The Programmers’ Stone

The Programmers Stone looks like something to read in my “copious free time”.

welcome to The Programmers’ Stone. The purpose of this site is to recapture, explore and celebrate the Art of Computer Programming. By so doing we hope to help the reader either become a better programmer, understand what less experienced programmers are struggling with, or communicate more effectively with other experienced programmers.

Many topics are covered, so this will require a bit of reading before I can even formulate an opinion on its value.

Modern Day JavaScript and CSS can be fun!

The last time that I really spent any time directly working on web interfaces was in 1999, and I didn’t have a lot of time then to spend on a web UI. Lack of browser compatibility (and even support, in the case of CSS) made Javascript and CSS painful to use. Since 1999, my work has been focused on server-side technologies, because I have had other people to lean on to do the front end. Now, I’m in a 3 person group and the HTML is my concern… but, I’m actually enjoying it!
Continue reading Modern Day JavaScript and CSS can be fun!

MVC web frameworks that don’t hurt?

I just came across this slightly older writing from Patrick about the pain of ActionForms in Struts. I, personally, have not written Struts code. In my last job, I managed some people who were writing Struts code, though. I’m aware of the benefits of MVC, but it really did seem like there was a whole lot of programmer overhead in writing Struts apps. xDoclet seems like one possible solution, but it really makes you wonder if the framework can or should be doing more. WebWork2 sounds promising, and we’re planning to try out both Struts and WW2 for an app we’re just starting.

Eclipse 3.0 on the way

According to the latest Eclipse Project Draft 3.0 Plan, 3.0 Milestone 1 is scheduled to be released June 6th! Of course, their release plan goes all the way up to M5 in November, but still it will be great to start seeing new Eclipse features showing up. Here are the things that interest me most that are committed for 3.0:

  • Lots of editor improvements including more typing actions, better integrated key bindings, folding in the editor window and splitting of the editor window to edit different parts of the same document
  • Make Eclipse usable as a rich client platform, not just for IDEs. Plug-ins, help system, update manager all will be packaged for use in other programs.
  • Support Java and Java references in other files (like JSP and SQLj, and references to classes that appear in xml files)
  • Present a logical view of the objects in the debugger (so a HashMap appears as key/value, not just a java.util.HashMap)

The following are some nifty “proposed” items for 3.0, which means they don’t have a specific solution yet.

  • Be able to open files outside the workspace! – I can understand why this is tricky (do those files compile? If so, where to?), but it would still be nice to be able to use the Eclipse editor for other, non-managed files.
  • HTML widget that works on all platforms
  • Automatic synchronization with filesystem changes
  • Plug-ins can be added/removed dynamically
  • Better interoperability between Swing and SWT
  • Support for J2SE1.5 – I really hope generics makes it into an early Eclipse release, because I’d like to start using them. There are all ready reliable ways to compile 1.5 generics for use in current JVMs

Lots of good stuff coming down the line, and the number of plug-ins grows all the time. Eclipse shows just how good an open source project can do when it has a bit of money backing it!