GWT and IDEA, a happy marriage ?
Monday 24 July 2006 @ 4:56 pm
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During the JavaOne, I already blogged about both GWT and IntelliJ. Today, I finally found a bit of time to start playing. While Teamserver has been renamed (renaming is not the right word, they brought it to the market and needed a sounding name) to TeamCity my attention was caught by the upcoming IDEA (their IDE) 6.0 release called Demetra and especially by the included GWT support (which has been available as plugin for a while). I’ve never used their IDE although during the years I’ve heard a lot of good rumours about it.

So, I downloaded the thing, registered for an evaluation license and off I was. And indeed within minutes I had my first GWT application up and running. Well, not actually within minutes, the first hour I was a bit overwhelmed by the amount of buttons, menu items and icons shown on screen. But after I found out about some of the basic concepts, everything seemed to go pretty smooth.

What I especially liked is the way IDEA generates service interfaces and implementations for remoting purposes. After starting a new (empty) gwt module, it is pretty straightforward to add entry points and to add remote services. Programming the ping-pong game between client and server is relatively simple. But I must say, it still is a bit primitive (nothing really fancy, just point and shoot so to say) but imho it looks like a good start. Of course it is waiting for graphical orchestration of client-server calls, a good gui builder and even some scaffolding tools for basic operations. And then maybe, while both GWT and IDEA are evolving, within just a few years, we’re developing web applications exactly the way we have been developing fat clients back in the nineties.

By the way, for those who are bound to their eclipse ide (3.2) and are already using the webtools platform (1.5), the exact same functionality can be found in the Googlipse plugin.

By the way, for those who still ask why to use GWT I have a pretty simple answer: It is a very elegant way to write a web application that manages state at the front (the gui) and in the back (your beloved rdbms for example) but can be completely stateless in between. But I agree inmediately, this is nothing but a matter of taste.

— By Okke van 't Verlaat   Comments (0)   PermaLink
Just a couple of links how to find Buildix
Thursday 20 July 2006 @ 2:26 pm
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Found on Javalobby a link to Russ Olsens Web Log, having a comment that pointed me to Martin Fowler who has written a nice entry about Buildix. A bundle of essential pieces of software that form the cornerstone of agile development. According to their website everything you need to get started in one easy install. You can download it as CD, VMWare image or as binary package. And as long as you don’t care dealing with linux, it sounds like a very good deal. Have it a try I would say ….

— By Okke van 't Verlaat   Comments (0)   PermaLink
Java podcasts
Wednesday 12 July 2006 @ 8:40 am

I have a new lease car. Like many other people, I have to go through the traffic jams that block up the highways here in the Netherlands every morning and every evening.I often listen to the radio while I’m in the car. The CD player in my new car has written “mp3″ on it with small letters - it can play MP3 files from CD-ROMs. This gave me an idea: I should find out how podcasting works, I could find some interesting podcasts, put them on a CD and listen to them while I’m in the car.

Podcasting works with RSS news feeds. The news messages in the RSS feed contain links to audio files. You can use a program like Juice to subscribe to RSS feeds and download the audio files, which you can then listen to on your computer, put on your MP3 player or on a CD.

So now I wanted to find some interesting podcasts. This article on O’Reilly’s OnJava website has links to some podcasts about Java.

So far I’ve downloaded a few of the podcasts from Java Posse (RSS podcast feed). There were a few interesting interviews, one with the product manager of Google who is responsible for the Google Web Toolkit, and one with some of the guys on the Swing team at Sun. They were talking about Aerith, a cool Swing demo program that they showed on JavaOne to demonstrate that you can make great looking applications with Swing (although it wasn’t easy to make a program like Aerith).

EclipseZone currently has a series of podcasts about the Eclipse Callisto release - it’s a series of ten podcasts, in which they’re interviewing people from each of the ten projects that are in Callisto.

If you know any other interesting podcasts, let me know!

— By Jesper de Jong   Comments (4)   PermaLink
Eclipse Callisto, the video, or when to push and when to pull
Tuesday 4 July 2006 @ 3:43 pm
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I’ve been way too busy doing probably important but not blogoductive things but today I found a few minutes to take a look at Elcipse Callisto and write some meaningful comments about it. At least, I thought …

In may, during the JavaOne, I saw callisto for the first time. The eclipse team proudly presented their plans. And during this session thay gave me the impression Callisto could be something worth to check out. Well, At the end of June, exactly like they promised (very cool, those release schedules and planning all done through IBM’s jazz), the time has come. It is Callisto time!

So Let’s go …. [quote]

  • First download either the Eclipse SDK or the Eclipse Platform Runtime Binaries.
  • You then need to use the update manager to load Callisto projects. See Eclipse Help for general information about using Update Manager.  
  • [/quote]

    Hummm …. so I need to download eclipse and after that I need to use the update manager to select what I want. Does not sound like a smooth download and go to me. I think the idea to combine several projects into one coordinated release cycle is a very good idea. And providing the flexability to select what you want is also a good idea. But how about the idea to productize the whole bunch in one download? I wanted to do a quick click through to write down some first impressions. Instead, I’ll restrict this blog entry by only watching the video. [offside discussion: Why does a product (yep, i know, it is not a product, wish it was a product) needs a video to tell me how to install it?? Since RoR has shown the world how convenient it is to use videos, every product that might need some better marketing, uses a video]

    Well, my review can be short. Why on earth does someone wants to select the ‘XSD Schema Infoset Model 2.2.0.v2′ ?? Lunatic :-) . Is there someone on this planet really planning to go the callisto way only to use this extension? Well, the eclipse team already predicted the amount of developers looking for this one feature is not worth counting so they provided the ’select required’ button. So, you select the feature you want and all depending feature are selected automatically. Great, I want Callisto to bring me all! Also possible. The selection model is tree driven. One select box, one button, some intermediate wizard screens and a restart. Well, if that is possible, why not provide that one click download?

    The actual question of course is not why we need videos nor what is wrong with the exotic selection of some deep down under package. The actual question is all about software distribution. It is push versus pull. Pull, just like the eclipse way but also like the linux way of packaging, is extremely useful for those who know what they are doing. Those who really need lunatic versions of lunatic packages. The only problem with pull is the lack of control on the distribution side. And that is where push comes in.

    On development teams it is sometimes important all developers are using the same tools. I especially used the word sometimes because I know this can be a delicate issue. But when you are in the situation this sometimes is a definately, pulling exotic packages from the Callisto discovery site might not be a very good idea. And that is exactly the reason why I want that one click download. (including restrictions on the update manager inside eclipse so I can throw away the video :-)

    — By Okke van 't Verlaat   Comments (5)   PermaLink

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