Monday, 17 November 2008

The week in review - 2008-46

Something was using a port on my windows machine and consequently I couldn't run one of our applications - I came across this article which shows how to identify what application is using a port. This was extremely quick and useful and let me know which processes to kill via task manager. It worked without having to install any software.

Working with the ArcGIS Server 9.3 javascript REST apis is a breeze compared to the 9.2 JSF components. The Javascript API makes working with ArcGIS a simple Javascript exercise without huge proprietary knowledge required. To get started, you'll want to check out these resources:

Wow, SpringSource has acquired G2One! If I thought I wanted to work for SpringSource before, this doubles that feeling! Spring, Groovy and Grails has made Java development more enjoyable for me, and a heck of a lot more productive.

If you haven't seen StackOverflow yet, head over there and have a look. I like it a lot. This isn't a normal question and answer forum - see the about and FAQ sections for more information.

Another great product is Bamboo. When I first heard about it I didn't understand the need for ANOTHER continuous integration server, but now I've seen it I love it. As with all Atlassian products it is very well presented and feature complete. You can see it in action here.

I'd be quite happy to never see OC4J again. Its complete lack of IDE support has a few knock on consequences that make developing a chore at the moment. We have to run JDeveloper purely so we can edit JSPs in-place. I'm trying JavaRebel to avoid restarting for every code change, but its still a pain.

Likewise with Websphere - I still know people trapped in JDK1.4 land because they are running Websphere. The language and performance advantages of JDK 5 & 6 mean you shouldn't be running anything than JDK6! If you feel you can't migrate to JDK 6 then find out why and remove that obstacle! (How long did it take Websphere to come out with JDK5 support?)

Binary configuration files used by proprietary software which contain information such as database connection details are also a pet peeve. ArcMap MXD files are one such culprit. How am I supposed to generate configurations for different environments? At the moment I have to do it manually by copying the file, opening it, and then changing the connection details for each layer. Takes the 'automatic' out of 'automatic deployment'. I'm also having big fights trying to script the creation of feature classes and layers with the SDE. I can register point classes but I can't visualise them with SDE9.2. I'm hoping 9.3 will work...

Glasshfish v3 Prelude has been launched. I've heard good things about Glassfish, and its something I'd like to play with. I'm very keen to keep up with the latest JDK and JEE releases, an this is exactly what Glassfish does. Notice that this release offers a preview of JEE6, including JSF2.0. Even more noteworthy might be the Rapid Deployment Technology which allows you to 'edit code, save and immediately refresh browser with no loss of application state'. I'm running Netbeans 6.5 at home, so I'll have to try this out!

Apparently spam levels dropped significantly when a major spam ISP was taken offline. But it won't stay that way for long... I wonder why it isn't easier and quicker to detect them and taken them offline?

Wow, USB3 is going to be fast, but it won't be here until 2010!

For some interesting observations about software development, see Frequently Forgotten Fundamental Facts about Software Engineering. There in black and white are some observations we see every day, but might not consider formally.


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