Archive for April 2008

Preparing the new VFSJFileChooser release

VFSJFileChooser will be out soon.

Here is the changelog :

  • Sort file by names : Some patches were submitted to sort file by names.
  • The "home" button will not bring you back anymore to your local home folder if you're browsing a remote directory.
  • A details view is being added as a complement to the existing list view
There are still some issues when you choose the native look and feel with : UImanager.setlookandfeel

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A closer look at OSGI

I was reading about OSGI and I found out that it's not as complicated as it looks like. As I am not an Eclipse fan, I tried Knopflerfish and Apache Felix. I might use OSGI in my next projects if they're big enough.

After half an hour, I was able to get a simple bundle running with Apache Felix. I wrote a simple program embedding Apache Felix and created another project which provided a bundle.

My main interest in OSGI is dependencies management handling :

  • Service A is started
  • Service B depends on Service A
    • if service A is not available -> do not start service B
    • if service A is available -> start the service B and register it

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Java Enterprise Edition

Most of small companies don't use Java Enterprise Edition, even if few thousands guys need to access an application at the same time, even if the application needs to support transactions, to be scalable, etc. They already have deployed "medium to big" successful applications using Tomcat and J2SE, so why bother?

It's difficult to find very young people(less than 30) which have a J2EE knowledge. You don't learn J2EE in a technical school, you don't learn it at University and you probably won't learn it by working in a small company. IMHO, the general opinion about J2EE is that "It's interesting, looks complicated too... and I probably don't need it, (solo talking it's probably worth not my time and my salary learning it.)". When in a small company a guy has a good J2EE working knowledge, there is probably a big chance, that he's the only one who will create and deploy enterprise applications and hopefully transfer all his knowledge to others someday.

I looked only once at Java Enterprise Edition few years ago. Going by the book, and doing few examples, I was able to get started using notepad and standard Java tools. The experience was painful with Corba, RMI, etc. Few days ago, I had a look at JavaEE 5. It looks nice and quite simple. However it seems that most businesses are still using EJB 2.1 and not 3.0.

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XPontus - Schema completion

Schema completion support has been improved... It was kind of not working in XPontus.

A schema location declaration contains most of the time one or multiple uri references(namespaces and schema locations) with some whitespaces, carriage returns, ...
Now XPontus is able to resolve each schema url locations when they end with .xsd.

Latest screenshot

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Working on XPontus 1.0.0.2

XPontus 1.0.0.2 is coming up. I've fixed few issues this week-end.

General interface problems
Sometimes the file chooser dialog can take a while to load(I only noticed that problem under Windows). That issue has been adressed lots of time to Sun. I don't think it's gonna be fixed definitely any time soon. It seems that the file chooser freezes when you have some zip files on your desktop and it can take up to 10 seconds to show on a Quad Core... Can you tell a user who reports the bug "Damn, you've got lots of zip files on your desktop, clean it up!". That would be funny...

I am not sure that I'll replace the file chooser by VFSJFileChooser. If I don't do it well, it will bloat the program(5 to 6 additional libraries). Letting the user chooser between the default file chooser(better OS integration) and VFSJFileChooser(remote files able) would involve rewriting partially many classes.


Windows vista GUI issues
The tab names are now visible under Windows Vista. The gray rectangle is still visible in the menubar. I could create a special layout for the menubar or make it a java.awt.GridLayout(ugly but no gray rectangle) to solve the issue. The menubar problem is a swing related issue, not XPontus' fault.


The code completion is more usable

Here is the new use case :

Let's say you trigger an element completion by typing "<" in a xsl stylesheet document

  • Suppose you were getting typing xsl:apply-te.
  • That would select xsl:apply-templates in the list
  • Then you change your mind and select xsl:apply-import and press enter
  • The text inserted in the document is xsl:apply-te and it will now be converted to xsl:apply-import instead of xsl:apply-teport

XPath improvements

  • The xpath plugin couldn't display a boolean value or a number value. For example count(//node) would throw an exception and now it returns the number of node found as text.
  • XPath 2.0 support has been added

Architecture

I didn't fix the architecture problems. I will address that matter when the version 1.0.0 of XPontus will be considered as stable. Rewrite things here and there, without breaking too much code.

What's next

I will think about the plugins manager next week and give myself sometimes to do it well. I don't it to be complicated, I just want it to work as well as possible for the next release.

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Random talk[SPECIAL]

Nowadays, I tend to think a lot about that Albert Einstein quote
You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.

It seems to very true in most circumstances...(work, girls, normal life stuff...) Programmer with real skills or programmer which seems to have great skills...?

It's all about that they think you are and what they think you know... That's what a guy told me during my first year at university. The guy didn't know anything but he truely believed that he deserved a great income....

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XPontus 1.0.0.2 will be available soon

I'll release a 1.0.0.2 version of XPontus XML Editor sometime in May. I got a copy of Windows Vista installed and I've been doing some bug fixes for Windows Vista.

I'll try to dedicate 3 days to complete and test the plugins manager(Install/Uninstall). I believe it's possible. If I come up with a good strategy, the rest will be easy.

The roadmap for 1.0.02 :

  • Install/Uninstall features in the plugins manager
  • Tab names visibility in Windows Vista
  • Printing isssues on windows vista
  • Fix indentation which is sometimes crashing the editor when the XML is not well-formed
  • VFSJFileChooser integration
  • A minor rewrite of the XSL transformation to specify a transformation type(XQuery for example)
  • file extensions registration to mime types
  • XPath 2.0 plugin
  • file encoding issues
  • Update the user guide and the developer guide

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