Truth or Consequences

So following up to my previous post about SPOT Manager v3.0, I thought I'd go into a bit more detail about what users will see, and how it all works.

First, the "Configuration Check." The Sun SPOT SDK requires some basic software to be already installed before you can use it. In order to make our lives easier, we won't even install the SDK until those prerequisites are met. Those are:

  1. A functioning Java Development Kit. That's the JDK, not just the JRE (Java Runtime Environment). You have to be able to compile Java Apps, so you need the JDK.
  2. Ant. All of our build scripts are based on Ant. You have to have at least version 1.6.5, since we rely on some of the newer features of ant included in that and subsequent releases.
  3. NetBeans. While you can use any development environment you choose, we recommend NetBeans. At this time, we support NetBeans 5.0, 5.5 and 5.5.1. We have several add-on modules to make development of Sun SPOT applications easier, and we have not yet ported these to NetBeans 6.0.

So the initial screen of Truth or Consequences looks like this:

ConfigCheck.png

Once you read up on what's required, you can click the "Start..." button and a configuration check will ensue. As with the CD-based installer, I look for the proper version level of Ant, and then create and try to compile a sample Java Program. I look for NetBeans, but not having it is not a show-stopper, whereas the other two are show-stoppers.

If the configuration check succeeds, then you see a confirmation screen:

ConfigCheck2.png

And you can either look at all the gory details of what was done, and what was found, or just go right to the SPOT Manager by clicking on the 'OK' button.

This configuration check is only run the first time you run Truth or Consequences (or until you manage to pass the configuration check). Even if you have previous versions of the SDK installed, it will be run on the initial start-up.

For those of you that have not previously installed the Sun SPOT SDK, you'll be given a chance to install it in the following screens. If you already have it installed, you will see your existing installations, as well as any upgrades available, just as you do now. The following screen shot is what it looks like for those of you with no existing Sun SPOT SDK installed:

You can then select an SDK from the list and install. Current users will notice something in the next screen that has changed: You can install the SDK in any location you choose! This has been requested for a while, and I have finally made it a reality.

So choose where you want it installed, and away you go!

ConfigCheck3.png

Once installed, the SPOT Manager looks just about the same.

But what's that new Panel?? Yep, all the documentation is now loaded in the tool and browsable. And I do mean browsable. You can read the Javadoc and all the PDF documents right in the SPOT Manager!

TorC1.png
TorC2.png

Live, clickable links. Everything just works. Oh, you'd rather read all this in an external viewer, like Firefox? Great, just right-click on the document and choose "Open Externally" and you have your wish.


TorCExt.png

Yes, I realize that reading that PDF file in that little window will be a challenge. Which is precisely why I have gone to considerable pain and effort to make the entire application full resizable. From the basic size all the way up to full-screen. You can't go below the default size, for usability reasons, but make it as big as you want!

Now, if I can only solve the last few remaining issues and get this out the door ...

[ "I had to hit him -- he was starting to make sense." ]

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