Thursday, September 25, 2008

AJAX via XMLAsynchronousMessage

It seems to me that much of the interactions that take place over a relatively synchronousAJAX XMLHttpRequest could just as easily have been modelled as asynchronous messages.

Now, I'll grant that async messages have been hampered by not using a common wire protocol (e.g. AMQP), and that browsers are fundamentally HTTP clients, but I wonder if an event-driven asynchronous model would have made more sense in the long run?

CentSpring: Community Enterprise Spring Framework?

If Spring is going to stop putting out maintenance releases to the community at large after either three months or when the next release is out, do we simply need another organization to look at the maintenance branch and bundle up the work for us?

In essence, CentOS is to RedHat what X is to SpringSource.  Solve for X.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Agile Office Furniture

When looking at systems furniture or other corporate furniture, are some better-suited to agile techniques than others, including pairing and pair-swapping? I was just looking at the Kimball Hum desk, which is appealing in some ways, although it still doesn't match the truly mobile solutions where you could have a workspace but move it around easily (Herman Miller used to have a desk I really liked in that respect, although I haven't seen it recently).

I also have fond memories of using a Huddleboard.

I'm curious if some of you have recommendations with respect to furniture that's worked well for you.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Scala in Eclipse

Last time I looked at Scala, I quickly stumbled over the nascent support for Scala in Eclipse and found that I didn't have the energy to work with a JVM language that didn't have good IDE support.  It's been a while since then, so it seemed like a good time to look at Scala again and see how support for Scala in Eclipse has improved.

Installing Scala in Eclipse
Installing Scala in Eclipse was pretty easy.  There's a documentation page covering it, Eclipse 3.4 (Ganymede) is supported, so I added the update site, installed, restarted Eclipse, and voila, a Scala perspective, as shown on the Scala site:

Hello, World
Following along with either the Eclipse/Scala plugin page or with the default tutorial, I tried creating my first Scala "Hello World", and immediately started hitting minor hiccups again.  

First of all, starting strings often highlights the open quote with an error indicator that doesn't go away when you close the string.

Secondly, there's no shortcut for running a Scala application.  Alt-Shift-X brings up the usual menu with no addition for Scala.  Likewise, you can't "Run As > Scala Application", another normal way to run an application in the Java development tools.  Your only option is to go into the run configurations dialog, create a new run configuration under Scala Applications and enter the class to be used.

Further confusion sets in within the Run Configuration dialog, where there's a Browse button to search for a main class, but the HelloWorld object I've created doesn't show up in the dialog that results from pressing this button.  As a result, if I type in the fully-qualified name of the object, the run configuration works, but it's fairly painful to reach that stage.

Interaction with Java
Continuing with the tutorial, I start the stage of interacting with Java classes.  Although the typed-out examples show import statements, I'm used to these import statements being generated by the IDE in Java, so I decide to omit them.   The Date type and getDateInstance methods are highlighted as being not found, although the warning information that appears when you hover over the error is both simpler and uglier than the Java equivalents, and incorrectly sized for the text, so scrollbars appear.  There are no quick fixes available, so it seems likely that I'm going to have to enter the imports by hand.  I do seem to get autocompletion on the imports, which makes entering these less painful than they might have been.

Having completed the import statements, the Scala editor is now aware of the Date instance, but seems to have failed to notice that getDateInstance() is overloaded; it's complaining that I'm offering up (int.Locale) to getDateInstance().  The code still runs when the run configuration is executed, but the editor is blissfully unaware of the successful compilation of the code, and continues to present the getDateInstance() method as being in error, even when I take it out and put it back in.

Second First Impressions
Well, this is my second time checking out Scala on Eclipse, and my first impressions this time around is that there's still a ways to go before Scala in Eclipse approaches the polish I'd like to see.  It's certainly better than when I last looked, but I'd still be tempted to take a look at the support in IDEA and Netbeans before sticking with Scala in Eclipse.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Google Chrome Well-Funded

If you think about it, Google should have no problem funding Chrome. With Firefox's small but growing share of the search engine referrals, they're already paying them $55M a year. If Google were able to take over some segment of that market share, they wouldn't need to pay themselves referral fees.

Now, I'm not saying that this is a move on Google's part to take away Mozilla's market share and funding -- I doubt that's a huge factor in their mind. It's not like they can't afford to pay for these kinds of projects in other ways, and there are lots of good reasons for them to pursue the browser as an application delivery platform.

That said, it's interesting to realize that this can, to a certain extent, pay for itself, if it's successful enough.