James Selvakumar’s Blog

March 19, 2008

Must have tools for a Java Developer

Filed under: java — James @ 3:54 pm
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Apart from your favourite IDE, I feel, a Java Developer might be very productive with the following tools (in no particular order):

- Firefox (Do I need to say anything about it?)

- Apache Ant (Not needed, if you use NetBeans. NetBeans has got bundled ant)

- JEdit (Mainly for it’s wide range of plugins. I use it’s LogViewer and HexViewer plugin frequently. Also it has got excellent syntax highlighting for your properties file, java files, nsis scripts etc)

- Subversion Version Control System(Got excellent integration with NetBeans and Eclipse. You must consider it atleast for your personal development.) You can read more about installing subversion here.

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March 15, 2008

Funny Java Interview

Filed under: general,java — James @ 7:34 am
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I happened to read about a funny java interview. Here are some excerpts:

(Beware: Never answer like this in a real interview :-) )

Question: Explain 2 tier and 3 -tier Architecture ?
Answer: Two wheelers like scooters will have 2 tyres and autorickshaws will have 3 tyres.

Question: What is JINI?
Answer: A ghost which was Aladdin’s friend.

Question: How will you call an Applet from a _Java Script?
Answer: I will give invitation.

Question: What is bean ? Where it can be used ?
Answer: A kind of vegetable. In kitchens for cooking they can be used.

Read the complete post here.

Make Gmail your online storage space with firefox

Filed under: firefox — James @ 7:06 am
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You know that Gmail offers more than 6GB of free storage space for your email account. In my case, I have more than 4.5 GB of free space in GB. Why not use it effectively?

Say, you want to backup some important files online to retrieve it later. One option is to signup for some free online storage/backup providers. But most of them offer around 1GB of free space only with a few offering upto 5 GB. But there are lot of factors to consider. You cannot just put your important document in some startup company’s online storage space. You need more confidence, right? What else is more trustworthy than your email account? After all, you have all your important mails there, right?

As I already mentioned, why not use the unused space in your gmail account to store/backup your files? Let’s see how to do just that.

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March 14, 2008

Extending Subversion by using TortoiseSVN

Filed under: version control — James @ 5:56 pm
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Though Subversion is a powerful version control system, it’s command-line based interface may not appeal to some users who used other version control systems like Visual Source Safe. And what if you want to remotely access your repository as well?

TortoiseSVN and Apache comes to your aid. TortoiseSVN is a powerful tool for Subversion, which helps you to issue most of the subversion commands from your windows explorer. Subversion has an inbuilt “svnserve” utility which helps you to expose your repository to remote users, but it’s highly recommended to use the flexible Apache Web Server for this purpose. Subversion comes with it’s own apache modules to expose your repository to remote users. However, in this article we will not focus on Apache. I’m planning to write about the apache integration in my next post. Please be patient :-)

Objective:

In this article you will learn how to install Subversion and TortoiseSVN and use them to create a repository, import files into the repository and view the repository.

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March 12, 2008

Connecting to a database from a java web application

Filed under: java,jsp/servlets — James @ 5:14 pm
Tags: , , ,

In these days of numerous java frameworks, we often forget or don’t care about some simple things. Though this post might not be very interesting to most of you, it might help some of those to whom this might be the information they are looking for. So bear with me.

Pre-requisites:

- Latest version of Tomcat (currently 6.0.16)

- A database :-) (In my case, it’s mysql 5.0)

- Appropriate jdbc “driver” jar file for your database. (In my case, it’s mysql jdbc driverr)

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Can an underdog tout world champions?

Filed under: java,netbeans — James @ 3:58 pm
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This post is definitely not about a football or cricket match. It’s about an IDE.
An IDE which was considered “dead” not longback, is creating lot of buzz today.(evident from the high hits for netbeans related articles in my blog :) ) It’s like a nail-biting cricket match, where a team would come from behind to win the match and eventually the series. (Like what India did to Australia in the CB series).

NetBeans too, remains the “underdog” in the much touted “IDE” war. No victory is achieved without sincere effort and NetBeans is no different. But as we have seen in many cricket, football matches, “underdogs” can be really dangerous and can tout even “world champions”.

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New features in EJB 3.1

Filed under: ejb,java — James @ 1:19 pm

Did you use EJB 2.x before moving to EJB 3.0? If so, you might be well informed about the “waves” of changes that EJB 3.0 brought in.

EJB was hated by the programmers because of it’s complex programming model and a “heavy weight approach” for developing applications. Yes, you know about the pain, might have experienced it and would have vowed never to use ejb again. Chances are there that you might have considered or even moved to alternate “light weight” frameworks like Spring.

Fortunately, the ejb spec designers listened to the community and came out with a much much simpler programming model with EJB 3.0. Now, the ejb deployment descriptor is optional and the home interface has gone. You can lookup other ejbs by using a simple @EJB annotation, without the need for “jndi”. And all your EJB 3.0 classes are now ordinary “POJO”s, with a little bit of annotations. This makes it extremely simple to “unit test” your ejbs unlike the EJB 2.x era.

But even then, people complained about a “lot’ of other things. For example, you need a ejb container to deploy ejbs whether it’s embedded (like the one provided by jboss) or standalone. Where as, you don’t need any such thing to deploy frameworks like Spring. Yes, this is not the only one issue raised.

So, what did the ejb spec designers do? Did they hear the community’s voice?

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March 10, 2008

My favourite firefox extensions

Filed under: firefox — James @ 3:28 pm
Tags: , , ,

One of the main strength of firefox is it’s plugin eco-system. Though there are many alternatives to firefox, there are very less alternatives to the firefox plugins.

Following are the extensions or add-ons i use with firefox:

- Tabbed browsing. (Provides lots of tab control options)

- IE tab (Mainly to view sites which doesn’t show properly in firefox)

- Fox Clocks (To view the time of different timezones across the globe)

- Delicious Bookmarks (To integrate into my delicious account)

- TamilKey (To type in tamil)

Added on March 15, 2008:

- GSpace (To use Gmail as online storage)

What are your favourites?

What’s new in Firefox 3?

Filed under: firefox — James @ 3:22 pm

Firefox denied an absolute monopoly of Internet Explorer in the browser market with it’s cool set of features.

With a strong community, firefox often sets new standards and other browsers, especially IE are playing catchup with it.

Firefox became extremely popular because of concepts called “tabbed browsing”, multitude of plugins (which are quite safe), popup blocker (i think microsoft introduced this in IE only in windows xp service pack 2) etc, etc..

Now firefox has matured a lot and is marching proudly towards it’s third release.

Firefox Beta 3 has been released and if you want to try it, grab it from here.

One of the major complaints about firefox nowadays is that it’s not fast enough like it use to be in early days. One of the goals of Firefox 3 looks like improving the performance.

Some of the new features in Firefox 3 which got my attention are:

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Programming Language Popularity

Filed under: general — James @ 2:29 pm

Just have a look at the following chart:

Programming Language Popularity

Not surprisingly, Java retains the No.1 spot for the 3rd consecutive year.

Some surprising facts are:

- C is more popular than C++

- Visual Basic (mainly due to VB.Net?) has made it into the 3rd spot from 5th spot last year.

- The popularity of C++ is declining at a rapid rate from 2004 onwards.

- Perl and Python are more popular than C#.  (more…)

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