Monday, 3 November 2008

The week in review - 2008-44

I was happy to see 'Compile on Save' added to Netbeans. This is a feature I've always appreciated in Eclipse, its always worked and always made for a good experience. This was one of the top items preventing me from moving away from Eclipse. I want to play with it in Netbeans, and see if it measures up.

Speaking of Netbeans, the Maven plugin is awesome! It makes it easy to add a dependency to your project, through an easy to use autocompleteing dialog. With so many Java libraries around, this is the way we should have always been doing dependency management. The linked article doesn't really show how to add libraries, but try right clicking on the 'lib' directory in your project. Notice you can also download all javadoc and sources for your dependencies. So easy!!

I'm enjoying using Netbeans 6.5 for Grails development now. I haven't explored the functionality all that much, but using just the basics is effective. Hopefully this support will grow quickly. Netbeans 6.5 is now available as a release candidate.

I really would like to just start buying books as PDFs - to save space (on the bookshelf) and weight (while travelling) and trees. But what do I read them on? At the moment I'd have to use my laptop - overkill really - it gets heavy fast. I would expect that the Amazon Kindle would be ideal, but at USD 359 its a bit rich. You can buy entry level laptops for that price, and an ASUS EEE would cost less. But how comfortable is it to read on an EEE (1.1kg with a 10inch screen)?

I was disappointed to see that the Sun Tech Days conference is not coming to Australia this year. I went to the 2008 event and although I probably wouldn't be able to take time off for it in 2009 I'd like to think these kind of events are available to us.

I'm continually surprised by how bad at multitasking current multi-core computers are. If I kick off a build or launch an application, my computer is generally too unresponsive to do anything else with. I may be able to browse the web, but I can't do much more. I assume the problem here is being disk bound - I'm running windows XP on a dual core machine - Windows seems to aggressively swap to disk, even when you have lots of RAM. Perhaps RAID would help? I run Linux exclusively at home, so I'll have to compare performance for similar tasks. That'll be a bit harder, because at home I generally run lighter weight tasks than at work (smaller projects and lighter technologies i.e. Grails, Python).

I've been getting frustrated lately by the slowness of my computer at work. Its running Windows XP, and starting/restarting/reloading Intellij IDEA is a coffee break. I came across this article, and in the comments it is mentioned that an EXT filesystem would perform better than NTFS - I wonder if this would give me the boost I need?

Ubuntu 8.10 is here - I've been using 8.04 on my Dell 1525 since it came out, but have been a little inconvenienced by the odd quirk - such as intermittent failure of suspend/resume/hibernate. Sometimes after resuming it immediately hibernates. Sometimes it fails to suspend. And resuming takes an aweful long time if I'm not connected to the network. Not enough to make me switch OSes, but hopefully it will continue to get better and better.

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