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Preview: Java Geek

Java Geek

Steve Goyette - Self described Java Geek at large.

Last Build Date: Fri, 05 Jul 2002 17:54:38 GMT

Copyright: Copyright 2002 Steve Goyette

How to fry a motherboard in 2 easy steps....

Or....everything you wanted to know about electricity but where afraid to ask.......YIKES

Seems for whatever reason my motherboard decided that yesterday was a good day to give up the ghost...shuffle off it's im-mortal coil....become an un-motherboard...etc....  Spent ALL day re-building the system.  Thank goodness for backups.  I've been a software developer for about 18 years now.  In that time I've had just about every possible disaster I care to think about (and some I'd just rather not).  Everything from bottles of coke spillt inside a case (*shudder*) to my dog running by my desk, getting caught on a cable and destroying my monitor.  Out of this I've learned one major lesson.....Make Sure you have an up to date backup.  For some odd reason those disasters never seem to pick convenient times to rear their ugly fiendish heads.  So I take yesterdays happening in a laid back manner because (other then the cost of the motherboard and the time it took to re-build everything) I didn't lose anything...this time.

As for which motherboard did I buy?  I ended up getting a Gigabyte GA-7VRXP board as it was the one recommended on Tom's Hardware page.  I also took advantage of the fact that it has built in RAID-0 support and striped two 40 gigabyte drives (actually one is a 60 but because of the striping is now considered a 40...).  The system is fast, stable and so far doesn't have any smoke coming out of it.....further updates as our story progresses....hehe

Media Files:

JBoss 3.0

From PSquad's Corner :

Just spent some play time with JBoss 3.0.0 final. Wow, I must say, I'm very impressed. Not only did all my modules that worked in 2.4.4 deploy with no tweaks, the entire thing is FAST. Like... REALLY fast. Here are some VERY rough numbers when generating 1000 unique keys using an EJB-based sequence utility:

JBoss 2.4.4: ~600 keys/sec
JBoss 3.0.0: ~1300 keys/sec
Orion: ~1900 keys/sec
WebLogic 7: ~900 keys/sec

Now, these are very very very far from conclusive test results. They are running under no transaction context (I didn't post Pramati because it "cheats" and doesn't even save the changes, so it flies through the test). There has been no optimization, and the test is so simple it's stupid. But it does show the general coding quality and speed the developers of said products were able to do "out-of-the-box".

Anyway, I thought it was interesting at least. OSCore, OSUser, and OSWorkflow all run on JBoss 3.0.0 now too, which is great news!

The Internet as a Pyramid Scheme...

Read this interesting article about the internet bubble.  It provides a very intriguing perspective on the whole process and what drove it. 

An Interesting Comment from an Dynamo User...

I got this in reference to my "Tomcat is Dead" rant:

Well, in defense of Dynamo, Tomcat doesnot have the Caching elements. Try Tomcat + JBoss and You will be closer. Do Jetty + JBoss as an alternative.

The predeployed version of Catalina that comes w/ JBoss is pretty good. It supports the servlet spec (2.3) and the auto deploy from JBOss is nice. I also have a trick to speed up redeploying JSPs: Bash script follows. Some part of it is custom to my project.

#!/bin/sh { 
if [ -n $1 ] then FILE_TO_COPY=$1 else FILE_TO_COPY=activepca.ear fi
if [ -n $2 ] then cd $2 else cd $WEB fi
DEPLOY_DIR=$JBOSS/tmp/deploy/Default/$FILE_TO_COPY/ WEB_DIR=$DEPLOY_DIR`ls $DEPLOY_DIR | grep web`
for SOURCE_FILE in `find . -name "*.jsp"` do cp $SOURCE_FILE $WEB_DIR/$SOURCE_FILE done

This will copy over all of your jsp files into the temporary directory created by JBoss keeping you from having to redeploy.

Thanks!!! That certainly IS useful.

The rumors of Real Network's Death have been greatly exagerated

Saw this post on John Robb's Radio Weblog : Whoa.  Real Networks is about to die.  I just upgraded my computer, and therefore I want to install a new Real player (reluctantly).  So I go to the corporate site.  All I can find is a small link to the premium Real One that requires a credit card to use (although it says free).  Finito.

Actually you have to search real hard but there's a link to the Free Player after you click on the Free Player button.  If you click anywhere else you won't in fact get the Free Player as you'll have to pay and paying dictates that it isn't free.  Does that clear it up? hehe

Resistance is Futile....

Microsoft seeks converts to .Net - seems that JUMP has been renamed JLCA (Java Language Conversion Assistant). I wonder if this new beta still only converts Java 1.1.8 source (which I'd suggest isn't really that useful for anyone). [rebelutionary]

Because as you must know by now you can ONLY build Web Services in .NET.  That's according to the $200,000,000.00 marketting campaign anyway.....

Why would anyone want to do this?  I can see it from a conversion issue I suppose (Company B wants to use Company A's web app but is running on the .Net platform).  I'd think though that once Company B realized that Company A didn't have to shell out mega bucks for the server, database and programming talent they'd just switch over to the app server Company A was using....but then again I may just be wrong. hehe

My VERY first Story....

Categories, Hierarchies and the GUI that is the browser.

The poignant tale of java geek and his trials and tribulations on presenting a hierarchal category list to the user in some meaningful way within the browser all the while fighting off the fiendish minions of sir limiting browser interface.

Don't's NOT a story about a man named Brady.....*phew*....


There's a pretty interesting article on Open Source and specifically a J2EE Weblogger named Roller here can't get THIS version from kissing....

Anyone know what's happening with Mono?  There's a an article written by Miguel de Icaza and Brian Jepson here but that's from January. I'd love to try C# but am resisting the temptation because it means I'd have to start messing with my main development box.  Just not going to happen.

Morons Inc....

[Gordon Weakliem's Radio Weblog] posted: Found in My Neighborhood: Morons Dot Org.  Is this one of those things like AARP that I get an automatic membership to when I've reached a certain point in my life? I'm going to have to anser "Yes" and just leave it at that.  Move along, nothing to see....

Jon Udell has a nice article on Personal RSS Aggregators here.  Worth the read.

Identity Crisis....

Steven over at Steven's Weblog has decided that I am NOT in fact the appropriate Steve:

Wrong Steve I saw a mention of "Steve's blog" and "Java Geek" and thought it might be my cousin's husband. But it Wasn't. To all those whom I have un-intentianlly mis-led I appologize. (hehe)

We're the ones to really....I'm not kidding....

Oh oh...I've been included in a list of Java bloggers to watch (YAY). A plain spoken guy from Philly on Java, Metal, Life over at PARADOX1X said: "Two Java weblogs to watch rebelutionary and Java Geek. via John Robb."

In  other news

Patrick at PSquad's Corner posted: "That Ravi guy is a real dick. It was nice seeing such constructive criticism being taken so well during this whole Bashing the Cat episode, but then this guy had to go and be an ass about it. Oh well, I think the entire debate has been right on the money, and relates closely to my recent Is EJB Neccessary talk I have to the SDJUG, which Mike now has adapted in to his blog. Too many developers seem to just follow the hype and marketting without actually evaluating alternatives, whether it be a web container or a technology like EJB. "

Seems not everyone has taken well to the Tomcat is dead rant.

But what does it all mean????

Mike at rebelutionary has created a list of other Java/J2EE focused weblogs on his Java and J2EE Weblogs page.  I guess I should stop talking about Java IDEs as I've been labled....(YIKES) hehe  What I'm actually working on is a system that inter-links content via keywords through categories.  What this means (I think) in a nutshell is keywords are assigned to categories and then content is seperated into categories by indexing on those keywords.  This will eventually lead to some other (I hope) interesting things in the near future.  Content management is certainly an interesting topic (to me anyway).'s not just for breakfast any more

Saw this article on Sun's java web site and was thinking how if you throw in some gadgets and up the price 10 fold then older people can justify buying lego.  Don't get me wrong, at one time I had around $800 invested in Lego Mindstorms and I think they're very kewl. The reason I got rid of them in the end was that I just couldn't find either the time or a suitable reason to build something.  I guess I'm not in fact a lego maniac after all.  Now had the leJOS project been around at that point I'm pretty sure I might have wanted to experiment further.  It's a nifty little self contained computer that's capable of controlling all sorts of things and has an infra-red interface.  Almost makes me wanna run out and buy the set again....

Netbeans....It's your father's IDE after all...and he wants it back.....

I played some more with NetBeans and although it's pretty all-encompassing it just doesn't feel right.  Feel is a subjective term and as I've mentioned before I'm a long time brief user.  Brief isn't just a bunch of key mappings that are easilly changed.  There's functionality in brief that just isn't covered in normal key mappings (CUA for example).  Putting brief emulation aside for now the other things that had an effect on where the overall sluggishness of it (though I'm sure if I un-installed some of the add-ons it might pick up) and the steep learning curve.  This IDE I'm sure does everything but write code FOR you but as I said....I just doesn't feel right to me.  So for now and until the promised 1.4 support arrives in IDEA I'm gonna stick with MultiEdit and command-line Ant.

IDEA Supporting 1.4 Soon? Watch the Planes go round and round

I'm still working my bugs out if you see broken images you can chalk that up to being new to RadioLand.

Todd left me a comment saying: It was just announced on the Intellij EAP (Early Access Program) newsgroups that the next EAP release will *require* 1.4. Based on past history, the next EAP release will be available in a week or so.  Sounds promising as I really would like to play with it more.  Anyone know if they're going to include brief emulation?

Here's a nice little fascinating time sucker.  Watch the planes go around and around...If you change the scale out to 96 miles it looks just a tad more chaotic then I'D ever want to know about.

Various Ramblings

Oh oh....looks like we're in a lot of trouble now.  Microsoft has patented  Ones and Zeros.  In what CEO Bill Gates called "an unfortunate but necessary step to protect our intellectual property from theft and exploitation by competitors," the Microsoft Corporation patented the numbers one and zero Monday.

Mike at [rebelutionary] was questioning my requirement of JDK 1.4 specifically because I had mentions that without the support of JDK 1.4 I wasn't going to be able to use IDEA.  He's right as I probably could replace all of the things I'm using in 1.4 with external support but that would seem a bit extreme to me.  I love the look and feel of IDEA (except for the lack of the brief keyboard emulation) but to re-write the required code just to be able to use an editor....Though if they where to add the brief support (and I don't mean just mapping the keyboard because that's just not enough) then I wouldn't let the JDK stop me.  I'm a long time brief user and you'd have to pry my editor from my long dead cold hands.

What do I use in 1.4....well I like the regex support that's been added to the string object.  replaceAll was something that should have been added LONG ago.  Then there's the modifications to the net objects.  Seriously, once you start using this stuff you just can't'll make you into a Java-Maniac. Seriously though there's some good stuff in there. 

I've been asked what projects I'm working on...well here you go:  I'm working on a content management system currently being used in various magazine web sites including Dr. Dobb's Journal, Byte, Software Development Magazine and some others. 

Tomcat is dead redux

Mike over at rebelutionary has put up a summary of the whole Is Tomcat Crap? furor - see Bashing the Cat - A Summary of results.


Have Categories...will travel....

It seems I've finally ended up with a set of categories that will work for me.  I say it seems because I've been at this specific point a few times today.  Usually it's the point at which the gods of programming decide I've been having it to easy and a good smiting is in order.  I'm feeling a bit more confident this time though as instead of the initial 3600 categories I now have a more useable 680.  This is still quite a large set and brings me to the point of this rant. 

It would seem that smaller is often better (though that's not always the case I'm told).  When dealing with options that a user will have to choose from keeping the list as small as possible definately seems to have advantages.  Inundating a user with a billion different categories (although thorough I'm sure) to choose from when adding a document will in the end in-evitabley end up as useless.  If it's too much work to find the right place or option the user will choose whatever is easiest and not in fact what's actually appropriate (or rarely anyway).

Not exacly words to live by or anything phenomenally earth shattering (it's not even an epiphany) but something to remember. and RDF....
When is XML not REALLY XML

When it comes from DMOZ that's when.  I needed a list of categories for a project I'm working on and thought to myself "self" (says I) I bet I could use the categories from DMOZ as a starting point.  SO I whipped up a simple XML parser and the saga began.  Seems that the description element in the RDF contains actual HTML.  Well I can fix that.  I just run it through a pre-processor first using some of the new Regex stuff in JDK 1.4 and.....oh wait...missed the case....try again.....yikes, forgot that more shot.....

This went on for a while when it suddenly dawned on me that I could use a MUCH simpler approach...

         do {
            try {
               line = reader.readLine();
            } catch ( IOException ioe ) {
               line = null;
            if ( line != null ) {
               // see if we can match anything on this line
               int iPos = line.indexOf( "" );
                  if ( iPos != -1 ) {
                     line = line.substring( 0, iPos );
                     System.err.println( "Category: " + line );
         } while ( line != null );

This works perfectly well (though it is a bit brute-force-esque) and has a VERY low memory foot print.  All that's left to do is to massage all of these categories into my database schema and I'm done.  I guess the point (yes, there really is a point to all of this) is sometimes the easiest way to accomplish things is to stay simple.  Either that or get categories from a true XML provider but that's a different topic.