Thursday, September 30, 2010

WebP: Why settle for less

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBase

Cnet broke the news this morning about Google's WebP technology which is a "lossy" image codec which can reduce a image to about 40% smaller than a JPEG. The premise is that the more images that a consumer can look at, the more money that Google can rake in.

Does anyone else find this a cheap bait-and-switch?

I like to think I am open to new technologies, but this seems like a blatant downgrade of our current technologies. Yes, their could be an argument for smaller images for cellular phones and limited network bandwidth.

I want better images! I want images where you can enlarge them, make them a wallpaper, or show your kids; and I don't want them "lossy" 40% less than a JPEG.

I will need to wait for complete judgment until there is a browser which supports it so I can compare them with other image formats.

Until then, thanks Google with about 40% less enthusiasm.

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JavaOne 2010: JavaFX Roadmap

JavaFX MobileImage via Wikipedia
I published an article earlier today on JavaFX, and avoiding the Kool-Aid. I have since discovered a published road map for JavaFX. I am still warning you not to invest until the goods are out, but here is the published road map.

JavaFX: Future Roadmap 2011+
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JavaOne 2010: JDK7 Milestones

It has been a week since JavaOne. I am on the OpenJDK site looking at the plans for JDK7, and it is still empty with no updated plans. Only an orange text box promising an update to the milestones.

There were enough repetitive presentations, and probably discussions behind the scenes prior to JavaOne. Where is the plan? You can check it out yourself at the link below.

JDK7 Milestones

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JavaFX: Why you should not drink Kool-Aid

JavaFX MobileImage via Wikipedia

F3 (Form Follows Function) was the original name of the language in 2005. Now we are 2010, and JavaFX (new name) is still yet to be realized. I started development with JavaFX in alpha/beta stages. When the first official release came out, all my code broke with Scenes, and Stages. The code was released incomplete, and failed to have at least a minimum matching set of components for Swing.

Now after 5 years, Oracle has decided to "kill" the scripting. The license is not open, and they expect us (developers) to trust "JavaFX 2.0+"?

I drank the Project Woodstock (Visual JSF) and JavaFX Kool-AId. Shame on me for not learning the first time.

I am going to wait and see, but Q3 2011 is probably to late for me... and JavaFX.
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Friday, September 17, 2010

On the Cusp of JavaOne

JavaOne begins for me tomorrow (Saturday) with an annual event. The Java.Net Community Leaders Saturday. It is a working day for the community leaders to meet once per year to look at the challenges our communities face, and to plan for the upcoming year. It is also a time to re-kindle friendships, and share fellowship. I head out tomorrow morning to begin JavaOne 2010.

On Sunday, the JUG leaders and Java Champions are doing Java User Group Community Sunday along with MySQL, and GlassFish Community events. It is our hope that we can cross-pollinate our communities which are very intertwined.

The JUG Community Sunday event is promising to be a great affair. We have set it up as an Un-conference. So topics are open for the community. Instead of one person, or group projecting ideas at you, we can share ideas and let the cream float to the top. What is most important to the community. I can imagine that legal issues will float up. It is all I hear about from my community. I can't imagine it is different elsewhere. 

The conclusion of the Sunday events culminates in a couple of cocktail parties, an Oracle reception, and GlassFish party at the Thirsty Bear.

I almost forgot, Oracle is having a brunch for the Java User Group (JUG) leaders, and Java Champions. This will be a great chance for meeting new leaders, and reuniting with friends, and meeting the Oracle community.

All of these events take place before the official kick-off on Monday. Are you coming to JavaOne? Why not?
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Google Buys Instantiations

Google Web ToolkitImage via Wikipedia
It is interesting that Google acquired the GWT Designer, and Eclipse tools from Instantiations. Is this a sign that Google does not have any worries about the Oracle lawsuit. I don't think this is the case, I feel that it is in their business interests, and "lawsuit be dammed" they are going to continue doing what Google does. Albeit, they do it well.

I am not a GWT user, but it does offer developers other UI options, and options are good. This is especially true with Google; their options are generally very good.
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Illumos: An OpenSolaris Replacement, or Vaporware

OpenSolarisImage via Wikipedia
OpenSolaris Logo
The end of the OpenSolaris project was cold blooded, and rather uneventful. Is that because we saw it coming, or has the relevance of OpenSolaris questionable?

There is no doubt that OpenSolaris was the barometer of where Solaris should be heading in an open source world. It included an incredible tool set, and an opportunity to contribute to a great project. The unceremonious end at the hands of Oracle is a brutal barometer to its intentions with regards to open source. This has nothing to do with its current legal battles with Google which is by no means innocent in those legal proceedings.

It was announced in SD Times, and in the Twitter space that Illumos was going to take up the banner for the OpenSolaris cause. As of today, there are no binaries, or code. I am not sure if the legal proceedings have killed the project, or seriously given the project owners a case of heartburn.

The last news is that it will support Mono. This news is least bit interesting to me, and actually I think I caught a chunk in my throat.

I like the idea of continuing the open source development of OpenSolaris, but I am wondering if it is going to fall under the veil of a legal clouds, or a Chinese puzzle box of legal quagmires. Let us not forget that Mono is a bulls-eye for Microsoft.

What are your thoughts?


The disaffected, and disillusioned OpenSolaris advocate.
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Sunday, September 12, 2010

JRuby and Rails 3

Rails 3.0 has been released. I know a number of you are excited about all of the possibilities. Along with the release of Rails is a new point release of JRuby.  So the big question is how do you use them together.

The default Rails environment uses SQLite as the database. Let me show you how to get started.
Riding on JRuby on Rails

  1. Start by downloading JRuby, and install it.
  2. Once it is installed you will want to install jruby-openssl.
    jruby -S gem install jruby-openssl
  3. Next lets install the SQLite database gems.
    jruby -S gem install jdbc-sqlite3 activerecord-jdbc-adapter \

  4. Once we have installed the gems for SQLite, we can install Rails.
    jruby -S gem install rails mongrel warbler
  5. Now that Rails is installed, we can create our example application. This will create our application.
    jruby -S rails new blog
  6. Next we replace the following line in the Gemfile

    gem 'sqlite3-ruby', :require => 'sqlite3'

    with the following:

    if defined?(JRUBY_VERSION)
    gem 'jdbc-sqlite3'
    gem 'activerecord-jdbc-adapter'
    gem 'activerecord-jdbcsqlite3-adapter'
    gem 'jruby-openssl'
    gem 'jruby-rack'
    gem 'warbler'
    gem 'sqlite3-ruby', :require => 'sqlite3'

    This allows us to run the application in JRuby, or Ruby.
  7. Next we need to modify the config/database.yml file.

    # SQLite version 3.x
    # gem install sqlite3-ruby (not necessary on OS X Leopard)
    adapter: jdbcsqlite3
    database: db/development.sqlite3
    pool: 5
    timeout: 5000

    # Warning: The database defined as "test" will be erased and
    # re-generated from your development database when you run "rake".
    # Do not set this db to the same as development or production.
    adapter: jdbcsqlite3
    database: db/test.sqlite3
    pool: 5
    timeout: 5000

    adapter: jdbcsqlite3
    database: db/production.sqlite3
    pool: 5
    timeout: 5000

  8. Next we need to migrate the database.
    jruby -S rake db:migrate
  9. Finally we can start our new Rails 3 application.
    jruby -S rails server
That's it. You are riding on Rails in 9 steps.


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Saturday, September 04, 2010

Programming with Reason...

First graphical user interface in 1973.Image via Wikipedia
First Graphical User Interface
I just read an article in Dr. Dobb's entitled Programming with Reason: 1. The article does not cover any new ground. I have read these programming mantras before. However, it is often mentioned that the more you see something, you are more likely to remember it; marketing.

Anyway, the general programming rules are:

  1. Simplicity: design programs to do exactly what they need to do and no more.
  2. Elegance: simple programs which do what they need to do an do no more are elegant. This can be achieved by abstraction, and encapsulation.
  3. Graphical User Interfaces (GUI): a simple elegant program must have the same aspects in its interface. The author, and I have both admittedly created a "quick" mock-up for an interface only to have it become the final one. The eyes are the path to the soul, and your GUI is the path to your program. Don't create a bloodshot allergenic interface unless you want to hurt your users eyes.

Again, nothing new here, but something worth reminding all of us to take into consideration everyday.
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