James Selvakumar’s Blog

March 8, 2008

NetBeans 6.1 stands up to its promise

Filed under: java,netbeans — James @ 9:23 am

NetBeans team just released their 6.1 Beta release and I was itching my hands to try it out. I’ve been using NetBeans from 5.0 release onwards (Matisse converted me from Intellij IDEA to NetBeans). I can see the progress NetBeans is making at an astonishing rate. (That too as an open source project)

Though I like and use NetBeans 6.0 a lot, I found it to be very slow when compared to Eclipse 3.3. I have explained about it here.

Especially I felt that code completion needed improvement. Eclipse beats NetBeans hands down in this area for sure.

So when the 6.1 Beta release promised me that “improved performance” is the theme of the release, I thought of trying it out.

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NetBeans 6.1 Beta released

Filed under: java,netbeans — James @ 3:48 am

NetBeans 6.0 created new waves of enthusiasm among java developers. It is intuitive, easy to use, supported the latest standards and is evolving at a rapid rate.

NetBeans 6.0 brings with it a lot of goodies and is catching up fast with other ides out there.

No wonder, NetBeans won 3 “developer.com” awards last year and won the “jolt” award this year.

However, NetBeans 6.0 was not very efficient in terms of performance. As you create more projects and use the ide the more, NetBeans becomes slower and slower. And if you develop some JSP pages, you can feel the real pain.

Following are the most annoying things I faced in NetBeans 6.0:

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March 7, 2008

Continuous Integration with Hudson

Filed under: java — James @ 5:52 pm

Need for Continuous Integration:

If you have a reasonably big project with many users working on different modules, then you must use some continuous integration server to aid you in your project builds.

It’s really tedious to build, run unit tests and code coverage tests manually. One of the nice benefit provided by continuous integration servers is that they can build your source upon changes in your source repository.

Popular Continuous Integration Servers: 

Fortunately, there are many continuous integration servers out there to help you. Some of them are opensource and some of them commericial.

A few noteworthy open source contenders are:

Hudson 

CruiseControl

LuntBuild

Some of the commercial vendors include:

TeamCity from Intellij (Makers of the popular java ide, IDEA)

Bamboo from Atlassian (Makers of JIRA)

AntHillPro 

Why Hudson?

Hudson is a new entrant in the continuous integration space and has been making huge strides forward. It’s a community project hosted in java.net. We will some of the features that make Hudson standout from the rest.

Easy Installation:

Hudson is very easy to install and use. In fact, there is nothing called “installation” if you are using hudson. All you need to do is, download the “hudson.war” file and run it using the command “java -jar hudson.war”.

Hudson comes with an inbuilt servlet container called “winstone”. By default, it runs on port “8080”. So after running it, all you need to do is open your browser and point to “http://localhost:8080”. That’s it.

But hudson does not force you to use it’s built-in servlet container. You can use any servlet container of your choice, for example, Tomcat.

Simple Configuration:

Hudson is very simple to configure. In my case, all I needed to do was to configure my email setting to ensure that I can receive the notification if any build fails.

But there are lot of options which you can configure like ant home directory, cvs etc, etc.

A major difference between hudson and other competitors is that hudson provides a simple and clean web interface to configure the settings. Whereas some products force the users to tweak through “xml” files.

Powerful Scheduling:

The most basic thing you expect from a continuous integration server is to invoke your build process without manual intervention. Hudson readily provides this option with powerful scheduling options. So you can schedule your build process to occur every 1 hour or at 5.30 PM every Friday or any other combination you like.

Lots of Plugins:

Are you the only one who is still using that old Visual Source Safe? (Don’t worry, I’m there to accompany you 🙂

Do you use Maven?

No problem, hudson has lots and lots of plugins to meet your need. This is one of the major strengths of hudson.

You can find plugins for subversion, cvs, source safe, maven, jabber, irc, etc, etc..

Enticing User Base:

Many reputed firms like jboss, netbeans etc are using hudson. And I hope most of your projects are not bigger than JBoss Application Server or NetBeans IDE, are they?

It is said that JBoss was previously using CruiseControl as their continuous integration server but now completely switched to Hudson.

Active Community:

You request a new feature, and sometimes you can see your feature request met by hudson in a few days. That’s how vibrant is the community behind hudson and they are constantly improving it.

Conclusion:

So if you are looking for a continuous integration server, don’t waste your time by reading about various servers out there. Go for hudson, you will not regret.

A blogger user switches to wordpress

Filed under: general — James @ 4:37 pm
Tags:

Bye bye blogger.

Yes from today onwards, I will be blogging from here leaving blogger behind.

(All the posts you see below this are the one imported from my blogger blog using the excellent “import” option provided by wordpress. So users who would like to switch to wordpress, don’t worry, you can import all your blogs without losing anything safely.)

I’ve been a blogger user for quite some time. Though it has served good so far, I felt “restricted” in many ways as explained here and here.

There were very few templates, very few widgets.

Though this is my first day and my first blog in wordpress, i read about it a lot and was very convinced in making a move.

As I type this, I can feel the difference. WordPress is simply more professional than blogger. Did anybody say to you that you need html, css skills to blog in wordpress? . No, don’t believe that.

In wordpress, you can create posts in the same way you create in blogger.

I don’t want to make this post as another detailed comparison of blogger and wordpress. No that’s not my intention. You can see lots and lots of information in the web if you can do a simple search. Or better, i would suggest you to just try blogging a single post in wordpress than reading 100’s of such articles to choose the right blogservice for you.

I like Java and Linux very much. So expect me to blog more about that.

Don’t forget to give your comments for my posts as it can help me to improve and correct my mistakes, if any.

I hope to make this an interesting place to share our ideas.

Keep dialing…

March 4, 2008

Resize/create windows partitions safely

Filed under: partition — James @ 11:50 am

You are running windows, and you have one or few partitions.
Sometime back, you feel that your “C” drive is running out of space or your “F” drive has simply too much space.
To put it simple, you want to partition your harddisk which is running windows.

Well, there are many free and commercial tools out there which might help your cause. Spell partition and immediately “Partition Magic” will come into your mind. I’ve used Partition Magic and I must admit that it’s a very good tool. It helps you to safely create new partitions, resize existing partitions, delete unwanted partitions etc.

But Partition Magic is an expensive tool which most of us cannot afford. (Atleast for personal use). Is there any alternative for Partition Magic which can safely do all the jobs or atleast some of the jobs that that Partition Magic do?

Well, you need to meet a friend here from unexpected quarters. Yes, it’s linux. You might think, “How can linux help me in anyway to partition my hard disk?. I use windows and I don’t want to install linux”.

The answer is, you can partition your hard disk without disturbing windows and without installing linux.

And your companion here is Ubuntu linux. However you have two options before proceeding further:
– get free ubuntu livecd from ubuntu site
– if you are impatient, download ubuntu for free from ubuntu site and burn it to a cd yourself. (Please follow the instructions about how to write ubuntu “iso” image to a cd from ubuntu website)

Once you have the “live cd” in your hands, partitioning your hard disk is just a matter of inserting the “live cd” into your cd drive!!!

Step 1:
Ubuntu “Live CD” is nothing but a “real” operating system in a cd rom. To use it, you must configure your “boot sequence” (normally by pressing “F2” key when you machine starts). Configure your “boot sequence”, so that your system attempts to “boot from cd” first, if there is any bootable cd in your cd drive.

Once you did this, insert the Ubuntu “Live CD” into your cd rom and start your machine. Ubuntu “Live CD” will not boot and will show you a startup screen with some options. Don’t worry, select the option “Install Ubuntu in safe graphics mode” and press “enter”.

Now you can see a “live” ubuntu desktop. (This might take some time, so please wait.)

Step 2:
Click the menu “System -> Administration -> Partition Editor” from the top most taskbar. This will open the ubuntu partion editor application. Some of you might find it similar to Partition Magic.

March 2, 2008

Creating tamil word documents without spending a penny

Filed under: tamil — James @ 11:54 am

Last week, one of my church member asked my help to translate an english document to tamil. Eventhough I had no experience in any kind of tamil typing whatsoever, I accepted that offer to try something.

Quite some time back, I blogged about Google transliteration tool which is available online.I thought of trying it for this activity.

Google transliteration helps you to type in english and transliterate into tamil. (Please note that it’s not translation).

I did the translation myself with the help of some online english to tamil dictionaries.

And finally, I needed some formatting and suddenly Google Docs came to my mind. What more, Google Docs helps you to even share your online document.

And Google Docs also provides option to export your document into formats like pdf, msword, openoffice etc..

With these tools, you can create decent looking tamil documents.

(Please note that google transliteration uses unicode characters)

Resources:
Google Transliteration
Google Docs
English to Tamil Dictionary

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