Friday, April 29, 2005

Learning iTunes.

A few great suggestions on making a media player (or indeed any software) learn from usage. Some email app do this kind of thing, in terms of the address book, but many more apps could benefit from it too - eg spell checkers could auto pencil in words you never correct (a bug-bear of mine on my 7610 phone). Bring on the self profiling apps..

Friday, April 08, 2005

Jini interest.

I see Dan and Tim are going to work on some Jini thoughts together. I must take a look at the new starter kit. I haven't been back to look at Jini since I last commented from the conference. Seems Tim picked up on the same thing I noticed - that the HelloWorld example is not in the slightest. It's a multi-protocol, multi-feature example thats (imho) far too complicated. If you can understand all the aspects of the example, you already know a significant amount about Jini.. kind of cart before horse.

One good thing I see from is the new licensing scheme, they certainly needed it. It seems (cos the posting isn't that clear to me, esp the start), that most of it will be Apache v2. Nice.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Double click - highlight annoyance.

When writing entries in this editor, courtesy of Blogger, the normal way I enter links is to double click the word that is to form the link, then paste in the URL to the dialog the pops up due when I hit the link button in the toolbar. However, the double click always extends the selection to include the space after the word, which is a pain to then remove (ok, shift left arrow isn't awful but it does interupt the flow quite badly, and after a few links it gets very annoying) -- I hate having a space at the end of the link for some reason.

I'm not suggesting it's the Blogger editors fault, it's probably Firefox, but it would sure be nice if they fixed it when amending the text to add the link...

Brain Seizures.

It's odd how, quite often it's not the blog posting I'm reading that I find significant, but the one it's linking to. They way Joel struggles to get moving is something I'm incredibly familiar with. On a couple of projects I've basically had a head seizure so bad, I almost left the job (in fact it became the beginning of the end) -- it was partly that fact that I had a bit code that was way to complicated (I wrote it), but also that I hated the fact it was so complicated, but couldn't think of a way around it at the time (that wasn't a complete rewrite, or too big a change at the point inthe schedule). This caused me to stare at my PC for days, and get increasingly irritable with others in the team. Eventually the projet manager took me aside to inquire what was wrong. To his, credit we found a way of getting things going again -- unfortunately I can't remember the magic sauce. Must ask him sometime.

Java on the desktop.

I posted the following a few weeks ago on the Jive forums. I didn't get a reply, so thought I'd resurect it here.

Native integration issues are killing Java on the Desktop. There needs to be a much better solution than JNI -- many Java developers today (and more tomorrow) don't know how to write in C, never mind compile / link / port across Win/Linux etc. For those who have been there, we don't want to go back.

I think the Unsafe class or equiv could be expanded to give real native style access -- it doesn't need to be a security issue either, just make it the equivalent of JNI from a security point of view.

By changing a single registry entry, I can take any C# class and then simply invoke the methods from inside Excel. Why can't I do this in Java? I realise there are threading / reference issues with some calls but these are all solvable. If the basic ability to make any native invocation is there, frameworks that deal with the differences in threading models etc can be built (outside the JDK imho, open source most likely, maybe on The latter will need to evolve, but there should be a way to invoke any library function.

I want to take any DLL/lib and call into / regsiter callbacks from Java. No C code involved. The JDK might provide a command to generate a Java typelib.jar or something that does the low level mapping but no C code please.

If Java was painless as a web services client stack on the desktop for Excel to call, most projects I've seen in the last 2 years (finance industry) would drop .NET development for pure simplicity reasons.

I want integration as good as Eclipse gives, if not better -- eg most trading apps would love to embedd an excel sheet in a swing gui but don't for fear of the complexity / pain involved. (Excel has other issues but let's not go there).

There's been a Java-COM bridge for ages - not really supported as far as I know though. Why not?
It's an opinion I made to John Rose (Hotspot, Groovy) at GroovyOne last year. There's a clear bias due to my job mostly being in large banks, but I think the points are fairly general. I hope Mustang or it not, Dolphin, make some significant in-roads to Java on MS desktops. Perhaps, taking the series of arcticles here or folding JDIC into the JDK is needed. It would be a start; it is needed.

Pop goes the CD.

Via ongoing, Mark pretty much sums up why I'm still buying CDs and not downloading via iTunes. He also details a great market opportunity, especially for an independent label.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?