Friday Nov 13, 2009

Sun news this week

Check out the short podcast below to catch up on Sun news this week!  Topics discussed include the announced availability of new Sun Ray Software 5, and the European Commission's Statement of Objections to Oracle's acquisition of Sun.


Friday Nov 06, 2009

Catch up on Sun news this week!

Catch up on what happened at Sun this week in this short podcast! Topics include new updates to Sun's Java Store Beta, Sun's new alliance with PayPal, Sun solutions in use at Columbia University and the University of Zurich, and Sun's top honor in the American Society of Training and Development's BEST Awards competition. (Brought to you by hosts Chhandomay Mandal and Maijaliisa Burkert.)

Friday Oct 30, 2009

Catch a recap of Sun news this week in short podcast!

Listen to the short segment below (less than 5 minutes!) for a recap of Sun in the news this week as Chhandomay Mandal and I review Amazon's new cloud storage offering based on MySQL open-source software, the 100 million download milestone OpenOffice.org hit this week, the announced availability of Sun investor proxy materials, and the new 3.0.10 maintenance release of VirtualBox.

Thursday Oct 29, 2009

Congratulations to OpenOffice!

Congratulations to OpenOffice which hit a milestone 100 million downloads this week since the launch of version 3.0!

The total download number is impressive because it only counts direct Internet downloads from the OpenOffice.org Web site and does not include installations included with various Linux distributions, copies distributed on CDs or other mirror sites.

Project developer Joost Andrae announced on October 28th that the one hundred millionth person had clicked on the "download OpenOffice.org" button since version 3.0 of the software was announced just over a year ago. The total number of downloads comes from both the 59.9+ million downloads of version 3.0 and the 40.2+ million downloads over version 3.1 (via The H).

Congratulations to the OpenOffice team for this milestone, which I am sure they will be celebrating at the annual OpenOffice conference next week in beautiful Oriveto, Italy.

Wednesday Oct 28, 2009

My interview with JFXStudio winner Mark Nankman

Last week I had the pleasure of interviewing software architect Mark Nankman who was the winner of the September JFXStudio challenge. The challenge required developers to build an application with 30 or fewer lines of code in a single JavaFX file (30 lines as counted by actual lines, or 3,000 characters), with a 'time' theme, and Mark's Pacman clock application took first place! Mark has several years of experience in Java programming, and has recently turned his focus to Web 2.0 and RIA development, which is how he became interested in JavaFX.  He said he used to develop Adobe Flex front-ends to interact with Java back-ends, but didn't like the fact that it required 3 programming languages!  Turning to JavaFX Mark found that the programming language "makes developing maintainable rich web applications a lot easier."

When discussing Mark's winning Pacman clock application, he noted that it was relatively easy to build, and said he had a functioning product within 30 minutes of starting, stating that with JavaFX "you can do a lot with just a little code."  Mark said he needed to use just a few simple manipulations to keep the code within the 30-line limit, such as using compact SVGPaths, along with several other tricks he listed in his blog.  Overall, Mark noted that he as "amazed at just how powerful JavaFX is."  He reported only having to sacrifice one feature in his application -- the ability to dynamically resize the clock -- which he said simply couldn't be crammed into the 30-line application.

Read more of Mark's interview and listen to a podcast we recorded here in Reviews Interactive.

Also, for those interested in entering this month's JFXStudio challenge (theme: five), you have until midnight, Saturday October 31 to submit your entry, or actually, as Josh explains in this blog, a few extra bonus hours to turn your application in.

Friday Oct 23, 2009

Sun news this week

Have four minutes?  Then check out Sun news this week by listening to the short podcast below.  In this edition, Chhandomay and I discuss Sun's top spot in tape storage automation revenue for the first half of 2009, as well as an eWeek article discussing Sun's Solaris Operating System's optimization for Intel Nehalem processors.

Friday Oct 16, 2009

Student developer shares his thoughts on JavaFX

I recently conducted an e-mail interview with Abhishek Munie, a “long-time” user of the JavaFX programming language that has been published in Student Views and Reviews. Abhishek has been working with JavaFX since the 1.0 release in December 2008. Abhishek reported that he utilized the learning resources and samples available on JavaFX.com to learn the program. He made regular, steady progress in learning the language and was able to develop and submit a complete application for the JavaFX Coding Challenge which he said “was a great experience.”

While Abhishek said he is still exploring the new features in JavaFX 1.2, he reported that his favorite new tools are the javafx.scene.chart and javafx.scene.control. He also said “screen and javafx.util.math class has made my work easy, but I expected more features to be available in class javafx.stage.” When asked what he would like to add to JavaFX right now Abhishek said, “I would like to improve the way a JavaFX application is deployed and run, and make it faster.”

Read more of Abhishek's interview in Student Views and Reviews.

Friday Oct 02, 2009

New JavaFX interview in Student Views and Reviews

I recently spoke with Joan Barrull, a law student currently working as a software engineer at Baratz, a software development company headquartered in Madrid, Spain. Joan has won several programming-related awards including the Mobius prize for a multimedia game in addition to a prize in the JavaFX Blogging Contest. Joan has been working with JavaFX for several months, and has already contributed to writing an application at Baratz to report employee expenses. He reported that JavaFX proved to be an ideal tool saying “we managed to write the application very fast...With JavaFX it is very easy to write prototypes and proof-of-concepts, so we use JavaFX often.”

During our talk, Joan stated that his favorite feature of JavaFX 1.2 is simply “ease of use.” He said he appreciates the fact that with JavaFX you can write a prototype “in just minutes,” which allows him to “focus on the users instead of dealing with obscure technical tricks.” Among the other features Joan noted as “awesome” characteristics were JavaFX's closures and binding. He stated: “Overall, JavaFX is a great authoring platform for designing graphical apps very quickly” pointing out that with JavaFX apps can be designed that “focus on providing a great user experience.”

Read more of Joan's interview in Student Views and Reviews.

Wednesday Sep 30, 2009

Student Mambo Banda talks JavaFX

Check out my recent interview in Student Views and Reviews with Mambo Banda, a 22-year-old software engineering student in his final year at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont. Mambo began using JavaFX in September 2008, learning the language in his spare time. He noted that the primary source of information he used in learning JavaFX was the API documentation which he said “is great, it has lots of examples and detailed information.” Mambo said that to this day he still relies on a lot of online blogs to learn JavaFX, such as Jim Weaver's blog, which he noted can have “great JavaFX samples and tips.”

In response to a question asking what he liked most about JavaFX Mambo stated: “I like the whole idea, the whole platform for creating visual applications.” Mambo said he likes the fact that with JavaFX “you can be creative and productive from the moment you pick it up.” Mambo also pointed out that one of the reasons he was drawn to JavaFX was its ability to access Java easily which “allows you to use traditional programming methods without sacrificing anything. Java is a rich language with a lot of years invested in it and you get all that for free in JavaFX.”

Read more of Mambo's interview and listen to our podcast in Student Views and Reviews.

Friday Sep 25, 2009

Sun News -- The Week in Review

Listen to the short segment below as Chhandomay and I discuss this week's announcement of key technology enhancements across Sun's Unified Storage systems portfolio.

Friday Sep 04, 2009

Danish hospital says ODF with OpenOffice is hassle-free

I came across an article this week that took a look at a Danish hospital that reported having "no problems at all" when exchanging ODF-based documents with other hospitals that use Microsoft Office 2003. 

The article struck me because it shows that it is possible for large entities to do business solely using OpenOffice. 

The key for the hospital was to ensure that the free Sun ODF plugin was installed.  After that, there have been no problems with exchanging documents including "large documents with indexes and footnotes," which are reportedly exchanged without problems.  The hospital also pointed out that "there is no data loss and there are no significant formatting issues."

However, the real issue at hand is the number of doctors and nurses they were able to gain when they quit paying the licensing fees for Microsoft Office more than five years ago! 

It's a good read and shows that OpenOffice, along with many other freely-available open-source products, can be successfully employed in a variety of operations -- including hospitals.

Sun News -- The Week in Review

Chhandomay and I give a quick rundown of happenings at Sun this week in the short segment below:

Friday Aug 28, 2009

Catch up on Sun in the news this week!

Listen to the short segment below to catch up on Sun news this week.  Chhandomay and I discuss the new Sun Cystorm Supercomputer at Iowa State University, the Rainbow Falls announcement at the Hot Chips conference, and Sun's top spot on the X-Force 2009 Mid-Year Trend and Risk Report.

Friday Jul 31, 2009

Recommended:Article on open source technologies, focus on Europe

While sorting through my Google alerts for OpenOffice.org, I came across this article written by Sandro Groganz that has some interesting numbers, and a discussion regarding open source adoption around the world. 

To nobody's surprise, Europe leads the world in open source adoption mainly to avoid vendor lock-in.  The article delves into this, looking at the different European societies and markets within Europe.

It is a good read for anyone following open source news (and software vendors in particular), but lays out a clear method to approach the market and cultural barriers in what appears to be the most profitable sector for open source technologies. 

Thursday Jul 30, 2009

Staying busy with JavaFX!

I have been (happily) busy the past couple of weeks with JavaFX-related activities, and the more I write about JavaFX the more resources I seem to find, so I thought I would consolidate some here.

1) I was lucky enough to be the point of contact for the three student winners of the JavaFX Coding Challenge!  It was a GREAT day when I was able to e-mail each student to tell them they had won $1,500!  I have also been following up with all three student winners, conducting interviews and podcasts.  They were all brave enough to conduct podcasts with me in English and they all did a FANTASTIC job!  I am so proud of all of them, so please check out their podcasts!   Ramin Mohammadi's was published last week, and I just published Diego Benna's today.  I will post Kazuki Hamasaki's the week of August 10-14, having just finished up the interview with him last night. I've also been coordinating with Chhandomay Mandal to interview the grand prize winners.  Sten Anderson's (developer of Music Explorer FX and grand prize winner!) interview was published this week, with Evgeni Sergeev coming soon!

2) This week Sun announced NetBeans 6.7.1 now supports JavaFX 1.2!  There was a lot of excitement in the blogosphere and Twitterville this week over this announcement and lots of developers are happy to finally have the support of the NetBeans IDE with JavaFX 1.2.

3) I came across two FREE JavaFX learning resources this week -- one is a 15-week course open to students of all ages, the other is a virtual summer camp for kids between the ages of 13-18. The "Summer Camp" for students ends in a few weeks, so please check it out and get your kids, nieces, nephews, friends, brothers, sisters signed up! 

Finally, I continue to search out active and influential JavaFX developers to conduct interviews and podcasts with.  Tonight, we will interview Stephen Chin of world-renowned WidgetFX fame.  Look for his interview to be published on Reviews Interactive in the coming weeks.  It will be fun to "meet" Steve over the phone after following him on Twitter and hearing the students talk about how cool they think WidgetFX is!

So, it has ben a very fun few weeks keeping up with JavaFX -- here's to hoping there is much more to come!

About

Full-time MBA student and marketing intern in the Global Communications department. I live for adventure, whether it is climbing the local crag, backpacking with bears in the Smokies, or making the trek in Torres del Paine, I am always looking for fun!

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