Geertjan's Blog

  • April 4, 2007

Three Interviews with Language Programmers

Geertjan Wielenga
Product Manager
I've recently had the honor of interviewing three language programmers—Caoyuan Deng, who is the first known person in the world to use the new Schliemann Project (outside of Sun), Jim Clarke, who is behind GroovyChart and who is working on automating the conversion of ANTLR to the Schliemann NBS format, and Tor Norbye, the world famous programmer and podcaster, currently in the spotlight for his work on Ruby integration in NetBeans IDE.

If you like reading interviews as much as I enjoy putting them together, here are links to the interviews, together with some summaries and highlights:

  • http://platform.netbeans.org/articles/nbm_interview_caoyuan.html. In this interview, Caoyuan Deng discusses Erlang, which is a general-purpose programming language and runtime environment. Erlang has built-in support for concurrency, distribution, and fault tolerance. Erlang is used in several large telecommunication systems from Ericsson. Caoyuan discusses why he is using the NetBeans Platform to provide language support features for Erlang and how he is finding Schliemann a very useful starting point in doing so.

  • http://platform.netbeans.org/articles/nbm_interview_jim.html. In this interview, Jim Clarke, principal engineer in Sun's Original Equipment Manufacturer Software Sales group, principally discusses the need and usefulness of his java.net project, GroovyChart. In short, its genesis lies in this thought: "Wouldn't it be cool to apply the Groovy SwingBuilder concept to JFreeChart?" Jim discusses this project, but he also discusses his work with lexical parsers and an attempt he has been making to automate the conversion of ANTLR to NBS, which is the Schliemann file type.

  • http://platform.netbeans.org/articles/nbm_interview_tor.html. In this interview, Tor Norbye discusses his work on integrating support for Ruby in NetBeans IDE. He talks about the background of the project, what its ultimate aims are, and where things are so far. He gives us a look "under the hood", poses some of the tricky questions he's had to answer, and discusses some solutions he's come up with. At the end of the interview, he also explains what a 'podcast' is, for those who are still unaware that you don't need an iPod to listen to a podcast!

One final thing, before you start reading the above interviews—note that the URLs are all the same, with the exception of the final bit, which is the interviewee's name. These interviews are part of an ongoing series with people using the NetBeans Platform in one form or another. The point of these interviews is that they are technical, they are specifically written for programmers to learn something on a code-level, although there's quite a bit of discussion around the code, and about the interviewee, to give some context and a bit of 'human interest' to the story. (You can see them all under the "Learning from Others" section in the right sidebar of the http://platform.netbeans.org pages.) If you (or someone you know) is working on the NetBeans Platform and wants to share their experiences, just like Caoyuan, Jim, and Tor above (i.e., say a little about yourself, a lot about your work, and include a few screenshots and as many code snippets as possible), then please drop me a line at geertjan DOT wielenga AT sun DOT com. And put "Interview me please!" in the subject line! The benefits of doing this are manifold—thousands of people will find out about your work, thanks to publicity of the interview via this blog, via netbeans.org, and via the Weekly NetBeans Newsletter. Potentially, others may join your project or give you that little piece of information that you were missing but that was just important enough to get your project to that important next level. Plus, it will enhance your "internet footprint"—your future employer will be browsing the internet, googling your name, and come across your interview on a widely-read site such as netbeans.org. That can only be a good thing, right?

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Comments ( 1 )
  • Ramon Wednesday, April 4, 2007
    Can be concluded from the interview with Jim Clarke that we will have the nbs grammar file for groovy pretty soon which will allow navigation, outline and code folding for groovy files?
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