command line and a GUI. Just Google quicksilver tutorial, go thru a few of them, and you'll eventually realise that this is something you can't do without.

MarsEdit is without doubt the best blogging app I've found. Simple, but complete.

TextMate is very nice: reminds me of UltraEdit on Windows. That is, a lot of its functionality is already available in other apps (for the most obvious example, NetBeans), but it's nice that you have this to fall back on. For example, HTML editing - along with a preview function - is very well done.

ForkLift is a new app, it's a two-pane "Finder replacement": provides all kinds of goodies, including (S)FTP support, the ability to uninstall apps, easy viewing/not viewing hidden files, etc. I just wish it had an Explorer-type view: having to always open a folder to see its contents is a drag.

I've already talked about Parallels. I want the app to succeed, to provide the competition to VMware. That said, they need to get more quality control into their processes.

SuperDuper is the backup utility, at least until TimeMachine hits. I do miss incrementals, having used rsnapshot on Ubuntu for a while. But TimeMachine should fix that.

BetterZip is just that. Despite Stuffit's long Mac history, BetterZip is, well, better. Particularly in that it doesn't automatically unzip a file. I want control, dammit.

Missing Sync + JSCalendarSync do it for me. It's so nice to have a PDA + Calendar sync'd to Google Calendar + iCal.

iTerm is indeed a better terminal app than Terminal.

Safari is crap compared to Firefox. YMMV.

VisualHub is the essence of what's right with the Mac: simple, yet extraordinarily complete. For audio only, Max does it for me.

YummyFTP is great, but I can't see paying for it, given I've bought ForkLift.

For RSS reading, BlogBridge is still it, for me. I've tried NetNewsWire and NewsFire, but they just don't provide anywhere near enough advantage, given that BlogBridge is still free.

There's more, but it's late on Saturday night. Later.

Friday Jun 15, 2007

The Emperor Has No Clothes

Urkh! We just upgraded the blogging system, and my theme has disappeared! Hope you enjoy the new naked look, but hopefully you won't need to enjoy it for long. Update: Back again, and fully dressed :-)

Sunday Jun 10, 2007

Problems in Parallels v3 Paradise

I'm 5 weeks into working on a wonderful MacBook Pro - 3GB, 2.33 GHz Core 2 Duo, etc. All the bells and whistles. And I must say, it's been really great.

The only problem has been Apple's lack of a complete release of Java SE 6. So perhaps they'll release it this week at WWDC. In the meantime, I've already a successful demo of NetBeans 6 + Java SE 6 within Windows Vista in a vm running within a beta release of Parallels v3. All good.

So this weekend, Parallels v3 goes GA: I download and install, but my already-purchased licence key doesn't work. Lots of confusion at Parallels, recorded message says to contact Element 5 (who handles their online purchases), Element 5 says that Parallels screwed up, they don't have any keys, etc. Hmmm. Well, maybe it's just the admin folks who haven't exactly got their act together. I send an email to support, then apply for and receive a two-week trial key to tide me over until they get organised.

Lots of new features! A surprising number since the last build I've been able to play with (I think there's a clue there). And if you try to use the GA version with an existing VM, you get warned that it will upgrade the vm so you won't be able to revert to the previous version, so you should back it up. Hmm. Well, OK.

I decide to install a WinXP VM, as I really don't have any need for Vista, particularly since it eats lots of resource. Install initially hangs part way thru: this happens twice. Hmm again. Well, maybe it needs sp2 - my install disk is at sp1. I get onto a windoze box, download the sp2 upgrade, and use the excellent free Nlite to slipstream sp2 into the xp disk (and to set some defaults - very useful), and create a new disk, which successfully installs. Add the usual bits and pieces (Firefox, metapad, etc. that I find essential on Windows), all OK. And, btw, play with some of the neat features mentioned above, like being able to resize the Parallels window and have the resolution in Windows automagically reset! Wowsers!

I install jdk SE6u1, all OK. Download glassfish, do a java -jar glassfish... to install and Urkh! licence dialog comes up blank. Can't continue. Download jdk5u11, same problem.

This is a showstopper for me. On looking over the Parallels forums, it appears others are having various problems. I get the distinct impression that in their mad race with Vmware Fusion, the Parallels folks have overlooked some testing.

I've downloaded the latest VMware Fusion build (beta 4), and used the same sp2 disk to install on it. All seemed to go OK, but haven't yet done the jdk/ glassfish thing. I'll report back.


VMware Fusion (beta 4) worked fine

Update 2: On a suggestion from the Parallels forums, I turned off DirectX support - which apparently conflicts with Java(!) - and the GF install worked. Sigh. The joys of early adoption. . .

Sunday Apr 01, 2007

Music DVDs and exercise

Having had the 'flu for a long time now, I've been missing exercise. Hope to get back to it soon.

I live in an area that's very hilly, and while the hills would probably be good for me eventually, it's sorta hard to get going. So the treadmill is the way to go, and for that one need some distraction: I find music DVDs the answer. Actually I really enjoy music DVDs rather than just CDs - the live performance and visuals make it that much more compelling. Some favourites are:

Fleetwood Mac's The Dance: Just the best of the lot for me. I was never a huge fan of FleetWood Mac when they were a supergroup, but they just got it all together for this reunion. Lindsey Buckingham was superb, the tension between him and Stevie was perfect, and it all just works. Worth watching even without a treadmill.

Anything from SlowHand works for me, but my current favourite is the Crossroads Guitar Festival, an extraordinary 2-DVD production with the finest guitar legends around, including Eric Clapton, BB King, Buddy Guy, Eric Johnson, James Taylor, Jimmie Vaughan, Joe Walsh, John Mayer, Robert Cray, Robert Randolph, Santana, ZZ Top, and lots more. Just mind-blowing!

Rockwiz is a musical quiz show from Melbourne that I watch religiously: excellent band and music, great vibe, fun all around. General idea is that 4 of the live audience is chosen to form two competitive teams, and they are complemented by two musicians, one for each team. The highlight of the show for me is the end, when the two guests perform a duet. SBS has released a DVD of these performances. Some are definitely odd couples, but most are just wonderful: some favourites are Tex Perkins and Deborah Conway - "Love Hurts", Jimmy Barnes and Mahalia Barnes - "Gonna Take Some Time", Chris Cheney and Chrissy Amphlett - "Stray Cat Blues", and lots more. But the absolute best is Angry Anderson and Sarah McLeod doing "Highway to Hell". Sarah is the ultimate Aussie rock chick (excellent guitarist!), and - as one of the band members said in the the introduction to the song - AC-DC definitely should have chosen Angry as Bon Scott's replacement. Just great!

Midnight Oil has had some great albums: the DVD I have been enjoying lately is Best of Both Worlds, particularly the "Oils on the Water" portion. Garrett doing his spooky, disjointed moves with a background of the sun setting over Sydney harbour and the Opera House - wow!

I could go on, but I have some Hands-On Labs for JavaOne to review: dooty calls.

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TechDays coming to Oz

Not confirmed, of course, but the inside word is that we'll be getting Sun Tech Days some time soon.

The problem in the past has been that we just couldn't get the numbers high enough to make it worthwhile for Sun to move the whole 4-day extravanganza to Oz/ New Zealand. However, the developer community has been increasingly responsive to our local DevDays, and with some assistance from technology (videoconferencing, Live-Aid style), we should be able to make it something special. Stay tuned.

Our recent DevDays event event quite well, albeit with some technical hitches : Qantas losing peoples' luggage all over the place - what is going on with them!?, sound systems not working, internet connections ditto, projectors being recalcitrant, me still suffering from this misbegotten 'flu, etc.. However, audience response was generally quite positive, and the numbers of attendees were higher than we expected. Very satisfying.

After JavaOne, we'll be having a large Horizons event, this time with both technical and managerial tracks. Horizons originated with SeeBeyond, but this will include sessions - from customers as well as Sun folks - on all of the infrastructure, including Tools, my main interest. Should be good, and we hope to bring some of the JavaOne magic to the event.

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Wednesday Feb 28, 2007

Installation of NetBeans on a new laptop

I know we folks in Sun do go on about how NetBeans "just works", but - not to be too much of a fanboy - I just installed nb5.5 on the above-mentioned new laptop with all associated packs, stuff from the Update Center like  the new UML modelling capabilities, Jackpot, etc. etc. and it was just so clean, so without any sort of hassle at all, that I was really impressed!

There. I said it, and I'm glad.

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Ubuntu (Feisty) and Toshiba Tecra M5

Just inherited a new laptop at work, a Tosh Tecra M5. Nice box, Core 2 Duo (T2600) with 2 GB ram, so it moves quite well. Never had a Tosh before, I'm impressed with the tools (for windoze only, blech!) that come with it.

Unfortunately, it has Intel "Mobile 945GM/GMS/940GML" integrated graphics subsystem, rather than a nice hot nVidia or ATI card. Having finely honed my xorg.conf file to nicely support external monitors/ projectors for presentations with my Inspiron 9300, I'm unhappy about seemingly having to return to square one with my Ubuntu installation.

I installed the current development build (Fiesty Fawn), which went in quite cleanly - most impressed with the WiFi just working out of the box - but xorg is a problem. The driver supplied by the installation is i810. First of all, the only resolution available was 1280x1024 (standard res for the LCD is 1400x1050). So I installed the 915resolution package, and configured it for 1400x1050. That works OK, now I have a choice of resolutions, 1400x1050 and 1280x1024. Unfortunately, most projectors need 1024x768, and I can't figure out what magic is needed to include that in the options available. Certainly just listing 1024x768 in Modes isn't enough.

In addition, even if I do get that accomplished, I dunno how to direct output to an external monitor, given that I no longer have nVidia's TwinView to use.

Very frustrating. This graphics area is the black hole of Linux on a laptop, IMO. Or maybe this 'flu I have has gone to my brain. Sigh.

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Friday Feb 23, 2007

New Looks and Feels from JTattoo

Some nice-looking stuff here. Free use and redistribution for non-commercials, royalty-free distribution for commercial apps. Looks pretty good, and they detail how to use the L&Fs for NetBeans. I sorta like SmartLookAndFeel. Note that you'll probably want Ramon's workaround to avoid overly-dark grey tabs.

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NetBeans 6.0 Milestone 7 Released with JRuby support

It's here, or you can use the new installer. Lots of new goodies, including Java Web Start support,  lots of Java editor enhancements (note that abbreviations are now expanded when you enter a Tab, rather than a space), the great JRuby support Tor has been working on, and more.
Note that you don't get the JRuby support by default: go to Tools\\Update Center and install everything with Ruby in the description.

Wonderful stuff - enjoy!

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Monday Feb 05, 2007

Next Developer Days Sessions in Wellington, Canberra and Perth

Updated: Agenda Changes

For those who missed the well-received October "developer day"
sessions in Auckland, Brisbane and Adelaide, we're running them in
Wellington, Canberra and Adelaide in March. These are free one-day
sessions. Topics - as before - include:

  •  Interoperability using Advanced Web Services and Project Tango
  •  Java SE 6 and 7
  •  Rapid GUI Development - on the Desktop and on the Web
  •  Persistence Techniques for Java SE and EE Applications using EJB
  •  Java EE 5 and Glassfish - A Plunge into the Aquarium
  •  Solaris, OpenSolaris and Sun Studio: Changing the Game
  •  Web 2.0 Applications: using AJAX and Related Frameworks

Full agenda here.
Limited space available: register now.

Wednesday Jan 24, 2007

NetBeans Ruby Support Soon

Tor has another great tease of a NetBeans JRuby support screenshot in his blog. Looks like - fingers and toes crossed - the next milestone, milestone 7, will be our first opportunity to play with it. Can't wait! I've even started reading The PickAxe in preparation :-D

Sunday Jan 21, 2007

End of Holidays Looming

Hard to believe it's been almost seven weeks in Rarotonga. It's been great, though as usual didn't get through all the stuff I wanted to. What else is new? Lots of eating and drinking - man, do I have to get back to Pilates class and onto the treadmill! - pleasant times snorkeling in the lagoon, some good books read, DVDs watched, music listened to. Some of the stuff I didn't get to included doing any decent review of the drafts of the new NetBeans RCP book - sorry Geertjan! I was also going to do some Groovy coding, but didn't get much of that done. Too much holidaying on my holidays.

We've had an offer on our house here that we will probably accept: although we love it here - the weather this trip has been great! - our initial plan to eventually retire here has been changed. Looking now at Northern NSW, particularly the Nambucca Valley. Cheaper cost of living, lots of scope for growing stuff, great climate. We've had an interest in Permaculture for a while, and would love to put it into practice. We'll see how it pans out over the next few years.

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Next Laptop

So despite Steve Jobs' foolishness, I've decided no longer to resist the pull of Parallels, TextMate, SpotLight, QuickSilver, and NewsFire (tho I'm still quite happy with BlogBridge). My next laptop will be a 3GB/ 160GB 2.33GHz MacBook Pro

Still will have Ubuntu on other machines, and/or as a virtual machine. It just keeps getting better and better.

Nuff said. Oh, except to say, I may get an iPhone when Java's on it.

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Friday Jan 12, 2007

2007 JavaOne Conference Registration is LIVE!

A message from our sponsor :-)

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New topics this year include:

\* Scripting in PHP, JavaScript, Ruby, Python and more
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We will also be offering Business Only content for those Managers that are looking for more on solutions and case studies.

Register today and be sure to check back often for more information.

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Wednesday Jan 10, 2007

Thinking Rock at next Sydney Java User Group Meeting

Good news! The Thinking Rock folks have agreed to present at the next SJUG meeting in February. I'll update the details closer to the date: should be an interesting session.

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Interesting conversation on H2 and Sun Java DB (Derby)

For those who've missed it, there's been an interesting conversation going on in the comments following this entry.

Actually, it's been more interesting than I would have liked, as the comments kept getting bucketed by our spam protection mechanisms. The blog folks say it's now under control, tho.

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Tuesday Jan 09, 2007

More Getting Things Done - Thinking Rock

This looks more like it: a proper Java desktop application, with hooks into calendar, mail, etc. And it comes from Sydney. What more could one ask :-)

Amazing how the geek community has latched on to GTD.

Oh, and while I remember, for those of you who like paper (and paper-folding) , take a look at PocketMod. What a neat idea!

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Monday Jan 08, 2007

Getting into KIVA

After reading our legal guy's blog entry, I've signed up to Kiva and done some lending. What a satisfying way to help people, particularly when compared to donating to anonymous charities wher one has no real idea how the money is to be used. Entry cost is low, as well.

I'd heard of microlending before, but was not aware that it was so generally available.

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David Coldrick


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